Why I quit Whole30... again

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The short story is that I am human.

Not strong enough to overcome emotion and resist temptation.

But there is more to it than that.

First let me say my previous attempt at a Whole30 this year lasted just over 24 hours. Clearly I was not ready mentally or physically with prepped food that time around. This time I made it to day 11 after a soft launch that involved peanuts in a bag of nut mix I was finishing up and eating 2 bites of a banana bread recipe which I created for Hi Pro as a commission (watch this space- it is really good!). So maybe I should say I was never really compliant.  My 'pause' was meant to be a Thursday night date at a pub with my husband.  He has been working really hard this semester so we haven't spent much time together in the evenings. The plan was to comply all day, do the best I could at dinner with what was available on the menu, and stick to water.

My work is what The Dude would call 'gutters and strikes' so I was having a bit of an emotional day.  I got some info that my brain immediately filed as devastating and I decided then I was going to drink at dinner.  I only had 1 (big girl) glass of wine and tried to practice restraint by sipping it slowly. (Usually I have trouble pacing myself when drinking but this is something I am working on.)

Friday morning came and I started my day with my standard Whole30 breakfast. At 10am, I went near the canteen to sell my #RODSraffle tickets and got myself a cookie after sitting at the table for 15 minutes debating about what to do. This turned into pizza at Ciderhouse because they were having a Friday opening special of £5/pizza. And mulled cider. Date #2 continued at the Wanstead Tap with a glass of wine and meeting some of our neighbors.

Date #2
Saturday I was back on track.  Sunday, I watched the wagon roll away.

Part of my struggle, which I remember Elle saying on a post when she quit her 3rd attempt at Whole30, was that a lot of the rules of Whole30 I had already adopted. I don't eat yogurt any more (I used to have it everyday in my lunch). I avoid pasta and bread when I can but do love a fresh bagel on the weekend (it was a treat from my childhood). My main problems are (as long-term readers will know) cookies, Diet Coke and lack of self-restraint.  This round, I was also relying on the same recipes over and over which meant a lot of meals were no longer appetising- even 'crack vegetables' were loosing their appeal.

The Whole30 website says most people quit days 10-11. Early on, I had compliments that my skin was glowing, which was great but I didn't have 'tiger's blood' feeling yet (or ever while on Whole30) or improved sleep patterns. Marathon training was going ok as I had Energy Bits for fuel and nakd bars.  As the process started to crumble, I started telling myself I could have 1 day off a week from the regime and stick to it the rest.  But I can tell you that is already failing. Social media provided me with accountability on this round and I still lost the battle.

I have been using Thinking Slimmer's Chillpod on and off and making an effort to go to bed earlier as part of working on my life-balance goals. I am also marathon training which makes me tired and hungry. It is a never ending battle to make good choices and I am sure I am not alone.  I food prep at the weekends, don't buy crap to keep in the house (but my husband sometimes does), and KNOW when I make bad choices. Otis Spunkmeyer cookies just taste so good. Ben & Jerry's is like a hug in my mouth. These emotional triggers are so strong and my body's reaction to the sugar is the endorphins release which makes me feel better in a shorter time frame than the 40 minutes I am required to do to get that runner's high.

It is getting too close to the holidays now to try again and I am tired of being disappointed in myself. There is so much I want to do, so many times I say yes, and then I fail.  It is frustrating to be on such a cycle for what seems to be most of  my life.  I just wanted to let you know I am not perfect and get upset with myself too when I consciously make poor food choices.  And I am well aware these are indeed choices.  I just usually make the 'wrong' one and beat myself up about it.

Ok, time to change my mindset.  I will end this post with the highlights of my Whole10:
  • 10.5 days without an alcoholic drink (which is fine by me as I would rather have dessert than a drink any time)
  • 11 days without a cookie or biscuit (depending on where you are from)
  • 13 full days without a Diet Coke
  • Cinema trip without purchasing any fizzy drinks or popcorn
Do you have any suggestions or tips on how to demonstrate self-restraint?  How do you make better food choices when you are having a bad day?

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