Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Trying the Macros Approach

I have blogged a little bit here and there about fitness, food, and wellness. These are topics that come into play every day in my personal life. I'm not someone who dabbles into interests. I throw myself into all that I do often with a strong vigor that most don't understand. I am usually totally dedicated to a cause, or not interested. So, while I can certainly say that I know a lot about the topics of fitness and health, I cannot say that I am an expert. I have, however spent a great deal of time researching what many experts say about exercise, food, diets, eating, and overall health. Separating the woo from the science is not easy. I do strive to maintain a very high level of skepticism when gathering information.

With the holidays being over and practically my whole family's birthday season ending I noticed about a week or two ago that I put on a couple of pounds. Not many, but still.... I wanted to work on getting them back off again. I already work out regularly. There wasn't much to be changed, or done with my routine. I already know what works there, and I am already on top of things. All that was left is my diet. I hated to think about it. I hate dieting. I hate being hungry. I hate counting, and worrying. It also triggers my eating disorder thoughts, and I don't need that.

I needed a healthy balance.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year from Level 39 :)

Today was the first day of 2018. I don't really get into the whole 'new year, new me' type of thing, but I do like to take some time in late December and the first days of January every year to reflect on my life. With my always [over]thinking brain my life, and it's direction,  purpose, and meaning is probably something I reflect on about every other day, if I were to be honest. Heh. I probably never fully stop thinking about it. There is just something more appealing, more magical about the concept of evaluating one's place in life at this time of year. Possibly because others are partaking, and it's a good time to share with each other our visions of future goals, and past aches.

As I sit in my quiet, dim lit living room sipping sleepytime tea as the clock approaches midnight I struggle to come up with concrete words to define what I would like to do in this upcoming year. I think the irony hits me that at an age where I am feeling more and more content with me, my physical body is beginning to flail, and gray hair is now the norm, if I dared to skip the dye for more than a few weeks. My youth is quickly fading into the distance, but I have never felt more alive. I don't mean this in the way of not having struggles, or that I began meditating, and now inner peace has beget me. Not at all. It's deeper than that. It's not a skill, or a place. It's more of a state of being that I've acquired, like a level in a game. Ha. It sounds pretty cool to say that I'm level 39, and have collected wisdom points. But, I have, and not everyone will be the same on level 39, but that is where I am.

I don't know what's different. I can't find any one thing to tease out of this tangle of inner concepts of feelings, and well being to definitely say, "This is what changed." I just know that I feel as if no matter what happens I'll be okay. even if I'm not okay, I will be okay again. As a matter of fact, I can bet that there are gonna be times in life that are so hard, that are so arduous that I won't be okay, I won't feel okay, but I will exit out on the other side, eventually. The only for sure thing in life is that there will be challenges, and smooth times, and mostly in between times, but the difference between now and earlier is that I felt like I might not be able to handle them. I didn't enjoy much of the good times, because my anxiety was always preparing me for a bad one, as if a person can ever be prepared for life's extreme challenges, anyway. It doesn't matter how hard we try, or how much we think we can, we can never truly prepare for situations like loss, and catastrophe. Losing people we love, and life shattering events, and even facing our own mortality are pieces of life that we try to predict with worry to give ourselves the illusion of control, but in the end we have none. We try to make sense of the patterns through the chaos of life, because we fear the fragility of it all. One thread might unravel everything. While that's true, I know that I can face it. I can fall into turmoil, and come back out again. I know this because I've done it again and again. Nothing is permanent, least of all not an adaptable human such as we all can be.

This whole different way of filling out my own skin has opened me up to accept more positive experiences. I don't fret with worry as much anymore. I don't find myself as dragged dow

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas for the Black Sheep

A couple days before Thanksgiving I began to wonder about the people that didn't have anywhere to go for dinner. The homeless, the family-less, the ones who couldn't afford to attend dinner with family far away. Even more so I was reminded of my own estrangement from my family. I was all too familiar with the feelings of isolation that holidays can bring for some of us. Even though I do have a wonderful husband, and 3 great kids to spend holidays with I still feel a tinge of sadness to know that it will be just us together celebrating without any other family, even though I do have parents, and a sibling that is alive in the same state.

