Day 2: What’s the big deal?

In the Whole30, Day 2’s prediction is that you’ll experience smooth sailing and wonder what the big deal is. Of course, I have already done the Whole30 a couple times already, so I remember the optimistic early days and have decided to use the enthusiasm of this fresh start to set up systems as recommended by James Clear in his book Atomic Habits.

My hope is that I can use the momentum of the enthusiasm I have at the outset to create systems enjoyable enough to coast me through the uphill segments without a ton of additional effort.

One of the things that I started yesterday was getting the first phase of The Gabriel Method going… I found some bodies that might inspire me. It’s hard looking online for female bodies fit 5’7″, because much to my dismay, most of the “fit” bodies are what I’d consider too thin for me. I don’t want a thigh gap.

But finally, I found some role models.

I just got back from the gym a bit ago, and I’m pretty excited to spend some time working out there (as in: a lot of time). Today, I did a very light workout (half hour) because I don’t want to hurt myself going in too hard and too fast. We’re in this for the long haul, not to break records.

Day 1 is Today

But here we are, and pride be damned. I want today to be the start of something.

I’m always cautious to “make a public commitment” to start a new program, because what if I forget to update? What if I get lazy? What if I stop caring? Do I write about that? What if I get too busy to post the blog, and what if I stop eating right, and what if I don’t go to the gym? What if my knees start hurting and it doesn’t make medical sense to go to the gym? What if I run out of good food and only want peanut butter? What if I embarrass myself by starting something publicly and then stop?

I’m not grossly obese. This is probably not going to be a radical transformation over 6 weeks. I’m flabby and smushy and barely physically fit enough to do the things I want to do.

A year ago, I was working out a few times every week and my knees could support my chosen activities (mostly hiking).

Two years ago, I was working out regularly and just coming off of a very strict Whole30 phase – the first diet to work for me in a long time. I hardly drank at all. I was dedicated to clean living and clear thinking.

Three years ago, I was drinking a bottle of wine every day and scarfing down any food that appealed to me (mostly nachos). I had given up. I was at my highest weight in two decades: 176. I tried to get a handle on my eating, but as long as I was drinking a bottle of wine every night, eating right was something I could only handle for a few days before I caved into whatever garbage my husband was eating (mostly nachos).

And now? Now I’m none of those things. I’m 157.7 lbs. I’m not at the peak of my weight, but I’m 20 lbs from my ideal. I’m not completely incapable of doing the things I want to do physically, but they take quite a lot of effort. It’s just uncomfortable, not incapacitating.

But this isn’t what I want to be. At 44, I feel like there could be more… not just a thinner me, but more capability of my body. I’m an entrepreneur heading up a company at the verge of a big leap of growth – we assembled a board and are looking for the right investor – and I want to be mentally and physically up for the challenge of the next four or five years, since I know the focus and energy required will be significant.

So today is DAY 1.

I’m planning on posting every day.

Today, we’re starting off strong with the Whole30, which I mentioned earlier. I’m also re-reading The Gabriel Method, which made a lot of sense to me on a spiritual and emotional level when I read it a decade or so ago. I’ve got James Clear’s new and awesome book Atomic Habits and I ordered Transformation from Bill Phillips, who successfully motivated me to work out for many months back in the early 2000s. I’m tapping into EVERYTHING that has motivated me in fitness and life so far.

I’m clearing out the fridge and cupboards and hiding all the non-compliant foods, and replacing them with healthful, nutritious food that will serve as fuel for this new, exciting stage of my life.

At just a shade over 44, I know I’m getting ready to start the rest of my life – I’m not even at middle age, and the first 20ish years of my life were spent in a weird blur, so hardly count. My plan is to live to be more than 120 and enjoy the vitality and enthusiasm for life that my mom has in her mid-70s. My whole life is truly ahead of me.

Let’s begin!

Inspiring quotes from brilliant and wise people

Worm's personal purpose“This is bravery: using the challenge of daily life to sharpen our mind and open our heart.” – Sakyong Mipham

“Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier, and simpler.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“Everyone should have themselves regularly overwhelmed by Nature.” – George Harrison

“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” – Henry James

“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.” – A fortune cookie

“Sometimes the mountain
is hidden from me in veils
of cloud, sometimes
I am hidden from the mountain
in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue…”
– Denise Levertov

“Mindfulness of the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.” – Sylvia Boorstein

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” – Zen saying

“To stand on your feet is the most important thing. To sacrifice this moment for your future, for your ideal even, means that you are not standing on your feet… Don’t complain; accept things as they are and satisfy yourself with what you have, right now.” – Shunryu Suzuki


Every driver in India is a stunt driver.

Our preferred method of transportation is tuktuk, which is an open-air motor-tricycle with a canopy. There are no seat belts. There are no roll cages. There are no helmets. It’s just you and your stunt driver (who is now my facebook friend, Achuashraf), hauling ass down the highway as cars loosely observe the direction of traffic lines.

This video was one I just shot on a relatively calm stretch of road. The concept of “side of the road” is just a guideline.

I believe in you

I’ve seen enough people make radical changes in their lives (and have made enough in mine) to have 100% proof that you can change seemingly gigantic things in your life.

Want to make more money? I believe in you.

Want to lose weight? I believe in you.

Want to quit drinking? I believe in you.

Want to quit your job and move to a farm in the mountains? I believe you can do that too.

I believe that your ability to do things is only limited by your desire to do them.

You CAN.

Everyone has tried to do things and failed. Anyone with big enough dreams has fallen short of them again and again. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it just means that you didn’t want it enough.

So remove “can’t” from your vocabulary.

Instead of saying “I can’t,” say “I guess I didn’t want it enough.”

Because someday, you may want it enough. But as long as you keep telling yourself you can’t, you won’t try.

An example

I’ll give you an example from my own life.

When Russ and I got married, we went a little crazy with the nachos and margaritas… to the tune of 40 lbs. Yep, I gained 40 lbs in about four months, and it was alarming.

I’d try to lose the weight — dabbling in Atkins (anyone who dabbles in Atkins knows it only gets you fatter), joining Weight Watchers, tracking calories — but I just loved nachos and margaritas too much. Any time I had the opportunity to have nachos and margaritas (and wine, and bread, and pasta, and pizza…), I’d somehow find the justification to do it.

I never said I couldn’t lose the weight, I just acknowledged that I didn’t want it enough.

But one day, I decided I did want it enough. And so I started writing three reasons I wanted to lose weight every morning. I didn’t diet, I just wrote down three reasons every day.

I wish I could tell you that I magically lost the weight without any effort. I didn’t.

In fact, writing down those reasons had zero effect on my weight at all. But it reminded me of why I might eventually want to lose weight.

So when my friend came along and had great results with the Whole30, my brain was open and willing to listen to options! I gave it a try, found it worked, and have lost 25 lbs so far. Effortlessly!

Side note: it wasn’t effortless at first, but I was so low energy and unmotivated to do anything that I was willing to put the effort into a new way of eating.

That’s the thing about goals

I’m passionate about setting goals. Even crazy goals — especially crazy goals!

Goals show you what you want to do if you’re not burdened under a wall of “can’t.”

Now, through December 1, I’m offering my goal workshop for free. It’s so important to me that you start setting goals and working toward them.

I know you can do anything you put your mind to, given enough time and a good enough perspective. Even if you have fallen short in the past, I still believe in you.

Let’s make 2017 the beginning of your best life.