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I've been doing the Whole30 successfully a few times a year for around 5 years. I'm able to remain somewhat diligent in between but will eventually bottom out completely before deciding to do the Whole30 again. 

 I had a baby with my boyfriend 2.5 years ago. I did the Whole30 throughout pregnancy, which was amazing. I stayed really healthy and kept a good weight, even though my extended family known for gaining tons of weight with their pregnancies and experiencing many problems, like high blood pressure, etc. 

But during my pregnancy and the years following, I have dealt with debilitating stress and pp anxiety. This is from not being financially stable when I found out I was pregnant. It is also from the stress I experienced when I returned to a former full-time job that I found out was not kind to new moms.

My pp anxiety was also caused by the stress of my relationship with my child's father. Anytime I have done the whole30 since having my son, the results haven't been nearly as effective, due to lack of sleep which is typical for parents and due my unique stressors which I think is atypical. 

For the past 3 years, my child's father was very unstable, drank too much, and was unreliable. We fought regularly. So, recently, I decided to separate.

Since we officially separated a few weeks ago, he's already going to AA and taking better care of himself. 

Ultimately, I am confident this is a good decision. But I have been in a huge funk. I did the Whole30 right up until the breakup. I think that was how I was able to stay focused and clear headed to make my decisions and necessary plans. But now I'm eating so differently every day. My energy and mood is all over the place. I am still very sad about this change. And I have our son by myself for 5 days a week.

I do have help from my parents, because I still work 5 days/week at a nonprofit preschool (my son is still too young to attend), but this is because I am living with my parents, temporarily. Living with my parents comes at a price. For instance, they aways have tons of junky food and sweets in the house. I also don't get along with them very well. And I don't have a lot of space. I don't feel like I have my own life at their house.

I will be out soon, but it's so hard carrying around all of these feelings. I feel tired from parenting, sad about my breakup, suffocated by my parents, inadequate considering I am almost 30. I want to be treating my body well during this time but I can't get in the headspace to have a consistent, healthy diet. I'm also afraid to Whole30 because I don't want to cut myself out of my friend circle in any way. I want to be able to meet my friends for dinner/drinks without the added stress of eliminating certain foods. I am already so limited, because I am the only one of my friends who has a child.  

Is there a good "in between" plan that I can use while I get through my breakup? 

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  • Administrators

@Annie88 - The Whole30 is first and foremost a food elimination plan that, with proper reintroductions at the conclusion, gives you the information necessary for you to make informed choices going forward.

We don't recommend "in between" plans here on the forum boards - we're here to assist people in getting through the 30 days compliantly and helping to answer questions that may arise. We aren't here to coach people on how to make less poor choices in times of personal stress. We simply don't know you, your stressors, your reactions, your circumstances, etc. so suggestions that we might make are based in.......well..........nothing. These "less bad" decisions are something you need to figure out. Sure, you can fall back on Whole30 as a reset, that's what it's for. But it's the 335 other days of the year that you have to figure yourself out. Do you feel alright having chocolate every day? Great, go for it. Does wine disrupt your sleep and make you kind of depressed? Probably steer clear. Do you feel better eating breakfast every day? Keep doing that. Does staying Whole30 compliant just pile onto your current stress? Probably not the right time for it. Does it give you stability and structure? Well then maybe that's good. Does the gym help you or hinder you? Your choice. You see what I mean? There's no "less bad" recommendations because it would be based in decisions that you have to make for yourself.

Sorry if this isn't helpful. I feel for you. We all have stress, we've had members lose family, pets, jobs, spouses/partners etc. While we can be sympathetic, unfortunately we can't coach them through what decisions to make while they are grieving/healing/stressing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Annie88 ((((((((((((((((((((((HHHHHHHUUUUGGGGGSSS!!!!!!!!)))))))))))))

I'm sorry you're going through so much.

I've been through the whole separation and divorce thing, as well as the caring for a little person while trying to separate/divorce thing.  The stress in unbelievable at times.  And it's often really hard to think straight.  I just want to encourage you to lean on your supports, cultivate new supports and do the healthy things that you can without worry about when it all just feels like too much.  It WILL get better.  You WILL establish a new life.  Your boy WILL grow up.  You WILL come out of this better on the other end, even if it feels like walking through the fires of hell sometimes in the middle of it.  

You're surrounded by triggers to stress eat. And, you deserve better care than that.  Even if you can SOMETIMES ask yourself what you want that moving-you-toward-unhealthy food to do for you, and consider alternative ways of achieving that goal, you will be better off than eating obliviously to try and make the stress go away in the moment. You deserve LONGTERM stress relief.

As for eating plan, it may be helpful to remember that the stress is flooding your system with excess amounts of cortisol All. The. Time.  One of the benefits of Whole30 is giving your body a fighting chance against that flood.  Don't worry about doing it perfectly right now.  Sorry if that's Whole30 taboo, but sometimes life just gets in the way. HealthIER is still better than UNhealhty, and progress is always more important than perfection! Just understand that when you choose healthier, you actually do move towards making yourself stronger and more resilient to face whatever comes.  If that's too much sometimes, don't sweat it.  Be gentle with yourself.  Be honest with yourself. Be honest with your friends who are empathic and helpful. (And if none of your friends are like that, it's time to go find new ones.)

Thinking of you, Annie.  YOU CAN DO THIS!

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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

Take it meal by meal.  The W30 can't be "in-between" by the definition of W30 - but that doesn't mean you can't make choices that will help you meet your goals (stable mood, fueling your body, showing your kiddo how to make healthy choices, providing nutrients rather than a temporary "high"...) multiple times a day.  Especially given that you've done multiple W30s before you know how food affects you (I assume).  So each time you make a choice to eat a food you know if it is going to make a better you or a bloated/anxious/tired/etc you.  I got divorced before even finding paleo (and ate Dippin Dots like it was my job, btw) and had a miscarriage and lost my mom after having done numerous W30s.  I turned to food for comfort each time but eventually used W30 principles to pull me out of my spiral.  Some days I ate a healthy breakfast.  Some days it was all three meals.  I had a baby 6months ago and have had complication after complication and this most recent complication (about 6 weeks ago) is the.only.one that I didn't turn to food to console myself.  Because I knew it wasn't going to make me better.  But it took, oh... 7 years to get there!  I'm not doing a W30 right now but I try to eat real food 100% of the time - that is my "in between".  

Good luck, hang in there, this too shall pass.

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