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  1. Hi, I began the whole 30 last February. I had been slowly working my way towards clean eating but was never consistent. I liked buying healthy cookbooks, trying new new healthy recipes, and spending lots of money on new kitchen gadgets and healthy ingredients. And I followed that healthy lifestyle a lot of the time. Athe same time I would indulge in unhealthy eating habits: using the feeling of a full stomach to alleviate stress, snacking before and after meals (usually pointless, empty carbs like crackers or tortilla chips) and drinking at least one bottle of wine every weekend. My worst culptrit: I put a lot of effort into a healthy lifestyle. I worked out almost every day of the week and I thought about food non-stop, which led to a lot of unnecessary eating and stress and more eating. It was the whole30 that helped me realize I needed to start thinking about food a lot less and focus more on living my life. Last January I came across the whole 30 program book and liked the philosophy - I like to eat real food and I love to cook, so it was an easy sell. I read the book cover to cover, marked pages with sticky notes, wrote out grocery list and watched YouTube videos recounting others' experience with the 30 days. I thought it was going to be really hard - I loved my nightly popcorn snack and didn't think a happy life would be possible without a few nightly squares of Justus dark chocolate. However I was getting married in 9 months and was very unhappy with my weight and shape at the time. I didn't feel like the person I was on the outside reflected who I was on the inside. I think that is a struggle many have. So with some preparation and determination, I set out in my first whole30. After thirty days following the program I was beginning to notice benefits: I had lost some weight, my clothes were starting to fit better and my energy level was increasing. My overall wellness meter was getting higher everyday but I didn't feel ready to stop so I took on another 30 days and another 30 days and continued because I was feeling like the best version of myself. The digestive issues I'd been struggling with for years has dissipated, the pants I hadn't been able to fit into for years (yes, I kept them) were too big, my energy was through the roof and I no longer went to bed beating myself up for my food choices that day, promising "tomorrow would be a better day". For the first time ever, I felt in complete control. Until tonight. Nine months, 40 pounds and a new mindset later. I'm writing this because I haven't eaten sugar since February and I just crushed 5 Halloween sized packages of m&m peanuts after I'd promised myself (all day) that I wouldn't touch them. I'm writing this after several weeks of subtle "cheats" and I'm noticing myself subtly shift back into old habits. It's not a good feeling. I know why it's happening. My partner and I have recently suffered a loss followed by a stressful event and to put it bluntly, this month has been really shitty, emotional and hard. I know what I should be doing. I know that staying strong will help me get through this rough patch but I feel like an addict, seeking comfort in old habits. I wrote this partly to confess, partly to seek support but most importantly to address my behaviour and understand myself better. I know many of you can relate to what I'm talking about. Take care of yourselves.