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I know this is only a question I can answer for myself... but I'd love a sound off from all of you lovely people.

 

My family started the W30 with me, and now it's just me  :)  They are still eating what I'm cooking, so they're mostly compliant, but not totally.  Which is fine.  We changed our family's culture of food and that's what I really wanted.  DH is happy with where he's at and didn't mind ending early; he got most of the benefits that he was going to get and he's cool with it.  My daughter goes to the check out line and doesn't even want a sucker anymore.  It's been really great.

 

I, however, just felt like I owed it to myself to see this through.  I just wanted to finish and see exactly where I would be at the end of thirty days.  I still had two weeks left, so I decided to keep plugging along.  I found out the other day, though, that we are having a conference three hours away on Day 30... ugh.

 

Not only would I have to pack all three meals, but I would have to explain to everyone why I'm not eating pizza and cookies like a normal person.  Doable?  Yes.  Looking forward to it?  Not at all.  If there's anything I hate more it's refusing someone's hospitality.  (And there would be literally nothing there that is compliant.  So there would be no nibbling to just be a part of the group... for the whole day.)  

These are people that we see regularly and network with on a professional, spiritual and relational level.  The last thing I want is to be THAT person.  So should I end a day early?  After 29 days is all I'm doing just finishing for my own pride?  Because if it's really just about me and my pride I don't think it would be worth it... know what I mean?  I don't want to make the day about me and my thirty day milestone.  I just want to enjoy the fellowship with these wonderful people without making them feel bad that I can't eat what they're eating or making it awkward.

So Day 30.  Is it worth it?

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My first thought is more about a proper reintro. If you go in and eat pizza and other off pan foods how can you know how you react to each group? I would try hard to stay compliant so you can have a proper reintro. Plus, eating all those types of foods, all at once, you will feel really crummy and not be much for fellowship anyway. I wonder if you can pack a cooler and eat in private just to get thru the day? Best of luck to you.

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Proper reintros are kind of shot for me anyway, unfortunately.  In the first week after we're done we have a chili supper, youth game night and a birthday party to go to... I was already counting reintros as a lost cause and figured I would probably have to do another W30 round sometime to get that benefit.  It's just a really bad week to end on... ugh.

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Yes, its worth it.  I am on Day 29 also, and thought to myself, man letes go put some cream in your coffee today.  Nope, not happening.

 

What if you eat pizza, and feel horrible afterwards?  I mean, leaky gut, terrible cramps, farting, etc.  As far as the stuff the following week, why would you have to give in?  A proper reintro is necessary, and you can explain to your family it is just as necessary as it was to do the Whole30.

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Maybe there are different ways to re-frame it. If you stayed compliant at your retreat, you can't control anyone's response to that, nor should you. The only person's behavior you can control is yours. 

Staying compliant isn't inhospitable - it's honoring your body.

 

It's not making it about you and your pride - it's about keeping a commitment to yourself and your well-being that harms no one.

 

It's not making the day about you.  Keep the food in the background of your focus that day. Let the fellowship networking, spirituality and relationships be front and center.

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My first thought was just like Mom2's--oh my goodness you are going to be in such pain if you jump right to pizza and cookies! In your place, I might put myself in the other folks' shoes. If one of them was doing a Whole30, would you be annoyed with the person? Think she was that person? To me, that person is the one who shows up and expects everyone else to make changes based on his/her new diet, not the person who shows up with a cooler and a plan to look after herself. 

 

And then, of course, there's the polite social lie--"My doctor recommended I do this eating program for 30 days..." Hang on, I guess if this is a religious retreat, lying may not be the way to go  :lol:

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I think it's important to stick with it to the end. I think of this quote: it's always too early to quit! You made a commitment to yourself, and I doubt it was a prideful commitment. Also, you committed knowing to what you were committing. Also, your family is watching. Who cares about what you eat; if people judge you or frown on you for being healthy, well that's prideful of them! This is a learning opportunity for them as well! You can do it!!!!!

