Join A 2016 Whole9 Challenge!


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Hello from the Other Side!   I feel that way at the moment, having allowed myself to get sucked into a stress vortex at work! Help, please, grab my ankles and pull me out!


I missed the WHOLE MONTH of June.  Work was stressful, my son graduated from high school, and I went on vacation for too few days.   I did get outside - went on a cultural walking tour of some historic sites in the Hudson River Valley and also have just been walking and walking and walking the dog, but I was not being 100% true to myself and my goals and allowed the little mini-vacation to derail my newly formed habits.  I am struggling mightily to overcome a discouraged state of mind, and what I'm finding is that I feel a very deep, strong urge to change my career.  It is a terrifying thought, but it's persistence and my heavy heart while trying to make things better at work tells me that I need to look forward and outward.


As such, I'm kicking off July by taking a day to regroup on my wellness program (I have not wholly left off, just haven't made progress either), read and write in this forum, re-connect.  Today is my youngest's 18th birthday and I think that is effecting me as well; time with my loved ones in my home is drawing to a close.  (oh, the midlife angst!  I should just stop).


Anyway, I am combining June healthy movement, which I did engage in a bit by adding weekly step challenges with fitbit friends, and July - Fun!   I met a new friend, who is looking for a friend to do active, healthy things with, hurray!  So Sunday, we are going for a bike ride together in the early morning.  I am looking forward to that very much, and in the meantime am celebrating my Son and his 18 trips around the sun.


So glad to find you all here whenever I can share in the forum.  :)

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I'm late to the game! I would have loved to participate in this. Maybe I'll just jump in for July and go from there and then start from the beginning when I'm done to finish the rest... :)

Hi Greenhrn and Welcome! 

Do please jump in, I did and I'm so glad.  I'm planning on staying with this through pretty much every year until I am perfect, so probably about 50 years.  I don't know if the threads expire and get rebooted yearly, but it seems that some of the folks on this one have done the Whole 9 a few times.  I just popped back in after a one month hiatus, and part of getting back on track is reading all the haps between May and today.  Enjoy!

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I'm late to the game! I would have loved to participate in this. Maybe I'll just jump in for July and go from there and then start from the beginning when I'm done to finish the rest... :)

I am a late comet too, started my first Whole 30 27 days ago, but doing a restart.

Here is why:

So, in my 26 day Whole 30 practice run, I lost 6 pounds and one pant size (the jeans I wore for my before photo were uncomfortably, "this is too painful to wear", tight at the start, now I can wear them comfortably all day long).

So, why am I starting over?

I need a do over. I just realized that I have been eating bacon with sugar all this time, and that my omega 3 Barlean's Swirl has erythritol in it, plus other here and there whoopsies. I could just finish as is, but I really feel I need to take what I have learned and try again and do it right, do it better, including better before and after photos and measurements this time around.

But better still than weight loss and visible changes, I have gained energy and lost unending fatigue, gained control over my cravings and lost high blood pressure, gained a better understanding of myself and lost chronic pain, and I have gained a better awareness of hidden sugars/artificial sweeteners and lost the "I can't do this, there is nothing to eat" mentality!

So here's to second chances!!

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I love how the first post of this page is that image of the smiling sun, makes me smile too. I also use Moment! But it keeps malfunctioning on me. And the irony of using an app to decrease my screen time....not over that yet. 


Melimuse, hope you've escaped from the stress vortex and July has more smiling suns than stressing. Funny how time can fly by with events like you describe, but it sounds like you can see what's happening and that's often the first step to getting out. 


Busy -- you don't need a "do over", you need a "do again". The "do again" just sounds more positive.   :)  You've learned so much and had some great NSVs, and I'm happy to see you're going to go at it again!! That to me is often the best outcome - that the challenge didn't feel like a fail or a loss or a waste and you're willing to keep challenging yourself. The next 30 days will seem so much easier too!


Well off to some fun with my dog, I just looked up a bunch of new tricks to teach her, yahoo!

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Happy Independence Day, everyone!  It's an overcast day here in Frederick, Maryland where as an historic revolutionary and civil war city we have an enormous all day festival in our city park.  Lately there has been a great deal of development and improvement in the park, and we're a bit of a boom town, so I am trying to decide if I am going to stay here and walk, take in the festivities, or if I'm going to vamoose and go with something a bit quieter.


