FOMO (food edition)

I’ve started this practice of “morning pages.” I’ve done it three days, so I can’t say that it has been life-changing for me yet, but I’m interesting in seeing what happens with it.

I can already see one benefit of it because I’m sitting down and just facing some of my thoughts. I hate to admit this, but I’m constantly worrying and thinking about my weight and health. It’s completely irrational to be this obsessed and still make bad decisions. I’m at a sort of “war” with myself. I know it is not logical.

Actually, that’s the thing about the morning pages. In the moment we think our negative thoughts or whatever, we don’t really recognize the irrationality of some of our thoughts. But with morning pages, I’m starting to be able to detach from these problems. It’s a process, and I’m still at the beginning, but I have hope.

A few days ago, as I wrote, I realized that one of my most emotional responses to food is based on FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. I want to eat cookies if there are cookies at work because I don’t want to miss out on them. Bread, I just moved to a new state, and there is a really great brand of bread here, I want to eat it because I had to go without it for my entire life. The kids want to make brownies, so I’ll just make some with them because these moments won’t be here forever. And, of course I’ll lick the batter because there isn’t much, and I just want a little bit, I’d hate to see it go to waste, and…you get the idea.

I realize that I don’t want to miss out on the fun, the food, whatever. And by writing the morning pages, I was able to really see how irrational this thought is.

But it’s hard, in the moment to say, “You’re being irrational. Stop it.” It’s hard because of habits. And other things, I’m sure. The day I figured out my FOMO issue, I went to work, and someone brought in some homemade raspberry-jalapeno jam with cream cheese and ritz. At first I thought, “I’ll pass.” But everyone raved about it, and soon I thought, “Gosh, this is homemade. How can I pass this up? It’s just Christmas, and I’d be ungrateful if I don’t even try it.”

And I found myself eating many crackers. Yes, the raspberry jam was good, but the joy of that moment is now long gone, and I still feel the sadness that comes from emotional eating.

So – even though I had recognized the FOMO issue, I haven’t really resolved it. Yesterday, after work, I realized that perhaps I can use FOMO in a way that will help me. Perhaps instead of fearing that I’ll miss out on a treat, I should fear on missing out on healthy years ahead of me, good sleep, being able to reach peak poses in yoga.

So – that’s got to be my thought process, I guess. I want a short, easy process. A sentence. A phrase. A word. Yeah – the word is no. I will say no to these food-opportunities and know that it is liberating me for other life opportunities. But I need to stop thinking. I need to stop overthinking. And my go-to should just be “no.”

Changes Coming Soon

It’s been a while, I know. So an update, I guess.

I’m still dealing with some of the same struggles, but I still have many of the same goals. I’m not going to give up on them.

One of the main things that I’ll be starting is Morning Pages. I’m feeling drawn to this idea – mostly because most of what I struggle with – in regards to my health – is in my head. That’s where the battle is.

You can find out about Morning Pages here. I think that will also help me from making this blog into junk. Hopefully it can be something helpful to someone else – so many times I’ve been helped by others’ blogs.

That’s all for now.

30 Day No Sugar Challenge

I’m an avid listener of the Fat Burning Man Podcast, and I just listened to an episode where Abel James interviewed this dude Barry Friedman

It was a good episode for so many reasons. However, this particular podcast struck a real chord with me.

I’m a spiritual person. This physical journey toward better health isn’t only physical. It’s also spiritual. I believe that the two cannot be separated.

As I listened to the podcast, the Spirit whispered to my soul. I needed to do this, too. I need to give up sugar for 30 days. Then, I can see how I feel after that.

Actually, in my heart, I know that I need to give it up way longer than that. But, because of my personality, I’m going to say, I’ll do it for 30 days, then I have open options. (See more about this here).

So this is good. I’ve been thinking of a way for my health and life goals to fall into place, and I firmly believe that this particular interview was the universe’s answer (God’s answer) to my question.

***SOOOOO***

Day 1 of no sugar

My emotion about it – mostly mourning. Not excitement. I know that some people are all excited about it. Not me. I’ve quit sugar before (not long term, but like 2 weeks). And it was rough. But I need to quit all processed sugar no 80/20 stuff here.

