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RachelD

What do I do if I fell off the wagon twice? Am I just not ready?

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I found the site last Sunday and felt so motivated to start the next day, I did really well until Friday evening then I just fell off and started my regular eating habits. I tried to start again yesterday but today I broke again before dinner and had chocolate covered popcorn :/  My question is am I just not ready? I've wanted to commit to Paleo for the past few months but haven't done it, I figured with the new year I could start my new Paleo lifestyle by rebooting and doing the Whole30, but I'm not doing well. Should I try to stick with Paleo first then try Whole30? Or do I just need to suck it up and start over tomorrow?

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Maybe not, but maybe you could be. I think it might help you to consider your goals. What are they? Write them down for yourself. Then, consider how Paleo/Whole30 will help you to achieve those goals. Read ISWF and understand the basis of the plan.

 

The W30 is entirely about saying yes to good food and no to everything else. However that is an oversimplification when you are faced with the habits that brought you here in the first place, slapping you in the face on a Friday night. All the more reason why breaking those habits requires practicing new ones.

 

I can only speak from my own experience - this is my third W30 and I know that when I have tried to just stick with "just Paleo," I have stepped on the slippery slope and allowed the bad habits to creep back in. I am finally ready to stick with this for a longer period of time, to give my good habits a longer time to settle and prove to myself that practicing good habits is entirely intentional and within my control. As motivation I have the recent memory of feeling like total crap after the gluttonous holidays, after several months of a slow downward spiral, after knowing how good I could feel on a W30. I also have clearly defined goals, at the top of the list is to clear the inflammation that has caused me so many problems.

 

Find your reasons for doing this and let them be your focus.

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I could have written this post myself and what a great reply. I feel like no matter how much I want this I slip up and I feel so confused and just upset with myself that my willpower wasn't enough. So, what I'm doing is just forgetting that the slip up happened and moving forward because the alternative is saying okay, I slipped up so let's continue to eat poorly. I figure in time the slip ups will be less frequent and I am still benefitting by eating FEWER inflammatory foods even if I'm not perfect. 

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Excellent responses. 

Another option is to ease yourself into a Whole30. For example, don't eat obvious sugar (cookies, chocolate, sugar/sweetener in coffee etc.), but don't worry about the hidden stuff. Try that for a week, and then take out gluten for a week, and so on. 

 

It's a fine balance between jumping right in and starting when you're ready.  I'm a big believer in starting when you're ready to fully commit for 30 days. No excuses, and no modifications.

The latest Whole30 article on How to Do The Perfect* Whole30 might interest you. http://whole30.com/2014/01/perfect-whole30/

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Chris...I think MOST people think they're ready to fully commit for the full 30 days (no excuses, no modifications) but for one reason or another something happens along the way that gets them sidetracked. Are you saying it's better to eat a SAD until you can do the W30 for 30 days non-stop, no slip-ups? That seems to run contrary to everything I know about the whole 9 way of eating. Progress is progress and while slip-ups are, of course, not ideal I don't think that means that because you've slipped up (and therefore, i suppose, were not ready to fully commit) you shouldn't have even tried or you should then give up and not try again until you're SURE you can do it for 30 days. That's just not realistic because you never truly know when you'll be able to complete it successfully PLUS there are benefits to be had from simply improving the way you eat even if you aren't perfect. So, you might have had dairy on a few occasions but were 100% compliant in staying grain free...that's progress. Or, you may be a diet coke lover and you also stayed 100% sweetener/artificial sweetener free...that's progress. What I'm saying is that discounting the efforts of those who make mistakes and fail to make it through the 30 days is both personally hurtful and something I think you may not have intended so I wanted to point this out to you. 

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Chris...I think MOST people think they're ready to fully commit for the full 30 days (no excuses, no modifications) but for one reason or another something happens along the way that gets them sidetracked. Are you saying it's better to eat a SAD until you can do the W30 for 30 days non-stop, no slip-ups? That seems to run contrary to everything I know about the whole 9 way of eating. Progress is progress and while slip-ups are, of course, not ideal I don't think that means that because you've slipped up (and therefore, i suppose, were not ready to fully commit) you shouldn't have even tried or you should then give up and not try again until you're SURE you can do it for 30 days. That's just not realistic because you never truly know when you'll be able to complete it successfully PLUS there are benefits to be had from simply improving the way you eat even if you aren't perfect. So, you might have had dairy on a few occasions but were 100% compliant in staying grain free...that's progress. Or, you may be a diet coke lover and you also stayed 100% sweetener/artificial sweetener free...that's progress. What I'm saying is that discounting the efforts of those who make mistakes and fail to make it through the 30 days is both personally hurtful and something I think you may not have intended so I wanted to point this out to you. 

