October 13, 2016

Whole 30: Week 3

Whole 30 - Week 3 on Shutterbean.com

As I write this I am on Day 24 of  Whole 30:

I have 6 days left.

Why is this starting to sound morbid. It’s not!!!!!



Part of me wondered why I shared this journey with you.  Is it annoying? Is it boring? Do you think I am crazy? Don’t answer that.

I am sharing this process because I want to be accountable for my actions. I want to say I am going to do something and DO IT. Having you involved in the process means I have more motivation to keep it going.

My willpower is stronger as a result.

So, thank you.

I believe that this is proof that we build better connections when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. 

This week I’ve been working on:



What I learned most during week 3 was this:

I have incredible willpower. What I need to manage is my impulse control.  Through this process, I am starting to understand what kind of habits and patterns I’ve created for myself. Slowly, I am figuring out ways to fix them. I am loving how less stressed I am about food because I don’t eat the things that triggered my anxiety. 

What is impulse control?

-failure to resist a temptation, urge or impulse that may harm oneself or others.

When I am stressed, it is much harder for me to control my impulses (like drinking alcohol or having a carb party). Taking the time to understand what my impulses are has helped me make better choices around food. Impulses come from feelings and I HAVE SO MANY OF THEM throughout the day while I am rushing around-doing too many things at once. Instead of understanding how I am feeling and WHY I am feeling a certain way, I tend to self-medicate by swallowing my feelings.

Impulse control can be managed by slowing myself down.

I am learning how to tell myself —in a gentle way— that it’s OK to eat certain things but I need to be aware of how much I am eating. AKA DON’T GO OVERBOARD.

Before I would say things with a mean/angry/jerk voice.

That jerk voice is definitely not a voice I would EVER use for anyone I loved.

When I am not surrounding myself with distractions, I can CLEARLY think about the food choices I will make based on the structure I have for myself right now.

Before, I impulsively ate my face off because I had no structure/no limits/no boundaries.


before (said in a frantic/jerk voice):

  • omg there’s cake
  • i want cake
  • omg i should just have a sliver
  • but then i’ll just want another slice
  • just get the bigger piece, Tracy
  • but that bigger piece WASN’T ENOUGH.
  • have another slice! make it SMALLLLLLLL
  • oh. you did it. wow. OK. So WOW. Ummm.
  • how are you gonna work this off?
  • what do you have to sacrifice today to feel OK ABOUT EATING ALL THAT CAKE?

now (said in a loving, supportive mom voice):

  • Slow down
  • Pay attention
  • Take a deep breath
  • Examine the situation
  • How will cake make you feel? Can you have a little or would you be happy with fruit?
  • Do you even like cake?
  • Make the choice that will make you feel best.
  • PROCEED, you got this.

What else is up this week?

I had a few moments this week when I went CRAZY on a bag of  plaintain chips. BECAUSE OLD HABITS DIE HARD.  Just because I can eat something within this “structure,” doesn’t mean I can eat ALLLLLLLLLLL of it. If I want to end this program feeling lighter, I have to pay attention my portion control.

Last weekend I spent 7+ hours at a family party where everyone was drinking (too) much wine and eating crazy good food. I put kombucha in a wine glass… I ate a lot of salami and nuts. I made some solid choices and I put myself in a quiet place every time I felt like I couldn’t handle being around so many people/temptations.

Sometimes you just gotta walk away and give yourself some time and space. 


.I threw my back out. Felt sorry for myself. Crawled into the kitchen and still made good choices. Laid in bed with a heating pad while my husband drank a hot toddy RIGHT NEXT TO ME. The jealousy! It was cold out! I wanted a hot toddy. I made myself tea. EVERYTHING WAS FIIIIIIIINE.

OK. That’s all for now. 6 more days!

BTW- I am working on a bigger post to show you all the foods I’ve eaten and what I’m into.

You can read my Week 2 post here btw.

If you’re doing the Whole30:: What day are you on? How’s it going?!!!

  • Monica B.

    My awareness was just heightened. I have willpower, but I struggle with impulse control, too. And there is a difference. The golden nugget for the day. I’m the one who won’t buy a package of OREOs because if they’re in the cabinet, that package is mine. Not one, not two. The package. I’ve been a vegetarian for 5+ years, and there’s still room for ‘cleanup’ around food. And the food you shared looks so delicious. Whole30 is worth considering. Cheering you on…..clap..clap..clap!

