Tuesday, September 30, 2014

31 days to finding rhythm



Life places many demands on us.

Many of these demands are positive in nature. I am blessed to have a house that needs to be clean, three daughters to care for, the ability for my girls to play sports and be involved in various activities.

But these demands can be exhausting. And stuffed in the moments between the must-do's are distractions that take our time and our energy.

Some of us thrive on routine, but no two days are ever the same.

Some of us are more free-flowing in life, but still find ourselves drowning in the daily.

As I embark on a new season of life (more on this in days to come), I've given up on the idea of routine.

But I want to live my life and raise my children with excellence. I want to be purposeful in what I do.

I may not be able to establish a routine.

One of the definitions of the word "rhythm" is

the pattern of regular or irregular pulses caused in music by the occurrence of strong and weak melodic and harmonic beats.

What I like about this defintion is that it emphasizes the regular and irregular, the strong and weak, the melodic and harmonic.

That is everyday life.  Good moments and challenging ones. Days full of accomplishments and days you feel like you just walked in circles and nothing got done. 

And so, during this 31 days of October, I want to explore the idea and methods of finding a rhythm in life. This is my own experiment or rather intention. I have not accomplished or achieved it by any means. As I transition into a new career and my last child has begun school,  I have the opportunity to re-write my moments and patterns. 

Finding a rhythm is going to be crucial for me. And I invite you on this journey with me. 

Posts: 
 
Already Off-beat
One Thing



 




Monday, September 8, 2014

whole 30 week 1: during which I drank black coffee for the first time...EVER


One of my "resolutions" for 2014 was to not pressure myself with any special eating or exercise plans. I already eat a gluten-free and mostly Paleo diet, which wouldn't change, because that's how I feel and operate best.  My focus was finishing nursing school along with being the best mom and wife possible, given the demands of the program. I knew that trying to implement some strict diet or intense training program would detract from those priorities.

I confess that several times I mentally tried to follow a stricter eating plan. In my head I'd say "let's try to eat the sugar detox method, but if it doesn't stick, that's ok." And inevitably I'd give in for some dark chocolate or a Larabar on a busy day. Neither bad things, but not sugar-detox friendly.

But now that nursing school is done, I want to focus on my health. It is a HUGE win for me that I did not gain any weight in nursing school. I didn't particularly lose any either, although I fee like my frame might be a little leaner. Food has always been an issue for me and for many years I feel like I have counteracted by intake with exercise. I know now that method truly doesn't work.

When we first started nursing school and were trying on our scrubs to determine what size to order, the representative advised us to get the size that was more generous but not too big because "nursing students always gain weight." That was motivation for me to not!!

I know that I probably have some chronic low grade inflammation in my body--from stress alone! And my gut health has always left something to be desired. I decided a Whole30 would be a good start to getting some things back on track and feeling my best.

So here I am, almost one week down. I'm kinda wondering why I didn't go with the 21-Day Sugar Detox because then I still could have had heavy cream in my coffee.



Notes on my first week of Whole30.

1. Rough start, which is to be expected. But also, I was adding coconut cream to my coffee but realized it was causing a headache...which I researched and found isn't uncommon (it's probably guar gum, a common preservative added). I struggled with sugar cravings and wanting a bite or two of grain-laden things that I usually "sneak" without major ill effects in my body.

2. I ate 3 bananas in one day. I suspect I am dealing with some systemic candida and so I've been trying to limit my carbs and fruit. But I was especially hungry and tired and in the end, eating 3 bananas is hopefully less damaging than a bowl of ice cream, right?

3. I've been adding coconut milk to my coffee instead (no guar gum in the one I bought at Trader Joe's). It's not as yummy as my cream or bulletproof coffee, but it will do. In a perfect world I'd give my body a break from caffeine. But working nights and the caffeine-withdrawl headaches I suffer--I just wasn't ready to face that yet. I don't think coffee is downright unhealthy, but I think it can be good to let your body detox from time to time. I am drinking less coffee however.

4. Working nights helps me stay on track. I only can eat the food I bring with me and I find I'm less hungry at work and when I wake up after sleeping the next day.

5. I drank my first cup of black coffee. It was awful, mostly because it was cheap hospital coffee. But I needed a little caffeine to get me through the night and it just had to do. I need to buy some tea because I prefer that at night.

6. Why does my Costco Rotissiere chicken need sugar added? Since I already had it at home, it wasn't worth not eating--but I won't be buying that again this month. Time to make my own.

7. Our scale shorted out a few weeks ago. Just in time to make sure I didn't weigh myself this month. I'm doing this for health first, but it's hard to break up with the scale. But I know it's not a true measure of health and I'm glad I don't even have the temptation in my bathroom.

Today's meals (working nightshift)
Breakfast: 2 eggs fried in bacon grease, 2 pieces of bacon, small cup of coffee / coconut milk
Lunch: Leftover carne asada meat and guacamole, banana
Dinner: Aidell's chicken and apple sausage, sauteed zucchini, 1/2 sweet potato
Midnight: Sunflower seeds, carrots, snow peas, cucumbers
2am: Leftover chicken, sauteed zucchini, 1/2 sweet potato
I will eat a Larabar in the next few hours (yes, I'm blogging at 3am). Perhaps a banana & almond butter before I go to sleep. I usually only eat two meals the day after I work.

I'm doing this! Hoping to get through sticking to the guidelnes with no deviations. But if something ahppens, it's about progress, not perfection.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

oh how the years go by

We all know that the days are long and the years are short. Knowing that doesn't make the days feel any shorter or easier.

But there are moments that you realize just how fast the years go by.

I confess for a few years, I have been waiting for TODAY. The day I drop my three children off at the same school. And they stay there all day. This is my one glorious year with all three at the same school. It will never happen again.

Lilybug was ever-so-ready for Kindergarten and very excited to be at the same school with her sisters. She was a baby when Miss Rose started there, so she is familiar and very comfortable at the school.



As we corralled the children outside for a picture before piling in the minivan, with the backdrop of our house, I was struck by so many emotions.

Grateful that God has blessed us with a wonderful home of our own, in a community we love and a school our children are thriving in.


Nostalgic because the same year we moved into this house, Miss Rose started Kindergarten, Gracie was a toddler and Lilybug was an infant. Every morning I had an internal debate as to whether I should a) pull out the double stroller, b) wear a baby and push a single stroller or c) attempt to have Gracie walk when we took Miss Rose in.  I got a lot of sympathy smiles and "you sure have your hands full" comments. But I soaked it all in and truly loved it, even in the most frazzling of moments.

And now my first baby is in her last year of elementary school.

 
 And when Gracie started Kindergarten two years ago, Lily was so lonely and beside herself because having her sister as a playmate was all she had known. 




And now it's my last baby's first day of school. She seems more grown up today.



The last 5-and-a-half years have almost been a whirlwind. We bought a house, renovated it and added a granny flat for my parents to live in. We actually bought the house together just for that purpose. Lily was born 3 days after we moved in. Two years ago I resigned from the church and started nursing school.

And now here we are--Lily is in kindergarten and I am done with nursing school and hopefully not too far from passing my R.N. exam and getting an R.N. job.




Oh how the years go by.