July is off to a fantastic start for me with the whole get out and play business.  I started by meeting friends at the community center for a full afternoon of yoga on Saturday, and then yesterday I spent the day on the C&O canal, biking about a 13 mile trip, stopping over for lunch in a railway town, in a great little church-come-coffee shop with a Jazz quartet.  It is such a wonderful thing to just go play outside like this, with a friend.  Being a grown up seems to leave us with precious little time to fit in fun and playing outside.Next weekend I have some friends coming over and I'm thinking that a hike is in order!


In between then and now I am going to fold in more yoga with friends and some daily bike rides, in the morning before the traffic gets going and while it's still cool out. 

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I am definitely getting in some outdoor fun. I'm camping at someone house so I can be here for a family reunion of sorts. I am having a blast hangout out in the fresh air and reconnecting with my favorite niece who had been living far away for the past ten years. Lots of laughter we find joy in shared memories!

Best part at is I am not eating all the nasty junk food so I'm feeling great!

Wait, no, best part was that my neice and my nephew freaked out at my new, smaller self!!!!

Today I have realized that I am all shrinking, as my jeans are now so lose that I don't have to unbutton then to take them off!

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My 6 month sum-up



Still relatively decent.  My portions are probably bigger than they need to be, and I could stand to cut out rum for a bit ... might be time for another Whole30 before the end of the year.


Personal Growth

I'm not reading as much non-fiction as I used to, nor am I journaling as much.  I need to step it up more in this area.



This continues to go really well!  I've gotten a lot better at not having to wake up to pee, I keep using ear plugs and the silence really does help, and the new place is a lot darker than the old place at night, so I'm not even using the black sheet over my window but it's working well.  I'm waking up at a good time even on weekends.  The sunrise-simulating alarm clock is still really awesome ---- I only turn away with a pillow over my head SOMEtimes ;)


Stress Management

This got more difficult as some things evolved at work that increased stress more than it had been.  Lots of deep breaths and reminding myself of my priorities helped. Channeled some stress in to exercise which helped.


Healthy Movement

Really been doing well at this one --- my workouts have been more regular, and I've been running stairs often, and riding my bike A LOT


Natural Environment

Lots of outside time (well, it IS San Diego), but one change that will likely be permanent is that I'm using sunscreen more.  I've always been kind of a sun-soaker-upper ... I don't purposefully sit out and get tan, but I like running with my shirt off, etc.  But I'm coming to accept that if I want to have better skin when I'm older I really need to not get so tan.  So I've been using sunscreen more, particularly on my face.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,


Just checking in to see how everyone is doing.  I am going through meaningful transformation, I'm happy to say.  July is definitely an outdoors oriented month, and I just booked a few days at the beach with my son next week to cap it off.  :)


I'm leaning in to some new ways to invest in life-changing health.  One way is that I decided to ask some friends over to do yoga together, which turned out to be a resounding success.  It seems like everyone needs things to do that are healthy!  We are going to make it a usual thing, it's basically pot luck and yoga.  Lovely.  The second thing is that I have decided to pursue Reiki training and lean into the more spiritual nature of yoga. 


I have ridden my bike and am enjoying lots of healthy outdoors, rather amazed at all the Pokeman go-ers.  :)  I guess I am ready for the next two months - socializing with my pot luck yoga and expanding the scene I'm in to include some new like minded folks as well (it's amazing if you just ask people sincerely to join you in mutual pursuits - magically they enthusiastically say yes!).  Then in September I will be practicing Reiki and trying to get ready for my master class in October.  That seems like a good temperance plan to me.  I do like to plan, as it helps me stay on track in the now in support of goals in the future.


I hope everyone is having fun and not too weighed down with the social and political ugliness we are all surrounded by.  Peace to you all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been quiet in here! I've been busy with life and hopefully everyone else is having too much fun to be hanging out on a forum! ;) Oh my and yes those Poke-go-ers. I'm split on them, glad to see them out and about but aaaarrrrggggg when they are standing in the middle of the bike path staring at their phone! Birds singing, flowers blooming, grass growing vs a phone screen. Oh well, they are having their own version of fun :) 


This month got away from me, I realized that about one-third of the way in and kinda let it go. I only vaguely defined some goals, those goals turned into "just one more thing I've got to do", and I had to relax on them. I'm spending lots of time outside, playing with the pets, harvesting from the garden, but also getting a lot done at work yet nothing at home. I'm behind on a lot of stuff. 


