The topic of diets is still pretty taboo in our culture, and I mean diet in the "Mediterranean diet" sense of the word; not to be confused with the "Atkins diet" sense of the word. You could have the healthiest diet on the planet and still catch flak for being some kind of hippie or something (I love hippies, so let's talk!).
I hesitate to talk about my eating preferences with other people, especially if I'm doing something outside of the norm. Whole30 certainly qualifies as that. In the past 17 days, I've tried to go about my business as un-obnoxiously as possible, but there are always bound to be questions if you are even a remotely social person (and I am an only-remotely-social person).
So, I've found myself trying to figure out what others are thinking while I do a poor job of explaining the objectives of Whole30 and usually just default to saying that I'm doing it for the challenge (which is not entirely inaccurate). Here are a few guesses at what they're thinking:
- "But what will she eat?" — your mom.
OK, my mom said this to me out loud, but it's a pretty common question people have, and moms are typically wanting to make you dinner, probably with a healthy (?) amount of cheese melted in there. Maybe just send her some recipes if you know you're going to be visiting home and she's the kind of mom who cooks. And reassure her it's not that difficult. When in doubt: meat + veggies = just fine (just don't slather everything with butter).
- "I hope he's eating enough." — your dad.
It's pretty easy to look at the general rules of Whole30 and think that it's pretty easy to under-eat. It probably is a bit easier to consume fewer calories on Whole30, simply because the foods you're eating are all whole and unprocessed, but the program is not about calorie restriction at all. There are no limits on your calorie intake and you're even discouraged from tracking your calories on a daily basis. It emphasizes that it is also not about weight loss, even though that might be a positive byproduct of following the program. Honestly, I probably eat just as much, caloriewise, as I did before, but my body feels a lot better because I'm sticking to healthier choices.
- "Good luck with that. I'm going to go drink some chocolate milk." — your boyfriend.
OK, this might just be my boyfriend. Truth is, this probably depends on the type of person your significant other is. Either they'll be enthusiastic about the idea and want to join you, or wish you luck and continue eating pizza. As long as they're supportive of you either way, that's as much as you can ask for. Kyle's been pretty supportive, but I will say that the *only* perk of him being deployed right now is being able to rid the house of bread, cheese and beer. For focus. Also, I'm sure he'd tease the hell out of me if he were here — in the form of burrito-eating — so it's just as well that he's in another state for the moment.
- "I've been thinking about this, but let me see how his goes." — your sister.
There is probably someone in your life who has thought about doing the Whole30, but didn't know if they could commit to it. They're watching your progress to see if the outcome is worth it.
- "Why would ANYONE voluntarily give up cheese?!?" — your little brother.
Let's be real, your little brother is going to tease you mercilessly no matter what you do, but giving up cheese for a month? That's just straight up crazy.
- "Is it a cleanse?" — that friend from grade school you're friends with on Facebook.
It's a "nutritional reset."
- "I ordered fries for the table!" — the person at happy hour you don't want explain this to.
The willpower must be strong here, but this is not an impossible situation. Try not to get sucked into a conversation about why you're not eating the fries. This can get awkward and even make people feel a little weird about eating fries while you're explaining the value of whole foods to them. Just explain that you're choosing not to eat fries right now and try steering the conversation in another direction (I have not excelled at this).
- Double-tapping every #whole30 post on Insta — your friends who have already finished their own Whole30s.
Bring on the notifications!
- "Wait, what is it? You can't have corn?" — the person you kind of explained it to, but is not getting it.
Don't worry about it.
- "When is Day 31?" — your friend who just wants you to drink wine with her again.
Right there with you, sister.
I'm hitting the home stretch now, just 12 more days and this is getting easier and easier, though Easter will present its challenges. I've gotten this far and, even if people are looking at me weird, I'm ready to see this thing through.