And they lived happily ever after.

Thats where the blog ends folks. Or so I was deeply contemplating. I mean, after the termination of my job just before the wedding my footing was shaken. Deeply shaken. I wondered, no I vocalized to my now husband that I had made a mistake in leaving my old job, you know that job the one that sent my healthy lifestyle backward.
I was jumping, spreading my wings trying to follow through on the goal that I had set for myself with my 2014 word of the year. Do you remember that word? Honor… It’s been ringing through my mind the last week or so since it is time to either set a goal, make a resolution or pick a new word for the year.
Looking back at 2014 did I do enough to deem my year a “success” and who would be the final judge of that. I left the job where I was not being challenged in a way that was positive. The job I was in on January 1, 2014 was one that was not a positive one for me in many ways. It was slowly killing me, mentally, physically, emotionally. I jumped, and didn’t land in a place that was the right fit unfortunately. Did that mean that I wasn’t honoring myself or was I still honoring myself because I continued to fight to find something new, instead of jut going back to what I knew? Was I tempted to return to my old ways? Yes, mildly and for the wrong reasons.
I pushed forward in 2014, searching for a job where I would be part of something bigger, where there would be value placed on my suggestions. I found a job with a company where I am happy, and I feel that I will be able to make a career for myself. A company with values that match mine and a mission and vision that I can support.
In 2014 I of course got married, Robb and I fortified our now 10 years together surrounded by friends and family. We weren’t very traditional about it. We brought together our families, because it was important to them to be there, and our chosen family because it was important for us to have them here. Laughter was what I wanted most from our day, and bacon… both of which were plentiful that September morning.

So why the though of leaving the blog behind? I have kind of lost my voice during the last year. I have been so focused on trying to honor myself, I have felt that I didn’t need to share as much. That said, January 3, 2015 would have been the 3rd anniversary of my taking the job that I think was the biggest backward step in my healthy journey. I need to go back to square one as I can feel my health, what is left of it slipping away from me.

In November I got another medical diagnosis, PCOS. Not surprised, it was always lurking in the background, likely made worse by the rapid weight loss that happened before. So I need to start meal planning, exercise, water all of it. It all needs to start again and if I become obsessive I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

So in the trend of New Years Posts… and being undecided about how much I will blog 2015’s word of the year is not a word, but a phrase. Make choices based in intention not from habit.

Happy 2015 friends!

Beating the House

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Have you watched House of Cards? House of Cards isn’t about playing cards or anything like that. It’s political drama. I was sucked into the first season, riveted by the first episode of the second season… But it’s sitting unfinished on Netflix… Someday I may go back to it. So what does this have to do with beating the house, or better yet a healthy living blog? Well the quote above resonated with me in recent weeks.
If you don’t like how something is change it. If you don’t like the way you feel, do something about it. If you want to be healthy and lose weight, stop hitting the drive thru and ordering the large cheese fries with extra everything. If what you are doing isn’t working, try something else.
It is scary to turn your life on it’s head. I can’t even put into words how scared I was to change jobs. To give up something safe, something I knew and was I’ll say it was phenomenal at, to try something I might fail at is scary. There are almost no guarantees in life (we are guaranteed death and that’s about it right)
I have turned my life on it’s head in the last 19 days. I am now in a new job, with new hours. I am working out three days a week again. I am eating whole foods, unprocessed, real foods. I am still getting my 7-9 hours of sleep a night based on how my body feels. I have returned to trivia.
My word for 2014 was honor. As we are approaching the four month mark of this year, 1/3 of the way through the year I am examining how I am doing at honoring myself. I would ask you all to weigh in on this, but honestly we all know that isn’t the point. Do I think I am truly honoring myself? Hell yes! Was I honoring myself in January as I tried my best, kind of. In February as I struggled but made it to the gym occasionally, maybe. What was March about… In March I beat the house. I took the table, flipped it over, spun it around and made life my bitch as it were.
I am finding my footing, with both feet right now and I couldn’t be happier about it. The people that see me continue to see the change in me. People that don’t see me ask how I am enjoying my new job and I tell them my life is like night and day. Truly I feel so blessed by the opportunities that have been presented to me.
So I keep pressing on, feeling better each day. Looking forward to seeing just what I can do next to amaze myself keeping in the back of my mins that honor word and the goals that I have set for myself.

Four letter F word…

    FEAR

    Never let your fear decide your fate.