On top of that, and probably what really limited my fun, my SIBO symptoms recurred in early July and I've been fending that problem off unsuccessfully for weeks. So yesterday I had to go back on the SCD Intro diet, meaning 'socialization' for me won't be eating out at all for a few weeks. But that's a goal to look forward to I guess. 


August's Goal is Socialization -- Cultivate Meaningful Human Connections. There's some good reading on that page! I've been looking forward to August, I can think of a few ways I can get out from under July's overload by getting out more. 


One of the articles on the Socialization page titled The Great Social Experiment by Melissa has a challenge to ask an unscripted question of at least one total stranger every day and evaluate how the process makes me feel from an emotional, mood, and stress perspective. I might do this, sounds fun. 


The Unplug article has suggestions to limit tech usage -- turn the phone off, Kill Your TV challenge, and a few more. I've made great progress with reducing my smart phone usage so I can speak to how great these suggestions are! 


My goals

-- I already write handwritten(!) letters to two family members, but I've fallen off that habit in July. Just start it up again.

-- Last week I wrote a letter to my Dad, I see him all the time! But it was such fun so to build on that...

-- Randomly call a friend or family member a few times a week, not just to report or learn something. Just to say "hi".

-- Randomly text a more distant friend or family member now and then, maybe be less distant by the end?

-- Connect with people I see a lot for work but don't really "connect" with. Some I don't even know their names!  :ph34r:

-- Adding on the Great Social Experiment I just read about


I'd like to hear what others are doing for Socialization, other experiments or challenges!

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  • 1 month later...

I might be the only one left in the Whole9 Challenge I started? Hopefully a few others will chime in! I admit I've been away from the forums lately as part of my SMARTER than the Smart Phone Challenge, a personal challenge I began in July that keeps me out of my smart phone and more in real life. I like it so much, that I'm doing an expanded SMARTER September Challenge too. 

I enjoyed the Social August. I made a point to say something to people in elevator's, finally met some coworkers, said "hi" to most all runners and bikers and poke-walkersI came across, and joined a new running group! I fell behind on my letter writing though, but today I have two letters to script over lunch to send out. Overall this month pointed out just how introverted and home-body I am. But I'm happy that way, so no major changes, just the little ones mentioned. 

Next up Temperance. I didn't plan this and only just realized it, but my SMARTER September Challenge is a Temperance project! Nice coincidence for me. I'm still reading the Wikipedia article on temperance, it's a longer read than I expected and discusses forgiveness, humility, prudence, and self-regulation. I guess the last one is most relevant for this purpose as it relates to delayed gratification, pursuit of long-term goals, and 'controlling one's appetites and emotions'. Sounds Whole30 to me!

Going to keep reading on the Wiki page, might come up with more interesting tidbits from the literature cited there. I recognize some of the names like Baumeister (I've read his books), and see if I have other thoughts for my goals.



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I'm here! <raises hand>

I've just been really bad at posting even though I've been around the forums, and I guess that's because I've been making a concerted effort to limit screen time (since I sit at one all day, and use one for study purposes too) and to be a little bit more of a participant in the real world....

August was a great social month for me. I started it off with a weekend away with my BFF to celebrate her birthday. We crashed a wedding party at the Hotel we stayed at :o:ph34r: and made lots of new friends - once the bride and groom finally figured out we weren't actually with either of them.... :D I circulated at a party at the same friends house rather than standing in the one spot talking to the usual suspects, and spoke to new faces, and then even made it into the local paper at the close of the month posing for photos at a Bowie tribute night - not at all like me....!! I met up with two gym friends outside of the gym over the course of the month who are currently other wise tied up with work and unable to train, and have been staying in touch via email with some long lost & recently friends of mine in Greece, plus I've been phoning instead of texting lately so I'm actually connecting with people - and you know what? It's been refreshing...