No, that's not what I'm saying.  Again, I advocated easing into a Whole30 by gradually removing food groups beforehand. For me, I was already off gluten several years before I started.  I dropped sugar for the month before I started, and then I was ready to jump in. 

The recent article on doing a "perfect" Whole30 expands on what I feel committing to a Whole30 means.

If you do slip up, the guidance you will get from a moderator is dependent on what you ate, and sometimes context.  If it was a gut-disrupting ingredient like dairy, soy, gluten, or carrageenan the advice is to restart or add 30 days to wherever you are now.  Other ingredients (if accidental), you generally get a pass. If you decide you had a rough day and had a glass of wine, that calls for a restart.

I'm not saying gradually moving away from SAD yet maybe not staying 100% Whole30 compliant isn't progress, however you can't call that a Whole30. 

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Only you can decide if you're ready or not. And if you're not ready ... That is so totally okay! The fact that you are even thinking about it and are interested is already doing some good. Your self-worth isn't tied to it, don't beat up on yourself. I'm sort of giving myself my own advice here, btw ;) I have crashed and burned at every attempt since last March. I've found that I got loads more issues other than food that I need to deal with, and those are coming first. Maybe you've got stuff in your life that needs to be dealt with until you commit. Or maybe you're using other stuff as a excuse to not commit for other reasons (fear if failure, social pressures, etc.) whatever the case, I'm glad you're giving it a go!

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Starting the program the next day after reading about it is HARD!!! It's a lot of rules and a complete change to what you've (probably) been told "healthy eating" is your whole life.   Not to mention a TON of shopping and cooking. 

 

Before W30 I was already cooking just about all of the food I eat. Cooking is my hobby, I have a very well equipped  kitchen and I have never been a fan of processed/pre made things. Even with all that going for me I still found it to be HUGE time investment to prepare food.  I spent  an entire  week pouring over the rules, reading  recipes  and sourcing replacements for my pantry staples. (i.e. coconut aminos) And I still eased into it.  As I was eating lots of small meals, and not always according to the meal template as I'd run out of protein or veg or something....I got the hang of it by about day 13 and was able to stick to 3 meals according to the templet. 

 

It's a massive undertaking for sure! Giving yourself only 1 day to prepare--I can't even imagine how hard it would be!!! Why not take a week or so and try to stick as close to paleo as you can. And spend that week really getting comfortable with the rules and make up a meal plan/strategy for the week. 

 

That way when the chocolate covered popcorn is sitting in front of you, you know what to do. 

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Thank you so much for all of your responses, I see that jumping in was not the best way (although I have to say the site sure does get you motivated right lol?!), therefore beating myself up for "failing" wasn't fair. I do need to be become more familiar with Paleo in general before I can start W30. So since my op I have been trying to have two Paleo meals a day. It's already forced me to learn new recipes, cook more (I'm not too great in the kitchen) and read labels more diligently! I'm still excited and hoping I can complete one by years end :D

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Addictions are hard to get rid of especially all at once...I only had a days notice before I decided to go on this plan with another person as support. In saying that I had already eliminated most sugars from my diet a good 6 months before starting. I wouldnt say I was completly paleo but I wasnt far off in that I never ate processed foods and my biggest vice is wine....ive replaced that with water kefir at home (only a glass or 2 a day) and water with lemon when i go out. I dont miss wine which surprises me.

what im trying to say is ( and its just my opinion) is maybe make small changes....maybe take amgood look at paleo and exchange bad habits for good ones until you are ready. After all the whole 30 isnt just about the 30 days..its about changing a whole life of bad eating habits and understanding that our bodies are complex machines that need to be fed quality fuel....

good luck with whatever you choose...we are all different but the same...:)

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1. I highly recommend reading It Starts With Food. The explanations and science behind WHY Dallas and Melissa advocate the rules of the Whole 30 make much more sense, thus resonate throughout your Whole30 and help you stay on track.

