I’m back into running and it’s feeling so good! 4 out of the 5 days past where spent running (that one was a rest day and I was jonesing to run but knew I had to follow my plan and take the day off – I did however go for a long walk) and I’m loving it. The one thing I’m facing is extreme tightness in my lower back, hamstring and hip. I’ve always had tight hamstrings and calves and running exacerbates that, so I have to stretch them out all the time. But I’m a naturally flexible person and I’ve done a lot of work to preserve and further my back, groin, neck and shoulder flexibility. I’ve never before had the pain in my lower back that I’ve been experiencing the last 3 days. At first I thought I was just tight from running again. But I’m even getting headaches and when I stretch my neck it hurts into my lower back and hip. I did yoga yesterday and I wasn’t able to do plough pose…that pose is usually like childs pose for me. Pain shot through to my eye. I thought maybe my shoes are not good for running outside for me – they’re minimal, a Vibram/Nike fusion called New Balance Minimus Zero Trail. I’ve never had lower back pain from running. Even after stretching I’ve been hurting. So yesterday I ran in different shoes, totally not running shoes though, they were Nike high tops like these. You see, I’m not a real runner (yet?), I’m an amateur trying things out. I’ve never really “trained”, never had a coach. I pretty much just go outside or on a treadmill and run-er, jog if you’re technical. Pretty sure I’m slow as. I’ve never worked on pacing or stride or strategy. Hell, I don’t even bring water or gels. So I’m not really that in the know. I just feel like if barefoot, underfed kids in Kenya can run for fun and be awesome, I can run in any shoes and eat like the privileged American I am and do just fine. But something has been hurting my back and I’m not 19 anymore. I’m really lucky to be 31 and still have a dancing career. I perform with people 10-12 years younger then me and I keep up – but the secret is that I’ve been doing maintenance work on my body since I was 10 years old – conditioning, classes, strength training, massages, careful nutrition. It’s more necessary now then it was then.
Well, it could be the shoes, but I ran in the New Balance shoes again today and then took the time to stretch out my legs, back, calves and hips afterward. I noticed that sickling my right foot caused a stretch from my ankle, to my hip, to my back and if I sickled my foot and tucked my chin to my chest that stretch was painful from my left eye, down my back, hip to right ankle. It’s the broken ankle. Why didn’t I think of that? The physio had told me I’d need to stretch MORE in that are when I started running again. I keep forgetting that I had an injury and so it requires extra attention.
However, all of that said, it feels really good to get back into the running swing, so to speak. I’m addicted to my time jogging outside and also to listening to audiobooks. I used to solely listen to music to run, I felt like I had to be distracted to keep going. But I like the silences and pauses listening to books offers and also the engaging of my thoughts. I’ve already ploughed through 2 books and started a third in just a week. My running has all of a sudden gotten more expensive…
Here’s some of my running views…
The shoes in question. They’re just so light and easy to pack!
Yesterday I finally got a great run in. It’s been a bit harder then I imagined to get back into running fitness after several months off due to my ankle and then transitions from the ship to the holidays in Australia. There’s been really hot days (115 F) and then the fires kept me from running until finally Saturday I went for an amazing hour run and I realised I miss training for a race so I’m looking over a few programs to follow loosely. I followed that up with a body balance class this morning with the MIL and a 30 minute run where I pushed my pace a bit. I’m finding that my favourite thing to do is find out where everyone is meeting and plan to run to them! I’ve done it 3 times since I’ve been here and it rocks! I run, literally, for coffee as usually we’re meeting for coffee. Although yesterday I ran to the gym where MIL workout so we could go see a Traditional Chinese medicine doc together. Then we had coffee
The TCM took my pulse, looked at my tongue and asked me some questions. Then he gave me some pills that are all herbal. We’ll see what they do for me! My MIL got given a tea to drink every morning.
