whole ladies. day one.


Six months ago my dear friend sent me a text message.

So. I’ve been vegan for a week now.

Just like that. She jumped right in. All these months later, she’s still at it. I’m so proud of her. And when we sat in her kitchen just before Christmas and she talked about the freedom she’s felt in the most powerful ways, something turned a tiny cog in my brain and I’ve been wondering about what it means to be free ever since.

She can’t and doesn’t go through too many drive throughs. They eat out less. I picked up a veggie wrap for her the other day and I had to be really specific. It is work. She gave up some things. She’s gained a strong body, lots of energy and the knowledge that food doesn’t ever have to master her again.

We’ve been set free to be free.

I’ve only talked about this struggle of mine a handful of times. I’m a serial dieter. Weight Watchers. Clean Eating. Low Carb. Low Fat. The Zone. I’ve done them all. I’ve gained and lost weight over and over again. After Christmas I just decided to be. Eat. Be active. Stop striving for weight loss.

What I’m really looking for is freedom from feeling less than. From feeling a far cry from beautiful. From feeling like I’ll never succeed. The truth is that these are heart issues with one treatment. The Truth. Ironically, instead of turning to God’s Word I’ve spent most of my life turning to the very thing that keeps me from losing weight: food.

That’s what drew me to doing a Whole30 (you can find out all about it from the creators by clicking <— right there). It’s not about weight loss. It looks hard as blue blazes. I’ll feel weak at first. I’ll miss grains, legumes, sugar, sugar substitutes, dairy, Diet Dr. Pepper. But we all know what happens when we are weak. I’ll learn to say no. I’ll face down some major food triggers. Full disclosure? I hope I’ll lose weight but I’m pretty sure that will only happen when I stop focusing on it so much and learn to be more healthy about my food choices.

I mentioned this to my friend Jessi as we were texting back and forth last week. I’m in, she responded.

We start today and we’re inviting you. We’re going to be open about this. The heart stuff. The hard stuff. All of it. I’m choosing not to get on a scale the whole 30 days. Jessi will be doing it differently. But. We’ll be doing it together. We’ll share what works and what doesn’t.

We’ll share on Instagram. Twitter. Pinterest. And we’ve got a few ladies joining us. Will you? Even if you don’t do a Whole30, will you be honest about your struggle and join us in spurring each other on? We’ll be back next week with all the rough and the raw of giving up french fries and doing hard things and leaning in to the Lord.

20 thoughts on “whole ladies. day one.

  1. I believe God sent me here this morning, Ellen. After months of sugar, sugar, sugar (Christmas and seven birthday celebrations) I want to give it up. I’ve been reading Sugar Busters and am so ready to begin healthier eating. The funny thing is when I was younger I wouldn’t touch some of the things I eat now. Somewhere along the line I lost the…what? Something. I’ll follow along. I don’t know how vocal I’ll be, but I would love to try.

    P.S. You’re beautiful inside and out.

  2. Thanks for sharing….struggling with the same issues! Wanting to feel good in my own skin….I seem to fluctuate between being obsessed and being thin or failing at being thin and not feeling ok about myself! I’m bringing this struggle to Him and I’m realizing for my whole life I’ve been trying to do this on my own…. I’m so excited to see what His plan is! Blessings to you on this journey!

  3. I’ve done Whole 30 but it was more like Whole 17 3/4… I was realizing over the weekend that I’m experiencing some stomach troubles since allowing grains (mostly corn – fritos and popcorn) to come back into my life. I will mark my calendar today and knowing I’m not doing this solo will be helpful. I follow you on Pinterest, but look forward to more blogging about Whole 30 so I know I’m not alone!!!

  4. Found out about Whole30 from a link somewhere and am just now making my way through their book. I am fascinated by the science and biology of the plan because it just seems to make sense. No crazy fads like eat only grapefruit. My question…is it just you or the whole family?

    • I’ve been tearing through their book over the last few days. It is fascinating and I love, love, love that there is such a focus on healthy relationships.

      Right now? It’s just me. However, lots will be changing for my family as I’m the one who cooks, packs lunches and bakes the goodies.

  5. I have wondered how Whole30 would affect my high cholesterol. I haven’t had significant amounts of red meat in a long time. An occasional steak here & there. Hmm. I’ve been told to decrease red meat & increase whole grains & legumes. Opposite of Whole30. I would love to experiment with this to see if my cholesterol would increase or decrease.

    Regardless, you are an inspiration and I’ll be cheering you on friend!

    • Hey Caroline! I’m that vegan friend Ellen talked about :) – and one major reason I went vegan was because my cholesterol was really high (total was 258, LDL was 196). You might consider watching the documentary Forks Over Knives (free on Amazon and Hulu) and think about trying plant based eating as a solution. It’s not Whole 30 but the mindset is the same: clean eating leads to a healthier and happier you!

      • mary beth! thank you for the recommendation. i will definitely check it out. i did a 21 day vegan fast with some friends & it opened a whole new mindset for me, but i did miss bread. :) i suppose we all need to have the mindset you mentioned. some days are easier than others to stay on track. but it helps when you’re not doing it alone.

      • oh, i’m so glad you chimed in mary beth. yep, caroline…she’s even gotten me to watch forks over knives and i tried being vegan for a week before the holidays.

        one thing that mary beth and i talk about is that if everyone is as right as they think they are, i can’t eat anything. it’s frustrating. that’s why i liked this approach. it’s just 30 days and then i can reintroduce some things if i choose.

        all in all, i think we’ve got to jump in and find out what’s best for US. and it will have to be heaped up with grace for the figuring out.

        love both of you so much and would give anything to be having this conversation face to face to face.

  6. I love this! I’ve had such a similar focus this year! I chose healthy as my word of 2013 :) Because I want to be able to choose food and activities that are healthy for my mind and body not diets and workouts that drag me down and won’t last… So far so good and it’s changing my perspective big time! Actually the weight loss is slow but the good habits are starting to stick and I feel so good! You can do it girl!!!

  7. I am so scared/excited about this. After 5 months of bed rest and basically always being pregnant the last couple of years, I am suddenly struggling to do things that were once much easier for me. I read Candace Cameron’s _Reshaping It All_ and it has really encouraged me to recognize parts of my relationship with food that aren’t healthy. I am looking forward to tackling this and having a place to talk about it here.

  8. I made a decision to reduce my processed carbs in September. I eat protein/fruit for breakfast. protein/veggies/salad for lunch and home cooked dinners. It works I am slowly losing weight and have less heartburn.

  9. Pingback: whole ladies: halfway | sweetwater

  10. Pingback: Eating, losing and all the in between. | sweetwater

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