Traditions.

When Nolie was really little I felt this huge need and pressure to create traditions. But I tried and tried and nothing stuck, felt right, or really worked. I can now see, looking back, that’s because we didn’t really know our family all that well yet. We were still figuring it all out (and still are, big time), we had lots of needs (need to nurse often, or snack all the time, need to sleep right.now., need to get a diaper changed, need to rear face, etc.) and those made traditions (that are often far away, car filled, late at night, long term, include waiting or lines, and often not super baby friendly…) hard. But as we are finding our groove with a, still so young, growing up family we are slowly finding that traditions are gaining, and so much fun!

But, we’ve had one (seriously, other than sweet potato cheesecake on Thanksgiving… I think this is it) long standing, forever tradition. And that’s the pumpkin patch! And over documenting! And donuts! And I love it.

This was year six. And goodness, look at how  much changes in six years.

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One not quite one year old, two exhausted parents wondering “are we doing this right???” and now … two big ol’ kiddos and two exhausted parents thinking “I think we might be doing this right!” And, whoa, that feels so good. Not that I don’t have days of intense doubt, but it’s pretty amazing to be coming into the time where we can see some of the results of our parenting (especially in Nolie!) and feel like “yes! This path, the one of endless talking and relating and loving and gentleness and not punishment… it’s working!” and I just want to go and hug those two parents from six years ago and say “hold her! nurse her! she’s great! you’re great!”

I obviously took a million pictures and I love them all. So here are a few… this is our family scrap book!

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This is the first year that both of the girls were fully into the family photos! Neither put up a fight, both giggled and smiled and picked apples and asked if they could get the donuts after this (of course!). We figured the donuts were a pretty good incentive to get through the sappy mom and dad moments 😉
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This was our first visit where Nolie was interested in taking some of the photos. She snapped a ton and has a pretty great eye! I love her pictures best because you can see that none of us are uncomfortable around her. All the kisses, grins, and loves are so authentic. So, thanks Nolie!
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Almost 6 suits Nolie. She’s just amazing. And made for a pretty perfect big kid baby holder for her sweet and tiny 10 week old buddy, Birdie.12087948_10101489502896310_1486973605987359779_o

She’s still all nut though. 12108722_10101489504458180_542569339146138902_n

Donut, that is. 12065479_10101489503839420_5553754914229578542_n

Ever Harbor Joy is 3.5 and a spunk. Wild, overflowing, huge emotions, slow growing empathy, and mindblowingly sweet. Her favorite things are to fly! and run! (she can run two miles! what?!) 12132537_10101489502716670_1168160652183001784_o

 

This was the last year this pumpkin patch will be open, but I know that our tradition will live on and next year we will be scoping out a new spot. But an apple orchard is required!

I saw the rain.

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This past weekend we had the chance to get away. To head out to summer camp in the cool fall near the rainforest. We experienced rain so loud it drowned out any loud night thoughts. We paddled quick to shore in the canoe as the sky opened up and we filled from the bottom up. And that’s exactly what I was needing. Filling me, from empty to the top.

Ever, exhausted and played out each evening, fell asleep on her own little mat, without nursing, each night. She came home, and the trend has continued. A season, chapter, a nurse, is ending (maybe). And it’s beautiful on it’s own. No hint of bittersweet. Purely sweet to see her pride in herself “I just have a nurse when I need you. But right now. I lay in my own bed and go to sleep. Night!” Allowing her to self wean (and night wean) has been one of the best parenting decisions I have made. To stop making it a problem “how much am I up at night?!” “she’s soooo old!” “when will I sleep through the night? How long can I endure this??” and instead to just live in each of these nights, knowing that while they feel so long, they end, and regret is heartbreaking and not worth it. It’s brought a huge relief and lightness to our nursing relationship. And it’s so beautiful. I hope we continue on for a long time (and I have very little doubt that we will) but it’s a beautiful feeling to know that if it ended today I would know that I’d given everything in my heart to make it positive and gentle. {Don’t mistake this for meaning that we haven’t ebbed and flowed and that I haven’t had my days of wishing we were done. Or wishing I slept all night, each night. But instead of that we have come into a season that is beautiful and easy in nursing. Our attachment is so secure, and not leaving all those nights grew that, even if I had wished at the time that I could go out in the evenings. I am so thankful I chose not to.And that I am so grateful to be able to see that it’s a relationship, and we’re in that cozy space of it working so well, for both of us.}

