Health + Fitness: Attempting the Whole30

So some of my goals for the year include being more healthy. I want to be more active, exercise more regularly, eat healthily, lose weight, and ultimately just feel better. Also, fitting into some of the clothes in my closet that don’t quite fit currently would be nice.

There are several things that I’ve done to start off 2018 in the right direction. First, my monthly focus for January was for Health and Fitness. So, I started going on the treadmill everyday and attempted (along with my mother, who also wanted to try it) to do the Whole30.

If you don’t know what the Whole30 is, I suggest doing a Google search about it for the full low down. It’s a very popular…diet? I don’t know if I would call it a diet. It’s more of a…reset. Essentially, there’s a long list of foods that you can’t eat or drink for 30 days straight, no cheats. The foods basically include: all grains, gluten, soy, dairy, legumes, alcohol, and sugar. There’s some more and the details of each category are specific (not only can you not have sugar, you can’t have any sweet substitutes, including honey or agave nectar.) The purpose, from what I’ve gathered, is once the 30 days are over, you’re to start reintroducing these foods slowly to see how they effect you.

So, we decided to start it on January 2nd and do it for the 30 days until January was over. It’s incredibly hard and unfortunately, we weren’t able to finish it the first time we tried. Our dog died on the 9th of January and it was a Rough Time and we cheated—wine and chocolate, obvs.

It was necessary.

After, we decided to keep going pretty much with it—I definitely cheated more than my mother did—and decided to start over after the Super Bowl (our biggest day for food of the year other than Thanksgiving, so I was NOT going to skip it.) So on February 6th, we started over and only made it 10 days.

I decided to quit because on Day 16 (the day I actually quit) I’d realized that for six days, I’d been drinking almond milk that had sugar in it. I hadn’t been before, but I accidentally bought the wrong kind and didn’t notice—no wonder that iced coffee I made tasted so good! I’ll be honest, the thought of doing starting over that day when I was at the halfway point made me want to die. I actually started to cry.

The thing is, the Whole30 is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The first time we attempted in January, I had a headache for the first three days because of the lack of sugar—yikes, obviously I was addicted and didn’t realize. And I love the idea of the benefits from doing the Whole30. Energy! Weight loss! No inflammation! It seemed like a miracle!

And for those days that I was doing it…I felt none of those things. Which is normal! You’re not supposed to until like after Day 15. But for me, it’s not worth it. It may be amazing for people! I’ve heard and read and watched people on Instagram who love it. And that’s great for them. But for me, not being able to have things that I enjoy—whether good or bad; I mean obviously I love Coke which is terrible for me, but I also love peanuts and beans and things that are good for me!

30 days is too damn long not to have something joyful in my life. Life is too short.

Because those 16 days that I’d done (six not technically counting because of the almond milk, but for me they felt like they were still counting) felt like an eternity.

There was another drawback for me: my mental health. I have a troubled relationship with food and the Whole30 wasn’t good for me. My whole life, with my struggles with anxiety and depression, food was my go-to for healing myself and feeling better. It caused me to gain a lot of weight at a young age and I’ve been dealing with my weight and over-eating for 15 years. While doing the Whole30, I wasn’t able to have any of the food that gave me comfort. And even though I’ve overcome depression, for the most part, I haven’t with my anxiety. And my anxiety was through the roof during those days on the Whole30. I was irritable and miserable and overall unhappy. It certainly didn’t help the first month with my dog dying, but even the second time around when I was doing better with grieving, my anxiety was worse than ever.

There were some positives, though! I lost ten pounds in the first ten days and I lost a total of 17 pounds since the beginning of the year. That’s partly because I’ve been going on the treadmill almost every day (walking, not running—it burns off more fat and doesn’t hurt your joints). But that has a lot to do with me eating (mostly) compliant to the Whole30 since January 2nd. I mean, it’s mostly vegetables and meat. Super healthy. And, because I did the Whole30, I realized how intricately entwined my eating habits and my mental health are—something that I now know I have to closely watch and be more aware of.

Overall, the Whole30 life just isn’t for me. I know of people who do it often, taking a few days or a few weeks off and then doing it all over again, and that’s great! I just can’t be one of those people.

I do have a plan moving forward, however. My next monthly focus for Health and Fitness is in June, but until then, I want to start doing mini-Whole30s. My mother and I agreed that we overall like the concept of the types of food you can eat on the Whole30, but aren’t too keen on the timeframe and certain restrictions.

