Historically, I’ve been a terrible injured person. Instead of doing all the right things, I’ve often found myself angry, bitter and avoiding any kind of cross-training because nothing ever lives up to running. Mature, hey? I’ve also always been terrible for letting myself go, making horrible food choices and ‘eating’ all of those sour feelings.
Couple all that with a lacklustre fall due to a number of reasons and you have one very not-quite-in-shape runner! Needing to rest because of injuries could not have come at a worse time for me.
However, I decided in January that this time was going to be different. All my goals for this year would slip away pretty quickly if I didn’t make good use of my ‘down’ time.
So I started with food. I was planning to try and eat a bit better and maybe lose a few pounds anyway but after losing the ability to run, I knew this would be even more important. Besides, being closer to my racing weight would only make things easier when I was finally able to ease back onto the road, right?
I didn’t set out to do a Whole30, it’s a lot of work and I didn’t think I was quite up to that. But, ever since I did it last year my husband has always been kind of interested in trying it. He too wanted to lose a few pounds and was keen on following a lot of the W30 principles as a way to clean out his system and give himself a kick start.
We decided to just loosely start with the obvious ones:
- No packaged foods
- Minimal to no refined sugars or carbohydrates
- Minimal to no dairy (more so for him, dairy has never bothered me)
- No alcohol
- Higher quality cuts of meat and seafood
We also had a few pretty broad exceptions:
- I wanted to allow myself a few coffees per week (and I like milk and sugar)
- We each had a few social engagements where we wanted to be able to have a few drinks
- When it came to running, I wanted to be able to refuel with chocolate milk and still consume some fuels like chews and drinks
- We also were going to allow ourself legumes and not be as particular about the oils etc.
I didn’t even think of it as a modified Whole30 because so much was different but we set out to try and lean up and feel better. As always, the first week left Hubs and I pretty hungry and grumpy. Cutting out the bad snacking was killer and for him, it was the alcohol (where I use food, he would have a drink to relax at the end of the day)
Anyhow, why I’m calling this post my accidental, not quite Whole30 is because here we are almost 4 weeks later and it’s been a breeze and it kind of happened by accident. I didn’t expect it to go so smoothly. When I did it on my own it was a bit of a struggle but having Hubby’s support has made a huge difference. Having the same goals has made it so much easier. And even though there are lots of exceptions and room for ‘cheats’ I haven’t really gone there. I haven’t really wanted to and that’s what is crazy.
I’ve made sure to have all the right foods on hand and be as prepared as possible for lunches and snacks on the go and our meals etc. And doing so has made these changes pretty easy to incorporate into our lifestyle. Even though I’ve had to shift how I think about snacks and food choices again, it’s barely felt like any work at all and that is just so crazy to me.
Food choices have always been my biggest weakness as an athlete.
Anyhow, sharing this with him and seeing him get more motivated in his own athletic endeavours and sharing our successes has been pretty rad. Even though I run and he leans more towards pure strength training and weightlifting, doing the food piece together as definitely been a unifier.
Now that I’m starting to graduate back into running, I like to think that being 15+ lbs lighter is helping ease that transition (yep, I ate a lot of feelings over the holidays!). I’ve done well keeping up the weight training and have even added in cross training like cycling and the elliptical while the kids do their swimming lessons. My first two weeks of running again have been pretty great and I’m happy that I don’t feel like I’ve been sitting on the couch for a month!