citymom

Will I ever get it? My eating plan is so broken

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Ok I first started eating paleo in 2008 to get healthy before I got pregnant. Dare I say it was pretty easy? I was working out and got into great shape, all while eating almost 100% whole30. That was before I knew of Whole30. Fast forward to now. I've done 4 Whole30's. They always make me feel great, look great, etc. I know now what foods to stay away from, which ones bother me, etc so I don't feel the need to do anymore official/strict Whole30's. That being said, my sugar dragon is Out. Of. Control. I slowly slip back into old habits. I "know" all the right things to do, but can't seem to make it click for long-lasting change.

 

What am I missing? I feel so frustrated right now.

Our family eats 3 meals at home, I cook it all from scratch. We're not eating out or buying junk food. But I am not eating clean enough to experience all the benefits I did DURING the official Whole30. I'm years into this journey and I know it all in my HEAD, but how do I make these eating habits be a life-long commitment?

 

I see the person I want to be. I know what habits I need to have, but I just keep giving in over and over again.

Any feedback or advice? Thanks everyone.

 

 

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"If you were your own life coach"  

 

I would not ask questions.  

I would tell myself  - 

 

1.  You really are what you eat

2.  Adopting a healthy plan is not a sacrifice

3.  Get the food and exercise right and you'll feel better body, mind, and spirit

4.  Food is medicine

5.  A calorie is not a calorie

6.  The most important thing you have is your health

7.   You have to break yourself down to build yourself back up again

8.   Engage your brain in every step of the process

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The biggest failure of the Whole30 program is the large number of participants who fail to use the Whole30 experience to develop and commit to their own personal eating plan. We see people do repeated Whole30s without ever establishing their own program. So you have a lot of company with your on/off approach.

 

I did my Whole30 in 2010 and have never done another one. I may go for weeks at a time perfectly compliant with the Whole30 program, but I have never seriously considered doing another formal 30 days. It may be because my personal program works so well. Here is what the Tom Denham Program looks like...

 

I work from home, so normally eat all but 3 meals per week at home. That gives me a big advantage over people who work away from home or who go out a lot because everything I cook at home is Whole30-compliant. I am a great cook and have published more than 400 Whole30-compliant recipes. I could have published another 200-300 recipes by now, but I got bored with updating my recipe blog and don't. I mention this to explain that I eat like a king even though everything I prepare meets Whole30 standards. I highly recommend committing to your personal cooking being 100 percent Whole30-compliant. And then make sure you cook really tasty food. 

 

When I eat out, I continue to emphasize eating meat and veggies, but I eat rice in Thai restaurants, dairy in sauces, and occasionally eat a dessert if I am convinced it will be special. However, I eat large quantities of food, so usually have little room left for dessert. I never order anything sweet just to have something sweet. When I eat out, I don't ask about cooking oils, what is in sauces, etc. because nothing causes me serious problems. But I avoid pasta, bread, beans, etc. because I prefer to fill up on meat and veggies. I drank my first soda in 5 years two months ago when I stopped for food along the highway in a rural area. I might have gone another five years without drinking another one except last week I was in a town that was under a boil water advisory. I ordered a Diet Coke with my lunch. I enjoyed the coke, but I really may go another 5 years because I really like water with lemon as my beverage. 

 

I am a rare case, but the common mistakes I see people making after a Whole30 is indulging in anything that sounds good at any time. I think you have to commit yourself to eating meat and veggies most of the time and to eat other foods only rarely. By rarely, I mean no more than once or twice per week. And those times should be reserved for occasions when it is really difficult to find anything else to eat. 

 

I hope more people speak up on this topic because I don't think I am giving you as many ideas as would be useful. :)

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I 100% agree with Tom that you need to find your own WholeCitymom plan. HOWEVER. That plan MAY be very strict in the sense that you KNOW you're not able to indulge without setting off a landslide that takes excessive effort to get out of.

I say this from personal experience and I said it a bit in another post today.

Some people are moderators... they can have a bit of something here and there (like Tom) and then get right back on the wagon. My brain unfortunately doesn't work like that. I am an abstainer. It is easier on my willpower, my sugar dragon and my psyche to be very very strict. I don't feel deprived, I don't feel like I"m missing out and most importantly, i don't feel that I am at battle all the damn time.

