I’ve just finished my Whole30 (well, Whole28, but who’s counting?).
I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt as healthy, lean, awake and positive about life in general. I wake up with ease in the morning and feel fabulous from the moment I open my eyes. I have endless energy resources, I get things done and my mood is positive and happy without a hint of previous mood swings.
I feel like I could conquer the world!
Altered baselines vs the truth
Our bodies are equipped with the most elaborate and sensitive network of alarms – doing something harmful to our bodies triggers a response of distress varying from mild discomfort to outright pain, depending on the severity of harm done.
While our ability to adapt has no doubt paved the way to our success as a species, the same skill unfortunately also gave us means to learn how to dull down these warning signals. Subjecting our bodies to continuous distress is responded by accepting the discomfort of the alarm as normal – as an altered baseline.
Over time, our minds learn to accept this new baseline as our personal characteristic.
“I’ve got a very sensitive stomach”, “I’m allergic to everything”, “I’m not very fit” or “I’m a very light sleeper” – sound familiar anyone? These markers of self-induced altered baselines become truths that we accept about ourselves, and conveniently forget the fact that it doesn’t have to be so.
- By consuming grains, I actively chose to have a sensitive stomach and suffer from a range of digestion related discomfort.
- By eating a diet that promotes inflammation, I actively chose to worsen my allergies and further increase the likelihood of developing additional allergies.
- By living a sedentary life, I chose to ignore my physical fitness and become weak and unfit.
- By exposing myself to toxic substances (such as alcohol), I actively chose to overwork my liver and sabotage the quality of my sleep.
Over a long period of time, I had grown used to the distress signals my body was sending. I had accepted the altered baseline – that I was sickly, weak, tired, cranky and riddled with dysfunctional digestion. The thought that I could change any of that didn’t even cross my mind.
Doing a Whole30 resets your baseline to where it should be.
Now I feel fantastic. I feel alive and energetic. I am healthy and well-rested. Overall, I’m 100%.
The flip side of the coin is that with my true baseline where it should be, all my alarms are reset and ready to be triggered at the slightest of reasons!
One glass of wine with dinner, and I wake up feeling rusty and clearly feel the difference to my normal well-rested self. One cheat meal with some gnocchi and I feel unbearably uncomfortable and bloated the next day. One sugar loaded dessert and my energy levels and mood are all over the shop from the sugar comedown.
I loved how I felt during the Whole30, and now I’m addicted to feeling 100%.
I find myself scared of doing anything that could jeopardise how I feel right now – I want to keep going, keep feeling fabulous, and avoiding all the things that are bad to me.