We’re a bit more than a month into our homeschool adventure and it has been more exciting, harder, more time intensive, stressful, and right than I ever could have imagined. I thought it wouldn’t be much harder than my SAHM gig has been thus far, because… really, it’s just kindergarten. But I wholly underestimated the weight of being the “teacher” and the job of getting us to “school” (she does a supplementary school program for a few classes a week, that Ev and I stick around for as well) three days a week. It’s still all very much in the air, and I feel as though I’m juggling six needs… balls…. events… curriculum… teachers all at once. But the one sure thing is that every time I watch Nolie in her classes, or see her at the table working through math problems I’ve spent time teaching her… I feel calm. Each time I am still with her and ask her about how she’s feeling about school, I feel so secure. This choice is certainly not the easiest on me, and is an enormous transition. But it’s the absolute best choice for her. And that’s really all I can give. Each year, each day, each child… making the choices to the best of my ability (we plan to reassess and decide each year, with each girl, what the best choice for them is). I see my main job as being her primary advocate. And while I am struggling through this I also feel better than I ever have about advocating for her education and needs. And that seems to always outweigh the doubts or overwhelm.

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With all the new stress and workload and change Charlie has been my constant. An unending fount of encouragement, and a space to vent my every (lots) frustration without letting that flow out (too much ) onto the girls. Two of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far about homeschooling are to 1. Learn self care. Because your breaks will be few and far between, and the reality of being “on” all the time is intense. Self care is a non-negotiable for your own heart and health, and for the health of your family. and 2. It would be fully impossible for me if I didn’t have a support person to hear me out, all the time. Charlie helps me sit and write my plan for the week, or cut me slack when there is no plan, and really doesn’t need to be. He is there so say “yes! you are capable of this!” and also there to say “no, that’s way too much! Just call it a movie night and cuddle in.”

Back to that number one. Self Care. I’ve been using yoga and whole eating as my means of caring for myself inside and out. I finished up a fourth round of whole30 a few weeks back, and am on day one of a whole10 today to kinda reset my body after lots of amazing  and indulgent camping food. I’ve all but quit my high intensity workouts and running for this season (well, running here and there. But just for pleasure) and am choosing yoga because I can do it in short bursts here and there, at home so easily, and at this time… I just need the calm. And I need the awareness of how beautiful and strong and capable my body can be. And the constant growth of yoga is the type of pay off and accomplishment I am craving right now.

I made a little bit of time this past weekend for a little workout (stairs/squats/pushups) but also made time to stretch out each morning. And it felt so good.

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My writing is feeling so clunky. But my words are overflowing. I’m so thankful to have a space to put some thoughts, memories, and my heart out there. I’d also love any homeschooling resources you are loving. Any great FB groups? Blogs? Any inspiring, real, and not super overwhelming spots I could be looking for ideas? I’m at the very beginning of this journey, and I am looking forward to sharing more about it in the coming months. Any other homeschooling parents out there? solidarity and coffee to you!

blog gone.

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When it was almost gone I felt a moment of relief. All those words and moments and documented mistakes were gone. All the over sharing and stories that aren’t quite mine to give so fully… gone. I felt a second of “oh good. Now no one will know. ” I was thankful to have the words gone from my girls. And thankful to not have to wonder “have they read about me?” when I meet a new Mom in Bellingham.