It's been about 9 or 10 years now that I haven't celebrated any holidays, or birthdays with my side of the family. As time passed it turned from what used to be a festering, painful wound down to what now feels to be a dull ache. There's something about being nominated the black sheep, the unwanted, and wrong by your own parents that causes a deep down sense of self-doubt. It whispers from so far deep inside your psyche that the toxic voice gets indistinguishable from your own. They eventually turn into one in the same. You don't know why, but you feel out of place everywhere. You question your sanity, and worth as a person in everyday small ways that don't seem like criticism. It's just the way you perceive yourself, and your life. Every year this voice becomes closer to the surface, as your defenses fall, until one day you second guess it. "Wait," you say to yourself. "Do I think that? Is that my view about myself, or is that the way I was taught to see myself?" The hurt ego falls away to allow you to begin to get to know the you without all the pain in the way. Our fears get in the way of this process, but dealing with them is just part of the process. Being the scapegoat of the family often lends us a feeling of threat being around every corner. It can truly feel this way when you're a child in this type of environment. What kept us going, and surviving as children hinders us as adults. I know that I learned to identify anything out of place, or threatening in my environment as a way to protect myself. Problem is, is that this way of coping turned me into a negative radar. Always anxious, always preparing for the worst. My defense was my demise.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Resting with Chronic Illness

Today I ran a thousand miles through the heavy autumn air with leaves crunching underfoot as my breath grew deep, and my legs weary.

Well, maybe not a thousand.

Maybe I didn't run, either. But, it felt like it. Let me explain....

As I mentioned before, I have chronic migraines (among a few other illnesses) and yesterday I was struck down with a pretty severe one. Today it seemed to let up some, but the after affect lingered. My body was beyond exhausted. My head was foggy, and not communicating well with my brain. In general my body ached, and moaned reminiscent of the flu, or maybe a horrid hangover.

I felt the fog lifting, and the heaviness begin to ease about 2 hours ago. I'm sure that this isn't what feeling all the way well feels like, but in comparison I feel as if I could climb a mountain at 9:30 PM. I wish I could say this is unusual, but it isn't. My brain seems to come alive in the afternoon, and by evening energy levels soar. My pain is usually by far less in the later part of the day. I want to live by the moonlight, but unfortunately the world is on another schedule.

I wonder what people think when they think about the daily lives of people with chronic illnesses. Do they imagine a frail person taking pills, and laying on the couch all day? Do they think about all the rest we all must be getting? Do they imagine us with energy reserves that we can tap into as the need arises? Much like a bank account, or a camel. Do people suppose that when we stay home for a day that we can feel refreshed later?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Catching Up

Hello everyone! This is going to be one of those catch up, update, rambling type of posts. I think some people like to read these, and some some don't. I just feel that it's been awhile, not only since I posted, but since I posted any kind of personal entry that wasn't a recipe, or how to informational type of content,so I was overdue for a real chat with you all.

So, why have I gone MIA on this blog? A lot of reasons, really. It's not a complicated story, just tedious, and boring. You know, life stuff. My husband has been really ill with a gastronomy issue that has yet to be identified by doctors. It's been ongoing for about 8 months now. That has been difficult to contend with as I adjust to doing more where he can't. I also still have chronic migraines and more. My oldest was married in late September, so that also took a lot of time, and energy. We decided to get a kitten, then two days later found a litter in our carport. Hahahaha. Some were in poor health, and required extra care. I am glad to say they are all doing great now, and ornery as ever. Almost completely potty trained, too! They are too adorable, and I blow up every social media site I am on with their pictures!



Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fried and Spanish Rice Recipe

I make stir-fry, and Mexican food at least once a week. Rice is a big part of my family's meals, so I have had a lot of practice on how to make it well, and cheaply. I have tried several ways to make it, and the following recipe is the best, by far.

Now, I have to admit, right off the bat, that these are not authentic recipes. I am not claiming they are native to the Spanish, or Asian cuisine. I just like the way this technique comes out, so it's what I use, and I figured maybe a few of you might be able to use it, too.

The basic recipe is: 

-1 1/2 Cup rice
-3 Cups Liquid/broth
- Oil for sauteing

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Depth of My Introversion

Here this last couple of weeks my household has been nonstop busy. From more than one of us being at the ER, to gas lines being broken in our backyard, to planning for my daughter's wedding coming this Saturday, then some. There's always a time sensitive situation brewing just under the surface of my every day.

For an extremely introverted, autistic person such as myself this is a bittersweet recipe for disaster.

On one hand, it's fun to do things with loved ones, like attend festivals, and getting together for dinners. Weddings are lovely events designed to celebrate the union of those we love. These are the things that make memories, and bind us together as we share in fun times together.

On the other hand, these events always have a falling out with me, unless they are extremely spaced out from each other. With every social interaction, and extra errand I leave me house to complete I feel a little bit more of my energy drain away. It's the times in my life that I love to hate.

