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Failure Story for Future Success


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I haven't been relying on the forum so much, but I thought I would share a recent story of failure that taught me a lot and may help others. I just fell off my second Whole30 at day 17 after receiving incredibly surprising and unbelievable news that I had been offered a position in the Foreign Service, a job I have wanted since the ninth grade with an extremely unpredictable and difficult hiring process (I've been waiting it out for almost two years now). This will also be my first "real job" as I have been full-time student for many years. Naturally, my fiance' and I wanted to celebrate this momentous occasion. Prosecco seemed to be in order, and although that was initially the one "exception" I was willing to make, we couldn't find a good restaurant with compliant options near us and ended up at the same Italian place where we celebrated my having passed the final oral examination for the job a year ago. Plus, the presidential debates were on, and knowing I'll have to represent whoever wins, it was difficult to watch without drinking.

Almost immediately after my first sip of alcohol I had a headache that didn't go away all night. Surprisingly, I didn't have any adverse reaction to the pizza or arancini or pesto we ate except feeling slightly bloated the next day. I've gone back to a Whole30 regime since and everything is returning to "tiger blood" normal. Part of me still feels my decision was justified. Life happens, and we shouldn't deprive ourselves when there is true cause for celebration.

That said, celebrating through food and alcohol was not nearly as gratifying as I expected it to be. Although I may have enjoyed just one cocktail, I didn't appreciate the headache that came on from several glasses of prosecco. The pizza wasn't as tasty as I remembered it being. Basically, I realized no meal could live up to my own feelings of excitement and accomplishment. The social aspect of getting out of the kitchen to treat ourselves was nice, but the foods I used to crave no longer seem so necessary. This realization, for me, is more important than completing a technical Whole30.

I'm still not sure if I will begin another true Whole30 just yet. We will be attending a friend's wedding in early November, which doesn't give quite enough to do a full 30 days plus an abbreviated re-introduction. I think I will just continue as far as I can go to be able to do a reintroduction before my friend's wedding, and then try to stick to a mostly Whole30 diet through the holidays and start up again for real in January. 

I'm trying to get in control of my cravings and negative body image before my own wedding in March, and I do think even 17 days of the Whole30 has helped and intend to make it more of a lifestyle. But I don't really see this failure as a setback, but as an important part of this journey. I think it's okay to honor important life moments in special ways, but food isn't necessarily the right way. And even if it is, one meal doesn't have to destroy a long-term commitment to healthy eating. You can always start fresh the next day. :)

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13 hours ago, JenWoz said:

....and knowing I'll have to represent whoever wins, it was difficult to watch without drinking.

(Palm, meet face.)  That made me chuckle with sympathy :P.

Overall I appreciate the perspective you've adopted.  I believe the importance of learning (how to positively move forward) from the challenge is easily overlooked by those determined to simply make it through.

Congratulations on so many fronts!  Sounds like you'll be a very busy lady; hopefully equally happy  (:

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