Whole30: Failure

TWO days.

In just TWO days I will have completed THE Whole30.

But.

I failed.

It took some time and courage for me to write this. In fact, I could (and wanted to) leave this part out, pretend it never happened, and just say “I did it!” in two days (I’m on day 28). But, I think that mentioning my failure in Whole30 is important and I always keep it real with you guys. So. Here goes.

Every single day for the past almost-month, I have been 100% careful, strict, and purposeful about every little thing that I eat. Don’t get me wrong, I have eaten a LOT of food (maybe even more than previously), but I have been careful about the quality of it. SO careful. I read the Whole30 books and believe whole-heartedly in everything they have to say. I believe in real food. I ate all my meals at home (which I normally do anyway), meal-prepped, altered plans, ordered food carefully at restaurants, etc. The works.

Then the day I failed came. My family went to Babe’s Chicken. I should’ve known better. Their menu consists of: friend chicken. I went because it was an important occasion, I was honestly mentally EXHAUSTED from all the Whole30-ing… I didn’t want to have to change everyone’s plans but I also really wanted to participate in the outing. And whether I admitted it to myself at the time or not, I KNEW that I was going to give in before it even happened. I thought – I’ll just go and do my best.

Well, my best isn’t good enough. My mindset going into it was an equation for failure. I was in a mental place where I was just drained from the strict diet. Which is odd because until this day, I truly found Whole30 quite easy. I love real food, I’ve been loving cooking, meal prepping, and eating delicious, whole foods! But I kept thinking thoughts like, why am I doing this? what would one meal matter? can’t I just be a normal person for a day?

So, I dug in. There was no “being good” at a place with fried chicken, biscuits (with honey and butter!), mashed potatoes, and cream corn. My option was eat, or don’t eat. And I am only human.

I thought about just “pretending it never happened.” I wasn’t going to tell anyone or write about it on my blog and just brush it off. But I can’t and I won’t. We are all human. I am here to share my story and experiences. I’m not writing a novel or just writing what you want to hear.

So, I am finishing out the Whole30 as intended until my day 30. I feel like a failure, but then again I don’t.

I have learned SO much about myself and food during this process. My moment of failure taught me something. That I am not perfect. BUT. ALL of my moments of success – each and every meal otherwise – taught me that I have the power. The power to eat, do, feel, anything that I want. Anything.

I also learned practical things – I learned how different foods effect us. I learned many great recipes that I will use for the rest of my life. I learned that I LOVE sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and crock pots! I wouldn’t have known this if it weren’t for Whole30. Doing and (almost) completing Whole30 has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. And as much as I envisioned this last Whole30 blog post being a celebratory, happy, glamorous, perfect post about how I did everything correct and to the “T…” I hope that you learn something from my failure. It’s important to do our best, yet accept the fact that we can’t be 100% perfect all. the. time. (and keep our sanity!)

Though this will be my last blog update, Whole30 is NOT over! I will complete the 30 days – and beyond. I plan on adopting a Whole30-inspired diet – basically Paleo with the inclusion of legumes, oats/grains, and occasional treats. I think that putting certain foods 100% completely off-limits, unless allergic, can backfire or just be unnecessary. It’s all about balance and moderation.

In conclusion, I do NOT consider my Whole30 experience a failure. Overall, this has been a HUGE eye-opener and successful journey that is ultimately going to change my life from here on out! I am SO proud of myself. This one “slip up” does not define me, yet proves to myself that I am human! I wanted to highlight my “failure” because it just proves that life GOES ON, and we cannot take ourselves too seriously!

Have you tried Whole30? Did you ever slip up?


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20 thoughts on “Whole30: Failure

  1. rmtguestpost says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. It’s so inspiring. And isn’t it funny how, even when we’ve had success upon success, we naturally equate ourselves to the ONE slip up we have? I’ve done that time and time again throughout life. But thank you for being honest on your journey. I just embarked on the Whole30. I’m on day 4 (Lord, give me strength) and it’s refreshing to know that it goes so far beyond perfectly following a meal plan. Thank you for being courageous and sharing with your readers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennaruns says:

      Thank you for appreciating it! That is so true – even though 29/30 days I stuck to the plan, I will always remember the 1 day I slipped up. It really was even hard to make the decision to write about it! BUT I would just rather not sugar coat it and give it like it is and I do TRULY consider this experience an overall success – I am SO proud of myself – but it’s important to realize we’re only human and you know, sometimes we just can’t take ourselves too seriously! Life happens and delicious food (good OR “bad”) is a part of life… a very important part 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. wanderwolf says:

    I totally agree. I wouldn’t call this a failure at all because it’s about a lifestyle change, not a short-term diet. The night out was an exception. You still carried out the change really well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hellyontherun says:

    Agree with the others. YOU DID NOT FAIL; in fact, you showed so much strength by continuing on afterward instead of throwing in the towel then completely! This is so very inspiring…my diet IS THE WORST and I’d love to try something like this but I know I can’t. (Or can I?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennaruns says:

      Thank you! I do consider this an overall success. I learned a LOT. I thought this wasn’t something I’d ever care to try, want to try, or have the will to do… but ANYONE can do it. It’s all about choices! If you think it would help you, I say try it! I really don’t consider it a diet, but a lifestyle change and a shift in the way you think about food. I will continue to eat donuts and pizza but just be more aware. 😊😉 Thanks again for the kind words and encouragement!!

      Like

  4. Olivia says:

    Jenna, you haven’t FAILED! Just because you didn’t complete 30 CONSECUTIVE days of completely whole eating, doesn’t mean you haven’t improved your diet big time. Normal people go out to eat and splurge, and thats okay – the takeaway is, I’m sure you’ve still learned a LOT from the Whole 30 programs that you can carry with you! It’s all about the lasting habits for the rest of your life, not just 30 days anyway! GREAT JOB, and I look forward to all the wholesome meals you continue to cook up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennaruns says:

      Hey, Livvy! Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my blog and read! I do definitely consider the Whole30 experience an overall success. A huge success! I am so proud of myself. I have learned SO MUCH about myself and about food… and am continuing to learn more and more. Cooking and eating real food is fun and delicious! I have loved learning new foods that I LOVE! Thank you so much for the inspiration to eat healthy! You have been a huge motivator in all of this! Your snacks and meals look so delicious!

      Like

  5. RunBikeThrow says:

    That you (and others) have remarked on how “difficult” the final days of the Whole 30 are says something significant – that radical diet changes rarely last, and there’s a lot of unnecessary suffering in the bargain. I’m glad you decided in the end that your experiment didn’t fail. Even if you adopt just a couple of improving eating habits from it, that’s a long-term win!
    Jeff

    Liked by 1 person

  6. fisherbff says:

    Congrats on completing whole 30! Don’t be so hard on yourself for the one day! Think of all you’ve gained in these days: the nutritional load up where your body may have had deficiencies, the new habits your formed to aid your quality of life, the farms you supported in your purchase of whole foods. It’s healthy to look at that day and acknowledge that you didn’t meet the expectations of yourself, I’m glad you shared with others battling through the temptations. And, I imagine no chicken has ever felt so loved, as the one(s) you ate at that dinner, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

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