Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Only just a_____

I find myself saying the words, "I'm only just a _______."  You know, as in, "I'm only a stay at home mom," or "I'm only a half marathoner," or "I'm only a receptionist."  What I'm really saying when I utter those words is, "I'm not good enough."

Everyone at some point feels not good enough.  We all tend to look at ourselves through this lens and measure ourselves by someone else's success or ability or job or house.  But, I have to admit, I really have never felt not good enough.

I never finished college; Mr. Helen graduated from OSU the day before our wedding and I dropped out to work.  I had to pay for all of my own schooling, so it took me a long time to get through two years.  Every time I would go back to school, something would come up; a pregnancy, a move, one of the kids needing something.  It shouldn't, but it bothers me that I never finished.  It feels not good enough.

When I started running years ago, my goal was to run a marathon by age 40.  Then it became age 45.  Then it became just running a marathon.  I tried, but I was never able to make it the full 26.2.  However, I've run several half marathons over the last few years and many other shorter races.  Still, I find myself almost apologizing for not being a full out marathoner; again, it feels just not good enough.

For the past 23 years, I've mostly been home with my kids.  I've worked all kinds of part time jobs over the years and have learned many skills and met great people.  But, those jobs have been mostly low level jobs in service industries.  I find myself apologizing for staying home, for only working part time. Even though I home schooled three kids successfully, I still find myself feeling like I don't measure up.  I still feel not good enough.

But I find myself these days wondering why I feel like I'm not good enough.  Look at what I HAVE done....home schooled three kids successfully, finished several half marathons and other races, worked many jobs and gained new skills.  How cool am I?

No more apologies, no more "just only's." Maybe the path I have chosen has been unconventional, but it's been my path, my journey, and I wouldn't do it any other way.  In the words of Robert Frost,

     "Two roads diverged in a wood and I,
       I took the one less traveled by.
       And that has made all of the difference."

Sunday, April 7, 2013

It's just a number

I've been reflecting on age quite a bit recently.  I can't believe that a whole decade has flown by since I was facing the BIG 4 - 0 and I remember how terrifying that number was to me.  I dreaded that birthday with every fiber of my being and I awoke on that morning near tears.

I remember not being very happy about turning 30, either.  Of course, I was early in an unplanned pregnancy that was Andrew, and it didn't help that Mr. Helen walked around saying to people, "Should a man in his 20's be married to a woman in her 30's?"  (Mr. Helen is nine months younger than I, and he is also not very funny.)

Now I am facing another milestone birthday in a year, and as you can probably figure out, it's not 30 or 40 this time.  But this one, I'm actually looking forward to.  I'm pretty excited to be able to say, "I'm 50."

It's so nice to get to this age and stage in life.  I've watched my kids grow into the talented, capable people they have become.  I have learned to become content and happy with what I have and where I am.  I don't care about going out of the house without make up.  I'm at peace with my body and all of it's imperfections.  I know what's important and it's not a number on the calendar or on the scale or in my bank account.

Each day is a gift and I am seeing that more and more as I get older and wiser.  I try not to take anything for granted; the bluebird on the tree outside, a hug from my kids, laughing with a friend, the way the first berries of the season taste, the smell of the spring air.  Life is so amazing and the world so incredible and I don't want to miss a thing.

I've been blessed to have never known hunger.  I've never had to worry about where I would sleep or if someone was going to hit me or if I could go to school or if I could afford medical care for my kids.  I was born to a family that loved me and provided for me.  I live in a country where I am free to choose my own path and speak my mind.

For nearly 50 years, I've been blessed everyday by something and I think that's a great number.  Time to celebrate!!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 5

Hello and welcome to Day 5!

I felt so much better yesterday....physically.  That "I feel like I'm dying" feeling was gone and I wasn't quite as tired.  But mentally....whoa!  I was so cranky!  EVERYTHING just got under my skin and I was a total b*tch to everyone.  I managed to force a smile at work, but it was hard.

The worst part of yesterday was my run.  I only did 3 miles because I had no energy for running.  My legs felt like lead and it was if I was running through mud the entire time.  The wind didn't help, but I know it was the lack of carbs and my body adjusting to a different fuel source.  In the long run (no pun intended!!), this will be so beneficial to me in the distance runs.  I know it will help my endurance to be burning fat instead of glucose.  I'm just hoping that the shift won't take long; I'm registered for my first half marathon of the year at the end of May.

Even though I ate well yesterday, I was hungry last night.  I drank two cups of herbal tea, but I felt hungry for the first time.  But I didn't give in!  Yay me!

Lunch yesterday was delicious!!!  I braised some cabbage with caraway seed and bay leaf, cooked an organic chicken and apple sausage, and heated up some roasted butternut squash - YUM-O!!! It was a very fall-like meal, but so good!  I have enough for leftovers today.

I have some extra time this weekend, so I'm going to do some bulk cooking and have food to just pop in the oven or crockpot or warm up next week.  I wanted to do that last weekend, but because it was Easter I was busy cooking our dinner and celebrating with my family instead.

Friday is my day off, so I'm off to yoga, then a run, then getting my nails done.  The sun is out and it's supposed to be 50 - happy day!!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day 3......

Ah, day 3......

