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EvB

Major Failure - multiple times. What's wrong?

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Hi all,

Not to be a downer but I've tried doing W30 about 7 times now in the last year. I sometimes go a few days, sometimes a week or two, sometimes only a day before I fail and go off the plan. A few times have been sheer bad planning - that I know and I know it would have been an easy fix. But more often, I just can't seem to do it and I give up. Am I just not destined to be able to do this? That's so silly, I know! I have the groceries, I like the food, I'm pretty 80/20 paleo most of the time so it's not like I'm trying to drop a box-a-day donut habit. I'm failing so often I can't see why I should keep trying. Any thoughts (or kicks in the pants?) I'm trying hard not to whine and all but it's hit the point where attempting this feels worse than not trying at all. What gives?! Thanks for any been there done that suggestions (or aforementioned kick in pants). I really need to do this to get my eating habits under control. I'm a compulsive eater and trying to be more mindful of my nutrition. Thanks so much!  - Eve

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Maybe if you just told yourself that you were eating per the whole30 template for one day and took it day by day you could manage it? And stop focusing on how it's so difficult, it's really not. Post the meal template on your fridge, do a small cook up, set yourself up for success. You can do anything for 30 days. You'll learn to love it.

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Are you eating enough? I know it is hard for me to make healthy choices when I am hungry. Are you planning your meals? If you have quick food choices it makes it hard to eat non compliant food. Do you have nuts, jerky etc on hand in case you are starving and need a compliant snack? You can do it? Good luck!

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I think your problem is a mind-set thing. You're already eating "80/20 Paleo" so you're saying to yourself "This isn't really any different to what I'm already doing, but it's more stress, so why bother, I'm not getting the benefits other people coming from a terrible diet will be". You need to build up some internal excitement for the benefits that you will get from a Whole 30 that might not be immediately apparent from the outside: things like helping digestion, detoxing your liver from all the chemicals in your world and the 20% wine/choc/whatever you're eating, teaching your mind not to use food as a reward - don't those sound like great things? And it only takes 30 days commitment, that's nothing, in the grand scheme of things.

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I find that I'm really unsuccessful with doing a Whole 30 if I don't go in with the full intention of completing 30 days.  

 

On your attempts where you stopped part of the way through did you make a food log on the site?  And did you participate in one of the posts with people who started around the same time as you?  I've found both of those to be really helpful.  

 

Maybe wait until August 1st as there should be a large group of people starting around then and their excitement might help to propel you along.  Then you can spend the next week sorting things out and doing everything to prepare yourself for it so that you can avoid the difficulties you've encountered on your recent goes.

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Is there one or two things that you always break whole30 with?

I know if I broke any diet or healthy eating in the past it was usually with the same couple of foods (chocolate...and diet coke...or a huge plate of pasta). You are already eating healthier than that but the mindset is the same.

Identifying those triggers can make it easier to avoid them...

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I have done 4 whole 30's and a whole 15.  My first whole 30 - by far the easiest mentally.  Why?  Because I was trying to prove to my BF that I could do this "impossible" diet.  I like proving people wrong - especially when I know they are wrong.

 

Since then - I know I can do it, and I stick to it most days with the exception of adding dark chocolate, coconut milk ice cream, and the very occasional glass of wine.  When I do a whole 30 now - my brain whines.  A lot.

 

It is very important in the stage you are at on why you want to do a whole 30.  Check out whole 9's 9 factors and answer them honestly (for some reason I can't seem to link them - but Google whole 9 factors).  I need to do this every time I take on a whole 30.  It will help you keep focus.

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What is your motivation for doing the whole30?  No one is making you do this, and you really don't have to do it if you don't want to. I'm not sure the mentality of "failure" is a helpful one.  When you eat whole30 you are making a choice, when you eat foods not compliant you are making a choice there too - there is no 'good' or 'bad', right or wrong, it's just food.  They are choices that come with varying results.  I would suggest,whatever you do, to remove the moral judgments you are making about yourself.  If beating ourselves up about food choices was enough to change habits none of us would have any trouble.

 

What is it that causes you to stray while on whole30?  Is it possible that restrictions and the mindset of denying yourself causes rebellion?  If that is the case, it may not work for you until it truly feels like a choice, with clear reasons and benefits to that choice.  Any time you feel like a 'prisoner' of a set of rules it is bound to cause revolt ;).

 

WHatever you choose, whatever you do, I wish you all kinds of good health :).  Best of luck with your decisions.

