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vkarnowski

Whole30 help - why can't I succeed?

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Hello fellow whole30ers!

 

I signed up for the Whole30 daily and started my initial Whole30 back on September 24th. I was going strong on day 4 when BAM! I was surprised with a lay-off at work. I told myself I would stick with it regardless, but within a few hours my co-worker and I (he was also laid off) both wanted to cheers each other and drown our sorrows with some tasty adult beverages. 

 

I re-started my whole30 the next day. I lasted 3 days. I re-started my whole30 again,...and again,...and again. The furthest I've gotten was my initial 4 days. Since then, it's been only 1 day here or 3 days there.

 

I want to do this! I truly want to succeed and each time I click "I messed up, I need to restart" on my Whole30 Daily email, I swear I'll make it the next time. But, here I am again, clicking on the "I messed up" button and vowing to do it for reals this time. 

 

What can I do to really stick this out? When it got hard for you, what did you do? What can I do to make this easier for me? I WANT to do this, I really do.

 

Note: my husband is not partaking on this whole30 journey with me and this plays into part of the battle, but it is still no excuse. He's supportive, just realistic that he can't stick to it. 

 

 

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Why do you want to do a W30? Sometimes reflecting on why we want something helps us to achieve something. It also appears you might be in a "fail" cycle because you are expecting to fail now. My husband is the spokesperson for the SAD diet so I get it but you have to want this for you.

 

And remember...you only truly fail when you stop trying. Get back on the horse and take it one choice at a time.

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Some additional practical thoughts. Are you eating enough? Are you eating the template? Have you thought through how you are going to handle situations that normally call for booze/junk in a non-food way?

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Thanks for the response, Bethany! I want to do this for a few reasons:

 

-I have ZERO energy and have been this way for nearly a year now and starting to wonder if I have adrenal fatigue. Whole30 should help reset this, I believe.

 

-Since having a miscarriage in July, I went on a downward food spiral and my inner food addict needs to be sent packing

 

-I was obese in college, lost over 100 lbs and kept it off for over 10 years, but it's creeping back up on me!

 

Hope that answers some questions. 

 

I have thought through how I will handle tough situations, but I think I need to write them down to cement them in my head. That's my plan for this evening.

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Sometimes you need to stop the game of tug of war before you can proceed with a successful Whole30. Take some time to "drop the rope" and walk away from this constant back and forth you are experiencing. Perhaps experiment over the next 2 or so weeks with some paleo recipes (get Well Fed!). Have your dessert, have your wine or whatnot - and give yourself some time to really prepare mentally. Write down all the reasons you want to do a Whole30. Write down your goals. Write down all the things that came up when you've tried in the past that made you get off track. Prepare your mind. Set a date for a few weeks from today. Read the books. Read the success stories. And then commit.

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Thank you, Jillian, for the response. I intend to get Well Fed, but I'm on a bit of a budget constraint right now. I gave myself a bit of time in between a couple of tries, but I have found that when I do that, I find excuses not to start again. I want to stick to it and really do this!

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One thing that I've found useful in this kind of situation - and it'a great way to access Bethany's suggestion of reinforcing why you want to do this -  is to write your success story every day. It would start with "I had to re-start my W30 SEVEN times over 6 weeks! But I stayed on the forum, got all the guidance I could, and I just kept trying. I found that once I made it a week into it, it actually wasn't so hard, and I've had incredible success...." and then go ahead and list everything you'd like to see happen in your W30. You can write a different one each day and at some point your mind will start to reframe the re-starts not as failure but just as part of the journey (which is what they are!). It can also helpful be to write a longer-term success story ("Now that I've been eating this way for 6 months..." or "I wanted to update all of you as I'm finishing my third W30! I would have never dreamed...."). 

 

Good luck!

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W30 can be a difficult challenge.  We have to get over our physical and emotional attachment to food, cleanse our bodies and make good choices.  For some that takes a week or two and for some that can take an entire W30 or two.  I hate to say it, but sometimes, it's resolve and just powering through - no magic pill, no easy way.  

 

You can do it, you just need to make the conscious decision throughout the day to get through that day.  It generally gets easier with time, but you have to get to that point.  Personally, there are times for me when it is simple and I breeze through, and sometimes it feels impossible,  but I keep going.  I've never figured out what makes the difference, I've just decided that it doesn't matter, I keep going, as it feels so good to be healthier.

 

Hang in there.  You're worth it.

