All In For August

I’m not usually one to use or follow hash tags, but for the past week I’ve been looking for just the right motivation to help push me back on the health track I followed with some success over the past few months. Brute force will-power alone rarely works for me; I seem to need a whole program of sorts. Fortunately, in my perusing the interwebs yesterday, what should I behold but #AllInForAugust.

I do love alliteration.

And I love a good plan. A star chart. And a project my man buys into. (He offered to grill me steaks in the morning. Hooray!)

Travel, visiting family, holidays and the county fair were the excuses I used to consciously get off track since coming across carnivory this spring, and surprise, I was quick to start feeling poorly again.

“Poorly” to me means aching hip joints, gas and bloating, bad sleep and worst of all a low-grade depression mixed with wild mood swings of which my 6-year old daughter, being a sassy pants in her own right, bears the brunt. The mental health aspect including no motivation, overwhelming melancholy and even suicidal thoughts is the most important piece I need to get under control.

Nutrition before medication, I say.

The Plan

So…#AllInForAugust for me means a weekly movement plan plus finally completing 30 days of a carnivore / zero carb way of eating: Meat, eggs, minimal dairy and water to drink. (Thank goodness I’m not addicted to coffee.) No turning to zero calorie drinks or sugar-free jello this time, all of which derailed me more than once in the past at the 2-week mark. Sweet begs for more sweets, and I’ve realized I just can’t moderate. No dairy product binge this time either. I loved spicy pork rinds dipped liberally in sour cream, but that led to other bad choices.

“Eat meat and drink water.”

“Eat when hungry. Stop when full.”

Simple. But not easy.

I’ll need to be extra conscious between weeks one and two to ensure the same triggers don’t snag me again. Beyond the two-week mark is the unknown for me. Will I be a wreck? Will I be on cloud 9? I have very little planned in August, but if social engagements come up, I’ll turn to fasting, food prep or simple avoidance. This is my priority. This is my goal. And it’s past time that I feel better.

I’ll take it week by week, comparing my mental health notes, my aches and pains, and body measurements instead of body weight. No stepping on the scale until the end of the month, and maybe not even then. Damn thing.

My movement plan is to lift heavy things three times a week and move gently on all the other days. Whether that be rebounding, yoga, pilates or a walk outside with the kids. I’m going to be detoxing (again, sigh) so that means I need to sweat some as well.

The Reward

Making it to 30 days without completely falling off track will be a tremendous success. In the past, I’ve used one slip-up as reason to give up for the whole day and then entirely.

Why 30 days? From everything I’ve read, it’s a bit of a magic number – i.e., most people feel so good by 30 strict days that they won’t even consider going back to a different way of eating. People are healing all sorts of diseases following this protocol (visit meatheals.org to read their amazing stories), and while I’m so fortunate that I’m not seriously physically ill, my mental health is enough of a concern, especially being a parent.

When I make it to 30 days, I’m rewarding myself with a new weight set I’ve had my eye on.

When I make it to 60 days, I’m buying plane tickets somewhere.

When I make it to 90 days, the Apple Watch will be mine.

(Or maybe I’ll change my mind about all of those rewards; we shall see.)

The Out

I need the accountability on this journey that writing provides, so if this topic doesn’t interest you, take note of the hashtag and tune out accordingly. No offense will be taken. I do better, stay more on track, and tune in with my mind and body at higher healing levels when I’m writing.

So, while this writing won’t be part of any masterpiece any time soon, it serves a purpose for me. And it gets me back to writing. That’s what I need.

Today I’m fasting in preparation. Tomorrow, I’m all in.

Wish me well and join in with your own goals: #AllInForAugust.

 

Author: Angle Full of Grace

A writer, woods-wanderer, and internal peace seeker who raises two free-range children in the wilderness, I escaped the wasteland of corporate America a few years back never to return. I write about love, family, mental health, addiction, parenthood and personal growth all through lens of place and connection to the land. Most entries are my weekly column for our local small-town newspaper, and there's an occasional feature story thrown in the mix as well.

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