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A journey from emotional eating to contentment (long!)


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I started my W30 on a whim. I had never eaten paleo or primal before.

A typical day for me was a fried egg sandwich for breakfast (sometimes followed by some chocolate if I could sneak it in the kitchen), a cheese and tuna toasted sandwich, a bag of crisps and a diet coke for lunch, pasta pesto and veg for dinner, and usually 2 or 3 glasses of wine.

In between I ate a lot. Kids leftovers, biscuits, chocolate, crackers and butter, toast, jam sandwich. I pretty much grazed all day, loathing myself while I did so. I've been an emotional eater for many years, and it was getting worse and worse.

I heard about paleo on a forum I'm on. I'd been pretty resistant to it, fighting the idea. I wasn't ready to give up my usual food yet - how would I cope with stress, anger, sadness if I couldn't eat?

But one day in July I realised I'd had enough, and that my coping strategy (eating) wasn't working.

So I googled paleo, found the Whole30, and started the next day.

I felt very nervous initially. How would I manage without toast? Without wine? Chocolate? Could I put the leftovers in the bin? I have a long history of making commitments to myself and breaking them.

But here I am, on day 30, with not a single slip-up the whole month! It's gone so much more smoothly than I ever imagined.

The benefits.

- More energy over the day, and way fewer dips.

- FInding other ways to manage stress/frustration (taking deep breaths has really helped!)

- Noticing those flashpoints have been less frequent.

- Feeling in control of what I eat, for the first time in years. That this can happen in such a short period of time astounds me.

- Feeling more trust in myself, I did what I set out to do :)

- weight loss. I am 11 pounds lighter, and lost 7.5 inches (chest, waist, hips and thigh combined). My BMI has gone from 32 to 30. I am in a size smaller clothes.

The helpers

- weekly meal planning. I planned every meal. It really helped.

- making a big batch of roasted cherry tomatoes to keep in a jar in the fridge. Great to have on the side with breakfast, or to liven up a salad.

- trying food I thought I wouldn't like, e.g. cauli 'rice'. Loved it!

- I wrote down why I decided to start W30. I read it from time to time, to remind me if I was feeling wobbly.

- I didn't weigh myself after day 1.

- I didn't have carb flu (which surprised me as I ate *a lot* of sugar and wheat)

The problems

- mayo fail! Attempted to make it twice, failed twice.

- I nearly lost it in week 3, when I didn't have enough variety (tuna salad for lunch 4 days in a row - doh!)

- I haven't broken my habit of staying up very late.

So what next? Well, I have no plans to go back to what I was doing before. I will continue to meal plan, and stay committed to my goal of improved physical and mental health. I will buy Well Fed to celebrate my completed W30, and start another W30 sometime in the next month or so.

I'm still a bit nervous - this isn't effortless yet, I still have to think about what I'm doing and plan ahead. What happens if I eat something 'off plan' and I turn into the Cookie Monster or something?! I guess this is still the beginning of my journey, but I'm feeling pretty good :)

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Good job! What a great list of accomplishments. I'm on day 29 and have seen a lot of the same benefits. I think the most exciting for me is that I am not obsessed with food anymore. I can eat my W30 meal and be satisfied. Anyway, way to go!

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Good for you tiller girl! Sounds like the first 30 days was a great success, and the accomplishments list is fantastic.

Just keep going in the journey and don't focus too much on the what ifs. I know that I completely agree that for the first it in my life I'm not obsessed with food. Its so freeing!

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