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Jewels_V

Day 44: Starting to wonder why its not working

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First off, let me preface this post by saying I am not looking for medical advice per se, but some guidance, direction or reassurance would be helpful.  I have decided to do a Whole60 because I deal not only with autoimmune conditions, but a wicked strong sugar dragon and long time psychological issues with food (bingeing).   Today is Day 44.  In terms of food, I have been very diligent about compliance.  I did eat one bite of a chocolate flavored RXBar around Day 12 or so, but otherwise, all food is compliant.  I reduced my fruit intake quite a bit, but have had watermelon binges a couple of times.  (I guess I cannot expect miracles, and since its summer, I really really don't want to eliminate fruit altogether).  I am at a healthy weight, work out 6 days a week, have good muscle mass and body fat %.   I have had my bloodwork done and my cortisol (measured by saliva 4 times throughout a 24 hour period) is within normal range, on the lower side. Cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and thyroid hormones are all well within normal levels (I have Hashimoto's and I take Synthroid).   

The problem I have is that I have not yet felt Tiger Blood.  I don't have more energy, my skin hasn't cleared up, my sleep (which I don't think was an issue) hasn't changed much.  I don't wake up feeling ready to face the day.  I drag myself out of bed.  When I go to the grocery store, I want to jump behind the bakery counter and just spend the rest of the day in sugary, gluten-y gluttony (I love sweets but don't play well with gluten-was gluten-free and dairy-free prior to W30).   While I did see a lower incidence of sugar cravings between Weeks 3 and 4, lately all I want to do is throw in the towel and eat sugar and ice cream and all that I miss.  I have over-eaten both fruit and nuts after dinner due to cravings, and because I just think I want it so badly.  It seems that according to the books, this is a sign of leptin imbalance.  But if all my other hormones are where they are supposed to be, could I really have leptin imbalance?  I am not skinny-fat, thanks to almost daily Pure Barre workouts, I actually have quite of bit of definition in my abs (so no visceral fat problem).  

Its frustrating because all the science in It Starts with Food and Whole30 make sense to me.  I have a laboratory background so I really find that interesting. I wholeheartedly believe in W30.  But why don't I see the benefits?  I think I may have lost a couple pounds, but honestly I was just hoping I wouldn't gain any.  

How can I confirm whether my problem is leptin resistance?  Or is it purely psychological?  I haven't read Food Freedom Forever because to be honest, the reviews pretty much indicate there is not a lot of new material if you've read the other books.   I just need some direction, some help to maybe get me to figure out where my Tiger Blood is and why I still feel the strong desire to eat garbage foods that are detrimental to my health.   Sorry for the long post and if you made it this far, thanks for reading! 

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Hey! So I think this kind of confusion/frustration is pretty common for those who still find they have cravings after doing Whole30 for a long period of time. I think, in my experience, my energy was all over the place on my first Whole30. I was never a huge sugar person, so I think I had an advantage to the type of cravings I had, but I definitely had really bad days, and days where I wanted to eat anything and everything and just give up. I think what REALLY helped me, was doing an proper reintroduction at the end. It took a lot of willpower to be done, to only allow myself the one food group I was reintroducing that day and then to go back to Whole30 eating for two days afterwards. That was HARD. Also, really understanding how I feel when I eat these other foods helped the psychological cravings dwindle immensely. I saw how they made me feel, and I decided to choose not feeling sick rather than eating that stuff. I also think that the fruit and nut thing is a sweet and salty (sugar and savoury) addiction. It honestly just sounds like  a longstanding habit of eating sugar (like so many people!) and that this may be why you haven't seen results. My partner has done 2 whole30s and one whole45 and he still has crazy sugar cravings that turn into eating a ton of fruit and nuts during. But everytime it gets a little easier. Sometimes it just takes longer :) I guess my conclusion would be: do a proper, systematic, reintroduction once you feel you've done it as long as you can (maybe a Whole60 would be a good amount of time for you). Then, see how your eating habits go when you're off the Whole30. If things are not in control, go back and try again! I've heard of people who've said it took 5 times before they really conquered cravings. Don't give up!!

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I tend to concur with what @barty90 says. It's a process and one that you can't expect to conquer in the first five minutes, so to speak. As for your energy I suspect that the fruit/nut binges aren't helping as the energy comes from balancing your blood sugars and those highs and lows you'll be getting are probably making it a bit wonky. But don't worry, every step you take in the right direction is a step in the right direction.

