Whole30 through grief


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Here I am on my 7th day of Whole30 - everything's going great so far - and my 4 year old dog, who is my world, was diagnosed with lymphoma (today). I am utterly devastated. It just doesn't feel important to me to continue Whole30 right this second. I can hardly think about what I have to think about, let alone specifically planning all my meals. Plus I'd be lying if I said I didn't want some kind of comfort food to bring me just that, comfort. I don't mean I want to nose dive into all non compliant foods, but I do want to offer myself some breaks in this moment. 

I know people have been through worse, during life in general and Whole30 specifically and people keep on. But am I wrong if I just don't? I will come back to it, I will. But it doesn't feel like I want to continue right this second. 

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I'm sorry to hear about your dog.

People can decide it's the right time or the wrong time for a Whole30 for all kinds of reasons, and no one can tell you whether now is a good time to do it or not. If you decide it's just not right for you right now, that's okay. The whole point of doing Whole30 is to make yourself healthier, but sometimes the stress of sticking to the rules and cooking the food and doing the dishes, when it's coupled with other stressful stuff in your life, could negate a lot of the benefits you'd normally get.

What I will say, though, is that at some point, you'll want to think about the idea of comfort foods. I'm an emotional eater myself, so I get it -- when you're having a rough time, you want something familiar and comforting, and it's so tempting to have mac & cheese or mashed potatoes or whatever your particular comfort food is. But the reality is, those foods only provide fleeting moments of comfort. They're not going to change the diagnosis, they're not going to make that diagnosis any easier to deal with, they're not really going to change anything, and often, people find they indulge in some less than healthy food for comfort, and then end up feeling guilty about it, which means now they're still dealing with whatever stuff they needed comfort from, plus a feeling of guilt on top of that. Whenever you decide to do a Whole30, consider other comforting options you could turn to instead of food -- it can be anything, really. A big part of why certain foods are comfort foods is just tradition -- they're what someone fed you when you were younger when you were ill or feeling down. As an adult who knows those foods are not the healthiest, you can decide to change your tradition and find something other than food to use in those situations. So it could be a bubble bath, or talking to someone about what you're feeling, or meditation or journaling, getting a massage, spending a day in your pj's reading your favorite book, taking a class you've wanted to take, going to a local museum or botanical garden, hanging out with friends. Just come up with some options that work for you, that make you feel like you're doing something special for yourself to give yourself a little extra self-care when you need it. 

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Thank you. I am pretty good at self care in general. I've always been...highly emotional, some call it passionate...or being a Scorpio :) Either way, I am super in tune with my feelings, I see a therapist as needed, I engage in other self care activities. While I do like to indulge in some things and sometimes I do so in response to feeling some way (mostly, "I'm stressed and work hard, I deserve a treat!"), I don't emotionally binge eat. But it's definitely something I'm aware of and think about. Emotional eating is something I've thought more of on Whole30, but not really a factor in needing to try the program - otherwise this would be a great test to throw in! I mean, a terrible one, but relevant.

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