When Life Gets In The Way

Since November, I have been battling what seems to be the worse case of the common cold, sinus, allergy, flu, throat problems I’ve EVER experienced. 

I have literally been in bed or at least homebound sick for most of this time, and just at a time when I had found a good rhythm at the gym for 10 weeks. 

When I felt some improvement, I jumped back into working out complete with an aerobics class. I remember being cold when they turned the fans on…this from someone who is ALWAYS hot!! I ran away from the fans. I was struggling to breathe because my lungs are not back to 100%, so I decided I was going to stay out until I was back to myself. My body needed to recover from this sickness.

I tried once more for a light day, and I just couldn’t get enough breath in my lungs. Ok. I give. I am literally going to sleep as much as possible which isn’t easy to do when you can’t breathe without coughing up a lung, but I am going to try my best.

When I return, I will be finding my way back to normal at the gym. I am happy to say, I am looking forward to that!!! It wasn’t too long ago that I said, I look forward to the day when I WANT to working out! Yay!! Great non-scale victory.

241 Journey Evolution

whole wellnessWhen I began my journey many years ago, this blog was a diary of sorts. It was a permanent copy for me to look back on for motivation and encouragement. The type of end goal that I am pursuing is a long term one. There are many areas of stronghold that have to be conquered before the REAL work is able to begin, and this blog helps to show that there is true work being done.

In the beginning, my focus was solely weight related. What I did not realize was the beginning would go further back than that. It took a while of research and trial and error to learn that the fat that had collected on my body was only a small part to a much bigger problem, so I set out to identify the components of that bigger problem.

As I have learned new things and overcome obstacles, I have made changes here to put into practice what I have learned. I am not merely physical. I have known that my whole life, but it has taken me years to see that my focus was all wrong. I was looking at the a symptom instead of the problem.

Now, my focus will be a multi-prong approach. You will see posts on physical, emotional, nutritional, and spiritual here. For me, spiritual is the core. I had allowed myself to get so wrapped up in the other prongs that I had neglected the spiritual aspect of my life. As I kept following the trail from my symptom back–like following a power cord to its source–I found my God and Savior that I had put on the back burner. When I reconnected with the ultimate power source, my focus changed. Now, I am whole. I am able to see how I got here. It was like being nearly blind and being given the glasses that I had misplaced.

241 Journey is a whole life journey. It is a journey to complete growth and understanding. We are complex creatures. If there is an area of your life that hasn’t been receiving your complete focus, it is time to find balance. It is my pleasure to have you along for that journey. You will find the categories continue to change and be added to in order to organize the information available here. You may even find that the page will change in design from time to time as I find the best fit. Just hang in there with me.

Top 3 or I Lose Me

I have spent most of my adult life trying to find physical balance. The balance I truly want is the balance that allows me to enjoy good, healthy food with occasional indulgences, while always feeling in control, engaged, and inspired. I want to avoid feeling out of control, apathetic, and bored with my nutrition. I have learned SO MUCH about myself through my research over the years, and this past year I learned a lot about great nutrition through Whole30, but there was still something missing. Today, I learned what that “something” is.

What I learned today wasn’t new to me. These things were just mixed up among all of the other noise out there in the health and diet industry. It was the order that they come in my life that brought balance to me at a time when I felt out of control, apathetic, and bored with nutrition. The type of out of control that I used to be is much different than recently. During Whole30, I had TOTAL control over my nutrition, but I did finally reach a point where I got apathetic and BORED! I believe changing my recipes and adding more of a Paleo perspective would have helped, but that’s where the apathetic part comes in. I was so bored I honestly just DIDN’T CARE. I didn’t want to eat anything. Nothing was appealing to me. I was just….BORED.

Of course there are a number of problems with being in that state. I gained some of my weight back, fortunately, not lots, but still the scale is going in the wrong direction. My nutrition has suffered because I didn’t stick to Whole30 this time (I honestly just couldn’t even think of some of the food I was used to eating–as good as it is). The food we allowed ourselves to eat which was fast food wasn’t good, and I was miserable. I told my friend Crystal, I honestly just don’t want to eat. I physically was feeling terrible.

I wanted to find my good nutrition again. I had a problem getting that train back on the track. I realized that my apathy was in great part because of staying up too late, sleeping too late and not getting my green breakfast smoothie. I know that may sound overly simplistic, but guess what, I think it really is that easy.

I identified my TOP 3 things that keep me on track. While my nutrition plan may vary from time to time, if I want to be the best nutritional me that I can be, then I MUST do these 3 things.

1. Go to bed by 10 p.m. each night, including weekends.

2. Get up with my alarm at 5 a.m., including weekends.

3. Drink my green smoothie after waking.

green smoothieAfter doing these 3 things, I cleaned the kitchen, made a healthy lunch, and started getting everything ready for my day. I got Eli up and ready and got to work on time. If number 1 is off, then number 2 isn’t going to happen. If number 2 doesn’t happen, then number 3 doesn’t happen because I’m too pushed. If number 3 doesn’t happen, I end up picking up fast food for breakfast, and even though I know that one bad meal doesn’t ruin my efforts for the whole day, I allow it to.

