Halfway Kids!!

Today is Day 19 and I’m (pretty much) halfway through my Whole40!!!

The goals that I had set for myself have been pretty much reached here at the halfway point so it’s time for some new ones on the back half.

To recap on what I’ve achieved in the last 20 days:

Goal #1A: Relief of my almost daily headaches.  This has been a bit of a hit and miss… the headaches that I was getting throughout the day have gone but have been unfortunately replaced with a pretty much ongoing stress headache.  I’m using my massage therapist to help with that but it’s not food related anymore.

Goal #2A: Less Itchy Skin.  I’m less itchy but I think it’s partially because my sister pointed out to my dismay that I may in fact be allergic to grapes, and having cut those out, I am indeed less itchy.  Overall my skin is pretty kick ass and I have almost no dermatitis on my hands, which I often get from eating crappy food.

Goal #3A: Kick my current obsession over ice cream.   Ya, I’d say this is pretty much kicked.  Would I eat ice cream if it miraculously ended up in my house right now?  Yes, probably but I’m not obsessed with the mental battle over whether or not I should go buy some (and then consume it in it’s entirety).

Goal #4A: Wake up feeling more rested.  Yes, this is (aside from yesterday being hit with the fatigue stick), I’m sleeping much better and for less time but more quality time.  I wake up at 5am without an alarm daily.  I’d say that’s a met goal!

Goal #5A: Log as many kilometers as possible. Well, as there is no actual number, it’s hard to say whether that was reached or not, but I did make a commitment to get home from work (8KM) under my own power 3x a week and I’ve done that. (today being the last day).  I’ve logged 76 kilometers (47 miles) in the last 19 days. The work based challenge that precipitated that is over as of today but my plan is to keep up the 3 days a week for at least the duration of my W40… then I go on holidays and I’ll figure out the next steps (punny) after I get back. If I manage it, that’s 7 more walks, which will be a total during my W40 of 132KM (82 miles).

Goal #6A: Eat more vegetables.  I was pretty uninspired by my meal plan this week but I ate a decent amount of veg at every meal (except last night). I’ll leave this on my goals for the back half of the W40.

Goal #7A: Fit my denim capris more comfortably.  Yes.  They fit perfectly now.  They will now start to get to big, which is okay for a little while… They’re cute and I get a ton of compliments on them but the rivets on the pockets gives me a rash spot.  I’ll try nail polishing the rivet and see if that helps.

 

Now, on to new goals.

Goal #1B: Come to a place where a pint of ice cream in the freezer wouldn’t mean needing to be restrained to the sofa to avoid diving into it face first.

Goal #2B: Go to bed by 10pm and when I wake up at 5am, get out of bed.

Goal #3B: Try and get to 132KM by the end of W40.

Goal #4B: Eat more vegetables.  Plan veg purchase and prep better.

Goal #5B: Wear the striped $8 dress to work.

Goal #6B: No side by side comparison shots until Friday, July 4th (day 40)

Okay, I think that’s it… unless I think of something else in the next few days.  Really, the biggest goal I will have for the next 21 days is going to be keeping on the walking/W40 path in the face of some stress (hopefully temporary) that is making me really yearn to crawl into bed with a tray of carrot cake. I will not do that because it will certainly not solve my situation and I KNOW it would make me feel TERRIBLE… but the temptation is certainly there!

Before and During

The best way to do a ‘Before’ and ‘After’ is to post a picture… which I will spend the entire time I write this post contemplating whether or not I will post one… I have it… it’s just a matter of whether I want some people I know in real life to see it…

But there are some less visual indicators of change. And I would argue heartily that they are the most important ones and the physical changes in a person are merely the side effect of this. I retweeted the following yesterday…

Don’t expect external changes if you’re not committed to internal change.

My sister once said that the extra weight I was carrying was my pain on the outside. At the time it seemed reasonable but I filed it away, as I’m wont to do and only now has it come back to me, in a more processed and understandable state.

