Mary Eggers


Off the path

I can’t even begin to describe the learning that has taken place during the past month. Not only have I learned how to cook, I have learned the effect that food of all kinds has on my body.

Before Whole30 I had a “good” diet. I ate four fruits and vegetables a day. I had pizza on pizza night, cake for birthdays, a cookie every day or so. I didn’t deprive and I felt just fine. Then I whole30’d like it was my job. I never felt better. I finished my challenge a week ago and I knew that this lifestyle felt like a good fit for me.

Last night I knew I was going to have pizza. Now you are supposed to do this whole reintroduction much different than I did. I had the brownie the other day, and then I had two slices of pizza.

I was sick. Literally sick. After no grains or breads for a month I had a migraine. I thought I only got migraines every now and again due to the 5 concussions I have suffered in the past 10 years. I thought they were part of the game. During Whole30 I never had one. I felt puffy and bloated. I never felt that piror to Whole30 that I was aware of. I certainly felt that way after eating the pizza. I felt downright polluted. This is something new to me. Totally new. I have cleaned up my menu so much that it all felt like I ate poison.

And none of it tasted that good. It was 200% not worth the after effects.

I did it to learn. I did it to find out. Did I miss this food? What would it feel like? Was this Whole30 going to lead me into something new and different? Did I believe all these things I have researched and read about grains and inflammation? Right now….. I believe every last word. If I have ever discounted the role nutrition plays in how you feel on a day to day basis… I do not doubt that at all today. I feel like absolute ass.

I realize just how much my health is my own hands. Or should I say on my own fork. I am fascinated. Intrigued. Amazed. Inspired.

I wiped the white board clean and developed a new plan. Instead of heading for Whole30 I am heading for Whole60. If I felt this good in 30 days….. and learned just how bad I felt with food I thought was just fine for me…. how will I feel in 60 days. It aligns with my return to multisport training…. how will I fuel this to excel at the 70.3 distance? I have consulted some amazing ultra runners, my friend Sonja¬† and I will take it like I take everything. One step at a time. For me I know there is a better way to fuel and now that I am done with Ironman I can be flexible.

Why a Whole60 and not just “eat this way”? Partly because I am not there yet, partly because I still need a plan, and mostly because I love challenge. Challenges make me eager. I do know this……¬† I don’t want to feel like this again. I don’t have to feel like this again. I know what it is like to feel incredible. I don’t want to step off that because of nutrition. I want that all of the time. It helped me reach higher, it helped me in so many other areas of my life. I woke up this morning to a big bowl of kiwi and banana and it felt GOOD to nourish my body. It feels good to give this to myself. Again I am elusive but after what I have been through it feels good to treat myself this way.

It should not be a surprise that when the foundation is strong and healthy…. what’s built on top of it will only be just as strong and healthy. It’s been one of the most productive months of my life. I can’t even begin to explain how it’s bled over into other areas of my life.

So here we go again. I stepped off of the path just enough to remind me why I stepped on the path to begin with. There is more work for me to do. There is more for me to learn. Now realize this: if it’s not for you, it’s not for you. It affects me and I will share that experience. Have the common sense to either take it or leave it.

For me there is a connection to how I feel and what goes into my body. If there is that connection…. what can happen for my performance? The only way to find out is to dive right back in.

Day one. Game on. The next piece of this experiment is this: how long until I feel awesome again? Please let it be one day. I am also now even more confident that my travels next week will not be a problem. At all. My motivation after feeling like I do right now…. has rocketed. Never again. Call me a tree hugger, laugh at me for saying the word Paleo….. all I can say is that when you’ve lost your health, gained it back, soared in how you felt… you realize it’s a choice. Nutrition isn’t hard. Cancer is hard. Trust me on that.

Recipes I found this week to make:

1. Awesome gucamole

2. Pumpkin pudding (it’s the second one down)

3. Creamy Italian dressing.