Posted on Leave a comment

Day Four of the Self Care Challenge

I didn’t post about the one yesterday because it was to “unplug”

Of course, as a writer, I can’t fully unplug for a full day but I did for a little bit. My three year old led me on an adventure- across some rocks (pillows) and up and down a mountain (the stairs). It was a fun adventure.

 

Today’s challenge is to write out what you feel. In a way, I did that with my last post about the quarter life “crisis” I have been going through for several years now. Anything else I write out will be on paper and totally private.

This challenge is going smoother than the other challenges I have attempted to complete in the past. They’re quick, easy and I can easily fit them into my day to day life.

Posted on Leave a comment

Day 3 of the self care challenge- listen to your favorite podcast

I don’t really have a favorite, so I looked around and ended up connecting to iHeartradio to listen to one. I picked one on Pinterest marketing for blogs and small businesses.

Not necessarily my favorite, but I’m getting decent with using Twitter and Twitter and Pinterest were my two goals for this year.

Posted on Leave a comment

Day 2 of the Self Care Challenge

The second day involves walking (take a walk)

I’ll be having to walk around in my house due to not having a place at the moment to walk.

Day 1 (yesterday) was take time to read a bit and I selected an old favorite- The Looking Glass Wars.

Ever since reading about Alyss Heart in this series, I’ve become a HUGE Alice in Wonderland fan (the live action movies helped quite a bit)

I’ve read this one book like 2-3 times at least, but it never gets old and I’m wanting to start finding time to read more anyways.

Posted on Leave a comment

I’m doing a challenge this month

From a woman I met on Twitter, Thoughts with N from over on Blogspot.

She came up with the “Self Care Challenge” which includes different little things to do for yourself throughout the month.

Today’s is to read, which goes perfect with one personal goal I have to read a little bit more than I have been.

 

Posted on 1 Comment

This coming June I’m taking my first ever paid vacation from work

Since I’ll have a full week off, I have decided that the month of June I am going to try to do one post a day and come up with either 1 post or one article to submit to a magazine or blog every day through June.

Coming up with ideas shouldn’t be too difficult.

I have 11 more days in this month and I’ll be brainstorming topics (privately) and I’ll try to come up with 30 varied posts.

Posted on 1 Comment

I haven’t fully quit smoking yet but today I have only smoked 6 so far.

My quit date (for myself and not to deal with the smoking ban) is next month.

To take my mind off cigarettes, I

Swept upstairs and the stairs

Vacuumed and shampooed all carpet

Cleaned the litter box (due to allergies, I typically leave it to my husband)

Cleaned the stove and burners

Cleaned my coffee pot

Made roll dough for pepperoni rolls soon

Bought and planted a couple flowers with the kids

Made a much more detailed dinner than I usually do

Now, I’m resting and wiped out but it did keep cigarettes off my mind and I didnt even crave. All those chores are nothing, but I usually dont do that much in one day. I figure if I can cut back enough, I should have no issues going cold Turkey.

I am working on compiling a list of things to do instead-

Sew something

Loom knit something

A few minutes of meditation

Deep breathing

Play in the kitchen

Clean something

Organize something

Write a blog entry or work on one of my short stories

What else could I add?

Posted on Leave a comment

How do you find your true passion?

From the time I was 7 until I was 18, I wanted to be a professional vocalist. I didn’t even care about the genre- I wanted to sing. I have been classicly trained. I have also taken dance and I’m trained in acting. After I hit 18 (and started smoking), I realized I just wasn’t being realistic. I knew back then I needed to get an education in something practical, but what seems practical also seems like something that would burn me out quickly.

