By Nuala Schoen
Check out our revised Non-Scale Victory Checklist that highlights how the Whole30 program can cultivate body love. While the voices contributing to these conversations are innumerable, the radical self love and body liberation movements are led by queer Black femmes. Their work in this field is both invaluable and deserving of our pay and recognition.
Whole30 and Body Love
Hands down, the best part of the Whole30 (and the program’s ultimate goal) is to help you achieve Food Freedom. We want you to create a relationship with food, your body, and your life that feels liberating.
When you begin a Whole30, you might be thinking about all of the things that you don’t like about your experience in your body, like chronic pain, indigestion, or inflammation. Taking the time and energy to care for your well being through a Whole30 is a way of offering your body love and investing in a future where your body might experience more ease.
The Whole30 process of elimination, reintroduction, and Food Freedom provide you with an opportunity to reconnect with your body in a more nourishing and empowering way. Throughout your Whole30 and reintroduction, you spend 30+ days caring for and listening to your body’s signals. You do this by eliminating and then reintroducing potentially problematic foods. Then in Food Freedom, you craft a way of eating that allows you to feel your best, incorporating what you’ve learned about yourself during your Whole30.
Focusing on Non-scale Victories
For many folks in our community, Food Freedom and a more loving relationship with their body go hand in hand. It’s not about a number on a scale, it’s about how you feel. Click to read some powerful NSV stories from our community.
When we think about what it means to reclaim an empowered and freeing relationship with food, your body, and your life, we think about all of the amazing ways that people’s lives change during and after the Whole30. Just look at some of these amazing NSVs:
- Feeling happier
- Handling stress better
- Having a healthier relationship with food
- Listening to your body
- A sense of belonging in a welcoming, inclusive community
- Self-efficacy, and the spillover that has in all areas of your life
None of the NSVs have anything to do with looking a certain way or being a certain weight. They’re non-scale victories for a reason. They have everything to do with how you feel, and how that carries over into all areas of your life.
How We Celebrate Your Wins
Here are ways that Whole30 HQ chooses to celebrate community members who feel more joy and confidence in their bodies after the Whole30. We:
- Share photos of people now living their life with joy! We skip before and after comparisons, because seeing someone who feels happy and empowered in their body is compelling on its own.
- Use images and language to share about the importance of NSVs. Our storytelling makes it clear that the way our community members feel after their Whole30 is always going to be more valuable than the way they look.
- Talk about confidence, improved body image, and more self-love and acceptance as parts of healthy self-esteem, which is an inside job.
- Deliberately share messaging that the Whole30 is not a weight loss diet. We actively highlight dozens of reasons why the Whole30 is life-changing and empowering, unrelated to body size or shape.
When it comes to the Whole30 and body love, think of it this way: we are growing and evolving all of the time, just as our community grows and evolves. As our thoughts on bodies and food have become more expansive, so have our hopes for our community. Take a look at our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement.
Embrace Yourself and Your Food Freedom
We want you to have Food Freedom–a liberatory relationship with food, your body, and your life. At its best, this vision includes you having a more positive relationship with your body. Wherever you are on your Whole30 journey, we hope you learn to unapologetically embrace yourself and your Food Freedom.
If you’re looking for more information on what the Whole30 is and is not, the Whole30 Weight Loss Hub is a great resource for education about our stance on weight loss. You can also check out our Whole30 Mindset Checklist to make sure you’re in a supportive headspace for your Whole30 journey.
Danielle Nuala Schoen (Nuala), Whole30 People & Culture Coordinator, lives amongst a community in the mountains of western North Carolina. She is a massage therapist (LMBT) and RYT-200 yoga instructor with a background in social work. Nuala is passionate about redefining health and wellness in order to center the self-determination and self-actualization of each unique individual, and thereby, the actualization of the collective. When she’s not working to build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive Whole30 community, Nuala enjoys ecstatic dance, contact improvisation, creek dips, travel, and sharing Whole30 meals with her loved ones.