Today however, is one of my favourite days of the week! After my workouts this morning, we had coffee with friends and family at The Jolly miller. Later on we’ll all head into the city for a walk around. My FIL took me to his meditation class last week and we’re doing it again today! Then dinner in the city. I’m spoiled I’m soaking up all the family time I can!
as far as my dilemmas go with nutrition, I’ve made an important decision and one I’ll have to remind myself of often – I’m stepping away from it and focusing on training only. I know fuelling your training is important, but my “diet” has been a huge source of stress and I’m always changing things and chasing that one diet that one time that made me the skinniest. I’ve read Intuitive Eating and I’m rereading it. Every. Day. I want to think of training harder because I don’t think I’ve achieved anything fitness wise over the past few years except to stay basically fit and within the same 8lbs. That’s not very inspiring. and I love running and I need to feel flexible for our upcoming shows.
So, I’m eating – usually what people would call healthy foods-when I’m hungry without judging. And I’m focusing on running. I’ve never gained intensity, I like to keep a comfortable (slow) pace and increase how long I spend running. But it’s time to get faster, push speeds, train hills and repeats and do some fartleks. Perhaps to do a race before I get back on a boat? Abs and yoga and SHORT bodyweight circuits will be thrown in when necessary.
That’s my update. I’m going to go meditate on detaching from outcomes….
The vegan issue for me has been a big one. And i’ve kind of candy coated my waffling back and forth. Being vegan has always felt to me like the best way to live. I like to live gently in all aspects of my life and were I not having continuously worsening health issues, I never would have looked into changing. But I know it’s frustrating for Dan that over the past year and a half I’ve gone back and forth between vegan, raw vegan (very difficult living on a cruise ship for me. I ate waaaaay too much dried fruit), vegetarian and ketogenic. And it’s frustrating for me. I really respect a person who lives by their beliefs and how could I respect myself when beliefs felt uncertain.
After Christmas I ate vegan again for 9 days. Those 9 days found me painfully clutching my stomach, bloated, on the toilet most of the time. But I had more energy for running. I was constantly hungry and conflicted and craving sugar. And then I went back to strict ketogenic and everything disappeared – no stomach pains, no bloating, consistent energy and decreased sugar cravings. Instantly.
Is there a middle ground? How do I justify eating animals?
I’ve been reading a lot of other peoples experiences vegan and non. Here are some that I was surprised to find about very devout vegans developing health problems that forced them away from veganism.
and heaps more articles. There’s just as many on both sides of the spectrum, but since this is the side I’m struggling with I’m reading these first.
Have you seen this TED talk by Lizzie Velasquez? It’s like duh, but also a great reminder on perspective. So this is the focus to have in life. What defines me? Ironically, since I’m referencing this talk by the woman who physically cannot gain weight, if you were to examine the contents of my thoughts and my blog and my activities I define myself by how much I weigh and how big my arms look in pictures. That’s not what I want. Other things define me as well, but really what has defined me to ME has been how fat or thin I feel.
And now that that’s not true… what defines me?
it’s 10 minutes to 6am… Dan and I have been up all night. For. No. Reason. We watched Downton Abbey until 1:30am, then packed up, got in bed, checked our emails and shut it down. We proceeded to toss and turn for over an hour. Then a mosquito was heard quite loudly hovering around our faces. Then I couldn’t even begin to feel sleepy and took my computer into the bathroom. Little did I know Dan was still wide away. 4:45, I came back in to find him sitting up, lights on, computer fired up. LOL!!! I totally have a partner in every way. We’re ridiculous, but I love it!
I’m so inspired today!
After battling whatever this virus/hayfever/bacterial infection is for 3 weeks I finally went to a walk in clinic yesterday, admitted defeat, paid the man and got antibiotics for a sinus infection. I am so against MY taking antibiotics (this is a personal belief not a general for all mankind) or medicine unless its an absolute necessity. Mostly because I’m allergic to many of them and they kill all my good bacteria – and I don’t seem to have much anyway. But I’ve been fighting through a cloud of mucous, unable to breathe or sleep, or function fully. After two doses yesterday I slept through the night and woke up much better.
I went for an amazing 45 minute run to downtown Sunbury, met up with Dan and his Mom and brother for coffee/lunch, bought knitting supplies and got advice from an avid knitter and came home. Then I organised and cleaned our room, balanced my bank account, paid a few bills and now I’m ready to start the next step of our visa paperwork! It’s funny, yesterday I was so fatigued and down and tired of being sick and today I feel amazing, like I really seized the day Happiness!