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I know I let myself eat a LOT when we first started.  Whenever I felt any temptation or craving for non Whole30 foods and I wasn't at home, I'd eat a hard boiled egg and sweet potato.  Sure doesn't sound exciting, but once I got some Whole30 food in my body, the temptation went away.  It felt like I was consuming gobs of calories, but the calories just don't add up as quickly with meats and vegetables as they do with my old foods and a few good beers.  I say eat as much as you want and as your body adjusts to eating clean, it will start to tell you when it's really had enough.  (And even eating total crazy amounts of food, I think I lost about 10 pounds of bloatedness over that first month)

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Oh, lady, I understand. I have completed Whole30s in the past, but my last full one was almost a year ago, January 2013. I've been starting and stopping multiple times over the last two months. I'm on Day 3 right now. I feel like food has just gotten out of control for me. I fool myself into thinking I only have the occasional glass of wine, when in reality I'll be drinking three or four times a week. In my head I say, "it's okay to have a sweet sometimes, Cate," and then I eat some sugary sweetness (my downfall) and forget I just did that and do it again two days later. I love food - cooking and enjoying, and sharing with friends, but I also know I am super sensitive to so many things. Little "treats" are usually not really treats for me, given what the inflammation they wreak on my body.

 

SO...let's do this chica! I have faith you can knock it out! And I have faith I can too =)  

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When you say you want to do this, you do want to do it, most of the time. But a few minutes a day you are having a conversation with yourself about breaking the plan. And you are giving in.

 

Pay attention to those moments. This is where the rubber meets the road of your new eating plan. If you get through those temptations, then you have succeeded for the whole day. If you don't, you are pushing the Reset button again.

 

Slow down these conversations. Take out a pen and write down what is going through your head at that time. What justification are you using for breaking your plan? How is it different or the same compared to previous times? What do you need to change to get through these moments?

 

After your Whole30 is finished, then you are ready to plan offroads for yourself. But until then, there is no off road, there is no exception that will keep you on plan. You are either on or off.  As Yoda said "Do. Or do not. There is no try."

 

So if you want to do the 30 days, then just do it. And if you don't, then don't. But at least stop the destructive pattern of starting over with no new game plan at all about how you will get through those critical moments. If you don't change that, then you will keep repeating your history and hitting the Reset button.

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I like what Xandra said. Don't think about 30 days, just think about today. I fact just think about the moment. If you get a craving, it will pass shortly. Make a tea, pour some water, walk the dog, fold some laundry, pick up a book, make a call....just do something that distracts you from that moment and in the blink of an eye it will have passed.

Good luck, you CAN do this, it can be a mind [email protected]# though so be prepared to push back!

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I'm copying a post I wrote for another whole30er a couple of months ago (http://forum.whole9life.com/topic/12172-i-keep-having-to-restart/): 

 

Don't get discouraged. Anyone can do this.

 

Three months ago, I gave up smoking after 12 years cold turkey. It took me a few false starts, and I was feeling the way you are now. Why do I keep relapsing? Why do I keep doing something I do not want to do? What is wrong with me?

 

I was so discouraged and felt like such a failure. But then I read Allen Carr's 'Quit Smoking Now' book over two days. I have not smoked since. There have been a couple moments when I thought, I would love a cigarette right now. But never one moment where I thought, I can't do this. I NEED a cigarette. I don't care that its bad, I need it. Since I read the book, on May 18, I have been smoke free and happy about it. Not irritable, without gaining weight. 

 

The laws of addiction are pretty transferrable from one substance to the next. Sugary food is not cigarette smoking, but it sure as hell ain't healthy. So I am going to try and pass along some of the wisdom from the book in hopes it helps you. 

 

The truth is, you are telling yourself you enjoy eating this stuff, but you really don't. If you enjoyed it, would you be here trying to quit? No! You hate that you eating it. So the first thing to do is to stop thinking about it as an "easy snack." Maybe grabbing crackers is "easy" - but so is grabbing carrots, or cashews. Think about everything you think you like or enjoy about the snack you are getting. Now think deeper. Is it really easy? Is it really cheaper? The long term health effects of grabbing the crackers sure won't be easy or cheap.

 

Or are you rather just grabbing the crackers because they taste good? Do they really taste good? I think they taste like they were made in a factory and injected with sugar and fat. But chopped up red pepper is sweet and delicious. Cashews are crunchy and delicious. There are hundreds of ideas for snacks that taste BETTER than crackers, granola, cookies, etc.

 

Maybe you don't think they will taste as good. And thats a legitimate concern. However, its mostly because you are used to tasting crappy food! Once you break the cycle of eating food that is bad for you, food that is good for you begins to taste better and provide more satiety (fullness). 

 

So the thing I am trying to say is, think about the real reason you want to eat ______, and deconstruct that. You need to remind yourself why _____ is actually not good, delicious, healthy, etc. 

 

You also should try and change your attitude about the whole process. Don't focus on what you cannot do. Focus on the fact that in a very short time (30 DAYS! Thats nothing!) you will be FREE of your sugar addiction and FREE to go through life without relying on all the processed crap people put in their bodies. I dont know why you are doing the whole30 but maybe you have some health problems. You are now going to be FREE from those problems! Maybe you want more energy - you will now have it! This is not deprivation - this is an exciting process. 