Only once you are no longer in the painful situation is it possible to understand the magnitude of that pain. My mind never processed it as a whole… bits and pieces were given to me in dribs and drabs… I do believe that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle and part of the way that manifests is that for someone like me, who is an uber processor… I didn’t process it all… it would have killed me… the sheer volume of pain would have done me in.

So slowly, as things came up they were either put on a shelf for a later time or processed… thought about, ruminated on. I don’t think it was a conscious effort… I didn’t sit down and pick a moment in time or an experience and intentionally… the thoughts and feelings just happened…

And then, one day I found myself feeling something I hadn’t felt in years… I felt happy and calm. I didn’t recognize it at first… it was a somewhat foreign feeling… I didn’t feel like yelling at people when I was driving… I was kinder to people around me and I handed out more benefit of the doubt than you could shake a stick at. I smiled at people. And the incredible thing was that as I explored this new feeling of calm and happy and let it lead the way for me, the response I got from the world changed… the world became more calm and happy around me. People smiled back. I laughed with strangers. I felt centered in my body…

The part about the internal change creating external change that creates the most problems is that it looks easy. People only see the physical changes. They only see that it looks like you just decided to be happy one day. They only see the results of fitting into smaller clothes and none of the immensely hard work that you’ve undertaken to get to that place. Which means that when you make these internal changes of which the side effect is physical change, the resistance from your friends and family can be overwhelming and they can sometimes really work at you to get you to ‘change back’. It’s understandable really… if you think about it. I was a comfortable place to land…I was consistently available to be used and mistreated because I was already in a vulnerable place… I was easy to control… I wasn’t a viable threat…

I’m not a super competitive person… at all. I’m a live and let live, do your own thing and let me do mine, kind of person. I’ve always been that way and a change in my mental status or my physical status isn’t going to change that. However, I do know that people will, without me knowing it, engage in competition with me. And now that I’m changing… becoming the next chapter of my life, there are no longer ‘easy wins’ for those that choose to secretly compete with me. I’m okay with that. I understand it and I understand that it can be so uncomfortable for those close to me that they react in a less than graceful way…

I often want to say ‘I’m the same person I’ve always been’. That’s easy to say for me because I’m here, in me… I know that the way I am has always been here… deep inside. But the way I present myself to other people now… that IS different. I’m not the same anymore and I wouldn’t want to be.

I’ve decided through the writing of this that I’m not ready to show the before and after picture. The external changes in me are not as important to me as the internal changes. And the only way to stand by that statement is to leave the visuals out of it for now. (note I said for now…)

Laugh at Me

So a long time ago I was sitting in a coffee shop giggling with a girlfriend.  Well…. Giggling… not really… full out, hold my sides, don’t care who hears/sees laughing.  The owner of the coffee shop is also a friend of mine and after a while he came over and sat down with us… Did you see those people sitting across from you that just left he asked… Yep.  Well, he said, the guy that was with them came up to me and asked me if I knew you… he’s in the film industry and he said your laugh was awesome and he wished that there was a way to bottle it. 

Of course that made me laugh even more… some out of nervousness and some because when people talk about laughing it makes you laugh… well, me anyway! 

It’s a memory that pops into my head every once in a while and it came screaming back to me this morning.

It’s a beautiful… BEAUTIFUL day here in Vancouver and I was with my same girlfriend waiting in line at Whole Foods to get a coffee.  We were being ridiculous and making eachother laugh, as usual and a bubble of unfiltered laughter burst out of me and caused the guy in the line in front of us to turn around… Sorry I said… thinking that I was being a bit obnoxious so early in the morning.  No, no was his response.  I love your laugh!  (which makes me laugh…).  He smiled at me, this huge, joyful, completely open smile and said that my laugh made him laugh and that it was awesome.  About 20 seconds later a girlfriend of mine came up to me and said she had just been walking out the door but that she’d heard my laugh and had to come and say hi and give me a hug.  That made me laugh even more and I said it was funny that her comment was the 2nd one in about 30 seconds about the sound of my laughter… the guy in front of me, beaming from ear to ear said it wasn’t even 30 seconds… 

The entire encounter was brilliant and fills me to this moment with a bubbly mirth that fills my body and soul with the endorphins of joy.