Now, good thoughts that the visa snafu gets sorted easier then I’m imagining.
I tend to be a really intense person and I feel like I need to be something amazing every day and it seems to drive me to discontent and anxiety more then achievement and success. So, in this new year, I’ve spent some time breathing through anxiety and focusing on the fact that each day is important, each step is important and in taking them and being alive I am succeeding. I am satisfied with today’s steps forward, today’s happiness, todays achievements.
This is the year you get to be exactly who you want to be – the pixie haired, yoga loving, creative, fit, annoyingly happy and kind, witty, girl who never worries about her weight (because she’s naturally the right size) and brightens the room when she walks in. Because the only person in charge of who you are – is you.
That is what I opened my eyes thinking now in this new year. What has held me back in the past from being that person that I think is a better more sparkly, thinner, easier version of me? Just my beliefs I suppose.
So happy new year from your happy, bendy, hippy
When I’m sick I get a lot of things done that don’t get done when I’m well. I may have stayed in bed until 2:30 however I then: washed the dishes, put away my clothes, shaved my legs, addressed letters to my parents, did 3 Italian lessons and wrote out my goals and plans for the new year and revised them, and googled things and revised them again. Oh I also started knitting a baby blanket for my niece. So being sick serves a purpose.
And I made healthy food and thought a lot about my past diets and all the changes and evolutions, what worked and what “didn’t”, when I was happiest with my body. And I decided that I’ll no longer be writing directly about food in the way I have in the past. I’m not going to outline my diet or post pictures of my lunch on instagram. All of this feeds my insecurity about what I eat and how it effects my body. It reinforces my perfectionist, dieting mentality. As for my goals – I want to take the focus off of dieting for the body I “should” have and put it onto more important, or just different things. I’ve explored that, I know what I want to do. I want to eat in a way that I don’t have to think about it 24/7 but I’m healthy, fit, maximising my potential and feeling max energy. As I perused millions of food blogs, again, over the past few days, I realised how much time I spend thinking about FOOD. FOOD FOOD FOOD. It’s one small aspect of life. Yet it feeds my issues, it fills up my boredom, it satisfies my curiosity, it helps me make friends. I spend so much time thinking about food that when I die what will be said about my interests? I spent all my time trying to figure out how to avoid getting fat or eating the wrong way? Ridiculous, I say. No more, I shout! I want to eat when I’m hungry and to have boundaries and beliefs that help me choose what to eat. and I want to have a full life outside those decisions that keep me too busy to worry about it.
That life includes, my relationships (with Dan first, friends, family, coworkers), my passions (dance, arts, literature, ethics, yoga, knitting – I can’t stop thinking of things I’m interested in). And I haven’t really spent as much time researching those things I have FOOD – so my browser history would suggest.
So yes, I want to explore ethical living. I haven’t really given much thought to that and it’s a big subject. I’d like to let health and fitness go for a while, at least in the blogosphere as I try to find what else I am good at. So now, every time I go to google food/diet blogs or recipes, I will be stopping myself and going to google ethical living blogs and pinterest knitting patterns, and find youtube videos of silks and lyra. Because those are facets of my interests that have been neglected in the past that I would like to nurture. I have researched enough health and fitness information to keep my head spinning for a lifetime. Now what.
To get me started I found this – 100 ways to make a difference on this website – earthfirst.net.au I’m going to see how many I can do – I’m limited as I don’t have a house that’s my own, which actually makes some of this easier. I do walk most places because I don’t have a car, so unless I can hitch a ride, I’m walking or waiting to carpool…ect How many can you do? (Italics are my additions and not from the article)
“Follow some of these simple green living tips to help reduce the environmental footprint and live a healthier life.
1. Turn the lights off when not in use (check!)
2. Avoid buying drinks in plastic bottles (ooooh a challenge!)
3. Shop less. One of the easiest ways to reduce your environmental impact is to buy less. Next time you shop think carefully about whether you really need it. (new habit for 2014?)
