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December 12, 2023

The Whole30 Mindset

Dear Melissa—Melissa Urban wearing a light blue jean top and darker blue jeans, cooking on a wooden table top, and smiling at the camera.

As you approach your next Whole30, there are lots of tasks on your checklist: plan some meals, clean out the pantry, hit the grocery store, stock up on emergency food, ditch the scale, make some If/Then plans… Getting ready for the Whole30 is exciting! Each step helps Future You sail through challenges, stay well-fed, and honor your commitment.

But there’s one pre-Whole30 exercise that might be the most important one of all. A foundational task that, if performed with care and attention, can set you up for Whole30 success more than any other. It only takes a minute, and the more you repeat it, the more effective it becomes. If you’re new to the program, this practice will help you more clearly see the Whole30 for the life-changing opportunity it truly is. If you’ve done the Whole30 before, this could still be a game-changer, helping you unlock lasting food freedom.

Diet mindset vs. Whole30 mindset

At its heart, any habit shift is all about MINDSET—and you’re about to get a crash course on your new Whole30 mindset.

Chances are, you are coming (or have come) to the Whole30 with a “diet” mentality. We’ve all been indoctrinated into the world of crash dieting, where the number on the scale is all that matters, calorie counting and restriction are the only tools at your disposal, and foods (and you, when you eat them) are clearly labeled “good” and “bad.” But THIS is not THAT. 

You already know the Whole30 isn’t a weight loss diet, doesn’t glorify the scale, and won’t assign morality to food or your choices. Instead, you’re taking on a 30-day self-experiment designed to teach you how food works in your unique body and context, and encouraging you to develop new habits and restore a healthy relationship with food and your body.

The problem is, if someone has been swinging a hammer all their life, everything starts to look like a nail. And when it comes to the Whole30, taking that burned-into-your-brain crash diet mindset into our 30-day program spells trouble… or at the very least, a less effective 30 days. (It’s not your fault. BLAME THE DIET INDUSTRY.) 

If you’re going to do something as emotionally and psychologically challenging as the Whole30, you want your efforts to count. Which means shifting your mindset from weight loss dieting to something new–a focus on empowerment, self-discovery, and permission to define health on your own terms, so you can create your own sustainable diet based on your body, culture, personal values, and goals—the Whole30 mindset.

A welcomed shift

What I’m sharing here today is the key to your Whole30 mindset; a series of phrases that focuses on what the program IS and IS NOT, gets you in the spirit of a self-experiment (not a weight loss diet), and navigates you through the Whole30 straight into your food freedom.

I created this with the help of three Whole30 experts—clinical psychologist Dr. Vickie Bhatia, emeritus Whole30 Certified Coach of the Year Jacob Henriquez, and Whole Food for Your Family author Autumn Michaelis—in an effort to help you stay focused on your goals and the true spirit and purpose of the Whole30. 

Download it below, then print it, tape it to your mirror, fridge, or office wall, and come back to it anytime you need a reminder of your “why,” a boost of motivation, or a nudge back towards self-care and grace. (We’ve provided you with two sizes; full page and postcard.)

Finally, remember that through these mindset mantras, I am here with you every step of the way, as is the Whole30 HQ team and hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are doing the January Whole30 with you. Should you ever need a reminder that you are not alone, you are worthy of this experience, and you deserve every non-scale victory coming your way starting January 2nd… just pull up this note. We’ve got you, and you’ve got this.

XO Melissa

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