It also reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend the other day. How just the act of being ourselves can be a gift we don’t even know we are giving to another.  Our trusting nature, a caring touch, a bubble of laughter… our society frowns on the mere act of interacting with a stranger so we almost never have these conversations with another, but it’s likely that while you go about your daily business, you’re touching other people… just as they are touching you… giving you a gift they may not know they’re giving.   Someone told me yesterday that the thing they liked about me was that I was true…I believe the quote was ‘You’re honest about who you are. You are not some crackerjack bullshit flavor of the month.  You are true.’ The experience today with the guy at the coffee shop and the statement from my friend last night just underlines that being true to who I am… something that is very important to me is not a wasted effort.  In this world of fake and social media and doing whatever you want with no consequences, it’s a good reminder that the power in being true is always worth the investment to learn who you are and then live that life.

I’m not alone (and neither are you) REPOST

I’m reposting this here from the blog I share with my sister.  I need it to be here… with the rest of my journey…

I’m sure you know if you’ve read along over the past couple of years, or dug back through the archives that I gave up a lot of things that I enjoyed and that were good for me in the last few years… I gave up eating well, I gave up exercise, I gave up a lot of control and self esteem and I gave up my faith in God.

I’ve talked about all of them so far except for the last one.

I guess it would be good for ‘ratings’ to say that I stood in my living room one day and screamed to the Heavens ‘Why God have You abandoned me?’. ‘Why have You left me here to suffer this alone… I don’t know how to fix this!’

There’s no such story. Because, in fact it should have been God standing in my living room and asking ME ‘Why have you forgotten about Me? I can help you if only you’ll ask You don’t have to go through this alone’. I can’t say for sure that that didn’t happen… that in the years of struggle He didn’t come to me and offer to put an end to my suffering… to save me from what my life had become. I certainly was in no place to hear it, for I was so busy trying to fix everything myself.

I remember having conversations (multitudes) with my friends and saying ‘I don’t know what else to do. I’ve tried everything’ and then consistently listing off all the things I tried to do to fix the relationship, to make him respect me, to stop the manipulative and abusive behavior. I can still feel it now, the feeling I had during those conversations. It was like I was standing still in a vortex of insanity… everything I ‘tried’ swirling around me, too fast to catch… too messy to make sense out of. I don’t know what else to do… I don’t know what else to do… That thought went around and around me in a never ending spiral of grief and frustration. I can still feel the anxiety now when I recall those moments… and then the creeping thought that maybe I deserved this. Maybe I WASN’T fun… maybe I WAS a bitch… maybe I WASN’T a good housekeeper, cook, laundry doer, friend…PERSON!

I spent so many years, before that relationship and then during it thinking I had it all figured out… and then thinking I had to get it all figured out. I lied to my friends about my life at home… even my family doesn’t know the half of what went on…

I look back on it now and I can see that I COULD have saved myself… I could have just asked God for help. Those moments of desperation… of really being at the lowest low… feeling like I was going crazy and there was nothing left to try… there was always one more thing to try…

Every day is a new day and somewhere on my Christmas holidays I felt moved… things weren’t working, the year was ending and I was still seemingly stuck in a place I didn’t want to be… unhealthy, not really happy and with no prospect of massive change on the horizon…

I prayed that night. And as I prayed I felt a huge weight lift off me. It was such a feeling of renewal and peace that I wondered if I prayed again the next night would I feel the same thing… I did. Every time I spoke to God it felt as though my burden was being lifted. It all sounds so very cliché to me too… these are the things that you hear televangelists screaming into a microphone at crowds of thousands. ‘GOD WILL EASE YOUR BURDENS’. Well it’s hard to understand that as a young woman who’s never had burdens.

