Well, I’m once again sitting here starting out another post with “well, it’s been a while.” It was my goal at the beginning of the year to write once a week. Then time passed, and my goal was once a month. Now, writing for the first time in the first quarter of 2017, I’m again wondering what purpose this space is serving in my life and my path. I’m still journaling, and doing a lot of bullet pointing. I still connect with lots of you on Facebook and Instagram. And with the podcast, Margo has given me a huge gift. I’m really enjoying our collaboration there. So, I haven’t disappeared from the scene. But I can’t ever seem to make myself take my post ideas and write them, when there are so many other ways to work them out.
Yet, I still can’t give up this space.
Part of me feels overwhelmed by the idea of playing catch-up here, but the other part of me says to just take my list of post titles that I’ve been scribbling in my notebook, and turn them into bullet points. And once we are caught up, maybe it won’t seem like such a chore to come here to write. So here goes.
- Does this Wheat Belly make my butt look big? The last part of 2016 was about my last-ditch effort to heal myself. I was at my butt’s wit’s end about the pain I was living with, and all that resulted from my colonoscopy and follow up visits was zero about the underlying cause of the problem, and chemicals and surgery to manage the symptoms, that may or may not just keep coming back over and over again. I could write pages and pages about my WB experience, but this is a bullet point post, so I’ll keep it short. Removing grains and adding some supplements made me feel better almost instantly. Wheat Belly books gave me great ideas about how to get started with some ingredients new to me. I met some lovely people in the WB Detox forum that became my personal FB friends that I can talk to and exchange ideas with. Without reservation, I can recommend the WB books and basic tenants to anyone. The downside? While 95% of the Wheat Belly community is fantastic, the 5% that is not fantastic is really NOT FANTASTIC. The plan has a LOT of rules, and you are expected to follow ALL OF THEM 100%. Any deviation is considered a CHEAT, and I put that in all caps not because I’m dramatic, but because there are WB followers who are extremely passionate about REMAINING COMPLIANT. For me, being someone in the health/fitness/weight loss tribe, I look at this kind of extreme obedience to the program as it’s own version of disordered eating. I’m more of a “do the best you can with what you’ve got” kind of girl, and I refuse to assign moral value to food. Food is nutrition, food is fuel, and I refuse to allow myself one more day of self-hatred or guilt for a food choice. But there is a Wheat Belly militia that act as the muscle for Dr. Davis, who himself has a very positive and encouraging demeanor. So. My take is that the info is great, some principles really helped me, and if you can scroll past drama, then join the group, but the culture can be just too intense for me.
- Save the drama for your mama…After a couple of years of, um, lots of intensity in my life, I have committed to dealing with the challenges as they come by trusting my own instinct. I have a very strong inner voice, but over the years have allowed it to be drowned out by forces around me because of insecurity, or lack of discipline, or fear, groupthink, or laziness. But at the end of certain situations, I would usually end up saying to myself “if you would have just paid attention to your gut, you wouldn’t be in this mess.” When I decided to step away from the studio and go out on my own, it set things in motion for me to trust my inner voice, without being guilted or manipulated otherwise. Now, big changes don’t happen overnight, and I certainly didn’t get everything right the first time. But that awareness was a start. And last year, as life was happening around me, and I was again leaning on my circle for support, that inner voice of mine was telling me that something wasn’t right. The way I was being encouraged to cope, the activities I was encouraged to partake in, the priorities I was encouraged to make, for many months just seemed, I don’t know, just off. And instead of coming apart about it, I stayed still. I took breaths. I listened. It can make you feel a little crazy, you know, feeling like things aren’t what they seem, and when nobody will give you honest answers, it can be kind of a make or break time for your sanity. But I trusted my gut and my choices, and before I knew it, the background noise was gone. I am comfortable in the fact that today, I am living a very authentic life. Comfortable in my skin, my choices, my relationships, my parenting, my marriage. It certainly doesn’t mean there is a lack of dramatic situations in my life, no, but it does mean that there is no drama. There’s a difference. And now I understand that.
