How I survived the longest month of the year

By Patrice Bradleyborder collie in snow

30 days has September, April, June, and November. When short February’s done, all the rest have 31… except January, which in Minnesota has 191.

 

As the CEO of a small advertising firm that employs fourteen people and a half dozen contractors, January is synonymous with year-end financials, planning, enforcement of new policies and tax prep. Besides managing client and employee expectations, I have close relationships with my accountant, bookkeeper, 401k administrator, human resources consultant, banker, IT manager, the IRS and, occasionally, one of our attorneys. At the end of the day I go home and kick the dog. I wouldn’t really do that!! But, this January, I added one more relationship to that list: my full-on commitment to getting healthy.

Today is my last official day of a diet phenomenon called Whole30. Having successfully finished this diet twice before, it wasn’t nearly as difficult this time. I pretty much knew what to expect and I had lots of distractions this month, some of which were also life-changing. But I’ll save those for another blog.

My husband and I shared the experience and I do want to celebrate our success in fully embracing Whole30 back on New Year’s Day. We did it! And we both feel fantastic. If you don’t know what Whole30 is, let me explain it this way: I am fairly certain that I have begun to poop out whole eggs, exactly like a chicken. Basically, we eat a lot of eggs. Everything consumed is some sort of protein or whole fruits and vegetables. Fruit juice, smoothies — essentially anything processed or that tastes good is frowned upon. There are no carbohydrates, no soy, sugar, dairy or legumes. Oh, I forgot to mention, there is no alcohol.

Have you ever noticed how much people drink? Start the Whole30 diet and you will. It doesn’t help that I’ve been “binge-watching” Mad Men all month where the booze flows in practically every scene. I am now fully aware of how much America consumes alcohol. From micro breweries to cider houses and distilleries, Alcoholic Rehabilitation will be a financial investment in our near future. That, and hearing aids. (Picture millennials with headphones.)

Today I woke up to minus 28 degrees here in my home city of Duluth, Minnesota. And yes, that is a ridiculous temperature. But considering that most months of January are consistently below zero, this isn’t all that unfamiliar to us diehard northerners. But therein lies the reason January drags on and on: the coldest days and longest nights.

If ever there was a good time to drink, it’s this month. And thirty-one days ago I would have gone home after a hectic day and my sweet husband would have a poured a fresh glass of Nighthawk Black Red Blend Bota Box and had it waiting for me. Thirty-one days ago, I weighed seven pounds more than I do now. Thirty-one days ago, I would have been happy eating frozen pizza two times a week. Thirty-one days ago, my priorities were becoming a bit off-kilter.

But today is different for more reasons than the temperature. And tomorrow will be too. And the next day after that. And so on and so on and so on. And it all started with a resolution to be healthier this year.

So, as the first 191 days of 2019 wind down, I am moving into February with renewed commitments. First, I’m going to continue to build on the legacy of my agency, Swim Creative; second, I’m going to do more public speaking about the importance of outstanding creative; third, I’m going to turnover (mostly) my 2018 venture, MinnBox, to my employees and guide them through the many joys and challenges of being business owners; four, I’m going to launch my newest and most exciting venture to-date (stay tuned); and finally, I am going to get fit as a fiddle because 2019 is the year that everything changed.

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