In the next flicker I felt intense heartache. It’s all gone. All the mistakes, and moments, and over sharing of motherhood and wife life and our story and his story, and her sleeplessness, my body hate, and my anger, my sadness, my everything from the start was gone. Poof, into the internet universe never to be seen again. And with that felt a strange weight. I’ve already forgotten those days (I was recently at the store and a new mom asked me if sleep was hard with my oldest, and it took me too long to remember. Because now I miss it. I remember rocking her fondly. Not putting her down, to hard, in anger at 3am. The realities have slipped away). I quick look through the archives reveals a women I am both pushed and pulled to cry with and comfort for her choices that she will regret (that I’ve already forgotten) and also pulled to never remember because she feels wholly unrecognizable.

The words I used to describe Nolie in her sleeplessness break my heart. My desire to not cry it out but to push it to the edge and “break her of this habit” make my stomach turn.

How freely I shared Charlie’s story makes me so torn. It introduced me to so many beautiful and suffering women. So many women who needed to know they weren’t alone. And who needed, desperately, to see a story of hope. But it also feels heavy and strange to know that so much of our very personal hearts and life are there. On a page. Easily searched. (But know, it was all shared with Charlie as the editor. And who stills believes wholly in that story being available).

The words that go along with my birth stories are so strange and hard and beautiful, but oddly stoic. Because I didn’t quite know myself. I didn’t quite know how much to give, how to give in, or how to convey it. And now my desire to rewrite them, years later, with just what’s left. Just the intense and the beautiful.

The moment dragged on. And my need to make a decision (to pay to have this page hosted) loomed. And I’m here.

Bubbling over with words, after feeling mute for so long, so much to share, so much changing going on and beautiful and happy and light. So much heavy and new and universal.

I’m struggling with the boundaries. I know that I won’t be putting as much of my children out here. And I know that I will be choosing wisely how quickly I share my own tender heart. But I also feel the words pressing out my fingers again and I’m ready to make it a practice again. To find a new voice. And to see what story it is that I am needing to share.

So, it’s here. And will be here. And won’t (as some posts will be disappearing, but no recipes). But that woman, the one I’m desperate to erase, she’s still there too. And she deserves hold a piece of my past, as much as it pains my heart to read those words and feel utterly divorced from the woman, and mother, I was.

All I can do, as I read back and decide to write on, is to do it with grace for who I am, who I was, and who I will be. And trust that those who love me have the same.

So, hi. And we’re back. And it’s new.

update?

It’s been… a month and a half?

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I don’t know why. The girls are busy, amazing, and teaching me daily. But they are also aging and with that I’m putting less of them out “there” and keeping it close in here. My heart.

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Whole30’s are still going. I finished up my third round and feel like I have found my balance of fun/food/fuel/indulgence/dedication.

Mothers Day was… amazing. Charlie knocked it out of the park with a very fancy staycation with the girls. We are all high on the love, hot cocoa, king size bed, and soaker tub.

 

And that’s about it.  I guess I am just feeling a bit like a new woman and this is feeling a bit like an old blog. Not sure where I’ll go from here. The parenting stuff is still big, consuming, and a new constant conversation full of love/empathy/fighting/researching/struggling/banding together with Charlie, but it’s all so specific to our girls’ stages that it seems like it might be strange to put into a blog.  And the food stuff is changing me. In enormous and love filled ways. But I also know that it’s weird to put all the body/food/workout selfies out there any more than I already do… so? I don’t know. I guess I am just needing to sit in this in between. I know God has some big plans coming for me. But right now I am in the stripping away phase. Dropping online responsibilities, writing work, much of anything, in favor of just hunkering into my girls. And our home. And Charlie. But something is coming. I can feel that.

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running is changing.

Last year Charlie and I trained for and ran a local half marathon. It was a hard, long, and eye opening process. And I never ran alone. Always with him, or a friend, the miles felt too quiet and too long and too tiring with only my stomp-stomp-stopm. The dedication to put in the weekly maintenance runs was really hard, and I lagged at the end. The long weekend runs were a treat and a break and often spent with a dear, and inspiring runner friend, but I struggled toward the end because I slacked on my training.

