Why I Quit Whole30

When I decided to quit Round 2 of Whole30, it wasn’t an easy decision.  I more than loved my first round on Whole30.   I loved it so much I went past 30 days and ate strict compliant for 59 days.  I felt Whole30 changed my life.  I still feel that way.   Whole30 helped me finally get to the point in my life where I was eating healthy, feeling great, and no longer felt helpless to cravings.  I think that was part of the problem this time.  My reasons for starting Round 2 were vastly different from the reasons I started my first round.

I turned it into a weight loss diet

When I started round 1, it was a challenge to myself to eat healthy.  I wanted to eat more veggies, cure my addiction with sugar, cut out dairy, and I like 30 day challenges.  I wanted to go as clean as possible, not for weight loss reasons but for health reasons.  By far Whole30 was the most strict challenge I had ever tried.  The first time I saw their rules, I thought “but that is all the good stuff!”.  Still I was up the challenge and it was something I needed to do for myself.   I already knew I was lactose intolerant, I wanted to see if I had any other intolerances to food.  And I did it!  The non-scale victories started adding up and yes I did lose almost 20 lbs.

When I started round 2, I told myself the reason was to “reset my system”.  I told myself that I had gone off the deep end too much with food and needed to get back to my new normal.  I did eat pizza and have some very non compliant foods, but I was still eating Whole30/Paleo’ish for 80% of my weekly meals.  So my desire to “reset my system” was partially true.

The bigger reason I wanted to start round 2 was to lose more weight.  I had such an amazing weight loss those 59 days I was on Whole30.  I wasn’t counting calories.  I had a lot of energy and was working out like every day.  The weight was just falling off me, something that has NEVER happened to me.  In the past when I tried to lose weight I had to FIGHT just to lose a couple of pounds and now I was seeing steady weight loss every week? Of course I wanted to get back to that point!

Which was the problem.  I hated all previous diets.  I already knew other than dairy I didn’t have any other food intolerances.  Also, despite feeling like I had gone off the deep end with food, I knew I really hadn’t.  I was on vacation and enjoying myself without restrictions.  That is the way life SHOULD be.

When we came back from vacation, I stepped on the crusher of all souls, the bathroom scale.  It told me I gained 3 pounds.  Suddenly I had this vision of gaining back the almost 20 pounds I lostRemove featured imageon Whole30, going back to my old eating habits, and losing everything I had gained.  I was in a complete, mental panic over 3 measly pounds.  I felt I had to start Round 2 immediately!

I should have known going in with this mindset was going to set myself up for failure.

After I had my babies, I decided to stop obsessing about my weight.  I didn’t want that to be part of my life anymore.  I wanted to be healthy, fit, and happy, not worried about a few pounds here and there.  If I lose weight, I want it to be a result of a healthy lifestyle and not ruthless dieting.  I want to be a good role model for my son and my daughter.  When I realized what I had turned round 2 into, I was like “WTF, Cindy!  What happened to your promise to yourself.

I finally found freedom from food

One of the goals on Whole30 is to find food freedom.  No that does not mean becoming a Breatharian like this couple.

Melissa Hartwig sums it up best as :

“Food freedom is feeling in control of the food that you eat, instead of food controlling you.”  

It sounds so simple and easy, but the reality is much harder.  I feel without Whole30 I would not have been able to find my food freedom.  And I did find it, after 59 days on round 1, I felt like I finally got what all those annoying “just don’t eat it” people were saying.  It only took my entire adult life, but I finally found a healthy lifestyle that worked for me!  I don’t just mindlessly snack anymore. I pay more attention to my body’s hunger cues, even more important for me, is I pay more attention to how my body FEELS after eating certain foods.

I feel I have learned how to eat that is best for me.  I don’t consume dairy because I’m lactose intolerant.  I don’t eat a lot of grains because I always feel sluggish after I do.  I can eat legumes but not for every meal.  I will have a dessert every now and then but I look for or make paleo-style desserts with added honey or maple syrup rather than store bought sweets.  For example, I’ve started experimenting with making non-dairy, sugar free ice cream.

I am enjoying all the new foods and dishes I have discovered.  I wasn’t much of a cook before, but I had to unlearn some default behaviors.  Not only has my cooking greatly improved but I’ve learned to enjoy spending time in the kitchen.

Seasoned lamb burger with “tazuki” sauce, avocado, and roasted sweet potatoes. Oh yeah I’m depriving myself.

Right now I’m going to continue to live on my version of healthy eating, Whole30+Paleo+wine (but not too much wine).  This works for me.

Not the right time in my life

When doing something like Whole30, you have to pick the right time for you.  When I started round 1, in February, the timing was perfect!  I did’t have any trips, social obligations, or any other non-normal demands on my time.  So it was a great time for me to do a 30 day challenge.

Round 2 was just bad timing all around.  There was so much going on and the first half of the month ended up being beyond stressful (I’ll talk about it another time).  When you have a that kind of stress piled on you, starting something like Whole30 is just not a good idea.

The Bottom Line

I love Whole30.  My first round was a massive wake up call as to how I was taking care of myself.  It taught me so much about food and myself.   I also know so many other people whose quality of life and health has greatly improved after being on Whole30.  I am, now, a big believer in healing through nutrition.  So right now was not the right time, but will I do another round in the future?  Most likely.

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