 

2. If you fail to plan, you may as well plan to fail.

    A. Clean out those cupboards

    B. Stock up on compliant foods

    C. Figure out your three quick and easy go-to meals.

    D. Do your weekly cookup! (I like Melissa Joulwan's method in Well Fed. Her website also has some meal planning suggestions.)

 

3. Find a support group, whether just the forum here, or some friends to do it with.

 

Good luck!

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This is a wonderful and insightful thread. I've been about 75% compliant for nearly two weeks which isn't the whole 30 but merely a more gray introduction to this way of eating. I'm an intense athlete with a tendency toward black and white thinking and this forum has been tremendously helpful in keeping my outlook positive while moving forward. I will eventually get to 30 days without slips, until then I'm leaning to love myself within imperfection!

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Everyone has to approach this in a way that is comfortable for them.  It does help, however, to watch your wording.  No one falls off the wagon...you make a choice to jump off...and that's okay.  It was your choice, though, so it is important to own it.

 

One thing that has helped me stay compliant is making a list of all the symptoms I think are associated with poor food choices...I found 33!  I look at the list whenever I am tempted to go off plan, and it helps me decide whether that choice would be worth it (usually not).

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  I agree with above posters.  I spent considerable time reading ISWF, researching recipes, and planning for the Whole30.  I don't think anyone can jump in feet first on this one.  The planning and preparation I put in on the front end has REALLY helped me in this.  I say this as a miserable failure of every other "healthy eating" kick I've ever tried :)

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Well, I was a jump in feet first Whole30'er. I read the book one night and decided then and there that I was commited to a Whole30. I didn't plan, didn't shop, didn't clean out my pantry...I just wrote "Whole30" with a Sharpie on my calendar. It worked out great for me. Although  I made a poor choice on Day 20 (cleaned a chicken nugget off a grandchild's plate without even thinking about it :( ) I didn't give up, I didn't make any excuses, I just owned the poor choice and restarted.

 

But that is me.........not you. I am a 'just do it' and 'no excuses' type of person. Other people prefer a softer approach. You know yourself better than anyone on this forum & the best person to decide whether or not you are ready is YOU.

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I've found that planning is key to any sustained diet/lifestyle change. This was true for me when I was "low carb" and it's been true on my Whole 30 (2 weeks today!). Last week, I had done less planning. I stayed compliant, but had a few SWYPO moments.

 

For this week, I had a plan for food and shopping. I spent Saturday night cooking 3 meals for each day and packing them for Monday thru Friday.

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Until the benefits really started kicking in, the only way I was able to stave off the cravings and stick to the plan was to look at the 30 days as an experiment to find out how my body and mind would (or would not) change from eating this way. I could deviate from the plan if I so chose, but it would spoil the results and I wouldn't be able to know for sure what the effects were, so the whole effort would have been wasted.

 

I think it helps a great deal to not be in a "dieting" frame of mind where you're just trying to be faithful to some diet plan, and to really see yourself as making specific, active, informed choices. No one is forcing me to do this -- I chose to embark on a 30 day plan of eating a certain way, because I want to see what happens and because I want the benefits that many experience from it. If I don't want to, I don't have to. If I want to eat this noncompliant thing, and I'm OK with what happens to me as a result, that is OK. It's not something to feel bad or guilty about, because I didn't fail anything, I made a conscious decision in full awareness of the consequences.

 

What that does for me is force me to adopt more of a "grownup" perspective on my choices. I can't fight temptation because temptation is always there. The only thing I can do is clearly examine all of my choices and how they affect me, and decide if a choice that takes me further from my goals is worth the cost. If I still really want that thing, I give myself permission to choose it.

 

The weird thing that happens, though, is that as soon as I allow myself to take that choice...I don't want it anymore. Being able to have the thing makes me have to decide whether or not I actually want it, versus just responding to some impulse. For me, really owning my choices is what empowers me to make better choices. I guess because the subject of food makes me regress to childhood, and most of my poor eating choices are driven by "inner child" emotions. So the more I can get myself into a more adult, empowered perspective, the better able I am to make good decisions.

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