4. Don’t use disposable coffee cups, get yourself a reusable coffee cup (I’ve got the cup, time to bring it unabashedly everywhere)
5. Use solar power and save on energy bills
6. Buy fruits and veggies that are in season
7. Newspapers are great window cleaners.
8. Vinegar is great for cleaning windows and glass.
9. To clean marks of suede gently rub a very fine sandpaper.
10. Don’t buy bottled wate r(this one will be tough, but no time like the present!)
11. use crayons to repair scratches on marble and Caesar stone benchtops. Match the colour and ub into the area that needs repair until the area is filled.
12. If you’re worried that yoru childrens toys contain lead, you can purchase a lead-testing kit from most painstores.
13. Front loaders use 40 per cent less water by cycling clothes through water at the bottom of the drum. Front loaders also remove more water in the spin cycle which reduces drying time. (bonus, Dan’s family does all line drying!)
14. Dry-cleaning is expensive and damaging to the environment. Many garments sent ot the dry-cleaner can be hand washed. Some clothing manufacturers label their garments ‘dry-clean only’ so they are not liable for damage. (easy, I never dry clean, but I hand wash like a boss)
15. If the steam jets in your iron become clogged, fill the iron with equal parts of white vinegar and water, let it stand for 1hr and empty it out, rinse with clean water and let it steam. (or live like a bachelor like me and wear everything wrinkled
16. Say no to plastic bags and use your own reusable bags (check! most of the time…)
17. Limit your meat intake to twice a week (or less)
18. Grow your own vegetables (not an option right now but a girl can dream…)
19. Buy recycled paper
20. Put a lid on a saucepan to make it boil faster, it saves energy.
21. Some scientists believe that the accumulation of chemicals in our bodies is causing an increase in allergies such as asthma and eczema. Try to use products that are labeled eco friendly or make your own. Bicarbonate soda is versatile and effective with a little elbow grease.
22. Get your bills delivered via email by going online and requesting no paper based bills.(check! fringe benefits of traveling a lot)
23. Donate old clothes to charity or sell them online
24. Walk short distances instead of using the car
25. Avoid using aerosol cans
26. Buy organic meats
27. Try to use eco friendly cleaning products
28. Try to remove as much plastic from your home. Its toxic to your body and the earth.
29. Buy organic hair products
30. Install energy saving light bulbs in your house – It saves energy and money!
32. Did you know that most computers aren’t optimized for energy efficiency? Use the ‘sleep’ and hibernate settings on your computer, or turn them off if you know you wont be using them for a while.
