Saturday, January 28, 2012

My name is Nicole and I'm an addict

I have been trying to eliminate wheat from my diet.  In addition to the other things I have already eliminated.  I feel fantastic when there's no wheat or other "nasty for me" things in what I eat.  I included "nasty for me", because really, not everyone will have problems with wheat, dairy, sugar.  We are all different.

Anyway....I am truly an addict.  When things are going well in life, I'm fine.  Able to leave it alone, no problem.  When the inevitable bumps in the road occur--major bender.  It is very much like alcoholism or drug addiction.  I crave it.  I sneak it when I think no one is looking.  I hide treats so Rick and the kids don't know I'm eating the very things that make me ill.  I go into places like Starbucks and gaze longingly at the display of baked goods, thinking I can handle it.  Then I think to myself, just one won't hurt.  I can have just one.  And of course I can't, and end up binging and feeling like absolute shite because of it.  Both physically and psychologically.  It makes me feel guilt and sadness, and the way I did when my children were young and I was very heavy.

What saddens me most?  I have passed this addiction on to my children.  I see them struggle with addictions to foods and unfortunately other things as well.  They deal with anxiety exactly the way that I do.  And it makes me want to cry.  What a legacy to pass on to children.  And what do I do when I'm upset by the choices my kids make?  Eat wheat and dairy and sugar.  Perpetuating the vicious cycle. 

I think we are all very affected by the lack of sunshine and warmth in our lives, this gloomy part of the year.  Even though we spent some time enjoying it over the Christmas holidays, its positive effects weren't longlasting enough.  Of course since we returned to the great white north, it has been nothing but a whirl of report card writing, exams, work and lots of gloomy, gloomy rainy, foggy and overcast days.  Enough to undo any amount of good Florida and the Bahamas did for us.

On the positive side!  Yoga with Sarah every Friday evening is fantastic.  I dragged myself there last night, feeling like shite, wanting very badly to crawl into bed instead.  And left feeling great.  1 & 1/2 hours of vinyasa practice was exactly what I needed.  All of the twists we did last night are working their magic and I can feel the toxins draining out of my organs (that might be a slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean!).  My outlook is sunnier, and I slept very well.  I feel well rested this morning, something that has been elusive over the past week.

My ilopsoas is feeling MUCH better.  I've been babying it, not pushing anything too hard and it's paying off.  I've started running again, and although I'm not nearly where I was, I will be again soon in a few weeks of healthy, injury-free runs.  SWEET!  I've started looking at races for the spring and summer, and deciding what ones I can do.  I'm looking at a 10k in May.  It's a bit ambitious, but doable.  It's not about my speed, it's about finishing the race.  Rick is going to begin training for a 1/2 marathon, he wants to do one in the spring and again in August or September.  The late summer one is sponsored by Honda, where he works.  I might *gulp* enter that one.  I don't know if I can run the whole thing, but I can at least run 10 and 1 intervals and walk the rest if I can't run anymore.  That is between you and me (lol).  I don't want to get too excited by it, just in case.

Even though it's been a tough week on the parenting front, I do have so much for which to be grateful.  A loyal dog who knows just when I need a cuddle and a hand lick.  A kitty that doesn't want to cuddle, but sleeps all night on my feet.  Another kitty that graces me with her beautiful presence just when I need it.  A fruitful career, that is exhausting and frustrating and wonderful all at the same time.  Friends who accept me for who I am, craziness and all.  A loving husband.  A wonderful sister who is always ready to lend a shoulder to cry on and a voice of reason.  Children who try my patience and cause me endless worry, but whom also make my life.  A beautiful house (it's a messy disaster, but underneath the mess it's pretty darned nice).  And so, so, so much more. 

So even though I'm an addict, I have it pretty darned good.  Now I've used darned twice (three times!) in a blog post.  It's time to quit while I'm ahead.

Have a wonderful day, even if it is a gloomy, January day. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

yoga and a run?! Bliss....