    So picture this… It’s dark outside, my eyes are fuzzy… the bed is warm and there are TONS of things to watch on Netflix now that I have my Roku and DVD player hooked up from Christmas. Maybe I’ll just stay in bed a little longer. … My mind drifts to the fact that I posted to instagram that I was going to the gym this weekend. The earlier I go, the sooner I am done. The later I go the more crowded the gym will be, the less likely I am to find a parking spot, the more likely I am to just pull in circle the lot and then head to the movie theater and hide out in the dark all morning.

    I didn’t plan very well, I had to replace my lock the last time I went to the gym, I bought a cheap $2.00 one at the drug store, and I don’t know what the combination is for it… so no lock… I also cannot find one of my gym shoes. Here in Minnesota the land of 10,000 lakes, and 100,000 puddles this weekend (thanks to the polar vortex moving away!!) I find it best to just have 2 sets of shoes, one for the gym and one for everything else. Some gyms require that you have a set of shoes for the machines. (the salt/gravel/etc is bad for them, anyway). I couldn’t find my shoe, and I figured the hell with it I am staying in bed.

    Robb was seeing my frustration and helped me find my missing shoe, he had been getting ready to sleep as I was stomping around looking for my stuff. Why didn’t I pack the night before? Well I was out late, honoring my friendships with quality bonding time with some very dear ladies. So I made the trek off to the gym…

    I parked… the lot was full-ish, not nearly as full as I have seen it, the upper lot had plenty of open spaces, and I found one that looked to be as safe as anything else. I try to find spots that allow me to have good footing and a relatively clear path from ice/snow the ehlers-danlos makes my joints all wibbly-wobbly and the last thing I need is to fall. I sat in the car for a minute or two, seemed like forever. I grabbed my bad and walked toward the door of the gym.

    As I crossed the lot… there was the 4-letter word. I neared the door and the panic set in… What if I couldn’t work out as long as I wanted to? What if people were judging me based on how fast I was walking? What if I couldn’t do it? I knew I was not going to be anywhere near in the shape I had been. There are a hundred reasons why I haven’t been to the gym, my mind went to the levaquin and snapping tendon fears came flooding in. What if its been so long my membership isn’t valid anymore?

    I shook my head and shifted my thoughts into a better place, I remembered that this is about honoring myself, being honest with myself. I grabbed the door pushed my way through it, they scanned my card said welcome back and that was it, I was in the gym. I started on the treadmill, walked a while, not as long as I wanted to. I felt the pain in my foot from the PF that plagues me, as soon as I felt it I remembered why I stopped working out in the gym. I finished up my segment and decided I was not quitting. I wanted to leave with a positive feeling. I made my way to the recumbent elliptical, which may be my favorite piece of gym equipment that I have tried so far. I saw there is a new lateral running type machine I want to try but I need to get my stamina back first. Sadly one of the things EDSers deal with is the even more rapid regression of muscle tone. I pushed through about 2 miles in somewhere around 11 minutes and then I was done and I was okay with that. I had spent the time that I was on the machines thinking about my fear, thinking about why I was afraid and that in the end it is all controllable.

    This morning I got up, later than usual, but before the “get up or else” alarm and trudged off to the gym with my New Years present padded bike shorts. I have some serious pain sitting on the bike, but its good for my hip, it helps rebuild the range of motion that I lost from the 3 surgeries I had, and it has to be good for my knee too from the lateral and medial meniscal tears. Its a non-impact activity, something I need more of. I knocked out 25 minutes on the bike before changing gears, or rather machines for a 30 min cooldown. I didn’t want to go to the gym this morning, my abs hurt! A reminder that there are muscles under there, clearly from the elliptical, keeping my core engaged properly, go me!

    I fueled my body after my workout with an apple, a black Americano and 2 hardboiled eggs. I really wanted to go out for breakfast but the no dairy and no gluten thing makes it really hard to just grab something somewhere. I used to hit Panera Bread for an after workout breakfast, (Their hidden menu is awesome! and I believe it has been unhidden finally). I headed to Lunds (a local grocery store) that has Driscoll’s Strawberries 2/$5.50 right now and blueberries on sale too. I picked up a few Opal Apples which are super hard to find, but I really like them some zucchini and I got a few other bits and bobs there too. Next I headed to Target and grabbed some other things, chicken breasts, lean ground beef, frozen veggies, it was a productive quick trip, shopping the outer isles makes it so much faster.

    The afternoon has been a lot of meal prep, and stretching. My body, I believe, thinks that it is being punished right now. It is sore all over, super achy. I am dealing with it, I have the electric blanket turned on, and the fan blowing on me to cool me off. I am reminding myself that the choices I am making are to honor my body. It isn’t being tortured, or punished, As I stretch, and roll my body I speak gently to myself that the pain is temporary, that it is a gift, a reward for finally being healthy and strong enough to fact the challenge that this day brings.

