The point of publicly announcing my 30-day challenge was to keep myself accountable, but that's failing because not only do people expect you to fail at this drastic thing but also my friends are also failing. ONE of my friends did the Whole 30 Paleo thing the whole 30 days. The rest I've spotted eating presumably non-Paleo Hershey bars and pints of Ben & Jerry's.
So instead of what I thought would happen (a miraculously healthy, improved me), I've learned about support, starting over, and looking at progress instead of the destination. Those may be more durable and important lessons.
The most important lesson I've learned so far is to make life changes out of self-love rather than shame motivation. THIS IS HUGE. Whipping and berating myself for falling off the wagon and ordering takeout, it turns out, is truly not productive, nor is sitting around feeling guilty for not working out and telling myself things like "you are lazy" and "you will never lose weight" (I don't even need to lose weight, which compounds the ridiculousness). Much better to say things to myself like "you will feel much better later if you eat this healthy homemade meal" and "a workout will make you feel much happier the rest of the day!"
It reminds me of an important thing I heard 10 years ago and forgot, as I do with many wise things. Friend 1 was complaining about "I have to go to work." Friend 2 said, "You GET to go to work." It struck me. The things I complain about are simply ridiculous. Poor me, with productive employment, four working limbs that allow me to work out, and money to purchase healthful food. It's really rough to be me. No, it's true that I GET to do all of these things!