straightforward

the passing of time is irresistible

it doesn’t ask permission

its direction is simply forward

straightforward into the now and beyond

i can see time as it brushes by my eyelids

leaving crows feet

maybe others could see wisdom

it is hard for me to see past exhaustion

(does any one really sleep?)

tender feather weight wings of pressure building daily into a solid weight

this pulls down  your eyes and your shoulders and your soft tissues

time

time, you unkind wanderer

i didn’t think i was going along with you

but suddenly i notice that my feet are shuffling

i follow you in the direction of your quest

forward, forward, forward

straightforward into the now and beyond

there are realizations that lift the head

my child is now nearly as tall as I am

his vocabulary rivals my own

i am not surprised

i am his mother

i don’t tolerate lack of knowledge

and yet i cannot keep up with his dichotomy of scientific facts and tidbits

but time adds more

time adds more and more things to know

i feel my ability to know slipping

as my need to know increases

i wonder how i’ll be in old age

i wonder where i’ll go in my mind

i wonder about the path of the passage of time

straightforward into the now and beyond

Challenging my truth… keeping house.

giphy
Because there’s no place like HOME.

I would like to preface this post with this: I am not a doctor, nor am I trying to be. I am not a medicine hater – if that is what works for you, then please, please do what works. I, myself, am moving away from it after years, and years of medication, for my bipolar disorder. What I have discovered for myself, for my journey, is that maintaining the health of my soul, and the health of my thought life, are the best medicines. I am hoping and praying they are the only therapy I need. If not… I’ll revisit. Please create your therapy plan with the help of those you trust and quality, professional doctors. Please find doctors who listen well, and treat you with respect. This is very important.

My brain has waves of energy – something I will always navigate. I’m on kind of a neutral energy wave right now after a fairly good “high” and so joy isn’t a constant vibration, I have to make sure I’m seeking it. I haven’t found enough time for scripture lately, and I was very restless last night… My husband and I had a small disagreement we mutually blew out of proportion… Fault was a 50/50 split. He went to bed before me; we had made up, but I felt out of sorts and despondent. I has been my life-long tendency to feel that way whenever my relationships aren’t “perfect”, especially when that disharmony is with my husband. But I’ve learned to check in with myself.

I asked myself if I really had to feel this way… And I realized I didn’t. I realized I was giving my husband too much responsibility – I was unconsciously asking him to be perfect (when I am decidedly not holding myself to that standard), and I was asking him to make me feel happy and peaceful. None of those things can be accomplished by another human being, even one so dearly loved. So I shot up a fumbling “Whose am I?” to the only One who knows… And I was at peace again.

Learning to question reality. Reality vs the space in my head. I don’t want to say “I’ve arrived” because you always keep learning, always want to grow. But my brain doesn’t feel like a prison anymore. What felt like a cold, decaying prison cell with unfriendly jailers is beginning to feel like a house. A home.

There are rooms in my brain house now. Rooms, closets, storage, workspaces, sanctuaries, places to be creative. There are chores and maintenance, and sometimes like in real life you have to look at the clutter and say, “I just can’t today… Too tired…”

It’s hard to fix messes from a place of exhaustion or a place of powerlessness. And sometimes not fixing the mess can drain you more, especially when you beat yourself up about it. You must learn to say, “Okay mess, you just have to sit there and I’ll deal with you tomorrow but I’m going to let myself really rest and not make myself feel guilty.” (We are commanded to rest, y’all.

Sometimes you get stuff done. You are a powerhouse. You are doing dishes, and vacuuming floors, and making everything WORK. You are finding the parts of yourself, of your mind, of your thoughts that need a little tidying up, and you have found the strength to get after it.

Sometimes you get creative and you make BEAUTY. You get a new picture and hang it on the wall; you grab some flowers from the farmer’s market and place them on your table. Your brain house is a HOME and you can enjoy it and flourish. 

But SOMETIMES… You find that you’ve tripped, and you’ve fallen into the cat box and Oh my goodness… that is disgusting wtf, get out of the cat box – that is for crap what is wrong with you?!

So if you’re wise? You get out of the cat box, because you don’t belong there. (Go take a shower, girl.) That receptacle is there with a purpose – it’s a toilet. It’s there so you can scoop cat crap out and throw it away. That receptacle is so that filth is kept to a manageable level that you can deal with, so things don’t get out of hand. It has one job. Reign in the crap, so you can deal with the crap.

This is also a good time to point out that CRAP IS A PART OF LIFE. THERE WILL BE CRAP. THINGS ARE NOT PERFECT IN THIS WORLD. But… You don’t make a seat in the middle and settle in to watch TV. I’m sure this reads as humorous (and it is meant to), but it’s also serious. 