33. Make an effort to buy groceries with the least amount of packaging
34. Eat healthy and make your meals from scratch
35. Reuse some of your empty glass bottles and jars to store leftovers.
36. Use reusable containers for lunches instead of cling wrap or plastic bags
37. Teach kids to care for the world.
38. Hang your clothes outside and try to use the clothes dryer less.
39. Watch the story of stuff by Annie Leonard.
40. Teach kids to save water.
41. Get a worm farm and recycle all your organic waste.
42. Use bio friendly laundry detergents.
43. Get a bore water pump installed.(I don’t know what this is..google!)
44. Next time you buy a car make it a hybrid.
45. Don’t litter.
46. Get a plant for the office.
47. Spend tax rebates wisely, don’t just splurge.
48. Avoid upgrading your mobile phone every time a new comes out.
49. Start a herb garden in your balcony or your backyard.
50. If you have large garden buy some chickens and you’ll have fresh eggs everyday.
51. Switch to gas. It’s the most effective method of heating.
52. Open those blinds and curtains and let in some light
53. Put your food scraps in a compost bin.
54. Save fuel by making sure your tires are inflated properly.
55. Don’t throw away your unwanted goods, have a garage sale or give it to goodwill.
56. Shop at second hand stores once in a while.
57. Install a water tank.
58. Read newspapers online. (does it count if I just don’t read the news…anywhere?)
59. Buy movies and music online – saves packaging, reduces carbon footprint and de-clutters your home.(check check!)
60. Use solar powered lighting in outdoor areas.
61. Get insulation in your house.
62. Open the windows and turn off the air conditioner
63. Don’t set your air con to less than 20 degrees
64. Buy organic products from your local farmers markets. Organic is best for your body and the earth.
65. Take out your mobile phone charger from the wall even if you have turned the power outlet off it is still charging using. unecessary energy but being plugged in
66. Get rid of old energy draining appliances such as second fridge or old microwave
67. Check energy and water ratings prior to purchasing new appliances for your home or office
68. Support eco-friendly organisations
69. Cruise control saves you fuel.
70. Fuel is cheaper during certain days of the week, fill up on those days and save money.
71. Buy double glazing for your home to keep your place cool
72. Turn off and unplug electronics when not in use (it will save you money as well)
73. Shorten your showers and use low-flow showerheads
74. Limit the amount of paper used & print only when you really need to
75. Stop junkmail to your home
76. Don’t throw something if you can give it away or sell it. Have a garage sale or ebay it!
77. Be thrifty and buy used items
78. Use cloth napkins
79. Eucalyptus oil is great for removing sticky labels
80. To neutralize onion and garlic smells use lemon juice.
81. If you add a teaspoon of sugar to a vase of cut flowers they will last longer.
82. Rinse your glass jars and bottles before you recycle
83. Use organic hair products
84. Take public transport when ever possible
85. Try to carpool if possible
86. Keep your car in shape with regular maintenance checks. Your car will run better and be more economical with fuel consumption
87. Walk or ride a bike when you can
88. Make homemade jam & preserves and use your old glass jars
89. Teach your children about caring for the environment
90. Watch who killed the electric car
91. Use rechargeable batteries
92. Install or upgrade to a dual flush toilet
93. Insulate your home; keep heat out in the summer and warmth in during the winter
94. Capture rain water and install a rainwater tank
95. Start reading ebooks and buy less paper books.
96. Participate in Earth hour
97. Say no to plastic bags, and carry your own bag.
98. Buy digital music instead of CD’s. Reduces clutter and saves on manufacturing.
99. Get an energy audit
100. Suggest incorporating carbon neutral status for your workplace or business
101. Get some indoor plants- house plants improve your indoor air quality
102. Only buy BPA Free plastic kitchen containers
103. Use all natural cleaning products
104. Use only natural skincare and makeup products
105. Recycle, reduce and reuse
106. Buy locally
107. Calculate your carbon footprint
108. Know your plastics & understand which are not recyclable.
109. Check your cosmetics for toxic ingredients, there are guides online to help you.
110. Install solar power panels on your roof
111. Use a perpetual calendar and save on having to buy one every year.
112. Be an environmentally conscious gardener and find out what kinds of garden plants are most suitable for the area that you live in. Ask your local garden center.
113. Place windows and doors by buying seals to stop drafts or use snakes against your door
114. Purchase a tap flow to place all the taps in your house/apartment reduce wasting our most valuable resource – water
115. Buy organic food and wine there are loads of websites available online
116. Before turning the heater on in winter, put on some extra clothes and bring out the blankets
117. Join the library for the latest books – saves you buying them only to store them in your cupboard once you have read them
118. Become a vegetarian for a month, start by reading Kathy Freston’s books.
119. If you are not keen to change your lifestyle try skipping meat a few nights a week and notice the difference.
120. Place a plant next to your computer to reduce the toxins you breathe in.
121. Buy biodegradable doggie bags for your pet
122. Recycle your greeting cards and use online cards instead
123. Only boil the amount of water you need in your kettle
124. Give your unwanted books to friends or sell them at a second hand book store
125. Purchase new items as necessary; avoid upgrading your furniture and cars all the time. If you purchase quality from the beginning there is less of need to continually upgrade
126. Purchase glassware instead of plastic home wares as dangerous chemicals exist in certain plastic items
127. Check your labels on the food purchased from supermarkets. Check out Aus only grocery website
128. If some of your furniture is looking worn out give it new look with paint or decoupage or create a mosaic of old chipped dishes on a worn out table.
129. Make your own paper. Don’t throw away paper, collect it and when you have a bucket full make your own paper. Its great for greeting cards.
130. Ask a friendly neighbor for some cuttings and grow them instead of buying from a nursery.
131. Plant seedlings in old egg and milk cartons
132. Grow your own lettuce in a pot
133. Don’t ditch the shirt over a lost button. Remove the button you’re least likely to see and use it as the replacement. Or buy different buttons for a brand new look.