What I mean is that if you keep at it, assessing "worth it", walking away from binges when you can etc, you'll likely find that the binges on fruit/nuts get further between and possibly less intense. I know for me, "off the rails" used to be a week straight of brownies, ice cream, chocolate, alcohol etc and now "off the rails" is a brownie and alcohol in the same weekend. Emotionally, honestly it feels just as "bad" but the intensity of it is vastly reduced and it's much faster that I can get back on track.  Go have a read through the last couple pages on the thread called "Death of the Dragon" in the Join Whole30 section of the forum. They've been talking about the emotional investment and self talk issues for people who eat emotionally.

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On 8/1/2017 at 11:33 AM, Jewels_V said:

Cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and thyroid hormones are all well within normal levels (I have Hashimoto's and I take Synthroid).   

The problem I have is that I have not yet felt Tiger Blood.  I don't have more energy, my skin hasn't cleared up, my sleep (which I don't think was an issue) hasn't changed much.  I don't wake up feeling ready to face the day.  I drag myself out of bed.  

Hi @Jewels_V! I do not have Hashimoto's, but I also take Synthroid to correct my hypothyroidism. I have been taking it for 2 years, but it took at least a year before I actually FELT any reprieve from the fatigue I'd suffered prior to taking it. Even though my thyroid levels normalized within a couple of months, it took much longer to feel better. And even now after two years, I still don't have as much energy as I used to even though my dosage is appropriate. When I did my first round of Whole30, the entire month was an energy slump for me, so I feel you on the anticipation of Tiger's Blood. Perhaps some of your delay could be attributed to thyroid stuff, especially if it's been in the past year you started taking the Synthroid. 

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Thanks!  I probably do need to give it more time, I think the long-standing food/emotional stuff is not going to be corrected as quickly as I'd like it to be.  I really need to be more mindful, and like you said @ladyshanny really take a step back and ask myself if its worth it.  I will read up on that thread you mentioned.  I am trying to find all the posts on Melissa's "Coming Clean" series because I think it may help.    @barty90 its good to know it gets easier for your partner with each attempt, since I will probably have to do the same thing.  I am striving for 60 but might even push to get a couple more weeks in, and reintro beginning on Sept 1.  I think today is day 45?  I want to blame it all on leptin imbalance but if all my lab results are normal, maybe I cannot blame it on that.  @SweetEnough did you feel the Tiger Blood eventually? I have been on meds for 20 years, my dose rarely changes at all, but I have a couple of other positive auto-immune markers in addition to the thyroid ones.   I plan on asking my rheumatologist to redo all my labs right before I re-intro, just because I am really curious to see if they change.   Interestingly enough, there are two of them that are not supposed to have anything to do with gluten (they are for Rheumatoid Arthritis) but every time I have gone bonkers and started eating gluten, the antibodies shoot up.  I get rid of gluten and they come back down a little.  We've been able to replicate that over 2 years!  So I want to see what this type of elimination does to them.  

 

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16 minutes ago, Jewels_V said:

  @SweetEnough did you feel the Tiger Blood eventually? I have been on meds for 20 years, my dose rarely changes at all, but I have a couple of other positive auto-immune markers in addition to the thyroid ones.   I plan on asking my rheumatologist to redo all my labs right before I re-intro, just because I am really curious to see if they change.   Interestingly enough, there are two of them that are not supposed to have anything to do with gluten (they are for Rheumatoid Arthritis) but every time I have gone bonkers and started eating gluten, the antibodies shoot up.  I get rid of gluten and they come back down a little.  We've been able to replicate that over 2 years!  So I want to see what this type of elimination does to them.  

 

I think so, but not to the degree that some people do. AFTER my Whole30 I did a really gradual reintroduction (in my opinion, it was the BEST part of this program, I learned a ton about what some problem foods were for me) -- and about 30 days into reintroduction I remember the day I woke up thinking "I FEEL GOOD" and that was a milestone for me. I had some pep in my step and the world felt right. During my first Whole30 toward the end, I started waking up before my alarm clock, which felt like a total miracle. That went away though, and now that I'm in my second round, it's what I'm most looking forward to! I accept that my 'Tiger' might be a little tamer than most, lol, but oh well, bring it. 

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So I would highly recommend you read Food Freedom Forever.  I am on my fourth Whole30 right now and have had the feeling that the program didn't do what I wanted it to do for my craving on the first few attempts for several reasons, the most apparent being I was using ANYTHING compliant to prop up my sugar cravings.  Nuts, dried fruit, larabars, RX bars, nut butter, especially the combination of fruit and nut butters.  Eating anything, pretty much, after lunch or dinner.  There were a lot of things in Food Freedom Forever that really made the whole process click for me.  I'm on day 15 of my new Whole30 and I'm not eating ANY dried fruit, very few nuts and fresh fruit.  If I do eat fresh fruit and nuts I don't eat them alone and I'm very aware of the quantities.  My sugar dragon is still roaring but I am convinced this is the key.  It's breaking the eating habits and the emotional reliance on foods that is so important for my program and, it sounds like, for yours.  Maybe I'm off the mark but read that book.  There are tons of gems in it.

