So this is me, right now. 38 years old, mum of 2 teenagers and 1 x 11 year old, partner (again) to the man I used to be married to, daughter, friend, sister, nurse, knitter, DIY-er, consumer of books and general lover of life.
And self-indulgent brat.
I’m starting my second Whole 30 today, and it’s taken me months to get here, to face up to myself and acknowledge that how I’m living is not working. For me or my family. Eating whatever I want, not moving, not getting enough sleep, worrying and generally wallowing in lack of motivation is not resulting in a life lived well.
I lost my job 6 months ago, then went through having a hysterectomy and a variety of other health issues that on their own would have been fairly minor, but basically all the c**p in my life snowballed and to put it bluntly, I just let it go. Not in the way that ‘Frozen’ or any number of inspirational quotes intend, but in the I-just-don’t-have-the-energy-or-care-factor-to-deal-with-this-so-I-won’t way that usually results in a whole lot more rubbish in life to deal with. Amid some implosions and explosions.
On the grand scale of things, these are majorly first world issues, and despite the bumps and crashes along the way, I live an incredibly blessed life. Hence why I’m qualified to call myself a self-indulgent brat, because I have the capacity to actually be a grown-up and make choices that mean I can live my best life, and be the best person I can be in the lives of people I ‘do life’ with.
I know that I cannot change the course of my life simply by what I choose to eat, but what I know from my first Whole 30 is that the program is not just about food. It might start with food, but it certainly doesn’t end there. It’s about addressing how our choices affect our health and wellbeing, and therefore our lives in general, and how to make choices that lead to optimal health and living. The creators of Whole 30 identify nine factors (the Whole 9) that ‘….. we believe, when properly balanced, will lead you to optimal health’ – Nutrition, Sleep, Healthy Movement, Fun and Play, Stress Management, Socialisation, Natural Environment, Personal Growth and Temperance.
I’ve been failing pretty much all of them.
And that’s ok, because today is today, and everything that’s come before is done and dusted, leaving me with a wealth of experience and life lessons. Like how eating anything with grains or sugar or has been processed leaves me with achy joints, headaches and feeling generally blah (thank-you, auto-immune disease), and that no, my body will not eventually give up fighting and just accept whatever I throw at it without complaint.
So that picture up there, that’s my ‘Starting’ photo (no bikini shots from this little black duck, the world doesn’t need to see that), not to compare before and after, but just a record of who I am today, where I am in my life, and the choice I’m making.
To live well, so I can help others live well. Ultimately, I have the freedom to do whatever I want to in life, but I don’t want to just get by, I want to be the best version of me that I can.
Eat clean. Get enough sleep. Move regularly. Love intentionally. Laugh a lot. Get outside. Take time out. Be a part of my community.
If you’re even remotely curious about what Whole 30’s all about, even just to see if it’s as crazy as people say it is, go and check out the website or FB page. Then jump over to the Whole 9 site to see where it all started, and browse their great list of resources. And I’d really encourage you to get a hold of ‘It Starts With Food’, the book that really opened my eyes to just how much food can affect our lives. I promise you, it’s worth it.