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fluffy76

How do you heal the mind??

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I need ideas and suggestions.

I did my whole30 and felt like I was really successful.  I lost 10 pounds, bloat was down and felt pretty good.  I didn't feel that much different than pre-Whole 30 and the really only "health" related item I was hoping to see improvement in didn't happen.  But, I could see the plan was great.  I enjoyed cooking and prepping and staying away from the processed foods.  I liked that my son was seeing his mom and dad eating in a new way.

 

And then....I started to add a little bit of this and a little bit of than back in.  Sugar, fast food, grains here and there.  I wanted some drastic awful thing to happen to my body so I would HAVE to stop cheating- but nothing.  I didn't notice anything.  Except, I've slowly put the weight back on.  And, I've slowly "poofed" back out. It's taken about 6 months but I'm pretty sure I'm right back where I started.

 

When I eat the wrong foods, the guilt is overwhelming.  The mind games and raitonalizations and the things I say to myself are awful.  It gets really, painfully DARK for me.  And I think I do it just to try and make myself feel so badly that I don't cheat again.  I'm trying to make the pain much greater than the pleasure.  But it doesn't work.  Instead, I hate myself, hate my relationship with food, tell myself "I'll fix it tomorrow", and blah blah blah.

 

What do you all do to keep your mind with the program?  How can I change the awful things I say to myself to things that will actually HELP me stay on track?  Beating myself up isn't working.

 

Any ideas are greatly appreciated.  I'm wanting to start whole30 #2 but I'm afraid to start and fail (again).  Trust me, the last 6 months I've PLANNED at least 4 - and accomplished none.  I'm afraid another failure will just be too much to take.  Where can I get the guts to do it again?

 

Thanks to you all!
 

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Well said. It's a constant struggle. I have started many whole30'sbut only ever finished one. Have gained 20lbs back in 4 months, after losing 50....it's awful and extremely depressing. I guess at this point ( I just restarted Monday after an Oreo shake binge:(...) I think the more healthy days the better. Life is ups and downs and my eating follows along too. My major goal now is not letting one bad choice lead to days or months of poor choices. I do want another 30 days in a row and am trying to get there but I'm tired of beating myself up, it doesn't make me feel good and I want to feel good. Sorry I don't have an answer but can defiantly relate. Best of luck you.

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Same place here... Completed a Whole30 in January this year & felt great, but then chocolate returned...  :ph34r:  I intended to do another in April, which became May, which became June - finally decided, almost on a spur of the moment, to start again on June 10th. Went well until around day 27, when i had a suspect sausage  :lol: while out for a meal. I decided to add days on & carried on to about day 44, then made some "paleo treats" & went downhill a bit. I've been climbing back on & off the wagon since.

I'm trying to keep positive though! If i can have regular periods of Whole30-eating which last for days (instead of hours!), then that's better than eating junk everyday. If i eat junk one day, then that's better than eating junk for a week. A Whole30 may be the ideal, but a Whole12 is better than a Whole4, & a Whole4 is better than doing nothing. Don't let perfection be the enemy of good  :)

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What she said! Every good day you have is another one in the bank! Keep those successes in your pocket and remind yourself that you can do this! Think about it this way...before your whole30, they were ALL bad days, right? Every time you make the right choice for your health, it's money in the bank. You will find the balance that works for you. It's been a lifetime of not so great choices, you can't expect EVERYTHING to reset after 30 days. So, keep trying and don't beat yourself up when you don't make the best choices-just resolve to do better the next time!

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Its like someone was reading my mind when I read your post. I am only 25 days in to my first Whole 30, but your experience is exactly what I imagine happening to me if I'm not careful- it certainly reflects my relationship with sugar in general. I have a plan...

 

My plan is that once the Whole 30 is over, I am going to follow a strict paleo diet, and treat myself by purchasing a few really nice paleo cook books. And ONLY eat paleo treats when I have treats. I know I CAN"T handle the real stuff- milkshakes, gluten free cookies, etc... But will I make paleo pancakes with Almond flour, coconut flour, fresh fruit and coconut milk? Will I have coconut four biscuits with my bacon occasionally?  YES! 

 

My thinking is this- The reason that the whole 30 is working for me is that it is a food plan that I can live with- a "diet" with healthy rules. I can follow rules. I get wonky when I start doing things MY WAY. If I eat strict paleo treats (no cheating with sugar, dairy, etc), and that is all, then I have rules that I can live with. It wont blurr into McDonalds fries or a Sonic milk shake. That's against the rules. So maybe being a rule follower doesn't work for everyone- but to me it feels like a framework that I can live within. Once I cross the line into civilian eating habits... who knows? 

 

So yeah, its just a theory, but we will soon see. I only have 5 days until its time to put it to the test.

