Whole30-ing

In my blogging absence (again), I did something super crazy: started Whole30. I feel like so much of the internet knows about Whole30 at this point, while everyone I would talk to in person just looked at me as if I had six noses.

In a sentence: Whole30 is a month-long elimination diet to cut out trigger foods. The key, flexible phrase in that description is “trigger foods,” which includes both allergens (dairy, grains, etc.) or an addictive substances (i.e., tobacco, alcohol, and sweeteners, especially refined white sugar). During the thirty days, you transition from withdrawal of your old diet to learning new methods to eat and care for yourself. After the 30 days is up, you reintroduce all of the eliminated foods slowly, deliberately to see which ones were affecting you poorly and in what ways (inflammation, break-outs, bloating, etc.) Pretty much, Whole30 is supposed be a major life overhaul. If you’re interested in reading about the diet much more in depth, feel free to check out the Whole30 site, as I’ve cover a mere fraction of what’s available.

I decided to do this crazy diet because, like so many people, I have a lousy relationship with food which can be summed up as: I only like to eat sugar. Really. In the past few months, I noticed how often I would resort to white sugar on any given day: a donut on my way to work, some cookies on the lunch table, a couple of sodas at the theatre during a shift, some ice cream when I got home — in one day! I’m not joking! My skin was horrible, my sleep restlessness, and my gut pained. So, like any over-analytical dolt, I decided to cut it all out to see what would happen, kind of making myself a science experiment.

Today is Day 27 and I’m feeling so much better! While I still crave a donut (damn you, lady problems), I’m finding that everything that was bothering me has subsided. My skin is better, my sleep is deeper, and I’ve eliminated all stomach issues. And, while weight check-ins are also verboten on Whole30, I’ve probably lost about 8-10 pounds. Not bad for four weeks.

 

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Dress: Stitch Fix from 2014

Cardigan: LOFT

Shoes: TOMS

Necklace: Modcloth

I wore this bright, festive get-up for a weird day — leading a training session in the morning and attending a cool networky event at night hosted by our favorite library. I love this dress, which I scored from Stitch Fix when SF still loved me, and thought it would carry me nicely between the two.

While probably a little more colorful than necessary for my training session in a historic house, this dress fit perfectly into the scope and scene of the evening event. Our fave library asked their Board President to host it at his wonderful loft. Southern New England has a great track record of taking former factories and repurposing them as living and working spaces. While every renovated space is unique and quirky, this dwelling was beyond belief: filled to capacity with wonderful artwork on top of the eclectic design elements, it took me all my might to not hide in a closet and plead for the owners to adopt me. And I wasn’t the only thinking — or saying — that. The abode had been featured in a local magazine a few years back:

Tripp: 1. I built this indoor pergola not long after we bought the loft in 2005. The columns came from a 19th-century house in Richmond, Virginia. They crossed the Mason-Dixon Line in a snowstorm, flagged and projecting four feet from the back of our station wagon. 2. This standing sculpture, an earthenware figure holding 109 graduated porcelain bowls, is Balancing Burden by the Chinese-American artist Eric Kao. Kao’s work explores his identity as the son of immigrants - a theme that particularly resonated with Ed, who emigrated from the Azores with his parents in 1966. 3. This is a former gas streetlamp from Savannah, Georgia. It was rescued by my ex-sister-in-law, a Savannah native who will probably want it back if she ever sees this. 4. Providence artist Kik Williams made Bubble Gum Pink for a Steel Yard show (the hot pink “glaze” is actually metallic auto-body paint). 5. Beyond Williams’ sculpture are works by other Providence artists: Gregory Poulin, Jungil Hong, Dan Wood, Andrew Raftery and C. W. Roelle. We’re lucky to have landed in a city that supports so many talented artists, and that’s preserved so much of its industrial architecture - without one, you’d never have had the other.

See? AWESOME.

While Whole30 was difficult to maintain during the night, as we had to skip a lot of picky things to eat, we managed just fine. Food I wouldn’t be able to resist was, oddly, just fine staying on the table while I chatted! What else was cool about this diet endeavor, though, was being forced to see the other ways I’m growing and changing. While networking stuff is anxiety-inducing for me, to like a panic attack level, it was nice to walk into this and feel moderately at ease. It also helps that there were some lovely folks to see again (hi, Julienne!).

I guess, the point of all of this: if there’s something scary and daunting and just beyond where you’re comfortable, either examining your relationship with food or trying to understand why something freaks you out to the point of tears — just face it, as debilitating as that may seem. You can do it cold turkey style, like Whole30, or in graduated steps, like anxiety, but in all of my experience, the journey is always rewarding.

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