Resistance

Русский: Картина Николая Рериха "Агни Йог...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m having a hard time writing.

That’s part of the reason why I haven’t been here.  But it’s really not writer’s block.  I have LOTS to write about.  It’s just a matter of wanting to say it, to admit it out loud.

That’s the problem with blogs, especially personal ones.  You have to open up, to admit things, to put things down on paper (or computer) that you would otherwise not want to share.  Sure, you could avoid it, but then who would read?  Why would they read?

I just couldn’t do it.  Didn’t want to do it.

But when you’re a writer, even if pen to paper or fingers to keys never actually happens is that you always think like a writer.   Your thoughts run through your brain like words on a page.

I haven’t been writing.  I’ve been resisting.  I’m frustrated and a little angry and upset and I didn’t want to talk about it.  I’m still not sure I want to talk about it.

But, the other things about a blog is that it keeps you accountable.  For some masochistic reason I want people to know what I’m thinking.  Why?  Good question.  I’m going to tell myself that it’s because someone out there might be thinking the same thing.  But really, it’s to quell this feeling inside myself.

I’m getting over a really gnarly cold.  I’ve been down since Monday.  Had to take several days off work because I just couldn’t move.  I’m still coughing and stuffy which is just lovely (even more so when I’m off to San Francisco for a concert this evening) but feel a lot better.  I feel alive again.  What’s frustrating about this is that I was feeling pretty good.  I felt like my life was coming back.  I was going to yoga again – and power yoga at that – and it felt good.  I felt good.  This happens rarely.  And then – BAM!  I’m sick.  I still can’t go to yoga.  Hanging your head upside down in down dog is no fun when you’re stuffy.  Nor is coughing.

So I’m frustrated.  I’m pissed that even though I’ve been really good on this crazy diet I’m still not losing any weight.  I’m annoyed that the crazy skin issue that I have on my hand is back.  I’m irritated that I can’t really breathe through my nose.  And I’m really ticked off at this cold because that’s what I’m going to blame this all on.

Is it the cold’s fault?  Maybe, maybe not.  Who knows when your immune system is totally screwed up.  I am happy that it’s the first cold I’ve had all year.  This is AMAZING when you work with germy teenagers.  But really, down for a week?  A cough for going on 10 days?  Enough already.

I’m trying to think about yoga, and what it teaches us about resistance.  You can’t push too hard, you can’t force yourself into perfection.  That pose may injure you if you force yourself into, say, camel.  You have to learn to ease back, to find the spot where you’re just pushing enough to grow, but not so much to injure.

It’s hard.  Especially for a impatient perfectionist like myself.  I want it now and I want it right.

I’m trying to see the good in this journey.  As I work myself back to health I’m discovering what is good for me and what is bad.  What makes me feel healthy and alive, and what makes me feel gross and sad.  This means that I have to find resistance, I have to find that spot where I just push myself enough to grow, but not so much that I scare myself off and want to retreat to my living room and hang out with my cat and eat Paleo cookies.

It’s not easy.  But I really believe that I can do this, that I am worth it.

In the meantime, you should make these cookies.  I swear they will make you feel better: http://wellnessmama.com/1780/chewy-chocolate-cookies-p-s-they-are-healthy/

A few recommended readings on struggle and resistance for the week:

“Why being broken on your bathroom floor is a good idea” – from elephant journal

“The Value of Struggle” – I love Rumi, it’s a flashback to grad school and this quote is why – “You must set fire to have light”  – from Michelle Marlahan’s blog “Love Wasting Time”

Lost

Eggs I

Eggs I (Photo credit: Keith Marshall)

I had no idea that when I started this process that the 30 day dietary clean up would be the easy part.  In so many ways it is easier to be more restrictive than less.  For whatever reason if you give me a relatively short period of time and tell me this is what I have to do and then it’s over, I’m fine.  I did well with that challenge.

What doesn’t work for me is the adding back in part.  I just started with eggs. I love eggs.  I’ve really missed them and they’re so easy.  Here’s how the process works — you eat the one food for three days and judge how your body is feeling.  If you feel good, the food is in.  If you feel bad, the food is out.

And then it gets confusing.  What is feeling good?  What is feeling bad?  And there are so many variables that have nothing to do with what you are eating.  So, so many.  Too many to list.  And I’m either over sensitive or under sensitive to the way my body is feeling all the time.

Yesterday I did great after my breakfast of eggs.  Today, I’m not feeling so hot.  I’m tired.  I got super sleepy around 10am today.  But was it the eggs?  I was working on a rather boring spreadsheet all morning.  It was way too warm in my office.  It’s overcast, which gives me a bit of a headache.  It’s Friday and I’m tired from the week.

My immediate response was to freak out – EGGS ARE BAD! But I think it’s worth more exploring.  Was it really the eggs?

I’m feeling a little lost right now, and luckily other bloggers are out there coping with similar feelings.  Here are two great pieces about playing the waiting game while you heal and figuring out what is truly wrong (or right!) with you.  Both include excellent recipes that I can’t wait to try once more foods are back.

