It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Whole30 and I think it’s about time to take on the challenge again. I love the new year and I’ve already been making lists and goals and setting intentions like I do every year. I really love the exercise of looking back at where I’ve been and dreaming about where I’d like to go. There have been many years when I haven’t even come close to attaining all the things on my list, but for me, that’s not the point. It’s more about putting the intention out there and watching it evolve.
Let me give you an example. Two years ago, I kind of wanted to do a handstand push-up, so I put it on my list. I did a few things that year in line with that, like working on my shoulder strength and learning to do a yoga pose that approaches it. No handstand push-up, though. I didn’t get discouraged. Instead I looked at the goal and thought about it and decided that maybe just learning to do a handstand was a better start. That was this year. Still no handstand yet, but I did take a yoga seminar that spent an hour working on handstands. While I didn’t get into a free-standing one, I did one up against the wall and held it with assistance. I also learned a few strategies to work on. Did I fail for the second year in a row? I don’t think so. I haven’t decided if it will make the list this year or not, but what I do know is that I learned some things about handstands, and about myself, that I didn’t know before. I am not disappointed that I didn’t reach my goal, instead I’m pretty pleased that I did things I never thought I would.
That’s where the lists come in. I have to keep all the floating ideas and dreams somewhere so that I can look at them on New Year’s Eve and decide what I want to focus on. And who knows? I might wind up doing a handstand without it even making the list – because it’s already out there and you never know when it might all come together. I have three (or five, or maybe even more) different journals going right now. Reflections on past years are near the top of my mind as I start to envision the next year. I love it – this time is special to me. I relish the planning, the dreaming, the peace that comes with sitting in solitude and allowing visions to arise and take shape.
As I have been looking back on the past couple of years in terms of food, a few things come to mind. My Paleo life was exciting and solid and I felt great in 2014, but this entire last year has been out of balance in terms of eating for my health. And I’m not talking about weight here, although for me that is a big part of how I define myself. (Not that it’s the best way; I’m a work in progress.) I’ve been holding on, barely, to a body that still fits in my jeans, but it’s been far from perfect. What has struck me over and over this year, though, is how I feel. My energy and moods have varied far more than the year before, my love of cooking took a back seat as I went for the easy option of grabbing whatever was around, and my heart felt dissatisfied, reminding me that I wasn’t doing the right thing for me.
Change is so hard. Even when you know that you feel better, live better, think better, and play better. Change is still hard. But just because it’s hard, just because I might not have achieved the things that I wanted to last year, that doesn’t mean I’m a failure or that it isn’t worth tackling again. So I’m in!
Another Whole30 is on the calendar so that I can reset my health, my hormones, my sugar cravings, and my connection to myself. What I know from past experience is that I’ll learn something about what works for me, and I might even discover a new recipe or something that I’d like to share.
It starts on January 2 and I’ll be chronicling the journey in daily (I hope!) posts that will look at a few different parameters. I’ll keep track of how I feel about the food, what my mood is from day to day, how my sleep is, what my activity looks like, and then I’ll probably have a special focus each week to keep me engaged.
If you’d like to come along, I’d love to have the company and support. Let me know in the comments if you’re doing your own challenge and if you’ve ever done one before. Here’s to an amazing, healthy, happy, and fulfilling 2016!