30 Days that Changed My Life

10 Sep

So a few months ago I was stuck in a bit of a rut.

Okay okay I lie.

It was a huge rut.

In March I resigned from the Navy after seven years on active duty, became a stay-at-home mom, and moved across the country. It was a *lot* of change all at once, and I don’t think that I handled it all very well.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore Ruby and love spending time with her, but at first it seemed like…well…a whole lot of time to be spending one-on-one with a baby, even though she is the coolest baby in the world. I also realized that a good deal of my identity had been wrapped up in being a naval officer, and it was very hard for me to hang up my uniform one last time and stop being Lieutenant Shellock.

When I was working I had envisioned this awesome life in DC–I would go to the gym every day and finally shed a few (or more) lbs, Ruby and I would go to museums and some sort of yuppie baby and me classes, and I would cook healthy, gourmet meals every night.

None of that happened.

I joined the Y and din’t go one. single. time.  It was all I could do to get out of my pajamas some days.  Matty thinks I was depressed, but I wasn’t sad or anything.  I was just…I don’t know…unmotivated maybe?  There just didn’t seem to be any point to doing anything, and everything seemed to require a great deal of effort, for whatever reason.  The house was a mess (except when Matty cleaned, which was fairly often), and although I generally tried to cook there were plenty of nights when we ended up ordering takeout, even though I had had all day to plan a menu and shop for groceries, and I love to cook.

It was time for a change.

On July 16 Matty and I started this program:   It is a pretty hardcore paleo diet program–no sugar, no grains, no processed food, no dairy, no alcohol, etc.  My youngest sister and her husband have been doing paleo since January, and earlier in the summer my parents and older sister jumped on the bandwagon.  Matty’s cousin had also had great success on paleo, losing 75 lbs over the past year.  I have battled my weight for the past 18 years and was really not interested in some sort of fad diet, but all of the information I have read about paleo just makes so much sense I thought we should give it a try.

I also used the opportunity to change a few other things in my life.  I was addicted to Facebook, and it was a particularly unhealthy addiction for me.  I am a pretty competitive person and even though I was so happy for all of my friends whenever they had good news it was a little hard for me to see everyone else thriving while I flailed about.  So I quit, cold turkey, the day we started the Whole 30.  I thought that Facebook would be hard to give up, but it ended up not being that big of a deal, and I was especially glad to not be on during the whole Chik-Fil-A craziness.

On August 2nd I attened my first political meeting and have been pretty involved since.  This is something that I am passionate about and my involvement has given me something productive to do, often with Ruby.  One of the things I loved about being in the Navy was that every single day I put on my uniform I felt like I was making some sort of difference in the world, and in this pivotal election year I love having that feeling again.

So the 30 days flew by.  We were not 100% strict with paleo, which technically means we failed the Whole 30, but in my eyes it was a success.  We certainly changed our eating habits permanently and continue eating paleo as much as possible–probably about 95% of the time.  One of the things that I love about paleo is that it is not entirely focused on weight loss.  I have lost about 16 lbs over the past two months, which I am happy with, but I feel so much better.  My mind is clear, I have tons of energy, and I love the fact that we are eating healthy, nourishing food.

I ended up back on Facebook after about 40 days (I think).  I just missed seeing pictures of my friends and family, and pseudo-catching up with long lost friends.  However, I did not reinstall the app on my phone, so I am only on a few times a day.  This is a happy medium for me.

The best change was that I have really tried to just be present with Ruby, and I am enjoying being home with her so much more now.  She is so precious and time is moving so quickly, and I was wasting it.  Believe me, I am still nowhere near the perfect mom and there are plenty of moments when I would love to just escape for a bit, but I feel incredibly blessed to be able to mother her full-time, and that I have a wonderful, supportive husband.

So there it is!  30 days that changed my life.  I tried to have a few, measurable goals, and even though I fell a little short my whole life seems uplifted, so I will call it a success!

If you were doing a 30 day challenge, what would you change?

2 Responses to “30 Days that Changed My Life”

  1. Jessica Smith September 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    You rock! You sure did have a lot of changes all at once, and you’re right, that is OVERWHELMING! I’m so happy to here you are taking back your health and getting involved in the community! Ruts are a normal part of life, but they’re no fun, and it’s always great to get back into our groove!

  2. Lindsey Windham Sauvageau September 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    Wow Sarah! Great job making some positive changes in your life and recognizing that they were necessary! If you are looking for something else healthy and motivating to do with Ruby I recommend you try Stroller Strides, a fun and tough stroller workout class. I’m not sure where in D.C. you are, but I just looked at the map and there seem to be quite a few locations around there. Plus, it’s a great time of year to exercise outside. Sounds like you have your stuff together now, though. I hope you are making lots of friends in your new home.

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