Basically, the only sugar I’ll eat is fruit. Or other natural occurring sugar. The key is – unprocessed sugar!!!

Yeah. It will be hard. But I will do it. I need to do it.

And I was successful today. No sugar. 1 down, 29 to go.

Blah and a Book Review of Better than Before

Probably not a great title to a blog post. Especially a blog post on a blog that is supposed to be about health. But I need to be honest.

I haven’t written here in a month. Things haven’t been going great. Stalled mostly.

I mean, I’m still doing good things. I went on a long walk the other day – 14 miles with about 3500 ft elevation gain. It was beautiful and spontaneous, actually.

But I’ve been waffling with my diets. Not with actual waffles, but I might as well be.

Anyway – I read Better than Before, by Gretchen Rubin. I have mixed feelings about the book.

I’ve read several books about habits. I’m fairly intrigued with the concept of habits and how we form them. I’ve read the Power of Habit among other books on habits. I heard about Gretchen Rubin’s new book on habit several months ago (maybe a year ago?), but never got around to checking it out.

I hate to say it, but I had already read The Happiness Project, and while I liked some of the concepts in it, I can’t say that I was really stoked about everything she said. So, I figured that I didn’t really care about reading this new book.

But then I was at the Library, and I saw it, and well – when it’s free, why not? I checked out the book, without much commitment to actually reading it. I figure that I’d check it out.

And. I kind of liked it.

I wasn’t really obsessed with all of the personal stories. That’s just me, though. Despite some of the stories, I felt that there was some value in the book. I read through the four tendencies. In some ways, I resisted labeling myself because I hate labels, and I kind of refuse to believe that I am one of them. But as I continued to read the book, I became more intrigued on which tendency I fell into. Perhaps then I’d be able to apply the other strategies to my own life in the right way.

So, I read through the tendencies again, and I couldn’t really decide which one I was – I’m a mom, so I believe that every mom is an “obliger” to an extent. I’m a Mormon, a practicing Mormon, so it seems like I’d be an “upholder” in some way. “Questioner” also stood out to me because I ask a lot of questions. I also felt kinship to “rebel” as I hate being told what to do and have made many decisions precisely because I’m either supposed to or not supposed to do something.

I found the four tendencies quiz on Rubin’s website, and found that I was “Rebel.” I didn’t really want to accept this label, so in my mind, I just thought “whatever.” I was feeling nice and relaxed on the couch, and I wanted to keep sitting there, so I kept reading.

As I proceeded, I remembered that these labels aren’t actual labels, but are tendencies. So it just means maybe a way that I might tend to act. It isn’t an end-all assessment of who I am.

With a more open mind, I embraced my “rebel” tendency and continued to read the book with this lens. As I mentioned before, I could have done without many of the anecdotes and personal stories. I don’t mind Rubin, but it was also getting a little much for my taste. However, I can see how this book would be helpful for people, so I don’t want to be too difficult on it.

I’ve been thinking about my “tendency.” I’ve been thinking about the other traits (abstainer/moderation, sprinter/marathon). This book didn’t give me much scientific insight on habits, but this book did help me to find a new way to apply the strategies of habit formation.

For me, because of my personality, it is all about identity. This makes a TON of sense. I’m not going to get into that now because it is too personal and annoying and stuff. But it makes sense to me. So I’m going to experiment with this as I continue on with my goals to have better health.

***

Oh – one little illustration. For weeks, I have wanted to walk from my town to a nearby town. There is a mountain between the two towns. There is a road and a pass you can take. For months, because of weather, this road has been closed.

When the road opened, I drove the road with my family. It was amazing and beautiful, and immediately I knew I wanted to walk this same road. It would be a long walk, but beautiful and worthwhile. I love big projects.

So, I announced that I was going to walk it – either the coming Saturday or some following Saturday (depending on the weather).

Once I announced it, I started to feel uneasy. I don’t particularly like being committed to things, but whatever. I looked at the week forecast, and it was rainy. Phew. I had an out.

