Am I My Brother's Whole30 Keeper?

Whole 30 is contagious! Once people start seeing how good you look and feel, they ask questions. You tell them about Whole 30, they get excited, and then they jump on board.

Being the good friend/neighbor/colleague that you are, you decide to do another round (you were thinking about it anyway) with them as their “buddy” to offer support and motivation. You’re also excited to have a partner in crime for this round.


You start off strong and check in with each other for the first week – and then on Day 8, your buddy tells you that she decided to bag Whole30 and join her friends for margaritas and chips at a girls’ night.

And just like that, the air is let out of the balloon! What do you say to her? Obviously, you feel disappointed – and a bit personally let down. Do you continue your round without her – even though she was part of the reason you were doing one in the first place? Do you give her tough love or compassionately encourage her to jump back on the round tomorrow?

This is a HARD situation – and can be made even HARDER if the person who bails is a family member. Food is such a complicated, personal topic that for many, is interwoven with our self-esteem, self-worth, and pasts.

There’s no right answer to this question of what to do. Melissa Hartwig addressed this topic in a blog post last year and as always, she offers great advice.

But, we wanted to dig a little deeper and see what members of our Facebook group would do when confronted with this situation. Do you offer up a dose of tough love or do you mind your own business?

Some said… YOU DO YOU AND I’LL DO ME.

“A work friend came to me and said she wanted to do Whole30 with me. Today is my R1D30 but she bailed last week. It was just not working out for her. I didn’t hesitate – kept going and I intend to do an extra 15 days before reintroduction! Yesterday, she told me how much she enjoyed her weekend without Whole30. I just chalked it up to something I’ll enjoy too in a few weeks from now.”

“I can suggest, encourage, plan, and prepare – but I can only manage my own choices. I am not policing everyone else.”

“I had a friend join me for a round in January, and I know she didn’t stick to it 100 percent. But, I didn’t feel like it was my place to be her Whole 30 police. I continued to encourage and support without judging or scolding.”

“My other half completed a Whole30 with me in March. I continued on to a Whole 90, but the minute he was off, he went right back to eating how he had in the past. I wanted him to get healthier, lose some weight, and generally be around a little longer in my life. He understands the value, but is not committed to the practice. He’s a grown man so there is nothing I can do to make him even 85 percent compliant. He will say that he wants to, but then doesn’t. I am here doing it – all he has to do is hop on the Whole 30/60/90/365 train. I’m worried about me and how healthy I am for the future. I can’t worry about everyone!”

Some said… I’LL DISH UP A DOSE OF TOUGH LOVE.

“I definitely give them tough love! Especially when I know their goals. I feel successful when I help others to succeed, so I’d do what I can do help a friend stay on it. But, of course, if they’re over it and there’s nothing I can do, it won’t stop me from moving forward.”

“I have a group here in Florida and someone is always on a round. I see most of them daily so it’s great support for all of us. I am tough love hands down. But they always thank me in the end.”

“I think each round, if it’s with one or more people, I’ve had someone bail. I’ve been in online groups with friends and without mention of no longer doing the Whole 30, I’ll see posts about wine, or non-compliant ingredients. Sometimes I call them out – reminding them that “Whole 30-ish” isn’t a thing. But then I move on and just do me!”

Others said… LET ME LEAD BY A QUIET EXAMPLE.

“My step-daughter bailed on us (me and my husband) on the first day. She watched as we successfully completed the 30 days. She actually put on a little weight while we dropped weight and inches. Now, she’s thinking about doing a round.”

“I just carry on. It’s pretty much impossible to make another person change until they are ready to change. So, I continued on my path forward, and hope that my success will provide the additional inspiration or ‘proof of concept’ they need to successfully see it through in the future.”

Yet others said… I WANT TO DO MY WHOLE30 ALONE!

“I know some people love to do this with a friend but I would rather not. I don’t really want to have to deal with someone else’s drama or issues while on a round. It is hard enough. So, kudos to those of you who can do Whole30 with your boyfriend or husband or friends.”

“It’s great practice for me to advocate for myself and do something that is just for me. In my life after Whole30 I’ll have to make my own choices and do what’s best for me anyway, so I’m okay being the only one on this journey.”

And many said… WHATEVER YOU DO, GIVE GRACE.

“I’m all about unconditional love and I think people come to things in their own time.”

“Hear them out why they bail. Take your relationship with them to heart and see if you could find out the true root as to why they say no. It’s usually an emotional reason and encourage them that you are all in it together.”

“Failing or being unsuccessful once doesn’t mean being unsuccessful forever. False starts happen all the time in all areas of personal improvement. Ask me how I know.”

“As someone who has bailed on others, my friends have always given me grace. Whole30 is hard, especially when you are the only one in your home doing it and everyone else is still eating pizza or ice cream. So, giving grace isn’t a bad thing.”

Have you had a friend or family member bail on you around Whole30? What did you do?