If you follow me on social media, you might have noticed that for the past 30 days, my mom and I committed to changing up our healthy lifestyle in a major way. For the past few months, we both had moaned and groaned about feeling something was out of sorts with our health and wellness. For me, life had felt hectic, and the added stresses of moving apartments and major life changes led to a slippery slope of poor self-care.
I truly honor and value my connection to my physical body, and I always strive to make conscious, healthy choices when it comes to what I put in it, but lately I noticed that I was falling short on these values. I was unconnected, unconscious, and out of alignment with my body’s needs. I was starting to experience the physical tolls: tiredness, fatigue, bloating, and poor sleep.
One day, in listening to my body’s signals, I realized I must alter my habits. I felt ready to make a change and commit to something new in hopes of restoring balance and peace from within. I reprioritized my health, and I felt ready to commit. I was feeling optimistic, curious, and excited on how I could improve my self-care and wellness routines.
In the most synchronistic way, my mom and I came to each other at almost the exact moment, offering up our own unique thoughts about our health habits. We decided that together, we would embark on a reboot for our bodies, minds, and spirits… enter Whole30!
Whole30 is defined as a “short-term nutrition reset” designed by Melissa Hartwig. Essentially, in this reset you are committing to giving your body only whole, unprocessed, natural foods for 30 days. So what does that mean exactly? No dairy, no grains, no soy, no legumes, no sugar, and no alcohol, amongst other things. No cheat days, no slip ups, no personal adjustments for comforts or preferences. This is a rigid, rule-based program with the intention of restoring the body back to balance and health. And we committed to it!
Now, I am generally not someone who restricts her diet or even follows food rules in general. I’m usually a go with the flow, intuitively eat, do what feels good kind of gal. In the past when I had read and heard about the Whole30 from friends and colleagues, I never in a million years thought that I would be someone who would ultimately participate in and complete it.
The difference in this instance was that I could feel my body crave a different way of life. I could hear a voice inside me saying that this was something that I needed to do, and so when it came down to committing to these 30 days, it didn’t feel stressful or onerous, it just felt like I was moving into the next right thing for my life.
I followed the voice within me, you know that little “inkling” that we feel but often ignore. My mom and I successfully completed the Whole30 on May 31st. Thirty days of nothing but clean, whole foods. We learned so much from this experience, both in our own relationships with food and our bodies, but also, maybe more importantly, the lesson in committing and following through with promises that we make to ourselves.
We experienced a wide range of emotions throughout the process. We felt the difficulties, and the uncomfortable feelings that come when you make a big change in habits and unhealthy instincts. We had highs and lows. We had some frustrations, but I have to say we mostly experienced a joyful curiosity for embarking on something new. We had healthy optimism in creating change and so much fun and creativity doing something like this together. This 30 day commitment to change our lives gave us so many moments of laughter.
I received many questions from many of you about my experience, so I write this blog in hopes of sharing my main take-aways and experiences from this month of reset!
Please know that I did not go into this challenge looking to lose weight or trying to alter my physical shape. I never condone food fads or trend diets. This certainly was not what this was for me or my mom. For both of us, it was following a calling to start again, become conscious, and find a deeper connection with food and ourselves.
On our Whole30 journey we…
…gained a greater appreciation for the taste and nutrient value of whole foods, in their purest form
…re-learned the importance and joy of preparing our own meals with love and healthy ingredients
…uncovered a greater knowledge of what exactly goes into the food and drinks that we digest on a daily basis
…tapped into a mind-body connection that stems from slowing down, listening, and being aware of how our bodies digest and respond to what we consume
…released emotional ties to particular foods and cravings
…felt empowered and in control of our relationship to food, rather than at the mercy of it
…allowed ourselves to have fun and be joyful in the journey
…laughed more than we thought could be humanly possible.
The benefits we experienced are:
- more energy
- clearer skin
- more restful sleep
- fewer cravings
- a deeper feeling of satiation with foods
- feeling lighter and more connected to our bodies
- mental clarity
I’m so grateful and proud of the commitment that we made in following our inner desires to reboot and start again. As much as this experience was to feel better physically, it was also a mental and emotional journey. Honoring our soul’s desire and following through on promises that we made was of course challenging at times, but so incredibly rewarding.
I share this journey with you not as an advertisement for Whole30 or even as encouragement for healthy living, but as a reminder to always listen to what your intuition and your soul is telling you. By tapping into your inner guidance and wisdom that we all have, you will come across the answers, solutions, and even healthy programs that you are waiting and looking for. The Whole30 was the answer that I needed for my health, and I will always be proud and deeply inspired that I followed my intuitive hit 33 days ago.
I would love to keep this conversation going in the comments! What commitments have you made and stuck with for yourself? Have you tried the Whole30? What is the voice within calling you to do for your self? Let me know!
PS This blog does not intend to serve as medical guidance or advice. It is strictly based on my own personal experience in opening up to a new way of living and honoring my body and my health. You can learn more about Whole30 by visiting their website or reading their very informative book. Please consult your doctor or medical professional before making any changes to your health protocols!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org