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One thing to keep in mind with all of this is that the sugar, gluten, and grains bring on negative self-talk and harsh self-judgment and depression.  It can take some time to work it out of our systems enough to feel the relief.  But a lot of that feeling of not being able to do it and of guilt and feeling ashamed and all of that sort of icky feeling cluster of emotional gunk is a symptom of the sugar overload in our bodies.  It's not a moral response to a bad choice.  It is literally a physical symptom of too much sugar in our bodies.  And we have to give ourselves enough time to let the sugar out of our bodies during the start of a Whole30 - those first days and maybe weeks, we'll still have some of that negative self-talk and depression from the sugar.  But I think it REALLY helps to understand that it's not a real feeling of guilt or a true shame or something like that.  It is a physical symptom of too much sugar. 

 

I'm not saying that's the total picture for everyone - I know many of us fight food addictions of one form or another.  But when we get in the cycle of "I need to get off of sugar/I can't get off of sugar/I feel guilty/I'm depressed" etc. - that's a symptom, not a moral weakness.  Basically, you feel bloated and depressed.  Both are symptoms.

 

I hope that makes sense, and helps some.  I feel this very often, and even with almost a year away from sugar except on planned occasions, my body chemistry has so many decades of reaching for it that I find the cravings nearly intolerable some days.  And so it really helps me a whole lot to understand that those cravings are not weakness, they're merely one more symptom of sugar overload in my body.  (Same applies to dairy and grains for me.)

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Have you all read the book? If not, read the chapter on why sugar is not on W30 and how it violates the 9 principles. If you read it once, read it again. Sugar is a drug. We are addicted and it's harming us physically and mentally/emotionally. The book also talks about how the physical reaction to foods effects our psyche.

 

I sometimes consider myself lucky that I was so sick, going back to grains or sugar is not an option for me. Sure, I will have some 'bad' stuff, a glass of wine, a piece of chocolate. But I can't really do too much. So maybe it's easier for me.

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What do you all do to keep your mind with the program?  How can I change the awful things I say to myself to things that will actually HELP me stay on track?  Beating myself up isn't working.

 

Any ideas are greatly appreciated.  I

 

The great thing about choosing to do a Whole30 is that it gives you a clean slate. Fresh start. New beginning.  It doesn't matter what you ate before Day 1.

For me, I take it one day at a time, one meal at a time. Having a mindfulness practice helps too. It helps me be more conscious of my choices and respond in a measured way vs. reacting on auto-pilot.

For example, choosing to be kind and compassionate to yourself (treating yourself like you would treat your best friend) vs. beating yourself up.

To quote Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness means â€œPaying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.†You can cultivate this way of being by either infusing it into your daily activities (e.g., when preparing a meal or eating a meal, just noticing what's in front of you), and/or having a routine mindfulness practice, such as meditation, yoga or focused breathing. 

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Eating healthy regularly is hard, no question. I want unhealthy food ALL THE TIME. But I rarely eat it. What stops me from eating all the unhealthy food is knowing that I will feel crappy after I eat it. I always ask myself these questions before I eat unhealthy food:

1) what will eating this food accomplish?

2) why do I want to eat this food?

3) other than the food tasting good what good will come from it?

4) is it worth it??

9 times out of 10 the answer to # 4 is no.

I also use the art of distraction when I want to eat unhealthy. I spent many evenings on Pinterest planning my bathroom remodel. It was a great distraction and I felt accomplished. Or I will come check out these forums and see what others are going through. Before you know it the craving is gone.

Good luck, a lot of it is mind over matter. Not easy at all. And no one is perfect, but we need to get back up and dust ourselves off when we fall.

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I get emails from Paleo Lifestyle. The one yesterday is very pertinent to this. If we do some mindful thinking before we give into cravings, we can avoid them. Ask yourself.....

 

  • Do I want a stomachache? (or whatever the consequences of eating the food will be). Put the negative consequences in the foreground. Don't ask "is this worth a stomachache?" - make it even more clear-cut than that. "Do I want a stomachache?" No. OK then. Fork down; walk away.
  • Do I want to break my streak? Chains and paterns are a powerful motivational tool. Just the thought of breaking a however-many day streak of healthy eating can be enough to deter you from even the most tempting junk food. Keep a visual reminder handy of how many days you have under your belt, and challenge yourself not to break it.

  • Would I like a non-food treat? Sometimes, you just need some pleasure in your day. It's not about the food; it's about the emotional gratification of doing something nice for yourself. What about a new magazine, a bottle of nail polish, an interesting box of tea, or a CD? A fun novel, a mug, or a desk toy? Distract yourself by thinking about something else you want, and then go get it; that way, your desire and your willpower are both working in the same direction, away from the junk food.