  • Kristin

    You’re sharing with us because it is so helpful for us to see other examples of how to live life! It’s not annoying, boring, or crazy. You inspired me to start Whole30, and now we’re in Week Two. It’s pretty amazing and even though I don’t know you, I have definitely felt like part of a community reading your Whole30 posts and comments from lovely readers who also are doing/have done it. Especially the reflections about the emotional aspects of eating and how Whole30 really brings those to the surface. That’s something I’ve noticed too, and it’s nice to not feel like I’m just ‘weird about food’ or something, since we’re discussing it here. Thank you also for the advice to just walk away and take a breather when facing temptation; we have parties in the next two weekends that I am apprehensive about because of the food and booze, but you’re right that we have choices and I can just choose to remove myself for a minute and re-center.

    PS I can’t imagine doing Whole30 if my entire household wasn’t doing it, too–you already had my respect but WOW to you for soldiering through while your husband is drinking hot toddies next to you!!

    • Tracy

      We three eat different things ALL the time. It’s hard to sync up our food tastes, so I am used to making alterations for myself. The toddy was pretty challenging. Like more challenging than making pasta tonight and not eating it.

      Good luck with your events. YOU CAN DO IT!!! And when you do, you’re going to be so pleased with yourself! xo

  • Katherine

    Oh my god I am only on day 4! I am doing ok with the food, but I am so very tired. And I really want something delicious. I need to train my mind that clean good food can be delicious.

    Congrats on making it to the almost finish line!

    • LORI

      I added a daily electrolyte supplement and that really helped with the fatigue! The carb purge strips your body of electrolytes. I used one called Sports Salts. Good luck!

      • Tracy

        Wow! Interesting. I still have carbs on the Whole30. They come in the form of potatoes & sweet potatoes. Definitely MORE than 10-20grams a day.

    • S

      Seriously, go easy on yourself. Go to bed early and/or take a nap if you need it.

    • Tracy

      clean good food CAN be delicious. 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  • LORI

    Hey! Look at that! Your instagram story led me here. August 8th, I eliminated all grains and sugar to try and combat my migraines. I went too low carb (10-20 g per day) and crashed my system, so went to the doc and had bloodwork done. OMG. Seriously. I’m insulin resistant, My thyroid isn’t producing hormones, Flatline estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, my cholesterol is sky high. And I’m 5’7 119 pounds and have been eating (what I thought) healthy for YEARS!! I’ve now modified the diet from Ketogenic to Whole 30 to get more carbs in, and praying it fixes my messed up system. There’s seriously something to this. My favorite thing is not feeling hungry. Before if I didn’t eat every two hours I turned into a beast. Congrats on your three week accomplishment! Looking forward to reading your wrap up post!

    • Karen

      Check out Deliciously Organic and Floliving for the best most supportive thyroid advice ever

  • libby

    Thank you for sharing your self talk. I find that I do okay with my low-carb diet. Except that I end up eating half a dozen sticks of string cheese because LOOK! NO CARBS! What madness it all is.
    I love that you give yourself grace when you go to town on a bag of plantain chips–“old habits die hard”. That’s so important for us all to remember.
    I like your honesty in these posts. I need it.

    • Tracy

      Thanks, Libby!
      Every day is a new beginning…a chance to start fresh. It’s important to remember that!

  • Ashley

    I’ve never done a Whole 30, and don’t plan to in the near future, and still think these posts are SO interesting, so thank you for sharing them with us!
    I love to read about what people learned about themselves and their habits during the process. 🙂

  • Diane

    I am on day 6 – your posts are inspiring me to keep on going…

  • lee anne

    You’re am inspiration!! I’m on day 3…uuggghhh
    I did this once a few years ago & while tough the payoff was well worth it.. More energy & into my smaller jeans.
    Keep the blog’s coming they really help!!!

  • Jackie

    Hey sister!! I am hoping to try whole30 very soon…so I can be done with it before the holidays so hopefully I can have some good habits. Also me an my boyfriend will be moving into our own place by the end of this year, right now we are living with his parents so I don’t have much of a say in the grocery list. When we are in our own place I can’t wait to try a whole30 together! Thank you for the inspiration!!

    • Tracy

      Hopefully you’ll find the right time that works for you! I had such a hard time starting it because I had a lot of stuff in my schedule that would have made it SUPER HARD to do. 🙂

  • marcy

    tracy, i’ve been loving these health posts! i am not going to do whole30 but i love reading about your experience! please keep these posts coming. the barrage of recipe-centric posts from most food blogs is more tedious, in my opinion. i love how diverse and open you are with your personal journey. thank you for opening up to us every week!