I had a chat this evening with a friend about forgiveness & acceptance which kind of fits in with the whole Temperance theme for September - both of us used to be training like maniacs, doing OCR's every month, and spending every free minute at the gym. We were both saying how we've moved on from that and how we're accepting of how we've changed, how our long term goals have changed, and how our priorities have had to change in line with the new goals.

For September I'll be focusing a little more on practicing gratitude, paying it forward, re-starting my 'rainy day' jar for any loose change (which would otherwise get soent if it didn't go in the jar), and spending time with my youngest doing practice papers for his forthcoming exams. He's 10, severely dyslexic but a mathematical genius and this one on one time will pay dividends for his long term goals - which will in turn provide me with a deep sense of gratification when I see what he can achieve - and we'll both be abstaining from screen time as a result. Win:Win.

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I wonder if it would be acceptable to start NINE new topics, one for each of the Whole9 challenges? Whenever I have a month where I want to work on a Whole 9 topic, I will read the articles on the blog, but would also like a little "real world" advice & tips from everyone here. But when I check the topics here I often need to scroll through months & months of the various Whole 9 challenges to dip into the part that currently interests me. I often wish they were separated. Especially if I don't want to do them "in order". Any thoughts?  Would it encourage access & ongoing use? Or would it be just too many new topics at once?

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@Seafarer - as a group I think it's much easier for everyone to be doing the same topic - a bit like a Bookclub we can discuss our goals for that month, chip in throughout the month with any queries/suggestions/anecdotes etc and then recap at the end of the month as to how things went. It worked well last year, and I think many people disappear a little over the summer months when it's so good to be outdoors.

Although that's just IMHO - there's nothing to stop you choosing a topic and getting stuck in...!!

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Hi everyone! I’m still here, lurking in the shadows. In July I decided to take a Social Media Break, but ended up sticking with it through August! It was really amazing to find out how much free time I have when I’m not sitting on my phone or the computer, neurotically checking Facebook and Instagram every 15 minutes, smh.

I wasn’t super motivated the past couple of months. It’s so weird, whatever the topic for improvement is that month, for whatever reason I’m always like, “mmm, that’s cool, but I’d rather focus on this other thing.” Must be the Rebel in me (if you’re familiar with Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies). For July’s Fun and Play, I knew if I created a whole list of fun-inspired action items I just wouldn’t do them. So I kept it simple: try to find the fun in everything. I went to several movies (I love movies!), played with my kids outside as much as possible, and had a fun family vacation weekend to a wedding thrown in there. I didn’t come out with too many big revelations, other than I have a very unique sense of “fun”. I don’t like board games or sports, I hate to craft or make art, but I do like cleaning and organizing. To me, cleaning out my closet is fun. So, to each their own, and my closets are so clean now!

Socializing in August was going to be a challenge (total introvert here), so I tried to incorporate Melissa’s “Great Social Experiment” to interact more without feeling like I’m putting too much out there. People and social engagements burn me out really fast, so I tried to stay in the sweet spot of getting in touch with people in ways that make me feel connected but don’t wear me out. I made it a point to chat with the barista during my daily coffee run, I connected with an old college friend while she was in town, and I tried to call or text one family member or friend at least once a week. On one hand I wish I did more, but on the other hand I really want to crawl under a rock and not be around people for a week or so. Introverts unite! Separately! In your own preferred locations!

September, for Temperance, I had a couple of ideas. One was to pick 1 or 2 goals I tracked from the past 8 months to incorporate. But then I decided to just do another Whole30 with the #SeptemberWhole30’ers. I sort of started today, September 1, thinking I wanted to get a few practice days in before the real deal starts on the 5th. We do have a big party planned at home on the 10th (it’s a home brew party, so, lots of beer) that I am going to just enjoy then start over again on the 11th. Which is probably silly, but it works for me. I’ll get a nice 10 day reset in, then when the party hits I’ll likely want to indulge a bit less than I would before since I’ll just start to be feeling good again at that point.