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When race day came we did it. We raced like newbies and had our fastest 10K yet but dragged through the 7 miles after that. When the race came to a  close we pushed across the finish line with nothing left. Nothing. At one point, during mile 12, I stopped and wanted to walk (for the first time during the race) but walking hurt more than running so we kept going. And vowed to each other that we would NEVER RUN EVER AGAIN.

About a week after the race, when we had both semi recovered, we went for a run around a local lake and vowed to do the race, and do it well, the following year. I made the goal to run it 15 pounds lighter and 15minutes faster. Well, I’ve amended that to be that I’ll run the race at whatever weight I am, and 30minutes faster (though, I think I am around 10 pounds lighter currently, so it could be that goal might happen on happy accident). But this time I am doing it differently.

I’m not just training for a half. I am cross training my body. And training my brain too.

I am running alone, well… with the girls and dog but basically alone, and in my head. And the running part feels like mental training more than anything else. Miles of foot to trail, and my own thoughts. And my brain feels calm and healthy in those miles, not frantic and exhausted. It’s a gift. And one that grows when I nurture it, so I keep running.

But for my body… I am changing it up. Last year I just ran as training. This year I am weight lifting and doing a lot of HIIT (high intensity interval training) and getting my miles in slow and steady. But it’s amazing, my body feels SO good on runs. I can power up hills because my squat weight is climbing. I can push through that last mile, hard, because my calf lift is on point.11045458_10101259840820950_3417006566120062386_n

I am using a website (fitnessblender.com) to find workouts I like, and spend probably 4-6 days a week doing a 30-45minute workout. And it’s working! And changing my body and mind.

This week we are registering for the race (it isn’t till September, but early bird prices. . . ) and I am starting to get pretty excited about crushing last years times!11073470_10101254187255740_2068781312218279135_n

nurture.

It’s pretty easy for me to soften my tone with my girls, to step back and notice their smallness in the big world. It’s simple to see that they are learning, growing, and experimenting and that they are far from malicious.

It’s harder with a grown up. It’s harder with a husband.

Charlie and I are in a really cozy space in marriage where things are bright and easy, forgiveness comes quick, and ‘strive to out serve’ as a vow is still going strong. But I am beginning to realize that a lot of that is a daily nurture we each pick up. It’s a forever asking “does this make you feel loved?” and trusting that what works evolves, a lot, and quickly, and to keep up you have to keep knowing each other.

There are a few things we are doing, lately, that seem to make the knowing easier.

1. Putting away the devices. I took a FB break for all of January, and then only kinda came back. One of the biggest take-aways of that month was the lack of computer time in the evenings. I spent the evening sitting at the kitchen island while the kids played and he washed dishes, I spent them talking with him. And he didn’t spend them alone. This is a habit that has stuck. I’ve kept the phone and internet to a minimum in the evenings (save for those nights he works ;)) and it’s done great things for our love. We don’t have as much of that “we never get to talk!” ache, and instead we are able to keep up with each others’ dailies.

2. Talking about our day to day. Sometimes I unload to my ladies all the the day-to-day stuff and by the time Charlie and I can chat there isn’t much to say. And sometimes he feels like there isn’t much to say to me, because I’m not asking. A way we’ve helped remedy that is two fold; One, we talk during the day. He’ll put me on speaker while he drives for a work errand, or call me on his lunch break just to chat. That keeps us ‘up to date’ on the little stuff that makes up the days. The weird frustrations, random low moments, hilarious kid stories, and quiet time realizations. Nothing feels stale, because it’s all fresh to each other. And secondly, I’ve started listening. I am a chatter, and it’s easy to just get going and then realize I haven’t spent much time investing. So I am learning, slowly, to step back and ask questions and really wait him out. Charlie can take awhile to really unload his day, but if I just wait and am there, it happens. Keeping up on the little things helps to nurture the “best friend” vibe we always have, and it also keeps our relationship from being only kid-centered, or only “BIG TALK” stuff. It’s nice to know how lunch was, or what funny thing happened at his meeting, or what random thought I had during dish washing. Those little things make up the big stuff, and are important. It’s what we did while dating, and it feels good to not have lost that.

