Why I began the Whole30

In what seems to be the latest trending diet, the Whole30 strips things like sugars, grains, dairy, and legumes from one’s daily consumption. The idea is to “Eliminate the most common craving-inducing, blood sugar disrupting, gut-damaging, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days” (https://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/).  You’re left with meat, seafood, eggs, fruit, and vegetables.

Starting today, I’m in.

What? Most who know me are aware that I lead a relatively healthy lifestyle. Apart from the occasional fun drink at Starbucks, I eat well and I exercise frequently. Why would I do something like this? Objectively, I don’t need it.

It’s a my modern version of fasting. Many consider fasting an antiquated liturgy, performed by ancient religious people. You don’t see it as much today in western religion. The original intent was that every time the body yearned for sustenance, the person fasting would be reminded to think of God and to think of godly things.

I love bread and pasta and lattes and mochas and ice cream and goat cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Instead of saying “no” to food for 30 days, like a typical fast, I’m saying “no” to many foods I enjoy for 30 days. Hopefully, every time I see something I want, but can’t eat, my thought process would be something like: “OH, that looks so good! Oh wait, I’m not allowed to eat that because I’m doing the Whole30 because I want to remind myself of God every time I have these feelings.”

Theoretically, one is thinking about God all the time, but we know that that’s not always true. The Whole30 will create moments in my day that will prompt me to look to the Lord. When I go grocery shopping for my food for the week, I will think about the Lord. When I cook, I will think about the Lord. When I crave for a cheeseburger, I will think about the Lord. So many decisions we make revolve around food; therefore, I believe this will help keep me focused on the relationship that matters most in my life.

A tertiary motivation for embarking on this is to remind myself that I am in control of my body. People have urges all the time for sweets, Chipotle, In n Out, or other things. This is me saying “no” to my body, just to prove to myself that self-control is actually something I’m capable of. I can say “no” for the sake of saying “no.”

In the final analysis, this isn’t about the Whole30 at all. The Whole30 just happens to be trending, and provide a do-ably hard set of restrictions. I could just have easily decided to be vegetarian for a month. Or completely paleo. Aside from the Whole30’s natural benefits to my body, a benefit is that many people have done it, making the process of buying and cooking food more efficient. At the end of the day, this is simply an exercise in spiritual and physical discipline.

I’ll keep you updated.


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