It’s Not A Diet…It’s A Challenge

Diet. I hate this word.

Diet. A word that when used as a noun means something totally legit and safe: food or drink that a person or group of people habitually  consume(s) and then rears its ugly verb head and is all nasty: the  selection and limitation of  said food or drink. Does that seem like a trustworthy word to you? No. It’s ominous…and scary.

Diet. Maybe I should be more fair to you. More clear in my hatred. Diet the verb is on my hit list. Diet the noun…it can stay.

Challenge. Now that’s a good word.

Challenge. That’s a trustworthy word, you know? A word that says, “it won’t be easy but I’m being straight with you and the end game will be worth it.” END. Challenge has an end. That is workable.

Challenge I can get behind.

Maybe that’s why Whole30 made sense to me and why I was able to finally not yo-yo anymore. Not be consumed with numbers on a scale but revel in how my body felt, how my energy level soared.

Before I go on, let me be clear, I am in no way being paid by anyone to write or share this. That’d be sweet but it’s not the case. I just simply believe in it.

My thought process started to change actually before I knew that Whole30 existed. Baby girl was beginning to eat more and more “adult” food and I realized how pure her food was. It got me thinking…when do kiddos lose that purity? I started to notice what I was putting into my body. Not to mention I was 10 lbs away from my skinny jeans. That’s when a friend told me about Whole30. As is typical, I heard about restrictions in food (no alcohol, no sugar, no grain, no dairy, no legumes, nothing artificial) and initially wrote it off. Then I started to dig into the website and think about this whole “challenge” word. If it’s a challenge that means there’s an end..30. That’s 30 days you’re challenging yourself to eliminate these items. Buck up kid. You went through pregnancy. You went through child labor. You went through a NEWBORN! You can do this.

And I did (ok…my husband and I did…thanks honey!). 30 days of pure meats, veggies, fish, healthy fats, fruit. It lived up to its word – challenge. It didn’t sugar coat that taking sugars out of your diet was going to give you headaches. It didn’t beat around the bush about how tired you’d be in the beginning without your grain loaded carbs every day. But it also delivered on that goodness. Energy, incredible skin, SKINNY JEANS! And then day 31. The epic day 31 where they say, “Congrats kiddo! You finished this challenge. Add it to your hoorah list. Now do whatever feels right to you.” And we did…and guess what? I ate some pasta here or there. I had some beer and wine. I made conscious indulgences in the dessert table at baby girl’s birthday party. And continued to lose weight and keep my energy level up. I discovered how foods affected my body – positive and negative. Because that’s what creates your diet – in the noun sense 🙂

There’s so many realizations I had when challenging myself for 30 days. Here’s my top five:

  1. Coffee is way better black. I had envied those hardcore people before but never thought I could “grow the balls” to handle it…I did.
  2. Bacon doesn’t need sugar. Read the label next time…almost every bacon you find has added sugars to it and once you find one that doesn’t you realize there’s no need.
  3. Protein gives you wings. I quickly learned that if I was still hungry an hour or two after a meal it’s because there wasn’t enough protein. Gone are the days of english muffins and jam (not sad about it!). Give me eggs and you will give me energy and happiness!
  4. Eating clean and healthy is cheaper. Your eyes will bug out at your first few grocery bills but guaranteed you will be saving money with not going out to eat, not getting that last-minute take out or bottle of wine.
  5. You can get excited about food that’s not fried, chocolate or covered in butter. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get excited about those things…but there are other delicious things to get excited about eating. And that’s a good feeling.

Yup, I loved this 30 day challenge of mine and my new relationship with food. So much so that I got the hubby and some friends on board to do another one 🙂 Not because I lost my way but because I hope to learn new things. Improve my running time if you will.

So in the spirit of the biggest “diet” month of the year – please don’t diet. Challenge.


3 thoughts on “It’s Not A Diet…It’s A Challenge

  1. Tami says:

    Good for you Melissa. I haven’t done the challenge but I do eat mostly clean. It’s amazing how good food tastes minus all the sauces and creams. Eating slow and savoring is such a great experience too.


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