The Whole Story

Hey there! I’m the Player behind Whole Player. (Yes, really. It says Player on my birth certificate.) Long story short: I like food a lot, and most of my life revolves around food. I need to get healthy, so I’m committed to doing a Whole30 for a Whole year. I’ve started this site to share recipes, challenges, tips, tricks, and fun stories about what it’s like to commit to cutting out alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, for an entire year.

What to know the WHOLE story? Read on!

Reading My Table CroppedPhoto Credit: Kelly Cameron Photography

That picture pretty much sums up my relationship with food. If I’m not eating it, I’m reading about it, or thinking about it, or dreaming about it. I’ve always been an “adventurous” eater, probably because my mom was a firm believer in making me “try one bite” of everything and would refuse to make more than one meal for the family. I’m also my mom’s only child, so I got treated to all kinds of fun experiences as a kid – most of which involved food.

As a grown up, I’m an event planner who is always searching for fun new food trends to incorporate at events, trendy new restaurants for hosting events, the next big chef to cater an event, etc. Trust me, if you’re planning an event make sure the food is awesome. Everything else is secondary. Bad food = bad event.

I love food so much, I even married a chef! Well, sort of…he’s worked in restaurants his whole life and been through several culinary training programs, but now he prefers the “business” side of the food industry. Which is totally OK with me because now that food and cooking isn’t part of his daily grind we both get passionate about our love of great eats together! Clearly, eating is a “thing” for us:

sandwichPhoto Credit: Kelly Cameron Photography
spaghettiPhoto Credit: Kelly Cameron Photography

The problem with loving food and being with someone that loves food as much as you do, is that you tend to eat. A lot. And most of the time those things aren’t the healthiest. So you end up going from looking like this (please don’t judge the quality, this is our *first ever* picture together):

Hula Hut.jpg

To this:

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Ok, so it’s hard to really see anything in either of those photos. I tried to find a better photo of us now, but apparently we’ve only been taking selfies for the past year and half (probably because we aren’t so thrilled with the way we look now). Rest assured, both of us are definitely much healthier in that first picture. Fun side note, both of those pictures were taken at a couple of our favorite restaurants. (Shout out to Hula Hut in Austin, TX and Pico’s Mex-Mex in Houston, TX!) Because food.

We’ve been telling ourselves for a while now that it’s ok because the toll our “love” (aka: love of food) has taken on our bodies is directly proportionate to how happy we are. Apparently, once you’re married, fat = happy. Oh the things we tell ourselves, right?

Real talk: we’re not happy. Not with ourselves anyway. We don’t excercise. We lack energy. We don’t have great skin. We’re unmotivated, in general. We’re not the healthiest, one of us is always feeling “blah”. We aren’t as social as we’d like to be, because we’re usually too tired to go out. (If I’m *REALLY* honest, it’s also because I always feel like I have “nothing to wear” when what I really feel is that I look like crap in the tons and tons of clothes I do have to wear.) And, of course, what seems like everyone’s most common complaint – we’ve definitely gained weight.

Enter Whole30. I stumbled on Whole30 doing some research to learn more about why one of my best friends cut out gluten to help with a thyroid issue. After reading It Starts with Food, I was hooked. I’ve always been the type of person that wants to know WHY. Seriously, in grade school if you told me 2 + 2 = 4 or if i comes before e except after c, I wouldn’t take your word for it unless you could explain why. It Starts With Food explained WHY I couldn’t stop eating cupcakes or queso or guzzling wine or whatever my current food weakness was even when I knew what I was doing wasn’t in my best health interests. This was December of 2015.

Last year, I did my first round of Whole30 in January and actually stretched into a full 45 days. The hubs did it too (or tried to, he traveled a lot then and that made it really hard). We both felt more energetic and sincerely enjoyed every meal we ate. We made dates out of going to the Farmer’s Market. We both enjoyed an increased sense of control and willpower with food, and even made it through a day at the Rodeo without eating anything fried (if you’re from Texas, you KNOW that’s a big deal).

Valentine’s day rolled around, and we thought we’d celebrate our love and Whole30 success with food…ALL the food…for the rest of the year. Life came at us and suddenly all of the reasons we did a Whole30 reset were forgotten. We moved across the state (again, if you’re from Texas, you know that’s a big deal). We both started new jobs. We went to Mexico. Twice.

All of the changes and events were fantastic for us. Mentally, we’re in a better headspace than either of us has been in a while. We’re in a position to really LIVE LIFE and ENJOY it now, if we could just GET HEALTHY.

So, this year (2017), I am going to do a WHOLE YEAR OF WHOLE30.

And no, before any Whole30-ers ask, I’m not afraid to live without “the rules”. I just love a challenge. And I’m also a little bit crazy. You can’t grow up with the last name Player and not be. My husband is not *as* crazy as a I am – so he’s committed to not drinking for a year and starting with a Whole30 in January. We’ll see how long he goes.

When I did my first Whole30, I found out just how important a support system really is to the program. That’s why I started WholePlayer, I want to share my experiences with Whole30 so you know you’re not alone. I’ll also be sharing recipes and any tips and tricks I stumble upon throughout this yearlong adventure. I’m sure there will be funny story or two along the way as well!

XoXo,

The Player