Monday, January 31, 2011

My Nightmare (however strange)

My mom was in town and we had just had breakfast. Then I got a call telling me that the test (you know the big one I've been waiting for . . . the endoscopy) had been rescheduled to that day. But I had already eaten and you have to fast before this test. So my mom and I talked about whether or not I should make myself throw-up my breakfast, but we decided I probably shouldn't. It had been close to 5 hours since I ate, maybe that would be enough.

When we got to the hospital they took a few preliminary x-rays of my stomach. Then the doctor walked in. She listened to the nurse tell her that I still had a golf ball sized amount of food in my stomach. The doctor looked at me and said, "I guess you'll just have to wait another 8 weeks at the least," and walked out. What?!! That was it?

The nurse took me up front to reschedule the procedure. The soonest they could get me in was October. October! Then the nurse added, "Oh, and you can't eat healthy, exercise, or do yoga until after the test." You mean the test that is 9 months away? But . . .

That's when I burst into tears. This isn't fair. I want to lose weight. I want to be healthy. I want to work out. I have a gym membership I'm paying for and need to use. I want to do yoga, maybe even teach it. I started trying to decide if it was worth it. Maybe I don't need doctors anymore. I'm going to just start doing what I know feels good.

I started looking for the doctor. I needed to know how much gluten I was expected to eat in the meantime. I found her in her office wearing a vintage hat complete with veil and feathers (like the one pictured). She was all wrapped up in white tule as well. Weird. She wouldn't speak to me, she was busy eating her lunch.

That's when I woke up. It took me a while to figure out it had been a dream and that the test is still scheduled for tomorrow (fingers crossed). What a nightmare. But now, as I look back on this dream I have to admit I'm very proud of my sub-conscious. I'm glad that it was so offended when I was told I couldn't take care of my body. I'm glad that I wanted to rebel and do what I knew was right for me. So while I'm nervous about the test tomorrow (mostly nervous they'll reschedule again), I'm happy to let you know that I'm ready to take charge and to do what is best for my body.

P.S. I've never had a doctor treat me that bad, so I don't know where that came from. And maybe doctors should start wearing fancy schmancy hats. Could be fun.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fat Gym Members

As is my wont I am feeling much better after venting my frustration yesterday. At least my mind is more at ease. The pain is ever present. But I'm happier. And today is a gloriously sunny day. It's hard to be sad with that kind of sun shinning through my windows. We may even take a walk after Cormac's nap. After much research we bought this Kelty 3.0 Carrier:
Kelty FC 3.0 Child Carrier, Blue
I love it already. So comfortable. Much better than all the others we tried on. And fully adjustable for my 5'5" frame and my husbands 6'6" frame. We are hoping to do some backpacking this summer with a possible trip to the Grand Canyon. So I need to start training if I'm going to carry my boy. My boy who is going through a huge growth spurt. If he keeps it up he's going to have to walk himself.

But I digress. What I really wanted to write about was what is going on over at BlogHer. Have you seen this video blog? If you haven't, you should take a quick minute to view it.

I thought about this the entire time I was working out today. I kept thinking, "Yeah! Rock on! I can do this, and I don't care what anyone thinks either." It helped me get through my workout today. So thank you BlogHer for your Own You Own Beauty Campaign. I'm on board.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Dark Days of January

I just keep telling myself to remember this girl. This happy girl. This girl who wasn't always in pain.

I've been in a dark place the last few weeks. First off, it's January. I hate January (no offense January, but you really don't give people a lot to look forward to). I'm ready for Spring. But Spring is not ready for me. So I wait for the days to start lengthening out. I have such big plans for my garden and yard this year. I can't wait to get to it. But as I mentioned before, it is January, so I wait.

I admit that I'm always a little down this time of year, but this year has been particularly hard. I've been waiting for an endoscopy that should have taken place on the 3rd, but had to be rescheduled to the 24th which has to be rescheduled to the 1st of February. I'm beginning to believe that it will never happen. And until that test happens, I have to continue to eat a "regular" diet. Because of this I have felt out of control. Remember my resolution to stop with sugar and other white things? Well, that has gone out the window, and I have not been even close to eating well. I hate feeling out of control this way. But I keep saying, "as soon as I have this test done things will be different." And they will be, I am going to re-do my elimination diet and finish it right this time so we will know exactly what is triggering all my problems. But until then. . .

