*I want to start off this post by saying this is my own personal journey. I’m not completely Anti-Whole 30 necessarily. I DO think that everyone should experience doing their own Whole 30 at least ONE TIME in their lives.*
If you know me or have been following me on social media or my blog, then you’ll know that I loved doing the Whole 30. It was a great experience my first time and a learning experience my second time. I recently tried to do a 3rd Whole 30 with one of my best friends and completely failed. This post is going to tell you why I failed and why I’ll never even attempt another 30 days.
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I’ve read the book “It Starts with Food” during my first round of Whole 30 a year ago. It was an incredible read and made me truly understand the real reasons behind the “rules” of a Whole 30. I hate to call them rules but that’s what they are. One of the most obnoxious but understandable rules is that you cannot recreate any ingredients to imitate a dessert. Even though water and fruits are considered compliant under the rules of Whole 30, you can’t turn them into a smoothie or a juice. That is considered breaking the rules. I hate this. I also understand this. The reality of the Whole 30 is that you’re fighting your addiction. This is why I would recommend for everyone to complete at least one round. It has helped me learn my weakness (sweets!). I’ve also learned so much about reading dietary labels.
Whenever I went into doing a third round, my heart truly wasn’t in it. Since I wanted to lose weight to fit into a bridesmaid dress, I decided to do it anyways. I woke up and drank my morning coffee. Black, without any sweetener… without any LIFE. After 2 days, I felt a little better but I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t excited about breakfast, lunch, or dinner. (If you know me, then you know that I LIVE for eating food). Long story short, I quit.
How can I live a healthy life with such an unhealthy mindset? I already knew the basics of clean eating. I knew how to apply these fundamentals to my every day life. Couldn’t I use these skills to eat clean and live a healthy life?
After my second round, I told myself that I would slowly reintroduce foods as they explain in the books. I didn’t. I binge ate so many sweets and cupcakes. I was literally binge eating… I was displaying disordered eating to the fullest. Of course I felt awful afterwards but I was indulging on something that I truly loved and missed. During my short lived third round, we went grocery shopping. On that trip, I noticed several seasonal sweets. One of them being pumpkin spice kettle corn. Without even rethinking it, I put them in the cart to eat after my round.
The combination of these actions and my unhappiness made me realize that what I was doing was completely wrong. Most importantly, it was an unhealthy mindset. It was, in my opnion, a version of orthorexia.
Those who have an “unhealthy obsession” with otherwise healthy eating may be suffering from “orthorexia nervosa,” a term which literally means “fixation on righteous eating.”
One of my favorite parts of my day is drinking a smooth, creamy, sweet coffee beverage in the mornings! While doing this round of Whole 30, I wasn’t “indulging” in my favorite sweet drink! I was just going through the motions of eating without finding joy in it. After 3 days, I quit. I took a bite of my daughter’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I felt guilty for it. I felt sad, emotional, and like a quitter. I hate that I felt that way.
Personally, I don’t think this is a life worth living! I don’t think that it’s a positive trait to eat in a manner simply to fit into an outfit for one moment. I also don’t think that someone should feel guilty for eating. I think that the lessons that I learned from my previous rounds should come into the play to teach me how to eat intuitively.
So, that’s what I’m doing now. Because of Baby J, I already don’t eat dairy but I’m not giving up anything else unless medically necessary. I’m finding joy in all types of foods and not limiting myself from eating anything. Most of my days, I eat “clean” for a majority of meals. without even thinking about it. When you buy healthy groceries and you don’t eat out much, it’s easy. ALSO when you realized that almost everything has dairy in it, you eat pretty great! When I’m eating sweets, I try to stick to the serving size. FYI the serving size for Oreos is 2, haha!
All in all, this is why I won’t ever do a full Whole 30 again. As I said in the beginning, I think that everyone should do it at least once. After you’re finished, you should figure out healthy ways to incorporate what you’ve learned into a regular and healthy diet.