How often do we become so consumed with our crappy, destructive thoughts that we make them a dwelling for our being, instead of understanding that they can be dealt with and removed? And don’t tell me you’ve never sat down and watched a season of something terrible on Netflix from your brain’s cat box before, cause we all have, honey.

The beauty is you DON’T HAVE TO. You don’t belong there! Take a look around and realize that you’ve tripped and fallen into the cat box and GET UP.

Get into your brain’s kitchen and whip up something nourishing for your soul! Seek truth and fill yourself up with that!

Get into your arts and crafts room and make some beauty. Look for it. See what’s already there and make some more.

Climb into the tub in your brain’s house and find some relaxation.

For the first time in my life I am not trapped in a jail cell in my mind. My brain makes sense. It’s not perfect but it’s a good brain. It’s good. Because I know WHOSE I am. And that shows me who I am. I can be at home… any time, and any place. Love to all of you.

Thankful

I’m sorry I fell off the posting bandwagon – I have simply been too busy! If I’m not doing one of what feels like a million grocery shopping trips, I’m working out or hanging with friends and family. I’ve got so many big life changes going on right now, it feels like I barely have time to think. I am blogging from my phone or this would never happen 😉

I think I can sum up what I want to say by CTRL+C & CTRL+V-ing some facebook posts I made over the last few days:

“This has been one of the biggest, craziest, best, worst, most intense, most heart breaking, most fulfilling, loving years of my life. Healthwise, I had an organ removed, a ridiculous amount of dental issues, and found out I’m allergic to LIFE. I felt like rolling over but instead I got serious and took my life back. My journey finally stopped being about weight loss and magically it’s coming off like melting butter while I eat amazing food and work out doing what I love. I lost a friend who was much too young. I turned 30 and was celebrated by the people in my world who love me with words AND actions, people I aspire to emulate. My mother in law spent a year with is in our home and taught me more than I thought possible, and though I will be sad to see her go, the perfect situation opened up for her and the changes of life are sometimes beautiful. My time with her has been precious. My husband and I fell in love again for the umpteenth time, and we are closing in on our 12th anniversary soon. My son is getting great help at school, and last but not least our family found a church that not only felt like home right away, but also has made special steps for Xander and the other autistic kids in his class. Our last challenge this year is for Will and his back. I’m not here to be negative though, and I’m learning to embrace life where it’s at, so I am thankful for the time that he’s home. So I am thankful, very very thankful. Love to all.”

“Day 4 of rotation diet. I am down 16 pounds since beginning Oct 28, and for the whole year I am down 29 pounds. I surprised myself yesterday by getting a size smaller workout pants than I thought I would (and jeans too)! I have so much energy, and here’s an AMAZING benefit: because of the holiday and my forgetfulness, I had two days in a row with NO BIPOLAR MEDS. I had some physical side effects but ZERO mental side effects. No depression or crazy mania. Got my meds this morning, like a good girl 😉 I even worked out this morning, and just like [our fellow LEAPSTER] said, no temptation with “the feast.” This is sooooo worth it.”

My life has been so transformed over the last few months I almost have whiplash. But I am so grateful for all the blessings in my life. Thankfulness is something I don’t have to strive for this year, it is coming really easy. Love to all of you and I thank you so much for your love and support.

Empty

I am sorry, everyone, but I am empty of words today. Take this pathetic entry and count it as my 3rd day of writing my story, because today, my story says that I have had enough and it’s time to watch Once Upon a Time and curl up on the couch.

Girl Vs. Food

I’ve got to tell you – trying to write down a 2 year journey in a read-this-without-falling-asleep-first blog post… is kinda hard. I had to write that post several times, and I’m sure you’re bright enough to realize I left a LOT of stuff out, or dulled down the sharp edges into palatable terms.

Now I face the monumental task of sharing my journey towards whole body health, and I’m a bit stuck on where to start. I’m sorry if any of these posts aren’t fun to read, or sound repetitive. I love including others in my journey, always in hope that I may share some little tidbit of information that may reach out and mean something to someone who needs to read it. But I gotta say…

People’s dietary habits and exercise routines are boring as oatmeal. You know, the good for you kind. It is rare that one wants to hear about it, at least not for longer than 5 minutes. The thing is, sometimes that’s all that is going on in someone’s life.

wabacI’m going to pull a lever on the WABAC real quick, and let you know that about the same time as I decided to see Dr. L, I also thought I’d “really get my life together” and make an appointment with a nutritionist.

Ha. Ha ha. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

I had no concept back then about “do one thing at a time, and do it well.” I thought I could do it all at the same time, and a bang up job at that. Impossible. Some tiny, intelligent scrap of myself must have known this was a terrible idea, because I cancelled the appointment less than a week later, muttering something about rescheduling as I hurriedly got off the phone. I’m so glad I didn’t go to that appointment – I would have in NO way been ready for what was to come.