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28 minutes ago, Anna K said:

So I would highly recommend you read Food Freedom Forever.  I am on my fourth Whole30 right now and have had the feeling that the program didn't do what I wanted it to do for my craving on the first few attempts for several reasons, the most apparent being I was using ANYTHING compliant to prop up my sugar cravings.  Nuts, dried fruit, larabars, RX bars, nut butter, especially the combination of fruit and nut butters.  Eating anything, pretty much, after lunch or dinner.  There were a lot of things in Food Freedom Forever that really made the whole process click for me.  I'm on day 15 of my new Whole30 and I'm not eating ANY dried fruit, very few nuts and fresh fruit.  If I do eat fresh fruit and nuts I don't eat them alone and I'm very aware of the quantities.  My sugar dragon is still roaring but I am convinced this is the key.  It's breaking the eating habits and the emotional reliance on foods that is so important for my program and, it sounds like, for yours.  Maybe I'm off the mark but read that book.  There are tons of gems in it.

You are right on the money!  This is exactly why we really recommend against using the items you listed to get through sugar cravings and habit cravings... because it doesn't resolve the issue, it keeps the issue alive and well!  Good for you for going again without those crutches... that dragon will lay down and go to sleep soon and you'll experience true freedom!  Report back when he does go to sleep and let us know how you feel!

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1 hour ago, SugarcubeOD said:

You are right on the money!  This is exactly why we really recommend against using the items you listed to get through sugar cravings and habit cravings... because it doesn't resolve the issue, it keeps the issue alive and well!  Good for you for going again without those crutches... that dragon will lay down and go to sleep soon and you'll experience true freedom!  Report back when he does go to sleep and let us know how you feel!

Thank you.  It's funny, I came to the forum today with the question in my brain "Is this sugar dragon EVER going to be quiet?"  Because I don't even know what that feels like and it feels like I've been battling him forever.  Thank you for the reassurance.  It helped to come to the forum and possibly contribute a little to someone else's program!

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Thanks @AnnaK! I read your comment on my other topic and as much as I don't want to admit (bc I loveeeeee fruit), you are 100% right. I did also read FFF last week and love it, just like all of Melissa's books.  I haven't strayed from compliant food yet in terms of the black and white lists (on day 70-something) but I am completely NOT in the spirit of Whole30. Full confession: I'm also battling binge eating disorder (see a therapist for that but nothing's really helping much) and have most of my life. So in the last two weeks I have managed to binge on Whole30 compliant foods (fresh and dried fruit, nuts and RX/Lara bars). Are there way worse things to binge on? Yeah. But it's still bingeing and still destructive.  Soon I think I'll reintroduce dairy and non gluten grains and in the Fall when fresh fruit availabilty tapers off I'm going to do another round of whole30 without fruit and nuts.  I'm hoping I can get a handle on BED again and then tackle sugar head on.  It kinda feels good to come clean so to speak. I'm pretty quiet about the BED. 

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Like I said before, I'm on my FOURTH Whole 30 before I figured out how to do the whole "spirit of whole30" thing!  I did my last Whole30 about this time last year so it's been an interesting year of self-inquiry and healthy-eating followed by falling, as Melissa says, face first into a pint (or two) of ice cream.  BED I hear you, girl.  On my first Whole 30 I could eat four bananas with half a jar of almond butter after dinner.  No problem, no joke.  So tackling this from an emotional perspective has definitely been the focus of this Whole 30 and it's been pretty eye-opening.  

In my little opinion, I think your plan of re-introducing and then seeing where you're at with your food freedom for a bit is a good idea.  And then going back and seeing how you can tweak your program to get the most out of it!  Just make sure you're not too hard on yourself if old behavior patterns show themselves.  You're doing great!

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24 minutes ago, Anna K said:

In my little opinion, I think your plan of re-introducing and then seeing where you're at with your food freedom for a bit is a good idea.  And then going back and seeing how you can tweak your program to get the most out of it!  Just make sure you're not too hard on yourself if old behavior patterns show themselves.  You're doing great!

Thanks! Not that I would wish this on anyone but its always nice to hear from someone who is tackling the same things as you are! please keep me posted on your progress for this W30!

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