We asked our GreatistYou contestants to reflect on their six-week journeys. Jasmine set out to complete the Whole30 program and practice more self-love. Here’s how she did it.
When GreatistYou came along, I was pretty excited about the idea of building healthy habits. In high school—and even college—I enjoyed working out. But in college I found I was only exercising to balance out my unhealthy diet. It’s not that I dreaded working out exactly, but I had turned running into a way for me to burn calories fast. It was no longer something I enjoyed.
The first week of Whole30 was hard because I was just trying to gauge my energy levels, but by the second week I was ready to work out more. I started focusing on that idea of self-love and treating my body in a healthy way.
It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I think that’s partially because I didn’t count days until the challenge was almost over. With Whole30 you’re also not supposed to weigh yourself, because counting things numerically is not a healthy way to think about lifestyle changes.
I also didn’t want to view Whole30 as a punishment or limitation. Instead I saw it as a new way of looking at food and thinking about what I’m eating. I was very secure in the idea that this healthy lifestyle is something I want.
At times it was hard because my parents weren’t just going to jump on a new diet. But when people see you making lifestyle changes or doing something a little bit healthier, they start to do it too.
My sister became my workout partner. And soon, my mom started eating Whole30 foods. She would let me cook for her; she would try out my “experiments,” as she called them. Or if I hung out with a friend and I was eating fruits and veggies, they would say, “Let me have some of what you’re eating,” instead of filling up something like barbecue.
Toward the end of GreatistYou, I was honestly eating really well, but the last week, I was on a cruise—and it was super hard. I had already finished the diet, but it was so difficult to eat good foods. I had read there would be fruits and vegetables onboard, but they weren’t good. I had to go out of my way to find things. I would go to the salad bar, and then go to another restaurant and ask them to put meat on it, because that meat was less oily than the meats I found in the cafeteria. I didn’t expect it to be that tough.
But something I really appreciated was having people I could talk to. It’s so helpful to have a support system when you’re trying to accomplish new goals—especially fitness goals—because you’re changing habits you’ve had for such a long time.