From the Living Kitchen Wellness Group: What to do in the waiting?  How to relax instead of judging why aren’t getting what you want right now.

From Gluten Free Girl and the Chef:  The Light, How it Dances “The celiac had so sensitized me to food issues that it never occurred to me it could be something else.”

I judge you by what you eat

English: Paul Draper thieving wine from a barr...

In my quest to use the most random pictures ever, here is another. I just like it because this dude is so excited to drink wine. I understand, man! Image via Wikipedia

You’re probably all wondering where I’ve been.  I mean, here I was, counting down to this momentous event, and now it’s come and gone and you haven’t heard a word.  Blame it on the trials of modern technology — i.e. my slow computer and using an internet connection that is not my own and therefore I have no control over it.

I survived.  I had a few glasses of wine (Friday AND Saturday), had a rather wicked headache over the weekend (which could be from the alcohol or from me throwing my neck out, probably a bit of both) and am back at work.  I still feel pretty good (well, to be honest, I’m a little sleepy today, but that’s from not sleeping well due to screwy neck.)  Life is good.  I’ve had a few things that I couldn’t eat before (yes, I know, that isn’t how I’m supposed to be proceeding) and thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it.

I’ve also learned a few things and have a few pieces of advice to pass on to you if you should ever decide to embark on a similar experiment:

(1) Be very clear when you are eating somewhere else about what your limitations are.  People don’t judge you by your food choices as much as you think.  I had a lunch meeting yesterday and ordered a salad and the catering company decided that I could eat dairy and I ended up with a lot of cheese and blue cheese dressing.  I ate around it very carefully and would normally feel weird about it, but since they knew about my allergies it wasn’t an issue.  If you can’t eat gluten, say so.  If you can’t have dairy, tell them.  But keep in mind…

(2) Don’t make a big deal out of your food.  Seriously, this will be the only subject you will talk about, so try to minimize the annoyance factor and don’t FREAK OUT if something has a little dairy on it.  Remove it as best you can and don’t comment too much.  It’s very annoying to those around you, and potentially yourself.

But also…

(3) Everyone and their mother (especially their mother) is going to comment on your food.  Seriously.  Everyone wants to know what you’re eating and then when you tell them they’ll say “Oh!  That looks good!” in that tone that implies that they are shocked that something can be delicious and good for you at the same time.  This will happen all the time.  You will be very grateful for your quiet meals at home without commentary.

My favorite story about this was the other day at work.  I eat some weird stuff for breakfast (as you know) and was enjoying my meat and squash when one of my students came into my office.  She says whatever she’s thinking and it usually isn’t socially acceptable.  “What’s that SMELL?” is what she said, and when I replied that it was my breakfast she said, “That sure doesn’t smell like breakfast!”  Yes, you are right.  But I swear it’s just food.  (My boss thought this was hilarious.  It was probably what he’d been thinking for weeks.)

I’m usually rather food judgey – but that’s mostly because I love food porn.  Yes, I judge you a little by what you eat (sorry) but that’s only if you’re eating all fast food or something.  Mostly I’m jealous.  But it’s amazing to me how many people feel it’s appropriate to comment on what I’m eating.  And actually, I think it’s a little sad.  Does that mean that we’re so used to “convenience” food for lunch that a real meal is that surprising to us?

So I guess the moral of this story is that you need to expect others to judge you by what you eat but no more than what you usually judge them.  Or, you can just stay at home all the time and not eat anywhere in public and then you’ll not only avoid accidental gluten/dairy/soy/high fructose corn syrup poisoning but also other people all together.

Clearly I’m still working a few things out.

I made it!

Today is officially 30 days.

I have gone 30 days without a lot.  But I’ve got to tell you, these past 30 days have FLOWN by.  Really.  It seemed like it was the fastest month ever.

And I feel fantastic.  FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!  There were two weeks in the middle there where I was really worried I was doing the wrong thing.  But I think it was my body expelling all the bad stuff and getting used to the good stuff.  Now I feel energetic, happy, ready to take on the world.  The other evening when I was driving home I actually thought about going for a walk — that I might even be able to run.  Run?  That hasn’t happened in a long time.  I did a rather sweaty power yoga workout at home instead.  It felt great.

I really like my new eating habits (I’m not saying “diet” knowing that usually means “this is the way I’m eating to lose weight”).  I know I bitched about it next week, and I will need a cheat day here and there, but for the most part eating this way really works for me.  Protein and veggies make my body run really, really well.

It’s been a good experience to take a step back and reconnect with my body.  To feel it from the inside out.  I know that sounds hokey, but really, try it.  Try right now to feel the inside of the your fingers, your toes.  How do they feel?

I didn’t think it was possible to do this before 30 days ago.  I knew I felt bad, that I was sick, but I didn’t really know what was happening to me.

I’ve had several friends tell me that they couldn’t ever so something like this for 30 days.  And if you’re thinking the same thing, I’m here to say the opposite.  Of course you can.  The only thing standing in your way is you.

I’m going to have a glass of wine tonight with a couple of friends.  I think it’s well deserved, don’t you?