    Each day brings a new set of circumstances that we cannot control, we can push through them with the skills and tolls we each have. We can work to adapt and try and teach ourselves and bodies to keep fighting, but I’ve learned I must do so gently. I am trying to live more from my heart these days. Being honest with myself about my feelings, my intuition. It all starts from inside. So dear body, thank you for letting me push you, bending but not breaking. I will continue to nourish you in the way you have told me you need. We do need to co-exist afterall. Mind and body. We just cant the that f-word be running us both ragged.

    Honor

    So the end of 2013 left me with a lot of things on my mind. I was being pushed by a few people about my beliefs regarding my gluten free and dairy free lifestyle choice, and testing to see if these were in-fact actual issues for me. The truth is, I am not going to pursue the expense of medical testing for these things. There has been enough evidence about wheat/gluten being linked to fibromyalgia and I have felt a significant enough change in my body since giving it up that I KNOW i have an intolerance to it.

    As far as the dairy issues… I miss cheese, and yogurt, and cheese. Did I mention cheese? I have been sick since giving up dairy, however I got better much faster than I usually do. I don’t have any basis for my observation on this other than without things like yogurt, cheese, ice cream, milk, butter and other dairy products I got better quicker. There are some substitutes out there that have proven to be helpful for me in the transition. Things like Amy’s frozen meals that are Gluten Free and Dairy free for the nights and lunches that I just can’t find time to make… (they have a gluten free dairy free Mac & cheese that is just awesome that is made with Daiya Cheese), Daiya cheese which melts and stretches, I’ve not eaten it straight but the cheddar shreds are great on chili, and I had a bit of the Provolone style slices on a turkey sandwich, it isn’t the same but nothing will be. Their frozen pizza is nice as well. Of course there are about 100 kinds of milk substitutes out there, currently I have light silk vanilla soy-milk and unsweetened almond/coconut blend in my fridge.

    So challenge me if you will, I am not going to be re-adding them back into my diet to “see how they make me feel” I had a few bites of something that had some wheat flour in it on accident about a week ago, and I just didn’t feel well after it. I have actual food allergies to walnuts, scratchy throat etc that gets worse with each exposure, I’m not out there adding them in seeing how I do… I have intolerances to alcohol, it makes me uncomfortable to drink. I get red-faced and covered in rashes that itch and burn after I drink pretty much any alcohol. I am not out imbibing, it is very rare that I drink any alcohol because it is a visceral reaction, and it is genetic. I may choose to have something containing wheat or dairy on a special occasion, like say I am on vacation, or something is truly so good that I want to try it but that will be my decision. I will continue to bring my own food to holiday gatherings, I appreciate people trying to accommodate my dietary needs, but it is easier in my mind to just take care of myself. I don’t like to inconvenience others, whether it actually is or isn’t I need to have control over by body and what I am putting into it.

    This brings me to 2014… the year without a resolution. Well not exactly. I guess I am jumping on the trendy bandwagon this year and giving up an actual resolution. Not that I really do resolutions, the trend among my friends this year is to choose a word or theme for your year. As soon as I heard of this, it took about two seconds to decide that my word was going to be honor. A word so powerful so transient so befitting what I want.

    Honor

    Honor: (noun): high respect; esteem. a privilege. (verb): regard with great respect. fulfill (an obligation) or keep (an agreement)

    I will Honor myself in the choices that I make
    I will be making choices that Honor my body
    I will be Honoring my mind as I seek to live more through my heart and less through my mind
    I will Honor my true spirit by following my passions for creativity and youthful exuberance.
    I will Honor my family and friends with the decisions that I make, honor their values, honor their wishes however I will work to continue to honor my needs first.
    I will Honor the place that I was in my life, and the place that I am now, and realize that everything is temporary, including setbacks.
    I will Honor those around me with acts of kindness and compassion because the world needs more understanding.

    It will not be easy, but I think it is important for me to be looking each day for how I am honoring myself. Choosing to stick to my guns about no gluten and no dairy is one way I am honoring myself. Choosing not to go out in the cold this weekend, while keeping me from the gym is not honoring my body choosing water over more coffee is. Walking in place as I watch Netflix is also honoring myself more than just sitting on the bed. It is all a matter of perspective I suppose.

    Do you have a resolution for the year? Have you heard about picking a word for the year? Have you picked a word? Pick one! Tell me what it is, or how you plan to apply it to your life I would love to hear about it, either in a comment or link me to your blog!