Monthly Archives: January 2013

on to the next one

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Today it’s on to the next one, (oh Jay, how I adore you) next 30 day challenge, that is.

My next 30 day challenge will be 30 days of meditation.

Why?

For starters, there is tons of research to suggest it’s benefits.

Secondly, meditation is something I’ve always been kind of curious about. I have a pretty busy mind, always planning for the next thing, worrying up a storm and way too dependent on the instant gratification that is the internet, social media, etc. Daily meditation will mean stopping and focusing on the now which is something I don’t do often enough.

Last November I dipped my toe in when I downloaded the Headspace app and even signed up for a  year-long subscription. Have I been using it? No, not really. I went though the program’s “Take 10” (ten days of 10 minute meditations) just fine. The next step is a “Take 15” and that’s were I kind of stopped. Ten minutes was easy to fit in but, for some reason, 15 seemed SOoooOO LONG. I mean, that’s a QUARTER of an hour! But to be real, I just didn’t want to make the time for it – even though I really enjoyed doing the first ten days.

A 30 day challenge seems like the perfect chance to give meditation a try and really commit to it. I’m not anticipating that I’ll turn into some spiritual, bangle-wearing hippy because that just isn’t me (although I do enjoy a good bangle) but here are some of the benefits I’d like to get out of doing this.

  • A overall feeling of calm
  • Better focus on the task at hand – less multi-tasking!
  • More empathy and acceptance for those around me
  • A greater sense of gratitude and contentment

Now to get my “om” on. 🙂

after action report – whole30

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This past week flew by.  I can’t believe that my Whole30 is officially over today. Is it odd that I’m a little sad? I feel like I’m just now starting to peak in my mood, habits, energy, etc.

I had signed up the receive the official Whole30 emails to root me along in my journey and one of the last emails was about writing your story down in a “After Action Report” so that’s what I’m doing here.

What went well? 

I finished without a single cheat! That feels really good to be able to say because it was certainly not easy.

I was surprised to find that my moods changed after the first couple weeks. I’m generally a pretty introverted person and it’s not like I completely turned myself into a chatty Cathy but I do have this decreased anxiety and new sense of calm that I didn’t have before.

I feel tighter (like a tiger sorry – couldn’t help myself). The holiday bloat is gone and my pants are verging on being a size too big.

Sleep has been deep and satisfying.

The amount of energy I have is intense.

My sugar cravings are near non-existent (this has only happened in the last week).

What could have gone better?

If I could have avoided the whole cold/sinus infection/antibiotics thing I think my experience could have been better but there isn’t a lot you can do about that.

Exercise  hasn’t really been in the cards for me this month. Due to a sinus infection and an eye problem that I’m still trying to sort out, I’ve only been to yoga and Crossfit a handful of times in the past 30 days. Ideally, I’d be channeling some of my extra energy into that but I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

I was such a stress case over social situations when I didn’t need to be. In the future I think I’ll feel more comfortable making those tough decisions and not making a big deal about it.

I had this expectation that my skin would glow. I didn’t really notice that and, in fact, felt like I had worse skin during my Whole30.

What I’ll do in the future, to keep doing better.

My plan for the future is to continue eating a whole food diet based on vegetables,  quality meat and fats with less sneaks here and there. I will be making choices to deviate when it’s worth it (no Danielle, the candy jar at work is not “worth it”) and I’ll continue planning my week’s meals because I’ve found that really makes a big difference in making good decisions.

I am already plotting for  my next Whole30 and I’m curious to see how my reintroduction plan goes. Today starts my next 30 day challenge which I’ll write about a later today! Congrats to everyone out there on their Whole30, 21, 7…whatever your challenge may be.

whole30 reintro

reintro

Here is my “reintro” plan for the next couple of weeks. I’m taking a couple days in between each new group to eat clean and recover which is less time than they recommend in It Starts With Food but, to be honest, I am getting kind of antsy to be done. I’m ready to start my next challenge!

whole30 one week to go

Only (less than) one week to go! I’m excited and mostly proud. Proud I didn’t cave when I really wanted to and proud that I haven’t bitten off anyone’s arm (yet)  in the process. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and everything from here on out seems like a piece of cake…err…steak. 🙂

I was considering extending my whole30 for another 30 days (in part because I’m somewhat terrified that I’ll go off the deep end and in part because I’m a little crazy) but I really want to give my focus to my next big challenge and maintain a little balance. I also don’t want to completely go back to my pre Whole30 days (which weren’t SO terrible if you ignore the last couple months of 2012) so I’ll make a compromise for February.  Instead of extending another completely strict 30 days I’m going to do a couple of things…

A) Follow the reintroduction plan in It Starts With Food to determine what, if anything, I react most poorly to.

B) Set myself some “Whole30 Light” rules. Anything I react poorly to during reintro is out. “In” is wine but never more than 2 glasses. “Out” is any sort of fried food – ya hear that french fries?? Everything else will be in moderation.

My hope is that after this challenge (and my other 11 challenges) I won’t completely forget about it after the 30 days is up. I hope a bit of each challenge lingers with me throughout the year and helps guide me in making all kinds of little decisions that benefit my mind, body and spirit.

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