I hadn’t planned on doing a Whole30 check-in until day 10 or 14. I fully expected to cruise through the program with little effort or struggle until then. After all, this is my second round. Whole30 week one was as good as in the bag.
As we say in the south, I got too big for my britches.
Over the past few days, I’ve been given my comeuppance. Tired, irritable, generally annoyed with the air that I breathe.
Life has really been a party.
I legitimately don’t remember feeling any of this during my first round, and I was eating worse prior to that round. How could that one have been easier? I don’t think it was. Rather, I think my results were good enough that I blocked out any negatives I may have initially experienced. That and the fact that I had a four-week-old the first go ’round have rendered my memory useless.
Before you read any further, I must stress that every glowing thing I said about Whole30 here, I still mean and believe 100%. I still think everyone should do a Whole30. It is life-changing. But life-changing
rarely never means it’s all unicorns and roses, right?
This is my run-down of Whole30 Week One: the good, the bad, the absolutely awful, and how you can get through it all.
Days 1-3 were a breeze. I felt amazing! Energy in droves! I was my best self! It was likely a combination of the excitement of something new and my body’s relief that I’d stopped eating Chex mix for breakfast. This initial great feeling only confirmed my initial expectations: that I’d cruise through the remaining days unscathed. Adorable of me, really.
No cravings. Last time, one thing I actually do remember was desperately craving sugar. You’re talking to a woman who mainlined donuts for nine months; quitting cold turkey was HARD. As a recovering sugar addict, it’s nice to know that that vice is still mostly behind me. I certainly indulged during the holidays (Danish butter cookies, y’all), so it’s nice to know that I didn’t re-energize my sugar dragons.
Oy. Where to begin.
I’m not sleeping well. I can’t put all the blame on Whole30; it isn’t their fault that my poor little baby has his 97th ear infection. I do blame Whole30 for my waking up, wide awake at 3:30 Monday morning. And for the fact that even when my baby is sleeping I am not. Usually when my mom keeps my kids overnight, I all but die in my sleep, but not this week. I was up, even though there was no crying baby to wake me.
My energy has left the building. You may be thinking “You aren’t sleeping! Of course you have no energy!” This is different. It’s difficult to explain, but you know how you feel when you have a cold? Like you don’t want to get out of bed, just because being upright sounds exhausting? That’s where I am. Getting ready for work feels more daunting than my actual job.
I’m emotional and my head hurts. Oh my gosh, y’all, these tears. I tried to tell my husband a story I heard on the news and I couldn’t because I kept tearing up. Said story was about SNOW! It wasn’t even a little sad! This has happened about 4,000 times since Monday. At this point I am prescribing myself a good cry this weekend and hoping I can get it all out, because things are getting ridiculous. Whole30 week one is making a real fool of me, and I don’t appreciate it.
I’m having intermittent headaches and throat scratchiness, which isn’t ideal. It’s also not that bad when you consider that I’m crying over things like snow and sweet potatoes and ink pens.
Hateful AF. Yesterday I was ready to run away from home and live in a cave away from all other humans. My road rage was through the roof (USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL) and I snapped at everyone in my house. All day there was an undercurrent of annoyance, and if I was ever going to get in a physical fight, it would have been yesterday. There is no explanation. No one did anything to me. My kids and husband were as lovely as usual. I wasn’t hungry or unhappy. I was just mad.
My brain is barely functional. This is tough for me, because I am usually very sharp. I think of all the right words at the right time. I’m good at thinking quickly. I’m not particularly forgetful. This week I walk into rooms with zero idea as to how or why I ended up there. I put a single paper towel in the refrigerator. At the gym last night I plugged my headphones into my phone and then left my phone in my car. I’ve tried to write three different blog posts this week and simply couldn’t form enough coherent sentences. It’s been frustrating, to say the least.
How to Deal
Whether you’re on Whole30 week one or week four, there will be challenges. Some days will be amazing, and some days you will want to scream at every person you see. That’s life, really; it’s not a field trip.
Having a supportive and forgiving spouse is helpful. My husband is also on Whole30 week one and while he hasn’t yet arrived at the “kill all the things” portion of the week, he understands that our experiences won’t always be the same and that I’m not intentionally being the worst. (Yesterday was a dark day.) He’s really good at accepting apologies, too, which makes apologizing easier.
It also helps if you have a friend who will not only listen to you rant but will rant with you. Sometimes you don’t need someone to ask you questions or give you advice; you just need them to jump on Team Everything is Effing Terrible and hate the world right along with you.
What you shouldn’t do is think that this temporary feeling that maybe you’re insane is a license to throw in the towel on your Whole30. Not feeling like yourself is hard, but it’s not nearly as bad as the way you felt before you started. Make no mistake: If you decided to take on a Whole30, there is something you wanted to change. These crazy feelings will pass. In a day or two, my energy will be back to normal, if not better. I will start getting better rest. I will not want to kill people just because they look happy.
Quitting now would only make me feel worse, because then I’d be a quitter, and I don’t live there anymore.
Remember what you want at the end of these 30 days. More energy? Better skin? Better digestion? Those things are all permanent and attainable things. Don’t allow the temporary discomfort you feel to rob you of achieving those goals.
You can do this, and so can I. Even if I cry for all 30 days.
I want to know: How do you persevere when things get hard?