Vinyasa yoga last night and a (albeit) short run this morning?  Bliss is the word.  Running has been on the backburner, still trying to heal that darned ilipsoas thingy up.  But Sarah is having a session in O'ville on Friday evenings, which works well for me.  I felt so great this a.m. that I thought I'd go for a treadmill run too.  And it was a bit painful, but not where I thought it would be.  It will get better.  Back at it baby!

After run breakfast?  A smoothie made from:  3/4c mixed frozen berries, 2 Tbsp (heaping) ground flax, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, 1/2c soy yogurt, 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder mixed in water, splash of almond milk, 2 big handfuls of baby spinach and about 1 & 1/2 Tbsp of coconut oil.  Blender.  Yummy.  I've been reading about coconut oil helping with blood sugar stabilizing and weight loss, coupled with my need to ingest healthy fats so I thought I'd try.  I also want to get more greens into my diet.  Smoothie is a fantastic way to get both.

Trying very hard to practice gratitude every day.  It's an uphill battle some days.  But I'm getting there.

Amazing how much better one feels when eating well, eliminating allergenic and inflammatory foods and taking all of the supplements recommended by the ND.  And having a much needed B12 + immune shot.  And a massage.  Makes for a pretty good week!  No wheat is proving to be fairly easy, when eating well  I'm not a big wheat eater anyway.  Biggest plus?  Absolutely no dairy.  Constant throat clearing is going away.  Mucous be gone!

Setting a new intention for the upcoming week.  Instead of vague "move every day" resolution, setting clock for 5 o'clock and getting up and moving.  Running, yoga, weights, Jillian Michaels dvd, it doesn't really matter, as long as I'm moving.  I will feel the better for it.  Even if 5 comes too soon some mornings.  Truthfully, I'm awake anyway by about 4:30, enough dreaming (obsessing?!) about the day.  Jumpstart the day!

Another plus?  Sarah is offering a drop-in, pay what you can vinyasa class at a cafe in O'ville on Tuesday evenings.  I can go the weeks hubs is on days and I'm not on b-ball duty with Shim.  2 days of yoga class a week?  Divine!

The real upside of all of this positivity?  My too snug pants and tops will once again fit comfortably.  How do I keep getting myself into this mess?  Not moving.  Not eating well.  I'm done with that.  For reals.

Weekend blessings!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's amazing!

I amazed at how much better I feel after only a couple of days of avoiding dairy like it was poison.  Probably because it is poison for my body!?  Silly humans, eating the things that make them sick.  I have officially given up dairy and wheat.  Dairy again and wheat....well because I have a feeling I will feel great after it's ill effects clear my body.  Remember "Wheat Belly"?  I finally made the committment and I'm glad I did.

On another amazing note, the worst thing about going back to school?  Not being able to go to the washroom when needed.  Having to wait until nutrition break.  Because leaving 21 9 year old boys and 5 9 year old girls alone for 5 minutes to relieve a very full bladder is like turning your back on the tide.  Ill-advised.  My bladder will acclimate, it always does.  But yesterday was painful by times.

I have decided that my gratitude journal officially must take the form of something other than sticky notes on my desk and crammed in my purse.  My indecision of how to keep said journal has led to sticky note gratitude chaos.  A decision will be made.  Later today.  :)  I'm leaning toward notebook with perhaps weekly blog gratitude updates.

Massage this evening.  Can't wait!   I need to get the kinks worked out as I embark on report card writing.  So I can put them back in again.  But the temporary relief will be wonderful.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Joy Dare

My apologies for the whinyness of yesterday's post.  But I guess no one had to read it if they didn't wish.  Anyhow...I think I've figured it out.  I totally set myself up with my ridiculous goals and deadlines.  My constant quest for perfection.  Who am I kidding?!  I will never perfect.  I need to live in the moment and quit wishing and worrying my life away.

