Why Whole30 Didn’t Change My Life – And Why I’m Coming Back For More

Are you thinking, “Give it a rest already with the Whole30 attempts!”? Sorry, but we’re back on the bandwagon.

While reading through past Whole30 Chronicles, you might think this is my “third” Whole30 this year … but it just doesn’t feel right to call it that. I did my first Whole30 before we started this little blog, and the thought behind PiP was that sharing our experiences would help keep us motivated, keep us accountable as we continued on to Round 2 and beyond. My first Whole30 I honestly felt really great about, and I am proud of what I accomplished during it.

Round 2 was much more difficult for me and I can’t consider it a true Whole30, you’ll understand why if you check out my bratty & deflecting post on the final day. I had only given myself a quick cheat weekend between back-to-back 30-day sessions (and MAN did I cheat). The second go ’round wasn’t for the right reasons, it was straight up vanity at its finest – “I need to lose more weight by next month.” This isn’t what the Whole30 is designed for, peeps. Some people (raises hand meekly) are guilty of trying to use it as a quick fix for years of crappy eating habits and not getting off their asses enough. This program is designed to teach you to pay attention to your body’s reaction to the fuel you’re putting in it, and help you learn how to continue applying the lessons you learned after your thirty days are up. You can’t go into your Whole30 thinking that when the timer dings you can go back to your old ways and make healthy choices when it’s convenient – but by day 45 I was stressed, I was “over it,” I just wanted a cheese steak, and I felt I deserved a “reward” for all my hard work. Treating this like a short-term diet is really only setting yourself up for disappointment. Exhibit A: three and a half months after my great progress, I am right back where I started on the scale – and it is nobody’s fault but my own.

Was it all a big waste of time? I don’t think so. I’ve learned a lot about nutrition, the food industry and food preparation. I’m making better choices at the grocery store (most days) and have been trying to keep my gym visits regular even if there have been a few obstacles as of late. I’ve also learned a lot about myself. I have a better idea of what my goals are now, and know what I need to do to achieve them. While being strictly compliant to the Whole30 rules for thirty days is in itself an accomplishment, those thirty days will only truly change your life if you have the dedication to apply what you learned once it’s time to start “off-roading.” This is where I failed miserably, and it became a vicious cycle spiraling out of control. I would eat something that was clearly a horrific choice, just because I wanted to – then I would be depressed afterward and beat myself up about it. What comes next, boys and girls? Oh, the guilt and shame of it all – emotional eating. Chin up! Even Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, creators of the Whole30 Program, acknowledge that none of us are perfect:

We all find ourselves slipping back into old patterns and habits, no matter how many Whole30′s we’ve done or how long we’ve been eating “clean”.Whole9 Life

They put together a post in 2012 titled the Six Reasons Why the Whole30 Didn’t Work For You. It is a very well-written post, and if you’ve struggled either during or after the Whole30, I do recommend reading it. You’re not the only one who isn’t a Miracle Success Story (yet)! All of the tools are laid out for you on a pretty, Paleolithic platter, but it’s up to us to use AND keep using them. I think the Whole30 is the absolute best introduction to Paleo out there – because it gives you the foundation of learning super-strict paleo and then tweaking your diet to one of the many variations of paleo/primal/real food that suits YOU and your body best.

I know Whole30 works because I saw spectacular results, and I’m coming back for more because I recognize that it’s my fault those results slipped away from me. I’m taking back control – Whole30: Day 1.

[Feature Image: Etsy.com]

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Dorothy

Book hoarder. Red lipstick aficionado. Compulsive shopper. Crazy cat lady. Adores alliteration; couldn't give a @$%& about an Oxford Comma.

Comments 4

  1. ruthvalentine@sbcglobal.net'

    Ditto. My sister and I have been attempting round 2 for the past 15 days and are struggling. We just finished our first round October 1st. I think it’s too soon.

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  2. I could not have said it better myself. I keep saying I am going to do another whole30 but 3 days in I inevitably crack and eat something off program. Then the shame sets in.
    I did really well the first time over the summer and now….back to where I started.

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      See, we can’t shame ourselves! I’ve found the “break” can go one of two ways … 1) I remember how great I felt during the Whole30 and try to make better choices moving forward, or 2) a total free-for-all causes makes me miserable and causes me to eventually feel the need to hop back on the wagon. I’m still working on finding my happy medium.

Anyone ... anyone?