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Critical of improved relationship with food

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Hello, I'm on day 12 and the whole time I've been Whole30ing I've felt that it was doing the opposite of improving my relationship with food.  To preface, I think my relationship with food prior to this was pretty good.  I don't have any strong aversions to anything, though I was perhaps worried I was taking in too much bread.

Largely, I feel like I have an eating disorder.  If I know I'm going to be out the next day I have to carefully plan the day beforehand, which in itself isn't bad, but I'm devoting about a million times more thought and stress to food than I had previously.

I know one of the goals with Whole30 is to reduce snacking, but I normally never snack ever.  I have three meals roughly 4-5 hours apart every day of my life.  I have somewhat addressed this in another thread I made and came to the conclusion I wasn't eating enough fat, but I'm still struggling not to snack on Whole30.  I also normally never eat fruit (including dried) and I'm eating so much more on Whole30, which maybe isn't the healthiest choice.

I went to a friend's dinner and everyone else ate a big homemade curry with rice and drank wine, and my friend made me a salad and I drank water.  Before dinner they set out two bowls of chips, one just plain potato which I could eat (yes I know the program frowns on that), and the other some kind of apple cider vinegar crisps.  I accidentally mixed them up and snuck off to the bathroom to spit out the vinegar crisps before swallowing and then scrape them off of my molars.  The closest to an eating disorder I've ever felt.  I wondered if just by being in my mouth I'd sabotaged my Whole30 or if some of the sugar had passed through my saliva.  The whole night I felt like I had something majorly wrong with me or some kind of medical problem.

Yesterday I had a super busy day and unexpectedly wasn't able to come home to cook lunch and prepare a dinner to eat at work.  I figured I would stop by Chipotle for lunch and maybe hold off on dinner until I got home at 23:00.  They had a sign on their door that said they're closed for the next two days.  I went to the grocery store (side note I am UK-based) and picked up some things to eat over the next 10 or so hours away from home.  Throughout the afternoon and evening I ended up eating an entire package of garlic stuffed olives, 4 bars made out of dates and nuts, some dried strawberries, a package of prosciutto, and some pomegranate seeds.  There was no clear distinction between meal times.  I think I took in too much sodium from the olives and prosciutto.  I realize I could've somehow eaten some pre-cut raw vegetables but I just really couldn't make myself do it without guacamole or hummus or something.  The guac at the store either had sulfites or milk (ugh, why.)

I'm not going to quit, and I realize days 11 and 12 are when people are most likely to throw in the towel, but I'm just not thinking very highly of this program at the moment.  I mostly started to try and address some skin issues as well as sleeping issues, and maybe weight loss would've been another welcomed bonus that I tend to not be too concerned about, but I haven't noticed any improvements in anything.  Literally nothing has happened except my initial 5 day or so hangover and yesterday when I felt dehydrated from eating too much sodium.

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There's a lot to unpack here, so let's start with preparation. Yes, there is a lot of prep and food planning that goes with the Whole30.  Have you read Well Fed? I highly, highly recommend that cookbook. It simplifies things well and really helps you get though your Whole30.

One thing you'll want to do is prep lots of food for the week so you aren't dependent on Chipotle and grocery runs. One day a week, on Sat or Sun or your day off, you'll cook up some chicken, brown some ground beef, lamb or pork, boil a dozen eggs, roast some sweet potatoes, cut up or buy precut carrots, celery, snap peas, cucumber, bell pepper.  Stock up on some frozen broccoli and baby spinach. Make or buy some compliant baba ghanoush, guacamole or mayo and make it into a dip/dressing.  Get some cans of olives, artichokes, hearts of palm. Make a frittata for the week. Pack up your lunches - salads with plenty of greens, protein and fat will suffice for almost any meal. 

Bring your own dish to share when you go to friends homes. Deviled eggs are a great option. If you don't want to ask that they provide compliant options for you, eat something satiating - ie some protein and fat - or a meal template meal before you go.

Skip the date and nut bars, you can see what happens with them.  Finally, a gentle reminder that commercially prepared chips of any kind are not allowed on your Whole30.

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Hi @helenalena - If you feel that Whole30 is causing you to develop eating disorder tendancies, examine that and decide if continuing on is the right thing for you. If it is, think of this more as a personal experiment to clear up skin and sleep issues. It's a voluntary 30 day program, don't let it stress you out too much!

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