134. Breathe new life into old footwear at the shoe repair shop; replace heels or soles, repair linings or just get them shined up.
135. Patch it (iron-ons are easy!). If it’s no longer suitable for the office, wear it for cleaning, painting or gardening.
136. Host a clothing swap party. Invite all your friends to bring their unwanted clothes and trade!
137. Tear T-shirts into rags for washing windows, waxing the car or paint clean-ups.
138. Repurpose old socks by cutting them into strips and clamping them to a mop handle with a clamp apparatus. (Use wool for dusting, cotton for wet-mopping.)
139. Worn-out knees on your jeans? Make cut-offs.
140.One of the easiest ways to save money is to take your own lunch to work. Left overs are great, just reheat them in the microwave.
141. Cut the sleeves off a team T-shirt, then sew the waist closed for a reusable shopping bag with personality. Make this reusable shopping bag!
142. Put together a kids’ clothing exchange at your church, neighborhood association or scouting troop. Then let the kids show off their wardrobe-swap favorites at a fashion show.
143. Turn the top half of jeans into a durable, retro bag by sewing the leg holes closed and attaching a belt for a shoulder strap. Make this jeans purse!
144. Newspaper is a good deodorizer. Just place a crumpled sheet inside smelly shoes and leave overnight. Can also be placed in smelly plastic containers to remove yucky odours.
145. Avoid frozen dinners and reduce the amount of take away meals you eat
146. If you can’t afford to buy organic fruit and vegetables grow your own or learn which are the fruits and veggies highest in pesticide residue so you can reduce your intake.
1.Peach, 2. apple, 3. bell pepper, 4. celery, 5. Nectarine, 6. Strawberries, 7. Cherries, 8. kale, 9. Lettuce, 10. grapes (imported), 11. Carrot, 12. Pear (find out more here)
147. Use old newspapers to make papier-mâché. Make pigs or masks by blowing up a balloon and covering it with strips of newspaper that has been moistened in a mixture of flour, salt and water.
148. Are the possums nibbling at your veggie patch? Rub vicks vaporub under a few rocks. Possums don’t like camphorated oils.
149. If you are after non-mainstream Australian seeds to plant? visit http://www.diggers.com.au.
150. The best way to remove weeds is by hand. You can burn up to 200 calories in 1hour and you’ll avoid using toxic weed killers.
151. Don’t through away the carcass of last nights roast chicken, put all the left overs in a pot of boiling water and simmer for a couple of hours to make a wholesome chicken stock.
152. Garlic is a great to keep snails, slugs, aphids and flying insects away from your veggies. Simply crush 3 garlic cloves into a 1 litre spray bottle, let it sit overnight and then spray over the plants that need protection!
153. Buy FSC certified products and decrease the trade of exotic wood from endangered forests.
154. Spiders hate lemons. Add lemon oil to your broom bristles and sweep webs away. The lemon oil will keep spiders away for up to 3 months.
155. The next time you make scrambled eggs, blow them out and decorate them. To blow the eggshells, pierce the top and bottom of an egg with a darning needle. Hold the egg firmly and blow slowly through one of the holes. Rinse the egg shells by using the egg like a straw and sucking the water from a bow of clean water and blowing it out again until its all clean. If you have little kids that are likely to break them, you can then fill them up with warm jelly place in the fried to set and get creative!
156. Eggshells are high in calcium and are a great substitute for shell grit. Simply mix with birdseed.
157. Cucumber slices are great for removing dark circles around the eyes. Cucumbers bring blood to the surface of the skin and are good for soothing skin irritations and sunburn and reduce swelling.
158. Form a tree-planting group with family and friends and commit to planting and maintaining these trees together.
159. Coffee grounds keep slugs and snails away from your garden. Simply mix equal parts of sand and ash and sprinkle around the border of your garden.
160. Coffee grounds are a great fertilizer
161. Coffee grounds can be added to your compost.
162. Don’t throw away stale bread, just pop it in a food processor to make breadcrumbs
163. Most vegetable oils can be reused. Just strain into a glass jar and store it away until the next time you need it.
164. To bring splinters to the skins surface, put a 1cm thick poultice of mushed cabbage leaves on the skin cover with plastic film to hold it firmly.
