Life after Whole100 -- Feeling Overwhlemed


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Hello, I'm a 37-yr-old femaie who has completed 4 whole30s, and recently a whole100. My main reason for doing these was to deal with some frustrating health issues (some resolved, some not), and to lose some weight. I'm feeling overwhelmed during this post-whole100 phase. 

1) I actually find the restriction of whole30/whole100 easier than the options to choose my own eating plan.  I tend to make quick, poor choices when I'm letting myself eat "mostly whole30" etc. When on whole30, I am good as gold, and I am cooking for my family of 5, while I am the only one doing whole30. So there are plenty of food choices I handle every day that I am not allowed to eat while on whole30. Has anyone else felt like it's easier to restrict what you eat rather than letting yourself enjoy treats, etc. in moderation?

2) Also, I lost about 9 lbs on my whole100, and in the last month since I stopped, I have gained about 5 lbs. I'm discouraged about my inability to control my eating post-whole100 and frustrated that weight is so slow to come off and so easy to gain. I know this is about the journey and it's a marathon, not a sprint. It's just tough.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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Hi, @AnnaMae79. Life post-Whole30 is definitely harder for me than the strict black & white rules of a whole30. I can't say I've got it all figured out yet, I'm sure it's something I'm going to be working on for a long time. You might find the book Food Freedom Forever helpful -- it's all about learning to live in a healthy way without having to be strictly Whole30 all the time.  There are also articles and blog posts that you can access absolutely free of charge that have a lot of information -- start with this one, and then take some time to read through the links provided in it.

Moderation in general is really hard. It's not really a well-defined term -- what really qualifies as a "moderate" amount of ice cream? Once a month? Once a week? Once a day? It depends on who you ask. So coming up with some definition or rules for yourself might help. This article talks a little about that and ways to deal with those things you want to have sometimes. You might also find the concept of the One Bite Rule helpful, and there's more about that in this article too.

Basically, all I can really tell you is that it's okay if you don't get this perfectly figured out right now, as long as you keep getting yourself back on track and are trying to make changes. It's frustrating when it feels like we just keep messing up -- I know, I feel like that often -- and it's frustrating to feel like other people have it all figured out and always get it right, but please remember that they really don't. If you follow Whole30 people on facebook or instagram or whatever social media you use, you're only seeing the good stuff, most of them are not telling you all the hard times they've gone through to get to the point they're at now, or the hard times they still have. (Melissa Hartwig even mentioned some of her less-than-optimal food choices in this Dear Melissa post.)  Hang in there and keep working at it. Every meal that you have that is full of vegetables, protein, and healthy fat instead of processed food-like stuff is good and something to celebrate. When you find yourself eating something less healthy, just remember that you're human, and those less-healthy choices are made to taste really good so that you want to eat them. When you get stressed or angry or sad and turn to food, try to stop as soon as you realize what you're doing, but don't beat yourself up about it. You're human, you're doing the best you can, and those times when we're most emotional are the times when it's easiest to just fall back into old habits.

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Hi @ShannonM816 - thank you for taking the time for such a thorough response. That means a lot and it was very encouraging! I really like the article about moderation and how it just doesn't work for most people. And also the Dear Melissa post that tells of some of her not-so-great food choices. I think it's easy to assume that some people have it all figured out and don't make mistakes. I do have Food Freedom Forever on my night stand and have read most of it. I thought all of it has been good advice, I just obviously haven't heeded most of it. I need to learn to stop when I know something isn't worth it. Thanks for listening. Reading these links is helping me process and figure out "where I go from here." I think cutting out gluten and sugar will be a good start in my post-whole30 food journey. 

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