The Hartwigs are firm in their conviction that it's not a Whole365 and I fully agree with this. But there isn't anything saying that if you're the type of person that thrives with regimented routine, that you can't make your WholeCitymom plan a 'version' of Whole30.

Really think about what goes on when you 'slip' back into your old habits and then try and make changes to how you live around food to prevent that. Please also take some time to realize that the person you 'see you want to be' may not actually be a realistic way of living for you. I WISH that I was a thin, healthy woman who ate well 90% of the time and had carefree indulgences the other 10% of the time. The thing is, I"m not her, I will never be her and to continue to beat myself up until I become her is, in my opinion, abusive.

Everyone is different and if you are the kind of person that needs a lot of structure around food, then you just work to make that work for you and your life and don't compare yourself to who you 'think' you should be...

I hope that makes sense...

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I too know myself.

I could eat rice occasionally without it setting off a binge and have dairy in a sauce (though I'd pay for it the next day) but I could never eat a special dessert without being back eating 4 bars of chocolate at a time within days...

The trick is to work out what your triggers are and seeing if you can work round those (or incorporate them if you can) to find a way of eating that is sustainable for you.

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I'm sorry for your frustration, Citymom. In your post you talk a lot about failing to meet your own expectations, but not much about what you are actually doing and the consequences of those actions. Are you binging on sugar? Is it resulting in undesirable weight gain, body composition, mood or energy issues? Or is it just guilt or frustration for having these cravings?

 

Everybody has to find their own post-whole30 balance. Personally, I can't do Tom's plan. I can't choose a random dessert out at a restaurant because it seems worth it. For me it has been important to put dairy, gluten and soy off the island permanently. It's funny, because my reaction to these foods is pretty mild in the short term, in small amounts. I could have some without severe health consequences, but I know if I made these foods "an option" at all, I would abuse it. It's better not to have to choose for all kinds of reasons: my resolve might be weaker at some moments than others, my friends and family wouldn't take my word for it on which occasions are "worth it"; they would push more than they do now since i never ever say yes. Also, I know once I have some of these foods it is SO MUCH HARDER to stop than if I never started in the first place. Is this you with sugar? Do you need to decide sugar, or some specific forms of sugar, are never an option? maybe.

 

The hardest thing for me--and I'm still working on it three years into this thing--is to nourish by body completely and thoroughly with the good stuff. I have trouble eating enough to meet my energy needs, and then fill in the gaps with fruit or gluten-free muffins or whatever because my body needs more nourishment. I'm shortchanging myself carbs and my body is finding them. Do you do this too? I know if I eat the portions other people think are right and proper for a lady I will be ravenous, even if the food I am eating is 100% whole30 compliant. I have started telling people I don't appreciate their comments on my portions, but I still only bring two eggs with my breakfast because I can't stand the inevitable commentary if I bring three or four. I can handle the jokes about eating vegetables alongside, but my lady-brain recoils at the suggestion that I am eating too much.

 

What does this have to do with you and your question? Possibly not very much, but suffice it to say: this is a process and it isn't easy. Don't beat yourself up. Be proud that you are still trying. Start looking for ways to make it work better for you. For me personally, it has meant making a special effort to get more starchy carb into my meals (even to the extent of adding some white rice to meal #3 on some days), and serving myself larger portions of protein and veg than ever before, regardless of the comments. I've been practicing my stink eye instead.

 

 

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I still only bring two eggs with my breakfast because I can't stand the inevitable commentary if I bring three or four.

THIS! Sometimes I take pictures of my breakfast... but I leave two eggs in the pan, plate the other two with the veg and fat, photograph it and then put the other two eggs on after the picture is taken. WHAT IS THAT! That's awful! I even know it's awful when I'm doing it because I'm playing into the perception that I should be eating a prescribed amount that someone who doesn't know me has decided is 'enough'. GRR! Sorry Citymom, I didn't mean to hijack your thread!

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Let me say, I have been round and round over the past 2 years trying to figure this same thing out. I have done at least 2 W30, and countless W15's with the hope of continuing on with some kind of version for myself. I am healthy overall and just have afew things-LIKE LOSING WEIGHT to get the pounds per squar inch off my joints, one of which is brand spanking new. My first w90 was in 2013 and I did great-I was then able to exercise about 8-10 hours a week  and felt the best I have ever felt and weighed what I did in jr HS.

Trying to duplicate that now is near impossible-I have gained back in alarming speed, all the weight I lost. Even though eeveryone says this is not for weight loss, it is in the book, and I dare say most people state it is the top 2 goals for doing this.