I know we’re not done yet, but I have really enjoyed this challenge! It’s been really fun to add my monthly focus and goals to my planner, come up with some new areas of my life that I never considered before but now are part of my daily ritual (meditation - who knew?), and really consider health from the whole-person perspective, not just only focusing on food and exercise. All the while accepting the fact that life is still life at the end of the day, and there will always be something - a super-nuts-busy project at work, an illness, family and friends needing attention - that can distract. It will always be a little crazy, so embrace the craziness and just do what you can do!

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Love the updates and how everyone approaches this challenge differently. That's really the goal in the end, to focus on your individual journey and challenges as they are different for all of us. 

My self invented SMARTER Than The Smart Phone Challenge is tough! (SMARTER is for Screen Management And Recovery of Time, Efficiency, Reflection). Each day of the week I have specific goals, and I'm limiting myself to less than 90 mins a day. I didn't realize just how much I mentally checked out while eating when that stupid phone was in my hands! It is HARD to eat without it, it's like a tic when I sit down I reach for it. I have to put it in another room. 

Then I realized it's soooooo quiet without it (I eat dinners alone) I started playing the radio or a podcast and that's also a distraction. Ugh, I love it! What a great thing to fix for myself :) I even have to clear all papers from the table. First I realized I was mindlessly writing so I cleared pens and paper. Then I noted that I'll mindlessly stare at even an advertisement or package or anything to occupy my  mind. HUH? I'll clear a plate and be like "where'd the food go?". Focus on the food!! 

Does anyone else eat alone and find that you actually get bored of the food and want to move on to do something else instead? I'm finding about halfway through my plate I'm ready to quit eating. But I know it's a mental game, as I'm hungry again only 20 mins later so the urge to leave the table is my brain wanting a phone-drug-hit. Any tips to share? I'm going to try just plain instrumental music next, and I just downloaded a "Relax Melodies" app to play bird singing, raindrops, white-noise type noises. Also I'm going to try varying my food  to make it more interesting. Maybe try chopsticks so I have to focus more? 

I also downloaded the Moment app, it now has a bootcamp 14 day digital detox challenge I'll try. 

Oooh I love a good challenge :P And it's only day 6. Is it KILL ALL THE SMART PHONE phase yet? lol!

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jmcbn and missmunchie, I really enjoyed your Social stories! Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed that month and it's something I've continued with. I found that I'd have more of a smile during the day, it made break room visits at work something I'd look forward too, and it just felt good to smile at other runners. By connecting to them, I sort connected to me and how I felt. 

I also found that working on areas of my life I didn't think about resulted in improvements. My sleep is better, I meditate, I'm calmer in stressful situations, and more. Maybe we can think up 3 more factors to round out the year. 

It's scary how much we report needing a digital detox. Speaking of which, I gotta log off here and get going! 

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On 06/09/2016 at 7:54 PM, LucieB said:

Does anyone else eat alone and find that you actually get bored of the food and want to move on to do something else instead? I'm finding about halfway through my plate I'm ready to quit eating. But I know it's a mental game, as I'm hungry again only 20 mins later so the urge to leave the table is my brain wanting a phone-drug-hit. Any tips to share? I'm going to try just plain instrumental music next, and I just downloaded a "Relax Melodies" app to play bird singing, raindrops, white-noise type noises. Also I'm going to try varying my food  to make it more interesting. Maybe try chopsticks so I have to focus more? 

Chopsticks would be an excellent idea!!

I eat lunch alone at work, and I eat dinner alone maybe twice a week, and yes, I find that I'm preoccupied with what I need to do next. I make a point of no laptop at meal times, but it's hard to not do 'something' and focus entirely on the food. When I'm alone at home I usually have the radio on - I figure that's a little like company, but yes, maybe instrumental music would be better.... more relaxing.... I dunno... definitely worth a try.

Re the whole social thing I agree about the smiling being infectious - I've had days where I've made conscious efforts to focus on connecting with other people just with a smile, and it's amazing how much better it makes you feel when people smile back, or when the smile becomes a daiily thing & progresses to a 'hello' and then a 'hello, how are you...?' For some people that could be the only human connection they have and it's such a simple thing - a simple thing that has been banished from our lives. Growing up I knew everyone of my neighbours, and even some of their relatives who visited regularly enough. Nowadays many people are lucky to know anyone in their street - the sense of community long since gone. No human connection...


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  • 3 weeks later...

