So, my plan was to blog my way through the Whole30 journey and be happy, creative, and inspiring throughout the entire process. Everything was all planned out and just waiting to be typed up and posted.
However, life happens.
On Days 2 through 7 of the Whole30, I had the worst headache of my life. According to the Whole30 book, that was my body going through sugar withdrawal. They say that the severity of the “sugar hangover” is directly proportionate to how much junk a person eats before starting the Whole30. I didn’t realize how poorly I had been eating until I had to start saying “no” to so many things. So I trudged through those days maxing out on Ibuprofen, learning how to cook healthy meals, and staring longingly at cookies. And muffins.
Around Day 8, the painful fog lifted from my head and I felt refreshed. I had been eating healthy, going to the gym, and resisting the gravitational pull that sweets had on me. I could see my waistline shrinking and firming up. I felt good about myself for the first time in a while. Day 8 would have been a good blogging day, but instead I went over my grandparents’ new house to do some gardening for them.
Day 11 (Saturday) was my friend’s wedding. While I was putting my Bridesmaid’s dress on I noticed two things. First, the dress was too big– yay, this Whole30 thing must be working! Second, what I had thought was harmless mosquito bite on my back was spreading. Little red dots
of fury were invading my skin.
Flashback to gardening at my grandparents’ house. That one plant that looked a little suspicious? Yeah, I shouldn’t have touched that. That was definitely Poison Oak.
So what did I do? I ignored the angry rash growing on my back and had fun celebrating the marriage of one of my closest friends. I made it through the whole wedding without breaking any Whole30 rules! At the end of the night I was exhausted, proud of myself, and incredibly itchy.
By Monday (Day 13), my entire torso had been engulfed by an angry fire-breathing dragon named Poison Oak. It was on my stomach, back, legs, and neck. I made it through work, and then I had to go play a Kickball Tournament for charity. Mind over matter, I was doing fine and pushing through the pain. When I got back to my finance’s house I collapsed on the floor, fighting the urge to claw my skin off my body. It was time to call the doctor, because this rash clearly wasn’t going to go away on its own. Dan drove me to the doctor that night and she hooked me up with lots and lots of drugs to make me all better.
Today is Day 17 of my Whole30. There is still a painful rash covering my torso, but I found the motivation to sit up and write something. The Whole30 journey has definitely had its ups and downs and unexpected twists. I’m more than halfway through, and I can make it through the next 13 days.
I am confident that if it wasn’t for the Poison Oak, I’d be feeling like the picture of health right now. I have been giving my body the food that it needs– nothing more and nothing less. I have been learning how to cook, which is a huge accomplishment for me! I can feel my bad food habits fading away: Grazing for snacks all day long, eating sugar-filled junk that I don’t need, and grabbing whatever is convenient instead of taking the time to prepare a healthy meal for myself. I’m learning and growing, and forming new healthy habits that I plan to carry with me beyond the Whole30 program.
So, life happens. And that’s a good thing. When things don’t go according to plan, it’s just further evidence that life is here: it is breathing, moving, and organic. There are things beyond our control, and to me that is scary, humbling, and a relief all at the same time. I can’t control everything, and I don’t have to– I find freedom in that.