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It's up to you, of course, I'm not saying this from a place of judgment, but I don't think any of the reasons you have for not doing a proper intro are all that strong. I'm seeing your dilemma through my own lens. I know for me part of the journey, if I am to be successful long term, is to learn not to use events and social activities as a reason to eat badly, eat things that I know don't feel good for me, or eat things that take me far off the course that leads to my goals. I think a lot of people are in a similar situation. I'm not saying that we should never enjoy special things at events, but I personally want to be thoughtful and intentional about it. I know that going forward I will no longer be OK with "Well, there is going to be nothing healthy, so I'll just eat whatever is provided."

 

If there is literally going to be NOTHING compliant, is it possible for you to have any input into the menu planning (sounds like it might be too late now)? Or, can you bring something to share that would be compliant for you? Like offer to bring a big compliant salad, deviled eggs, veggie tray, or even a fruit tray.

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I work in an environment where almost all of our meals are catered in. We get breakfast and dinner catered and they also bring us mid day snack trays. None of it is healthy. NONE. It's considered a perk of working here, free food! So I feel your pain, I do. Sometimes there is some compliant stuff but I usually have to eat my own food. Sometimes I can pick at the catered stuff and supplement from my food stash. B It's NOT easy, but here's some things that help me.  I've worked here for 12 years, and have gone various phases of bringing my own food and eating the work food over my time here. 

 

First off...change the idea of what "normal person" means. Eating pizza and cookies shouldn't be normal. Or on the flip side....If that's normal? Well, be proud to be different!!!

 

Second--do what ever you can to take the focus off you. Talk about other people, ask them how they are. 

 

Third--and this is tricky. Eat your meal in private if possible. Get a plate with a piece of pizza...and don't eat it. IF you can...find a leftover crust and half eaten piece. If anyone says anything "oh I already ate" and point to the plate. 

 

Fourth--"You know... the older I get the less handle dairy." Wink wink nudge nudge...Lots of people get gas from dairy. So this one usually will be very effective with pizza!!! No one wants to be around that.   And for any other food item, there is always the "Im trying to pin point some allergies with an elimination diet."  My health insurance doesn't cover food allergy testing, only envrionmental. So this one totally works :) I usually say that I think I am sensitive to food color, aditives or preservatives. Instead of saying "gluten, grains, sugar"  It seems to be less controversial to say. It is what is is!!

I tell people "Oh I get headaches when I eat red dye #40" Esp since gluten free is the new 'thing', and I'd rather not talk about it. 

 

 

 

 

This might not be popular opinion but I do not tell anyone (other then my husband) that Im doing any sort of eating plan or program. I just do not like any sort of attention at all.  Most people like to talk about themselves... So I just answer as minimally as possible then turn the topic around to them, what they are eating/doing etc.... Most people don't really care in the end.

 

 

Oh, and you are only "THAT person" if you demand them to make seperate food for you. Or if you ask to see ingredients on things, make a big deal or  otherwise stand out.  I refuse to be "that person" too.  So if you don't draw attention to yourself you won't be. 

 

and I wanted to add...if you've been eating clean for 29 days? You will feel very, very sick if you go off the wagon with pizza. I feel off the wagon and ate a bag of dates. I was sick all day. VERY SICK.  Eating to fit in, then being sick could be much worse then just dodging a few questions and eating a snack when no ones looking. 

 

good luck!

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As someone who could not wait for the Whole30 to end, I went the entire 30 days and now I am doing a full and proper reintro. Why? Because the whole point of this (for me) was to clean my system AND find out what foods work for me (on top of a few other goals). If I didn't properly reintro then what? I just wasted 30 days and I do NOT wanna go through it again. :-)

 

Day 30 is most definitely worth it. I am thinking about your birthday party, youth game night etc. It seems like there may always be something that is preventing you from making the healthy choices. If we continue to let those events dictate our food choices then what was the point of the Whole30?

 

Take a look back on your goals too and make sure you've completed them as well. 

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I've actually found that people are really okay with me packing food when I tell them I'm doing an elimination diet.  They usually ask about it and I tell them what I'm doing in a nut shell.  After that, they are really great about it.  I wouldn't be worried about being "that" person.  I'd be more concerned with the way your body will flip out after eating this way for 29 days and then on day 30 loading it with stuff that is going to mess you up.  There is nothing worse than being bloated, gassy, etc. in a room with lots of people and you can't escape!  Pack your food and be proud of what you've accomplished!

