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Day 30 and still struggling. Should I continue?


Gaileo

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It's day 30 of my Whole30. I have had a few ups and downs but mostly downs, and today I am feeling very down. I have been working so hard at this and following the meal plan as closely as possible and as far as I know, have not eaten anything non-compliant and only had something "not suggested" (canola oil) once, about a week in. I read ISWF before starting and have referenced it about a thousand times.

I still crave all of the simple carbs and candies and crap I used to eat, pretty much constantly. I still have bloating and painful digestion after most meals, and bowel movements are always unpleasant in one way or the other. My acne has gotten worse. I can never sleep through the night anymore. I am still head-achy and low-energy and probably even more emotional and weepy. Honestly, the only difference I can see between how I felt before I started and how I feel now, is I am no longer feeling dependent on caffeine, and that would have also been true if I just stopped drinking coffee for 30 days. And I might have gained a little weight (not a bad thing, for me) because I don't skip meals anymore, but it might just be the bloat that is making me think so.

I was just so sure that doing this would "fix me". It's pretty upsetting to have to deal with everyone calling me crazy for a month, spending most of my free time shopping, cooking, and doing dishes, to see literally no change or improvement in my life. I am starting to feel like maybe I really am crazy, the people who have been saying it to me really know what they are talking about, and the only way to survive in our modern world is with cups and cups of coffee and barrels of sugar.

I have read this article several times http://whole9life.co...t-work-for-you/ trying to see what could have gone wrong. I am trying to focus on the positive changes, but I really just don't see any. OK, my fingernails seem a little less brittle, but come on. Could the two dates I had that one night I thought I deserved a treat after dinner have caused my lack of results? That seems unlikely. I guess my expectations were too high or I need more time, most likely both. Either way I am sad and frustrated and disappointed, and I don't know how much longer I can continue this when it hasn't really gotten any easier. At the same time I don't want to throw away all my hard work by just giving up. Any advice, encouragement, or input would be greatly appreciated.

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Could the two dates I had that one night I thought I deserved a treat after dinner have caused my lack of results?

Yes!

I realize that this is not what you want to hear. But if you strayed 3 or more times during your W30 then you were not compliant. If these 3 or more times were spread out during your W30 then your body never had the chance to fully heal and you never reaped the full benefits of the W30 because you were not 100% compliant. I know that 3 times out of 27 days seems like so little but I would bet that you took in several non-compliant things and as you know from ISWF compiling bad on bad makes this even worse.

If you are as miserable physically now as you were before your W30 then I would start from scratch. And DO NOT do it tomorrow. Make a plan. Pre-make several recipes and freeze them. Keep fresh veggies to steam/roast to order for each day but have most of your food ready to go. So you dont have to feel like you are shopping, cooking and cleaning non stop for days on end. MAKE A PLAN. A solid plan and stick to it. Have a date pick a place that you know with 100% certainty that you can stay compliant. DO NOT treat yourself with something off plan. You body and mind deserve good whole food not trash that is a "treat".

I am sure others will weigh in. If I came across harsh I apologize. I just believe in the W30 and I know it can change peoples lives if they do it right. This can work for you!

Do not give up! :)

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Actually, dates are not banned and Canola is just not recommended but also not banned. Dates are sugat bombs but you only had them twice.

I think it's more likely that you need more time. I also wonder if you are eating enough. You shouldn't be feeling so poorly at this point. Can you give us an example of a typical day of food including amounts?

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Really, two dates? As far as I know, dried fruit is totally compliant. They were not sweetened or anything. People on here talk about their "emergency Lara bars" all the time and you think because I ate two dates right after dinner I screwed up everything? I will admit, that does seem really harsh. I look forward to hearing from some other people.

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Thanks, slw. I have a paper food journal and I will type up my last couple of days. I started out not eating enough, but I am now eating a ton of food.

Day 28

Meal 1 - 2 chicken thighs, 1 whole sweet potato, 15 baby carrots

Meal 2 - can of tuna, 1/2 avo, pile of greens, cucumber, shredded carrots

Meal 3 - 1 lb ground beef, broccoli, zucchini, cabbage stir fry with coco. aminos & ginger (I was super hungry)

Day 29

Meal 1- 2 chicken thighs, big pile of wilted spinach, carrots

Meal 2 - ground beef mini-burgers (3/4 lb) with lettuce wrap, pickles, onions, and avocado

Meal 3 - spaghetti squash (1/2 of a smallish one) with 4 oz mushrooms, shredded chicken (about 2 thighs worth), scallions, garlic, coconut milk & vinegar

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Ok my bad. I totally miss-read the dates thing. Totally, sorry. I read it as you went on two dates and ate off-plan meals. Gur. Sorry.

Jeez I feel like an idiot, sorry.

Um please forgive me? :(

Blame it on me for never eating dates and never going on any since I am so single. :huh:

So. No I don't actually think you screwed your W30 up at all! I would keep going though. Some people need longer than others depending on their issues.

Again, so sorry. :wacko:

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It's OK, it's totally reasonable to misread something now and then. :) Sorry to snap. I will admit I am feeling pretty touchy because I am disappointed.

It is possible I am coming down with something because of coworkers coming in to work sick (grrr...) and maybe that is why I am not feeling well. So I think I will just strengthen my resolve and keep this going for at least 15 more days.

