Friday, May 3, 2013

April Results & Whole30 Update

91/365 April Fool! 

Financially, April was a break-even kind of month. I likely would have gone over (again, on groceries), but I had a good month of sales on eBay, so it was basically a wash.

Nutritionally, April was a breakthrough kind of month. I'm now over halfway through my Whole30 challenge, and though there have been a few breaches here and there, the overall effect is impressive. I've lost a little bit of excess weight, but more importantly my digestive system has righted itself. My gut no longer hates me, I have more energy, and even my skin is bright and clear. Though I will likely not give up cheese and pasta forever, it's evident that my body benefits from consuming a majority of foods that have only one ingredient (what a shocker, I know).

Emotionally, April was a heartbreak kind of month. Several events transpired that left me feeling emotionally disjointed and lost. Some days are victorious if I manage to put one foot in front of the other. Others have precious fleeting moments of mundane normalcy. Despite my sadness, I am an optimist, and I feel blessed by my wonderful friends and loved ones for their support. Time spent with them is refreshing and uplifting, and I am grateful to them.

Whole30 has been tricky in this third week because I've gone from not having much of an appetite to craving only a warm baguette with butter (definitely not compliant with my temporary challenge). I've decided to indulge and cut myself a little slack, if I need it.

Ever seeking the silver linings in my life (lest I become a sad, bitter person who can't see the world's many blessings), I made a list of some unexpected benefits and encouragements I encountered this week:
  • I went swing dancing at my old stomping ground the first time in over two years. Not only did I actually remember what I was doing, but many people remembered me as well. I felt very welcome, and by the end of the night, I was pleasantly worn out from dancing and conversation.
  • I dove headfirst into my foreign language practices. I've been using Duolingo, an amazing and totally free language program, to learn French. It has been a wonderful distraction tool that supersedes any other emotional crutch like booze, food, retail therapy, etc. Most of my free time is spent practicing what I already know (currently working on asking questions and present-tense verb conjugation) to master it before moving on to the next level.
  • Other free time is spent reading. I took my current book, "French Kids Eat Everything," outside and enjoyed some sparkling water and warm sunshine out on my patio. I even took off my shoes and enjoyed the feeling of cool grass and soft soil beneath my feet. Note to self: wear shoes outside less frequently.
  • The musician whom I crush on in the most nerdy and shameless way and miraculously became my friend (from this story), has been checking in on me regularly to see how I'm doing. He cheers me up by offering uplifting advice and telling me bad jokes... As in, I'm at home all sulky and weepy, and he sends me a message that he's chopping carrots for the family dinner and, oh, here's a joke about cannibalism. He's a genuinely nice guy who would likely do this for anyone going through a rough patch, but it makes me feel special nonetheless.
  • I've been reinvigorating some wonderful friendships instead of isolating myself in Self-Pity Hermit Land. It's doing some nice things for my social calendar.
  • I started writing in a private journal again. A loved one suggested I start a "grief journal," and the effects of getting all of the yuck out of my head and into text has been enormous.
  • I've been going to bed early and sleeping really well. My cat loves all of the extra snuggle time.

How do you cope with setbacks? Do you lose sight of your goals or do you focus on them even more?

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