New Job + Whole30: Recap of the Month

It’s been over a month since I’ve blogged. In my defense, it’s been a long and very busy month.

I started my new job at a new school. I love the school and the people. It’s such a positive

environment and everything is so wonderful. I’m a Lower Elementary teacher in a Montessori classroom and I have two other co-teachers in the classroom with me who are so positive and so supportive. Considering that I’m at a new school with a new age group and curriculum, I feel like I’m doing decently well.

The only negatives are inside my own head. The last month has been a real test in challenging my inner monologues throughout the day to be kinder and more patient with myself. There’s been a real conscious shift in deconstructing all of that negative garbage and trying to be realistic and pragmatic about the situation. I don’t want to sound like a meditation-guru, because I’m not by any means. I’ve just learned and

do-not-give-upgrown a lot this last month–especially in being aware of my thoughts and how it affects my mood and mental state.

On top of all that, I ended up quitting my job working as an autism interventionist. I loved the program and what the job entailed, and it wasn’t a decision easily made. When I was originally hired, thejob consisted of going into clients’ individual homes and I was told that all of my clients would be located close to my home in order to negate long commutes or travel time. At the start of August, the program changed to being an entirely in-clinic program and by the time I got out of school in the afternoon, driving clear across town in the middle of rush hour just didn’t work. I didn’t feel like I could commit to that schedule, so I resigned. Life has a funny way of working out and I would love if my path in life leads me back to behavior intervention in the future, but right now it just didn’t feel like it was something I could adequately take on.

A prominent theme throughout the last month was gearingup to start Whole 30. The Whole30 is a food challenge to cut out grains, dairy, legumes, and sugar for thirty days. A simple Google search can provide you with many more details, rules, and explanations than I could possibly list here because I am by no means an expert. By doing the Whole30, it causes you to rethink your food habits as well as providing a chance for your body to kind of detox from these food groups so you could have a clearer picture of how certain foods are affecting you. I first heard about Whole30 from a roommate in college who came back from Thanksgiving Break and had decided to do it. It sounded like absolute death and how she managed to keep to it for 30 days in college (during finals season, no less) was nothing short of miraculous in my eyes.

I’ve encountered several people since then who have done it, each who would attest to how challenging it is but who raved about the benefits. But it’s always been something that I kind of put in the same category as cage-diving with Great White Sharks–pretty cool for someone else, but there’s not enough money in the world to make me do it.

The hubby and I have talked about making changes to our diet and just to be healthier overall. There were several options we talked about (21 Day Fix from BeachBody and Keto, just to name a few). I mentioned Whole30 to my husband as a “hahaha if we really hate ourselves enough, we could try that–but even I’m not that full of self-loathing”. We both agreed it sounded INSANE.

Running in the background of all of this over the last month has been a LOT of grieving and stress over the fact that it’s becoming more and more apparent that something health-wise is wrong in the equation of bringing a Baby Hunt into the world. Lots of prayers. Lots of tears. Lots and LOTS of tears. And then even more prayers. And as I was sitting in church one week, I got the distinct impression that I should jump on the Whole30 bandwagon.

Deep sighing, teeth-gritting, and girding up of loins ensued.

The next few weeks consisted of a lot of texts to my close friends who had survived Whole30 for tips and moral support, researching Pinterest recipes, and making trips to Costco. My theory was that if I could make it as stupid-easy as possible, even I could survive thirty days.

This meant meal prepping and making a lot of freezer meals. I would hard boil a week’s worth of breakfasts at a time and eat hard boiled eggs on the drive to work in the morning. I spent about two weeks prepping dinners and getting in the habit of breakfasts of hard boiled eggs and felt pretty good about things. I didn’t have lunches really figured out, but I also was 100% dragging my heels to fit in that last piece of the puzzle.

Luckily, my good friend (coincidentally she was also that crazy friend from college who finished Whole30 during finals) kept bugging me about setting a date, committing, and starting Whole30.

So last Wednesday I did.

I’m six days in and I’ve survived. Knock on wood.

Today, I looked up the Whole30 timeline. It’s basically a “what to expect” as far as symptoms go while on the Whole30. On day 6 and 7, it said “I just want a nap” and HOLY MOLY IS THAT ACCURATE. Today I was running morning circle as my sweet little kiddos came into class and got ready for the day, and I thought I was doing fine but my co-teacher looked at me and was like “Whoa, you don’t feel good, do you?”

All day today I’ve felt light-headed, dizzy, and just kind of spacey. I attributed it to the fact that hubby was sick yesterday (he claims it’s allergies, but this late in the season I don’t feel like anything’s blooming…so I maintain it’s a minor cold) and I figured I was coming down with it. But Whole30 certainly makes sense.

There were other aspects and symptoms that I didn’t felt like I had experienced. The first few days were listed as “Kill EVERYTHING” and I didn’t feel like I had been all that angry. My husband politely disagreed 😉

He’s been a really good support through all of this: sacrificing himself to eat the remaining ice cream in the freezer and cinnamon roll on the table, and tolerating as I experiment making meals with cauliflower rice.

I’m really excited to see how the next 25 days go. Knock on wood, but I feel really good about things andI feel like I have good momentum going forward. The freezer meals have been a lifesaver, and luncheshave been easy to throw together: leftover meat from the night before on a bed of salad, with an apple and tangerine on the side.

Under normal circumstances, today would definitely be a day that I’d be reaching for a Dr. Pepper. There have definitely been times that I’ve felt whiny and a bit like a martyr. Tonight’s dinner of chicken cacciatore was good, but it definitely would have been better if I could’ve blocked out the memory of how delicious parmesan cheese tastes on Italian food.

This Whole30 adventure has also been an exercise in growth when it comes to whipping up holiday-themed snacks for our festive movie nights. Last night, we watched the

IMG_4704original Mummy from 1935 with Boris Karloff and I made apple mummies straight from Pinterest. On the one hand, these are quite possibly the easiest snack I’ve ever created. And on a side note, we also watched Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. It was so great! Definitely one that I want to add to our Halloween movie rotation. It has the classic movie feel,while still being funny enough to not fall asleep (can’t quite say the same about Karloff’s Mummy).

I remember when I was about thirteen or fourteen, I was babysitting at someone’s house and there was a cutesy little card taped to a kitchen cabinet reading “Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels”. I’m pretty sure there’s been a comedian who has poked fun at that statement (I want to say Jim Gaffigan, mostly because I feel like 95% of his jokes are food-related, but I have no idea) but even teenager me was like “Mmm but have you HAD cream cheese frosting?!”

Weight loss would be an AWESOME side effect of this Whole30 program, I won’t lie. But for the first time in my life, I’m starting out making changes in my life with the outside aesthetic appearance as an afterthought. It’s not the driving force anymore.

Because honestly, I feel like there’s a lot of things that very well may taste better than being skinny feels.

But there’s NOTHING that will ever taste as good as motherhood feels. The good, the bad, and the ugly: I want the privilege of experiencing it all. Cutting out ice cream, cheese, and even garlic bread is a teeny-tiny sacrifice in light of all of that.

That is the thought that really is carrying me through all of this. I’m not naive enough to think that one round of Whole30 will solve everything (though, I’m not opposed to that result!) but I feel like this is a step towards improved health, and that’s definitely a direction I want to keep heading.

5 days down, 25 to go!

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