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So I tried to read as many existing posts like this as possible but nothing felt like it fit exactly. I came to Whole30 relatively healthy (exercise regularly, already avoiding processed foods, mostly home cooked foods, etc). I’d been losing weight gradually for a couple years, but I’d plateaued (and started comfort eating due to stressful time) and thought something a little stricter could break that plateau and stop any comfort-eating instincts/unhealthy food relationships in their tracks. Beginning of my Whole30 was amazing. I had a slight dip in energy in the middle of the first week (felt like sugar/carb withdrawal) but otherwise I was sleeping better. Happier and less reactive to negative stress triggers, felt a little glowing, felt trimmer and like my belly felt taut. My muscles started showing more, etc. Even my PMS symptoms were lighter than ever before! I was hitting most of the regular marks of average journey, just maybe a day or two early (including the kill-all-the-things which was exciting for me cause I have kind of an emotional block when it comes to anger, and the weird food dreams, one where I force fed myself really cheap marshmallows and cried about ruining my Whole30, haha). Half-way through I started to feel lower belly looking larger and flabbier (I think not just bloating because I can pinch substantial chunk of skin). I was jogging my best speeds, having good energy, not crashing. But starting to feel down and depressed and large. Almost larger than before. And I wasn’t a tiny delicate person (5’5” and 140 lbs at start). Based on other weight gain posts, I’ve noticed I’ve perhaps had the following issues: 1) Last week I was using a meal prep service. Breakfast was 3 eggs with a little leftover protein or veggies. Lunch was one-two palm(s) of chicken breast slices and 1-2 cups asparagus. Dinner was one filet of tilapia with 1-2 cups steamed broccoli. All week was this, and it might have been under-eating. Now I’m back to more varied recipes (currently eggs with leftover protein in morning, bowl of kale/butternut squash/pork/tomato soup recipe from book and banana with cinnamon and coconut shreds for lunch, bowl of same soup for dinner, before was same breakfast but chicken meatballs from book with zucchini and/or coconut riced cauliflower for lunch and dinner). 2) I got sick with an ear infection (haven’t had one maybe ever or since I was a child?). I’m a singer/actress so my schedule is never regular and usually very busy/stressful. I was teaching and this past couple weeks was end of school year and I’ve been madly rehearsing for a rush concert this week. But I don’t feel stress has been substantially worse than usual and than beginning of my Whole30. 3) There might be some bloating in response to cauliflower, broccoli, and kale I’ve been consuming. But I’m worried it’s not floating because I can pinch it, and it doesn’t seem to fade over the day. 4) My expectations might be a problem. I was very hopeful of jumpstarting my hormones/metabolism and beginning another stage of weight loss with this. I was really looking forward to Tiger Blood because I’ve felt similar buoyant-health energy before several times in my life. I almost feel as though I started with all the perks (seeing body changes, feeling healthy and energized and positive) then went backwards to the crappy stuff. My questions are: why/how does under-eating contribute to weight gain issues? I see it mentioned as a culprit but never explained? Now that I feel sick, exhausted, and fat, how do people stay motivated? How many people feel worse around Day 20-23? Does anyone else feel like they Benjamin Buttoned the program and went backwards in benefits? Is there a beneficial explanation to what I’m going through, or just tough luck? I will definitely stick it out because I take commitments to myself seriously, but WOOF I’m feeling the opposite of the die-hard believer I started as. (sorry for how long this is, thank you for letting me release my anxieties)