I’ve been feeling lousy lately. Back pain, upset stomach, general malaise… acne. Postpartum, I was a mess of hormonally driven health problems on top of edema, so I was a sad tree trunk trying to take care of a newborn. Breastfeeding, while the. single. most. difficult chore of motherhood, improved my health and mood.
I was a SUPERHERO. Not only was I producing life-giving nutrients for my infant son, but I also had clear skin, perfect digestion, and I could eat whatever I wanted — and not gain weight.
Super (ice cream). Hero (Pop-Tarts). Shae (carbs carbs carbs).
Do I need to mention my sudden and desperate urge to drink Dr. Pepper after a lifetime of never liking Dr. Pepper? Thanks, pregnancy.
I stopped breastfeeding my son the moment he had enough teeth to cause real damage. Thirteen months. I thought, I have my body back. No more pumping. No more middle-of-the-night comfort boob. I could drink again (I couldn’t).
The downside? All my fun health perks disappeared.
Physical therapy helps my back pain. At the end of the day, though, the pain is pretty intense. On top of back pain, I’ve started to feel… awful…. after eating, specifically at the end of the day. Right around 7 p.m. And acne made a comeback to my face. Who knew it’d want to relive high school, and then get worse. Weeee!
So, back pain, upset stomach, general malaise… acne.
My physical therapist sent me to my primary care physician because my back pain wasn’t improving. My primary care physician conducted a dozen blood tests looking for the cause of my inflammation and found nothing. My OB commiserated with my pain, upset stomach and general malaise — said the acne was normal.
But they all asked me the same question, “Well, what are you eating?”
GAH, YOU GUYS.
If you know me, you know I enjoy eating whatever I want whether or not I gain weight. Eating is my second favorite. Right behind sleeping. Food is fuel, sure. It’s also a delight.
But I looked at what I was eating.
Ice cream (back pain). Pop-Tarts (upset stomach). Carbs carbs carbs (general malaise).
And the Dr. Pepper…
My solution, of course, is simple. Change what I’m eating, but which thing — ice cream, Pop-Tarts or miscellaneous carbohydrates — causes my symptoms. How am I to know?
Oh, yeah, they made a diet for that.
GAH, YOU GUYS.
If you know me, you know I hate dieting. In all my years of desired physical fitness — I don’t have this desire anymore; I only desire more sleep — but, in fitness endeavors, food was almost never part of the equation.
So, fitness wasn’t always successful, but I was OK with that.
What diet am I talking about? The dietiest diet of them all… Whole30.
Whole30 requires what I consider an extreme elimination diet for 30 days. No ice cream (what). No Pop-Tarts (shut up). No good carbs (pasta, bread, pancakes, happiness). The actual rules make sense: no dairy, no added sugar, no grains and so on and so forth. Fruit, vegetables, nuts (not peanuts), seeds and meat-based protein — all OK.
While tragic, cutting some of my favorite foods out of my diet doesn’t scare me. The planning, preparation and follow through on all of the other foods are terrifying.
I meal plan well. I meal prep just OK. I don’t meal follow-through for crap.
Work, plus life, plus toddler… plus more toddler (same toddler, just more)… plus dinner… plus clean-up? No, I don’t want to do that. I get through about three days of good food, and then it’s two days of crap, and then another day of good food, and then scavenging the kitchen for food because it’s gone bad or we’ve eaten it or it’s weird to eat together.
Whole30 requires all of that. So much of that. Without excuse.
I planned my Whole30 for Aug. 2-31. However, because my mombrain separates its life into different buckets — work, life, toddler, more toddler, taking care of itself, etc. — I also planned a Date Day right in the middle of it with my husband at a favorite event complete with off-limits food truck food and beer.
Guess what you can’t have during Whole30?
GAH, YOU GUYS.
I love beer.
I bought the Whole30 cookbook and the beer tickets like, the same day because life and taking care of myself are not the same bucket.
They’re different buckets.
Here’s my new plan:
Cut my off-limits foods one-by-one. No more Dr. Pepper, ice cream or Pop-Tarts.
Reduce pasta intake and try not eat all the rice with all the soy sauce (because soy is also against the rules).
I need to practice Whole30. I have mombrain and limited meal follow-through and UberEats. I’m set up for failure.
Plus, I really want to go to the beer event, drink the beer, eat the off-limits food truck food and enjoy Date Day.
I will practice Whole30 for 15 days starting Aug. 2. During my practice, I will test some of the recipes from the Whole30 cookbook and find at least seven, solid, cookable-by-Shae recipes for family dinner during my actual Whole30, which is yet to be scheduled.
Because Date Day at the beerfest is happening.