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I've been gone too long; starting Sunday, May 8th


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Hi All,

  So I've periodically glanced at the forum, but truth be told, I've been away from a Whole 30 lifestyle for almost a year now!  To give you a little background, I've done 2 Whole30's and a Whole90 and in some respects, never felt better than during those times!  In October of 2015, however, I committed to a new goal; I wanted to compete in my first bodybuilding competition.


So what did that look like?  Well, put simply, 6+ months of busting my butt in the gym, and following an incredibly detailed meal-plan.  Now, I know this doesn't fit the premise of Whole30, (so I don't need to be reminded of that in subsequent posts :P) but as I said, my goals had changed, and I vowed to go into it with an open mind.  I was eating 6 times per day, and experimenting with working oats, rice and protein powder back into my diet.


My competition was about a month ago now!  Things went well for the most part, although if you're familiar with the sport, you know how trying the last few weeks or months of contest prep can be!  Anywho, for me, it's not the structure I find difficult...it was the transition back to "normalcy."  I had spend 6 months working for this, pushing my body to new limits day in and day out.  Now, no matter how many times I read that it's not sustainable or that you need to gain weight post competition to get your metabolism back to optimal functioning, it didn't make it any easier to watch my gains disappear in a matter of days. :o   Not to mention, I did get a few days of food freedom where I unfortunately chose to eat things I knew would make me feel terrible...simply because I was no longer so restricted.  I've been back on track for the majority of the last 3 weeks or so and trying to reverse diet (slowly add carbs and calories to control the rate of weight regain and body fat increase), but there are still days I struggle.


So why do I want to do another Whole30:


  • When eating at incredibly low macros, things like sugar free syrup, and artificial sweeteners worked their way into my diet.  I swore they wouldn't, but somehow it happened.  No matter how infrequent, I don't feel good about consuming those products.
  • I've always been a savory person vs. a sweets person, but that prep turned me into a sweets person.  My sugar dragon is back with a vengeance. I need to get my cravings under control.
  • Peanut butter is all of a sudden everything to me.  I eat that junk on everything!  That also needs to stop.
  • I'd like to re-learn how to listen to my body's natural hunger cues vs. eating on a strict schedule.
  • I'm craving whole foods anyway, so why not use this as a "reset" of sorts.
  • I've become all too worried about tracking and weighing.  I need a mental break.


I'm sure there are a million other reasons, as well, but those are at the top of the list. Bottom line is, I've done it before, but I'm nervous about having to give up the scale and the tracking.  This has been a tough transition for my already anxious personality!


If anyone has any advice or words of encouragement (certainly those of you who are big into weightlifting or bodybuilding) I'd be very open to hearing it!  Thanks in advance! 


Best of luck to all of you who are just starting out!

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Welcome back!


Unfortunately I don't know much about body building competitions etc... but from what I've read and from what you've written here, it can be really taxing mentally... and not in a good way.  I know a lot of people end up with a lot of anxiety around food, calorie counting, tracking, weighing etc... This can be VERY unhealthy and can end up in eating disorders in the worst case scenario and generally disordered eating habits... 


It sounds like giving up the scale, eating whole foods and having the 'no tracking, no weighing' rules in place will really help to reset your mind.


Bear in mind also that the strict low macros training can do a seriously harmful number on your metabolism and hormones so when you start eating proper quantities of real foods, you might gain weight as your body is not sure when you're going to subject it to 'competition training' again.


Considering you mention an already anxious personality in addition to the way you've been eating in the recent past, I would suggest at least a fist sized serving of starchy carbs a day and eating to the higher end of the template for fats.

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Thank you!  It definitely is just as tough mentally, if not more so, than physically.  I'm excited for the reset.  I've worked with a coach to reverse over the past month, so my calories are at a reasonable point currently.  I've accepted that in order to make progress and gain muscle, there will need to be weight gain, I just want to do it at a healthy rate and keep the body fat relatively low. 


I'm excited!  Thanks for the advice!

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Congrats on all your hard work. If you can do a bodybuilding competition I'm sure this will be easy peasy. Just set your mind on this fact and make it happen. We torture ourselves mentally when it really isn't necessary at all. You have proven how mentally and physically strong you are, so mind over matter.


Every morning I wake up and tell myself that I am choosing a different path, one that nourishes my heart, mind, body and soul. 

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