3. Keep a short account. This has been something we’ve done forever, because we learned the hard way a long time ago. For us, this means, there are no lies. Not white lies, not “it was easier to just not tell you” stuff. None. Keeping up to date on your “I really wish I hadn’t done this… but I did.” moments. We both have them. All the time. And keeping the turn around on those confessions and heart talks quick is PARAMOUNT to not feeling lied to/forgotten/unimportant/allthat. And right a long with it, forgiveness. Talking till we are there.

 

Stuff is heavy in other ways. And we are both changing a lot right now. But it feels amazing, because we are changing together and there is no doubt in being right.there. for each other. It’s just almost too good to be this in love. I have no doubt that more big bumps, stumbles, and hard seasons are in our future. But it feels so good to be laying down more stones in the foundation while the lifting is light.

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a short love letter.

You and those eyes, slowly wrinkling and quickly grinning.

Grabbing me to dance to All About that Bass and Let It Go, true romance on the KidBopz station.

You’ve been snagging kisses above bobbing kid heads for years now, a pro.

 

The endless chalkboard love letters,

Office quotes sent via texts.

And random sexts, too, because love. And hilarity. And our generation.

 

Serious hand holding and eye contact in the ferry line,

Hard and honest conversations, full of words that are mighty and crushing,

But hands, arms, holding full of softening to each other. Again and again.

Again.

And then again again.

 

True love. In the time where time is at it’s slightest.

Romance, in between gentle parenting books, milk stained sheets, and a bed you haven’t seen in far too long.

True love that craves time, gives space, and honors and respects always.

 

You just get better and better.

Thank you, for you, for loving me. IMG_6691

SAHM Dairy, Chapter one, the end?

ever deskI got pregnant in my final year of college. As I walked for my graduation, in cap and giant gown, my little 4mo bump hid out underneath. I treasured that my first baby  walked with me; I didn’t feel ‘too young’ or like my future was gone. I knew, without a doubt, that I would stay home with this baby. It was important to both Charlie and I that I was home with our kiddos while they were small. But the expiration on that has always been hazy.

A few years.

Once they’re school aged.

After they wean.

Or…. wait? when?

And now I’m quickly approaching those end pages of the “small” years. As Nolie readies herself for some kindy experience (ps. jury is still out on what that’ll look like. But balls are in courts and wheels are turning in different spots, and all the prayers for wisdom are appreciated) in the fall, and Ev whets her feet in preschool this spring, I can see the end pages of this first chapter of motherhood.

When mama life was fresh, dim, and lonely, a friend and I started a local “mama network” and it became my anchor in the ever blustery storm of parenthood. Where I reached out for advice, support, and tangible help. It was the spot that, as my sea legs grew, I could feel that mastery as I offered up latch suggestions, and breast feeding help, how to exercise with a baby in tow, and what exactly “baby led weaning” looked like. It has been my first click when I sit at the computer and my greatest comfort during the stages that feel deep and unending with my sleepless wonders. And, most of all, it’s where I’ve met my nearest and dearest friends. The ones that even if facebook, and the internet collapsed, I’d have them. We’d be making weird meals, sharing husband stories, and pouring strong coffee while bouncing each others babies. They are my village and without the Mama Network, I never would have found them.

But the story of my time as an administrator there are also rapidly fluttering pages, coming to an end at some point.

In April I will step into having two days a week with a solid chunk of time (three hours!) of kidless time. I’ve known this was coming for a few months and have been struggling and buoying through ideas of what I “should” do with my new found time, and the time I have daily as the girls now play/read/entertain themselves so often, and the time that is eventually coming as school becomes a reality. The “shoulds” are great and suffocating: work, money making, volunteer work, something “worthwhile” ….

