Why I cut my Whole 30 short and why it still helped

Damn you Colorado and your fantastic selection of quality micro brews!

I had this bright idea after Memorial Day weekend to do a Whole 30. My nutrition had slowly went downhill and had gotten to the point where it was just brutal. And by brutal I don’t mean eating fast food once a day, but instead of eating really clean six to seven days a week and then having one cheat meal, or two, I was eating cookies and candy much more frequently. On top of that I was literally starting to base my life around when and how I was going to get my next diet soda. I would drive home and maybe take certain routes because a gas station had cheap refills.

I was getting super pathetic.

It wasn’t showing on the scale so I figured everything was A-OK. But it wasn’t. I started drinking diet soda because I felt it would keep me from eating sweets. I thought that if I had a diet soda it would keep me from treats. I figured that zero calorie soda was better than cookies, candy and other sugary treats that do have calories.

Then I started consuming both. Point defeated.

So, here I am on Memorial Day weekend and I am eating junk, more junk and then some more junk. I am downing diet soda after diet soda. I decide to do a Whole 30 and why wait? Let’s start it on Tuesday following Memorial Day.

Everything was fine and dandy to begin with. I was eating clean, planning, packing and no diet soda. A few days into my Whole 30 I was soda free and after four or five days the really bad cravings were gone. I was determined to replace diet soda with iced tea. I have never been a tea drinker, but this time I was determined to replace diet soda with tea – and it was working. I was brewing my own at work and buying it at the store when I had to go for a walk. Of course I was sure to get the kind without junk in it – just tea and water (I am amazed how many tea packets have soy lecithin in them!).

Then my kids went to grandma’s house for the week. Now my wife and I were along with no kids on the weekend – what do we do? We go eat a nice dinner and drink, of course!

I tried my best to stay gluten free, so we went to a Brazilian steak house where it is actually really, really easy to eat gluten free. However, I did have alcohol, but no beer. I had a margarita and a specialty drink at the steak house. I figure it was a slip and now I am not doing a Whole 30, but I am still pretty clean.

Then the following day we went to a cousins high school graduation and I was determined to not drink or eat anything that wasn’t Whole 30. By now, my wife who was trying her best to do one with me too, was off the wagon. I was strong! Not even a week into it and no beer or soda or gluten or soy – the big items I really wanted to clean myself of.

Until the car ride home…

On the ride home from my cousin’s (about a 90 minute drive) my wife and I were talking about how nice the weather is and how much we would love to sit on a patio and drink. But we were doing a Whole 30! Why?! Why do one and deprive myself during the summer time? Why suffer when I should be enjoying life? If that means having a beer on a patio, then so be it. On that car ride back I decided to ditch the Whole 30, but re-focus my eating during the week. Re-focus and eat really clean five or six or seven days a week and if someone invites me to enjoy the weather with an ice cream cone, so be it. It is finally 90 degrees and shorts, sandals and beer on a patio is what feels right.

It has now been over three weeks since Memorial Day and I still haven’t had a diet soda. I am sticking strong to that one item. I will not have a diet soda. I have been down this path before. Diet soda is my smoking. I have quit it several times and I have went back to the dark side several times. Only this time I have learned to enjoy iced tea as a replacement. I hope that helps me stay strong for the rest of my life.

As for soy? I have been off of soy since Memorial Day, too. Gluten and Soy are the two hidden ingredients that I do my best to not to consume. Unfortunately I can’t consume beer without Gluten so I am stuck because I will drink beer – like once a week.

Maybe when the weather takes a turn for the worse around September or October I will try to complete my third Whole 30, but until then I just need to get back to eating clean.

And that one week (nearly) wasn’t a waste, either. I have done a much better job of eating really good during the week and cheating only once or twice on the weekends. And when I say cheat I mean have an ice cream cone, or have a beer, or have some cheese, I don’t dive face first into a pizza and follow it up with a sundae.

This is great news if you ask me.

In my former life I would eat crappy all the time and then try to diet and eat better and lose weight. That would last a short period of time and I would begin eating crappy again. Now, in this life, I eat good a vast majority of the time and when I did start to eat crappy I got back to eating good fairly quickly. It is an exact opposite of the way I used to live. I think that is the point, right? If you treat yourself well most of the time then a slip or a cheat every-so-often won’t kill you.

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