If the Whole30, AIP diet, or paleo stresses you out, you're not alone. Awhile back, I was putting together a few blog posts on why these diets used to stress me out. While doing so, I came across a post advocating for a Whole30 type of diet. After explaining all of the things not to eat or do, the author added a line...
"Don't stress about it. Don't let it keep you up at night."
I really believe this author has good intentions, and that's not what this post about. Instead, I want to reaffirm what you (most likely) already know: This isn't helpful.
If any type of restrictive diet stresses you out, it's not because you failed. It's because diets are inherently stressful for many of us. (Even diets for our "health.)
Plus, excluding that the program looks and acts a lot like a diet — a mindset of externally-driven rules, adopted to give a false sense of control, that single-handedly inform behavior and greatly influence internal worth — you might "fail" to follow the protocol for any number of reasons that have nothing to do with willpower, commitment, or accountability.
Maybe you weren’t mentally, emotionally, or soulfully ready to take on this restrictive program in a NON-restrictive way. (Yes it is possible, but not overnight.)
Or maybe this simply isn’t the diet and lifestyle for you, your body and your goals.
Or maybe this type of plan is too stressful for the season of life you’re in — such as recovery or a life transition — or it doesn’t agree with what you believe. (Like those who don’t believe in eating meat do so because it’s one of the only things “allowed” — or those who don’t believe in diets adopt a restrictive plan in a restrictive mindset because the experts say you should.)
Taking care of your body -- and practicing wellness -- is less about adopting a specific set of rules or regulations and more about cultivating a relationship with yourself. It‘s less about ANYTHING that leaves you feeling shameful or miserable or asking the question...”What’s wrong with me?” and more about finding joy in your entire being: physical, soulful, mental, and emotional.
What if we stopped meeting posts about a failed Whole30 - or paleo or AIP - with more physical things to do or cut out? What if sometimes these plans aren’t right because they’re inherently stressful, shameful, and miserable? What if a “successful” Whole30 didn’t take any more behavior modification, but rather a mindset shift? What if we opened a conversation for a different approach to achieve goals, heal, and feel good?
Wondering where to go from here?
If you want to tackle Whole30, paleo, or the autoimmune protocol because the science seems to be pointing in that direction for YOUR health... then you've got to focus on your mindset.
If you want to tackle these programs because you want to lose weight, here's why diets don't work.
If you're ready to dive all in, see if the Wellness Boulevard is right for you!