The Health and Wellness Journey — Updated

I started the health and wellness journey full throttle in April 2014. Last week my doctor said “go forth in the world” and I don’t need to see him anymore, unless I want to that is, probably for an extra fee but that’s okay. I’m ready to fly.

What I’ve learned is that if I eat a small bag of sweet potato chips I will eat the entire bag. If I eat a bigger bag of sweet potato chips, I will eat all of it also. If I eat a humongous bag of sweet potato chips, I will get around to eating the entire bag in a day or two. Therefore, I have to buy a small bag (and only one bag because if I buy three small bags, I’ll eat them all) and only occasionally.

I’ve also learned that if I eat something with sugar I will want more…and more…and more. I learned this when I bought some allergen friendly semi-sweet chocolate chips and devoured the entire bag in 2 days. I drifted toward the bag for a “few” sun up until bedtime. So I decided that I can only buy them as a treat, maybe once a month.

I learned that anything but my own homemade barbecue sauce made with my ingredients (more like a rub than a sauce) may give me stomach distress. Even the gluten free ones act on me and because there are so many ingredients that go into a sauce, who knows what ingredient is the offender. It is better for me to not eat anything that is highly likely to offend.

I have finally learned that I would rather drink a cup of herbal tea than a cup of coffee most of the time. It has taken me since April of last year to reach that conclusion. Back in April I thought that nothing would ever take the place of my morning joe. I was wrong. Coffee without milk is not as much of a treat for me. I found one local coffee shop that makes a very good decaf that I enjoy drinking. Most of the others are hit and miss. For example, back in November I was at a very good restaurant and the coffee tasted terrible to me so I ordered a green tea instead. A year ago that would have never happened.

I’ve learned that I can live without bread and pasta. That’s saying a lot from the woman that ate pasta 3-5 times a week and who baked bread on a regular basis. I do miss handling bread dough however and I’m still contemplating a pottery class so I can at least knead something like you do dough.

I’ve learned that I’m much more at ease with the changes to my diet than everyone else around me. “What do you eat?” is a common question, as if meats, poultry, fish, vegetables and fruit are not enough.

I’ve learned that I don’t want to eat something because it tastes good but will cause me stomach distress at 2 in the morning. I don’t see the point in it.

Most importantly, I’ve learned that I have great willpower. Beyond a shadow of a doubt this was one of the hardest endeavors I have ever tackled. Some days it is easier than others. One of the hardest days I’ve had was when I was manning the bar at a party (to keep the teens away) and a full plate of delicious looking cookies was right there, daring me to take just one bite. All I had to do was remember that I don’t want stomach distress at 2 in the morning and I kept from digging in. Knowing that I have a high probability of getting ill from that nibble keeps me straight. Honestly, sometimes I don’t know how drug addicts stay clean. It takes such force of will some days. Yet I want this so badly that I stay the straight and narrow.

So far I’ve lost 40 pounds. Do I get enough to eat? I definitely eat well. I’ve reconnected with healthy, simple cooking. I’ve had to give up a few of my go-to spices (although perhaps I can try them again at some juncture) but I found allspice and it goes into my now famous (in my own mind its famous) baked chicken wing rub — best chicken wings ever if I say so myself. I make wonderful pork ribs using apple sauce and I’ve learned how to cook without using tomato sauce in everything. I never realized how much tomato sauce and diced tomatoes I used every week.

I have more energy most of the time, although this cold weather is making that statement harder to say. I’m stronger and at the gym and yoga I am progressing better, probably because I’m not dragging around the weight of a small child (that 40 pounds).

I’m looking forward to the next 6 months of this journey and I’m expanding into mental and spiritual wellness now.

Onward!

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up

So let me begin by saying that I just had a 54th birthday so this isn’t a post by some tween mulling over how to get out of her parents’ house as soon as possible and becoming a rock star.

Myself, I wanted to be a drummer. I never learned to play drums however so that dream was a complete bust.

Nonetheless, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Oh, I’m a total adult. I take responsibility for myself. I think I’m a good friend, daughter, sister, cat mom. I am good at what I do and I take good care of my clients. I like what I do. I earn a decent living. I live a good life.

Yet, there’s still that niggling feeling that I am not living the life I should be living. Problem is I have no frigging idea what that life should look like.

I’ve tried energy healing (which I highly recommend), meditation, yoga, massage, tarot cards (okay, that was years ago and I threw it in there for fun)….

I don’t have the answers obviously but I KNOW that I was meant to do something else with whatever time I have left on this Earth.

I read somewhere that if you really feel this way you should give up what you have and plow headlong into the abyss and just “go for it” and the Universe will meet you.

 

My problem is that I have been totally unable to focus on what it is I want to do. I always wanted to write. So I did. I wrote a few nonfiction books. I earn a few shekels on a textbook I wrote but it’s certainly not enough to live on, because I also know that I have no desire to struggle financially anymore. I’ve been down that path more than once and I’m done with that. Bought that t-shirt. Wore it out. Threw it away.

My days are sometimes such a blur of activity I don’t always feel like I have the space to breathe. I went to Florida about a week and a half ago to visit my mom, my BFF and to see my “adopted” grandma who turned 99 years old. Four and a half whirlwind days of visiting and eating and napping (!!) (and a few hours of the beach — my happy place). I came back to a full schedule between Wednesday and Friday and by Wednesday afternoon I was frazzled and by Saturday, felt like I had not even been away. I’ve been back for exactly 7 days and I’m exhausted. With this level of activity I don’t feel like doing much of anything in the downtime but be a vegetable and watch some TV and maybe read. I don’t feel very creative at that point.

I’m so very done with this way of living.

But that brings me back to what the HELL do I want to do with my life $1 million question.

I Think Best While Washing My Hair

I’ve said it best that I have my best thoughts while I’m in the shower. I write beautiful blog posts, paragraphs for books, even poems. None of them ever make it to paper or computer screen because as soon as I push the shower curtain back. Pfft. The thoughts are gone.

I’ve thought about dictation with a water resistant device but that would mean having to transcribe what I said. God knows I have all the time in the world to do that 🙂

So left to my own devices, I just do the best I can. Bear with me okay?