September isn't over yet, but I'm embarking on a new challenge that will keep me from seeing how the Whole9 challenge ends for the rest of the group, so I'm hoping to see your responses before I go off the radar!

My SMARTER in September challenge was eye opening. My smartphone issue was bigger than I realized, I downloaded an app that tracked my screen unlocks and usage time. Wow! Even when trying to reduce my time on the phone I was spending too much time in my book.

So I'm doing an OptOut October, another of my alliterative creations :)  I'm quitting the internet as much as I can for October. No news (in election season!), no surfing, no social media, no Whole30 forum, no youtube. Informative and reference usage is OK -- Siri-able questions, work, banking, maps and directions, emails, podcasts, and my daily logging and blogging. I'm limiting myself to 90 mins a day of phone use. My reward for extra time will be a few rounds of my favorite game. This will include my personal computer too, not just the phone. 

See, my phone is disrupting my attention span around food which is the primary time I use it. I eat breakfast over the phone. Lunch is already phone-free as I broke that habit. Dinner is terrible, I don't even realize what I've eaten!! One the days I eat alone, which is most nights lately, I empty a plate and it's like "who took my food? Well I should get some more" because my brain never saw what I was eating. My food was falling onto the table, dribbling down my chin, messy, and still I kept staring at the phone. Once I realized this I put the phone down to focus, and learned that it's like I was hiding feelings while eating with the phone. That make sense? Like once I put the phone down suddenly I had to face up to my cruddy microwaved meal that was thrown together in a hurry because I was surfing. And I wasn't enjoying the meal, I was eating because it was an opportunity to surf!!! Not done with this article yet, so I'll refill with seconds, thirds, fourths, just a few more bites, just a few...ugh.

I'd love to hear if and how other people have dealt this this. I've been reading articles about people quitting the internet for 30 days or a year. I can't go full boar without internet, but I can put some controls on myself and see what I can learn. I'm reading about boredom leading to creativity, about relationship building, improved productivity. Who can argue with that?

So. Wow, right? So for me the Whole9 Challenge was an overall win. Loved it so much I'm going to keep going with most of the habits I've learned. The sleep and social months highlighted some issues and those changes have helped my days. Some months I can't even remember what I did, but that's OK with me. I challenged myself and learned what I could.

It's an October challenge but I'm starting Friday on the new moon, and to avoid doing day 1 on a weekend as those are screwy schedule days for me anyway. I'd like to have "a streak" going into the weekend. I'll still get and reply to emails, so I guess if there are responses here I'll see them. I'm going to miss the forums, it's my favorite one to check! But I'll be back with a report on how this experiment went. :)


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Ahh, September is almost over! I looked and October's theme is "Refine and Reflect," so now I'm trying to decide what my main focus will be for October. 

After some back-and-forth, I finally committed my September focus to be participating in the #SeptemberWhole30, and it's going great! I didn't know if I would be committed enough to stick with it, but I have found the intrinsic motivation I needed. I'm on Day 26/Day 20 since I did enjoy a few beers at our homebrewing party a few weeks ago, but the rest of my diet that day remained compliant. I'll extend my Whole30 an extra 10 days so it'll be like I started over the day after the party, but if I think of it like that I get sad and demotivated, so I'm just thinking about it like I'm extending a few days and then it seems totally do-able to me and keeps me on track. I'll stick it out and this will be the third "complete" Whole30 I've done! (there are a couple that weren't the full 30 days, so I've stopped counting them).

I'm not sure what I want to commit to for October yet. One idea is to repeat February's "Personal Growth" with the reintro protocol, and a focus on having a positive, loving attitude. I also just fired up a new blog, so I'm also thinking about focusing on posting and developing content for the month. And then I took a week off of CrossFit since I'd been killing it lately and was starting to feel run down, so now I'm all "let's do this!" again and maybe I should focus on Healthy Movement again. So many options!

The cool thing is that my objectives generally start to come into focus as I naturally start paying attention to something the first few days of the month. Like, my goals sort of write themselves once I allow my head to step back and let my life just do it's thing. So I'll spend the weekend playing with different things to focus on, and then I'm sure something will pop up as "Yes! This is the priority right now!"