 

The point is, if you go into it being mopey and expecting cravings to come and being bummed about missing your favorite food, then you will have cravings come and be depressed until you shovel it in your mouth. I should know. I suffered through five days without a smoke, angry and cynical and ended up chain smoking six in a row. Two weeks later it happened again. Once I changed my attitude ("I am SO EXCITED to quit smoking! Thank GOD I am a non smoker! I never have to smell like cigarettes again! I can breathe! WOOHOO!") quitting was SO SO SO EASY. It was mindblowing how easy. My roommate smokes and there are always cigarettes around and it does not even cross my mind anymore. 

 

Thats a lot of text. I hope some of it might be helpful. It really changed my life to read his book. Even though its about smoking you might find it helpful. I think he has one about weight loss that might work too. 

 

Edited to add: Its really hard to explain, but once you truly make a choice in your brain to do the full 30 days, its no longer an option to quit or to "slip", and it becomes extremely easy to not mess up. Its JUST like smoking in that sense. For me, if I'm fighting with myself (should I? just one? just this one time?) then I have already lost the battle and I'll probably give in eventually. Because you can only fight yourself so long. Try your best to change your mental standpoint - no more "should I" - just flat out "I am not going to do this for 30 days."

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Bravo! Well said! I just wanted to say that yes - once you make up your mind to do 30 days, it's easier. You aren't TRYING to do a Whole 30, you're DOING a Whole 30.

 

I spent the last few days before my Whole 30 binging on chocolate, cupcakes, etc. Seriously binging - Reese's Cups for lunch with a mid-afternoon snack of gluten-free pretzels dipped in peanut butter, two cupcakes after dinner and more chocolate as a pre-dinner treat. I.Could.Not.Stop.Myself. It was bad. I couldn't say no; I couldn't not want the chocolate.

 

Fast forward 6 days, and I'm on my 5th day of Whole(something) with no problems. I don't even really have an end point - I'm feeling fantastic and, other than Thanksgiving, will probably extend this for a while afterwards (because of the stopping for Thanksgiving). Hubby might get mad that he can't take me out to pizza for a while, but I'm already feeling great. I might end up doing Whole5-6s followed by exceptions for one meal here or there (like pizza and cider with hubby or when he makes me gluten-free toad-in-a-hole for breakfast on Saturday morning). I just can't quite fall into what I was doing before. It did not work. Every day can't be noncompliant, nor can every meal. And while cheese isn't an issue for me (so maybe I'll sprinkle cheese on my eggs at breakfast! gasp!), I've got to keep myself more strict than I was.

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I understand about the budgeting.....if you need recipe ideas, Melissa's website is very useful!  www.theclothesmakethegirl.com

And there is nomnompaleo, healthbent.com that could be helpful for you.  I would agree with taking one day at a time.  I am almost finished with my first Whole30 and it has been easier than I thought due to just taking it one day at a time and realizing that cravings last only about 3-5 mins.  Not worth the time to offset me in comparison to the entire day. 

 

You can do this, I didn't think I would make it a couple of days!  When you want it bad enough, you will do it.  You have been able to loose a tremendous amount of weight, so I know you are capable of it!  Don't give up on yourself and don't be so hard on yourself.  :-)

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Thank you, Jillian, for the response. I intend to get Well Fed, but I'm on a bit of a budget constraint right now. I gave myself a bit of time in between a couple of tries, but I have found that when I do that, I find excuses not to start again. I want to stick to it and really do this!

I did purchase the book, but she does have many of the websites (and more) on her website http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/recipes-index/

 

Hope this helps!

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Toad-in-a-hole!!! You've just reminded me of the one thing it'd be worth eating gluten for! ;):lol:

 

 

Actually, this is one place where gluten-free bread does just as well (if not better) than glutenous bread. I use the Rudi's brand, and it's amazing. Amazing like whoa. Watching V for Vendetta two days ago (gotta celebrate the 5th of November somehow!) made me seriously want some...but then I shut up my stomach an date more steak, sweet potato fries, and garlic aioli.

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Actually, this is one place where gluten-free bread does just as well (if not better) than glutenous bread. I use the Rudi's brand, and it's amazing. Amazing like whoa. Watching V for Vendetta two days ago (gotta celebrate the 5th of November somehow!) made me seriously want some...but then I shut up my stomach an date more steak, sweet potato fries, and garlic aioli.

Bread? Toad in a hole? ....isn't toad in a hole sausages baked in to Yorkshire pudding? I wonder if you can you make that gf...

(Yes, yes you can! According to google anyway..)

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I got to the point where I had to be very mechanical about it for the first two weeks I literally planned every meal I would be eating. I cooked up a lot food at the beginning of the week and stuck to my list for that week. It got me thru the tough first days.

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Toad in a hole (what I've always known it as) in the US is where you take a slice of bread, cut a hole in the center, and fry the bread with an egg cracked into the center. 

 

I mean, what fried bread with egg (in butter, no less!) isn't delicious?

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