Life is a journey…

Like many people, I have the best of intentions of eating right and exercising more. Like many people, I often do not meet my goals-in fact too often throw the diet and bathroom scale out the window! I want to be healthier, I follow blogs and Instagram that offer marvelously healthy recipes, visit websites that attempt to encourage and motivate and like many people have a gym membership that is currently being ignored and a bike that is gathering dust at the side of the house.

WHY????

Oh, I have bad knees, a busy schedule, birthday parties to attend and…well…frankly I have many other excuses too!  I’ll do well for a few weeks at a time but before I know it I am pretty much back to where I started. Maybe not all the way back but far enough.

One day I was catching up on blog posts and came across a posting that caught my eye at Blue Jangmi. She was participating in a Whole Food Challenge. The idea of the challenge is to remove specific items from you diet for 30 days, restart your metabolism,  and change the way you think about food.  When you reintroduce items you can possibly determine if certain foods are causing you problems.  You can then eliminate these foods from your diet. Also, after 30 days, you will have (hopefully) broken your bad food habits and maybe then you can begin healthier eating habits-right? Sounded good. I chuckled and commented to her that although it sounded nice, I just didn’t have 30 days in my life where I could avoid eating certain things and so good luck to her.  She kindly replied letting me know that there was never a perfect time to do something that was important for yourself.

…And I couldn’t stop thinking about it!
…And I decided to do it!

I didn’t talk about my decision very much because, frankly, I didn’t know if I could really do it. What started out to just be a personal challenge with some hopes of success turned into a meaningful journey. I committed to the September 2016 Whole 30 Challenge.

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I relied on Instagram for most of my information, motivation, and encouragement. I began to follow other people who were participating in the challenge and before long not only was I using some of their recipes but I was posting some of my own. I began to experiment and try new foods. Instead of just zucchini and yellow squash I tried acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash. I learned to drink my coffee black, to forgo artificial sweeteners, to create a pumpkin chill that  was husband approved,  and make scrambled eggs with grated sweet potatoes (who knew you could do so many things with sweet potatoes???)

I read product labels for hidden sugars and started using something called coconut aminos instead of soy sauce to enhance the taste of some foods. I stared making my own ghee (a clarified butter) instead of actual butter. Full fat coconut milk and avocados became a part of my diet. No more wine with dinner (for 30 days anyway) or bread…but somehow I didn’t really miss it all much. (well, maybe the creamer in my coffee)

In a short while I noticed changes in the way my clothes were fitting. Since you’re giving up your relationship with food and your scale, I was not supposed to weigh or measure myself the entire 30 days.

Did I actually feel better you might ask? Well, yes and no. I was sleeping better but my joints still hurt. I didn’t have any specific food issues previously so I couldn’t judge changes in that way. I seemed to have more energy and I was not hungry between meals. My favorite meal of the day was dessert and I didn’t ( and don’t) even miss that!! Apples seemed to satisfy my sweet tooth most of the time.

I did feel a sense of accomplishment when I completed the entire 30 days.

I lost 11 pounds and a week later I was down 15 pounds. By November down 20 pounds. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a ways to go. The funny thing is I rather like maintaining this paleo-ish eating style. As we entered into the holiday season I knew there were many eating opportunities/challenges before me  and I took advantage of some (and maybe many?)  But… I needed to remember one of my favorite quotes:

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

So I planned and tried to make choices that worked for me.

During this time, one of my daughters  was busy jumping out of airplanes and challenging herself. She bought a motorcycle. She was learning to make changes in different ways  Her thoughts were if she can do this she can do anything!!  She was an inspiration to me! Anything is possible….

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I am happy to announce she eloped this past weekend!

(talk about moving out of your comfort zone!)

While I had no plans of jumping out of an airplane, don’t like motorcycles,  and happily married to Thommee for almost 29 years, I was excited to see where this journey might take me.

A January Whole 30 Challenge began this month and I jumped back on board.

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I felt the tune-up would help keep me on track after the holidays. It is going great. I will complete this challenge on January 30. I plan to continue on a somewhat Paleo diet. I love zipping up my jeans and tying my shoelaces. While my path might be somewhat modified, I found many people and supporters making this a life mission. They inspire me too! I am in awe of their dedication to good health but I don’t think it will happen for me in quite the same way. We all need to find our own journey and what works for us, right?  It is amazing what a few changes and attitude can make…and we can always learn and grow.

If you would like to review my journey, check out my Instagram. If you are curious about this Whole 30 program, just click on the link.

Any obstacles you are facing these days?

Happy 2017

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My Attitude of Gratitude

On my continuing journey of personal growth, I recently came across an idea of a Prayer Journal. This would allow me an opportunity to capture my silent prayers, offer thanks, and see God busy in my life. It might also allow me to work on my

Attitude of Gratitude

When I recently posted about my continuing journey of retirement and finding a focus for my final chapters of life, I was overwhelmed with appreciation, gratitude,  and love that I received from my fellow bloggers, family, and friends. Many of you responded with such wonderful suggestions and encouragement. I took all of your thoughts to heart and spent these past weeks considering were I will go from here. Some of the ideas that touched me most deeply were to love what you do, give thanks, and not be so hard on myself!

Let me digress for a moment….I have three sisters and each year we throw ourselves a little family birthday party. With one birthday in July, two in August, and one in early September, finding a date that works for all of us can be difficult-but somehow we always manage! Together we select a theme, contribute towards the meal, and each bake our own birthday cake!

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When asked what I wanted, I requested a journal. Yes, I could have gone and purchased one (or used anything to write on really) but instead decided to wait to see if I received one and use the weeks waiting for the event to decide what exactly I would do with it.

My youngest sister found this lovely journal for me

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and when we returned home I immediately got down to writing.

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I started off fully committed to keeping up my journal daily. In the weeks following, I admit, I have slacked off just a bit. What has changed, however, is my attitude. With a new-found peace and acceptance, I am much more content and willing to just forge ahead. This means that I am venturing into uncharted ideas and experiences and willing to find out what works-and what doesn’t. I don’t feel discouraged if something does seem to be a good fit but instead am open to try something else-or go in a different direction.  I am okay if I have a quiet or unproductive day (no more guilt!!) or if the day is so full I fall into bed at night exhausted. Actually, I have usually had a positive outlook on life but suppose I just got off course. I am reminded of all that is good in my life and the opportunities still before me.

My

Attitude of Gratitude

has been rekindled. I am (like most of us) a work in progress and I have a choice. I can move into this next part of my life with excitement and an open heart and mind or stay stuck. I guess taking time to shake things up a bit are in order from time to time. I am grateful for opportunities, challenges, growth, and the future before me. I know God has a plan for my life and He is not done with me yet!