I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, and my “I just wanna be liked by everyone” insecurities have been stopping me from doing so. But I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what “diet plan” I follow and what my philosophy on nutrition is and if I would recommend the Whole 30 to others, so while I know this is going to be a suuuper controversial topic, it’s time I bit the bullet and dove in.
I want to start off by saying that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to go about eating food. I will never write and tell you you have to eat this or you can’t eat that 100% goes against my philosophy. Every single one of us are made up differently and there is not “one diet fits all”. You’ve gotta experiment a bit and figure out how best to FUEL your body so it feels its best.
That being said, it’s also my mission to be REAL AF with you ladies and share my personal experiences so that’s why I’m opening up about this on the blog today.
There are a shiz ton of fads out there right now surrounding food (paleo, ketogenics, vegan...the works) and Whole 30 is just one of the many, that it can be so tough to know where to start and what to eat.
One person says “eat this!” and another person says “ahhh stay away!”.
Eat sugar, don’t eat sugar.
Cut out grains!
And I don’t know about you, but it can be so freaking exhausting to keep up with.
When I started my journey into being more intentional with my foods, I found the restriction or “off limit foods” to be overwhelming. I went from not really thinking about food to literally thinking about my daily food intake and which meal I was going to have next in an obsessive way. I read an article about how carbohydrates were awful for you, so I cut out carbs for 2 years. YUP. You read that right. 2 fucking years. The FDA said fats were terrible for you so I started eating anything and everything with a “low fat” label. Veganism became a trend? I went vegan for a couple of months. Dairy got a bad rap? I cut it out completely.
I was on this cycle for years and within months of starting to focus on my food, I had developed some serious disordered eating tendencies and crazy anxiety surrounding food. Binge eating. Emotional eating. Anxiety around how many calories I was eating. Food journals. I would spend all day eating nothing but vegetables, lean meats and the occasional fruit and then would binge eat all the trail mix, nutella, oreos and ice cream I could find.
And this vicious cycle kept up for YEARS. All because of the latest diet trends I was told to follow to “get skinny” (which I, of course, thought would help me finally feel happy and confident -- wrong!).
It wasn’t until I had a really emotionally draining summer, gained allll the weight back and then some and had to start from scratch that things shifted. Because I knew there had to be a better way.
I know a lot of women who LOVE the whole 30. It has given them energy, mental clarity and a whole new approach to food that works for them. And if you’re someone who this program has resonated with, that’s GREAT!
But here’s the thing -- this isn’t the right program for everyone.
And it is certainly not the program for me.
Why, you ask? It’s very simple.
Because I have a history of disordered eating.
I know that for me, any plan that asks me to cut out entire food groups or has a restrictive nature in any way is going to be a major no-no for me. It’s immensely triggering, and I have come too far building such a positive relationship with food that I just won’t put that in jeopardy.
(Side note: the creator of the Whole30 Program, Melissa Hartwig, even puts a disclaimer in that if you’ve suffered with disordered eating in the past, this program may not be for you.)
Does this mean that I eat anything and everything? No. I stay away from processed foods because I know how terrible they are for me. And I limit my dairy intake as well as my simple carbohydrates because I know that for me, personally, they tend to leave me inflamed and bloated.
But it’s my choice. I listen to my body. I have adopted a system that is focused on portion control and whole foods, of alll categories. Yup, that means fruits, veggies, proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, the works.
Also, I have seen first hand how triggering the re-introductory phase of the Whole 30 can be for women who have any kind of negative relationship with food (even emotional eating!) Many of my clients have loved the process of Whole 30 while ON it, but as soon as they start to re-introduce other food groups that they have eliminated, they dive into serious binge eating spurts that take months and months to work through, both physically and mentally.
So, am I planning on doing the Whole 30? Nope.
I’ve found a system that works wonders for me and for the first time in my life, I’m eating MORE food, looking and feeling better than ever and don’t ever feel restricted or controlled by food. Which is something I honestly never thought would be my reality.
That being said, there are a few things I love about the Whole 30:
- I love that it’s a whole foods based nutrition plan.
I love that you are encouraged to ditch the scale and focus on how you FEEL versus the numbers you are seeing (#hellsyes I could not agree more)
I love that you’re encouraged to do it with a support squad. I have seen first hand just how amazing and empowering being on your journey with a community has been for my own personal journey (that’s why I created the Live Your F*ck YES Life program so I could pay it forward!) Community is everything in my books and I appreciate this aspect of the program for sure.
So the moral of the story? Do your research before you dive in.
If you're dealing with serious issues with food, speak to a professional.
If you're struggling with emotional eating and are tired of the yo yo diet train, find yourself a coach to work with building you habits that will LAST -- I know a good one ;)
And above all, don't believe everything you read.
Trust your intuition and what your body is telling you. You are more in tune with your body than you think, my lady.
And it's high time you start feeling FREE from all this food rule bullshit, ok?
I'd love to hear your thoughts -- are you a whole 30 fan or no? How do you feel about the diet industry? Share your thoughts in the comments below and I'll be sure to get back to you!