Resolutions Revisited

Each January many people make New Year’s Resolutions (myself included) with the intent of getting the new year off on the right start. We associate resolutions as spoken intentions for improved overall health and wellness, and oftentimes, weight loss is the marker of health and success.

Our Paleo journey doesn’t have much to do with weight loss, so to many it may be harder to measure and appear not as exciting. If Chad or I had lost a significant amount of weight due to our Paleo lifestyle, a lot more people would be genuinely interested in how we live and specifically what we eat. When someone you know or love loses weight, it’s natural to give encouraging words of support and pour on the praise. It’s not as common to hear these same words of encouragement when you’ve accomplished something not as trendy or mainstream like healing your child’s leaky gut or curing your crippling PMS.

In addition, you rarely hear if people were successful with their resolutions and if they achieved the wellness and personal satisfaction that they were striving for. Nobody really says that they’re still working on their resolutions in February or March of the new year, let alone after Memorial Day.

We recognize that our journey toward better health is unique. Charlotte’s health issues put us on a fast-track toward changing our lifestyle and making resolutions just helped us define our plan and create accountability for ourselves.

So I’m breaking the mold as we make our way to the halfway point of 2012. I want to revisit our resolutions and continue to define our path toward wellness. My hope is that this post inspires you to look at health and wellness as a personal path that can create just as many internal changes and transformations that lead to a better life as external ones that everyone will notice.

Back in January, I wrote this post about goals and resolutions around our health that I thought were achievable and would be beneficial for my family. My list included darkening our bedrooms to improve sleep quality, making more traditional foods like bone broth and sauerkraut, as well as starting this blog.

And it’s a funny thing about intentions and focus. While we haven’t achieved each desired goal exactly as I laid it out in January, we have made huge strides to improving our health via these same channels.

Sleep–we have not been able to achieve any more darkness in our bedrooms over the last 6 months, but we have improved the quality of our sleep immensely. About a month ago, we took on the daunting challenge of sleep-training Charlotte, waking several times per night to train her to stay in her own bed and fall back to sleep on her own. I am happy to report she now consistently sleeps in her own bed and we have all felt the effects of improved sleep quality. (Stay tuned for a sleep and special needs post in the future as I learn more on this topic)

Traditional Foods–we have incorporated more bone broths into our diet and do now eat store-bought sauerkraut on a regular basis. But if you are a regular reader here, you know it’s been the addition of organ meat, specifically liver, that has taken our health to the next level.

Blogging–with just over 200 likes on Facebook to date and plenty warm comments from friends and family on the content of this blog, I am pleased to say it has become a healthy hobby for me. I love sharing our successes with you and reading your comments. In the coming months I hope to blog more often and give you lots of helpful and quality content to guide your journey toward better health. That being said, if you are the parent of a special needs child, you understand the demands and hopefully forgive any infrequency of new material. (Let me know in the comments if there is something specific you want me to cover)

What’s great about achieving the above goals is not only the interpersonal pat-on-the-back satisfaction that comes with checking completed items off the to-do list, but recognizing that these were realistic goals that actually brought us to a place where we live a better quality of life. As Chad and I feel the benefits of increased energy, more patience and better moods, our kids benefit as well. Charlotte performs so much better at school and therapy as a result of better sleep and more nutrient-dense foods. Dana has continued to excel at school and made it through allergy season with barely a sniffle.

So where will the next 6 months take us?

The more I learn about nutrient depletion, the more I see how it has played a huge part in so many of our health-realted issues. Continuing to improve the quality of our food (particularly meat) while staying within our budget will be a constant challenge for us. Stay tuned for posts on how we are able to track down and afford pasture-raised pork and chicken, pastured eggs, and grass-fed beef.

After a whirlwind Spring, I’m hoping to get healthy with some downtime and increase our play. Longer summer days and less commitments to school and activities will hopefully bring family and friends together for sunshine, fun times, and healthy meals.

As Charlotte’s issues continue to improve, we would love to add short trips and changes into our routine to see how she responds. Loosening the grip on consistency in her world and letting her experience the ups and downs that life brings will prove to be the ultimate mainstreaming experience.

What were your New Year’s Resolutions? Did you meet them and if so, did they improve the quality of your life? If so, pat yourself on the back and continue celebrating the achievements and successes that come with living a healthier lifestyle.

4 thoughts on “Resolutions Revisited

  1. It’s interesting to see someone checking in on their New Year’s Resolutions; as you pointed out, so many of us have abandoned them by February. Usually I make resolutions for a bunch of areas in my life. This year, with baby number five due in February, I figured I should only pick one. I decided to set aside daily prayer time and I have managed to stick with it. It definitely has helped to have an “anchor” during those crazy newborn weeks and to not feel overwhelmed with all I was not getting done as I tend to get sort of crazy with goals and/or lists and not being able to meet them. Now I’m in a conundrum of trying to decide how to set some goals because I feel like my family’s health really needs to go to the next level. I’m curious what sorts of goals you set in the beginning of this paleo journey, or maybe you didn’t have time to do that with Charlotte’s health issues. Good job on meeting your resolutions for this year!

    • Hi Karyn, congratulations on your new addition! It sounds like you have your hands full! I certainly have benefited from some daily quiet time for prayer and reflecting also.
      I was thrown head first into Charlotte’s issues at the beginning and it’s definitely a blur, but I do remember just taking one day, one meal at a time, first removing gluten and then removing breads and grains. We did gluten free oatmeal at breakfast for a while and rice flour chicken nuggets for lunch. A few hours before dinner I gave the girls a smoothie loaded with fruit and some veggies like spinach and carrots that they would have never eaten on their own. Then I gave them some simple protein a while later for dinner to help wean off the processed foods.
      I would say take your goals day to day and meal to meal. Try for a grain free breakfast for a month (it’s ok with me if it’s the same thing most days) , then try making some changes at lunch. Plan ahead and do your best! Good luck 🙂

  2. I normally don’t have any resolutions, mainly because I never keep them..
    I just found your blog and I think it is amazing to learn about your daughter’s progress, Not that I am surprised, we’ve been Paleo for a while and I’ve read quite a lot about it but it makes me happy to see when families are willing to make the changes necessary for their children…I’ve seen many changes in my own children, which was an eye opener since we’ve been holistic for many years, but it wasn’t until we went Paleo that the most dramatic changes happened..I can’t imagine living without the Paleo diet..

    • Hi Jo, thanks for your comment. We can’t imagine living without the Paleo diet, either. Once we began to see some progress with Charlotte’s health, there was no turning back 🙂

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