What Body Positivity and Intuitive Eating Means for Me… Loving Myself

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I have been spending a lot of time thinking and learning about this.  I am in several groups that promote body positivity.

As I’ve learned, the main way people lose weight is dieting, and there is only a 5% chance that with dieting you’ll keep the weight off.  I mean, you may lose weight eating intuitively, but the reasons to eat that way have nothing to do with weight loss.  You may or may not lose weight eating that way.  I’ve learned that our bodies have a set point and it’ll always go back to that.  I’ve seen this time and time again.  So many of my family and friends will lose a good amount of weight, only to put it back on and sometimes more.  So, the science shows this to be true and it’s true in my life as well.

So for me, I know that I can’t do much about my weight long term.  Between medication, metabolism slowing down, and just coming to my set point, I have gained 30 pounds in 3 years.  I also cannot lose it (even with dieting) and have only gained more back when I have dieted.

I have learned that weight doesn’t necessarily measure good health.  I had high cholesterol at my lowest weight.  I have normal cholesterol at my heaviest.  I know people that are thin that have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.  Thin-ness doesn’t necessarily mean that you are healthy!  I know plenty of thin people that drink lots of sugary soda, eat whatever they want, and they don’t gain a pound.  Robert is super thin and doesn’t gain no matter what he eats (he’s been known to eat 8 tacos on Taco Tuesday).

And on the flip side, I know people that are heavy that are super healthy.  I’ve read about so many women who run marathons, lift weights, exercise a lot each day, and not be thin.  Exercise doesn’t=weight loss either.  I have been known to exercise 2-2 1/2 hours a day (when I was hypomanic) and not lose a pound.  Many women that are heavy don’t have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes.  Movement actually helps this.  No matter your weight.

I am learning that body positivity means to love your body no matter what body type you have.  Whether you’re thin, or whether you’re not.

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Now, on to intuitive eating.

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I’ve shared about this before, but what does it mean?

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For me, this means:

  • Eating vegetables every day because they make me feel good
  • Eating pizza sometimes
  • Eating lots of protein (because of blood sugar)
  • Eating my favorite meal at my favorite Mexican restaurant
  • Eating whatever is served in the dining hall because it’s free food and it allows us the chance to hang out with our community (and I refuse to eat just salad…)
  • Drinking as much coffee as I want with half and half, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp Pyure (I love the flavor of these mixed)
  • Eating what sounds good, and what I want (sometimes vegetables and sometimes cookies)
  • Having green smoothies (or scrambled eggs with spinach) or Pop Tarts for breakfast
  • A balanced approach!
  • Food freedom!

This means I move my body how I want, when I want… for me, this means hiking on this beautiful property that we live on, but not feeling guilty if I choose not to!

 

On another note… taking steps to loving myself is finally doing something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and have put off for fear of what people will think.

I’m going to finally be getting the tattoo that I’ve been wanting for a long time.  It’ll be on my forearm.

It will be of this tree (a painting in my house, by a friend of mine).

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And it will have this scripture reference: Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

I’m also going to have my nose pierced again.  I’m going to try it in hopes that it doesn’t do what it did last time (got infected and I had to take it out).  We’ll see what happens.  I’m going to get a small hoop instead of a stud.  I think that will make it work out better.

All of this, of course, with our income tax refund after we pay off debt.  We wouldn’t be able to otherwise.  I’m grateful for the income tax refund!!!

One thing that really helps me is learning to spend my time focusing on what I’m grateful for and what I love about life.  Every single day I share with my sponsor 3-10 things I’m grateful for that day.  It helps keep things in perspective.

Grati-Tuesday, January 31st

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This past week was really good in a lot of ways; though, there were some hard moments here and there.

Overall, my anxiety has been much better and I feel like I’m leveling out with my bipolar (after coming off of birth control… apparently that was affecting the effectiveness of my Lamictal).

I only had a few moments in which I thought about alcohol… not the constant that was happening there for a little while.  I really feel, now, that I can do this!  And I want to do this.

We even had stuff going on every night between Tuesday and Friday.  Usually this sends me into a tailspin of anxiety and makes me want to drink, but it didn’t this time (for the first time in years).

We had so much fun.  We spent time with old friends, people in our community, and our gap year students.  Taco Tuesday, chili, Phase 10, pizza and Girl Scout cookies, Wii Mario Cart, and Episode 4 of Star Wars.

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I wrote about Saturday in my self care Saturday post.

Sunday we went to church, then we came home and I took a 3 hour nap!  It was fantastic and just what I needed.  Since I prepped on Friday, I didn’t have much to worry about!

I talked about the hard stuff in the post that I wrote on Sunday.

Yesterday we met with Karis’ new counselor.

We decided it was time for her to see a counselor when she had a breakdown at school.  Her teacher called me and we had about a 20 minute conversation about it.  She has been struggling with the massive amount of change that has taken place in her life, my illnesses, and now my alcoholism.  They have all been through a lot, but I think it has really affected her the most.  She struggles to make friends, cries a lot, and shows a lot of anxiety.  She also told her teacher that I don’t have time for her… and have since made a point to spend extra time with her (I spent time with her before, but I don’t think it was intentional enough).

