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Courtney Bush

Scarred to go off plan & dealing w/guilt

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So I successfully completed my first W30 (yay me!!) but now I'm scared to death to go off track! I just don't like these constant feelings of guilt and analyzing that goes along w/eating a "bad" food - I keep thinking that THIS cant be a healthy relationship w/food either :/ I was mostly paleo before w30 so there are not too many food groups I'm interested in welcoming back into my diet, but I guess it all boils down to: should I eat that darn Reese's Peanut Butter egg or not??!! LOL... They were always my absolute fave at Easter but I'm afraid ill go off the rails by having one How does everyone else deal w/being OK w/yourself by eating off plan occasionally? Just trying to find a happy/no pressure/ no stress relationship w/food (for the first time ever)

Thanks!!

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should I eat that darn Reese's Peanut Butter egg or not??!!

You're the only one who can answer this question!

I've been doing this for about nine months and have a couple of Whole30s under my belt. After my first Whole30, I waited about four months (until the Christmas holidays) to test the effects of off-plan foods on my body. Breaking out and reverting back to the depression that I used to experience 90% of the time are NOT worth it for me. But you know how I figured that out? I ate a bunch of cookies and cake.

I'm not saying that you should go on an Easter bender with Cadbury cream eggs and Jelly Belly just because you're "allowed" to now, but this is a very personal question that I recommend you explore in your post-W30 life. A lot of folks around here talk about "riding your own bike,", which means taking accountability for your food choices without torturing yourself about it, but also not feeling physically ill for days because you wanted some candy. The only way to get there is to try some things, say, "hey, that doesn't work for me" and move on. Look, you've already demonstrated that you have the willpower to complete this program. That's HUGE! If you get derailed, you know exactly how to get back on track. There's a reason it's not W365.

I STILL struggle with this, but I've done enough experimentation to know that a Lara bar and a few extra pieces of fruit in a day are treats that don't totally wreck me. You'll figure it out eventually, too.

Good luck, and happy health!

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Just like the whole30 gets better once you get the hang of it, riding your own bike takes practice. Someday you will feel like you want to find out what happens when you eat the reeses egg, and you will test it--and either 1) it leads to cravings and/or possibly binging or 2) it doesn't taste as good as you remember and you wonder why you wanted it or 3) it tastes awesome but sets off some horrible allergy/immune response or 4) it tastes awesome and you feel good after but you are able to just have it and move on with healthy life as usual.

I know for me, I'm aiming to only have treats where the response is #4 and the frequency is rare. Just know that it takes practice to figure out what foods are worth it, and what kind of reactions you have to them.

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My gut response was "don't eat the Reese's"!!!! But, after reading the other responses...I think they are right. You have to give it a try yourself. You will eat some things, realize they make you feel physically or emotionally terrible, maybe eat them a few more times to double-check, because you don't want to believe it, and then eventually accept that those foods are not for you anymore. Or, you won't notice any symptoms. You'll start allowing them more and more often, because nothing bad is happening. Maybe you'll stop sleeping as well as you used to or you'll have gut issues for awhile...and maybe not. Everyone is different and finding out how you respond to certain things is all part of the process. You certainly shouldn't feel any guilt for doing reintro tests...if the things you eat lead to binging or eating less healthy in general, then it's probably time to pull back and re-evaluate. Either way it's all a learning experience. Just make sure you pay attention to yourself. If you start eating off-plan foods, it's really important to notice everything it's doing to your body and your brain. Otherwise it's kind of pointless and you might just slip back to your old eating habits after awhile.

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There was a time, back in my long-distance cycling, Crosssfitting, uber-fit days when I was in a complete and happy food groove relative to my activity. A time when I felt super well.

I tended to eat the same things most days. Breakfast, eggs and veggies or fruit. Lunch, which usually corresponded to post-workout, a salad with sardines or cottage cheese. Dinners, meat, fish or fowl, cooked veggies, potatoes. Evening snack: yogurt with fruit and nuts. Since I tracked, I know I was eating about 2000 cal/day, and got a lot of activity.

I would allow myself a treat only under certain circumstances: it had to be really, really good. So if out at a fine restaurant, I would often order something like a flourless chocolate cake. I'd have a glass of wine when eating out. I virtually never ate junky junk, it just had to be fine junk. So I would make homemade strawberry or chocolate ice cream with the finest ingredients I could find: milk and cream from grassfed cows, maple syrup or the smallest amount of sugar possible, free range eggs. THAT was worth it. It made the crappy ice cream available at the nearby ice cream place pale in comparison.

I am writing all these things more to remind myself than anything. But I hope it helps.

Pea

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The Whole30 gives us definite rules... but after Whole30s we have to figure out our own rules. As people have said this takes time and trial... it is a process.

The rules that I have created for myself are to identify days or events (ahead of time) that are truly special occasions and that I will eat off-plan with no guilt. But in general, I no longer eat the ever-present donuts at the office or the bagel at the coffee shop. They aren't special and I feel better if I don't eat them.

