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Binging since completing whole30

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So I have been contemplating writing this post for a while but I feel like I have to be honest. Ever since completing my first whole30 about 10 days ago...I have been binging on dairy (froyo anyone), cookies, chips, gluten (and yes, I do have an allergy!) and I am at my rope's end. Every evening I resolve to do better the next day, then around 2-3 pm the temptations strike and I fight for a while and give in...

A little background on me...

I have been struggling with binge eating for about 10 years, since I was 14 years old. I fell in love with the It starts with food concept of restoring your relationship with food. I felt AMAZING during the whole30 and truly felt like this program was a God-send. I am struggling as to why I am giving into the unhealthy choices even after having such an amazing response to the whole30.

Has anyone else experienced this? Do you think my whole30 should have been extended or I need a round 2?

Also, to top it all of, I am a nutrition student doing my masters in public health and studying to take the boards to be a registered dietitian. This makes it so much harder! I have the knowledge and know what I should do, but my cravings and urges get the better of me. This makes me feel like a hypocrite and SO embarrassed! This is actually a really hard post to write but I needed to be honest and share what I was struggling with.

Anyone have any experience with this and if so, what did you do? I could use some fresh ideas. Thanks!!!

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Sounds like you didn't slay your sugar dragon, but merely wounded him during your Whole30. I cannot speak for the mods on this one. Just know that you are not alone. We did a Whole30 in October and by Christmas I was eating craptastically once again. Day 16 of my 2nd Whole30, now.

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If you are gluten intolerant and you're eating gluten - that could definitely set off cravings. Part of the inflammatory response from eating foods you're intolerant to is the release of endogenous opioids, which do a great job of doping you up and then causing withdrawal symptoms down the track, setting off some serious cravings.

Can you jump right in to a second Whole30? 30 days is not enough for a lot of people, especially if you do have long-standing gut damage from food intolerances. Maybe try for 60 or more days to really give your body time to heal and unlearn habits that have been going on for 10 years! 30 days is not a lot in comparison to that! Sounds like you still need those training wheels, and maybe keep them on a little longer this time ;)

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There is often more than one way in life to achieve a goal. The changes we make when doing a Whole30 help a lot because we remove "food without brakes" and other "trigger" foods that make eating appropriate portions sizes difficult. And sometimes longer periods of dedication to the Whole30 can help you achieve stability in your relationship to food as habits become more deeply ingrained. But as a former psychotherapist and person who has benefited from psychotherapy, I think working with a knowledgeable professional therapist to talk through the emotional pressure points of your life and to develop and establish better ways of coping with stress than food is important too. I think the best approach is to work on your goals on two fronts at the same time - participating in psychotherapy while continuing longer with a Whole30.

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I have a similar background (binge eating issues; successfully finished W30 and felt great) and this is my worst fear. I finished the W30 recently and every day since I feel like I'm teetering on a tightrope. I feel this incredible sense of inevitability like one day my self control will just snap and I'll lose it and fall right back in. It's like every day I just barely make it and it doesn't get easier :(

I'm trying therapy right now and it actually is making the cravings so much worse in the short term but I'm hoping that long-term it'll help.

I don't know if we're allowed to do this on this board but I'd be happy to swap phone #s or email addresses with you; maybe we could help keep each other on track? I was emailing back and forth with someone else struggling with binge eating (not from this board; totally different site) a while back and it really helped me...

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My thoughts are along the same line as Tom's, if you haven't yet I think it's time to invest in a good therapist. This program, while amazing, is not a substitute for a qualified mental health professional. This has been a problem for you for a long time, it will continue to be a problem unless you get to the bottom of why you do this. Yes a longer stretch of W30 eating could help, but I can feel your pain just reading your words, you need to deal with the pain and the shame and the guilt and that's going to take more than just changing what you put on your plate.

One thing though to help you immediately, throw out the nasties you're binging on. Don't allow them in your home, the mere act of having to travel to a store to purchase the junk food could buy you enough time to stop the cycle. But if it's in your home and readily available, you've set the stage for a binge.

