As my 34th birthday (gulp) approaches, I’ve spent the last few weeks preparing by making a concerted effort to prioritize my life happenings, which for me equates to an attempt at being less busy and making the most of each day. I started by putting pen to paper and identified what it most important to me and my happiness. I scoured old journals for related entries, incorporated the relevant information and, when all was said and done, had a pretty good list that I plan to use as a guide for the next year.
Through concocting my list, one of the items I found making a repeat appearance was that of my physical health. Luckily, I have been fortunate to have lived a relatively healthy life thus far and, with the exception of a few knee issues and other minor sports injuries, my body has held out pretty well despite me treating it kind of not okay sometimes. Yes, my definition of “not okay” is completely subjective, but I fully admit that I have put my physical health on the back burner many a times which has resulted in a pretty significant cycle of weight yo-yoing. So, in an attempt to reconcile the years of abuse, I have made my health priority numero uno for my 34th year.
To this end, I kicked off my goal a bit early by joining a new gym a few weeks ago. The classes are boot-camp style and, for someone who has focused primarily on cardio for most of her life, are extremely tough. As of yesterday, I’ve completed my second week and seventh class — and am a bit obsessed. I am sore in places I didn’t know could even feel soreness and can already feel myself getting stronger and healthier. And, damn, it feels pretty amazing.
As an added bonus of sorts, we recently began a 30-day challenge based on the book, “It Starts With Food.” It’s a paleo-esque endeavor that involves eating only real, unprocessed food and cutting out added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy and foods containing carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. Today is day seven and while the first week wasn’t all butterflies and roses, I made it through without so much as one teeny-tiny slip up. And, damn, it also feels pretty amazing.
I started the week and the challenge really, really wanting to win (there’s a cash kitty and bragging right involved here, people), but over the past few days have had a bit of a change of heart. While I still wouldn’t mind the extra dollar bills and seeing my name in the top spot on Oct. 14, the challenge has quickly become so much more. I’ll let my challenge goals and first-week reflection do the talking.
Whole30 Challenge Goals
- Nutrition: I will eat when hungry and make my health a priority. When eating, I will take time to to relax and just eat.
- Sleep: I will honor my body and sleep when tired and not according to a clock (to whatever extent possible).
- Stress Management: I will set manageable daily goals / tasks and not stress about items not on that day’s list.
- Exercise: I will workout five days per week, three of which will be boot camp classes.
- Active Recovery: I will stretch daily and practice morning sun salutations.
- Injury Rehab: I will listen to my body and honor any pain.
- Fun and Play: I will have fun at boot camp and enjoy the exercises.
- Personal Growth: I will read “It Starts With Food” and write / journal daily during challenge.
- Temperance: I will follow the Whole30 plan and not engage in “cheat” meals or treats — even on my birthday and even when traveling.
Week One Reflection
- I am thankful for the support of my friends and coworkers, women from the gym, my Whole30 buddy, Annie, and the Whole30 team in the form of the daily Whole30 emails and a tweet reply.
- I am proud that I was creative with meals by discovering new recipes, trying new foods and even making up a recipe of my own that turned out fabulously.
- I am incredibly proud that I made it through the first week successfully and followed / met all of the goals I set for myself.
- I am grateful to my body for taking me through the tough workouts for the week.
- I am happy for the time to reflect and set goals for the coming week.
Week two may be a bit more challenging with a conference and my birthday thrown in the mix, but I’m confident I can come out of it successfully and a bit stronger and healthier as a result. A big sparkling-water-with-lime cheers to the last seven days and to the next 23!