The Power of “Before” and “After”
It started with the superficial:
I was “blessed” with thick, fairly curly hair, which some people would admittedly love to have. However, it curls (or frizzes up) in humidity, is sometimes hard to manage and doesn’t necessarily adapt well to the latest styles.
And along came Keratin (or GK in my case)! Although it can be pricey and only lasts about five months, for me it has been transformational. For the first time since I was a kid I’ve been able to grow out my hair and like it in the process. It also dries faster and is easier to style.
But, although I changed my outward appearance, I didn’t feel any different on the inside. For some time, I had wanted to make major changes in my entire body and, more importantly, my health.
Like many people, I’d go on a diet and exercise kick, would see results until I felt happy with where I was and before I knew it, I had fallen back into old habits. This was frustrating as I am in the business of PR — helping clients build their brand image and crafting messaging and programs that will help showcase it to the world, or at least their target audience. I felt as though my own personal brand needed retooling and it was time to walk the walk.
As luck would have it, through the PR blog, “SpinSucks” written by Gini Dietrich, I was introduced to fellow PR pro Kate Finley and her KateUpdates blog. She has been chronicling her transformation in mind, body and spirit through the Paleo diet-based program, Whole30. So I did my research. This sounded like something I could truly adopt as a new lifestyle — or at least stick to for 30 days to see if the health benefits I experienced made me want to continue in the long-term.
So, the Facebook posts for which I had always been known switched from enchiladas:
To broiled Tilapia:
Although I wasn’t one of those people who would chronicle every meal on Facebook, I realized I had become recognized among friends and followers for sharing photos of the food I prepared (or was eating at a restaurant); people would actually tell me they looked forward to it. Some said they even lived vicariously through my meatloaf with homemade gravy or strawberry shortcake postings.
My personal Facebook page had become a showcase for unhealthy and indulgent eating! Now, if I were one of those people with lightening-fast metabolism, that would be one thing. Although it still wouldn’t be healthy if my food choices were poor.
However, the older I became I was feeling (and seeing) the effects, so I knew that change was in order. A wake up call made me realize my husband was feeling it, too. Chronic GI issues culminated in two recent hospital stays during which he had his gallbladder removed and discovered two gastric ulcers and a hiatal hernia. Although he is thin, he clearly was not eating the right foods. His lifestyle had to change, and it made me begin to realize that my well-being was not optimal, either. I could definitely benefit from feeling better, having more energy and being leaner and healthier.
We started by undertaking a low-fat diet but found that it was too easy to slip back into old habits when not on a committed program. Then I found out about Whole30 and took the plunge! We are on Day 2, and every day is a learning experience.
What I didn’t expect is that I felt a new sense of empowerment and drive to not only eat “clean” but to clean out the cobwebs and address the low-hanging fruit that had been causing me stress. I resolved to do one impactful thing each day that I’d been putting off or needed my attention.
One Day 1, my closet went from this to this :
I realize it wasn’t exactly an episode of “Hoarders,” but it was long overdue and stressing me out. What transpired was about more than just cleaning up the clutter. It was about getting organized, making it livable and getting rid of what I no longer needed. Along with the clean-up, I threw out a garbage bag of trash and collected another huge bag of old clothes for Goodwill. Who knows, I made need that space for new clothes on Day 31! 🙂
For some reason, I’ve always had trouble letting go of what is outdated, no longer fits and isn’t good for me. But no more! If I’m going to make a change, I’m going to make a transformation, even if it’s one step at a time. I realized that where I was wasn’t where I wanted to be. Did I mention that on Day 1 I also did a two-mile brisk walk/jog? That’s not like the “old” me, but it is who I am now . . .
Off for a walk,