You finished! It’s a Whole30 Wrap Party!
High five…fist bump…handshake.
Whatever congratulatory gesture you can think of, I’m going to dole it out because YOU FINISHED YOUR WHOLE30! (Either that or you’re about to finish soon, so revisit this post when you’re through.)
No doubt, you learned something about yourself through this process since it’s a learning tool upon which to make some informed decisions about what your eating might look like going forward into this thing we call life. And yes, you must go forward. You see, it can be tempting to want to stay Whole30 for a long time because it makes the decision-making around food easier. It’s almost like making food choices a little less sexy because you can just default to Whole30 guidelines to do it for you. (Other people, however, have noooo problem jumping back into crappy old eating patterns.)
What’s the best strategy? It’s impossible for me to tell you because, simply put, I’m not you, but I think you’d agree the answer lies somewhere in between these polar opposites. Living by Whole30 rules for the rest of your life sounds pretty unrealistic, as does throwing away everything you’ve learned about yourself and eating processed, nutrient-poor foods for every meal. As Dallas & Melissa put it:
“You can’t – and shouldn’t – live within the strict parameters of the Whole30 forever. Yep, at some point… you’ve gotta take the training wheels off the bike.”
Click here to read more about how to Ride Your Own Bike.
What about reintroducing foods you may want to start eating again? First, if you don’t want to add a food back into your diet, there’s nothing saying you have to. If you feel great without gluten or dandy without dairy, you are free to avoid it as you see fit. But. (And there’s always a but.)
Don’t do that thing where you get so excited about Day 31 that you go on an epic binge of all the foods you’ve wanted to eat for the past month. You know…that thing of where a slice of pizza becomes *a* pizza with some soda and a piece of chocolate cake and then some ice cream. If you end up with a sore gut, you won’t necessarily know which food caused your tummy to play Twister. Click to read more about how to reintroduce foods after your Whole30.
And yes, you may now step on the scale if you want. Or don’t. (Click to read more about the scale and why I think you should ditch it for good.)
Time to Celebrate
As much as I’d like to throw you an actual party, it’d be hard to cram everyone in the same room, so here’s how we’ll celebrate your successes:
#1 Wave your flag!
Click to save this awesome banner and put it on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram! Be proud. You’ve earned the right to brag a little! To pin, click here. Or to save, right click and choose “Save Image As”.
#2 Share your story!
In the comments below, tell us how it went—the good, the bad and even the ugly. What did you learn about yourself? For example, maybe you didn’t realize how much dairy was affecting the clarity of your skin or how hangry you always got at 3 p.m. What did you lose? Body fat, that nagging knee pain or points off your blood pressure, for example. What did you gain? Maybe it was self-confidence or an appreciation of the natural sweetness in foods.
#3 Start a ripple!
As tempting as it may feel right now to start mailing your loved ones their own copies of It Starts With Food—I did that with my mom…it didn’t go so well!—or doing a drive-by and posting Whole30 stuff to their Facebook walls, sometimes your good intentions may backfire. (Loved ones are the hardest to convince to do _________ better.) What you can do is be supportive of someone who comes to you asking for advice or help; start your own blog chronicling your Whole30 story; or buy a loaner copy of the book so when folks do come asking, you can lend a text out.
#4 A sweet giveaway!
I’ll be choosing one lucky reader at random to receive a free copy of my eBook, The Paleo Athlete (a $24.99 value)! You must leave a comment for #2 above (Share your story!), and I’ll select a winner by 11:59 p.m. PST on Monday, February 3, 2014.
Congrats to Bridget! She was selected at random to win a copy of my eBook. Thanks, everyone, for sharing and keep your stories coming in!