Transition, Food Freedom + Radical Self Love

As many of you know, there is a lot of change happening for me this first month of 2019. Wow, that feels crazy to say…how is it 2019 already?! I start a brand new job in a brand new city on Monday. YAY! I am excited for a new adventure, ready to take it on, but (obviously) a bit nervous about what is to come as well. This is a big leap I’m taking—pushing myself out of my comfort zone to move somewhere 2.5 hours away where I know very few people (like VERY few) on my own. It is THRILLING and SCARY AS HELL. Truly.

I got a lot of questions on my Instagram leading up to January about whether I’d be doing a Whole30 or not. To be honest, I wasn’t going to for a while. I’ve been living my #foodfreedom for a good amount of time and have felt prettttttttty good about where I was at. It is important to me that I am authentically living food freedom, exploring foods that are not Whole30 with intention because I don’t ever want to get into the rut of using Whole30 as a “diet’ or weight loss tool when that is completely not the point. To be honest, I definitely indulged a bit over the holidays, but I was feeling pretty darn good on December 26. I was a bit bloated, had a few breakouts, but GENERALLY felt in control and no guilt around my food decisions. That was a big deal and I was proud of that! I was ready to just keep living food freedom which FOR ME, looks like Whole30 most of the time and some treats here and there which would probably fall into the SWYPO category. If you don’t know what that means, go here. My SWYPO foods include Siete chips (grain/dairy/soy/corn free) and their queso (to die for), Simple Mills (gluten/grain/dairy/soy free/non-GMO) ANYTHING. seriously so good, and probably a few too many bags of dried mango from Trader Joe’s. While I probably overindulge (a bit) on these things, they do fit nicely into my food freedom life, giving me the opportunity to enjoy some treats without guilt and generally make my body feel pretty darn good. But, I know a few too many of these treats will spike my blood sugar and will eventually make me feel out of control…SO, I decided to Whole30 this month.

As I thought more and more leading up to January 1, I realized that I absolutely feel my best, brightest and clearest on a Whole30 and with the absence of some of these SWYPO foods for a bit…my Whole30 this month has absolutely nothing to do with guilt about the holidays or weight loss. Nothing at all. I’m pretty darn happy with my body lately and the way I’ve been treating it and I don’t feel the need to “drop a few lbs” after the holiday season. That is not my intention with Whole30, and it shouldn’t be yours. Doing anything with the sole purpose of losing weight is a slippery slope. That is all I’ll say about that.

But, back to the point. I feel absolutely best and clearest on a Whole30 (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually). I know Whole30 as a way of eating helps my brain and body function at the optimal level. I know this because after MANY rounds, I always feel really freaking good after only a few days of it. I sleep better, am generally happier, feel super in control, and what might be most surprising…I actually feel free.

This is the opposite of what most people assume in the world of dieting around January 1. Going on a Whole30 or making any kind of food change sounds restrictive. I thought so too. What I’ve found after a number of rounds is that having a sense of stability in my diet and my body is incredibly FREEING. it takes the guesswork out of what I’m going to be eating, I don’t feel like I’m changed to my cravings for snacks, and honestly, I become less consumed with what I’m eating because the rules are pretty much decided for me. That really offers me physical and mental space to focus on the things that I have less assurance or control over…and in this season of change, there’s a heck of a lot that I don’t know yet. Particularly in this time of major transition in my life, I need the stability of my physical and mental self to carry me through. I know that the absolute best thing I can do for myself is this very thing.

I felt the need to share this because there is a lot of stigma and misinformation about the Whole30 as a program, and the misconception that it is about weight loss and restriction. I think a lot of that is all about how you go into it, what your intentions are, and how you are framing it for yourself. I’m not here to sell anything or promote anything—truly, you need to find what works for you, but I wanted to share my authentic experience.

Here’s to a 2019 of radical self love and putting you first. You deserve it.



What I've Learned Through My Whole30 Journey

A lot of people ask me about how much weight I've lost through the series of Whole30s that I have completed.  That is probably one of the most frequently asked questions--and I'll happily answer, about 30 lbs in the course of six months. And heck, I'm PROUD of that.  But part of me feels like I am not being authentic when I answer that question with a number...because it was SO much more than that.

Here's what I've learned through my series of Whole30s and the journey I've been on:

Change is hard. It requires persistence, resilience, mindset shifting and a little bit of magic honestly. I've spent months and months of my life crash dieting and coming up with every excuse in the book for why I couldn't make a lifestyle shift.  On social media, it might look like I woke up one day and suddenly I was able to do this with ease, but that is just not the case. This work has been tough but I'm so much stronger because of it.

Whole30 forced me to get real. I couldn't hide behind my excuses anymore.  When I read Melissa Hartwig's paragraph in the Whole30 book about how "beating cancer is hard...drinking your coffee black is not hard," I was blown away.  It was the first time in my life where things got put into perspective. My internal dialogue was like, "Kelly, quit the excuses. It's time to take care of yourself already." And that mindset shift has helped me tremendously.

Food is medicine.  SERIOUSLY.  I could not believe the amount of aches and pains that suddenly disappeared after just a couple rounds of Whole30.  I had been dealing with some chronic wrist pain for over a year and could not get any relief. I was convinced I had carpel tunnel at the age of 23 because of the amount of time I spent on the computer.  I had even given up my regular yoga practice because I was also convinced that yoga was hurting me (?!?!?). After my Whole30 and until this day, I have not had that wrist pain back.  I know now that food has so much to do with those aches, pains, and even chronic illness in your body.  It's amazing the energy that I have and the pain free life that is now mine all because of the food I choose to nourish myself with.  I often dealt with chronic migraines and a very "low" feeling at 3pm each day.  Both of those symptoms are now gone.  I don't think I've needed to take any ibuprofen or painkillers since I began and that is just FREEING.

We have a genuine desire to take care of ourselves.  Even if you think all you want is junk food, that is just a manifestation of the Standard American Diet that we have been living off of.  Taking care of yourself does feel good and is incredibly rewarding.  It might take some time and a mindset shift, but the genuine desire that you have is to take care of yourself.  Food is a huge part of that.

I can't say it enough or in enough ways, but my Whole30 journey has changed my life.  It's really not about the weight or the way I look, but the mental and emotional changes I have gone through as a part of this journey.  Join me.




My Whole30 Story

So many people ask me to tell my Whole30 here it goes!

I started my first Whole30 on January 1, 2017.  I read the book, got prepared and was determined to tackle this challenge.

I couldn't believe how I felt after those 30 days.  It was definitely a rough start.  The first two weeks I almost felt like I wasn't going to make it.  I had headaches all day, and my sugar dragon desperately wanted me to change my mind.  But I stuck to it.  I remembered Melissa Hartwig's thought that "this is not hard" and even though it did feel hard at the time, I made it.

Whole30 truly changed my life.  Since that day, I've completed four rounds, finally got control of my sugar dragon and generally just feel so much BETTER. I've become fascinated with the Whole30 community, paleo lifestyle and all things real food. When the coaching opportunity presented itself, it made so much sense to me.  I had already guided a few friends and family through the program and I wanted to help more people and make a platform for myself where I could reach more Whole30ers.  

I'm so excited to begin this journey and so excited to connect with you all! 

Yours in health,