Why Whole30 Isn't a Diet

I thought that too. "It's a temporary diet, right?" Wrong. "It's an elimination diet." Well...technically, yes. If you've done a Whole30 before, your reasons were probably much like mine when I first tried it. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to have clearer skin. I wanted to have more energy. Sure, the Whole30 may give you those things. Everyone's reaction to Whole30 is different. (Check out Non-Scale Victories). I would argue that it's also always productive, even if it doesn't seem that way first.

But Food - and Weight. And Skin. And Energy. Are not why I decided to be a part of the Whole30 world. It's because of Mindset. It's Meditation. It's Self-Awareness. Inner Peace. Calm. All the Mad Hippie Shit. Yep, right there in the Whole30. And you'll totally miss it if you aren't looking. And if none of that appeals to you, let me ask you this. Are you happy in this very moment you're reading this? Are you happy every morning? Are you happy every evening? I'm not saying you CAN'T be sad. Or depressed. Or angry. Or frustrated. Those are all very valid feelings that we need to feel. But I do believe in balance. I believe in coming back to center. I believe that one single emotion is at the core of who we are and who we project ourselves to be. With all our subtle expressions, choices, comments. What is that core emotion that's emerging from you every day?

Self-Reflection is hard. Meditation is hard. Besides, when we're hustling to get the kids out the door, balancing in heels and avoiding spilling the coffee we almost forgot, sitting in traffic texting your boss/co-worker/friend that you might be 5 minutes late to that meeting, who has time to meditate?

I get it. I do. If this is you, let me ask you another question. Can you give me 2-3 minutes a day? 3-5? What about 5 minutes, 5 times a week? Here's what I mean when I say I didn't join the Whole30 because of food. Or dieting. Melissa Urban (co-founder of the Whole30), currently hosts a podcast called "Do the Thing". As part of my prep for studying for the Whole30, I thought, "well, I need to know as much as I can, and her podcast episodes aren't incredibly long, so I can work those in when I can't sit down and read". Then I got to Episode 20 with Todd McCollough. #mindright And he has the solution to people who are too busy to meditate. I've summarized my takeaways below, but keep in mind this is my language. To catch the episode, use this link.

1) He recommends doing it immediately after a workout. Sit down in the gym, over to the side, if you're at home wherever you are comfortable, and take a moment.

2) Step 1 - Gratitude. Take 1 - 2 minutes to think of what you are grateful for. Maybe it's a good workout. Maybe it's that you skipped today's workout. Maybe it's that you woke up in a warm bed this morning, or that your husband put away the dishes before you even woke up. Whatever it is - take 1-2 minutes.

3) Step 2 - Send Good Vibes/Lift Someone Up. Send Light and Love. Send someone prayers, energy, whatever fits your beliefs. Sometimes this is my clients, sometimes it's my husband, sometimes it's people from past lives that have impacted me. (Past lives like, years ago - using that term loosely). Maybe it's a Barre teacher, a yoga instructor, maybe it's that stranger that bought my Starbucks for me. Lift Someone Up. 1-2 Minutes.

4) Step 3 - Ask Yourself, "What Do I Need Today?" Now, Melissa cycles through words, and I've found that to be a good practice for me. This is also a bit of my speaking to God, my prayer, to say, what do I need? Grounding, Calm, Energy, Focus, Compassion, Strength, Rest...Take 1-2 Minutes.

5) Step 4 - Listen. This is the hardest part if you aren't used to it. And don't worry, I'm not going to tell you that you're doing it wrong if your thoughts are racing through your head. That's ok. Let those thoughts come and go. Set them aside. And listen. Until you hear what you need to hear. And you'll know! This can be 1-2 minutes, occasionally I find myself resting in this last phase for a bit longer. To me, this is God nudging me with something I need to hear, but haven't been still enough to hear.

That's it! That's #mindright. That's what I think of when I think of Whole30. The people who create and build and organization, even and especially if they change and grow over time (as we all should), define the core of the organization, just like your core emotion defines you. To me, Whole30 is about mindset. It's about making conscious choices, all day, every day. Whether it's tipping your massage therapist, eating that cupcake, or choosing not to blow up over the little things. You have control over your choices. You have control over taking your life back. That, to me, is Whole30.

If you're not sure why you would ever actually need a coach (it's a free program, after all!), check out this post from another amazing Whole30 Certified Coach on WHY you might want one after all: 11 Reasons to Hire a Whole30 Certified Coach.

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