Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Whole 180(degrees)

Many of you may be familiar with the Whole 9 Life "Whole 30" 30 day challenge. Dallas and Melissa Hartwig challenge you to go 30 days without sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy and white potatoes.  If you are unfamiliar with them check it out:  It's a remarkable program set up by some amazing, inspiring and super knowledgeable folks. This is a difficult experience for many, especially the first 2 weeks as your body grinds out any lasting addictions you have (sugar, carbs, etc) and resets itself to healthier standards that help you look, feel and perform better.

It's a purification of sorts, and I've been feeling a need to cleanse more than just my diet lately. Working 10 hour days, little natural sunlight, long commutes, short meals and tired veg time in front of the tv as opposed to experiences with my husband have left me questioning what it's all about. When my husband looked at me and said "I don't know how we're going to do this with kids!" I knew something had to change. Is it just about the money?  If it is I’m in trouble, because Tyler Durden was right-the things you own end up owning you!

I started taking a look at what we do with the money we make. Does it make our lives easier, better, happier? It sure can, and I can tell you having had 2 significant periods of unemployment in my life that the lack of purpose and financial support when the money isn't flowing in ain't exactly the recipe for enlightenment and peace. But then I looked around at what my money was doing FOR me. Some of it is healthy....the ability to vacation and travel, the peace of being able to pay bills, groceries, medical, entertainment and retirement saving, knowing that if my 2003 Corolla breaks down (fingers crossed, she's over 200K and still going strong!) a new safe car is just a short walk away, a new quiet dishwasher when our clanky old one finally kicks it after 10 years of solid use....the list goes on and on. Of course money is important, but what about the giant black hole it always seems to flow in to.....clothes, accessories, aimless hobbies, restaurants and drinks, video games, electronics, movies.....fill in the blank. These are the fillers that are literally sucking the life (and money) right out of you. The temporary thrill of the hunt, the kill, and then the let down that you still feel a void within. Not everyone is a shopaholic of levels worthy of having a book (and subpar movie) written about them. But to some extent, we all allow our possessions to possess US.

So, what is this rant about? What on earth does this have to do with Dallas and Melissa and Whole 30 and cleansing myself? I need a mental cleanse. I want to see what I've got deep down in my core, and what my life would be like if I stripped away the sweet sugary toxic goodness of numbing myself with extraneous purchases. So for the next 6 months, (180 days)-because frankly 30 days is not enough for me to truly appreciate the changes I'm about to make and fully comprehend the lessons I will learn- I will not buy any clothing, shoes, purses, jewelry, magazines, knick knacks,  doodads, gewgaws, or sundries.  Nothing unless it has a very specific purpose and nothing else I own will fill that need (read-I need a pair of sting ray guards for my wading gear; I do NOT need a new fishing shirt or a new white blouse to volunteer for the rodeo this spring). From now until February I will limit myself to the very basics and make due with what I already have. My hope is that I will come out of this experience with a simpler more realistic need of want v. need, a deeper appreciation for the things I do purchase (and the blessing of having the money to pay for them) as well as an appreciation for all that I currently have, and that I will find intangible things in my life that have gone unappreciated, and learn to find my joy in that which is not material, and can never be taken away or withheld from me because I create it out of myself.

In addition, I will stop going out to eat at any restaurant that does not serve food of the same quality we make at home. I will no longer pay someone to feed me industrial Omega-6 oils, grain-fed feed lot meat and toxic pesticide-laden vegetables. If I do go out to eat, it will be at a place that supports sustainable, local, grass-fed, and organic foods. And this will be no more than twice per month. I will spend my money buying local organic produce, and grass-fed/pastured meats and eggs from a farmer who knows my name, and I know and approve of how he treats and feeds the animals I will consume.

Add to this an actual Whole 30 challenge which I'll start September 1 to put my physical body in alignment with my mental cleanse.  I have a very daunting, but very exciting 6 months ahead of me. At the end of this Whole 180 experience, I hope to have done a complete 180 degree turn (God I love double meanings!) I hope you'll follow my journey, question what it's about, call me out if I lose my way, and examine your own thoughts, actions and habits along the way.

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