So that has been weighing me down. And then the pain and fatigue is awful, awful, awful. I can barely function. My poor husband has to come home to a messy house, no dinner, a toddler in desperate need of attention, and a wife who simply wants to collapse on the couch and give up. Yeah, it's been a hard few weeks.

Now add in the fact that I've had not one, but two bouts with the flu in the last month and there you have it. Not just a cold flu either. A coming out both ends flu (sorry to be graphic, but I know you all have been there). You mix all this together and it really is no wonder I've been down. At least, I think it isn't any wonder. And to be honest, considering all this, I really have managed to keep it pretty light around here, just a big hectic. We are happy (remember I like to dramatize things, so don't panic, I'm not about to jump off a bridge) even if things have been difficult.

But this is the kicker, I am so sick of not knowing what is really wrong with me. Why do I go to sleep each night in serious pain only to wake up to the same pain? The same pain that was present in my dreams even. Why am I still so tired after sleeping 10 hours at night and taking a 2 hour nap during the day? Why are my headaches so bad? I would just like an answer. So I've got this big medical test coming up, and all I can think is, "This is such a waste of money and time. I know they aren't going to find anything. . . again. They're just going to tell me (again) that it is all in my head, and send me out the door with nothing." It seems that every time we go through these tests I manage to get really, really down. I'm so tired of not knowing.

So I haven't been blogging, or really doing anything lately. Just stewing and waiting. That is why I am doing the elimination diet over. It was the one thing that brought relief, aside from yoga but even that is temporary. And if I never know exactly what is causing it, at least I have found something that makes me feel better. I am going to take charge after this test. If I ever have the test.

But let's be honest, it's really hard to like yourself and love the image in the mirror when you feel so rotten. Hang in there body, we can do this, just one more week.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Magic Energy

Have you seen these signs? There are some like these in our local mall here. I've also seen them on billboards around. I find them completely comical. The ones in the mall are backlit from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. The billboards? Well, they light those up all night too so people can see.

I just thought it was a bit hilarious (and hypocritical). Perhaps Disney has found a way to light up these signs without using energy? Deep thought for the day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

6 Years

This happy occasion took place six years ago today. Hard to believe it has been that long. Saying yes to this man has been the single best decision I have made in my life. He makes me laugh and smile daily. I don't deserve him, but I am so glad that he's mine. Happy Anniversary, Ammon. I love you with all my being.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fear Factor - part 3

As I begin the third and final post on this subject I wish I would have named it something different from the beginning. But alas, hindsight is always better than foresight.

Catch up Here first.
Then read the middle part Here.

Step Six: Be Your Authentic Self
"One of the most common fears is the fear of simply being ourselves, especially when we end up in unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations--when we're 'fish out of water.' Thus, many of us tend to shy away from the attention that may come from being different. As a result, we try to hide who we truly are. We don't want to stand out, so we may find ourselves doing everything possible to stamp out our individuality in favor of conformity. We then wind up projecting an image we assume, and hope, will please others. That's one road you can choose to travel when you're feeling out of place. The other is to celebrate who you are without apology.
     'Let's face it, no one wants to be rejected. And yet, think about the people you truly admire in this world. Without a doubt, they conduct their lives with authenticity and conviction, and to realize your full potential, you'll need to do the same."

I saved this last one for it's own day because I think it is so powerful. And so important. The idea of being comfortable in your own skin is, after all, what I am striving for. I have lived my life trying not to cause waves. If something I say or do might be considered out of the norm I generally avoid it. Oh yes, I am weird and I have let a little of that show now and again, but in reality I have spent so much time and energy just trying not to stand out that I sometimes wonder who I really am.

And some days I don't know the answer to the question: What is my authentic self? I know what many people think I am: responsible, bossy, junk food addict. I know many things I would like to be: Super skinny, a social butterfly, confident, healthy. But what am I in reality? And then when I really stop and think I realize I would rather be happy in my own skin than trying to be something I am not.

I think that is what living fearlessly really is all about, living in a way that honors your authentic self. When you live that way you won't be afraid to try new things that you have always wanted to try. You will have the courage and confidence to live a full and happy life. The life you truly want and deserve.

