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I'm 21 days into my second Whole30 and I feel fantastic. Honestly, it's been even easier and better than my first Whole30 a year ago. However, there's one thing I've grappled with two years in a row, and I'd love some input from the community. 

I know they say it's important to share your Whole30 and your "why" with friends and family so you have a support network. I was a bit more concerned about peer pressure and judgement last year, when things were more "normal" and I was faced with potluck lunches at the office, happy hours, and dinners out. This year, we're mostly staying home and apart from friends, so I'm not faced with those "I need to explain myself" scenarios. 

However, I am still faced with judgement from my husband, who has told me countless times in the past that I don't need to be on a diet or be so neurotic about what I eat. He doesn't have quite the same philosophy as I do when it comes to honoring my health and my body and wanting to fuel it with good, clean food. So I've "hidden" my Whole30s from him.

He's aware that I'm doing "Dry January" and going sugar-free for the month, but he's not aware of the program as a whole. The thought of explaining it to him--and then dealing with his naysayer attitude--just exhausts me. My question is ... is this wrong? And am I alone here? Does anyone else skirt around the topic with their loved ones?

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Hi @JenTucker wow...did your post resonate with me! First, I’m glad that you feel great! A little background on me...I’ve done several Whole30s the last one back in 2015, and started this one January 1 which was the first time since I have been gluten and dairy free. About 4 years ago, I was gaining weight, having terrible brain fog and swollen ankles (at the time I had a job where I was on a plane nearly every week). I did a “detox” diet recommended by my doctor,  it was not exactly like Whole30, but I never returned to dairy or gluten. I have leaned that I have a sensitivity to other things, corn, rice, beans and then I can easily slide into the gluten free junk food and baked goods and it’s “food with no brakes.”

Fortunately, my husband is supportive, and he does not have the food issues I do, but will eat whatever I make and then add cheese, bread or supplement with snacks. And I’m not tempted by gluten or dairy it’s been so long.  However, I have had challenges with some others, particularly my sister in law (husbands side of family), who I love dearly! First, she thought that the dairy and gluten was temporary until I felt better and would say “oh we can go to that restaurant after you’re done” or “you can eat that later” Before COVID, she would have a lot of summer/holiday parties and I always brought one or two appetizers or dishes so that I have something to eat and no one has to stress out. Because she gets SUPER stressed out over what I can eat, and tries really, really hard to find a recipe to make, which ends up being something complicated or was supposed to have cheese, or breadcrumbs or whatever, instead of just making SIMPLE food. And she believes that if you don’t have celiac it’s not really a problem, and doesn’t really understand how in tune I am with my sensitivities. It’s exhausting to still be discussing it. Exhausting, just like you said! My husband just told me she wanted us to stop by this weekend and I just said - no - it’s going to be too complicated to explain Whole30 after I ate meatballs with rice she made in December! 
 

So, enough about me....I think you should be open with your husband because it’s just harder on you to keep it a “secret” especially if he wants to eat something you used to eat or go out somewhere, etc. Is there a “symptom” that has improved due to Whole30 that you can use to make him understand how much better you feel? Like for example, you could say, I didn’t realize that my (insert body part here) ached so much until I did this and I feel so much better. Or whatever else may have improved for you (sleep, headaches, allergies) specifically so that it’s not just a diet but a specific issue that was resolved. 
 

So...it’s taken me a few years to get to this point but it’s still a work in progress.  My family is a little easier as they had to deal with the low fat craze, my Vegan Year, plus my brother and his wife used to do Keto. So we’ve all had our ups and downs with special diets, so we just keep each other posted as to what we are eating for the next party, holiday, etc. :D I hope this was helpful and again I’m glad you are feeling fantastic!!!!

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On 1/22/2021 at 5:31 PM, christine19 said:

Hi @JenTucker wow...did your post resonate with me! First, I’m glad that you feel great! A little background on me...I’ve done several Whole30s the last one back in 2015, and started this one January 1 which was the first time since I have been gluten and dairy free. About 4 years ago, I was gaining weight, having terrible brain fog and swollen ankles (at the time I had a job where I was on a plane nearly every week). I did a “detox” diet recommended by my doctor,  it was not exactly like Whole30, but I never returned to dairy or gluten. I have leaned that I have a sensitivity to other things, corn, rice, beans and then I can easily slide into the gluten free junk food and baked goods and it’s “food with no brakes.”

Fortunately, my husband is supportive, and he does not have the food issues I do, but will eat whatever I make and then add cheese, bread or supplement with snacks. And I’m not tempted by gluten or dairy it’s been so long.  However, I have had challenges with some others, particularly my sister in law (husbands side of family), who I love dearly! First, she thought that the dairy and gluten was temporary until I felt better and would say “oh we can go to that restaurant after you’re done” or “you can eat that later” Before COVID, she would have a lot of summer/holiday parties and I always brought one or two appetizers or dishes so that I have something to eat and no one has to stress out. Because she gets SUPER stressed out over what I can eat, and tries really, really hard to find a recipe to make, which ends up being something complicated or was supposed to have cheese, or breadcrumbs or whatever, instead of just making SIMPLE food. And she believes that if you don’t have celiac it’s not really a problem, and doesn’t really understand how in tune I am with my sensitivities. It’s exhausting to still be discussing it. Exhausting, just like you said! My husband just told me she wanted us to stop by this weekend and I just said - no - it’s going to be too complicated to explain Whole30 after I ate meatballs with rice she made in December! 
 

So, enough about me....I think you should be open with your husband because it’s just harder on you to keep it a “secret” especially if he wants to eat something you used to eat or go out somewhere, etc. Is there a “symptom” that has improved due to Whole30 that you can use to make him understand how much better you feel? Like for example, you could say, I didn’t realize that my (insert body part here) ached so much until I did this and I feel so much better. Or whatever else may have improved for you (sleep, headaches, allergies) specifically so that it’s not just a diet but a specific issue that was resolved. 
 

So...it’s taken me a few years to get to this point but it’s still a work in progress.  My family is a little easier as they had to deal with the low fat craze, my Vegan Year, plus my brother and his wife used to do Keto. So we’ve all had our ups and downs with special diets, so we just keep each other posted as to what we are eating for the next party, holiday, etc. :D I hope this was helpful and again I’m glad you are feeling fantastic!!!!

 

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@christine19 Thank you so much for your story! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has grappled with this, and it is possible to get past it. Even today, my husband excitedly announced that we get to go out for ice cream on February 1 and I had to figure out how to skirt around that. I really like your suggestion about telling him that I didn’t realize how crappy I was feeling until I eliminated X, Y, or Z and now I feel so much better. I’ve sort of been planting those seeds, telling him that February 1 isn’t going to be a free-for-all because I’ll make myself ill. And honestly, I’m not sure there are entire food groups I’m going to leave behind—I’ll still eat dairy and gluten on occasion, I’ll still have a glass of wine once in awhile, and we WILL go out for ice cream again! I just want to maintain that moderation mindset instead of letting an all or nothing attitude creep in (as it did at the end of the year). I’m feeling confident, so wish me luck!

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