I’ve been a Christian all my life and I don’t recall ever feeling the weight of burden before… Back in the ‘good old days’ I prayed all the time… I thought I knew what it was supposed to feel like… But this… this was different. This commune with God was something I’d never felt before. This lightening of my load was something new… I’ve been down a long and steep road and picked up an awful lot of really ugly, dirty, unhealthy and sad burden on the way. Burden that previously in my life I’d never had to carry before. It crushed me… It filled my lungs with smoke and pulled at my muscles like hot irons. And man the moment I didn’t have to carry it alone anymore I realized just how heavy it really was… how back breaking and spirit crushing. And until that moment at Christmas I never thought that I would get the chance to stop carrying it. How amazing that I could just hand it off and be free!

I consider that time in my life a blessing now… I didn’t know just how terrible life could be… how desolate and lonely and painful… but the other thing I didn’t know was just how free and peaceful it could be. How much I didn’t have to depend only on myself to manage my life. I didn’t have to live in the pain for one more second… everything was new and clean again.

Every night I get excited to go to bed… for altho it’s not the only place; bed is where I pray. I ask for guidance, hand off my burden and feel peaceful at bedtime. Every night is not easy… my old habits get in the way and my mind wanders… trying to figure out my problems myself… So sometimes my prayer is to be reminded that I’m not in this alone anymore and I don’t have to figure it out myself.

My whole life is changing at a breakneck speed right now… I have a strength and willpower now I didn’t know I had. I have peace and harmony within my own mind and body that I honestly thought I would never have again. (if I ever had it in the first place). I feel like I’m rebuilding my life on solid ground where once I stood in quick sand. It’s a powerful feeling and I just could not help but write about it here.

Happy Random Friday!

The other night I was really really upset… I cried until I couldn’t breathe and then when I couldn’t calm myself and I couldn’t take it anymore, I begged God to just let me sleep… Within no more than 60 seconds my tears stopped, I was calm and peaceful.  I wasn’t asleep… sometimes the prayer you say isn’t the prayer that was answered.  I’m glad I wasn’t asleep… I was so peaceful and had such clarity over my situation… I was hearing answers to my struggle… I eventually fell asleep… calm, peaceful… comforted.  That feeling stayed with me and reminded me that I do not have to have these experiences by myself… and that I need only to ask for help.

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I’ve been pretty tired this last little while as I mentioned yesterday.  Case in point… I went to the store yesterday evening to buy some face wash and got to the counter only to find my wallet was missing.  After racing around the city to all the places I’d been that day (including the hospital board room and my office), I went home and found that I actually hadn’t had my wallet with me for 3 days… it was in another bag I’d taken to the gym… As a person who is very detail oriented, not realizing I hadn’t had my wallet for 3 days is a direct result of my sheer exhaustion!

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I wrote myself a letter from FutureMe.org about two months ago and received it yesterday.  It came at a very interesting time because I’d just been thinking how eating W30/Paleo had become a habit and was no longer a struggle.  Part of the letter that I got yesterday was asking from the past if it really sucked and if I was getting any better at it.  I have strayed a couple times in the last month… I ate some rice with a Greek dinner one night and had a Vodka/Soda one night… no big deal… it’s not the drama fest that the ice cream incident was.  Maybe because I know that this is a lifestyle, not a diet and in a lifestyle, one must understand that things come up and you just keep going… I feel so good when I eat clean that it’s second nature.  My FutureMe letter asks if I’ll do another W30… One day I might go and do a proper W30 again to get really clean but for now I think I’ve got a good thing going that keeps me on the straight and narrow 99.9% of the time and allows me to choose that .1% and feel guilt free.