Keep things in perspective. Take everything one step at a time, one day at a time. And be the person you really are.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fear Factor - part 2

To quickly refresh, I had been writing about how we let our fears stop us from living our lives. The gist of it was "to live in fear is essentially not to live."

Step One was to ask yourself what you were really afraid of.

Step Two: Put it in Perspective
"What would happen if your fear came true? . . Ask, What's the worst possible outcome? Could it be reversed? Would you lose income? Would your family survive? Would it cause you or someone else bodily harm? Could you ask for help? Would it be possible to repair or control the damage? What can you do today to protect yourself?"

I know in my own life most of my fears are rather silly in the large scheme of things. I also spend a lot of time fearing things that are purely hypothetical and to be frank, rather morbid. For example, what would I do if my husband and son died suddenly. While I feel it is good to be prepared and to accept that bad things do happen, the reality is, this sort of fear can be crippling. Living in fear of what may come doesn't help us to live in the reality of today. Anyway, when you stop and put things in perspective it can really help tame your fears.

Step Three: Do What's in Your Power to Do
". . .we can't control the future or other people's behavior. But by focusing on what we can control--our own actions--we can help dispel our fear."

Think for a minute how much time and energy is wasted on worrying about what others will say or do. We have no power over that. Ever. We can control how we react to the things others do. We can control what we think and feel, but we cannot control others. I, for one, want to stop wasting my life worrying about others and to live my own life.

Step Four: Know When to Ask For Help
"Most fears cannot be conquered alone. "

This is one of the hardest ones for me. Asking for help is not something I do well. I don't accept help well either. But I do believe that most fears can be conquered with a companion, a support group, or just someone to listen and offer advice. Besides, chances are there are others who share your fears and would love to take the plunge with you.

Step Five: Practice Your ABCs: Action + Believe + Courage
"The fearless among us overcome doubts by practicing what I call their ABCs: A stands for purposeful action, or just taking the plunge and doing what you've been afraid to do. You can always rehearse first. . . B is for having belief in your own abilities. Fear loses its power when confronted with a positive mind-set. Use positivity to act 'as if' everything is all right, and soon it will be. C stands for the courage that comes from remembering that if you've succeeded before, you can do so again. And chances are, you have succeeded before.

I love B. I think that having belief and confidence in yourself is vital to so many things. I also feel like that is one of the main things I have been striving for with this blog. People who conduct themselves with confidence (not cockiness) are able to be successful and do things that some of us fail at. Just how to gain this confidence is something I'm working on. But I think what this article says is spot on: just act "as if" and then it will happen.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Mum

I just got home from dropping my mom off at the airport. She was here for 8 days, and yet as I drove away from the airport I got tears in my eyes and started to miss her already. We had a lot of fun together while she was here. And it's always nice to have another person around to help with my little one. I had forgotten how luxurious it is to take a shower before noon. Mum spoiled us rotten while she was here: buying Cormac new clothes, me a new pair of boots, and taking us out to eat. She's sweet like that. And self-less. And I'm still a little brat sometimes and fail to let on how much I really do appreciate and love her.

Mother's are an amazing thing. Who else has so much influence over the rest of your life. Mom and I talk, look, and laugh alike. We have so many of the same mannerisms. We share many interests and dislike many of the same things. She was the one who shaped my future when I was young. I remember how much I loved coming home to a mom in the house. I was very blessed that way. When Mom wasn't home after school it was such a let down, even if I didn't have anything to say to her.

I've been thinking, with this last visit from my mom, that I really want to make sure I'm the kind of mom that my kids will have good memories of, like I do of my mom. Childhood blows by too fast, I want to be there to savor every moment, so that when I am holding my grandkids on my lap I can tell them how they are similar or different from their parents when they were young. I want to instill healthy habits and traditions in my kids. And I want them to flourish and develop into the polite, happy, creative, talented people that I know they are. I know that moms aren't perfect, and I know I certainly won't be, but no one can love my children like I can.

