I suppose most girls could write a novel about their historical relationship with food or body image. I am no different. Always on the taller side, but solidly built, I was never what you would call a "beanpole" kid. Healthy and active but never just plain thin. And always with a good appetite! I remember this very clearly--it was Thanksgiving of 8th grade when the turning point happened. We were in Ohio visiting family, and I remember being down in their basement with my siblings and cousins, eating Domino's pizza (likely delicious), and watching To Gillian on her 37th Birthday (a random 90s movie that I haven't seen since). Claire Danes played the teenage daughter, I think. I just remember sitting in that basement, watching her on-screen and feeling so yuck after eating all this pizza and thinking to myself, I'm going to change this. So we went home and I did. I started eating low-fat everything (the 90s!) and less of it, and it worked. I started losing weight. (Mind you, I wasn't overweight. Just a little chubby. And a growing 8th grader. I'm actually the same height now (5'8") that I was grew to be that year.) The summer after 8th grade, I decided to start eating less and less, and lost more weight. When I got to school the first day of 9th grade, I looked pretty different. My parents were concerned, school people were concerned, so I started eating more again so everyone would leave me alone (I guess that speaks more to my fear of confrontation than anything). Though I settled back into a more normal weight, but the body image issues plagued me for most of high school and into college.
I don't imagine that this is a unique story. Through the grace of God, I'm happy to report that as I've settled into adulthood, I've grown less and less consumed with this mindset/obsession/whatever you want to call it (analyzing/criticizing myself and my weight). I allowed pregnancy to beat up my body pretty good (too many salty carbs in the name of morning sickness) but have managed to hold all the "damage" at arm's length, mentally. I love good food and am a person always thinking about the next meal (my husband is not this way at all and I'm mostly jealous of it).
I saw something about the Whole 30 on the internet about a year ago while nursing Molly late one night. I was super interested and fell down the research rabbit-hole. Ordered the book, It Starts with Food. What drew me in more than anything was the philosophy that this is not a diet plan. It's a plan that helps re-calibrate your body and re-calibrate your mind and your relationship with food.
The basic premise is that you give yourself 30 days to completely avoid any type of grains, sugars (real or artificial), dairy, legumes, or alcohol. Absolutely no cheats or you're supposed to start over. So the bulk of your diet is vegetables, lean meats, eggs, and some fruit and nuts. Sounds easy enough on paper, right? Returning to work full-time after maternity leave and being concerned for milk supply, I didn't really consider it as an option for nursing reasons and also time reasons (lots of prep required!).
We've made a lot of changes in the kinds of groceries we buy over the past 9 or so months. But I'm ready to kick it up a notch!
I put the book on Jonathan's night stand a few months ago and managed to get him interested in it (I'm really thankful he's into good health practices, which makes sense since he's a doctor and that's probably part of the job description). Anyway, he's got some time off in May before graduation, so he'll be able to shoulder more of the meal prep responsibilities than normal, which is making it possible for us to go all in for the month of May!
I am so excited about the potential of this month! As I mentioned on instagram yesterday, more than anything, I'm excited about the potential for righting my relationship with food, as well as possibly having increased energy and clarity of mind (though I'm not feeling that today, in day 2 fogginess!).
I'll keep yall updated as we slog through this tough first week... :)
p.s. I am no expert (at anything, turns out). There is lots of science behind this shoddy interpretation, so please check out the book if you want more legit info.