  • Pricila


    Your journey has inspired me to take on the whole 30. Keep doing you girl!

  • Jessica

    First, you are doing an amazing job! I did my first whole 30 almost 2 (!) years ago. My husband started on January 1st and has lost over 65lbs. Being on the program seriously changed my relationship with food for the better. I don’t stick to a religious plan anymore, I know my limits with food and I honestly don’t miss some of the major starches I used to go for. I actually prefer cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles because I think they taste good! Don’t get me wrong, I still have carb parties and eat a bunch of chips sometimes or make myself a cocktail (or two) with vodka and soda water but oh well, it’s not an every day thing. Keep up the great work! You are inspiring so many people 🙂

    • Tracy

      Oh my goodness!! 65lbs. IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so glad to hear that you found a better relationship with food. That’s what I’m hoping for 🙂

  • Carrie

    I’m on day 12 of my 3rd round. I still want to fall into old habits and routines. Trying to find ways to deal with all these emotions!!

    • Tracy

      So many emotions! How is it on your third round? How long has it been since your previous round? I am so curious about the long term effects!

      • Carrie

        I did my first round last October, then I did another in January and actually I misspoke because I did the September whole30 and then just kept it going for October. It felt easy, so I figured I should just do it through October. So I’m actually on round 4. I know November and December would be too hard with the holidays. I have plans to do it again with a friend in January.

        Hmm… I think the rounds get easier because you are more knowledgeable from previous times. I know what to expect from the first week, etc. I like it as a sort of reset button.

        I think ultimately what I have learned from my multiple rounds is what I absolutely will always crave and what I can completely do without. Also, it has helped me to realize that food is my go to in times of stress. I keep doing rounds because I haven’t found a consistent way to cope with that yet!!

  • Julie

    This is not annoying, boring, or crazy. I love that you are sharing! I struggle in the same way with impulse control – even though the Whole 30 is hard, I found it easier to control my impulses than when I have the freedom to eat/drink whatever I want. How do we practice the same mindful eating and feeling all our feelings when we are not on a cleanse/diet/whatever. Let me know if you figure that out!!! Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished so far!

  • Joy

    Thank you for posting your thoughts on impulses and your self-talk. I’m working on trying to figure out my feelings as I reach out to food when I’m feeling frustrated about my current life situation. The feelings that come after eating are the worst and I love the thought that just taking some time out, slowing down, and leaving the room will help. I think the slowing down is what I need. When I’m feeling stuck my brain just wants to go go go to try and figure out what to do, but really what I probably need (ok, DO need) is some space and time.

    Congratulations on all of the impulse control and great insights you’ve gotten so far in this journey!

  • Sandra

    Oh man you are a rockstar! I did the Whole 30 about a year back, but I think I need to do it again because I too have been struggling with bad food habits for the past 6 months or so. My husband did it with me, and he was so into it that he continued for 41 days! He is NOT a healthy eater, but he loved how it made him feel. I went straight to WINE on day 31. Probably not the best start to reintro… Yeah, after re-reading this comment I’ve decided that I DEFINITELY need to get a Whole 30 on the calendar before the holidays hit. I think it will help me make much better choices through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Kelsey

    Have you read Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before? It’s all about habits and it was incredibly insightful for me. Since food/eating is influenced so much by our habits, it might be a helpful read for you right now. Lots of tools and tactics to work with your particular “habit type.” Great job, you got this!!

    • Tracy

      I read half of it and then picked up another book! Time to get back in the habit of reading.

  • Kali

    I finished my Whole30 this week. Currently on the reintroduction. Ironically, I don’t miss all of the things I cut out very much. I agree, social settings can be hard and your tip about walking away and taking a moment is great. The Whole30 has taught me a lot about myself and my relationship with food. It definitely changed me, not just my body, but my relationship with food. Good luck with the last week, you got this!

  • Emily

    I’m on day 9 and feeling really good about it! At first it was really hard just to figure out what to eat to satisfy myself throughout the day, because I usually rely on grains and legumes a lot to fill up (and hardly ever cook meat). But now that I’ve gotten into more of a routine and have figured out what ingredients I should have on hand, it’s not bad at all. I started off trying to mimic things I couldn’t eat with other ingredients (cauliflower rice, etc) but soon discovered that was really unsatisfying because it just highlighted the things I wasn’t able to consume, and made for a really poor substitute. Now I’m focusing on making things that are good and satisfying exactly as they are (e.g., salads with some kind of protein added, soups, simply prepared meat with roasted veggies and potatoes). I’m so happy I decided to do this, because it has made me so much more mindful of what I eat and how it makes me feel!