As some of you may already know, I'm a Christian.  Albeit a not very good one, if I were to be lined up with other Christians and compared.  I'm thankful that on this Earth, in this lifetime, that's not going to happen.  At least not by anyone who has any real say ;)  This morning whilst reading some of the blogs I enjoy (and sometimes add to the discontent, but that's another tale for another day), I came across this:
I don't always read this blog, because frankly, I don't feel like I measure up and why make myself feel worse?  But in the spirit of resolutions, good habits to cultivate and well if I'm honest, the mention of a giveaway, I read it today.  And I'm glad I did.  For those who don't want to check out the link, it's about keeping a gratitude journal and reaping the benefits of such an endeavour.  It happens to be a Christian blog, but by no means do you have to be a Christian to benefit from a gratitude journal. 

As those who know me also know, I'm open to the spiritual beliefs and practices of others, and would in no way exclude my Pagan, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon or atheist friends (or any other spiritual belief system I've omitted).  My Christian beliefs are solid, but I totally respect the beliefs of others.  And that's why I didn't go to church for many, many years.  I couldn't find one that was 1. open enough, 2. casual enough, 3. forgiving enough of my foibles.  I'm not very much into evangelizing.  If respectfully asked about my Christian beliefs, I will share, but I will not be drawn into debate.  Or criticize the beliefs of others.  Period.  In my opinion the condecension (I know that's misspelled, but can't for the life of me figure it out and am way to lazy to find the correct spelling this morning, sorry) and tunnel vision of any faith is what turns others away, not to mention the smugness and self-satisfied smirks of those who feel their work is done and because of their faith they are safe and everyone else is doomed.

Okay, that was a MAJOR digression, my apologies....

I have decided to take the challenge.  1000 gratitudes for the year.  Honestly it would be amazing to win the camera, but even more amazing to finally shake the discontent for good.  It has become clear to me that it's not going to happen on my own, and it's time to do something about it.  It's overdue.  I need help to see all of the wonderful things that I have for which to be grateful, and a journal that I can look back upon may just be the solution.  I haven't decided--handwritten journal, or a shiny new blog for a more public sharing.  Or both?!  Both have their attractions. 

On another shaking the discontent note, I realize that my creative side has been sorely neglected, and that is likely another area that I need to work on for true happiness.  Like everything else in my life, I have tried to tackle this mountain by reading all about it, researching, sythesizing, evaluating and not spending enough time  doing.  I need to create.  It's a part of who I am.  I can't knit much (remember the tragedy of the knitting injury to my shoulder?), although I like the product of sewing I'm not sure I have the patience, I love photography but am horrible at it, I'm thinking of painting (furniture not canvases).  When my kids were but mere chicklets, I spent many a happy hour painting and decorating.  Nothing can't be fixed with some good primer and a coat of paint in a happy colour.  So I'm going to work on a few projects.  At least that's the plan.  And I may just start with a diningroom table that needs to be spruced up.  Rick will likely be shuddering if he reads this.  And I might do a little knitting.  And possibly some sewing.  We'll see.  Most importantly, I need to keep this need of mine in focus and not forget about it in my quest to always be climbing to better things.

Another need--to spend time with good friends.  In that vein I'm meeting my friend Carolyn for lunch.  We haven't seen each other in a couple of years, and it's long overdue.  I can't wait.  So I better get my butt in gear and go shower and leave the computer behind for the time being.

Who will join me in a year of 1000 gratitudes?  I'd love to share and enjoy each other's journals.  I'd love to share the joy that is your life.  1000 gratitudes from a diverse community of beliefs and lives?  That sounds like something for which to be truly grateful.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My season of discontent....

It's back.  I'm sure some of you will shake your heads at my constant whining about the feelings of discontent.  I don't know what it is, but every year after Christmas and New Year's I get these unshakeable feelings of incredible discontent.  Maybe I'm just crazy.  Maybe it's my need to overachieve.  Maybe it's a reaction to the sloth of having nothing that has to be done right this minute, and the slowness of days following the month of insanity leading up to Christmas.  It seems like whenever I have any down time (summer, March break, Christmas break) I experience these feelings.  Whatever it is, I wish it would evaporate into a cloud of bright pink mist and blow away.

