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Is my Whole30 unhealthy?


ejoy23

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm currently a week into my second whole30. I finished my first this past summer, not too many issues, mixed results, but mostly positive experience. I've since gotten engaged, moved to an apartment near the school where I'm finishing up my degree, and generally gone through a variety of life changes. Anyway, with my recent engagement, I decided to do what most brides decide to do: work on my fitness before my wedding. I figured I would start that plan with my second whole30, just as a fresh start, etc.

 

I initially thought this Whole30 wouldn't be any different than my previous one: difficult at times, but not overly unbearable. And yet, a week in, I seem to be stuck in what feels like an unhealthy outlook. I'm in school and working full time, so my meal prep has been lacking, and while I usually get two quality meals in, I tend to be overly hungry and then end up snacking. I question every food I eat. And tend to end up berating myself for not sticking to the meal template very thoroughly. I think about quitting because I recognize that food shouldn't be a source of guilt, but then I feel like a failure for not being able to go 30 days eating a specific way. I've never had an eating disorder, but there have definitely been some body image issues [me and the rest of the world, I know.] I feel those issues surfacing, like if I fail this Whole30, I'll never be healthier before my wedding, etc. It doesn't feel healthy, and yet I can't bring myself to just call it quits [even temporarily] without feeling like I'm failing. If I did take a break, how do I eat "normally" again without feeling unhealthy for it?

 

Someone please tell me what to do. Am I overthinking this? Do I need to just buckle down and deal with it? Is this unhealthy or is it normal?

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It sure sounds like you could be heading into some questionable territory.

 

Read these two articles and let me know what you think:

 

http://whole30.com/2014/06/dear-melissa-eating-disorders/

http://whole30.com/2012/02/whole30-gone-bad/

 

And one more thing.  You are getting married to a wonderful (I assume) man who loves you for the person you are, not the dress size you are. Your wedding isn't going to be made or destroyed because of whatever dress size you're wearing.  Do the Whole30 (or don't) to celebrate your health and your value!  Not to punish yourself.

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I believe in professional counseling.  Sitting down, face-to-face with someone who can help manage stress and anxiety.  There are some events in life that cannot be solved with the best food that money can buy.  

 

It sounds like you have pressure and need a relief valve.  Talk to someone before the wedding.  They can help you work through or make some decisions about the future.

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@LadyShanny, I read those before posting this. They're partly what made me question whether or not I should stop. My fiancé couldn't care less what dress size I am, because he's wonderful. But it's not even about weight loss. I'm already a size two, I mostly want the benefit of a clean diet. I want to be healthier, not necessarily thinner. But the rigidity of Whole30, at least right now, seems to be making me a little crazy, aha.

 

@MeadowLily, I believe in professional help strongly too. I already see a therapist for other non related issues, and do plan to discuss this our next session, but in the mean time here I am.

 

I guess a better question would be, if I stop my Whole30, what is the middle ground. What does a clean diet look like without all the rigidity and rules?

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You've done a Whole30 before so hopefully you did reintroductions to determine how certain foods react in your body?  Do grains make you sad, dairy bloats you, legumes make you toot?  (<-- just examples)

 

No one here can really tell you a middle ground, the moderators are versed in the rules and recommendations of the Whole30 program as opposed to general nutrition counselling, unfortunately.  What is "middle ground" for me may look different for you and different for Suzy or Larry down the road.  

 

It does sound to me like you've already determined that a Whole30 may not be the best thing for you at this time.........I would recommend honoring that feeling.

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I guess a better question would be, if I stop my Whole30, what is the middle ground. What does a clean diet look like without all the rigidity and rules?

 

My context.   

 

A clean diet.   I don't believe in a clean diet.  A clean diet vs. the dirty diet.   Naughty girl vs. good girl. Policing every morsel of food that goes into the mouth vs. a free fall.   Clean diet without rigidity and rules...does that even exist.    

 

When I think of a clean diet I see a raccoon washing every bite of food over and over with his little hands.

raccoons-washing-food.jpg

I've worked long and hard to get every bit of dieting lingo and buzzwords out of my head.  I no longer want any of that in my head.

 

It took so long to get it out.  

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Good advice above.

Whether you are Whole30ing or not, there's nothing wrong with resorting to lots of no-prep foods like tuna, sardines, hardboiled eggs, baby carrots, snap peas, etc if they agree with you. No one is judging if you don't cook and prep and have a pretty Pinterest plate.

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I guess a better question would be, if I stop my Whole30, what is the middle ground. What does a clean diet look like without all the rigidity and rules?

 

Be gentle with yourself, but also recognize if you have foods that make you sick, eating them isn't likely to make you feel any better.

 

If prep is the biggest issue (and it sounds a bit like it might be), remember your meals don't have to be fancy or perfect. Sometimes I have a really big piece of melon, sometimes I have an extra serve of protein or veggies with my dinner. Bulk cooking is something that really reduces meal stress (and not just for Whole30). Pop some meat in the slow cooker, bulk roast veggies and you don't have to be making new meals all the time. Try and plan to have a whole day where you don't have to cook anything, just reheat leftovers and put your feet up.

 

You've had a lot of life changes and some of those pressures may be popping out in other places. Change your self talk, don't yell at yourself (Would you stay friends with someone who spoke to you like that?) Treat yourself how you would treat your life partner to be, with kindness, love, support and forgiveness. There is a crazy amount of pressure on brides to be perfect and that things relating to your wedding will dictate the happiness of your marriage and they're just not true. Be gentle with yourself.

 

You might find this article helpful. If it resonates, I would share it with your therapist too:

http://whole9life.com/2012/07/language-of-food/

 

If you do decide to stop your Whole30, one option might be:

Stick to Whole30 ingredients and forget the other rules for now, until you feel better.

 

I would speak with your therapist to discuss what they think is good. Rules can be a trigger for some people, leading into rebellion or stress. Personally, I do not respond positively to "boot camp" yelling fitness instructors, while normally a non-violent person, someone yelling at me like that makes me want to punch them in the face :unsure: It's the yelling I don't like, it feels mean to me, but others find it inspiring. I've learned to find instructors that don't yell and recognise it doesn't inspire me :)

 

You will find your way, I believe in you :)

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