So now, I eat 90% compliant-I added 1/2 cup of black beans here and there and I had 1 square of really dark chocolate last night. Should I consider myself a failure?? I get enough of "you aren't doing things well enough, or you didn't do this right" during the day.

I hope we both find what works and achieve the goals we want....I am too old to still be spending a big portion of the day worried about food. Good grief!

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Thanks for the responses everyone. I think it boils down to just saying No to sugar almost always. It's just too slippery of a slope. The other part of this I think is just making a choice and committing to do it. I know what to eat, I just need to do it. Yesterday I started drinking my coffee black again. Part of me wants to kick and scream that it's not fair that I can't put sugar in it. Then I think, Yes you can. Every choice has a benefit and a price. I CAN have sugar, but there is a price. We never change until we see that the price for that choice is more than we want to pay....and the benefits are greater than the price.

 

When I only take life a day at a time, I make bad food choices. I need to remember to think about this long term. I want my eating habits to be set up to provide good foundation for my health for the rest of my life!! 

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I finished my first round of Whole 30 and tried to do a slow-roll reintroduction. That quickly spiraled into a fast tumble down the hill so I got back on for a 2nd whole 30. This time, I'm doing the specific reintroduction schedule and I had to tell myself those are the rules, just like the Whole 30's rules. They are not to be broken.  When I finally finish this I need to work on my Whole JenX plan and believe me, I know, it will need to have set rules and I will need to follow them. Some people are able to moderate - have a little of this, that, and the other and get right back on track. After years of yo-yo dieting, going up and down 10-15 lbs per year every year, sometimes 2-3x a year - I know I cannot moderate. Those foods have too big a sway on me. I'm an addictive personality and sugar, alcohol, cheese, simple carbs, crunch-salty-greasy chip like things, are just as dangerous to me as tobacco used to be.  Opening that door more than once in a blue moon for a very special occasion leads me right back to opening it every day, day after day. 

 

One thing to my own mental well being though is I never tell myself or anyone else that I CAN'T have those foods. It's that I CHOOSE not to eat those foods. I can have everything, but I choose not to.  Telling myself I can't sets me up for feelings of denial & depravation. 

 

Do I think I have it all figured out for me now? No, not by a long shot. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I will stumble along the way. But I will pick myself up and get back to moving forward. You will too.

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I'm sorry for your frustration, Citymom. In your post you talk a lot about failing to meet your own expectations, but not much about what you are actually doing and the consequences of those actions. Are you binging on sugar? Is it resulting in undesirable weight gain, body composition, mood or energy issues? Or is it just guilt or frustration for having these cravings?

 

Everybody has to find their own post-whole30 balance. Personally, I can't do Tom's plan. I can't choose a random dessert out at a restaurant because it seems worth it. For me it has been important to put dairy, gluten and soy off the island permanently. It's funny, because my reaction to these foods is pretty mild in the short term, in small amounts. I could have some without severe health consequences, but I know if I made these foods "an option" at all, I would abuse it. It's better not to have to choose for all kinds of reasons: my resolve might be weaker at some moments than others, my friends and family wouldn't take my word for it on which occasions are "worth it"; they would push more than they do now since i never ever say yes. Also, I know once I have some of these foods it is SO MUCH HARDER to stop than if I never started in the first place. Is this you with sugar? Do you need to decide sugar, or some specific forms of sugar, are never an option? maybe.

 

The hardest thing for me--and I'm still working on it three years into this thing--is to nourish by body completely and thoroughly with the good stuff. I have trouble eating enough to meet my energy needs, and then fill in the gaps with fruit or gluten-free muffins or whatever because my body needs more nourishment. I'm shortchanging myself carbs and my body is finding them. Do you do this too? I know if I eat the portions other people think are right and proper for a lady I will be ravenous, even if the food I am eating is 100% whole30 compliant. I have started telling people I don't appreciate their comments on my portions, but I still only bring two eggs with my breakfast because I can't stand the inevitable commentary if I bring three or four. I can handle the jokes about eating vegetables alongside, but my lady-brain recoils at the suggestion that I am eating too much.