I've spent the morning investigating gyms to join.  It seems that the time that I'm most content is when I have a gym membership (at a gym I like) and spend spare time working out instead of sitting at home obsessing over every little thing.  I don't do so well with all of this time at home (clearly if I follow the pattern back through my life, this has been since I was a child).  Of course if I just hauled my sorry butt off of the chair and went for a run, I'd likely feel better.  Or maybe I just am enjoying the feeling and the tendency toward whinyness.

It's odd how these restless feelings lead to complete inertia.  I'm not sure I could get anything much done even if I wanted to.  I am self-aware enough that I realize that I need to do some of this sitting around, so that I'm fueled up for the whirlwind of my life once school starts again.  *sigh*

I have spent a fair amount of time chuckling at the antics of the crew on Big Bang Theory this week.  I am amused and at the same time dismayed at what I'm watching.  Sometimes Sheldon is just a little too familiar for comfort.  It doesn't help to have 3 children roaring with laughter and shrieking "OMG mom, it's you!".  Ha, ha guys.  I'm not that OCD and I don't have Aspberger's.  Well, I don't think I'm that OCD, maybe it's all in perception.  But whatever it is, it's been fun watching it and laughing with my kids.  We don't engage in enough of that fun kind of behaviour.

Yesterday was a housecleaning day.  How on Earth does a house get so grubby when everyone has been away for 8 days?  Maybe something to do with not having enough time to clean it properly before leaving?!  However, the main floor is now fairly clean, and next I'm tackling my bedroom.  *gulp*  The mostly neglected room, filled with tons of stuff I don't know what else to do with but don't want cluttering up the rest of the house.  I did begin organizing the mountain of books and magazines that constantly grace the floor beside my bed.  Next--walk in closet.  Which is actually a misnomer, because of all the junk on the floor of it, no one could possibly walk in.  However, that will be amended later today.  Honest.  I will overcome the inertia.

How do you cope with the days following the holidays?  Does anyone feel the way that I do?  See, this is why I prefer to have time BEFORE Christmas, instead of after for school holidays!

Time to collect my kid from his basketball practice.  I'm wondering if the teacher who planned it is yet regreting spending a day of vacation with a bunch of teenagers.  I snicker (mean, I know) at his silliness.

I sincerely hope every one of you is having a wonderful day, filled with joy and no feelings of discontent. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hello 2012!

2012 is here!  We have safely returned home from our Christmas/20th anniversary/first family vacation in the south ever, and the Canadian weather today is making me pine a little bit for the sunny Bahamas.  We got home just before the storm started last night, after driving all day from Baltimore.  The irony of it is that after driving safely for 12 hours, I can't drive 1/2 an hour this morning to my parents to get my very much missed doggy.  I can't wait to see my Chase the Wonderdog!

With the onset of a new year, comes the inevitable desire to make some resolutions.  And I'm going to keep it simple.  Eat healthily and move every day.  That's it.  A week of sloth after a month of eating whatever I wanted and I am ready to reaffirm my committment to good health.  My jeans are too tight and I am suffering from muffin-top.  Not to mention a constant need to clear my throat from eating dairy.  It's over.  Onward and upward!

Before the holiday I read the book "Wheat Belly".  Wow.  Talk about some frightening information.  And I can see myself totally.  And some of my family members.  I am appalled at what hybridization and genetic modification have done to a once reliable and economic food source.  So, I'm going to give it a try.  Cutting out wheat (even though I'm not officially sensitive to it according to blood tests), I'm curious what positive health effects I will see.  Some I can predict, some I'm not so sure about.  I do know that my ND has recommended cutting out milled grains before, so I'm actually going to go with it.  Will it be easy?  NO!  But hopefully after a few miserable detox days I should feel better. 

After a twinging iliopsoas again right before the trip, a week of relatively rest has made it feel better.  Running and yoga will recommence.  Glorious!

Wishing everyone a wonderful, prosperous and healthy New Year!  May all of your dreams and resolutions come true.