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Day 22 of my first whole30, discouraged


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I am currently 5 ft 4 and 240#. I started the whole 30 with my husband (who learned about t thru crossfit) on Aug 15. Before aug 15, (and for the last 10 years) I have had a very emotional relationship with food, ate very little fruit and no veggies, no exercise, and was extremely unhealthy overall. I did the whole30 bc it told me I would change my relationship with food. As hard as it was, I went in hard core, cold turkey, prefect whole30 diet. After week one, i started 3 days per week of weights and 3 days per week cardio (30-60 min). In the first 2 weeks, the timeline given of hangovers and kill all things and sleepiness described me to a T. I was expecting the next two weeks to give me boundless energy and all the other things promised. Instead, my libido is a negative 5, I have had terrible migraines for the last 3 days, I'm extremely inpatient and angry and irritable (not me AT ALL), my keratosis pilaris has spread to my stomach, I now have plantar fasciaitis, I have zero energy and still lots of cravings. I'm hungry all the time. Like, eat an extra broccoli and chicken an hour after a meal (not just craving junk). I have also cheated by weighing, and I have gained .2 lbs. ok I know it's slight but at my weight and my drastic change in eating habits, I expected to drop like a rock. What's wrong with me? My thyroid is fine. I do suffer from post partum depression and still on meds after 18 mo. My husband is extremely supportive, and he has lost 5 inches in his waist and he was only 10% body fat to begin with. Will it get better? Will my symptoms go away and I can experience magic like everyone else? It's so discouraging to eat so healthy and not lose!!!

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I'm sorry you're feeling discouraged. you should be proud of yourself, but I know all too well exactly where you are at right now emotionally. I too am on a myriad of meds, for depression, anxiety, and migraines. I bet if we searched the blogs/forums there would be something on it already.

Or if someone is feeling kind, and been around awhile they could chime in? wink wink, anyone :)

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It sounds like you are starting two new things at once.... eating a new way and exercising 6 days a week. That is change stacked on top of change and that means stress x 2. You may need to slow down with the exercise. I'd say cut the cardio completely and do only three days of strength training per week. And since you are new, take it easy with the exercise. Many people who are new to exercise (and even some trainers) think that more is better, but more is not better, especially when you are new.

If you are hungry all the time, you are probably not eating enough. You have to eat enough to be genuinely satisfied to make a Whole30 work. If you don't eat enough, your body goes into conservation mode and burns less energy, which makes weight loss much harder. You probably need to start a food log and get feedback on what you are eating. If you are like many people, you need to eat more in general, with a special focus on protein (and fat, and veggies).

Doing a Whole30 is stressful, but I am afraid your experience is extra stressful because of all your exercise and (potentially) not eating enough. High stress would explain your symptoms from irritability to weight gain. So, don't try harder. Slow down. One step at a time...

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Hey Steph, I completely agree with Tom and I wanted to give you some support.

I know this is hard. Believe me I do, as I have struggled with similar frustrations. Tom is absolutely right about stressing yourself out. Weight will come off when your body is in balance. Keep eating the same amount of whole30 approved foods. Drop the cardio. If you feel the need to do something, just go for a walk. Walking is so undervalued when it comes to health and fitness but it can be a very powerful tool. Clear your mind, relax, go with friends or your husband and continue to build support. See how your appetite is without the cardio. If you are still ravenous, then add a little more fat to your meals.

Measure success by strength gains. How is the weightlifting going? If you can continue to add weights to your lifts...then you know you are doing something right.

You can do this! Going cold-turkey paleo is no easy so I know you are a strong and tough woman! Remember how long you have had a bad relationship with food and then recognize that it may take longer than 30 days to reverse years of damage. Be patient with yourself. Know that you are doing the right thing for you and your family.

It's a long road and it's a lifestyle change. It wont be easy. But nothing worth doing is easy. If you start to get discouraged again and need to post your frustration here once a week, I will always respond with the pep talk you need to keep gong. :)

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I'm suffering from PPD as well, and the meds I'm on/having PPD definitely play a role in making me not feel "good". Also, if you started lifting weights, you can gain weight at first. You may be building muscle.

I'm really hoping the Whole30 helps with the PPD, but I also feel like the meds are affecting me in a way that doesn't allow for me to feel all of the improvements as I would if I weren't on them. Sucks.

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When I started paleo, I was in just about the same position weight wise. I'm 5'4" and weighed 222.I switched to paleo and started working out 3X/week for 1 hour with a personal trainer. I couldn't eat enough. I would start with about 4 oz protein, some veggies and a salad and still be hungry. I ate a bit more until I was comfortably full. I remember this because my mom (has dementia) sat there and said, "I've never seen someone eat SO much!" Gee, thanks Mom, that was encouraging. I felt horrible about myself but decided I was doing what I needed to do. Part of my hunger was psychological.....in my brain, one could not get full without some type of carbohydrate! So I think that played a part. I did eat snacks to get me through as well. Now, I typically eat about 4 oz protein, veggies and a salad and am full.

You WILL get there. You have made the first step. PPD can also be strongly affecting your thought process. Don't worry about the scale (Ok, one of the hardest things for me on day 2 was not stepping on the scale, so I'm with you here. I've also been stuck at the same weight or higher since May). The muscles that you are building will help but they will skew the scale first.

Good luck. You can do it!

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While I'm new to Whole30 I can echo the responses regarding stress on your body and proper nutrition. I see a dietician (who is paleo-friendly: many tote the food guide - grains and all - and nothing else) and between she and my CF coaches, nothing matters more than balance. In the Western world we're trained to believe more is better but - in the end - more exercise, all at once, is counter-productive...and not ensuring balance in your food intake (carbs, protein, fats) results in a complete stagnation of weight loss because your body is in such a state of flux all the time it can't trust itself to let go of its savings.

Keep it up! You *can* do it (or have: looking @ the date)! :)

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