Of course, on Saturday, the weather was great. But by then, I had talked myself out of it. I figured I wouldn’t go. But I knew I wanted to go on a walk. And I knew I wanted to walk this road to the next town, and I’d do it sometime. Just not this day.

Even though I didn’t want to do the walk, I wanted to walk longer than normal. Saturday is my day to get away from homeschool and all of my other obligations – if just for a few hours. I didn’t eat breakfast, I don’t usually before my walks or runs. I did take some water. And I started my walk.

I felt like maybe I’d like the option of choosing to walk to the neighboring town, so I started walking the road that leads to it. Without a commitment either way.

And I walked. I walked up the mountain quite a way, and I figured I’d make it up to a trail head that is part of the way up on the way to the pass.

When I made it there, I realized I had been walking long enough that I might as well walk to the pass, but I didn’t need to keep walking after that if I wasn’t feeling up to it.

I made it to the pass. The walk had been so steep (starting at 5600 ft and ending at 9000 feet – it was hard at times), that when I made it to the pass, I could see two valleys – one on either side of the mountain. It was such a special moment. Such a rush. I figured I might as well finish my walk.

And I did. I accomplished what I wanted to do. It clicked to me. I am who I am and I can do what I want. I don’t need to pin myself down. I don’t need to make elaborate schedules (unless I really want to). I can just think about my goals, who I am, and then let them happen.

I know that some of my goals will require more work. But I feel like I might have a tool that will help me in an effective way.

ok. blah. end.

Hives!!!! An Update

So – since starting this primal experiment, my skin has been flaring up. I’m sure that I’ve already written about this. It is so frustrating. I feel like the better my diet gets, the worse my skin gets.

I was feeling frustrated about it a week ago on Saturday. Then I decided I would do Yoga – and I wouldn’t let my skin get me down. I was still kind of out of it, I can tell because I fell out of headstand (the wrong way), and then did this…

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Knee vs Wall

It really made me upset for a second. I’m renting this house! Yikes!!! But I was doing yoga, and I felt like I needed to breathe through this minor frustration. Thankfully I didn’t hurt myself – I didn’t need to stop and attend to anything in the moment.

After breathing for a few seconds, I decided I’d finish up my practice. It was actually a good one, so that’s great. Then I got up with renewed zeal for my health goals and hope for my skin.

Sunday. Same old stuff. Itchiness. Yuck.

Monday. Major MAJOR flare up. My hands were an itchy, blistery mess. I had hives all up and down my arms, neck, chest, belly, and now – my scalp! Yes, apparently you can get hives on your scalp. It’s kind of gross, really.

Tuesday it still wasn’t calming down much.

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Itchy
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Ouch
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Grr

I feel like the pictures can’t adequately show how annoying this is. Additionally, these are only my hands. I have hives all over my body.

So – Monday, I was so incredibly annoyed. What on earth was going on?! On Tuesday, I figured screw it! and I didn’t eat very healthy. The hives were starting to get better. (the pictures above, I actually took on Tuesday).

I can’t believe that eating crappy for me is better than eating healthy. Obviously there is something happening here, and I think that I finally figured out that nuts are making me nuts.

On Sunday, I made this coconut chicken, as I mentioned earlier, and it had peanut butter in it. In the past, nuts haven’t really bothered me – as far as I knew. Monday morning, my skin was horrible!

I also made the connection that any time I get strict with my diet (paleo/primal) I tend to eat more nuts. Usually, I stick to almonds, cashews, mac nuts. I love them. And when I’m eating healthy, I’ll have more of them in my diet.

This explains why my skin gets worse when I’m eating healthy. When I give up the health, I tend not to eat many nuts.

So – I’ve been really bland this week. No nuts. Nothing that would make my skin worse, and it is really clearing up. I feel more hopeful again, and happy about eating Paleo without having such horrible skin. Fingers crossed this is my problem, and from here on out, I’ll have success with a clean-eating lifestyle AND better skin.