So, there it is. My Top 3 to Always Be Me! What are your top 3? If you don’t know what they are, I understand your frustration. There is so much noise in the health and diet industry. You really just have to get away from it all and pay attention to how your body responds to every decision you make. Those that are negative–ditch them, and those that are positive — document them. How do they impact you? What do they help you do? Eventually, you’ll find the critical 3 that you can ALWAYS go to when you need a restart. I’m so glad I found mine.

Share your TOP 3 with us.

You Can Do ANYTHING for 30 Days, Even Whole30 ALONE

This blog post is in response to a question I received from Kayla commenting on, “Fresh Start.” Kayla asked if I Whole30 alone, or if my husband Whole30s with me. Let me start by saying, this is one of the great things about blogging. Meeting new people and helping to encourage them throughout their journey. As we’ll see through this post, you may do some things alone, but with others out there doing the same, you’re never really alone. Thank you Kayla for reaching out to me. I’m looking forward to our journey together.

The short and long of it…no, my husband didn’t join me on my first round. He did attempt, but after a couple of days, he said it just wasn’t for him. I completed the Whole30 and felt so good that I told EVERYONE about my experience. He decided he wanted to experience what I had, so he joined me Jan 1, 2015 for what turned out to be a Whole120. We started out with 30 days planning to complete at least 90, but continued on to 120 days. I must say, the experience was totally different with him making the changes with me. Much DIFFERENT.

I truly believe that everyone should take the journey at least once, alone. You really learn a lot about yourself during the process. You learn a lot about how you feel about the new foods your body is falling in love with. The first week was a little tough. Remember, your body is addicted to things like sugar, so it has a lot of adjusting to do. After week one, you’re home free. You’ll battle a little food boredom in week 3, but nothing bad. There are groups on FB you can join that share recipes. There are apps you can get for your phone like Nom Nom Paleo (LOVE IT). Not to mention the bookoos of blog posts, Pinterest pins, and Instagram photos.

My advice on encouraging the family to join in is to live your Whole30 experience daily in front of them. I’m the cook in my family, so what mama cooks everybody eats. My family loves food, so there weren’t a lot of things off limits. After 30 days of eating clean (even though not Whole30 for him), my husband benefited from my Whole30 experience. He had lost a little weight, and he was feeling much better. We got off track in December around the holidays, so it became really obvious what we were missing, and he was totally ready to join me.

January 2015, Jeff joined me for the complete Whole30, and now, he is saying things that I was saying a lot. Things like: I can’t believe how much of the grocery store I don’t even shop in. I can’t believe I ever liked ____. I had no idea how many things include sugar that you would NEVER think had sugar in it–like chicken stock. What the what? It’s in practically EVERYTHING, which made me ask the question, if sugar wasn’t in it, would we want to eat it?

June 1st started another official round of Whole30 for us. We ate Whole30ish and then more ish than Whole30, so it became more of Whish. 🙂 I was hurting in my stomach. I was bloated and had unbelievable gas constantly. My stomach STAYED messed up. Now, day 3 of Whole30, all of that is gone! I truly stop and ask myself, why, why, why do I ever eat anything else? I’m still gathering intel on that one. My life is like one big experiment for me. I’m constantly gathering information to see what I can learn about what I am doing or going through. Be sure to pay attention to those things in your life, too. It is invaluable information.

If by chance you have a family that just WILL NOT join you, and you’re not wanting the tough love route of “then cook for yourself,” it’s a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. Cook what you can have. Let them take care of the rest. Share with your friends about it and get at least one of them to be as committed to it as you are or at least as committed to encouraging you. My friend Crystal is that. She doesn’t Whole30, but she knows it is what works best for me, and she encourages me to stick with it or if I’m off plan and not feeling well, she’ll tell me, you know what works for you–do it. Again, there are groups online like the main Whole30 page where there is constantly new information being shared. There are FB groups of individuals supporting each other.

One word of caution: as with any program, there are snobs. Ignore them. There are people who will want to chime in about how you could be eating MORE Whole30 than you are, or how something you picked to eat may not be compliant. BIG DEAL. Don’t get me wrong, it is important for your FIRST Whole30 to be completely compliant. You need that, but after that point, you’ll want to continue. You will feel so good that you’ll refer to the way you eat as Whole30, but it obviously doesn’t have to be compliant. Your research is over at that point. You will add food back that doesn’t bother you or sabotage your behavior.

While Paleo is the foundation of the Whole30 program, I choose to live closer to Whole30 than to Paleo. It’s nice to have a name for it, so I refer to it as my Whole30Life when I am not doing an official round of it.  So the final take aways from this post: Try Whole30 at least once. Be completely compliant. If you choose to Whole30Life, don’t fret the snobs. Find a buddy who supports your goals. If you still find yourself alone, you find me online. I do have an online group you’re welcome to join if you’re looking for a private support group online. You can do it. I had a lot of really strong food addictions and negative behaviors. If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT.

I’m happy to help. I’ll be your Whole30 consultant. 😉 Do it for you! You won’t be sorry!!