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Thanks everyone for the great advice.  I'll mull it over.  Unfortunately, as a pastor's wife in a rural setting where food = hospitality, social events and situations are always going to be a factor in how I eat.  Eating healthy is important, but not important enough to me to make it a stumbling block for my husband's ministry.  Perhaps it's silly, but that's just the culture we have been called to live in, and I need to work with that.  Do I have to go overboard?  No.  But eating totally compliant forever isn't an option either.

I am sure there's a way I can do proper reintros... but it will not be easy.  I'll have to map it out some more in my head and get a game plan ready.  If it's reasonable I'll go with it and figure something out for next Friday.  Otherwise I may just not worry about it too much.  Lying certainly isn't an option, but there might be a subtle way to go about the whole thing that doesn't cause people consternation.

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I was in a similar position as you as I had to attend a conference about halfway through my Whole 30.  I had all the same concerns.  I found that for the most part, no one cared what I did or didn't eat!  Honestly, I don't think it's a big deal if you do a Whole 30 or a Whole 29, but I know that I personally would want to be able to say I did the Whole 30.  but that's just me.  if it's not going to make you feel less accomplished, then maybe it doesn't matter.  However, I don't think the question should be is Day 30 worth it - rather, is the pizza at the conference worth it? is trying to be nice worth it?  In the long run, yes, there are going to be situations where it IS worth it to eat something off plan, I'm just not entirely convinced this particular situation is.  Good luck with whatever you decide!

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I think there is a big difference between being a stumbling block and doing what is best for your body/being a good example. A stumbling block is when your liberty causes someone else to sin in an area that is conscience based. If you had a member of your congregation who really felt eating meat was a sin for example and you flaunted your liberty to eat meat in front of them and they felt pressure to eat meat which is a sin in their eyes that is a stumbling block. Politely saying that you are just finishing up an eating challenge that requires you to abstain from pizza is not a stumbling block. I get the food = hospitality thing but I think most people understand (especially in the church) abstaining from certain things for a certain period of time.

 

No it isn't reasonable to be 100% compliant all the time. I certainly am not. But I did take the time to see what was going to be a big problem and what wasn't. I'll also say that my brother came to visit me at the end of my W30 so I made a few concessions when we ate out (staying compliant when we ate at home) and then jumped back on W30 for 5 days before doing my reintroductions. 

 

Life is always going to have tricky situations but you have gained a lot from your experience and going the whole way to make sure you can make a confident plan for riding your own bike is pretty important I think.

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I'm a native of the South and have spent my life in strong church environments - I totally get the food = hospitality concern! Obviously I don't know the people you'll be with at the conference personally, but having been in what I think are similar situations, I can't think of a single instance where someone's feelings have truly been hurt by me not eating what the rest of the group has had. This doesn't sound like someone making you and your family a home-cooked meal as an expression of love or appreciation; it sounds like a retreat/conference where they order Domino's and have cookies for dessert. If that's the case, in my experience, bringing my own food has resulted in some good-natured questions, but I've felt no judgment and haven't felt like I've hurt feelings at all. You say these people are wonderful, and wonderful people would want you to feel good and do what you need to do! Packing all three meals requires prep but is totally doable. I did it a lot during my Whole30!

 

Regarding the chili supper, etc - post-Whole30, these are so situational. There are times when Friend A is going to be really hurt if you don't try her homemade chocolate cake, and if your reintros tell you that you'll be okay with that physically, great. But a youth group game night with snacks is not the same situation, and I'd bring some compliant snacks to share and/or eat before I went. At a birthday party, most people don't notice or care if I don't eat the grocery store cake. At a chili supper, maybe you could bring some chocolate chili and avocado to share. Accepting hospitality doesn't always have to mean eating things that aren't worth it.

 

Really at the end of the day, for me it boils down to this: People care a lot less about what I eat than I used to think they do. :)

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