 

What does this have to do with you and your question? Possibly not very much, but suffice it to say: this is a process and it isn't easy. Don't beat yourself up. Be proud that you are still trying. Start looking for ways to make it work better for you. For me personally, it has meant making a special effort to get more starchy carb into my meals (even to the extent of adding some white rice to meal #3 on some days), and serving myself larger portions of protein and veg than ever before, regardless of the comments. I've been practicing my stink eye instead.

Your post really hit a personal spot (not sure how to say this) with me. I have struggled with being insecure about how I eat, even though I know no one's going to make comments. It got really terrible and triggered my disordered thoughts about food. It is also really difficult for me to eat enough.

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This thread really helped my headspace today, which—until I read through this thread—was very much, "I wish it weren't the case..."

I can be doing something (like Whole30), feel really good, but still come crashing down because I start wishing things were different. As in, I wish my body could tolerate X, Y, and Z foods. Or, I wish I didn't have to work so hard to be healthy. Or even just I wish my partner had made the *~!# bed before work this morning! When I stop appreciating what's right with my food and my life, I start to hate everything—and old habits start to seem that much more "worth it."

I'm still struggling to develop my program (almost 3 years in), because I keep discovering places where food has gotten tied to things in my life it has no business being tied to! And some of the knots are tight.

Tom, I can only speak for myself, but I find your insight VERY helpful—because your way shines a light on the places where my context is radically different, if that makes sense. When I read your (or anyone else's) story and think, "That would never work for me, because..." the reason that comes afterwards is, inevitably, something I need to consider.

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Wow. I just added this to my Pinterest Whole30 board. Lots of good info here, and I can see needing it when I'm done with my W30. I'm on day 17 now, and doing well, but moderation is not my best thing. How will I handle that? It will take a lot of careful thought and planning. I fall so quickly into the sugar trap, all it takes to set that off is a small quantity of something sweet. Thanks for all the good thoughts here, and thanks to citymom for opening the discussion!

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@citymom It took me three tries to even come close to getting myself in a groove where I am not lurching from one sugar fueled swing to the other and finding what really worked for me.  I found once I got beyond the W30 and the rules I was at a loss each time because my black and white was W30 or disordered eating.  What I have realized instead is that W30 teaches us what our bodies like and don't like and how we react to certain foods.  It's then our choice -- not a hard and fast rule -- to do what we like with that information.  Inherent in that choice is that there aren't any breaking of rules or feeling bad.  I realized that most of the foods that W30 eliminates do not agree with me -- particularly sugar and wheat.  I also decided that alcohol just wasn't worth it.  Now I eat 90% W30 because i choose to and love it and the other 10% I don't sweat it, like eating out and not worrying how something is cooked.  For me the benefits of the choices I make now far outweigh any feeling of deprivation or missing foods.  I am much more adventurous about the foods that I eat and have infinitely more variety in my diet than before when i was eating "everything".  I eat nothing processed or packaged.  I know it's working for me too.  I had my annual physical recently and my good cholesterol is high and I had completely reversed some early signs of a stressed liver.  My "a ha" moment is very much do what works for you.  I haven't read Melissa's book yet but suspect this equates to food freedom.  I hope you find your freedom too.

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I am glad I found this topic this morning. I completed a W30 in April 2016, and generally have been doing well incorporating things I learned since then, and mostly feeling better. However, the last two weeks have been rough, slipping back into old habits, particularly with sugar and eating past feeling full. I feel gross, the best word I have right now. I wake up each morning committing to getting back to where I want to be, but about 2/3 through the day back away from that commitment. Well today is going to be different, I am going to make it through with eating foods that make me feel good, that make my body stronger.

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14 hours ago, NoMoreCrunchyCravings said:

This post is wonderful, and something I think I'm going to want to refer to from time to time ongoing.

T.D.  goes straight to the heart of the matter and how to create our own positive food management plan after a W30.  

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this is a REALLY helpful thread and EXACTLY what i'm struggling with at the moment too.  i'd been feeling amazing...then one slip and it definitely wasn't a slow roll reintroduction!  question...is there a place on this forum to discuss the Food Freedom Forever plan as well...or is that topic covered in this section of the forum?

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2 hours ago, guestdvp said:

this is a REALLY helpful thread and EXACTLY what i'm struggling with at the moment too.  i'd been feeling amazing...then one slip and it definitely wasn't a slow roll reintroduction!  question...is there a place on this forum to discuss the Food Freedom Forever plan as well...or is that topic covered in this section of the forum?

You can start a thread and discuss it in this section, I think that would be a great fit!

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