Well, day 3 was, in a word, HARD!!!!  I woke up feeling a bit off, and by the time I took Lily to school, I felt like my insides were peeling off of my body and trying to get out.  I did manage to get through an hour slow flow yoga class, but the run was out.  I doubt that I would have made it down the street.

I felt so awful that I ate chicken soup for breakfast.  After I got home from yoga, I warmed up some soup I had made over the weekend.  It was warm and comforting, but I could only eat a little.  I spent most of the day in the big easy chair, resting and reading and sleeping a bit.  Finally, by the time I got Lily from school, I was beginning to feel better.

This is detox.  This is withdrawal.  This is the result of eating crap for so long.

As I nursed my detoxing body, I thought about what I had eaten growing up.  I'm part of the generation whose moms were working full time and who had access to all of the fake food we could stuff in our bodies.  My mother, God bless her, would serve us hotdogs with jello, fish sticks, rice a roni, pork chops in Shake and Bake, bologna sandwiches on white bread with slices of American cheese peeled from plastic, Little Debbie snack cakes, kool aid.  She worked, we didn't have a lot of money, and she did her best - I understand that.  But it's a wonder that I'm as healthy as I am today after a childhood of consuming what is referred to in "It Starts With Food" as "Frankenfood."

I did manage to make some awesome chili for dinner that my kids loved and that will become a staple in my house.  It's from The Clothes Make The Girl and here is the link  Try it.  You will never want another chili recipe again.

I feel much, MUCH better this morning, so let's hope it's a sign of things to come....feeling good and having more energy!!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 2 of my Challenge!

Today went better than I had expected.  I was bracing for a headache or some lethargy, but I felt fine and had more energy than I thought I would.

I started the day with getting up early and making a frittata for breakfast.  I've made this one before from a recipe that I got from the website everyday paleo.  It's got sausage and grated sweet potato and eggs...YUM!!!  Here is the link  Give it a's easy and so delicious!  The whole family loved it.

After a busy morning of helping in Lily's class, cleaning, hot yoga, and errands, I had some leftover frittata and roasted veggies for lunch.  A half a banana rounded out my meal.  I showered, voted, more errands, got Lily, and went to work.

Dinner was a really big salad.  I had an apple with some almond butter as a snack, and some tea at the end of the day.

I haven't really felt hungry, nor have I had that "I'm crazed and need flour!" feeling yet, but I'm sure it's coming.

I'm training for a half marathon the end of May and I'm a bit worried about how my training runs are going to be affected by the reduced carbs I'm consuming.  I didn't run today, so I have to get out tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that I can do it!!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Whole30 Challenge - Day 1

So, here I am, doing the Whole30 Challenge.  What makes this super incredible is that I was once a vegan, and now I'm doing a strict paleo plan!

The science behind the consumption of meat and healthy fats is pretty convincing, and it makes sense.  The body needs animal fats to absorb many of the vitamins and minerals that we need.  The over consumption of grains keeps the body in a constant state of inflammation without a break and a chance to recover.

Even without the science, one only needs to look around to see that something isn't working.  There is increasing obesity, type II diabetes, RA, fibromyalgia, and other autoimmune diseases throughout society even though we are eating our healthy grains and legumes.  Celiac's disease and other gluten sensitivities are on the rise.  Colitis, IBD and other digestive disorders are showing up in young kids now.

We have genetically modified our food and fed so much crap to our animals that it has severely affected our food supply which has compromised our health.  We must insist on grass fed and drug free meats, organic produce without GMO's.  We must get rid of soda, especially the diet stuff that is nothing but poison.  We must take back our health through nutrition and the foods we are consuming.

For me, that's what this challenge is all about....getting healthy.  Yes, I would like to lose a few pounds, but for me it's more about getting healthy....having all of the energy I need to do all of the things that I enjoy.  I want to be a better wife, mom, athlete, friend, and all of the other roles I play.

I'm planning on blogging about my 30 day journey because, 1) it's one way to stay accountable and, 2) I want a way to look back and see how the next 30 days change me.  I'm sure you will be totally bored, but join me!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Unmanaged chaos

I know that I have ADD.  There is no other way to explain my constant bouncing around from job to job, activity to activity, blog to blog, obsession to obsession.  If I could focus on ONE thing with the intensity that I use to focus on 20 different....tasks, interests, jobs, you name it.....I would be a big time expert in something with a big time salary.  Instead, I find my thoughts and my life scattered in pieces and places - and usually not in any way coherent or cohesive.  Aw....the life of a crazy cat woman.

At least my cats are satisfied with my neurosis.  They curl up on my lap, yawn, and sleep.  Does a cat ever get an ulcer?

I'm knitting coffee sleeves for gifts, and making peppermint bark and baking cookies.  I love knitting coffee sleeves because I can finish one in a few hours and I don't get bored or have to change projects.  And baking is also always a new experience.....changing up recipes, finding something new for apples, adding a new makes the creative process a way to scatter my focus.

Many years ago I was in therapy and my counselor told me that I should embrace my varied and numerous interests.  She said that my completely sold out, all in attitude when it came to anything was just part of me, and that I should learn to love and accept that.  So, after all of these years, I've finally come to the conclusion that she was right.  Life is never boring for me, and I know its never a dull moment for those who love me.  Sorry, folks!!!

Off to bed now.  I shall sleep and dream of a life of normalcy.....not really....