But leading up to 60, I didn't feel like this girl.
I felt old.
And I was secretly in poor health. Dangerously close to type 2 diabetes.
Then, on Friday June 16th, 2017 my son graduated from high school. And I woke up that Saturday morning with the realization that I could now focus on myself instead of him.
It sounds selfish the way I'm writing this, but I assure you it wasn't. I have raised my son as his sole parent, setting my parenting bar to the highest level - and he was now ready to take over responsibility for his own life.
(Plus he still lives with me attends Berkeley City College, so it's not like I cut him loose and said buh-bye.)
To give you a visual, here's a photo of me (far right) on the day he graduated. Not only was I bloated, I felt absolutely terrible.
I woke up the next morning and realized I now had this amazing opportunity to focus on myself - something I had not been able to do in over 18 years. And much to my surprise, I began my personal transformation then and there.
On June 17th, 2017 I started the Whole30 program (https://whole30.com/). There's a lot of free information about Whole30 out there on the interweb so I'm not going to go into a lengthy description. The Whole30 program is basically a dietary reset where you eat whole, unprocessed foods for 30 days.
Being a commitment phobe, and frankly having zero faith in my ability to lose weight, I started that very day by by making one meal, then another meal, then another until I had gone 14 days. It was so effortless for me, I decided to keep going and do the entire 30 days.
And a funny thing happened. I felt amazing! My constant gut irritation and bloating went away within a few days. My pre diabetic symptoms, which secretly freaked me out, ceased altogether. And I no longer had food cravings. Yes, I immediately began losing weight, but I felt so much better, the weight loss was no longer my focus. Instead the focus centered on my overall health and wellbeing.
As I neared the end of the 30 days, I researched the ramifications of eating this way for longer periods of time. Supported by my doctor, I kept going, and I keep going to this day. I continue to feel better and better. And I keep losing weight. As I write, I'm down about 50 lbs. Approaching this as a lifestyle rather than a diet, now and then I will indulge in a special meal, or drinks with friends. But I always return to eating Whole30. It just works for me.
Here's a few snapshots to show you my progress and how you can still enjoy life on Whole30 -
Clothes shopping in August, 2017
Celebrating my 60th birthday in October, 2017
Whole30 - ing (with a few exceptions) on my vacation in Puerto Vallarta in November, 2017
Working with my son in December, 2017
Bathroom Selfie in March, 2018
My most recent photo, April 27, 2018
In March of this year, two important things happened. First, I faced my medical fears by turning myself over to my doctor for all the tests she's been nagging me to take for the last several years. I'm happy to report it was all good news. Had I taken those tests a year ago I know for sure the results would have been different.
Second, I joined a gym near my house and began working out. At first working out felt like a foreign activity, but once my niece went with me and introduced me to The Circuit, a way of getting a good workout in 30 minutes, there was no looking back. I now go two or three times a week and really enjoy working out!
How, you may ask, does this relate to my work as an organizer? Well, Clean & Kemp was fundamentally based on helping my clients create a greater quality of life. I began to realize that my excess weight and poor health was my own internal clutter. It makes sense, right? And just like staying on top of clutter, I am continuing to work on my relationship with food, my body, and my health in general. Through the Whole30 plan, I finally feel like I have a healthy lifestyle.
I am wondering if anyone else has had success or failure with this particular program please comment below. I'd love to start a conversation!