  • How do I feel right now, and why? Are you lonely? Tired? Frustrated? Afraid? All of these emotions are unpleasant to feel; sometimes, we crave junk food as a distraction. Give yourself 10 minutes in a place away from food to write about the feeling, or just sit there and allow yourself to feel it. What can you do to address the real problem? This can be uncomfortable, but you cannot fix the real problem by trying to ignore it. 

  • Will this food help me reach my ________ goals? (fill in the blank with "athletic performance," "weight loss," or whatever your goals are). The psychological power of goals is hard to overstate. Don't ask yourself what you want in the moment; ask yourself what you want for your whole life, and how you can get there.

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I agree very much with Amy--thinking about what's happening to you in mind and body as symptoms of something that is harmful to you is the most helpful way to look at it. I think guilting yourself and chewing yourself out are only counter-productive, in both the short and the long run. Also, for me the time spent experimenting with what is truly a food that harms my health, puts on weight (which I now see as not as a punishment for having done something bad, but a signal from my body that it is having to compensate for some toxic element within it, which also helps a lot), is not wasted time--it's time spent learning, and that for me has been very important. It's a nice accomplishment to do a W30, but the bigger picture is what you're after--not "compliance" to be "compliant" with a certain philosophy/religion of eating, but eating so that your body and mind are nourished, and the cravings and habits of the past are a bit easier not to choose.

 

And, like they say about quitting smoking, the more times you do it, the better chance of success you have, not the opposite as would seem intuitively true. Every time you "start over," that's a positive in the bank, and more likely that you'll more often choose what's better for you.

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I can relate to much of this and I appreciate the comments and advice from moderators and others with more experience. I won't give up.

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Amy S.'s reply really resonated with me-in fact, I printed it to keep for reference! I finished a very successful Whole 30 and reintroduction period. I felt extremely proud of myself. My mood was so much better-happier overall, less aches and pains. I know I have a major sugar addiction and needed to slay the sugar dragon. I had one day post Whole 30 where I allowed sugar in my diet. I went right back to Whole 30 eating the next day. The following day I decided to weigh myself-bad decision-as it completely derailed me! I have been having a non-stop sugar dragon party ever since to "comfort" myself over that number on the scale. I know I need to get rid of the scale, but why is it so difficult to do?  I will put it away, out of sight, but I know myself well enough to know I won't throw it away.  I am aware that the sugar, etc. makes me happy in the moment but so sad in the long run so why do I overdose on it? It seems like I can't eat just one when it comes to sugar! Are there people who just can't eat sugar laden "treats" at all?   I am starting to think this may be necessary for me to stay in control of that dragon. But on the other hand, I don't think depriving myself is a great idea either. Your thoughts? Do I need to just do another Whole 30 to work on managing my sugar addiction?

Other questions on a different note-I did not ever experience the "Tiger Blood" while doing the Whole 30, I had low energy, very tired, throughout. Any ideas on why? Also, the most difficult part of the Whole 30 for me was the protein. I am not a big "meat" eater. I eat ground beef, turkey, chicken, eggs and seafood. I know this seems like a variety but I found that I was struggling with meal ideas, let alone if I needed a snack between meals, and getting tired of my choices (and I own many Paleo cookbooks!) Suggestions?

Final question-is there a way to know when someone responds to your post on the forum?

Thank you in advance for your responses!

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Luci - what were your non-scale victories? Did you sleep better? Even if you didn't experience Tiger Blood, was your skin clearer or your digestion better?

 

It has taken me years but finally I'm to the point where sugary treats make me feel ill. I'd say it's all because of my pregnancy but it was happening before we started trying. If I wanted a cookie I'd have to pair it with something salty to make sure it wasn't too sweet for me. My husband teased me mercilessly for having to put peanut butter on store-bought GF peanut butter cookies because they were too sweet (he bought them at the store because they were on clearance...which never has GF stuff).

 

Regarding your meat question, what kind of foods do you like? There are plenty of paleo chicken recipes running around; you can pretty much sub turkey for chicken there too. Lots of ground beef ideas (taco soup for one is an easy one off the top of my head). Nom Nom Paleo, Stupid Easy Paleo, and The Clothes Make the Girl are my go-to recipe idea blogs for during Whole 30s. They clearly label when something is compliant and, if it isn't, will usually tell you how to make it compliant if it's possible.

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I get overwhelmed as well when I am trying to guilt and brow beat myself back onto an eating plan, but one thing that has helped me get started is to make a deal with myself that I will eat as much as I want of all allowed foods.  I forget about the palm sized this and the thumb sized that and the only three times a day…and just eat the foods that are allowed until I don't want to eat anymore.  That way I don't start out feeling deprived and hungry when I am going through withdrawal symptoms.  It only takes a couple days of this before I return to my right mind and I realize all the trauma of having to give up sugar was really…nothing.  Once the sugar/grains are out of your system for a bit you can then decide you are ready to watch the portions and the meal timing and do it right.  This technique has helped me many times over the years no matter what kind of plan I was starting.  