  • Liz

    Congratulations, that’s terrific! What an accomplishment! I have some complex feelings about food myself, so I think I can relate. I’ve read a couple of books on mindful eating that helped with the negative talk and mindless eating. I’m looking forward to reading about what you were eating. Have you found any web resources on Whole 30 that you particularly like?

  • Haley

    What a beautiful post, Tracy. Thank you for your vulnerability! I have been reading for several years but have never commented before. I just wanted to encourage you to continue whatever it is you’re doing that’s leading to increased self-awareness and honesty. It is reflected here, and it is beautiful! You inspire me. I am starting Round 2 of Whole30 on Monday (did Round One in January of this year), and reading through your recent posts has me genuinely challenged (in a good way!) to DO THIS THANG. I have struggled through my relationship with food for what seems like my entire life (like soooo many women I know!), and seeing you put your musings out there has really encouraged me to be more mindful in general–not just about food, but about the way I think about my body and my experience as a woman. (#buddingfeminist) Thank you and peace to you.

  • Diane Beebe

    I am loving your Whole 30 reports….and the awareness/insights you are having. I do intermittent fasting and in the beginning I was blown away by things that surfaced…I wasn’t expecting that. Keep up your healthy eating/thinking ways and keep us looped in….


  • Kim

    You’re doing a great job! Hang in there.
    I finished my Whole30 and am actually extending it, on day 40 today.
    I will start reintroduction ( 10 days) tomorrow. I can honestly say that I don’t think I will ever go back to the “mindless” eating I was doing.
    It is amazing what insights are revealed when we slow down and listen to ourselves.

  • Caroline

    #FirstWorldProblems. I did get a good laugh at your cake story. But it was like the cake accosted you. Food doesn’t just jump on our plate. You should really ask yourself how it got there.
    Also, depriving yourself never works and is not sustainable in the long run. If you already have such as ridiculous relationship with food, deprivation just heightens all your stress, creates more problems that weren’t there, and reinforces feelings of guilt that you were describing.
    Food shouldn’t be complicated like this. Weight loss is actually very simple and is based on calories -not type of food. *Moderation is really the key.

    • Emily

      I think it’s easy to assume that other people’s relationship to food is similar to our own relationship with food, but we all have really different experiences based on our ability to inhibit impulses, the habits we’ve created over our lifetimes, our social environments, and a million other factors. Some of us struggle when presented with infinite options (first world problems, indeed) and benefit from the structure of an organized diet, even a temporary one like Whole30. I don’t think anyone would disagree with the idea that moderation is key, but it’s easier said than done and flat out doesn’t work for some people. Let’s all be supportive of each others’ journeys!

  • Simone

    The thing I love about your approach, and the way you are sharing it with us, is that you aren’t all “look at me, I’m awesome and you eat bad, shame on you.” You are so not condescending and I love that you are just talking about YOUR OWN body awareness, emotionally, physically, etc. You are so encouraging!

  • Lia

    Woah – I am SO impressed! Firstly, i hadn’t really heard of this before (maybe in passing) as I live in the UK and i don’t *think* it’s a big thing here, but I’m intrigued! I’m a veggie, so i’m guessing it will take a little more organisation and prep, but I think i’m going to check my calendar and go for it! Thanks for the inspiration Tracy – i can’t wait for the big post you’re working on!

    It must be over for you now? What’s the first thing you ate, haha? I would choose a VAT of Shiraz and a chunk of manchego!

  • Katie

    I have so much respect and admiration for the way you openly talk about food related feelings! Have you noticed any long term effects of doing the Whole30? I am planning to start March 1 and I keep coming back to read your old posts. I would love to hear if you feel like it made a lasting impact. Thank you, Tracy!

    • Tracy

      It’s all about habits. I have fallen into some of my old habits after I finished. I would love to go on it again for another good reset! And maybe if I can motivate myself, I’ll like that most of the time.

  • Darlene

    Took baby steps the past few days’drank my coffee black..Ready to dive in!.Day 1 for Me!

    • Tracy

      Good steps!!!! Good luck with the process!!! I hope you find what you’re looking for. YOU CAN DO IT!

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