When I was a young child I was told I started singing before I even spoke. My whole world revolved around music and basketball. I always had my Walkman in, was in chorus in elementary school and even took vocal classes. I also tried “strings” (violin) but was told I had musical dyslexia (I read the music backwards). I also didn’t get along with my instructor very well. I tried out for all school plays and won one of the lead roles in fourth grade. Unfortunately, I had to share the role with another student and she got the solo I wanted, but I got a duet so I did get to sing. I did all talent shows I had a chance to do and was always singing for family and classmates. I also played the drums in the school band in sixth grade but gave that up as well. I still loved doing it, just wasn’t a fan of the other people in the group. My senior year of high school, I went on stage at the talent show and forgot the words. I literally walked off stage (they thought I was doing a comedy thing and had no idea it was actually the most humiliating moment of my life). After that, I started having problems performing. I would blank when I saw the crowd and quit even singing around other people. At the end of my senior year, my classmates voted me “best entertainer” and “most likely to be a teen idol.” I was also pretty well known, even though I didn’t have many friends.

For a good part of my life, I also wanted to work in the fashion industry. I wanted to model but stopped growing and was only 5’5” but was also too fat to be able to get into it. I read a lot of fashion magazines and dreamt about writing for them- I thought being a writer for Vogue would be a dream. I was interested in design but my cousin went into interior design and couldn’t find a job. I thought fashion design seemed like fun as well but can’t draw. I always had in the back of my mind how much I love writing and was constantly praised on it. In high school, I wrote for the paper and everyone who knew me would search out my articles. More than a few said they expected to see my name as one of the writers in the paper. I also wrote for the literary magazine in high school and the newspaper in college. I loved being involved in those publications but I knew, realistically, someone like me would be a longshot and likely fail so I gave those dreams up before I let them play out in my head. One of my favorite pass times as a child (and teen/adult) was walking around on Sundays and walking in open houses. I collected house papers and wanted to work as a real estate agent.

I was given a Little Tykes basketball hoop when I was three years old. It moved up to a normal hoop in our driveway as I got older. I played daily at home and would play at church with the middle, high school and college age guys. I hated if they gave me an easy time because I was a younger female. Luckily for me, most didn’t. I got to the point I would shoot one hundred shots a day- and I’d count the number I made so I could figure my accuracy (I got up to a 95-99% accuracy by high school) but I never played at school. I did play for the YMCA for several seasons, I also played soccer, baseball, tee-ball and I dd try out for the tennis team in middle school. I had exercise induced asthma that wasn’t caught, so my teachers always thought I was lazy when I’d quit running laps. For years, I wanted to be the “first woman in the NBA.” When I learned about the WNBA, I watched a bit but slowly lost interest. I never liked playing with other women, it didn’t challenge me as well as I wanted it to and I was afraid of hurting someone. By middle school, when I started meeting women I wasn’t afraid of hurting, I had lost interest in playing on a school team even though a lot of the other parents at my mom and dad’s church thought I’d be capable of getting a scholarship to college.

In high school, I took theater and was in the theater program the whole time they had it (unfortunately, it was during my senior year when they started). Once again, I absolutely loved going to the rehearsals, practicing and then performing. I didn’t have a lead role but I really acted out the scenes I did have. Back in high school, I did everything I could to make people laugh- even if it was at me and not with me.

When I was in high school, we had to choose majors. I chose business, although I wanted to choose writing. While I was studying the business classes, I loved the idea of working for yourself. I even enjoyed my accounting courses. I got the chance to go to a free enterprise camp where they chose the “most promising” male and female business students. I got a full scholarship to the camp and the teachers pooled together and gave me spending money for the canteen. I fell in love with the camp. At the camp, we were put in small groups and ran through the stages of starting up businesses. I always chose to create the advertisements since at the time I was interested in the marketing aspect of business. I went to college the year I graduated and started my major in communications with an interest in broadcast journalism. The main communications 101 class I took was deliberately held at 8am. It was the only option and we had to have the class to progress in the major. I ended up kicked out for literally leaning my head against the wall (I didn’t fall asleep but was accused of sleeping) so I had to choose a different major. I chose marketing. I ended up dropping after the second semester. I was able to get back in (was booted for a year on academic suspension) and they lifted financial aid suspension. I had everything set up two times to go back. One year I even had my schedule selected but both times financial aid fell through. Both times, I was torn between what I wanted to major in (writing) and what was realistic (something that would guarantee me a job at a hopefully livable income). I was constantly torn. I would decide to go back, then the next week I would already have a different major in my mind. Needless to say, it’s been ten years and I still haven’t gone back. I’m actually no closer to making my mind up since.