165. Small beetroot leaves can be added to a mixed leaf salad.
166. Take old appliance boxes to your local pre-school or daycare center. They make great cubby houses.
167. You can reuse the biscuit trays to store kids crayons and other craft items.
168. Use your egg cartons to make alligators, monsters, trains, bees or even caterpillars!
169. Make paint pots out of egg cartons.
170. Don’t run the water when brushing your teeth. You will save as much as 11litres every time. Did you know that only 2.5% of the world’s water is drinkable.
171. Give memberships to an environmental organization or seedlings as birthday gifts”.
Do you have any tips for me? Anything you think I should research? there’s so much out there I just don’t know where to start….
Waaaaah, I’m sick! Every time I get sick and it lasts for more then a day I panic trying to remember what it feels like to be well. I find myself asking “it won’t be like this forever right? I’ll get better?” Let this be a reminder at how grateful I am for my health in general.
This ones a bad one and it got me thinking, how on earth is my immune system this low? Yeah, I was stressed the last few weeks of work and my work is active and there was long taxing travel to come back here and my life is, as always, up in the air. BUT I wasn’t any more busy or stressed on the ship then normal people with normal jobs. In fact I’m less stressed (lets be honest, no ones life is at stake if I mess up) and I probably get a lot more down time then the average adult. However, as I was analysing my health I realised something – I danced and worked on an untreated broken ankle for 7 months. I forced my body to heal itself under pressure and stress – more then just walking around on it, we’re talking leaping, turning, running, lifting. And IT DID. After 4 months without time of I had a physio check out my ankle (and other various old injuries – hello rotator cuff) and he said despite the lack of rest, my bone healed itself. my body is amazing. Perhaps it makes sense that after the work was done and our lost bags were found that my immune system collapsed under pressure – cold, fever, bacterial infection. I guess I can give it a few days in bed and douse it in herbal tea.
However I feel like the worst house guest ever. I’ve been a tired mucosy bed-ridden adult for 3 days now. I’m like a dog too, I hide when I’m sick (I assume when I’m dying I’ll do the same), I tuck myself away from people (including Dan) to snot and puke or what have you in privacy. I don’t like other people seeing me sneeze or cleaning up my sick, it bothers me. So I’m also an anti-social house guest at the moment. Fortunately I have like the best in-laws on the planet – kind, compassionate, understanding.
It’s time for this blog (and me) to evolve, continue our evolution. I started blogging in 2005 and in 2010 I took a break and started a new blog (this blog). The old blog is still out there in the internet-o-sphere… I know because when I met Dan he found and read all 5 years of it. At the time my life and my focus was changing and I wanted to write about what was taking up space in my brain. Well, that time has come again. I’m not really fitness obsessed anymore (never thought I’d say that) and while I workout most days a week I find that I’ve been feeling stagnant in the fitness arena. I have nothing of note to say. Same about nutrition. I’m not a nutritionist and I’ve been doing self experiments every few months for the past few years. And finding that those changes change very little about what I thought was wrong. No matter what workouts and “diets” I’ve tried, my body has stayed relatively the same for…ever. That magic diet I thought would transform me into that skinny person I know I’m supposed to be never appeared. I’ve been within the same 10lbs FOR DECADES. and I’ve actually done a lot of extreme things. I’ve worked out really hard, I’ve run the gamut from high raw vegan to ketogenic-existing mostly on burger patties and cheese cubes. I’m a pretty stubborn girl but even I can see that… this is my body and the problem is most likely not my diet or my workouts but…maybe my perception? or my emotions? or my thyroid? or… whatever it is I’m not “easily” and “naturally” 100lbs because I was meant to eat as a vegan or as a carnivore/herbavore/paleo/locavore…et al. or because I started P90X ore stopped lifting weights or took up yoga.
And honestly I’m now in my 30’s and there’s a lot more depth and dynamic (and a little less panic and confusion) to my life now. I still feel like a skinny soul trapped in a stocky body. And I don’t know why but working that out is going to take something other then physical changes. I would really like to step into this next year wrapped in a cloak of increasing wisdom and inner peace. and I don’t even care if that sounds like new-agey crap its what I want. I want to have more patience and find more solace, I want to feel more love, more silence and more complete. I want to be secure. I want to be… more. I want to find what I’m looking for and I want to inhabit my body, not fight agains it.
