Advice on how to proceed post Whole 30


Mg1128

Recommended Posts

This past summer I completed my first Whole 30 with success. In fact it seemed easier than I thought and I was so happy with the results (weight loss, no more snoring, no more back pain, etc) I extended it to 45 days. For the first month after I tried to stick to whole 30 eating about 90% of the time (at home and work where I could control it and was looser when it came to eating at somone's house or at a restaurant). Soon after I began to feel a great deal of stress from work and slipped back into my old eating habits. I decided to try just a 2 week Whole 30 in October with the possibility of extending if things were going well but knew I wasn't in the right state stress wise to be doing it. I finished the 2 weeks successfully but just barely. I was completely miserable the entire time which I had not been at all the first time (seriously I thought i was doing it wrong the first time bc of how easy it was). This time I didn't feel any positive benefits, did not even lose bloat, etc. I'm assuming the stress affected name more than I ever thought it could. Well since then in October with stress, holidays, etc I've been eating terrible. I'd really like to get back on track with my eating but I'm still worried about the stress aspect affecting me. Another concern is going to someone's house to eat...it's so awkward and difficult (during the first whole 30 in which I was successful I did not go to any social engagement involving a dinner bc of how hard it would be to not be in control of what I was eating). So my question is this...I'm not sure I'm in a place to successfully complete another whole 30 with the stress I'm currently feeling from my job and having to avoid any social situations that involve food (weekly dinner at my in-laws...I feel like I shouldn't need to give that up). Can I still get back on track eating paleo at home where I can control it but then be less strict when I'm at someone's house for dinner? Is eating well most of the time good enough in the meantime until I'm ready to do an actual Whole 30 again? Can I still experience some benefits this way? Help! Short of quitting my job I don't know how to proceed in a way that I can be successful at and still see some positive changes. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's always good to eat as much whole, nutrient-dense food as routinely as you can.  I would suggest focusing on that in the places where you have the most control (e.g., in your own home, bringing your lunch to work, etc.), and do the best you can when dining out and at other people's homes. I also advise infusing some practices to increase calm and manage your stress triggers.  

 

The Whole30 will be here if you decide to take it on again  :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

I eat strictly Whole30 at home, but loosen up in the home of friends or in restaurants. This works very well for me. Maybe one reason that it works so well is that when I have a choice at the home of a friend or a restaurant, I choose meat and veggies and avoid bread, pasta, dessert, etc. 

 

One story might help to understand how I do this. Last night at a party, I was loading my plate when my host's mother - a gracious 91 year old - told me how good the Moravian Love Buns were and then "helped" me by adding one to my plate. If anyone else had put bread on my plate, I would have simply not eaten it and later thrown it away, but "Mimi" is special. I ate the bun. It was fabulous. I hope she is around next year to load me up with another one! :) Despite the bun, my diet was probably 98% Whole30-compliant for the week. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

First take a deep breathe and stop pressuring yourself to be perfect.

 

Like Chris advises above eat as much nutrient dense food when it is possible.  Do as best as you can when you are out.  But most of all relax.  Really it's okay.  I did a whole 15 mid 2014 and I too was miserable.  But I too was pretty stressed.  But I also realized that doing a while 15 was probably the best thing I could be doing for myself at that time.  Stressed and whiny for sure - but it was a lot better than it could have been.

 

Whole 30 will always be here.  We will all be here to give you support when you need it

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I eat strictly Whole30 at home, but loosen up in the home of friends or in restaurants. This works very well for me. Maybe one reason that it works so well is that when I have a choice at the home of a friend or a restaurant, I choose meat and veggies and avoid bread, pasta, dessert, etc. 

 

One story might help to understand how I do this. Last night at a party, I was loading my plate when my host's mother - a gracious 91 year old - told me how good the Moravian Love Buns were and then "helped" me by adding one to my plate. If anyone else had put bread on my plate, I would have simply not eaten it and later thrown it away, but "Mimi" is special. I ate the bun. It was fabulous. I hope she is around next year to load me up with another one! :) Despite the bun, my diet was probably 98% Whole30-compliant for the week. 

 

This sounds like a great way to look at it, but I am nervous about post-W30.  Tomorrow will be Day 21, and I have to say, the rules work for me.  Without the rules, I'd have given in to this, that, and the other by now, because there's always "something worth it".  I do a lot of socializing, eat a lot of dinners out, and I find that it's actually been pretty easy during W30; in fact, I started 2 days before Xmas.  I just "can't have" that; it's like a medication not meant for me.

 

So it makes me nervous post-W30, because I don't know when it's a treat vs. eating everything in sight.  This is why I'm here in the first place.

 

I read about W45, W60, etc.  While I don't want to become obsessive, I feel that the 20 days so far are, for me, the tip of the iceberg.  

 

My birthday is March 8, which would be 56 days from now, making it a "Whole 76".  Anything wrong with continuing until my birthday?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

This sounds like a great way to look at it, but I am nervous about post-W30.  Tomorrow will be Day 21, and I have to say, the rules work for me.  Without the rules, I'd have given in to this, that, and the other by now, because there's always "something worth it".  I do a lot of socializing, eat a lot of dinners out, and I find that it's actually been pretty easy during W30; in fact, I started 2 days before Xmas.  I just "can't have" that; it's like a medication not meant for me.

 

So it makes me nervous post-W30, because I don't know when it's a treat vs. eating everything in sight.  This is why I'm here in the first place.