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Thank you all for your responses. Yes, I've been seeing a therapist for the past 6 months. It's been hard and helping in the sense that I understand why I do it sometimes, but yet I still do it. I will continue going and definitely consider doing another whole 30. Or even longer. I'm just worried that again, if I try to "reintroduce" I will eat everything I see! But I also don't want it to turn into a whole-lifetime in which I cannot reincorporate these habits into a daily life where food isn' the focal point of my day, whether I'm restricting my food or indulging. Thank you for all your support and comments!

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I did this three different times. I did great on my Whole30, and derailed shortly after finishing. I was treating it like any other 'diet' that you jump on for results, then jump off when you're 'done'. I needed far more than 30 days to really develop some new habits and coping mechanisms.

I was in the Whole100 group that started the first of the year. Of the 40 or so who started, only 7 of us made it to the end. Most of those who did were like me, with addictive personalities who have a lot of trouble with trigger foods. While a Whole100 is not recommended for most people, because you eventually need to learn how to ride your own bike, for some of us with eating disorders or unhealthy addictions to wheat, sugar, alcohol, etc. it can be very beneficial. It was somehow long enough to force me to learn new ways of cooking, eating, dealing with stress, etc. and to develop tastes for new favorites that are healthy for me.

Now that it is over, I have very little desire to add back any of the things I know I have trouble with. I feel too good to screw it up at this point. The first three times, I spent the last few days planning what 'forbidden' food to eat first. This time, I am looking at my trigger foods and deciding the momentary pleasure they will give me is not worth the long-term effects of derailing myself once again. Will I never eat another slice of pizza? Who knows? But for right now, I am not taking the first bite, because I can easily wind up eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, no matter how bad it makes me feel.

Quitting smoking was the same for me. I failed many times. I eventually had to come to grips with the fact that I cannot have that first drag. Even now, 12 years later, I know in my heart that the first drag would not be the last one. Some dragons are better left sleeping.

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Yes, for me my binges are very emotionally-triggered and also stem from seeing other people around me "enjoy" whatever they want. So I want a part in it too! But the enjoyment is defjurlwy momentary and short lived...because if I have one cookie I definitely want 10! I'm not moderate when it comes to those things...

I have decided to start another whole 30 today! And keep seeing my therapist. Thank you for all of your comments. It's comforting to know that I am not the only binge eater out there...because sometimes that's exactly how it feels!

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That's the attitude, bravo. I wish you all the luck in fighting your demons.

Every time I have a nasty thought "all these people don't even give a damn and eat whatever they want" I remind myself - we don't know anything about them. We don't know what kind of relationship with food they have. Is it healthy? We don't know how they feel after that meal and we don't know if they suffer from anxiety/guilt. We don't know what they do at home - maybe binging (throwing up/insert any disorder) as well. I realize this all sounds extremely negative. The point is - we are quick to assume that others feel great by appearance.

Just take a deep breath and say to yourself - it's my journey, no one else.

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Your situation is what I fear I will do once I complete my program (im on day 24). I still have serious cravings for treats and sweets and empty carbs and all those types of things. They have not gone away yet for my while doing this program and I am 6 days away from being done. I have decided that I should extend my program for a longer period, possibly a whole45, or atleast until i really feel like i have a better handle on these cravings and I dont feel them so regularly.

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I agree with what everyone has said here. And you definitely aren't alone. I've struggled with similar issues since I was 16 and I do wonder if I will ever be truly free of them.

I'm on my second Whole 30 right now and realised about ten days in that I was using fruit as a sugary treat substitute, and probably had done on my first go, which made it so easy to go back to eating chocolate/drinking wine after I finished. This time I've cut out fruit and it's definitely helped my Whole 30. Whether it changes things after, who knows...

