Has anyone heard of the Whole30 eating plan? It's a challenge I've watched many around me take on. Basically, you go on a strict diet for 30 days of no added sugar, alcohol, legumes, grains, or dairy, and only eat foods with very few ingredients, none of which are artificial or processed. I recently did something similar. I'm pretty embarrassed to share the plan I completed but here it goes...I'm fresh off the Whole4 program. As in, I followed those rules for a whole four days and then gave up.
I started quickly on a whim. Gave myself one good Pinterest session and an extremely stressful grocery trip (toddler in tow) to prepare. I watched people on social media posting RESULTS that made my bikini cry. So I jumped in with both feet to detox my body and lose weight.
The first day I went without coffee and caffeine and all the horrible things. I ended the night with a huge migraine and hugging the toilet violently vomiting. The second day was okay, just full of mood swings as I came off the highs of all the "yummy" foods I was used to. On the third day, I had had enough and decided the only way I would survive 30 days was with condiments. I set out to make my own homemade compliant ranch dressing to put on all the things. An hour and a half, a messy kitchen, starving kids (as well as myself) and two failed batches later, through tears I poured the worst tasting disaster on my plate of lettuce.
I felt defeated. I had been so enthusiastic to start this process and had the end in the back of my mind when I hit the ground running. I thought this would be easier. The straw that broke the camel's back was the fourth day when I had to chaperone my daughter's field trip to Legoland. Have you seen the food at theme parks? I ate a piece of grilled chicken and a banana all day. Surely, the program was faulty.
After I caved and called it quits rather quickly, I evaluated my failure. It turns out that Whole30 is actually a very great program that evaluates your relationship and habits with food. The process of evacuating the bad and laying down the foundation of good healthy foods, and an attitude towards it, was what I had begun experiencing on my Whole4. It is, in fact, not easy. Had I seen the program through, I would have reached the "end" that I had in mind, but the beginning trials and detox was just that....hard work.
That night when I cried over my horrible rendition of homemade ranch dressing, I thought to myself, "I did not sign up for this. I did not sign up to lay down things I love. I did not sign up to suffer through inconvenience and discipline and learning and hard times." What I had signed up for was the feel good part. For the high energy levels and clear complexion and dropping two pants sizes that everyone bragged about yielding from the program. In all reality, I wasn't going into the season prepared or willing for the journey and the steps along the way. My heart and attitude had already set me up for failure from the very beginning. I wanted the results without putting in the work.
Isn't that so true of our seasons of growth within ourselves? In those times when God is really laying the groundwork for the change and pruning is when I want to wave the white flag and tell God to hold up. Take me back to my comfy bed. I remind God that I signed up for the end result, not the work that leads there. I want to live a life of freedom from sin, but I don't want to say no to things that make me feel good. I want to live in peace, but I certainly don't want to drudge through the process of forgiveness. I dream of a slow-paced season full of contentment and simplicity, but can't I still buy all the shiny new things at Target?
I came to the conclusion that I need to work on my awareness of the good work God is doing in my life, but that I can't pick and choose the process. God wants to teach me and give me the things I desire in my heart...if I'm willing to follow His lead through the discomfort of tilling the soil. BTW baby steps y'all, because I'm currently eating Easter M&Ms while I write this. So obviously in regards to attempting Whole30 again, I've got a long way to go.
This is Candace. She hates long walks on the beach and would prefer a short drive to get a doughnut. Her creative spirit leaves her husband constantly guessing which room she'll decorate next and her kids requesting elaborate birthday parties. She'll tell you the truth, even if you don't want to hear it. But don't worry, she'll make you laugh to soften the blow. Her heart longs to share the realness of her life and provide someone else a "me too" in a moment of isolation. Words are her thing; she writes to heal. God grasped a hold of Candace as a teenage mama, and she's been desperate for His love and sensitive to His voice everyday since.