Frustrated I Can't Have Food Freedom


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I finished my second round of Whole30 on Friday -- it really should have ended this Thursday after I reintroduced gluten but I took an impromptu road trip and it was too hard to say no to my cousin's homemade pasta, bread, cocktails, etc., especially since I did no preparation besides bring a few emergency bars. I learned a lot from the experience and held it together okay until I got back today, when I went on an eating spree at my parent's house (where I got dropped off) and on my way back to my apartment. I just finished reading Food Freedom Forever, have read the 30-Day Guide, and recently started It Starts With Food. I get the science, psychology, and everything behind it all and read everything carefully, but get so nervous consuming things that are non-compliant that I decided to starting at least a Whole7 and maybe extend it when I got back (starting tomorrow) so I think I just kind of went nuts in anticipation and now I feel horrible. A few takeaways:

  • Impromptu trips are hard during a reset/reintro -- I need to better prepare and communicate, and be more comfortable saying no and accommodating what I can eat
  • I can't "go crazy" once I stop my reset/reintroduction, but I also can't guilt trip myself every time I eat something "off-plan" afterwards either
  • I can't just keep going back to a reset after a few days/little bit (there was less than month between my first and second Whol30) and "go crazy" because I know that I'm about to reset again
  • I need to find a dietician/health care provider that is supportive of my healthy lifestyle goals (I feel like my current one is very anti-diet culture and wary of any type of elimination thing like this, and I'm only proving her right)
  • I need to learn how to trust myself around food/drink so that I'm not feeling like I'll go off the rails without Whole30
  • I have to stop obsessing over my weight (I lost 22 pounds my first Whole 30 and gained about 8 eight pounds in a month before I started my second, when I lost another 12 pounds -- too scared to check now after just a few days); I've lost over 50 pounds on my weight loss journey since about 2018 and hate fluctuating so much

I'm basically just annoyed that I've done all of this reading and talking about it, invested in more expensive healthy foods, get into a healthy eating/exercise routine, and then totally blow it up. It's kind of what I do to everything -- relationships, work, etc. -- but I'm just so mentally fatigued and it's hard to trouble-shoot sometimes :wacko:

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Ohhhh lady, I could have written this post!! Round 4 for me, and Food Freedom is still elusive. I just keep thinking that I'm learning a little more each time. 

I worry a lot that doing W30 does set me up for a 'perfect' vs 'fail' scenario, where I'm either on or I'm off and there's nothing in between, and when I'm off ohhhhhhh boy.

I'm also a major weight fluctuator - to the point my doctor has told me my lose/gain cycle is actually less healthy than just staying fat (unless I can lose it and stay a healthy weight). 

No real advice for you, coz I get where you're at, but solidarity :)

I need to read Food Freedom Forever, do you recommend?

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13 hours ago, SchrodingersCat said:

Ohhhh lady, I could have written this post!! Round 4 for me, and Food Freedom is still elusive. I just keep thinking that I'm learning a little more each time. 

I worry a lot that doing W30 does set me up for a 'perfect' vs 'fail' scenario, where I'm either on or I'm off and there's nothing in between, and when I'm off ohhhhhhh boy.

I'm also a major weight fluctuator - to the point my doctor has told me my lose/gain cycle is actually less healthy than just staying fat (unless I can lose it and stay a healthy weight). 

No real advice for you, coz I get where you're at, but solidarity :)

I need to read Food Freedom Forever, do you recommend?

Thanks for your reply! Yesterday was rough, but today is a new day (I am starting my Whole7 plus reintroduction, and may extend it). My therapist/dietician recommended a podcast to me called Food Psych, which has also mentioned that weight cycling is more dangerous than maintaining a heavier weight too. I definitely recommend Food Freedom Forever, and I think it's only $6 right now (I just got It Starts With Food for that price on Amazon Kindle) -- it obviously hasn't helped me as much as I've hoped yet, but it's really insightful and I even took screenshots of a few pages I wanted to refer back to when making food decisions (clearly did not happen yesterday). Best of luck (and hard work!) to us both! I like your username :)

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8 hours ago, mazzystarslight said:

Thanks for your reply! Yesterday was rough, but today is a new day (I am starting my Whole7 plus reintroduction, and may extend it). My therapist/dietician recommended a podcast to me called Food Psych, which has also mentioned that weight cycling is more dangerous than maintaining a heavier weight too. I definitely recommend Food Freedom Forever, and I think it's only $6 right now (I just got It Starts With Food for that price on Amazon Kindle) -- it obviously hasn't helped me as much as I've hoped yet, but it's really insightful and I even took screenshots of a few pages I wanted to refer back to when making food decisions (clearly did not happen yesterday). Best of luck (and hard work!) to us both! I like your username :)

Thank you, I'll grab it on Kindle and might check out that podcast too. 

I lovey your username too, Fade Into You was such a heartsong for me growing up :wub:

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 I can't add anything except that I have exactly the same question! I haven't read Food Freedom Forever yet, though I plan to once I start re-introduction in a few weeks.My current plan is to keep prepping Whole30-style meals -- it really has made a side dish of veggies, a protein, and a dash of healthy fat a pretty automatic thing for me.  My rule with snacks, in most cases, will be "if I still want it in an hour, I will have it." (This saved me one time when I was craving gummy candy at the mall and about to slip out of my W30 for it.)

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On 5/26/2020 at 6:39 PM, SchrodingersCat said:

Thank you, I'll grab it on Kindle and might check out that podcast too. 

I lovey your username too, Fade Into You was such a heartsong for me growing up :wub:

Fair warning, the podcast is a bit at-odds with Whole30 (I've actually heard it mentioned by name a few times as another "fad diet" masked as a "lifestyle change"), but both have been helpful for me and it's been fun/challenging to make sense of the two together and what works for me.

My username is a combo of Mazzy Star and a song I like called "Starslight" by At the Drive-In ^_^

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On 5/26/2020 at 11:31 AM, scoakley13 said:

I'm here with both of you! I'm trying to lose the same 30 pounds I've lost six times already. I eat something unhealthy and spiral my way back to larger sized clothes and feeling yucky. I don't have any answers either. Hopefully we'll all figure it out one day. ^_^

Good luck! I've thankfully managed to keep about 50lbs off so far during my entire weight loss journey over the past couple of years, but it's not easy and I've definitely fluctuated! I started another reset on Wednesday with the intention of it at least being a Whole7 plus reintro and see how I feel, but I feel SO much better I may just go the whole 30 days again... three rounds in a row! :blink:

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On 5/28/2020 at 7:26 AM, stream26 said:

 I can't add anything except that I have exactly the same question! I haven't read Food Freedom Forever yet, though I plan to once I start re-introduction in a few weeks.My current plan is to keep prepping Whole30-style meals -- it really has made a side dish of veggies, a protein, and a dash of healthy fat a pretty automatic thing for me.  My rule with snacks, in most cases, will be "if I still want it in an hour, I will have it." (This saved me one time when I was craving gummy candy at the mall and about to slip out of my W30 for it.)

The book definitely talks about different strategies like waiting a set amount of time and then deciding if you still want it! My original plan was to continue eating Whole30 minus one thing each day since I know it's a slippery slope for me and I spiral, but I typically end up wanting everything I've been missing, not enjoying them, committing to another round, and then eating everything I want all at once in anticipation- ugh! :wacko:

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  • 4 months later...

I know this is a few months down the road - But I just did my Whole 30 for the month of September, and am in the same boat as you. I am going back to Whole30 every few days, but completely falling off the wagon the other days. I didn't do the reintro properly either... I think I'm actually going to try to get in another Whole30 now before the holidays start

 

Just curious: How is it going with your dietician? I'm seeing a holistic doctor as well - who directed me to Whole30, and it was great! But I quickly fell off the plan after the 30 days. I suppose I should have gone longer (?) =/

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  • 1 month later...