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I'm on my second Whole 30 right now and realised about ten days in that I was using fruit as a sugary treat substitute, and probably had done on my first go, which made it so easy to go back to eating chocolate/drinking wine after I finished. This time I've cut out fruit and it's definitely helped my Whole 30. Whether it changes things after, who knows...

Jodea, many of us are not fixed in 30 days. It's an ongoing project. Look at the growth you've had this time, in recognizing you were using fruit to feed the dragon. I think most of us will do multiple Whole30s in our lives, and learn a little more about ourselves each time. We didn't get this way overnight, and we won't correct our issues overnight.

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I did the same thing as you! Whole 30 ended as my husband got home from Afghanistan...back in the beginning of March. Between having him home and a lot of our friends home, I wasn't very compliant. I had times when I was - resisting the siren call of the peanut butter M&Ms when friends were over - but by and large, my brain still isn't quite there. Combine that with the shoulder surgery I had 2 weeks ago (hubby is doing all the food) and the knowledge that we're moving in three months and are trying to use stuff up...yeah. Not so great.

That being said, I'm getting better. Now if my volunteer appreciation gifts could contain less gluten...I'd be happy. I know I'm better without it. I KNOW that. My husband even finally realized it! So why can't I resist dirt cake made with marshmallow fluff, boxed cake mix, and canned icing? I've been subbing in a small amount of a decent dark chocolate. It was an expensive bar that I got at the chocolate festival back in December with a friend 2 hours away. 60% cacao, responsibly farmed...and is amazing. I'm making it last by only allowing myself 2 squares, no matter how much more I want.

The other contributing factor for me was pain meds for the shoulder. You'll throw up taking them on an empty stomach and you'll be in unbearable pain for the first week minimum if you don't wake up to take it as directed (every 4 hours). And when the alarm goes off at 2am, you just want a bite of food and your drugs and then sleep. By the end, I was good. Macademia nuts and dried apricots (hate Macs on their own) aren't bad, or the Coconut Cream Pie Larabar (it has more fat than any of the other ones since they add coconut oil to it along with the nuts and dried coconut) or, really, any of the other Larabars. But still - it got my brain very quickly onto the sugar thing and I'm fighting to maintain control. Again. Less than 2 months from completion of the W30. *sigh*

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Also, to top it all of, I am a nutrition student doing my masters in public health and studying to take the boards to be a registered dietitian. This makes it so much harder! I have the knowledge and know what I should do, but my cravings and urges get the better of me. This makes me feel like a hypocrite and SO embarrassed! This is actually a really hard post to write but I needed to be honest and share what I was struggling with.

Anyone have any experience with this and if so, what did you do? I could use some fresh ideas. Thanks!!!

I completely get why you would feel this way. But, I think your personal knowledge of the difficulties people can face in making positive changes and in engaging in healthy eating habits will probably make you a more compassionate, sympathetic, and kinder professional. It is ok for other people to struggle, and it is ok for you to struggle. People make choices for lots of reasons -- even when they "know better." I'm sure knowing that firsthand will only enrich your ability to help others working towards healthier lives.

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First of all, CONGRATULATIONS for completing your whole 30! I too struggle with binge eating, and today on Day 12, I slipped up. I admire your strength in getting through a whole 30 days and you are an inspiration to me to not give up. Along with having a binge eating problem, I also work in nutrition. I am a certified nutritionist and personal tainer and part of my job is helping others with custom meal planning. I know the feeling when you say you feel like a hypocrit. There are days when I don't want to go to work because I am bloated from binge eating and I feel so embarressed. I am obviously not an expert, or I wouldn't have the problem myself, but I think you might be better off with a stricter aproach. Maybe that means sticking to the whole 30 guidlines 24/7 with the exception of special occasions. I think for us it is a much longer process to slay the sugar dragon. I also think that there is somewhat of a genetic predisposition for certain people that contributes to sugar-addiction and binge eating, and this kind of genetic disposition requires life-long diligence if you want the awesome feeling that comes with healthy eating. Maybe you could try a whole 100, and see if by the end, you are not missing the foods you used to crave. Binge eating is a b!tch to overcome, but I am confident that the whole 30 way of life is our answer. Hang in there and don't give up!