 

I read about W45, W60, etc.  While I don't want to become obsessive, I feel that the 20 days so far are, for me, the tip of the iceberg.  

 

My birthday is March 8, which would be 56 days from now, making it a "Whole 76".  Anything wrong with continuing until my birthday?

 

There's nothing wrong with continuing for as long as you want -- until your birthday or beyond. 

 

I do recommend that you read about reintroductions -- both the traditional reintro plan and slow roll plan -- and the Life After Your Whole30 section, just so that you can make your own, well-informed decisions about what you want to do.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Shannon, those articles do help.  

 

I'll have to go back and re-read ISWF re:  reintroduction.

 

I do get that reintroducing "added sugar" (i.e. sugar in bacon, ketchup, tomato sauce) is different than diving into a box of cupcakes.  And that, during reintroduction, it's fine to eat a special piece of something.  But like is often said here, it took a lot longer than 30 days for me to get to this place, and I feel it will take longer than 30 days to get out.  I'm so afraid of myself, of ketchup leading to a special item, leading to a total binge.  So for now, I think I'll plan on continuing on until I feel ready.

 

Of course, I still have 10 days to go to finish my first W30, so a lot of this is my anxiety talking!  :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently on day 13 of my first Whole30, and I'm experiencing a lot of the same thoughts as Bluebonnets. I'm not sure whats going to happen or if I'll be ready to end my Whole30 on day 30. 

 

These past two weeks (well, almost) have offered me a perspective I never thought I could see. I know fully see that the way I lived my life pre-Whole30 was mentally and physically unhealthy. I was sick and I didn't know the half of it. I have been obsessed with food since I was a child. I am the last of 10 children in my family, and since I was very little I was told that food was something I had to fight for in my family. If you wanted seconds, you had to eat the fastest. If you wanted desert, you had to finish your whole plate. Food became the host in which my severe anxiety dwelled for nearly 14 years. I over-ate as a child, and my habits stayed with me throughout high school. My entire day revolved around when I was going to eat again and what food I was going to choose. My weight constantly fluctuated because of it. My anxiety was through the roof. If I engaged in physical activity, it offered me a bit of relief. But because I was so engaged in my guilt and fears, I couldn't bring myself to exercise regulary. 

 

As a young adult, these issues lessened but they were still prevalent. But, this past year I was letting myself fall into my childlike habits again. I was having trouble sleeping. I couldn't stop myself from consuming sugar, breads, and alcohol. I began practicing yoga but never made any big strides because something was holding me back. I was terrified of my bathroom scale and when I finally stepped on it I was flung into a pit of despair. I think I gained about 50 lbs 2013-2014. 

 

When I started my Whole30, I was looking for a final definite solution to all of this that I could carry with me for the rest of my life. Since cutting out sugar, grains, gluten, legumes, dairy, and other processed foods, I no longer miss them. Sure, sometimes I think some ice cream would be heavenly, but I also think waking up naturally and fully rested at 5:30 AM is pretty heavenly as well. You know what else if awesome? I am more attentive and I process information faster in my classes. I have consistent energy throughout the day. Instead of evaluating my health on a scale, I evaluate it on my yoga mat and through my overall wellbeing. My yoga practice improves every day, and it genuinely makes me happier. The best part is that I am eating to live, and not living to eat. My food is fuel--period. Not an emotional crutch or a coping mechanism. For those of you who have had the same struggle as me, this is a monumental and remarkable feeling. I thought Whole30's "freedom from food" component was a marketing claim, but for me, it has truly started to manifest.

 

Now, with that being said, is 30 days really enough time for me heal 14 years of psychological disfunction? After my Whole30 is up, will I have a greater risk of backsliding during/after my reintroduction?  In my gut, I feel like I'm going to need more time avoiding the foods that caused me to overeat and binge. On the other hand, I don't even miss them, and I now value my health more than a cheap piece of birthday cake or a bowl of pasta. While I do eventually want to formally reintroduce all the foods I've been avoiding (except refined/processed sugar), I think I need to stay in the Whole30 program for a little while longer to further evaluate my psychological relationship with food. Is this normal with some people? I am just experiencing so many benefits I never thought I could ever have, and frankly I don't want them to go away! Who knows what will change in the last two weeks of my first Whole30, but I doubt I will want to stop making my health a priority. I can't go back to the way I was. 

 

Sorry if this seemed like a repetitive post. I'm sure many people have gone through this same experience, but if feels nice just to get it out in the open like this. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

A couple more really valuable reads for your quandary:

 

A chart to help you how to determine is it really worth it: http://whole30.com/downloads/off-roading.pdf

 

A piece on the why a Whole365 is not the answer and how to make good choices. Ride your Own Bike: http://whole30.com/2012/01/ride-your-own-bike-2/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rachel Joy....keep going.   There's no rule that says you have to quit on Day 31.   I didn't.   Many others are well beyond 60 or 90 days.

If you need more days, take 'em and run with them.   Take that extra 30 or 60 days, see where the Whole 30 lifestyle takes you.  Ride your bike and incorporate/leave out what foods that your food reset reveals to you.   Riding your bike will help you create your own strategy for what you want out of your life and personal health journey.

 

 I am more attentive and I process information faster in my classes. I have consistent energy throughout the day. Instead of evaluating my health on a scale, I evaluate it on my yoga mat and through my overall wellbeing. My yoga practice improves every day, and it genuinely makes me happier. The best part is that I am eating to live, and not living to eat. My food is fuel--period.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.