As a way to gain access to the fashion industry, I did go back to school (beauty school) and studied skin care/cosmetics. I wanted to vecome a make up artist and hopefully get a job behind the scenes one day (in the distant future) during one of the shows during fashion week. Fashion week is a dream for me. Either LA or NYC, I would love to get the opportunity to attend. My dream of being a model ended over a decade ago, close to two, but the dreams I had of either writing for a fashion magazine or working as a designer or artist never fully burned out. I know I’d be miserable as a model, but behind the scenes is a different story. The Devil Wears Prada is still one of my favorite movies and I would love to get my hands on a copy of the season of Running in Heels that made me a huge Marie Claire Magazine fan. Now, I’ve moved on to reading HGTV, parenting and BHG magazine (and similar). I’m more interested in reading lifestyle parenting blogs than I am fashion blogs and I still have several magazine subscriptions.

I’m hoping in the near future, I’ll be able to see one of my long time dreams come true. I have a finished rough draft of a fantasy novel. It’s 100 pages and I call it my baby. Thanks to procrastination, I have 3 or 4 short story drafts I’m currently working on. One is 11 pages, will be part of a seven part short story fantasy series, I have 2 rough drafts started for 2 other fantasy novels, 1 sci-fi graphic novel started (but I have no artistic abilities so I’m stuck) and there is a card game I designed to go with that. Confidence is a big issue for me. I am so close to finishing several works, but I’m terrified of failing. I have been doing things I know I’ll be rejected from as a way to get used to rejection (I submitted a tossed together article to a website.

I’ve had too many interests. I consider myself a jack of all trades (master of none). I will go through phases where I’m seriously interested in doing things, then I’d lose interest. Then, I would gain the interest again. I call myself a burn out since I’m always burning out. I’ve been working in retail for years, my current job, about 2. It’s my longest job by over a year now. I love my coworkers and I don’t mind what I do, the benefits are pretty good and it’s a reliable pay check but I always wanted to do something both professional and creative. I’m currently selling decorative pillows and I do online tarot reading and dream interpretation on the side.

My husband just graduated Friday. He started with an interest in computer repair, started a course then burned out. He later returned to a different school and just graduated the auto tech course. I envy him. He always had those two interests- cars and computers. He didn’t have a long list of things he loved then ruled out although he did start a four year, like I did, but he was studying radio broadcasting then lost interest.

I read a lot of blogs, articles and I keep reading to go into something you’re passionate about. How do you find something you’re truly passionate about? Something that won’t fade? I am 30 years old now and no closer to knowing what professional career I want than I was at 18. I have a bunch of things ruled out- but nothing to go on. I have to ask, how do you find that one thing you’re passionate about?

 

Posted on Leave a comment

EDS, post 30 can your body bounce back?

I know your metabolism takes a slight hit at 30, larger hit at 35 and every 5 years or so keeps shrinking. I’m still heavier than I was pre-kids and reality is hitting me. I knew I no longer had my pre-baby body, but will I be able to go back?

I accepted the fact that pregnancy made my hips more of a problem area than they already were. I only wore a larger size (11-13 in high school) for that reason, but had an hourglass figure. When I dropped to a 14, I tried on some 17s and couldn’t get them past my hips. That was when I read that juniors and adult sizes are made different (1,3,5, etc are juniors. 2,4,6, etc are adult). Juniors are made narrow in the hips where adult jeans are made wider in the hips.