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I'm pretty much going through this exact same situation right now. I finished my first Whole30 about 3 weeks ago and have pretty much fallen off the wagon hard since then. I've had donuts, potato chips, cookies, and even binged on nuts and other "Whole30 Approved" foods. I'm going to restart a new Whole30 cycle today and possibly extend it longer to make sure I really have a handle on the Sugar Dragon...

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I did this three different times. I did great on my Whole30, and derailed shortly after finishing. I was treating it like any other 'diet' that you jump on for results, then jump off when you're 'done'. I needed far more than 30 days to really develop some new habits and coping mechanisms.

I was in the Whole100 group that started the first of the year. Of the 40 or so who started, only 7 of us made it to the end. Most of those who did were like me, with addictive personalities who have a lot of trouble with trigger foods. While a Whole100 is not recommended for most people, because you eventually need to learn how to ride your own bike, for some of us with eating disorders or unhealthy addictions to wheat, sugar, alcohol, etc. it can be very beneficial. It was somehow long enough to force me to learn new ways of cooking, eating, dealing with stress, etc. and to develop tastes for new favorites that are healthy for me.

Now that it is over, I have very little desire to add back any of the things I know I have trouble with. I feel too good to screw it up at this point. The first three times, I spent the last few days planning what 'forbidden' food to eat first. This time, I am looking at my trigger foods and deciding the momentary pleasure they will give me is not worth the long-term effects of derailing myself once again. Will I never eat another slice of pizza? Who knows? But for right now, I am not taking the first bite, because I can easily wind up eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, no matter how bad it makes me feel.

Quitting smoking was the same for me. I failed many times. I eventually had to come to grips with the fact that I cannot have that first drag. Even now, 12 years later, I know in my heart that the first drag would not be the last one. Some dragons are better left sleeping.

Thank you so much for posting this! I have just started a Whole100 because I felt like my binging, cheating mindset was sabotaging me before I started ( final splurges before the W30). I did some soul searching this weekend and decided that my lifelong battle with binging and food needed a longer stint to really stick, start new healthy habits and get me in a better head space.

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I am so glad I found this thread. I really blew my April Whole 30 big time and I'm not handling it very well. Out of the last ten months, I have 5-1/2 months worth of very successful Whole 30's, and during the off times, I'm still very compliant, with minimal off-roading.

About ten days ago, I blew it. Bread, ice cream, chocolate, pizza, more ice cream, then more chocolate for about 5 days. I've been super stressed this year, with no relief, and I guess it all got to me. My binges were still better than what I used to eat daily, but my body just can't handle that level of off-roading anymore. I'm so disappointed in myself for failing but I'm dusting myself off and getting back on track. I have no more fruit or Lara bars in the house, or anything that might trigger me in any way. And after reading the posts above, I feel so much better about this whole episode-seems I am in very good company. I'm trying not to be so hard on myself and accept that I am not perfect.

In addition to being upset with myself, my cheating has had some serious consequences. I am tired - exhausted all the time. I'm so bloated and uncomfortable, and my clothes feel really tight. The worst, is the return of pain. My neck, back and joints must be experiencing some serious inflammation. I wonder how long it is going to take me to re-set my system. My sugar dragon is a salty old battle axe that hates being told what to do, lol.

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Wow reading all of these definitely makes me feel like I am not alone! I tried starting another whole 30 but failed miserably. But I am determined to start one again, probably tomorrow. The binges aren't even emotionally driven at this point....they started that way but now I am simply "craving" the foods I conditioned my body to expect! Ugh!

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I completely get why you would feel this way. But, I think your personal knowledge of the difficulties people can face in making positive changes and in engaging in healthy eating habits will probably make you a more compassionate, sympathetic, and kinder professional. It is ok for other people to struggle, and it is ok for you to struggle. People make choices for lots of reasons -- even when they "know better." I'm sure knowing that firsthand will only enrich your ability to help others working towards healthier lives.

