Be Yourself

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Artist: Heather Torres

“You are different to all others, a one-off creation. Embrace this amazing truth and CELEBRATE your uniqueness. Follow your own spirit, go your own way, grow at your own pace and ENJOY your own experience of life. Trust that who you are is right for your particular journey and soul path.” (From “The Soulful Women” Facebook page)

Sometimes you see things at exactly the right time, which re-affirms that you’re on the right path.  This statement…this painting…do that for me right now.

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How Whole30 Changed My Life

This truly is a powerful way to fuel your body! I’m finishing up day 26 and know that my journey is just beginning!

Wellness With Joanna

Have you heard of the Whole30 craze yet? It has gained a lot of popularity since I first discovered it a few years ago. I discovered Whole30 about 4 years after ‘recovering’ from an eating disorder. I had finished my therapy and was now trying to figure out how to live a balanced life. Even though I was finally eating three meals a day, my relationship with food was still so damaged. I found that if I tried to focus on getting in shape again and being healthy, it would trigger old habits too quickly and I would start to obsess and quickly become miserable again. If I went the other way and didn’t try at all, then I felt sluggish and heavy and guilty. I was using an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication to dull the guilt and anxiety surrounding food, but I knew I couldn’t do that forever. I hated my postpartum body…

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Day 20 Coming to a Close

As I ponder the last 20 days of the Whole30 program, I am amazed at all the changes I have gone through already!  Candida is gone, my leg infection is responding to antibiotics faster then it ever has, and my mind feels so much clearer.

In a previous post, I mentioned how my responses to stressors has changed.  Well, I have to say eating this way has had a profound effect on my reactions.  Yes, I still get stressed, in fact this week at work has been particularly stressful, and several times the vision of fast food or cake etc, floated through my mind, but I realized it was out of habit only.  My old response to stress was to stuff it with food, the junkier the better.  But during a very stressful day, I went to the grocery store on my lunch, armed with my list of Paleo ingredients, and came home.  Nary a piece of junk to be found.  I even cooked two new meals for the rest of the week/weekend!  Unheard of for me in the middle of the week.  By this point in the week, having run out of food, I normally would have decided either take-out, fast-food, or what have you – but those thoughts were barely a blip on my radar.

This has truly been an eye-opening experience for me.  I have never considered myself a “meat-eater” but wow, it has made all the difference.  For post-Paleo, I’m even planning on making vegan brownies with coconut flour so that I remain true to Paleo – I do not want added sugar in my life at all, ever again.  Grains and dairy, will be limited as I don’t have issues with either of those, but I don’t want them to become staples in my diet again.  For example, I may make a homemade pizza or add feta cheese to my salad or cheddar cheese to legume-free chili.  I like that rather than thinking, “oh my God! 10 more days and I can have…!”  I’m actually going to do the Whole30 again though it will be 36 days, for a total of 66 days because I read that a true new habit is formed after 66 days – but I think I will take one day between programs to have my vegan brownie 🙂

Cheers to all and to all a good night!

Paleo and Stress

One thing that has been an oh so very welcome surprise is that PP (pre-Paleo), a mere 14 days ago, stress would send me running to the nearest fast food joint, or ordering a pizza, and/or getting some kind of desert or other comfort food.  Of course, after I ate it all I was usually no longer stressed over the original stressor, by that point I just felt sick and questioning myself over and over as to why I kept doing this to myself.  During the past 14 days, stress, annoyance, petty grievances are still apart of my daily life whether from work, co-workders, family, dealing with idiot drivers, to my own thoughts (I’ll get more into that in a minute), I have noticed that I process stressors differently.  I haven’t entirely figured this out yet as this is a new phenomenon for me, but I have noticed that after my initial “flare-up,” if you will, and acknowledging how annoyed I am at or with so-and-so or such-and-such, I’m over it – that’s not to say I may not revisit it, but again, even the revisiting is short lived.  Like I said, this is new to me, so I’ll have to keep you posted on how this progresses.

Back to ‘my own thoughts’ – our thoughts are pretty amazing if you think about it.  We are capable of thinking up whole scenarios “played out” by all the “actors” from start to finish.  We can project our own thoughts and feelings onto someone else and make them own them – all in our own minds of course.  So another thing I’ve noticed is that as these random “conversations” come up in my brain, where I’m telling someone off, or thinking about “when I” or “when I’m” (my two biggies), that I say to myself this isn’t helpful, and the conversation ends and I focus on my here and now.  