We’ve decided to modify it to include legumes, corn, rice, and beans, but leave everything else the same. I’m also considering a few sugar substitutes or some things with sugar, because I’ve missed coffee—I can’t drink it black. And we’ve decided that instead of 30 days, we’d do it for 10 days and have a “cheat” day or two, then do 10 more days. I think a lot of it for me was the length—and I know that’s the purpose of it! But the idea of only 10 days is definitely going to help me stick to it without going crazy. We’re not even calling this the Whole30, we’re just committed to eating healthier more often.

Hopefully, with our new program that we made up with the Whole30 as a base, we’ll be able to become healthier, lose weight, and maybe even feel better overall.

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New Year, New Goals – 2016

Happy New Year!

It’s 2016!

Now, I’m a huge fan of resolutions. I think they’re great. Don’t let anyone tell you resolutions are stupid, because the new year is a perfect time to realign your goals and self—which is why people do it.

I’m not really doing resolutions this year, but I am doing some planning/new goals. Some of them have to do with this blog. So here they are:

Design.

Because school a takes up a lot of my time, I’m unable to do the projects that I’d like to do. Especially because I’m planning to start up a site or online store with prints, calendars, cards, etc. Carving the time out to do these things is sometimes difficult when I have so much other work to do, so I’m going to make more of an effort to set aside time specifically for working on new designs.

Another goal is to take the time to learn more to further my skills. One thing that I’ll be starting really soon is practicing on my hand-lettering and illustrating. Hopefully, I’ll be able to document all the processes here on this blog.

Writing.

Writing is one of the most important aspects of what I do. And in the last few months, it’s been on the back burner. My goal is to write more—especially this month, when I have time off—and to work on getting an agent and getting my work published.

And, if all goes well, document that process here on the blog as well. It was always my plan to talk about writing here on the

Travel.

I have traveled very little in my life. And I want to change that. I want 2016 to be the year I travel as much as possible. Even if it’s a short trip, a road trip, maybe take my first flight in a plane. I don’t know if it will happen at all, but I want to do more of it.

Reading.

I always set a goal on GoodReads of 50 books. Each year I get closer and closer (in 2013 I read 15 books, in 2014 I read 25, and this past year I read 32 books). I want to achieve it in 2016. I want to read 50 books (novels, graphic novels, short stories, novellas, whatever).

Film.

As someone who professes a love for film, I rarely go see a movie in the theater. And I want to do it more often. In 2015, I didn’t see a single film in the theater. Not one. (A lot of the reason was not having a lot of money to spare.)

My goal for 2016 is to see a movie in the theater, at the very least, once a month. That’s at least 12 films. I’ll have to plan out what’s coming out for each month, and maybe I’ll have to skip a month and double up on another if there’s nothing I want to see out that month, but as long as I see 12, I’ll be happy.

Exercise.

I don’t know if anyone has told you, but spending the majority of your time as a designer and as a writer, you do a lot of sitting. Crazy, I know, but it’s true. And to top if off, all of my hobbies include watching YouTube videos, television, and film. I do a lot of sitting.

So I want to be more active. This summer I want to play more tennis, I want to go for more walks, exercise regularly, and eat better. I want to fit into the clothes hanging on that “maybe someday” side of my closet.

2016 Video.

One of the projects I want to do (well, have started already) is making videos on YouTube again. I used to a few years ago, but stopped because of time and drive to do it. I don’t know if I’ll start vlogging again or making short films again, but I’d like to do something. Even if it’s one project.

To start with, I’m starting a new project of a mega-video compilation of my coming days in 2016. I’m going to (and have already started) filming a short clip, 1 to 2 seconds long, a day. Something that I’m doing that day that is interesting or completely ordinary. I want my year documented visually.

Some of the clips will be a bit longer, the more important and interesting ones might be 5 to 10 seconds long. It’ll be quite a long little film, but I’m excited about it.


 

My goals for 2016 are fairly simple, seeing how they’re things that I do on the regular anyway, but now with more focus and with more of a plan to accomplish them.

And hopefully, I’ll be able to document a lot of the progress of these goals here on this blog. I’m very excited about it all. I have a good feeling about 2016.

Hope you have a good new year, too!