Ditto! I would definitely rather see or take advice from someone who struggled with this, versus having someone who never had an issue eating an entire sleeve of Oreos tell me to use "moderation" or "willpower."

This experience will only add depth to your knowledge. Good job for getting right back on the horse! I'm on Day 29 and I'll be right back here next week too. I started having dried fruit a few days ago and I'm right back where I started with afternoon sugar cravings. So mad at myself. But we can't undo a lifetime of sugar bingeing in one month. Maybe we'll get there eventually if we keep trying. Maybe we will never be able to have one single cookie.

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It is such a relief to be back on these boards and arrive to find this post. After a very emotional blog post this morning and almost five months of battling the craving demons (and often losing), I feared that I was alone in waking up morning after morning from a previous day's binge. Over and over again. My heart goes out to each of you with the same battle... It is not easy. I completed many a successful Whole30 last year, even during some extensive travel. It is a matter of realizing this process is a lifelong journey. There will be rough patches, maybe months at a time... But if in the grand scheme of things I continue to make lasting changes, no matter how small... They will add up in the end. I may have my binge fests - pizza with a side of triscuit crackers with ice cream for dessert, but I no longer chew gum. I no longer eat cereals and oatmeal for breakfasts. I take fermented cod liver oil daily. I still make weekly cookups for my hubby's breakfasts and lunch. The Whole30/It Starts With Food mindset is always at the forefront of my mind and I try to remember to praise the baby steps and not beat myself up on the changes I have not yet made. You can do this. We can all do this. I'm so glad I got a gentle nudge to return back to these boards and seek the support from fellow Whole9ers. Good luck. And never give up. You've got an entire lifetime to work on this.

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You're right, Dania. This isn't necessarily a quick-fix, and it's important to appreciate the accomplishments we have made. I know I tend to forget those - thank you for reminding me. And never give up. It took a long time to create the bad habits, so we need to be patient with ourselves as we break them. Big hugs to everyone. Keep fighting the fight.

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"You've got an entire lifetime to work on this" and "we need to be patient with ourselves as we break them" (the bad habits).

Yes, and isn't that encouraging to know we have a lifetime? More than only 30 days?

It's been a while since binge cravings overtook me, but I remember. When I was in day-therapy a decade ago (I had carried a severe ED with me for over 10 years from my teens to late twenties) I learned a 'trick' that seriously, honestly helped me with the cravings that lead to binging. Drink a glass of water. I know it sounds silly, but try it. Water fills you, and if after 20 minutes, you're ready to continue with the day, do. (Oh, don't set a timer, just drink a glass and live your day). However, if after 20 minutes you're physically feeling hunger--make a healthy choice of food to eat. But if you're physically hungry and the binge-urge is tickling your thoughts, drink another glass of water. Seriously. Then wait another 15 min. or so. You won't pass out from lack of food. And it's seriously tough to binge on water.

The Whole30 is my very first 'diet' after 9 yrs. of freedom from an ED. Yes, free. For that's what it is. I'm trusting myself that I won't be too restrictive or critical. I also strongly believe that the reasoning behind the Whole30 is wholly healthy and sound, not destructive, not unhealthy. This way of eating will only advance my healthy relationship with food, reveal areas that are weak, and continue to 'lay down the rails' of good habits to lead me in the direction of a well-balanced, thriving body. A well-balanced, thriving LIFE.

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Good stuff here. I have one more day till I am through with my first whole30. I, to, have years of love/hate relationship with food and feel that I need more than 30 days-I could be a wholecentury! Do I let myself have a bit of a spurge this weekend then hop right back on? Or just plow ahead and spurge on a compliant dessert? I don't know right now-I will decide in the moment.

I have never been in a place where I can have candy in the house and not eat it BUT this week I bought some for my hubby and actually been getting it for him so I can control how much he gets(yeah, he needs this too but not ready). Big deal for me.

YaY, us!

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