One of My Favorite Podcasts

I love listening to podcasts. I listen to them while I walk and while I sew. One of my favorite podcasts is The Model Health Show – hosted by Shawn Stevenson and Jade Harrell.

Today, I listened to an interview all about energy, healing, and meditation. Shawn Stevenson hosted Tristan Truscott- a dude who practices martial arts and Qigong (you can find the episode here.

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Saw this little dude looking at me today.

Anyway – this episode resonated with me. I still am having major problems with eczema. I’m not sure what else I can do. I’ve tried so much. I don’t eat any of the aggravating foods, but it still feels aggravated. In fact, when I’m not trying to eat well, when I’m not conscientious, my skin gets better!

I have a feeling it is because I’m not stressing about it. Every once in a while, I figure, “forget it! – nothing I’m doing is working anyways, so why not eat hoagies and cookies.

But I’m not happy with that because I know that the hoagies and cookies are adding to my problem. Sure some of the acute signs go away, but I don’t think that they are healing my skin. I think that I’m just not stressing so much.

So – right now, I’m really doing well with eating and with exercise, and I feel really happy about that. Meanwhile, my skin is just exploding. I figure I need to keep addressing stress. In case you’re wondering – yes, I’ve seen a dermatologist. I’ve seen three doctors. None of them have addressed stress or diet. They just put me on prednisone. I also got a prescription for a very strong steroid-cream (Clobetasol). It kills my skin. It’s a band-aid. It gets better for a day, then I stop, and it all comes back with a vengeance.

I’ve stopped eating nightshades, eggs, and nuts. I gave up dairy for a while, and when I added it back in, I didn’t notice it giving me much of a problem. I don’t eat much dairy, but I do eat it from time to time. I’ve noticed, though, that nuts and nightshades absolutely make my skin crazy. I’m experimenting with eggs still.

This whole thing has been going on for over two years now, and I may be going a bit insane.

Today’s podcast really resonated with me. I need to focus on my energy and meditation. That’s really all that I have left to do. I have been doing yoga for some time now. I love it. I’ve also been meditating, but I’m going to try to really focus on medical meditation and perhaps check out qigong.

Crossing my fingers

***
Have you tried Qigong? Has meditation helped any of your medical problems? How did you learn to heal yourself this way?

For fun?…for the Brain

One of the Primal Blueprint laws is to Have fun. I feel like I’m a fun-loving person. I love to laugh. But as I’ve grown older, as the time has passed, I find that I’m doing fewer “fun” things. I’m a mother of four. My life is busy. I homeschool. I don’t have much “free time” and when I do, I want to do something that seems productive.

Thankfully, another primal law is to Use Your Mind. I really like this primal law. I feel like this one comes easiest to me. I like to read. I like to think. I like to write. Yeah. I’m not saying that I’m sitting around solving formulas or coming up with theorems. But I really do like it use my brain.

In fact, sometimes this makes another primal law – play really difficult for me.

Today, I thought that I’d play by sewing…here’s what I’m working on.

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Fun? Brain? Not sure…But I know it’s pretty. 🙂

One of the things I like to do in my spare time is quilt. I’m currently working on a quilt that will be black, and it will have white text that reads, “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” I’m super excited about it.

I love quilting because it is something I can do during the day with the kids around, I love working with fabric, I can make something useful, and I can listen to podcasts as I quilt. At first, I thought, “for fun today, I’ll quilt.”

After a few minutes, I realized that this may be more brainwork than fun. So – it’s good for me to do because it is using my brain. However, I really need to figure out a way to incorporate more fun into my life. I’m thinking dance parties? Swinging? Not sure yet. Maybe just lying on the ground with the kids watching the clouds.

I think that having more fun in my life is a really good idea. I have a real skin problem these days. It is driving me nuts. I have eczema all over my body, and I hate it. I’ve had it treated a few times in the last two years (with Prednisone). That always works for a while, then the skin issue comes back again.

Of course my diet will help, but I think that stress is a big part of this problem, too. Sleep is a crucial part of de-stressing, but maybe play will also help with stress. What do you do to play??? How do you make sure not to have play accidentally cross over into some kind of work?