But the closer (gulp, just a few weeks!) I get to this chunk of break time I get the less sure I feel of … anything. And the only thing that seems sure is that I am excited to have a few months, at least, of time to just deeply focus in on my girls without distraction, during this amazing phase where they are no longer babies and are engaged and engaging in the most fantastic ways.

Charlie has encouraged me to just write. Sit. Sleep. Eat cake and watch Netflix. Take the break that our brand of parenting doesn’t allow for the first five years. It feels negligent and indulgent. And possibly just right.

Nolie and Ever think that I should “take rests. by yourself.”

And I am starting to see that maybe the rest of my family has it right. And that there is some deep rest, reflection, and, hopefully then, action, coming soon. But for now, I am aching to slow these last pages down, read each word slowly, and savor these, still small, characters that I get to enjoy all day, every day.

 

schoolie.

When Nolie was about 2.5 she started talking about “Porcupine School”. It was a fictional school where she learned about… everything! Adventurous field trips, explorations, and vacations to Seattle were all mentioned. Writing, reading, and story telling were heavily relied upon, and art was unending. It was all in her pretend world, but each of us slowly got pulled in.

She’d request an “art history day!” and then Porcupine School would come to life on my table top, with me… as a Teacher.

I am not a teacher.

I am a mother. A reader. A thinker. A life long learner. But… a teacher?

We sat at the table, hands on butcher block, turning page and pulling brush strokes. Reading aloud about Rembrandt and the Mona Lisa. Her giant eyes wide and absorbing. Her work slow and thoughtful. And her observations, nothing short of genius. I sat there. Teaching?

I feel strongly that play is learning. That the outdoors are our teachers. That birth to age five is that ripe sponge time for me to facilitate play and environments free of “educational TV” or screens, or junky food, or punky kids and instead keep her in museums, and play spaces, and outside in the fresh air, in collecting on nature walks, making worm homes, hugging freely and often, dancing to ballets and learning about the Four Seasons (Spring is her favorite Vivaldi). And, for the most part, I’ve done alright. She’s mind blowing, inquisitive, “advanced”, and just about the most wonderful little person I could ever fathom walking the earth (okay, maaaybe I’m a bit biased).

But now we are here. The end of her preschool career ticking away quickly. Her age and “readiness” for kindy meaning we are getting paperwork from public school arriving at our door, I’m scheduling tours with the two closest elementary schools, and she’s asking where her desk will be. . . and I am seeing the reality knocking, hard. 30 hours a week. That’s the kindergarten load. That is also a job. Basically a full time job… for a five year old? Nope.

I can’t get behind those hours. I cannot fathom she or I being ready to be apart from each other for 6+ hours a day, I cannot see her ready to leave us or her sister for that duration. When we talk about it she says “yeah, till nap time? then I’ll come home. What would you do during nap time without me?” and “but if I feel sad they’ll call? I’ll just come home. I might feel ready to come home.”  and then she usually ends with “maybe just a half day. Maybe just as long as preschool?” (that’s a whoppping 6 hours a week, btw). So despite the information in my inbox piling up from her local elementary school… I’m back to researching.

Homeschooling. It’s just such a huge world. A quick google and facebook search brings me endless groups/information/co-ops/everything. But what will be the right thing for us? For Nolie. For my girl?

Thankfully I have a few months. I have a lot of ideas (registering as a part-time public schooler and just pulling her out early to make the hours work for us?) and a lot of feelers out there for different ideas. Nolie is school hungry, and I don’t want to and never will deny her that experience in some capacity.

But now the hunt is on… to find her a(nother?) teacher. And to gain some new understanding and confidence in my own skills. And, probably time for me to get myself to some school of my own. . . Thank God for this girl who is just learning and exploding in her abilities each day. Seems porcupine school has been ongoing, whether I’ve been in attendance or not. 10456815_10101235612559580_4923051585297061023_n

Should I W30?

