During the first week of the challenge, a lot of physical and emotional stress can occur due to your body trying to adjust to the new diet and the new level of physical activity. This is totally normal! Don’t be discouraged, everyone of us doing the challenge can experience fatigue, low energy levels, mood swings, discouragement, soreness, etc. That should last for about a week or two, depending on your body’s ability to adapt to new conditions.
So, why my body responds this way and why continuing since it clearly tells me that it does not like the changes? Well, most of the discomfort, physical and emotional, is due to the sugar withdrawal. Believe it or not, sugar is more addictive than heroine because sugar affects the same “feel-good” brain hormones as much as some street drugs. More on sugar on a later post… But for now, sugar is the main restriction on the whole life challenge and because of its addictive characteristic, there will be some withdrawal symptoms. But stay strong, because after the adverse effects from reducing your sugar intake disappear, you will experience increased mental clarity and concentration, more stable energy levels throughout the day, and a more balanced mood.
Over the course of the challenge, I will write weekly posts on different topics related to the nutritional aspect of the challenge. I hope to provide you with some basic education so that you can take on new healthy eating habits that you will continue even after the challenge is over. And do not hesitate to contact me by email or to catch me in the gym if you have any questions or concerns. I encourage you to read the quote below from the Whole30 program that is similar in nature to the Whole Life Challenge. You will find the read quite convincing.
Remember, make good decisions!
Yours truly, doctor Gagné 😉
Extract from the Whole30 program:
“It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You won’t get any coddling, and you won’t get any sympathy for your “struggles”. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.
Don’t even consider the possibility of a “slip”. Unless you physically tripped and your face landed in a box of doughnuts, there is no “slip”. You make a choice to eat something unhealthy. It is always a choice, so do not phrase it as if you had an accident. Commit to the program 100% for the full 30 days. Don’t give yourself an excuse to fail before you’ve even started.
You never, ever, ever HAVE to eat anything you don’t want to eat. You’re all big boys and girls. Toughen up. Learn to say no (or make your Mom proud and say, “No, thank you”). Learn to stick up for yourself. Just because it’s your sister’s birthday, or your best friend’s wedding, or your company picnic does not mean you have to eat anything. It’s always a choice, and we would hope that you stopped succumbing to peer pressure in 7th grade.
This does require a bit of effort. If you’re cutting out grains, legumes and dairy for the first time, you have to replace those calories with something. You have to make sure you’re eating enough, that your nutrients are plentiful, that you’re getting enough protein, fat and carbohydrates. You’ll have to figure out what to eat for lunch, how to order at a restaurant and how often you’ll need to grocery shop. We’ve given you all the tools, guidelines and resources you’ll need, but take responsibility for your own plan. Improved health and fitness doesn’t happen automatically just because you’re now taking a pass on bread.
You can do this. You’ve come too far to back out now. You want to do this. You need to do this. And we believe that you can do this. So stop thinking about it, and start doing. Right now, this very minute, tell someone that you are starting the [Whole Life Challenge]. Tell your spouse, tell your best friend, […] and prove to us – and yourself – that you are committed.”
The Whole30 Program
No 9:00am class Saturday at Pembroke
10:00am offsite at Central due to Gymnastics cert