I don't know what to call it, maybe shutdown? Not quite a meltdown, I don't think, but a couple days ago after I woke up preparing for yet another day of errands, and social activities in the evening my brain just spilled over. The overwhelm left me stuck in neutral on the outside as I felt myself sink on the inside into a sea of anxiety, and urgency to escape myself. Every noise was deafening, and I gulped for air as I searched for a bubble of silence. At first I rebelled against these feelings. I began to question my own mind. What happened? The immediate answer was nothing. I just felt assaulted by overwhelm causing my environment to feel as if it was attacking me. Thankfully, my husband asked if I needed to rest, and I accepted his offer. I rescinded into my dark bedroom with a tiny bedside lamp, and cocoon of weighted blankets, doing nothing for a bit until I fell into a small nap.

Ahhhh... Recovery.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Back to School Anxieties and Solutions

By now, almost all public schools have gotten the first day of fall classes out of the way. Many, like ours, have been in session for almost two weeks now. New routines can be hard for some people, especially autistics. I think it's safe to say that most people in general struggle with back to school time, because of the complete turnaround of scheduling, and daily tasks.

One thing that I've noticed is most kids in general have a certain level of anxiety, and apprehension the first few weeks of school, even "typical" kids. Everything is new. New teachers, new classroom, new schedules. Not to mention that many have transitioned into totally different environments, like from grade school to middle school, or even middle school to high school. They wonder if their friends will be in their classes, how their new teachers will be, and how this year is going to go for them. Some have to learn how to switch classes for the first time, or use a locker. (Those locks are anxiety producing for some of us!)

If your child has had a less than stellar experience so far, or their attitude has been not great, then it may be overwhelm caused by the new routine. Keep the lines of communication open between you, and them by asking them how they like school so far in specific ways. Ask what their favorite part of the day was, and what was their lest favorite, Ask who their locker is by, and how they feel about their teacher. If they're really seeming to have a hard time it might not be a bad idea to let their teacher(s) know. That way the teacher can keep an eye out for things your child might need assistance with, or even just throw some encouraging smiles, and conversation their way to reassure the child that they're a positive influence for them. Some kids are too shy to reach out first.

If you have a child whose needs are exceptional you may want to write an introductory letter to their teachers like this. It is helpful for the teacher(s) to get to know some of the basic needs your child has, and how to meet them, beyond the IEP.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Interview with Dr. Bri PT on #Women's Pelvic #Health


This past Sunday I had the pleasure of chatting with the owner of one of YouTube's biggest up and coming women's fitness channels, Dr. Brianne Grogan PT, DPT from FemFusion Fitness. 

I had a great time chatting with her. It was a new experience for me to be the interviewer, and not the interviewee. The subject of pelvic health isn't one that I typically discuss on my blog, but it is a topic of great importance to me. I find that this subject is often not addressed, and women (and sometimes men!) are left to suffer without the knowledge they need to relieve chronic pain, and lead healthier lives.

I do hope that you take the time to watch the entire video. It is worth the time, I promise!




Helpful Links:
Sign Up For Pelvic Self Help Quizzes 
Ab Camp 
Start Here if You're New to the Femfusion Channel 
Pelvic Pain/Tension Relief 

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Terrible [early] Teens? Eeeek!

Parents, listen up. I have a confession of sorts to tell you. It's like a little secret that isn't widely discussed much, but maybe it should be. Kids between the ages of 12-15 are generally butts. There. I said it.

Now, let me back it up, and explain it. When my first child was around 13 and in middle school I was talking to another mom about her behavior. This mom had 3 kids all older than mine. She told me that no one likes their child while they're in middle school, but after that awkward growth spurt those same little jerks turn into great people. She talked of how her, and her daughter were best friends now, but she couldn't stand her during that time. At the time, I thought that was a harsh thing to say. Now that my last one is about to turn 14, I can tell you, it's so true. Autism, or not, verbal or not, it makes no difference. The hormones get to them all, and change them into moody messes that want to do everything on their own, but also want to jump in bed with you still when there's a thunderstorm. They don't know HOW to feel. Their hormones are out of control, and they feel that way, too. It reminds me a lot of the terrible twos. It will likely wear you out, and use more patience than you knew you even had. You'll get through it, though. I promise that one day they'll return back to a nicer, calmer, more mature kid. Most of all, know that it's not anything that you did. They all act up around this time, It's developmentally normal. It's not about a failure on your part to guide them correctly. I know I certainly felt that way the first time around, and a little the second time, too. This time, I KNOW it's not personal.