We’re in the final stretch of our January Whole30, and all in all I think it’s been a success. I didn’t quite hit the weight target I wanted, but my clothes all fit nicely again, and I certainly feel better. Work stresses aside, this really was the easiest W30 yet, and one of the reasons why it was easier is because of the amazing support of friends and family.
When we started with Whole30 and Paleo 2 years ago, things were much different. When I would turn down office treats, or carefully order food at restaurants with specific requests, or bring strange food to the office potlucks, I found myself explaining what I was doing and the reasons behind it over and over. The reactions were all over the map: encouragement, admiration, skepticism, and pity – but fortunately I was never met with ugliness. After a few months, when the weight started to drop, I had a lot more questions, and a lot more earnest interest. Now 2 years later, 2 others in my department have dropped over 50 lbs, and another is just starting her journey.
When we have potlucks now, we are sensitive to all of the dietary requests – things are labelled gluten free, paleo, and vegetarian, and people are proud to share their favorite health-conscious foods with the team and enjoy how good they taste. No one brings donuts or kolaches on Fridays anymore either. We’ll share treats for birthdays and holidays, but otherwise, we now keep nuts, Lara bars and other healthier options lying around the department instead. The funniest thing about it is I never mentioned anything about office foods. I never preached or gave anyone any grief about wanting to bring something yummy to share with the team. But over the course of 2 years by simply politely declining and choosing my own path, the entire team has chosen to follow it, and some of them have dramatically improved their own health in the process.
Even the waiters at our favorite restaurants are supportive. At the places we visit most frequently, E.J. has talked to the waiters and shown them the pictures… they all know the story, and remember us when we come in, so we rarely have to give our special orders anymore – they know what we want and how we want it. It’s just so much more comfortable.
It’s the same with our close personal friends. E.J. and I have a number of couples we will hang out with and have adventures with on the weekends, and while they might not follow our diet as strictly, they are all sensitive to it and have recognized the benefits themselves. I feel incredibly lucky to be blessed with friends who have not only accepted the changes E.J. and I made to our lives to improve our health, but have embraced them and actively help us find new recipes and ways to continue to thrive with an active social life. When we entertain friends, they know my menu will be mostly paleo unless there’s a special request, which I’m happy to accommodate. And when we go to our friends’ house, they always let us know what foods are compliant and which ones aren’t so we can make conscious decisions about how to build our plates.
And then sometimes, like this last Friday, they just rock and make a new paleo recipe that I’ve never seen or tried and it is nothing short of amazing. Our friends Kenny and Elaine made this Whole30 compliant InstantPot Crispy Mojo Pork with tostones and it was spectacular. I’m totally adding this to the Favorite Recipes list. My friend Anita has also been tagging amazing looking recipes on her Facebook so they pop up for me, and I can’t wait to try them.
So, while everyone’s journey must be a personal one, I can certainly say that our ability to sustain our new lifestyle would be a much more difficult without “A Little Help From My Friends”.