Fast forward to today, and throughout the last two years I can tell you I’ve: gone back to that diet that almost killed me, tried Weight Watchers, counted calories, tried the Paleo diet… No matter what I did, I’d always bounce around the same 10 pounds or so. On top of that, I started noticing more and more health problems happening. My psoriasis on my skin would flare up worse than ever. I had random aches and pains. I had a ton of digestive issues. Sometimes I felt more depressed or irritated than normal. I couldn’t sleep. My vision got more and more blurry. I had problems with my teeth. I constantly had a tickly throat, like the beginning of a cold, and lots of sinus drainage.

The most ironic thing was that my best friend was going through a lot of the same things as I was, but while I had sympathy and support to give to her, I mostly ignored my issues. I pretended they weren’t happening. She would complain of food and stomach pain, and I’d be suffering the same exact symptoms and tell her how sorry I was she was experiencing this. I had my head buried deep into the dirt.

3605753-1936874063-31646Late February of this year I had horrible, intense pain in my back for four days. I was so out of touch with how messed up my body was, I didn’t even realize that what I really had was full abdominal pain and I had no thought to associate the way I was feeling with what I was eating. The fourth evening the pain was so bad that I was crying, and I sent an emergency message out to the BEST GROUP OF FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS a girl could EVER ask for, and I got a response within 30 seconds from my friend Justin, who asked if I was okay. It felt whiny and weak to say, that I was not okay, but I was definitely NOT okay. Justin and his wife Julie came to my rescue immediately (I’m serious, they were at my house in 5 minutes. Superman should be ashamed of himself.) Justin and my friend Bambi ended up in care of my little boy, and Julie whisked me to Urgent Care (which turned into a trip to the ER) and stayed with me for like 8 hours. EIGHT HOURS. The news we ended up with was: my gall bladder had to go.

You would think that would have been proof enough to get me to mend my wicked food ways, but after surgery and a month of healing, I was back to McDonalds, sealing my trans fat, chemical laden, sugar and salt coated fate.

This summer, after enough experience and education with my best friend… Something in my stubborn, food-addicted brain finally decided to act, and I made an appointment with a nutritionist. Actually… the same nutritionist I had planned to see two years prior! This time I had full intention of keeping the appointment. I met with Dr. Joy of Custom Fit Nutrition and we agreed that with all of my symptoms, I should definitely have the LEAP blood test done and see WHAT. WAS. UP.

While I waited, I was keeping up the tradition of some of my worst food behavior EVER. With a lot of fear, I exported my bank statements for one full month and I found undeniable proof that myself and my family had been eating out almost every single day. That was a huge wake up call, and I vowed right then and there to go 30 days without eating out, cold turkey. I made it 28 days, which I think is pretty dang good.

Instead of eating out, I prepared my meals at home, mostly from scratch, and I started shopping as organic and/or GMO free as possible. I started feeling better and better, but I still wasn’t 100%, and I wondered and worried about what my LEAP test would tell me.

My test results finally came, and those 4 little vials of blood revealed some tough, but somewhat gratifying facts: I wasn’t just fat because I ate imperfectly… my body hated food! It was angry! It was fighting back! Take a look at this list:

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Those things are all the things I should not be eating. My best friend got a look at this list and said, “Who the $%@$^!# is allergic to quinoa?” I was eating almost all of these things, all the time. I suppose that is part of the problem. If you’re even a little sensitive to something, if you eat it frequently, your body keeps seeing it as a threat. This causes many, many problems, but one of the most mind blowing issues it causes is slow starvation. You end up:

  • hungry all the time (since your body doesn’t see your food as nutrition, it keeps asking for food)
  • fatigued (you are not getting energy!)
  • diseased (I think I covered that pretty well up above – tons of food issues come from eating foods your body is at odds with)
  • fat (starvation mode = no weight loss, and constant toxicity doesn’t make for good nutrition/deficit balance, either)

I had validation, and I had a challenge. I also had confirmation of one of the biggest mind-blowers for this fat girl:

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A ONE SIZE FITS ALL DIET PLAN.

I found it impossible to stick to all these different plans because I saw barely any results. If even generally healthy foods such as spinach, asparagus, and bell peppers were keeping me sick, there was no way that Weight Watchers or Paleo was going to be able to help me. I’m not saying this is the truth for everyone, but if you’re more than just “fat;” if you’re fatigued, achy, chained to the bathroom (sorry, keeping it real), itchy, cranky, and always hungry, SOMETHING IS UP.

In my next post I’m going to tackle the “what happened next, and what’s happening now” in my story. Thank you so much for reading all my long-winded posts. I wish health and happiness to all of you!

Thank You

Thank you for all the blog activity the last couple of days – it’s really the first (and probably last) political piece I’ve ever written, and not really the focus of my blog, but I felt strongly about it and I’m glad I wrote it. I hope to be more active on here; my muse comes and goes. Cheers to all!