I do know that with Ehlers Danlos, collagen is affected and where it makes your skin stretchy, it seems it may be harder to just bounce back. My scars fade but they still look strange when they heal. I don’t know much else about EDS but I do have an appointment, not only with a genetic specialist, but a specialist who lives with EDS herself. But that’s in a little bit. Right now, I’ve been researching trying to find foods that can help, workouts good enough to help lose weight and tone up but also safe for Osteo and loose joints and anything else that could help me with shrinking back down.

In the past 2 years, I’m down from 220 to about 170. I’m down from a size 20 to a size 14-16. I still have 40lbs left and hoping to get down to a 6ish or 8, maybe and I have 5 years in my mind to do it. If I can get down to my goal, fix what I need to fix diet wise and perfect my ingredient reading I should be able to maintain despite my Hashimotos. I’m seeing that even thyroid isn’t as much of an excuse as people use it. I dropped 20lbs in 4 months on a good dose of thyroid medication and cutting 1 ingredient out. I’m almost 1 month back to the normal (gluten free) lifestyle and finally feeling back to how I was feeling. I just had my thyroid levels tested again and they were perfect.

Right now, I’m trying to buy less processed foods. I have quit drinking Mello Yello (but I did switch to Diet coke for the time being), I’m eating 1 grain meal a day (if that) and the rest are cooked or salad. I do need to cut condiments and I still am drinking my Starbucks double shots (1 a day), I also started to notice my sugar drops when I eat potatoes so I’m switching to sweet potatoes.

The problem is when you have multiple diagnosis’s with several recomendations for diets. Where I have obvious issues with gluten, gluten free is needed (unless I want to spend all day cramping and in the bathroom), I had the diabetic low glycemic diet recommended to me for the reactive hypoglycemia. Cutting everything that was recommended to me feels restrictive. It also makes my OCD mind feel like I’ll be depriving myself and feels like it’s a black/white situation instead of- eat this way and you’ll feel great, eat that way and feel like crap.

I’m working on disassociating food with pleasure or anything related to emotions and trying to associate it with fueling my body and nothing more. Mindfulness helps that. Taking time to savor what I eat and pay attention to it is what I’m working on. Salad tastes great, so does fruit. Sugar and snacks that are heavily processed taste like chemicals but are an addiction- I’ve read all about sugar addiction and cold turkey is the way to go with kicking it. I’ve been thinking about trying a 1 month sugar free diet to try to break it. Just not sure if I have the will power currently. I will start it at the beginning of a month this year, though. Just have to build up and do further research into it to go in armed instead of half assing it.

In my picture, I was 18. I was constantly working out but didn’t know half of what I know now. I was also healthy.

I wasn’t skinny, but I was a good 30lbs smaller than I am now.

Posted on Leave a comment

Well, we have the diagnosis for our 2 year old- lactose intolerant

She said we are doing all the right things and told us about the lactose chart and that lactaid milk does still have a lactose content.

I just wish she reacted like I do so we wouldn’t have to worry so much but she also told us the hard part was already done. Now, we just have to get past this picky eating phase and get her to do more than pick at her food then start playing.

I love the toddler phase… so much fun but so annoying as well. Why can’t we have one child who loves all food? On the bright side, we have 2 who love chicken and fish and they both eat salad, love fruit and moderate themselves with sweets. On the bad side- they both pick at their food more than eat and leave more unate food most of the time.

Posted on 1 Comment

Day 2 gluten free

I cut gluten out of my diet again. This time, I’m better educated than the first time (I’ve done 3 elimination diets over the years- all three times for different amounts of time and all 3 times I had benefits that were noticeable). This time, I’m doing it after being suggested by multiple professionals and even told to act like I have Celiac and avoid it.

The problem with not being diagnosed by a blood test, but being professionally diagnosed as having Gluten Intolerance is what to say when I am at a restaurant. I cross contaminated myself once by picking salad around the croutons, getting crumbs and ending up running back and forth to the bathroom all morning the next morning. I have read more than one example of people being purposely contaminated by self righteous waiters who assumed they were following the trend and giving them regular food instead of gluten free food so what am I supposed to say when a waiter or cashier asks why I’m wanting the gluten free menu? Do I lie and say I have Celiac? From what my doctor told me, what I did (eliminate it and readd) that’s enough for him to prescribe a gluten free diet to his patients since he has dealt with so many false positive and false negative Celiac blood screens, he no longer uses the tests to confirm or deny the results.