- No! More! Wire! Hangers! Evahhhhhh!!! So you know how some days, seeing a wire hanger in the closet can make you hit people with cans of comet cleanser? No? Well, how about when the asshole in front of you is going slow in the fast lane and you can’t get around him and you use every curse word you know yelling at him? Or when you go to your favorite coffee shop and it’s somebody new behind the counter who insists that the coffee order you come get every single day that is no longer on the menu but they make it for you anyway only this new chick says she can’t and you want to come across the counter and throat punch her for interfering with your first caffeine intake of the day? Those are all examples of a small dramatic situation bringing out very big drama. And they can ruin your whole day if you let them. But for me, 2017 is The Year of the Spartan (Race), and when we signed on to spend the year training together, I decided as Team Captain to devote myself to study. And those Spartans were some tough mother you know what-ers. And whether or not you ever decide to do a Spartan race, I recommend reading Spartan Up! and Spartan Fit! and then take a moment to consider if you’re navigating the obstacle course of your life highly trained and prepared for anything, or only able to handle the most predictable of situations. My experience training for this race and with this team has me forever changed. For the better.
- Is that a fat bomb in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? So this trend you’re seeing of being open to experience, but not to drama, continues on when I decide that the COMPLIANCE of Wheat Belly was too much, and I changed my focus to Keto and Pinterest. Still low carb and ultimately grain free, but less focused on 6 hour cycles, and timing of supplements, and feeling like I need to hide it when I don’t set up a creamery and make my own cheese. My goal at the end of 2016 was to be a grain free athlete; I amend that now to be keto athlete. Those Keto (and Paleo) people seem to be a bit more go with the flow.
- First do no harm…The focus on my inner voice has also taken over my pursuit of better health. Google is not a doctor, I agree with that. But you know what? Even doctors or nurses or PAs don’t always get it right the first time. It took me a long time to pursue the nagging feeling that gluten and grains were bad for me simply because I know someone who makes fun of the “gluten free fad” and so I kept ignoring my symptoms. Even though I knew I was feeling awful. And 7 days into going grain free, I was 100% changed. So, I continue to seek answers to why, when I eat clean, log my food, and train like a Spartan, I have put on close to 50 pounds in the last 5 years. After a series of appointments I am now in the care of an Endo who believes me, and I’m awaiting the results of 150,000 tests and the thing I like about him the best is that he said “while I think this testing with turn something up, if it doesn’t, I won’t just turn you loose. It just means we’ll have to keep looking.” I’m feeling very good about finding Dr. Awesome Two Point Oh. Don’t let anyone intimidate you when you’re trying to get healthy!
- Time to THRIVE. So, this bullet is going to become an actual post, but I have to mention it because, if you follow me on IG or are friends with me on FB, then you know I’ve begun using Thrive products as my supplement of choice. And you know I’ll give you the straight scoop about it. So we’ll save this one for later.
- You like me, you REALLY like me! Almost a year ago now, I was fired from my job at the gym across town. Nobody likes being fired, of course, and I’m no different. Even though it was truly a blessing to be set free from the intimidation and the surveillance and the insults and the threats, at the time of The Firing, even some of my very closest friends suggested I should have done a better job of, uh, trying to fit in and get along with my boss. And I really don’t know why, considering what I was living though, what the motive was in saying I should stay there, but it doesn’t matter now because, once again, my inner voice knew something was off. Today, I am still working as a personal trainer, and I have a team of clients who are succeeding. I am continuing my education in fitness, and we are trying new things, we work as a team, with positivity and accountability. Some days, I am busy enough that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get to everyone. And other days, instead of scheduling a workout, we schedule a social and we laugh as hard as we’ve worked. And even though there are stresses and challenges, there is also great joy. We train in parks and driveways and tracks and parking lots. We have a spring and summer full of events, obstacle courses, races, (holy crapballs) an open water tri, and the Spartan. We have focus, and we have each other’s backs in a way that just wasn’t possible in the other environment. And last Friday, late in the afternoon, I learned that I won first place in our local newspaper’s Reader’s Choice Award for Favorite Fitness Trainer. Apparently 130,000 votes were cast, and I snagged enough of those votes to get myself a ribbon to post on my Facebook. And I love it. It’s a super fun little piece of validation that my inner voice knows her shit, and I’m so thankful I decided to listen to her.