Both like and (VERY) unlike last year, I’m doing a bit of a reset diet for the new year. While I mostly eat paleo as it is (let’s say 80-90% normally), things started slipping around my birthday week in California. They only got worse over Thanksgiving and Deathcember.
For the next month, both dbg and I are doing something called a Whole30 (and Finn is doing a reduced sugar thing for the month…by his own choosing…I just need to keep reminding him of his commitment). It is more or less paleo, but with a few more restrictions. I think I’m on about the fifth day. Based on the Tumblr Whole30 tag, I should know EXACTLY what day I’m on because of how excruciating it is (in addition to lots of pics of meat, veg and eggs). I feel like a dick, but it is super hard for me to conjure the least bit of sympathy for people that whine about doing this. Not only is it a privileged to eat this way (economically, access to food, etc.), but they are CHOOSING to do it. As the authors/creators of Whole30 say themselves:
[This] is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your “struggles”. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.
Regardless, because we are changing/restricting the types of food we put in our system, our chemistry completely changes as a result. You read a lot about changes in sleep, focus/attention, energy and the like. The one thing you don’t see anyone posting about is how drastically this thing effects your digestive track and bowel movements (hey if Louis C.K. can talk about his leaking asshole, I can talk about poop here people). For me, the Whole30 experience is not dominated by cravings and massive plates of protein and greens, but really it’s all about my shit. I’m usually a pretty regular dude, but this thing has me on a BM roller coaster right now. I know, I know…this is way TMI, but someone needed to just say it. It’s the proverbial elephant in the Whole30 room. Don’t you all feel better now?
Besides the awesome pooper-coaster ride I’m on, you may be asking yourself what’s my end goal here. Unlike most people on this diet, it is not about weight loss for me. I’ve become a big fan of the reset this past year to see how they effect my athletic performance. With the Crossfit Open coming up in the beginning of March, I’m starting to train more intensely and intentionally. I have no delusions about qualifying for regionals, but want to use it as a benchmark for future competitions.
It’s all about the big experiment of life right? Right!
I will admit, as much as I talk/post about my weight loss, my current eating habits and crossfit, I find myself becoming more and more sheepish about it all. I really try not to overdo it, but most people in my daily life inquiry about it. At my age the questions are more: “Hey, is everything ok? Have you been sick?”
First, I don’t want to sound like too much of a big douche (which is questionable). Yes I’m proud of the achievements I’ve made over the last year and a half, but I fear talking about my process/progress can make others feel uncomfortable (like I’m proselytizing) or even worse, like shit…which I never want to do.
Second - and most importantly- Finn is starting to ask questions about his body and eating habits in relation to mine. Finn is a tall stocky guy. Just like his grandfather, his aunt and his sister, he is filling out before he hits puberty. I’ve told him many times as his body changes that this is how we dbd peeps grow, but I continue to hear the concern in his voice when he talks about his body.
This AM as we were going through our clothes to get rid of (those that he is too big for and those I am two small for) he wanted me to again confirm that his stocky body is normal; for some reason it concerns him that his brother has always been skin and bones and never went through the stocky phase. I told him very strongly that there is a huge difference between being healthy and strong, and being thin. How my body is responding to my food and activity choices is very different than dbg’s, his mom’s (who is training for a Spartan race) and my good friend G that is a marathoner and rock climber. The key is, we are making healthy choices to do the things we want to do in our lives. How are bodies look in response to that, is irrelevant.
Finn and I have had many conversations over the last several months that have lead up to this. From food choices and the amount of sugar we eat to which sports/activities he wants to do. Some of those conversations have been hard (we actually fought about team sports this fall…we compromised on gymnastics). As we talk more about this, the conversations are getting more relaxed and thoughtful. While being scared shitless about screwing it up, I’m also excited about where it takes us.