I recommend reading a variety of books about nutrition and longevity so you can use all of the information you have learned to create a diet that you can happily and easily live with for the long-term. I highly recommend reading some of Michale Pollan's books.  Also, throw away your scale.  You don't need to know how much you weigh.  I have completed several Whole30s over the last couple of years but I do not follow a strict Whole30 diet every day.  It is simply too restrictive.  I focus on eating 3 balanced meals a day with lots of veggies, fruits, protein, fat and carbs.  I don't snack and I make sure to drink enough water every day.  I also focus on really enjoying and savoring my food.  Occasionally I eat dark chocolate, beans, rice, corn, oatmeal and really good homemade sourdough bread.  I limit myself to four drinks a week.  Rarely I'll have really good cheese with wine.  All of the food I eat is very high quality and I make sure I am nourished and satisfied every day.

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  • 6 months later...

Just a bit to add...that helps me not "go crazy" both with food and mentally...and that is that every day is a new day to get back on track - but you do need to figure out what "on track" looks like for you first.  For me (and this was learned mostly through re-introduction but also in the 3 years since) it means 80-90% W30 eating with OCCASIONAL forays into grains (sushi, or corn), dairy (bite or two of cheese or swig of cold milk), and very, very rarely, gluten (pizza is usually my thing and that's a once-or-twice-a-year deal).  I have found that usually one or two bites of something (pay attention to the experience) is enough.  Same with sugar.  One or two bites of someone else's cheesecake is enough for me for a while (sugar is not my thing).  I have also found substitutes that are "mostly" compliant but can also serve as cravings-drowners - like high quality potato chips without any weird chemicals (potatoes, good oil, salt, that's it) and a W30 dip.  It's not ideal nutrition, but it's not off the rails either.  Then the next morning I have the breakfast that is my reset every morning - which is typically sautéed kale and eggs (or something along those lines) and that says "hey, you...remember who you are...someone who is in control of herself" and I begin again.  I have also developed a raisin addiction - it is my "guilty" handful almost every night.  I know it's not a great habit so sometimes I don't do it, but if I figure I'm calling a few handfuls of raisins a "bad habit" I'm in a pretty good place.  Find something that works for you.  I am not perfect.  Half the week I'm working too much and that great breakfast turns into no lunch and me standing at the kitchen counter eating potato chips dipped in mustard with salami rounds on the side...but it is still vegetables and protein and not wheat/dairy/soy/sugar (unless dijon!) and so on, so for me it is okay and my body tells me the same thing.

The biggest problem, for me, with "blowing it" is that you then feel like crap physically (sluggish, bloated, constipated) and psychologically (failure! weak! idiot!) and that's a hole that really sucks.  So, if you can look at whatever the food of the moment is and say, do I really want to grab that thing and jump into that dark hole of suffering for a couple of days?  Sometimes the answer will still be yes, but you are making a choice that that thing is totally worth it (which of course it isn't but we are only human) and you know what you are getting in for.  OR you can say, hmmm...maybe I will just take a bite of that to shut up my brain and be done with it.

Last thing - and again, this is personal experience - the better shape you are in (i.e. the more compliant you are generally) the easier it is for your body to "roll with the punch" of a little non-compliance and do its thing to process it out of you as soon as possible.  Once you get everything out of whack again, it's going to be out of whack until you help it get back resettled (aka another W30).

Maybe I had a little more than "a bit" to add - hope it's helpful to you.  It's worth it to keep working on it, believe me.  You can do it too!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I want to thank all for your comments. I am only at R1D10 but already thinking 30 days will not do it for me…this my bea choice forever with forays for some not all occasions. I am working on my triggers and self talk trying to identify when I want to wander off Whole 30. Food freedom is my goal. 

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  • 1 month later...

I also had quite a lot of trouble getting my "food freedom", what helped me a LOT was to find out that the food in itself wasn't the problem, I only used it to cope with my real problems, eating had become an addiction, to make me feel good when I felt helpless, sad, angry, bored… 

If you feel like it might be your case, I can't recommend you enough the book The heart of addiction, from Lance M Dodes M.D. . Not only does it explain clearly what an addiction is, but it also gives you tools to fight it off on your own, with plenty of examples.

Although my brain still sends me the "I NEED FOOD" signal from time to time, now I'm better prepared to handle it, understand it, and that makes it way easier to ignore it.

Hope this will help some of you! Don't lose hope, and stay strong!

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