So today I am thankful for mothers. Especially my own. Cormac cried when she left. I got teary too. We will miss her. I will miss watching her hold Cormac and read him stories. I will miss hearing her tell him that she loves him and seeing him run to her with a new book or toy. Thanks Mum for coming and spoiling us. We are already looking forward to seeing you again (and next time maybe we can hang out with Dad too).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fear Factor

The hubby and I newly wed. Like his "scared" face?

I recently read an article in the January 2011 edition of Whole Living called Living Fearlessly. The article begins with a woman that was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She tells about her journey of learning to live with this rare disease. She writes,

"Early in my diagnosis, I spent a lot of time anticipating--thinking about the effects of chemotherapy or what might happen if a particular treatment didn't work. My doctor gently told me, 'Year by year all is unclear, but day by day we find our way.' I hear those words at least once a day and find my way back to the present. Fear is about what might happen, not what is happening right now. It takes us to a place of panic, not power. The only thing you have to master is the thing right in front of you, this very second."

I love this quote. It really made me think. While I don't have a rare form of cancer on my plate right now, I do think that fear often paralyzes me from doing things I want to do. For example, I have been wanting to get a position as a yoga instructor for some time. There are a lot of places around here that I could apply, but I have been too afraid that I would be rejected. I'm worried that I'm too heavy, or that I don't have enough experience, or this or that. The list goes on.

In fact there are a lot of things that I have always wanted to do but have been to chicken to make that first step. So this article really spoke to me. I want to write for the next few days about the various steps that this article covered to overcome fear.

And as the article says, we should make 2011 the year to stop living in fear of the unknown. It paralyzes us. Think of it this way, "to live in fear is essentially not to live."

So, here we have Step One: Ask yourself: What am I really afraid of?
"To move past your fear, you first must identify it. . . When anxiety surfaces, try to describe the source of your distress. It could be something concrete, such as looming layoffs or relationship trouble. Or maybe it's less tangible--say, failure, rejection, or the future and what is holds. Either way, the conscious act of naming your fear is the first step to making it manageable."

Very true. I'm going to spend some time naming my fears. Once you name them they usually become manageable or even comical. I think it is time to push those silly things aside and really start enjoying this life.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Favorite Today

My current favorite quote:

"Eating a warm meal nourishes the body; Preparing it nourishes the soul."

I agree. I never used to like to cook until I started cooking with whole foods. Making warm and healthy meals for me and my family is extremely nourishing to my soul. Even if I'm not one who was born to cook. Food for thought.

Quote from Whole Living Magazine December 2010 issue.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Giveaway Winner

I apologize for my long absence from blogging. Holidays. What can I say. We had a wonderful time though (other than the colds we've had, it's been a hard year for us that way). I hope you all did too.

I took a long time to think up what resolutions I wanted to make this year. I think I've mentioned before that I feel resolutions are often cliche and so I avoid them, but this year I thought I'd go ahead and opt for a few. My first one was that I would follow through. I then decided to only set a very few resolutions. That ups my odds of being successful right? I thought it should. The first was to avoid all white processed foods such as processed sugar, white flour, white rice, and white pasta. I didn't put a definite "no" clause on there because there are times when we travel or other such things when it isn't in my control. Plus I strongly believe that by using the word "no" your body and mind automatically start craving the forbidden. So they are allowed, I'm just trying to cut back.

Next I decided I wanted to eat more whole foods and eat at home more. I am hoping to spend a lot of time in the kitchen discovering new flavors and fun things to nourish my family and myself. The last thing I decided was to start a one sentence journal. The idea being that I only have to write one sentence a day, but can write more if I want. I hope that way I'll be better at capturing the every day little things that I want to remember when I'm old. Like how Cormac likes to put one leg up on the seat next to him in the shopping cart and sort of recline.

Thus my new year has begun. Just three little things to keep track of. We'll see how it goes.

In the meantime I have a feeling that the rambling is getting old and what you really want is to know who won the great Cookbook giveaway. So here it is. According to Random.org the number from 1 to 11 is 2, which means that the second person to comment wins. So the winner is:

CodyG who said...

im in!!! sad we missed you at thanksgiving and happy birthday!
Congratulations Cody! I'll get it on it's way to you. I'm excited you won.
To the rest of you dear people who entered you can look up The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by clicking on the title if you are interested. I am going to try and blog a little this week, but my mom is coming to visit (yay!) so I make no promises. 
Happy New Year!