I am sure it feels like everyone is posting about W30 – I see it all over my instagram feed and facebook groups. I think there are lots of reasons to want to do a Whole 30, but the catch phrase of a “reset” isn’t the one I would chase. I wanted to do a Whole30 for a few reasons. The primary being my eczema. Being dairy free did NOT eliminate it completely, but has had a big enough effect that I was hopeful that an elimination diet would answer some questions I had about it. Secondly because I was getting buried deep into food guilt, going to sleep each night feeling bad about choices I’d made and sick to my stomach, literally, from overeating on “good” junk (aka: high quality milk shakes ;)). Also because I like “challenges” and a month feels like a really manageable amount of time to try out a lifestyle change. And, finally, because I was ready to break the calorie counting/macro tracking/scale obsessed habits that I nearly always fall into in the winter.

Should you Whole 30? Obviously, only you know the answer to that. I think a lot of whether or not you would enjoy/benefit from a whole30 is personality. Do rules make you want to rebel? Or do they make you feel safe? (There are a LOT of rules). Do you have reasons, outside of weight loss, that you want to pursue eating more whole? Or are you looking for a weight loss solution (it isn’t one, it has that as a side effect for some people, but it isn’t a weight loss program at all)?

I did my first W30 (day one of my second one starts right. now.) with a little group of friends. Our results varied greatly! I adored the program, and felt free/guiltless for the first time in…. ever? Two of my friends felt triggered by all the rules and guidelines and found themselves not eating as much as their bodies needed, and chose to remove the rules and decide that “if it felt worth it to eat something outside of W30, that’s just fine.” and then had way more success with eating more whole/balanced meals. Another friend followed it closely and had big changes in body (skin especially!) and confidence and calm, but chose to eat “non compliant” after the W30 and then possibly do another soon.

A few things to ask yourself before you W30, to set yourself up for some success.

Are you a planner or an intuitive eater? If you are a planner: meal plan specifically for each.day. And shop accordingly. If you are more intuitive (want to eat what “sounds good” each day) then meal plan loosely (five meal “options” and then list them somewhere BIG in your kitchen) and shop for those meals, that way you have some freedom in your eating without going off the deep end.

Is your family on board? If not; Buy yourself a splurge set of amazing tupperware, make your meals ahead, have snacks already bagged and ready, have lots of easy and amazing prepped options on hand. Stock up on fruit and fresh veggies that are ready to eat and washed. If so; think about what your family likes (are they big juice drinkers? coffee consumers? grazers? or sit down meal eaters?) and PLAN ACCORDINGLY. Have snacks (kid friendly!) on hand to offer, have tiny portions ready, have watered fresh juices on hand for them, have frozen berries for a treat, use this as a time to buy higher quality coffee so it tastes GOOD black or with no sweets.
Know yourself! Sit down, have an honest sit with a journal, and think about what your triggers are (playdates? happy hours? hungry grocery shopping? that ‘nap drive’ coffee?) and plan for them. What will you bring/do/eat in those situations. Buy yourself an emergency car snack (Lara Bar, heyo!) and a water bottle to keep with you.

Have real expectations for yourself! This is a gift you’re giving your body. It isn’t a punishment. And if you are in the midst of it and feeling bad/worse about yourself/not eating enough, then take a step back. Think about your goals for the W30 and if you are getting closer to them (this should be mentally, NOT physically) or if it’s taking you further (more guilt, more restricting, less freedom) and STOP! It’s important to be really self aware during the whole process and know that yes you CAN give up a few things for 30 days (it’s only 30 days!) but it it is causing you do have disordered eating/thoughts and feel worse mentally, it is likely not the right program for you. And that’s okay!

I’m starting my second Whole 30 today, I’m really excited! I feel like I still have quite a bit of mental work to be done. And am looking forward to seeing what I learn and how I grow and change through this second round. Here We Go!

Also, our Whole 30 Mamas (but open to Non-Mamas too ;)) is active and awesome if you want to join, find us on Facebook!