I’m generally not big on New Year’s resolutions. I think the arbitrary calendar date of January 1 is not more likely to make you stick to a goal than starting on, say, April 2. But I know a lot of people love them, so I’m striking while the iron is hot.
One year ago today, I was on day four of the Whole30. You can read all about it here. It wasn’t a resolution so much as “I really need to get my eating under control and I suppose I’ll survive thirty days.” I did not expect great things. I didn’t expect any big changes, except that for a month I’d eat a lot more vegetables than I’d seen in a while.
I think these are possibly the best kinds of “resolutions.” Small, not too hard, and with a definite end point and success criteria.
So, for thirty days, I followed the plan exactly. I did not cheat. I did not waver. I used all of my innate stubbornness–and I have quite a lot–to stick to my goal.
At the end of thirty days, something miraculous did happen. No, I wasn’t suddenly a model. But I realized that I’d lost a bit of weight, I felt better, and it really wasn’t that hard.
So I kept going, sticking to a plan I called pseudo-paleo.
It turns out that this healthy eating thing isn’t a great mystery: Eat fruits and veggies and meats and skip the stuff that comes in boxes. Yes, I skip the stuff that many, many food companies spend millions of dollars promoting as “healthy.” After eating it for years and getting no healthier (only fatter), I am skeptical at best about their claims.
And now I sound like I’m on the woo-woo train. Well, all aboard, because in 2015 I lost over seventy pounds.
That’s like losing an average ten-year-old. Or, if you’re a dog person, it’s like losing a large golden retriever.
Don’t get me wrong–I had a lot of weight to lose. I’m just now getting out of the obese category according to my BMI. I could stand to lose another forty or fifty pounds. But I’m still going. I’ll get there, slow and steady.
Now it’s time for some bad news: I have no idea why it worked this time.
Something in my brain just clicked during the Whole30. A friend said she had a “click” moment, too, and after that, weight loss worked for her.
Let me be very clear: THIS IS NOT AN EXCUSE NOT TO TRY.
I never would’ve had the click if I hadn’t tried the Whole30. Maybe you’ll start counting calories, and that will lead to your click. Hell, maybe you don’t need a click and it’ll just work for you once you start.
A year ago I never, ever expected that I’d end the year seventy pounds lighter. It wasn’t even on my radar. But I’m glad I started when I did, because time passed anyway and now I have something to show for it.
So here’s my challenge to you, if you want to lose weight: Try to eat healthy for thirty days. If the Whole30 works for you, do that. If you can’t abide the thought of giving up breads, count calories with MyFitnessPal.
Be strict. Stick with it for the entire thirty days. No cheating, not even if your best friend is getting married, you’re going out of town, or for any of the other million excuses we all have.
You can do it. I believe in you.