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Should I have waited to start?

Cora Regina

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I'm just finishing Day 4 of my first Whole30. It also happens to be day 21 of my cycle and my body has made it clear that the uterocalypse is nigh (major cravings, started spotting).

Should I have maybe waited until after my period to start my Whole30, so that it would come after I've had three weeks to adjust? I'm worried because I'm now having compound cravings, both from my period AND from being at the start of the program and suddenly being deprived of sugar. I don't know if my willpower will be able to hold up to that, to say nothing of how extra irritable I'm becoming.

Also, I read that we're supposed to avoid NSAIDS during the program. I have PCOS and my periods involve what I can only describe as incapacitating, sci-fi nightmare level pain. My options to deal with it are either a handful of Aleve, or a narcotic. Am I permitted to take medication to deal with the cramps (they're full-blown contractions, to be honest)? Generally I take them to get through the first day only, and the second I'm in pain but it's at a level I've learned to just live with.

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Waiting to start wouldn't have accomplished anything, really -- you'd still have cravings, might as well get it over with, right?


Here's the thing -- it's normal for you to have cravings during the week leading up to and sometimes the first part of your period (this previous discussion has some explanation about why). Your body needs more food, and more carbs. So, eat. Make your three meals meet the upper end of the range of the meal template, include starchy vegetables at least once a day (and you might want them at every meal -- that's okay), even eat an extra meal if you're feeling really hungry (one of the other moderators here talks about eating twice as much as usual during this time of the month), rest if you need to, and yes, if you need medication, take it.


Just think how easy the rest of your 30 days is going to seem after you get through this next week or so!

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Unfortunately, I feel sick if I try to eat that much food, especially with that much fat (I had my gallbladder removed in 2007). So at the very least I would have to cut that down. I've been trying to follow the template, but it's just SO MUCH FOOD. I end up feeling like I'm going to puke if I try to eat a double serving of protein AND a Mt. Everest of vegetables, and the high fat intake chains me to the toilet for the rest of the day because my body can't break it down. I'm not going to be able to talk to anyone about supplements to help that problem for three more weeks.


The other problem is that I've developed a complete indifference to food except for the things that I shouldn't be eating, and it's really difficult for me to eat when I'm not interested in what I'm consuming. I'll think about what I'm allowed to have, and then go and do just about anything besides eat it; sometimes thinking about eating it even makes me feel queasy. The only thing that's been kind of satisfying has been egg salad, with compliant mayo of course. :(

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