Today’s tough love inspiration came through in a Dear Melissa submission from a woman on the East Coast, but it’s the same kind of message I’ve been sent countless times, from countless people. I’ll amalgamate all of their emails, posts, and tweets into one general concept: 

“I’m on Day 8/10/14 of the Whole30, and it’s just not working. I’m still not sleeping well/have not lost a pound/have no energy/skin is still breaking out/still have joint pain/still feeling bloated. It’s not working. This isn’t working. Why isn’t this working?”

This is actually a really short answer.

Because you. Are. Not. Done. 

It’s Called the Whole30

Our program is not called the Whole8, or the Whole10, or the Whole14. It’s not even called the Whole28CloseEnough. It’s the Whole30 (and sometimes, in the case of chronic medical conditions or long-standing unhealthy habits with food, it’s the Whole45 or a Whole60).

It’s a 30 day program for a reason. Some of the things you are hoping to see—increased energy, better sleep, clearer skin, reduction in medical symptoms, and holy Oprah, weight loss—will take time to materialize. I feel like I shouldn’t even have to say this, but I will, just to spell it out.

After a decade (or more!) of poor food choices, unhealthy relationships with food, and a long and complicated health history of yo-yo dieting, medical conditions, injuries, and illness… how much do you really expect to change in ten days?

Our program can produce miraculous results in only 30 days. It can. It has. But it doesn’t work like that for everyone, and I can’t say whether it will work like that for you. It may take you longer. It may only bring you some of what you were hoping for. It may not work for you at all (or you may think it didn’t). But don’t be mad that it hasn’t brought you amazingly miraculous results in less than 30 days. Please just don’t. It’s the best change-your-life lifestyle and habit program out there, but it can only do so much so fast.

Fits and Starts

In addition, progress on the program is not linear. It’s not like things get 3.3% better after Day 1, 6.6% better after Day 2, and 33.3% better after Day 10. You’ll see progress in fits and starts. You’ll take a few steps forward and one step back. You’ll go to sleep feeling one way, and wake up feeling another. You’ll sleep like a baby and have energy through the roof, but not lose the weight you desperately want to lose. It’s not linear, it’s not predictable (despite the commonplace accuracy of our general Timeline), and you can’t choose your own adventure.

I know that can be frustrating. But rememeber, please, you are in the middle of changing your life. That’s not an easy process, and it’s not usually a clean and tidy process, either. I’ve said this a million times, but I’ll say it again. Be patient with yourself, and with your results. Be kind to yourself. Look for the small improvements (physical, mental, emotional) every single day, instead of focusing on what isn’t happening. And please, please, please… give us the full 30 days before passing judgment.

Let Us Support Your Journey

Of course, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t ask for help if you’re in the middle of your Whole30 and having issues. We may or may not be able to steer you in the right direction without a consultation, but we’ll do the best we can to answer your questions, give you some encouragement, and hold you accountable. All we ask is that you not deem the program “not working” until you cross the 30 day mark, having given the program 100%.

We’ll be writing some troubleshooting articles over the next month or two to help you figure out some of the most common issues mid-Whole30. See? We’re not all tough… there’s lots of love here, too. But in the meantime, please stick with us for the full 30 days, and please stay focused on the positive.

In the meantime, if you need support, you know where to go.