It’s been 15 days since we started Whole 30 and I wanted to stop in briefly to update you all on how it has been going. Oddly enough, I specifically wanted to talk about how I feel like it has changed my ability to parent my boys. This sounds strange, I know, but trust me when I say that it has helped immensely.
To back up a little, I should mention that the most difficult day was Day #1 for me. By 5pm, I was craving our usual Friday pizza and a glass of red. OK, probably two glasses of red. Fortunately, Brad was 100% in and came home from work excited to do this with me. So, feeling a little disappointed, I powered through. The next day was easier. And the next easier still. Sure, there are moments when I really want to eat a giant grilled cheese sandwich, but mostly I just feel really great. My energy stays more even throughout the day and I feel more in control of my reactions.
This is where the parenting piece comes in.
For quite a while now, I’ve struggled with how to respond when my sons do something that is not OK. Because I was usually edgy and over-tired, my go-to reaction would be to yell. Immediately following that would be waves of intense guilt and questions about why I was such a horrible mother. “They are just kids!” I’d remind myself. “Stop being such a monster!”
Honestly, I thought this was just a normal part of parenting young kids. The stress of adult life coupled with the stress of raising two humans is a lot, so it must be the phase of life we’re in, right? I’m not so sure about that. I think there is a strong correlation between what we eat and how we handle stress. And I’m no doctor, but it makes sense that when we treat our bodies well (i.e. feed them foods that fuel and energize rather than exhaust) they work better for us. That goes for our minds, too.
Halfway through, I feel better, I might be losing weight (but I’m not weighing myself, so I don’t know for sure) and I can maintain my composure so I can make better decisions when it comes to my kids. That last thing? That’s the MOST important part for me. Whatever helps me be better for them is something I can really get behind.
If you’ve been wondering whether or not Whole 30 is something you might want to do, I am here to encourage you to give it a try. You’ll learn more about yourself and how to be healthier. And in the long run, which is more important: being healthy or indulging in that weekly (or daily) “treat”? When the 30 days is over, I’m sure I will go back to having the occasional glass of wine and slice of pizza, but I’ve realized so much about my body and mind and how they need good things like sweet potatoes with unsweetened almond butter and giant heaps of spinach topped with homemade ranch. It does not suck.