I'm sort of getting sad that the year is almost over. This challenge has been so much fun, and I've been so inspired with reading everyone else's journey! I feel so much more (for lack of a better word) organized about my priorities and goals now. And I have so much more grace with myself if I don't meet my initial intentions. If I don't follow through with something I committed to at the beginning of the month, it's probably because it's just not something I need to be focusing on right now, and that's okay. I know I am a strong and determined individual, and if I need to get something done, it'll get done. 

Thinking ahead, does anyone have any suggestions for November and December?

What was your favorite monthly challenge?


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Dang, sucks being away from the internet!  I've been away in body but not in spirit --- glad to see others have kept the flame burning.

I've got a lot of catch-up reading to do.  I'm still on the road with work so I won't be able to dive right back in like a few months ago, but I just wanted to check in and say I'm excited to finish out the year strong.

Talk soon!

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September's Temperance theme for me meant joining in on the September Whole30, and after restarting on Day 6, today is my Day 30! Yay! This has been one of the most interesting and transformative Whole30's I've done so far, not in terms of physical changes (though my pants finally fit again) but in my mood an relationship with food. A big shout-out to "Food Freedom Forever" for finally helping put some of the pieces of the puzzle together for me!

I didn't realize I've been treating Whole30 like a diet, even though I know it's not a "diet." But I was one of those on-the-W30/face-first-in-Safeway-sheet-cake kind of folks. But now it's Day 30 and for the first time in four years, I'm not particularly eager to eat All the Things tomorrow. I might have glass of wine. Maybe. If I feel like it, and if my husband will split the bottle with me, and we can savor the experience and use it to enhance some time together and not try to drink a fancy wine while doing mundane house chores and dealing life stuff. My bar for "is it worth it?" has clearly risen. Only took 4 years of Whole30's to start to figure it out! :) 

I'm going to do the proper "fast track" reintro protocol, which I have never actually done before. I want to really feel how things react with me. I know appreciate the process, on how it's a constant learning experience to see what I can get away with and what should stay off my plate if I want to feel my best. And I can't believe how much not eating well affects my relationships. I feel like I'm different, a more patient and loving mother to my kids, to my spouse. I'm not as stressed and I'm able to identify when I need a break so much sooner than I could before. I'm kinder to myself. It's amazing.

For the rest of October, I'll continue with the reinto protocol, I've set some gym goals (CrossFit 3x a week, go to one specialty class - yoga, olympic lifting, or strength training - one time a week, and hike once a week), and I'll be blogging about my fitness and continued Whole30 efforts daily. It's time to fire up ye olde bloggy again (link's in my signature below if you're curious)!

Hope you're all having a great month! 

@LucieB hope you're enjoying your internet vacation!

@cottagequeen Bless your heart for taking care of your aunt, that is such a gift. I admire your strength.

@kirkor Thanks for checking in, I hope the crazy gives you a break soon!

@jmcbn How is the distraction-free eating plan working out? Any new tricks or insights?

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Hi @missmunchie - good to hear you're doing well, and plan on the proper reintro this time. IMO it's the most important part of the program if you really want to develop your own long term eating plan.

It was actually @LucieB who'd been working on a distraction free eating plan. I'd just responded to her post. I've spent September getting back to roots practicing gratitude, working on filling my rainy day jar (which has just come in handy as our TV died on us at the weekend - just about the only time it's used) and working one to one with my youngest prepping him for a set of school exams coming up in Nov/Dev to determine which school he'll move on to. We've put his gymnastics squad training on hold until such times at the exams are over, and I've sacrificed some of my own training time to work more closely with him. It's actually been a good lesson for us both in focusing on the long term goals. Since his exams start mid Nov through to early Dec I'll be continuing this focus going forward, alongside some more dedicated Personal Growth in the form of continued study, with the current goal of moving into the area of treating mental disorders with nutrition.

Hey @kirkor and @cottagequeen......!! Long time, no see..... <waves>

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16 minutes ago, Raven said:

 Is anyone going to do a 2017 Whole9 challenge

For me this isn't a challenge, it's my lifestyle.

It just helps to put a different focus on each month in order develop the foundations a little more, so I'm here for the long haul, as are (I imagine) a few of the others :)

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