 

Be well, you are not alone, for sure.  

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MrsStick- my non-scale victories were improved mood- much happier and decreased sugar cravings. I also noticed fewer "aches & pains" overall. Great victories I know!

I will check out your recipe idea blogs for inspiration. I know I need variety in my meals to avoid food boredom.

Thank you for your reply. I can't wait until sugary treats lose their appeal for me!

I know it's time to jump back on the Whole 30 wagon if not 100% at least to the exclusion of sugar for another 30 days to see if the sugar dragon will hibernate and the foods I felt better eliminating during my first Whole 30.

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Yup I can totally relate to Buffy's post, including but not only to "a little of this and a little of that..." Same here. In January, I stepped resolutely into my first of three W30s and during each reintro, I succumbed to this birthday cake, that pizza, this cookie, a bit of ice cream, a glass or two of wine, telling myself it won't hurt. During my May W30 I got really sick and stayed that way throughout the whole month, which set me way back. I gained weight, my metabolism fell to an all-time low and all my resolve and clarity and willingness left. So yah it hurt. I have fallen back to grazing a bit at night, even though the food was compliant, and that old, familiar goblin in me has come alive again.

 

The goblin says: "You can't have what you want. You can't have a life. You've tried for two decades to find the balance - what makes you think this is going to be different? You fail and fail and fail. Eff it. Eff all of it. Just give it up." The goblin is familiar to me and when she rears her head, eventually I DO feel bad enough to say "NO you don't!" and the process of recovery starts all over again. Doing these W30s has for me has indeed been two steps (sometimes three) forward and one step (often two) back.The cool thing is, I am now quite aware of what the goblin says. It's informative. I'm becoming aware of my cycle of thinking. ...and that's a good thing. I can choose to react with more shame or create space for more patience, persistence and choice.

 

I really like what everyone said on this thread. Raz - I love what you say about doing a W12 or even a W4 - it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Just get back on track. And what AmyS said about our bodies' chemical reaction to sugar gives me perspective. It's pretty interesting and amazing actually that what goes on in my psyche is a physical, hormonal, chemical reaction to what's going on in my gut. And what GFChris said about being compassionate to ourselves is huge. Even and especially compassionate to the shame and the goblin. I embrace you, goblin. In fact, I'm going out today and buy her some sunflowers to place at the center of my dining table. Thank you, Bet, for that idea.  

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Final question-is there a way to know when someone responds to your post on the forum?

 

 

If someone quotes your post (as I've done here), you should get a notification.

If someone doesn't quote your post and responds to something you said, another way to improve the chances that you'll see their response is to follow threads on which you've posted. At the top right of a thread, click on "Follow this topic" and choose how you want to be notified.

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If you haven't yet read these articles on self-compassion and how it plays out especially as related to food, these are eye-opening:

 

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/28/go-easy-on-yourself-a-new-wave-of-research-urges/?_r=0

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jean-fain-licsw-msw/thanksgiving-overindulging_b_1115996.html

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If someone quotes your post (as I've done here), you should get a notification.

 

Chris-where would I find the notification? (did I quote your post correctly so you received notification?)

And thank you for the tip to follow the topic. I have done that now!

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If someone quotes your post (as I've done here), you should get a notification.

If someone doesn't quote your post and responds to something you said, another way to improve the chances that you'll see their response is to follow threads on which you've posted. At the top right of a thread, click on "Follow this topic" and choose how you want to be notified.

Ha! I found the correct way to "quote"! Where will I get notification when someone replies with a quote of my topic question?

Thank you for the tip to follow the topic-I have done that now!

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Ha! I found the correct way to "quote"! Where will I get notification when someone replies with a quote of my topic question?

Thank you for the tip to follow the topic-I have done that now!

Choose My Settings and then Notification Options under your profile to select how you want to be notified.

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Choose My Settings and then Notification Options under your profile to select how you want to be notified.

Thank you! I am still learning how to navigate the forum and I really appreciate your help!

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I read this post at 3am when I was awake because I had an upset stomach from eating "treats" last night following a neighborhood cookout. I ate salad at the cookout but it had feta cheese in it. I haven't had that in a while so it could have been part of the problem. When we got home I ate store bought chocolate chip cookies and picked at a chocolate Entenmans cake. Boy was I sorry afterward. I had resolved just that morning not to eat any sweets! I really have to remember how awful I feel afterward!! Unless it's something spectacular like the home made ice cream I had at a fancy French restaurant while celebrating my daughters bday last weekend, it's REALLY not worth how it makes me feel!!! I make the resolutions in the morning yet when the time comes after dinner, they go out the window!!

Why can't I seem to remember that in the moment??

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