Stop….Hammer time! (Or my time, same thing)

Whole30 is winding down, and I have to say that it’s not been too bad. It really wasn’t until halfway through this past week that I felt really ready to be done with it. I feel like I’ve really learned a lot more this time around, but this time it’s been less tangible things like “oh, milk makes my tummy hurt” or “I do like my coffee black” and more internal mental shifts like “a lot of choices I make are about convenience and laziness instead of what is good for me” and “I carry myself differently when I know I’ve been taking care of myself”. I have ten days to go and I have no doubt I’ll make it through easily enough. Now comes the part of deciding how to come off of it. I don’t want to just go back ot bad habits. I want to continue moving forward. I want to make positive changes without backtracking. That doesn’t mean I need to make giant steps every day, but I want my trajectory to be moving up instead of flat-lining or worse, being inverted.

So what do I have to do to do that? Well, I’m not exactly sure yet. I know I do well with strict guidelines, so I think continuing to keep a plan of Whole30-esque or Paleo eating will be critical. Really, the only two things that I want to reintroduce is wine and cheese. Those are the only two things I miss. Everything else, I’ve done a great job of living without and really have no craving for them. I use my sense of smell to live through memories of enjoying things, an that’s generally good enough for me. But wine and cheese?? There is just no smell that can be enough. BRINGING. THEM. BACK. I also want to really make the times that I do choose to eat things not as healthy, or at a restaurant to be an experience. I want to consciously choose my decisions, not just default to them when I’m bored or lazy. I want to elevate my choices. Instead of settling for a pub’s previously frozen chicken strips and fries and 5 PBR’s 3 times a week, I want to put on a cute outfit with shoes that are sitting in my closet neglected, go to a nice restaurant with a friend (or friends) and order a handcrafted cocktail, be seated a nice table, order something so delicious that my mouth waters in anticipation and the perfect glass of wine to pair with it once a week or month. That experience is so much more valuable to me than the other three combined.

So, enough about food. What else has been going on? Glad you asked. I started my first hip hop dance class this week and it was….scary! And awesome! And HARD! I’m doing an 8 week basic class, and I’m doing it by myself because no one wanted to do it with me. Actually, I gotta derail for a moment. As I’ve began exploring the various creative things that I enjoy, the fact that none of my friends want to participate has been a very clear indication to me that I need to start being pro-active about making new friends who share in my interests. While it’s wonderful to have diversity and I love all the different things I learn through differing opinions and different experiences, I dream of a few friends who get just as excited as I about a particular song, the sound, the lyrics. I crave people who jump at the chance to dance or take a dance class, regardless of the type of dance, or how scary it may seem. I long for people who write who can challenge me in my level but also encourage me and speak to my strengths. I desire friends who can afford and plan for a trip to somewhere exotic for new and exciting experiences. And as I’ve realized what I’m deeply longing for, it’s made me hyper-aware of the people I’m surrounding myself with.

OK, back to where I was….Hip hop class. Yes, it was amazing. The instructor is great and stressed over and over that this class isn’t about perfection. It’s a place to let loose, have fun, play with your ego and hard lines and body movements. It’s a place to be carefree, to let go and that is something that I am NOT GOOD AT. So, it’s great for me to be here. It’s great that I suck at it. It’s great that most the other people suck at it too because we do a lot of laughing at our absurd movements and ‘WTF’ looks when the instructor gives us a new move. And dolls, let me tell you that the next morning when I got up to get ready for work, I was sore as fu….crap. While the movements didn’t seem hard, I sure as hell worked some muscles because I’m still aching two days later. Woot woot for a workout that didn’t feel like one!

Finally, I did something else that I have never done. And it was scary. And it was hard. And it was awesome. I wrote a fiction piece. I wrote something so completely out of my repertoire that I had to take multiple breaks to process it. I had to edit, I had to proof-read. I had to develop characters and decide where they were going. I had to decide on an ending and what type of surprise or conflict I was going to bring to the story. It was amazing. And then, I put it out there for the world to see and….people loved it. Sure, I don’t have a zillion fans or anything, the few who commented left positive detailed reviews, showing that they really read the story and connected to it. It was seriously a feeling like no other. I’m so proud of myself for doing something so far from what I ever expected from myself and for doing it pretty damn well.

I guess this post is a way of saying I’m pretty happy and content these days. My life is full. I’m developing new friendships that are giving me life. I’m trying new things even if I have to on my own. I’m pursuing my interests. I’m making good choices. March has been pretty great. And with that, I’ll leave you with the ever adorable Ginger Lou:

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