In August of 2012, my family and I took the Whole30 Challenge. For 30 days, we ate real food - no sugar, no alcohol, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no white potatoes - just healthy meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and oils. (Here's what we ate.)
In 30 days, I lost ten pounds. Over the course of the next two months, as I learned how to incorporate some of those prohibitions back into my diet (and discovered ibuprofen makes me sick, sick, sick to my stomach) I lost another 10 pounds.
I have maintained that weight loss for over a year.
After our fiery discussion on mom bodies two weeks ago, I began to think about what lead to my weight loss and how I’ve been able to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle.
I say “relatively” healthy because here’s the thing. I went back to mostly my old ways. I eat sugar. I eat grains. I eat dairy. I never pass up pie or candy or cookies if they are in the offering and I still eat pizza.
If I’m being very honest, I’m a little surprised I haven’t gained the weight back. I thought I’d gone back to my old way of eating so the weight would come back. It’s not that I wanted that. It’s not even that I didn’t love how I felt while on the Whole30. However, at the end of the day, eating like that (and by that I mean zero tolerance) is incredibly time and energy intensive.
If I’m going to church on Wednesday nights with my family, I’m going to eat the pizza is what I’m saying.
It was only after a few months that I realized I had changed the way I’d eaten. I’d just hadn’t done it for all three meals.
I’d changed what I eat for breakfast.
Ninety percent of the time, I’m eating Whole30 approved for breakfast. No sugar. No carbs. No dairy. Vegetables. Fruits. Meat.
The funny part is that was the hardest part of the diet for me to accept at first. The Whole30 team is constantly advising participants to treat breakfast like any other meal. “Hamburgers for breakfast!”
No. Way. You can pry those pancakes from my cold dead hands!!!
Except…I feel much better when I eat healthy for breakfast. It’s the easiest meal for me to control. It’s an easy meal to make.
Plus, I really, really like being twenty pounds lighter.
So, without realizing it, I had changed my diet… my breakfast diet. Most mornings here’s what you’ll find on my breakfast plate.
I make one for a week and then switch it out. Again, I won’t claim perfection. If my husband wants to wake up and make drop biscuits, I’m not stopping him. However, even if there’s a carb fest on one side of my plate, there are eggs on the other. I never, ever skip protein and I feel a thousand times better for it.
I also won’t promise that if you change what you eat for breakfast you’re going to lose 20 pounds. I don’t drink soda. I exercise regularly. I rarely eat out.
I do believe it can make a difference. Small changes add up. Changing one meal at a time might not be the destination but it can be the first step on the journey to healthier living.