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I’m continually flabbergasted by people I know who tell me you can’t lose weight on the Paleo because there’s too much fat, or that it’s not healthy to not eat corn… and then these same people do idiotic things like the HCG diet (look that sucker up!) or some 30 day juice and fruit only ‘cleanse’.

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This weekend I will finish making the screens for my windows (hopefully my lessons learned with my prototypes work out!), sew another skirt I think, go to the gym, cook for the week, catch up on my rest from this insane week.

Dollars to Donuts

Well… donuts are verboten so lets talk about dollars. 

I have a rule in my house that goes like this:

We don’t throw out food.

That’s it.  There is no food throwing out… if the porkchops end up dry and over cooked, that’s too damn bad because that’s what’s for dinner… All those veg that I steam and roast in anticipation of the week?  They’re all eaten and not a single shred of Brussels Sprouts goes to waste.

This is night and day compared to the food situation I’ve been involved in, in the past.  I hate to be wasteful and I really loathe taking out the garbage and emptying the compost so it’s in my best interest to eat that which I bring into the house and that which I cook.  That being said, I feel that there is room in my cooking and feeding routine to save some money.  Lots of money is saved, comparatively speaking, from when I had less control over my food environment and things were thrown out constantly, but I believe that I can sharpen up my current feeding tactics and make it cheaper and I have a great reason to try.

I’m planning on hiring a weight lifting coach here in town.  I just sent an email to him to give him some background of my story and see if his philosophy and gym fits with what I’m looking for.  I’m hoping that he will agree to take me on as a client and give me direction and plans so I can work out myself between our sessions. The rate is reasonable but in order to make it work in the budget, I need to try and get my food purchases to be more efficient.

So for 14 days I’m going to document everything I eat.  Not in oz or grams or calories, but in dollars to see where my meals can be made more cost effective and where I am already doing well (I think breakfast is pretty good).  I will then take these two typical weeks and create from them a food budget.

And you’re in luck!  I’m going to share that information here with recipes where applicable.  I already know I have some great cost saving meals and recipes, so I’m hoping that I can tweak and adjust them to make them very valuable in the consumption department and very invaluable in the monetary department.

I’ll also post back and let you know if the weightlifting coach is going to work out and share my journey on that with you.

If you have any money saving recipes or tips/tricks that you’d like to share, please feel free to leave them in the comments and feedback on the meals and expense will be appreciated too.  This will all start on Monday so I get two weeks and two weekends in the ‘study’, however since I eat a lot of the same stuff every week, I will start working on the math now.

Ssshh! Don’t Tell!

I’m generally an open book… there are not a lot of things that I keep to myself and sure as heck one of the things I find almost impossible to keep is a secret… Well, my own secrets, not ones people share with me.

See I find a secret… something so good that you want to keep it a secret SO EXCITING that I can’t help myself and I just HAVE to tell… and then I tell and tell until all the shiny and exciting bits have been rubbed and worn off and then I wish I’d never spilled the beans.

Keeping a secret is actually an art… one I’m getting much better at.  You see, the rubbing off of the shiny and exciting bits is the part that I don’t like about being a terrible secret keeper and the only way to keep the corners shiny and intact is to keep it to myself.

I have some good secrets going right now… the only problem is that because people expect me to be this open book of gabbery, generic and vague answers are very hard to sell.  I’ve been trying to change the conversation about me and my secrets back to the people who are asking because WITHOUT FAIL, people want to talk about themselves more than they care about the secret.  Try it sometime… when someone asks you a question about something that is unique to you, turn it around and ask them something and they’ll forget they were ever interested in what you were saying…

My secrets lately are of the fun and exciting variety… not to mention that it’s fun and exciting to keep secrets from certain people because it drives. them. crazy!  Yep… crazy!  I don’t think my life is really that exciting and certainly neither do a lot of people but this whole secret keeping craze I’m in right now is really messing with people’s minds!  It’s so fun!