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Your food looks great as far as veggies go (and delicious) but I wonder if you could use more protein and fat at times. I'm mostly referring to the 1-2 chicken thighs. Ground beef looks adequate.

What is your activity level like? If you are extremely active, you may need another meal or larger meals.

You may be doing everything right and simply need more time depending what your diet was like before you started W30.

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Robin said something once that made sense to me. With all this healthy immune system strengthening food, we may fight off bugs that others come down with but that can make you feel wimpy. I definitely felt that last week when others around me wete down for the count.

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That's really helpful, thanks. And Shelli, you actually cheered me up with the dates thing in the end, so no worries! I am feeling much better about things after a laugh.

I will try to eat more protein & fat, especially in the morning. It's still a little hard to eat a ton of protein in the morning so I always just eat as much as I can but maybe I can do better. It's also likely I need to eat another meal and/or a sort of post-workout thing after work, because it's physical work and I work hard. That's basically my only physical activity, besides short evening walks, and I think I've made the mistake of NOT thinking of it as a workout, when it probably counts as one.

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I agree, a couple more weeks will likely find you feeling very differently. Especially if you were under-fed in the beginning - you really deserve 30 well-fed days, in my opinion (but I'm one that thinks no one should ever go hungry ;) ). Also, if folks around you are falling ill - and you're not - it's entirely possible that you're fighting hard with a bug right now. The hubs and I had 2 or 3 days like that last week. Everyone around us was dropping like flies and it took us 2 more days to make the connection! Rest as much as possible, eat as much as possible, and be patient. :)

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Thanks Robin. I really do think I am fighting this cold/flu thing that's been going around and that's probably the root of my problem. I am going to keep at it and turn my Whole30 into a Whole45. Two more weeks seems sooo long but I know I can do it, especially now that I have the hang of things and renewed hope. :)

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Galileo,

First off, congrats on making it 30 days without breaking. That is a huge accomplishment that a lot of people I know personally were not able to do!

I finished my first whole30 and didn't feel great until the end and then continued for 10 more days which make me feel Amazing! I am now on a Whole45 after the holidays and believe me the extra time is worth the results you WILL get. Keep it up!!!

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Rachael, thanks for the encouraging words. :D

Renee, I know the caffeine is a big deal, and I am trying to give myself more credit for that now. Also part of why I think extending this is a good idea. On the topic of stress- I started a log last night (http://forum.whole9life.com/topic/7166-from-whole30-to-whole45-or-even-whole60/) and I talk about this there a bit. I do tend to be a very high stress person, and I have been really hard on myself during this process. I know it's a factor and I'm going to try to work on that. I'm thinking of starting some yoga or meditation or both, and just trying to relax a little more about this, generally.

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I feel best when I have grass fed beef as opposed to chicken and I think it's because even free ranging chickens are supplemented with grain feed and I do horribly on grains- so I don't like to eat things that ate grains either. And chicken just never quite does it for me- maybe a blood type thing? And maybe you feel like crap because your gut isn't healed so maybe adding homemade beef bone broth would help that. What about adding some healthy bacteria via fermented vegetables or coconut water kefir? Good luck and keep trying!

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Hi Gaileo,

I'm still doing my first Whole 30 and I'm newish to Paleo so I can't really answer your question specifically. However, your issue sounds a lot like what I was going through when I first cut down on sugar years ago. I was ADDICTED. I would literally shake after every meal until I ate something super sugary. No surprise, I ended up with severe gyno and gastro issues. I started looking for answers and found I had yeast overgrowth in my gut. So, I cut down sugar. But it wasn't that simple. I sort of yo-yoed for years because the cravings were so intense. I eventually got over it, though, and so will you. I'm not totally sure, but it sort of sounds like you may have an overgrowth situation in your gut as well. They are nasty little things to kill. Be really proud of yourself because doing a Whole30 in that state is really, really, hard. Once you kill them off, however, things get a lot easier. If you can stick it out I would continue on and let your body repair itself.

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I'm certainly no expert on the Whole30 yet (only on day 5 myself), but I am somewhat of a reluctant expert on GI issues and bloating, as I've battled this for most of my adult life. One thing in your food log that stood out to me was the amount of ground beef in a single meal. I love ground beef and I have done what you did many times--eating a pound of it in one sitting with veggies when I'm starving. When I do this, I feel absolutely miserable and can't sleep at night with heart palpitations. I'm not saying ground beef is bad or anything (this also happens to me when I eat ground turkey), just that perhaps for people with GI issues, that amount of beef at one sitting along with fibrous veggies might be too much for your weakened and taxed digestive system to handle at this point. I know it was for me--I felt sluggish and miserable when I ate too much ground beef/turkey at one time. Now I try to distribute the protein a bit more evenly, and have been mostly ok. Just an idea. Hope you feel better!

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And that whole dates misunderstanding had me worried- I had three last night and they were awesome! Not an every day thing but so so good. I was worried I'd have to start over ad I'm on day 13!

Dates are not forbidden. They are very high fruit sugar so if you are dealing with a sugar dragon, just be aware. I rarely eat dried fruit for that reason. I sometimes use dates in recipes.

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