Monday, 1 February 2016

January 2016

It’s February already, if you can believe it.  Actually, having just typed that, I’m now pondering the point, as January seems to have simultaneously zipped by and lasted FOREVER.  It’s been a month of sadness, as we lost icon after icon. Bowie, Rickman and yesterday, in the dying embers of the month, Wogan.  But January is also a month of newness, rebirth, optimism and goal setting.  And on that front, I’m really happy with how the month went.

This year, as well as setting big annual goals, I’ve set smaller monthly goals to achieve.  I’ve never been very good at sticking to things for a long time, so I think the smaller goals are a better idea for me.  Further, I have set myself three achievement levels for each month. 

PRIDE: This is the minimum that I want to achieve to finish the month with my head held high
STRETCH: Taking it to the next level, pushing it just a little further
WILDEST DREAMS: Superstretch! Go on, dream big

So what did this look like for January, and how did I do?  Let’s find out……

PRIDE: Complete a January Whole30.  A big tick against this one, although midway through the month, this result felt entirely uncertain.  I had got to around day 14 and I was ready to give up.  However, I was not ready to give up before I’d been to the first ever UK Whole30 seminar that Melissa Hartwig was hosting on the 16th. Imagine turning up there with the knowledge that you’d fallen off the wagon the day before. Mortifying.  And it was a good choice to hang in there, as I left the room full of motivation, with a picture of myself with Melissa and her signature in my copy of It Starts with Food.  Gigantic win.  

This was not my first Whole30.  I’ve done a few before and certainly haven’t finished all of them…
  1. September 2014. Finished 30 days, but epic fail at the reintroduction phase.  I chose to reintroduce dairy first and fell face first into a cheese induced coma. With icecream. And more cheese.
  2. January 2015.  Quit partway through.  A friend of mine died at the beginning of January last year and his wake was held at the restaurant where he had been head chef.  The food served was from his menu, and honouring him felt significantly more important than sticking to the Whole30 plan.  It was a definite, mindful choice and I have no regrets about it.
  3. April 2015. Epic fail. Woeful.  I went and gave blood and afterwards dove into the crisps and chocolate bars in a face stuffing frenzy of monumental proportions. Oops.
  4. September 2015. Success! (ish).  Finished the 30 days, just didn’t bother with the reintroduction.  I think I was so ready to be done with it and desperate for some of the foods I’d been craving that I just stopped.

So this was my fifth attempt at a Whole30 and I think it’s the one that has affected me most (so far!).  A lot of that is to do with listening to Melissa speak, so I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to do that.

STRETCH: Get under 15 stone.  15 stone! FIFTEEN STONE?!?!?! Deary me, where did things go so wrong?  Last year was a really difficult one.  I found myself in a really difficult and emotional situation with a member of my team at work, which really affected me.  Aside from that, we relocated to the London office, meaning a significant lifestyle change, all with the ever present, looming threat of redundancy.  Fun times.  When I’m in a bad place, food is my go to place for comfort.  There is not a single emotion that isn’t made better by smothering it in a soothing layer of cheese.  Then a layer of crisps. Then some chocolate. And then some more crisps.  And why not make it fizzylicious by pouring some Pepsi Max with cherry over it?  Go on, you’re worth it.  So I ended the year about 2.5 stone heavier than I started it and frankly, I wasn't in tiptop shape to begin with.  WOE.  So although Whole30 is much more than a quick fix weight loss plan, there’s no denying that it’s a great kickstart to healthy eating and therefore weight loss is a cheery side effect.  Again, I can put a big tick next to this goal, as I lost a total of 11lb in the last 30 days.  WHOOP.

WILDEST DREAMS: Fit back into walking trousers. Due to being such a gigantic fatso last year, I spent the second half of the year walking Murdoch wearing tracksuit bottoms in all weathers, finding myself completely unable to fit into my walking trousers.  EXTREME WOE. The good news is that I tried on the walking trousers yesterday and although they are still quite snug, I can put them on and do them up.  WINNING.

So all in all, I’m counting January as quite a success.  And I’ve already got my goals together for February too.

PRIDE: Complete the full Whole30 reintroduction, properly, without titting about.
STRETCH: Complete at least three NTC workouts per week and swim at least twice a week
WILDEST DREAMS: Get down to 14 stone

Watch this space............

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