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Discovering Healthy Balance with the Help of Whole30: Coach Amy Shares Her Story

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ABOUT AMY WILCOCK

A single working mom and Whole30 Certified Coach, Amy found Whole30 after a health scare at a particularly low time in her life. Fresh off of a divorce and unemployed, Amy started on her Whole30 journey as a way to reclaim her life. After the empowering realization that "I can do anything for 30 days," Amy took charge of her health and watched it change as a result of her newfound dedication to living well and making self-care a priority. Read on to discover the tips and tools Amy shares about finding your own balance and routine with Whole30.

"I did my first Whole30 in January 2015 and it gave me back my power. Whole30 taught me that I can do anything for 30 days and that was and is HUGE and life changing"

HEY COACH AMY! WE'RE SO EXCITED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH WHOLE30 AND BEING A CERTIFIED COACH. HOW WERE YOU INTRODUCED TO WHOLE30 AND THEN BECOMING A COACH?

I came across Whole30 at a particularly low point in my life. Newly divorced, laid off unexpectedly, and really off the rails with food and alcohol, I felt as if I had lost all control and truthfully, I had. When I heard about Whole30 I thought “this is so extreme I don’t think I could ever do it. But if I can, it might be exactly what I need to get back on track. I thought: this I can control if nothing else in my world- job, income, relationships. I can control what I eat for 30 days.” So, I did my first Whole30 in January 2015 and it gave me back my power. Whole30 taught me that I can do anything for 30 days and that was and is HUGE and life changing. I have  done 5 rounds since and several mini resets. When they announced the coaching program in 2017 I made a promise to myself that one day I would go for it. I became a coach in June of 2018 and I am now helping others find their Food Freedom. It’s still a battle for me on some days. I am not perfect but I have come so far and I truly believe in the Whole30 approach to life!

You are a single mom. When did you know that it was important for you to make yourself and your health and well-being a priority?

At the tail end of my divorce I had a little health scare. I spent four days in the hospital with extraordinarily high blood pressure and no apparent cause. When I say “high” I mean they thought I should have had a stroke high. Nothing makes you sit up and take stock like crying alone in a hospital bed thinking you failed your kids and they might grow up without a Mom. True story. The ultimate takeaway was that stress, anxiety, genetics  and poor life choices caused my body to go a little nuts. The day I walked out of that hospital I committed to changing my life. None of it has happened over night but I realized then that I had to put myself first in order to be of any value to anyone else that needed me. This was a total revelation because I never put myself first. That was the first step in a whole bunch of baby steps toward a brand new life for me.

Whole30 Certified Coach Amy and her BrotherThis before and after is actually my brother and me on Thanksgiving day 2014 vs. 2018. He has done multiple rounds of Whole30 with me and is one of my my biggest supporters!

What a shock but also what an incredible gift of perspective to be given. How did Whole30 help improve your ability to manage life stressors?

Whole30 taught me to go back to basics, take one day at a time and be fully present in the moment. You can only do what you can do. Having a very basic set of rules to live by, much like you do with food on Whole30, has become part of my life. I don’t get stressed out over the little things like I used to. I have a handful of basics that I live by and as long as I am mostly on track with those, I don’t sweat the small stuff. If I start to get off track, I just go back to basics. Am I doing these things every day- healthy eating, sleep, movement, connection with my loved ones and grace for myself? If not, I reframe, refocus, reset and keep going.  


That is such good advice! We all need some extra grace when it comes to ourselves sometimes. For you, with so many obligations, what are your favorite strategies for finding that time to invest in yourself?

I keep a calendar and I schedule in time for me. No excuses and no apologies. One of the positives of being divorced is that I have kid-free weekends and I can do whatever I want. One of the negatives of kid-free weekends is that as single parents, we tend to think we have to be “doing stuff” all the time to make the most of our kid-free time. I was guilty of that for a while. Now there are times I don’t even leave my house on kid-free weekends and I love it. Taking a weekend for some alone time, relaxation, reading or watching Netflix is not being a loser, it’s actually pretty damn glorious and I do it on the regular! Don’t be afraid to say no to invitations when you feel like you need down time. There is nothing wrong with having a date with your couch and a good book. When someone asks why you’re not coming to the party, “because I don’t want to” is a perfectly acceptable reason.

Whole30 Certified Coach Amy Wilcock

 

Regenerating and recharging to be available for all life's obligations is so beneficial! As a coach, what would you say to someone who doesn’t feel like they have the time to try Whole30 or even practice some self-care?

Make time! You have to. I am serious, you have to just do the damn thing. You are worth it and if you don’t make time you can never get it back. As I said, I literally schedule it. If you are a list maker put it on the list. Start small with just 15 minutes a day if you have to and go from there.  When I find myself saying I don’t have time, I either set my alarm and get up a little earlier or cut down on TV or social media surfing for a few weeks and use that time for self-care. Think of one thing that you are currently doing that is really just a time suck and try replacing it with self-care. As for Whole30, it is a big commitment but within a very short time it becomes habit, I think, because the rules are so simple and black & white. If you are struggling with "when is the perfect time to do a Whole30?" just stop. There isn’t one. Book it. Pick the best possible month for you and commit to it. For me now, it’s every January and September. Shameless plug here, but hire a coach or join a paid accountability group. Once you spend money on a commitment and obligate yourself to other people you are far less likely to blow it off. If you don’t believe me just ask my coaching clients.


Accountability can be a powerful tool and it helps to have partners on the journey but, sometimes we can find ourselves feeling totally unbalanced; in life, at work, with obligations. In your experience, on your own and as a coach, how do you suggest getting back into equilibrium?

Well, because food is so intertwined with how we feel my first instinct is to do a mini Whole30 reset. I will eat Whole30 for 5 or 10 days straight and it is usually enough for me to regain control, reset myself and get back on track. I immediately start sleeping better and experience much less stress and anxiety which is essential for getting back into equilibrium.

A fun way to keep things fresh on Whole30 .            Trader Joe's Whole30 Grocery Haul

That's a great idea. OK, so for some of us who don't feel like there's enough hours in the day, can you share your most effective time savers?

The best advice I can give anyone is actually something I learned from Model Meals Founder and CEO, Danika Brysha. Pick three things that are weighing heavily on you to put on your daily to do list. Just three so you don’t get overwhelmed. I find I am a lot more successful in maximizing my time when I am focused on fewer tasks at one time. Let’s be honest, having a daily to do list of 10, 15 or 20 items is a lot and often times we feel like a failure for not accomplishing the impossible number of tasks we assign ourselves. Don’t do that. Realize that there are 24 hours in a day and they can’t all be spent checking things off your list. Set yourself up for success and pick three.

 

We love that strategy! Is there anything else that you’d like to share with the Model Meals and Whole30 community?

Yes! If you are struggling or looking for like minded individuals and support,  take advantage of this community. It is huge and so full of positive energy and good vibes! Whole30 coaches are just like you. We understand what you are going thru and can relate to your struggles. We guide and teach but we also provide some accountability and a little tough love mixed with a lot of compassion. There has never been a better time to change your relationship with food than right now. With partners like Model Meals and many others you have so many tools for success to carry with you. Life always offers you another chance, it’s called TODAY!

    Amy, thank you so much for sharing what has worked for you and about your Whole30 journey. What amazing tips and suggestions for making our busy lives that much more manageable. I know that we will be adding some of these items to our daily routine for sure.

    Stay connected with Amy by following her on Instagram @crazywisewoman and by checking out her website at www.crazywisewoman.com

     

    Are you ready to tackle the Whole30 challenge for yourself?

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