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Happy New Year! And a very happy January Whole 30 season! This is my third January W30 - my previous successes were 2015 and 2016, so it's been a hot minute. In 2016 I got pregnant and my relationship with food spiraled off the deep end, as I was suddenly not restricting myself any more and was given leeway to eat whatever I wanted and however much I wanted. To someone who had been dieting for, well, ever, this was clearly a dangerous and wrong approach. Pregnancy led to breastfeeding and more excuses to keep eating whatever (gotta keep those calories up when you're nursing!) and then one day I realized that I have a fully weaned nearly two year old and yet I'm still eating for two. Or more. And boy does the scale show it. Whole30 is - to me - a kick in the pants. A month long reminder that I am stronger than my cravings. Proof that I can stop eating sugar and drinking alcohol and mindlessly consuming chips. I can do it and I can thrive. My particular challenges this month: Feeding a toddler. I'm not restricting my son to W30, so there will still be cheerios and toast and milk and cheese around. I need to conscious of not popping a chip in my mouth when I give him some, or letting him feed me cheerios! Family. My dad is doing the W30 with me, which can be a great support system! But it's his first W30 and I see a lot of my own disordered eating habits in my dad - it's fully possible he won't make it through the month. I need to hold him up but not let him drag me off course if he does decide to drop off. Work. It's a busy month at work and I'll probably be working overtime. That means less time to meal plan, shop, and prepare food. It's doable, I just need to have good time management. Solo Parenting. My husband is traveling for work all month, so I'm on my own in the parenting department. I've got my mom and dad close by to help, but I'll definitely miss having my husband around to share the load! I think the best way to succeed is to make a plan. So here's what I'm doing this month: Meal Planning is a no-brainer. But I've been super lax about meal planning for the last few months, so I need to pick it back up again. Figuring out meals that reuse ingredients so I can buy in bulk and save time. I'll make Sunday or Monday my meal plan day so I can go to the store early in the week. I'm trying out intermittent fasting. I've always struggled a bit with W30 breakfasts (the popular advice to eat leftovers doesn't work because I eat those for lunch) and while I love eggs there is only so many times you can have them. So I'm giving 16/8 IF a try - basically eating between 12-8pm only. That removes the problem of breakfasts and the late-night snacking. I plan to brush my teeth right after I put my toddler to bed at 8 so that I'm not tempted to eat more. Having snacks on hand. Yeah, I know, I know, no snacking on the Whole 30. But snacking really isn't a problem area for me, I'm not much of a grazer. And it's better for me to have some hard boiled eggs or apples on hand and ready to fill a quick hunger need than to give in and go after my toddler's goldfish crackers. Not going crazy with new recipes. I know a lot of people like to mix it up during W30 and try new things - that's awesome, and I've done it before. But for me, this month is going to be about staple recipes that I know and love, rather than trying out something new. I just don't have the time or headspace for a million ingredients and recipes. For community support, I've got a great group of friends on Facebook with whom I'm doing an accountability challenge. That should keep me motivated to stay up with them. I'm also going to use this blog because I enjoy journalling about my feelings, even if literally no one but me reads it. I can't guarantee I'll write every day, but I'm long winded and like to hear myself talk, so I'll probably update often. So here's to beginning the Whole 30 journey again! I consider this my hardest Whole30 yet, just because my discipline is at an all time low and it's my first time W30ing as a parent. But I've done it before and I feel confident I can do it again - I wouldn't be starting if I didn't think I could succeed.