As day 14 comes to a close, I leave you with this thought:

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Paleo it’s What’s for Dinner…and lunch and breakfast…

As day 13 on the Whole30 program comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on how great I’ve been feeling.  The edema in both my legs is going down, I feel clearer headed, I’ve been sleeping like a log, and fast to sleep once I close my eyes.  I was just going to say, “oh how I wish I’d started a year ago.”  But I wasn’t at a space in my journey where I was ready to give up my dairy – well cheese, you can keep the rest of it – bread, and deserts.  I was trying to achieve balance by keeping all those things coming into my system – but what I’ve learned is that my body does not need dairy or grains (I already knew I didn’t need sugar – I just wanted it) to feel it’s best.  Even though I’m 145 or so lbs overweight (can’t weigh myself again until day 30), I’ve been able to take my dogs on longer walks, 20 mins instead of 10, without my back hurting due to all the inflammation I had.  I can stand up at the sink and do the dishes, rather than pulling up a chair.  I can prep and cook a whole meal standing at the counter – it’s the little things I’m noticing the most right now.

Cravings? NONE. ZERO. ZILCH. NIENTE.  Except for one brief moment when I thought I wanted a pizza after a bad day, I have not craved anything I have eliminated from my diet.  I know some folks do this and then add back in some dairy and/or grains, but I just don’t think I’m going to want to because I don’t think my body processes them properly, and I don’t want to go back to feeling like I was.  Will I never eat those things again?  Not likely, I’m sure I’ll have the odd bit of cheese, or the odd slice of cake or scoop of ice-cream – but I want them to be treats and nothing more.  I feel good today, and I want that feeling to continue for the rest of my life.

A recurring, non-contagious, bacterial infection in my lower leg has paid me yet another visit…my hope is that this journey will see me one day with no more recurrences.  It’s painful and I have to take mega-doses of antibiotics for 2 weeks and hope that it clears up without me needing to be hospitalized with antibiotics through an IV. I think we caught it early enough this time, here’s hoping.

Though thankfully, I discovered that I don’t have to eat yogurt to get all the probiotics that I need to replenish what the antibiotics kill.  I can eat fermented food, such as organic sauerkraut, kambucha, kimchi (though some have sugar, why do they put sugar in everything????, so had to watch for that), but at least there’s an alternative to dairy.

 

 

Be yourself

I love this – it so true and yet so easy to forget.  I think it’s a perfect follow-up to yesterday’s post 🙂

Karen Wilson_ Awaken

meditation retreat

Just be yourself

don`t try or pretend to be someone else

just be who you are

you are perfect as you are

shine your light

don`t be scared

don`t worry about what other people think

don`t pay attention to what other people do

they all have their own fears, worries and insecurity, trying to hide them by also wishing to be someone else.

if you were not good enough, you wouldn`t be there in the first place.

Let go of judgments

Let go of fears

Embrace who you are, all that you are

Let go of perfection, it does not exist

Everything is OK, you will be fine.

Just be yourself

You are alive, you exist! That itself is amazing.

Enjoy that life

Share all your talents to the world, you have so many!

Just be yourself

Just BE

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Permission to Be Me

Prologue:  This is a post I began a couple of months ago, and never finished, but I think it’s important for me to get it out there.

***

Had a great session with my therapist today.  What came out of it was that my issue isn’t around food itself, it’s about my ability to be in control of my life.  Food is just my “drug” so-to-speak, that I use to stuff down my feelings.  I’ve always thought that I’m not an emotional person, but I am, I just don’t allow myself to feel.

My dad, who I love more than anything else in this world, and whose every actions and words have always been based in his love and concern for me, has always had this control over me in the sense of my reactions to his “suggestions.”  He has a strong personality and “knows” he’s always right — which he usually is, but don’t tell him I told you that.  He was all I had growing up, I didn’t want to disappoint, and while I don’t think I ever vocalized it to myself, I’m sure on some level there was a fear that he would leave or “decide” this life wasn’t what he wanted either.  A heavy thing for a child bear.  So I walked softly and carried a small stick, and tried to make sure, to the detriment of my own blossoming self, that I fit the image I thought he wanted me to be.  Not that I was entirely successful, since of course I did rebel, act out, stubbornly go my direction, etc., but for the most part I think I was always partially attempting to always make him happy and happy with me.

What I want, is to be able to tell him things that are going on in my life and have him just listen and be supportive.  He’s not always going to understand why I’m doing something the way that I am, and it may not be the best choice, but life is about trial and error and learning from the mistakes we all inevitably make.  I don’t even want him to pick up the pieces when I do fall, but I do want his emotional support.

***

Epilogue:  Around this time, I had just applied to grad school, which means taking out more student loans, something which he was advising against and trying to come up with ideas that would be cheaper that could potentially end with a similar result.  Also, grad school is hard…he knows, he’s put himself through two grad programs.  He also knows I’m not the most academically inclined person on the planet.  But without this master’s degree, I will have a very tough time advancing in my career.  He asked me, “What if you fail?”  In one of the most subdued voices I’ve ever heard come out of him.  I just said, “If I fail, I just keep trying.”  (Of course, this was after my smartass comment that I won’t bother to mention because it’s really dumb.)