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Hi all,

Not to be a downer but I've tried doing W30 about 7 times now in the last year. I sometimes go a few days, sometimes a week or two, sometimes only a day before I fail and go off the plan. A few times have been sheer bad planning - that I know and I know it would have been an easy fix. But more often, I just can't seem to do it and I give up. Am I just not destined to be able to do this? That's so silly, I know! I have the groceries, I like the food, I'm pretty 80/20 paleo most of the time so it's not like I'm trying to drop a box-a-day donut habit. I'm failing so often I can't see why I should keep trying. Any thoughts (or kicks in the pants?) I'm trying hard not to whine and all but it's hit the point where attempting this feels worse than not trying at all. What gives?! Thanks for any been there done that suggestions (or aforementioned kick in pants). I really need to do this to get my eating habits under control. I'm a compulsive eater and trying to be more mindful of my nutrition. Thanks so much!  - Eve

 

First of all, you can do it. Thousands of people have. You can too. The text of your post, though, echoes my best friend a lot. She wants to lose 35lbs but just "can't seem to do it" either. In fact, she was supposed to start this Whole30 with me (I'm on Day 22) and when I texted her on Day 1, she told me she already failed with cookie cake. :|

 

Her entire personal reward system is structured around food and alcohol. She feels highly entitled to enjoy treats because it's a "special occasion." Well, unfortunately, our bodies don't really care about special occasions. You can talk yourself into anything being a special occasion. Most occasions aren't that special though. You have to rule your mind, and not let it rule you. Discipline is a muscle that can be flexed and strengthened, and you have it in you to do it. You just have to find it.

 

Remember, every day is a new day. I have come up with a little system to remind myself of this. Before I started, I browsed the web for inspirational quotes. I wrote one quote down on 30 strips of paper and made a paper chain. Each morning, I rip off a circle and read the quote. I write it on our white board on the fridge, where I also keep a countdown. It's a little ritual that reminds me that each day is like starting over. I can send you my list of quotes, if you'd like. The morning ritual helps break up the length of the program into manageable parts and it gives me something to look forward to.

 

This is my 5th Whole30. Undoubtedly, it has been my most difficult for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I cut out caffeine cold turkey (I know it's permitted but I was overly dependent) so my first two weeks were a miserable haze of headaches and fatigue. I actually posted here seeking help.

 

It's also been a month positively chock full of "special occasions."

 

A 4th of July cookout/festival/fireworks. It took me a day and a half to prep enough food potluck-style so that I wouldn't go hungry all day (we were at my grandma's house two hours away from home) but not alienate everyone by bringing "my own food." Luckily my sister is pregnant so I wasn't the only one not drinking, but not enjoying a beer on a hot night watching fireworks really does suck. My niece's third birthday was that Saturday. No cake for me. Whipped cream icing. My favorite. Should I have indulged because it was a "special occasion"? Everyone told me to, but she's three and won't remember anyway. And even if she could remember, who cares? It's cake. There are 335 other days this year where I could eat cake. These 30 days are not included. There will be another birthday. Should I have toasted champagne with everyone when we found out my sister is having a boy? I could have, but instead she and I clinked our cans of LaCroix and that was enough.

 

It was a really really tough weekend. But when I drove home Sunday morning, the feeling of success after staying 100% compliant was unrivaled. The cravings, feelings of missing out, everything literally vanished in the glow of pride at my own discipline. It's possible. I can't tell you what it feels like. I can only tell you to reach for this feeling, and you will know what Whole30 success feels like.

 

The next Friday, we took my niece to the zoo. Where do we end up for lunch? The zoo food court. The smell of funnel cakes and burgers. Oh god it smelled so good. Nothing compliant to eat whatsoever. I ate my niece's apple and that was it. It was difficult and I was still hungry, but I am the master of my own actions. Where do we end up for dinner? A pizza chain. I ordered grilled chicken and steamed broccoli. It had zero seasoning whatsoever. Blandest food I've ever eaten. Could I have just said, screw it, I'm hungry! I'm driving an hour and a half home and I want to eat! Give me a beer! Sure, I could have. But (despite the blandness) once I had a full tummy, looking back, a couple hours of being a little hungry was nothing. Nothing. Nothing, compared to the feeling of pride and accomplishment I felt knowing I conquered this battle.

 

The very next day, it was Catholic festival day, which is really nothing but an unlimited beer fest. The smell of fair food. The whole experience. We go every year. This year I even won a bottle of wine at adult ring toss (which I can't drink yet). This was the first night I really really wanted a drink, particularly because we got stuck having to make small talk with a somewhat estranged family member that I really just don't care for. Being sober was damn near excruciating. Eventually I excused myself to "go to the bathroom" (aka browse the silent auctions... for 45 minutes) and, after lots of walking around and chatting with friends and dominating ring toss and losing at pull tabs, eventually, we were home. When I woke up and cooked breakfast the next day, I had the same reflections. That night was nothing. It was one night. A couple hours. Estranged family? Suck it. Zoo food court? Suck it. Bland chicken? Suck it. Bottle of wine? I can wait. I conquered it all. It sucked, and there were many times where I really wanted to just give in but I made this commitment to myself.

