Saturday, October 24, 2009

2009 Goals Group

Cranky Pumpkin (I made this for work this past week)

That's my gratuitious cake photo for the month. It was devil's food inside.

Last March I blogged about a goals group I started so I could have help with my 2009 resolutions. It started out great, with nine women meeting monthly to discuss our intentions and accomplishments. Some goals were about fitness or nutrition, some were about personal relationships and as the year went on, an increasing number were about job-hunting. I want to report that the experiment went very well. Although the number of attendees has ebbed and flowed (and ebbed), several of us got some very valuable support and made real progress.

My goals were about nutrition and personal relationships and I surprised myself with how productive I was this year. What I eat every day is very different from a year ago and how I feel about the personal relationships that I targeted is very different as well.

My diet has mainly changed because of this: acupuncture reduced my sugar cravings and another medical treatment (details in the next paragraph) enabled me to make another change. Now fifty percent or more of what I eat each day is now made up of either fruits or vegetables. I now eat a lot more produce and a lot less meat, dairy and grains than before.

My personal relationships have changed because of this: panchakarma. Panchakarma is an ayurvedic treatment and ayurveda is traditional Indian medicine. It's hard to find good information on what this is, but here's one explanation. My treatment was mostly the application of oil, not the purging and fasting. But it affected me very powerfully, emotionally as well as physically and I feel very different now than before. The main difference is that I was carrying a lot of anger and now that anger is mostly gone.

Your personal relationships are affected by things like, if you're carrying around lots of rage at the world and it comes out wherever you go. Yeah. And things improve a LOT when that rage finally goes away. OH, yeah.

After my panchakarma treatment, I feel lighter, happier, in a better mood most of the time and with much less self-hatred. My knee-jerk negative response to things like, oh, children -- is gone again. My digestion is better and I'm able to do that 50%-fruits-and-vegetables thing because the panchakarma left my body less interested in heavy food. I'm losing weight. A five-day panchakarma treatment from an ayurvedic specialist from India cost me $750, but it was worth it. Even my husband agrees and he doesn't toss $750 around lightly, as you can imagine. (Here's another blogger's description of the panchakarma treatment. Tim saw the same doctor that I saw, here in the Chicagoland area this past summer. I'm grateful to Tim for documenting his experience so I don't have to!)

So after almost a year of regular, non-judgmental support from the women in my 2009 goals group, I am in a very different place on both of these issues. Other women also reported making significant progress during the year, especially on diet. Some began other goals groups that are specifically focused on job-hunting. In general, this group yielded great results, supporting the assertion that people more successfully keep new year's resolutions when they have the support of others.

I'm proud.