I did find major benefits when I cut it in the past (over the summer from July to November) and reverted back in November and December. Because of the results I got when I cut it in the past (lost 20lbs in 3 months, got rid of my IBS morning diarrhea, was able to drink coffee again with no issues, had more energy, felt better, 0 arthritis flares- just to name a few differences) my doctor told me to ignore the negative Celiac panel and live like I have Celiac Disease since I do have autoimmune issues and gluten itself does play a role (I went on a processed gluten free diet- to avoid feeling better due to eating healthier foods- I ate a ton of gluten free pasta and didn’t cut dairy)

I guess when I get myself into the full swing again, I need to look at other things. I ate a lunch of baked fish (no breading), baked potato and mixed vegetables and my blood sugar dropped within an hour of eating. I have been told to eat sweet potatoes instead of white and to avoid white everything (flour, bread, sugar, etc) due to my reactive hypoglycemia. I’ve also been advised to stay on the low glycemic diet as well as cutting gluten (and not by medical professionals, but due to self testing and elimination diets- diary. I haven’t been tested, but I did find out I’m lactose intolerant as well)

I really wish I could gain the self control to go on the Autoimmune Paleo diet. It’s only 30-60 days and would probably help more than this random trial and error I’ve been doing.

On the other side, my healthy daughter (2 years old) has just had a stool sample taken in and has an order for a full GI panel as well as the Celiac panel. She’s had diarrhea and we have eliminated dairy for the past 2 weeks. We have tried giving her regular milk (got diarrhea again) then we tried giving her cheese and other dairy items- once again, got diarrhea again so it does appear dairy at least is an issue but since we’ve been dealing with more diarrhea from her than just the past 2 weeks (and a rash that comes with it) and our older daughter had a positive gene test for the Celiac gene, it takes around 2 years for an autoimmune disease to start showing, I guess it’s time to get her screened for the first time. Our older daughter has to have the screening on a regular basis and she probably will as well. Once I get the gluten free diet fully down for myself, I may start looking into talking to the pediatrician and testing both of my girls (closer monitored to make sure they don’t miss anything needed)

 

I truly don’t understand why people want to go on this as a diet just to “lose weight” or “fit in” with other people. It’s more expensive, more restrictive and a huge pain when everyone around you is having cake and you’re having to say “no.” I kept re introducing it as a way of trying to convince myself I had no actual symptoms from it so I could go back to eating normal foods- unfortunately, I couldn’t ignore the symptoms and felt sick 100% of the time (even a few times I didn’t realize I ate it). I’m no longer eliminating it as a trial and am now avoiding it and doing the research to “live like I have Celiac” since that’s what my doctor told me to do.

I do have to wonder if beauty and hair products also count- I have Eczema on my hands and face and Seborrheic Dermatitis on my scalp. I’ve started using sensitive skin cleanser (Dermalogica) and moisturizing facial masks for the past few weeks and I LOVE Hand Food from Ulta (hand lotion and scrub) for my dry hands (thanks to the cold weather, Hashimotos and Eczema- fun combo)

The Seborrheic Dermatitis has been an embarrassment for years. I’ve had it since I was a child and it looks like I have dandruff or worse- but it’s just dead skin cells. When people get close enough they can see it’s dead skin but I’ve had 2 managers tell me I needed to get rid of it. If it was that easy, it would have been gone years ago.

I use T-Gel daily and that keeps it from itching, unless I start sweating. I was told it was SD but I’m pretty sure it’s Eczema since I get Eczema outbreaks on my hands and face anyways.

 

My featured image is from when I was 24, a new mom and the toddler was my oldest- who’s now almost 7.