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Fresh Start

After having a stomach virus, it is really difficult to start eating again. Everything I think of just makes me feel queasy. I have decided I am going to do another official round of Whole30. I truly believe when you find something that helps you get on track and stay there the longest of any other program, work it!!

freshstart

So I will be working this program for another 30 days. Full on. No off days. My stomach will totally be fixed, and I will be feeling like a million bucks once the end of June gets here.

The first of August will be a complete year since I was first introduced to Whole30. I plan to really evaluate how my nutrition changed over the year. I have an idea of what I am going to find. I’m looking forward to the surprises though. There are always benefits that I didn’t realize were present.

So what about you? Do you need to reboot? What is it that works for you?

What Not To Wear – Motivation Edition

I’m sure you are familiar with the show What Not To Wear. Well this blog post will be a spin on that topic. Not because the fashion, not because of vanity but for motivation.

I’m going to focus on time that you have at home after work or on the weekend. How do you dress whenever you get home from work? Do you stay in your work clothes until time for bed? Are you like a lot of women (like me) who begin to shed the bra I soon as you walk in the door? Do you get out of your work clothes and into something more comfortable? Believe it or not, your answers to these questions can determine whether you will be motivated to exercise or not.

I have been thinking about this topic for quite some time. I decided I would do a blog post on the decisions that I make. In one picture you see a blue gown. In another picture you’ll see a workout outfit complete with shoes and Fitbit. The one that I choose will greatly determine how the remainder of my day will go. Let’s take a look at each of those hangers.

Hanger 1 is the blue gown. I admit when I am at home after working, I want to be comfortable.  After a whole day of being in a 44DDD bra, I am definitely ready to shed the bra. My shoulders have red imprints on them from the pull of gravity. My back is tired from that pressure also, so if I go home and change into that blue gown, then you can forget it. The most exercise I am going to get will be from moving around the house. This is generally the type of decision that I have been making until now.

Hanger 2 is the workout outfit. It doesn’t really have to be just a workout outfit. It can actually be my “getting comfortable outfit” too. The difference, however, is the bra because as I mentioned if the bra comes off all deals are off. Interestingly enough, when I put on the workout outfit, complete with my socks and my shoes, I am pretty comfortable even with the bra still on. Now, I say that having not been in the bra all day long, so just for long enough to take a walk and then get back in and get a shower and get changed into something comfortable I’m sure that would be okay too if it is a workday.

 Picture three. This is the decision I made today on a day off first thing when I woke up. I chose a workout outfit with my Fitbit, my socks, and shoes. As soon as I got my shoes on, something interesting happened. I filled up my water bottle and headed out the door for a one mile walk. I’m participating in a challenge from someone on FB, I Lost Big And So Can You, to walk a mile a day for 30 days. Since I do tend to be tired after work, my goal is to walk my mile at lunch during the week, or just before I pick up my son at the YMCA.

So I am motivated to get active, motivated by someone to walk a mile a day, and now motivated by the positive choice that I made in clothing. So let’s get moving. I’m glad that I made the choice I did today. While this idea of choosing the blue down or choosing the workout outfit was more of a theory for this blog post initially, testing it today showed me that what I choose to wear does have A LOT to do with whether or not I take additional steps. At least, it is true for me. Do your own test to see if it is true for you.

If you are that type of person who comes home tired and just wants to shed those work clothes and get comfortable, choose the comfortable workout clothes. That means that you need to have comfortable workout clothes. Look I know the struggle of not being able to find workout clothes. For a long time I was a 4X and a 5X in some sizes. Now, I am a 3X/4X. The point is that I kept looking and I found clothes that work for me. Since the pants I wear now aren’t available anymore, I will be buying a couple of pairs in the current size and the next size down once I find them again. I highly recommend Cato Plus. If you have suggestions, PLEASE share with us in comments!!

In summary, I am out to get healthy. Dress to impress your goals–not other people. Unlike the television clothes, don’t think twice about what other people think of what you have one. If it motivates you to exercise, wear it! Find clothes that work for you. Most importantly find comfortable shoes. Find things that motivate you and get moving. Let’s do it!

No Freeloaders Allowed – Food Edition

I think everyone has the policy of no freeloaders. You don’t allow people to just float around your life and benefit from all of your hard work. Why allow your food to do the same thing.

There are certain foods that take no effort at all to eat, so they contribute only calories. They don’t burn calories while being consumed. Some literally “melt in your mouth,” which is desirable for flavor but undesirable for your waistline.

There are foods that do burn calories by merely eating them. Raw vegetables are a great example. Many raw vegetables actually burn more calories to eat and burn than they contribute caloricly (I think I made that word up). Now that’s what I call pulling your own load!!!

So don’t allow food to freeload. See those empty calories as someone who keeps coming around with empty pockets but wants to live rent free in the house that you’re working hard to build.

 I’ve been thinking deeply about this as you see, and I am starting to make my snacks work for me. I have developed a love of raw carrots and celery. They are very satisfying and do the job they are intended to do. I think I’ll make room for them in my life.