My Whole30 Cone of Shame

Now is as good of a time as any to finally confess to you guys that I was not able to complete my Whole30 and have therefore been dawdling about wearing a cone-of-shame. It’s actually been really hard for me to fess up to all of you that I failed. So here is my confession.

I knew when I committed to my 30 days I would have three hurdles to make it over:

Tough Mudder: Be fueled to survive the course, pass on the celebratory beer at the finish

Girls Night Out: Navigate an Asian restaurant and a night of drinking and dancing — a rare event for this mama!

Surgery: Knocked-out, full-on surgery with a rough recovery anticipated.

Well, I made it through Tough Mudder if you can believe it! Over eleven miles of rough and muddy terrain with ridiculous obstacles like jumping into a pool of ice, scaling Berlin Walls and enduring electric shocks! It was difficult, but a ton of fun thanks to my amazing team. They walked with me when my calves started cramping at mile 7.5, they pushed my arse (literally) over high walls and big logs, and they happily used me as a human shield when we had to force our way through live wires (good times, DeAnna 😉 ).

Nevertheless, when it came to food I made awesome snacks like bacon-wrapped dates (from this book) and had Whole30 compliant bars just before starting. Post-Mudder our group enjoyed a meal of Paleo-friendly beef stew, dinner rolls and beer — I ate more bacon-wrapped dates instead of bread and beer. Just look at these things!! No brainer!

And yes, I passed up the beer at the finish line. I was quite proud of myself.

Bacon Wrapped Dates | Popular Paleo

I wish I had some full on muddy pictures to share but I don’t… (so bummed about that). However, I was wearing my knee socks that said “BACON” on them… and my unicorn shirt, but that’s another story. Had to represent my Paleo peeps with the Bacon socks!

TM Collage

On to Girl’s Night Out. That was a little tricky, but thankfully the restaurant clearly marked which items were gluten-free making it easy to pick and choose proteins and vegetables. My main dish was Green Curry Chicken made with coconut milk and man, it was good! At some point I’m going to have to recreate that and add it here. Buuuuut before the night was out, I ended up having a drink and therefore donned the Cone-of-Shame.

Girls Night Out Collage

The surgery though was the kicker. I really thought that I could do it — slow cooker meals? check. Hard-boiled eggs and other snacks ready? check. Mind-numbing pain, killer nausea and a husband that doesn’t even know how to fry an egg? Uh-oh… I’m in trouble.  The only thing that I could fathom eating for two days were my coveted rice-nut crackers and my kids’ string cheese. It was not looking good for me.

{Don’t worry, not gonna show you pictures of that nastiness}

The other problem is that one of the Whole30 goals is elimination from all things toxic. You can bet that narcotics are on that list.  It was foolish for me to have overlooked that point when committing to do the Whole30 when I knew that surgery was on the calendar.

So what did I learn?

Well. I learned that where there is a will there is not always a way. Sometimes situations really do predicate our ability (or inability) to reach a goal or stick to plan. What matters though is that we don’t miss the forest for the trees. While I wasn’t very smart to pick that month to do my Whole30, those first 12 days went flawlessly and I felt fantastic!

It’s important that we remember to acknowledge all of the decisions we make that better our health. Whether it’s one meal where you made a smart substitution with an ingredient or completing a huge elimination challenge, honor yourself and acknowledge your effort. And if you don’t reach your goal? Then figure out what went wrong and try it again. Success is right around the corner.

And for the love, teach your spouse how to cook an egg. Sheesh.


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  1. says

    I hear you on the spouse side of things, for sure! You definitely need to look at your successes, though – Tough Mudder is no joke, whatever you’re eating 😉

    • popularpaleo says

      Thanks, Rach!! <3 It was a huge accomplishment — I’m so happy I did it! And yes, at some point I really need to teach my guy how to cook a few things! These guys are so spoiled by us! 😀

  2. says

    Awesome job on the 12 days and the Tough Mudder and surviving Girls Night Out on only 1 drink! Those two feats right there are definitely worth celebrating! Whole30 will always be there. The hardest thing for me was the not drinking, and when I did drink (a lot) this last weekend after 33 days, I felt like total crap and realized, “that’s what I was missing?!” and right back to no drinking. Haha! Thanks for sharing your story with us!

    • popularpaleo says

      Thanks, Vanessa!! Congrats on completing yours!!! I’m hoping to give it another go with some friends in January! We shall see :-)

  3. Jeannine says

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even though you may feel like you “failed” I am sure you have inspired many successes. When you first posted that you were going to attempt a Whole 30 I started mine right away (in order to finish before my husband’s birthday). It was a wonderful experience for me and I made it all the way through and felt great and actually hit my goal weight on day 30! I would not have tried the Whole 30 without you so thank you so much! I now have a bin of “too big” clothes in the basement instead of a bin of “too small” clothes and I have a ton more energy (as a mom of 4 that’s saying alot).


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