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HELP! Day 18 - Emotional Mess

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Hi, everyone. I'm on Day 18. The first half of my W30 was great. I experienced mostly positive things. I haven't slipped once and believe I've found my new way of life. I love the eating style and rules, I'm working out almost every day, sleep is somewhat ok. I've always had sleep problems and that has only slightly changed since doing W30. Steadily over the past few days, however, I've been on an emotional dive. Impatiently wanting the satisfaction of completing this cycle but at the same time terrified of the end of W30, absolutely unable to shake an obsession over weight loss, and now it just straight up feels like depression.

There are a few outside circumstances that could be the cause: PMS and now my period, a couple rough nights of little sleep because my kid was  restless, and then yesterday my neighbor suddenly died. We weren't close but my kid loved him and he loved my kid. She doesn't know yet. We haven't told her because she has also been emotional so we decided to wait until she got a good night's sleep and a little steadier to tell her. 

Work is also intensifying a little and I'm heading into a major phase on a big project. 

I'm an emotional eater and drinker. So I've wondered if the absence of those things has a direct correlation to how intensely I've been feeling this sadness. 

I've read similar posts to this, looking for commiseration, so I know I'm not alone. But I could really use a boost. I could really use encouragement. I could also REALLY use some help on how to shake the weight loss obsession. Intellectually I know it will take a year to truly achieve the changes in my body I want. It's a long game. I also know that I want to live my life like this forever. So what does Day 18 even mean when it's part of the rest of my life? 

Ugh. Help.

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Hello. I'm sorry you're having a rough time. 

Let's start with food, here. People who are prone to depression or anxiety sometimes find they need more starchy vegetables than others. Definitely be sure you're having at least one fist-sized serving of some kind of starchy vegetable each day, and for now, since you're already feeling down, you might try having a serving at each meal until you feel better, and then you can work on figuring out how much you need each day to feel best. Also be sure you're eating foods rich in omega-3, like fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel. Getting out into the sunshine can help, physical activity can help. And of course if feelings of depression continue or worsen, please talk to your doctor.

You are currently experiencing a lot of stuff -- lack of sleep, the neighbor's death plus the stress of worrying about telling your daughter about that death. Some of the depression you're feeling now may start to resolve as you deal with these things. It's definitely normal to have ups and downs in life.

I think you're right about the not being able to do the emotional eating thing contributing to being more sad. I noticed that too during my first whole30. It sucks to actually have to feel all the negative feelings, but in the long run, it's better to learn a healthy way to deal with them. I find journaling about what I'm feeling helps. It can also be helpful to cry or yell or slam doors or whatever it is you feel like doing because if these emotions (as long as what you feel like doing won't hurt yourself or others). Meditation, exercise or any kind of physical activity, or talking to a friend can also help.

As for the focus on weight loss, I do think it's normal to be concerned about that, and to want it to happen as fast as possible. Try to focus on the non-scale changes you see. Definitely don't weigh yourself, that will just contribute to focusing on weight. Set non-weight-related goals, like to walk or run farther or faster, to lift heavier stuff, to keep up with your kiddo better, to take the stairs instead of the elevator -- pick something that works in your life and focus on it. If you get healthier, the weight will sort itself out. You might find this article helpful:  


You can also Google whole30 weight loss, or dear melissa weight loss, and find others.


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Thank you so much! I really appreciate the thoughtful reply. That's a great article. I can't believe I haven't come across that one! I have definitely been feeling guilty about how much I want weight loss and that article helps alleviate the guilt.

I also really like your comment about just feeling the feelings; crying, journaling, etc. I'm effusive but I do also hold things in. So thank you for that.

And, finally, I didn't know there was a correlation between starchy vegetables and depression/anxiety. I'll do as you suggested and see what happens.

We're telling our daughter tonight about the neighbor. And I agree with you that the anticipation of her pain is weighing on me. And that it might subside once we're in it and facing it. She might even handle it better than I think. And it's definitely an important part of parenting, teaching a kid about death, right?

I've been noting the non-scale victories but I think in a more casual way. Per your advice, I'm going to pick something specific to focus on and work towards. I can see how having something solid to attach my attention to will help release me from the weight obsession. An obsession that has been an albatross for a long time.

One of the main reasons I started Whole30 was to create a better relationship with food, especially around stressful times, even GOOD stressful times. So I do have an appreciation for this struggle and the lessons I'll learn. But it is a struggle nonetheless, amiright?

Thanks again. So so appreciate it.


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