And the diet – well the ketogenic diet helped me lose 6lbs and is much easier when I travel (which is 365 days a year as I don’t have a home/stay with family/live on a ship). But I hate it. And if it’s just 6 lbs and not the 20 I long to lose or the boundless energy (I thought it was keto flu, but I just never got the energy back) or the resistance to depression, then I’d rather chose how I feel most comfortable eating. So, to the chagrin and eye rolling of my partner I’m vegan (today Dan caught me eating grapes and said “wait, you eat fruit now? I can’t keep up with what you can and can’t eat!” and he’s right, I’ve been a perpetual experiment). I always come back to vegan, but perhaps I need to be wiser this time? It’s health that leads me away – chronic fatigue, IBS, constant hunger, sugar cravings. But I’ve just cut out grains – all grains and I don’t see a reason to start eating them again and perhaps that’s what was causing that (still experimenting).
These past 2 weeks after finishing our contract, being in transit for 3 days (flight delays, cancellations, lost bags), then christmas with Dans family – I’ve been sick. But we all thought it was hay fever, seasonal allergies as Dan suffers from that too. But no medicine helped. I was so tired I could barely pull myself out of bed, I couldn’t run, so I went for long walks, I couldn’t sleep at night, my eyes swelled up and started leaking mucus (delightful, I know)I was staying ketogenic and drinking water and I thought the diet change was all for health and my immune system – but here I felt like death and my head was backed up and I had migraines. This can’t be right. If this was the diet for me I wouldn’t feel this way. I know, people get sick, but it’s how I felt about it. So I started researching my diet again and decided to return to my vegan ways to see what the difference is. Eating animals NEVER sat well with me, it’s against my beliefs and I don’t know how to explain it – I feel spiritually wrong. I have been studying Dr. Fuhrmans Eat to Live since. Last night after a particularly disgustingly mucos-y, fatiguing, eye crusting day my MIL took me to the chemist who immediately told me I didn’t just have hay fever, but also conjunctivitis, a bad cold, and a really run down immune system. Bingo, I have to focus on my immune system. I have to focus on my life and my spirit and my beliefs and my whole beautiful life instead of just trying to be as skinny as possible. I’m 31 and I still just want to feel skinny. But I guess when I say “skinny” what I mean is, at ease in my body. I slap the label “skinny” on the idea of being able to sit in a chair not sucking in my stomach and cross my legs without even thinking of how them. I am constantly hyper aware of my body and it’s inability to fold itself up comfortably. Which if I’m willing to be honest has very little to do with skinny and more to do with my emotions, the way my clothes fit and my joint health.
So, the Chemist gave me eye drops, nose drops, hay fever pills and something I take 3 times a day that I’m not sure what it is plus instructions to take 1,000 mg of vitamin c. I decided to quit fighting my spirit and just eat vegan even if it means I gain my 6 pounds of water weight back. and 2014 is going to be all about love – yeah, hippie bullshit, but my hippie bullshit. I’m going to eat vegan because I love my mind and if I feel better not eating animals so be it. I’m going to do yoga and running because both allow me to think and commit to something long term. Yoga teaches me to be loving and gentle and work with my body instead of forcing it to get results. I’m going to study Italian (I bought myself a Rosetta Stone program for Christmas!!), the beautiful language of my descendants. And I’m going to see myself as already who I want to be, someone who thinks less about the awkwardness of how I feel when I cross my legs or wear jeans and more about how much I want out of my life. I’m going to believe that I’m already beautiful so thats not something on my to do list anymore – I have so many other things on there. And I’m going to write again. There’s so much more I have to offer than what I eat and how I move. I’m not sure what I’ll write about but I’ll write. We’ll see and I’m going to let Dan roll his eyes because lets be honest, it’s been hard to keep up with what diet/exercise program I’ve been on since I seem to change it up every 6 weeks or so.
Here’s to a bright New Year and good memories of the past. Here’s to not knowing what the future brings, but knowing it’ll be good no matter what…