Crying in the office

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So this is my second experience with Whole30 (I'm only on day 3) and I am not doing well. I have issues with anxiety in general and I thought that this experience would help me in that department. I am so incredibly stressed about what I can and can't eat, about grocery shopping and meal prepping, and about how to deal with unplanned circumstances (for example: I will be helping my sister pick out her wedding dress while I'm still on the program and I can't stop thinking about the champagne that I know the boutique will offer us). I was so proud of myself, I finished all of my grocery shopping for the week and treated myself to a jar of (what I thought) was complaint peanut butter. I woke up in the middle of the night after eating it as a snack and realized that peanuts are not compliant, and now I'm crying in my office because I feel like I've failed already. I don't know what to do, and the thought of doing this for 27 more days sounds miserable. Since I've technically already failed, am I supposed to start all over again? I know that is in the rules but the thought of that makes me so incredibly sad. I've already tried and and failed one Whole30 because of my anxiety, and I'm wondering if this program just isn't for me. 

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OK, @GillianS - take it easy. First, please remind yourself that this is just a voluntary dietary reset, if you are super upset and stressed about it, take a step back and reassess if this is the right time and program for you. Your personal mental health is just as (if not more) important!

If you do decide to go forward, yes, you'd be back at Day 1 because peanuts are a pretty major disruptor to your reset. Below are some recommendations for you:

  • make sure you are eating at least a fist sized serving of starchy veggie per day - probably more for someone w/ known anxiety. Going low-carb, even inadvertently, is going to make anxiety and mood issues worse. Keep those carbs up
  • simplify your thought process. "I can eat protein, veggies and fat in whatever combinations sound good to me". If you can stick more towards whole ingredient foods you have less to worry about with labels and mistaking non-compliant foods
  • read the rules again, just to be super familiar
  • make your meals large enough to last you 4-5 hours between. Chances are this is more food than you think it will/should be. If you are fed and satisfied for 4-5 hours, you'll have far less anxiety than you would if you were hungry in 2 hours and trying to power through and feeling miserable.
  • for the champagne, the easy answer when offered is "Oh, none for me, but thank you so much for the offer". If people give you a hard time, instead of explaining the Whole30, you could just say "Thank you, guys, I'm just not feeling like having a drink right now - maybe later. Now let's see these dresses!" Trust - even if you get a moment of side-eye for saying no thanks to the bubbly, the focus and point of the event is wedding dress shopping! It's easy to put ourselves in the centre of everything when we're doing something new or uncomfortable, but it's not always about us and most of the time no one will even notice!
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Take a deep breath and remind yourself why you are doing this. Don't over-complicate the process. I also struggle with anxiety problems and it does get worse in the first week. But it does get better and easier.  Worrying about what you can and cannot eat is not going to make things easier on you. Focus on only what you can eat and when you feel like your anxiety is going to take control, drink some magnesium tea (Natural Calm Unflavored Magnesium is compliant), or something else that can relax you. 

Bring some sparkling water, like LaCroix, to the dress shopping. I bet they will let you drink it out of a flute :)

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