 

Oh hey it's not even over. My brother is, basically, a rockstar. His band was performing at Mayhem Fest this past weekend. Korn was there too. I love Korn. One of my favorite bands, though I'd never seen them live. Ever hang out on a tour bus where the rider includes cases of PBR and a couple bottles of Jack Daniels (my other lover)? I only see my brother a couple times a year due to his tour schedule but when we do get together it usually is celebratory time. Not to mention, that's just what musicians on tour do, especially when their sets wrap up at 5 in the afternoon. Drinky time. I really wanted to have a shot with my little brother, for traditions' sake, because Korn is a favorite of both of ours and it was just a thing between us.

 

But you just have to ask yourself. Do I really want to throw away three weeks of progress for one day? Will this day ever happen again? No. Does it really matter? What am I really missing if I don't participate? The truth is, you will discover, always nothing. You aren't missing anything. You just think you are. Rule your mind. You have to ask yourself that same question on day 2, and day 3, and every new day. What are you throwing away for the sake of one tiny indulgence? When you find yourself tempted, take 10 minutes to write down why you really need that bagel or that ice cream or that delicious, succulent shot of Jack Daniels. (Hint: You will never have anything to write.) When you realize you're trying to find a good reason to eat ice cream (Hint 2: it's not a special occasion) you'll have one of those "what am I doing with my life" moments and realize that no cheat or treat is worth the progress you've made so far.

 

Not to mention, Jonathan Davis (singer of Korn) has been sober for like fifteen years so I really had no excuse to indulge. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

And, once again, I found myself on that long drive home, smiling at my success. I did it. It's not easy. Not one day has been easy. But they have been worth it, even if I couldn't see that until the day was over. It's been a month full of "special occasions" and I have conquered them all. And that is special.

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Hey guys, W30 needs a "love" button next to people's replies, not just a "like" button. I'd seriously love you all right now. THANK YOU for sharing your tips and thoughts and encouragement. Pipsqueak, your reply set me in place. I can't thank you enough for being honest and real about it and really articulating the tough spots and how they're worth sticking through. (ok, who's your brother?! lol)

GoJo, so true. I do think there is a part of me that feels that this isn't so different and I'm focusing on that instead of focusing on the real benefits of doing this successfully, which for me are trying to re-shape my relationship with food and with myself. I don't want to always be eating just because. Nor do I want to fill my time with eating because I can't deal with what's behind it. I know I do these things and I need to refocus on W30 being a way to proactively solve around those things.

 

I'm headed on vacation for 2 weeks this weekend and already very anxious about it. I'll try and implement some of these suggestions as I walk past the ice cream and fried seafood and other stuff coming my way.

 

Thank you all. Deeply appreciated!

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Since you mention compulsive eating, you might check out the works of author Geneen Roth.  Google her and you'll see many books about how to heal from disordered eating and disordered thinking about eating.

 

Also, lots and lots of good stuff above. :wub:

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Hey guys, W30 needs a "love" button next to people's replies, not just a "like" button. I'd seriously love you all right now. THANK YOU for sharing your tips and thoughts and encouragement. Pipsqueak, your reply set me in place. I can't thank you enough for being honest and real about it and really articulating the tough spots and how they're worth sticking through. (ok, who's your brother?! lol)

GoJo, so true. I do think there is a part of me that feels that this isn't so different and I'm focusing on that instead of focusing on the real benefits of doing this successfully, which for me are trying to re-shape my relationship with food and with myself. I don't want to always be eating just because. Nor do I want to fill my time with eating because I can't deal with what's behind it. I know I do these things and I need to refocus on W30 being a way to proactively solve around those things.

 

I'm headed on vacation for 2 weeks this weekend and already very anxious about it. I'll try and implement some of these suggestions as I walk past the ice cream and fried seafood and other stuff coming my way.

 

Thank you all. Deeply appreciated!

 

Ha! His name is BJ and he is the guitarist for Miss May I. Here we are backstage before his set at Mayhem Fest: http://instagram.com/p/qpQQAdEhBN/ Isn't he just the cutest?

 

He actually quit smoking cold turkey last year so I am very proud of him. He is working at eating paleo but it's nearly impossible on tour. Most of our talks revolve around food and lifting. He's a good littlebro to have.

 

I'll throw in this picture too: http://instagram.com/p/qpoaxGEhNP/

Rockstar Energy sponsored the tour, so they handed out cases of canned water to all the bands. So, everyone's walking around looking like they're mainlining Rockstar Energy all day when really it's just water. These were a lifesaver that day!

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