More and more that is what my choice is... is eating that worth not feeling good? And I find myself more and more (and I've been working on this process for about two years now) choosing feeling good. :) I don't feel obsessed; I feel I am making conscious choices.

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Thank you all so much for the great comments! You all made so many good points that hit home - love the "ride your own bike" analogy and remembering that this isn't a W365.... I think I will begin to test certain foods out, but keep them meaningful that way I shouldn't be feeling guilty about it... And I think you are right - I did complete the W30 so I should give myself a little more credit and start to trust my instincts :) I had an epiphany when I asked myself what I'm so afraid of?? What's the WORST that's going to happen?? I need to get over my fat-kid complex and stay present in the moment and appreciate how far I've come

.

I would allow myself a treat only under certain circumstances: it had to be really, really good. So if out at a fine restaurant, I would often order something like a flourless chocolate cake. I'd have a glass of wine when eating out. I virtually never ate junky junk, it just had to be fine junk. So I would make homemade strawberry or chocolate ice cream with the finest ingredients I could find: milk and cream from grassfed cows, maple syrup or the smallest amount of sugar possible, free range eggs. THAT was worth it. It made the crappy ice cream available at the nearby ice cream place pale in comparison.

Pea

I really resonate w/this mentality Pea so thank you! I truly do fine joy in home cooking w/the best ingredients and hate nothing more than paying for a less than mediocre dessert when I know I can make it better at home!

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just wanted to give a quick update to my "should I/should I not" internal struggle ;)

so my daughter asked me if she could have a treat after finishing her lunch yesterday and wanted 1 of her Easter candies -- of course when she saw the options she chose that Reese's Egg... well weighing my options and not wanting to keep making this such an issue I said sure and suggested that we sit together at the kitchen table and enjoy 1 together -- reminding her that this would be my first treat in over a month! like It starts w/Food suggested I got "downright romantic" w/that reese's LOL... and I have to say, I took 3 bites (because I really had to make sure I wasn't fooling myself!) and realized that it tasted like wax!! I threw 1/2 of it away! I can't believe that I have wasted so much energy thinking about this crappy piece of candy but am relieved/happy that I don't even like it anymore :) for me, it always goes back to "i can make it better myself" -- so that's what I'm going to be reminding myself from here on out!

thanks again for all the great suggestions/advice!

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This is just a great thread. For me, good-quality unsweetened cream I whip with my little rotary egg beater over strawberries tastes spectacular. A Green and Black's milk chocolate bar was awful, and it used to be one of my favorite treats ever. Sweet potato chips are not worth the paper they are printed on (from?). A glass of wine last week was fine, last night was hideous (and this morning), so that has to be a very, very every-once-in-a-while thing. A mouthful of carrot cake (seriously, a mouthful) and an hour later I had fibro symptoms worse than right before I stopped eating wheat before Thanksgiving.

But, it is still kind of scary to go out there and do it. But I am agreeing with everyone here that the more you allow yourself to eat what you choose for the good reasons you do, the less all that garbagy, "I'm cheating/transgressing (I was so sad to see that word on a post the other day)/going off diet" thinking will get you. I'm pretty sure.

Thanks for starting this! Really helped me today.

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First of all, I love this post. I really needed to read a lot of this today :)

It is scary to come off a W30, and there will be slip-ups, victories, and days where you're not sure what the heck to do!

My personal credo has come to be simple: how am I going to feel (physically, mentally, emotionally) after I put this in my mouth?

Don't get discouraged--I have gained more weight than am proud of following three months of sheer bad eating (I won't make excuses, I was going through a sh!^^y time and I made terrible food choices); however, I'm 3 weeks back into riding my bicycle with my helment on (the helmet being my W9 guiding principles and a whole lotta willpower), and I feel better than I ever have. I have to remember where I'm coming from--I've been on both sides of the disordered eating spectrum; from being a compulsive overeater and weighing close to 200 pounds (I'm 5 feet tall mind you), to being a severe anorexic and weighing in just over 70 pounds before being hospitalized. Only recently (within the past 18 months) have I began to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise, and it's most certainly a marathon, not a sprint.

Be proud of your gains, and let the parts of your past that you wish not to re-live ultimately be your guiding light, not a source of guilt or regret. :)

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I feel like I wrote this post. I'm on Day40 because I don't know what else to do.

Today I'm meeting a friend for coffee. I could get an Organic almond milk chai tea latte, but then I would break my streak of eating Whole30 and I know the latte isn't making me any healthier. So why should I eat it, despite it being one of my favorite things? I guess I'm having a hard time justifying drinking the latte, even though I want it. And I haven't committed to a Whole60 or anything more. But I just feel guilty, for a lack of better words.

I suppose I just need to figure it out for myself. But seeing that others have this problem makes me feel better.

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