The counselor was amazing.  He was very professional and thorough.  You could tell that he really cared and wanted to take action.  He is also a pastor in Junction :-).  We talked camp for a little bit.  He met with her as well and they created an action plan.  He told us that if we want to meet with him every week we can (he actually encourages it).

After meeting with him, Robert and I had a nice, calm day at home!  I usually go to AA on Mondays but I didn’t go this week because we had to go to Rocksprings.  That’s a lot of driving in a day!

Other things I’m grateful for:

I’m grateful for coffee and God’s word.

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I’m grateful for this land that we live on.

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I’m grateful for my computer and cell phone.  Without them, I wouldn’t have daily contact with some people.

I’m grateful that I’m beginning to see the beauty that my husband sees.  It has taken a long time to see it, but I see it.  God made me in His image.

I’m also grateful for my shorter hair.  So much easier to take care of!  I can dry it in 5 minutes!

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Life is hard, but it is good.  God is good!

Grocery Geek, Part 2

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I ordered from Boxed:

Charmin toilet paper

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Barilla pasta sauce

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Barilla pasta

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Hunts diced tomatoes

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I plan on ordering from them once a month, spending $50-75.  This will keep us stocked up on things that I can stock up on.  (I ordered a ton from them with money that I made selling curriculum last week, so that should keep us going.)

I had Robert pick up a few things at HEB when he was there Friday (stuff that I didn’t think to buy and/or stuff that I forgot).

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  • 3 dozen eggs
  • 2, 12 packs of HEB Coke Zero
  • 4lbs of ground beef
  • Grape tomatoes (the orange ones are awesome)
  • Onion powder
  • Crest toothpaste
  • Cauliflower
  • Yellow squash (2)
  • Zucchini (2)
  • Chocolate chips (large bag)

Today, we picked up a few things from the little grocery store (Lowes) in Rocksprings.  I won’t be able to go by a store anymore for the next few weeks (because of meeting with my sponsor and counselor after AA).  I don’t want to make a special trip just to buy a few things.  So we are officially stocked for two weeks (actually a bit more than that because we’ve decided to eat in the dining hall more than I originally planned… so the food I bought, especially the meat, will last through the month).

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  • 2 packages of chicken thighs (less than $3 each package!)
  • 1 package drumsticks (less than $3)
  • Avocados (4)
  • Flour tortillas (2)
  • Shredded cheese (large bag)
  • Butter (1lb)
  • Julios salsa
  • Sour cream

I made our monthly meal plan based on what we have, so that should save us lots!  We will need things like milk, produce, etc.  I’m working on writing meal planning posts for the month.

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Here are pictures of what we have stocked up on (except for the few things I’m still waiting for from Boxed):

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I love having a stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer.  Maybe it’s a woman thing, but it just makes me feel content and helps me know we are taken care of.  God has provided all of this!

The Hard Stuff

Yesterday in my Facebook memories, I came across a picture of Karis doing school and me lesson planning.

It automatically brought me back to when it was just her and I.  It was beautiful, and I miss it so much (she does too).  This brought me back to the thought that maybe I could just homeschool Karis next year (junior high and beyond).

This was really heavy on my heart.

So I decided to hike by myself in order to have some prayer time (I always think best and am the least distracted when I’m outside).

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I don’t know how many miles I hiked or even how long I was out.  I just know that I had a heart-to-heart with God on that path.  I shared my heart to want to homeschool.  I shared how frustrated I am that I haven’t been able to because of my brain.  The brain that I wish wasn’t mine so much of the time.  The brain that I can manage (some times) but it won’t heal (I guess God could heal it, but I don’t see that happening).  The brain that carries mental illness in many forms (bipolar 2, severe anxiety, and alcoholism).  The brain that has to have a lot of medication and therapy.  The brain that makes it next to impossible to work.  The brain that needs constant work every. single. day.  Self care, unfortunately, is my whole day, every. single, day.  I say unfortunately because I absolutely hate that I have to put myself first every day.  This was not taught in church in the pews of my southern Baptist church.

Not only do I have this brain, I have the fact that my brother committed a gruesome suicide and I have yet to heal from this.

I also have abuse and bullying (physical and mental/emotional) to heal from.

I have to focus on sobriety every. single. day. (well, every minute of every day)

As you can see, I have a lot of work to do.

Because of this, Robert and I made the decision (again) to keep the kids in school.  This is so hard for me because I desperately miss homeschooling.  My kids have all made it clear that they miss homeschooling.  But it’s just not God’s plan at this time.

Luckily, their school and teachers have been amazing.  Despite the fact that it has been difficult, they have been growing so much.  It’s really best for them despite what we want.

I have talked about this before, but I will eventually be doing EMDR therapy to deal with abuse, bullying, and Joey’s death.  I start with my new counselor on Wednesday.  She already seems amazing, and I’ve only met with her for about 30 minutes so far.  My counselor’s first goal is to help me learn to love myself because without this, I can’t move forward.  This may take a while.

Between hating my brain and going up yet another size, I have a hard time with loving myself.

I’m so thankful for family and friends that love me the way I am, despite my lack of love for myself.  And a Savior that loves me more than anyone on earth could love me.  He will continue walking beside me as I do the hard stuff.

Self Care Saturday

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Here is a selfie of me with no makeup.  I never do that even though this is a normal look. I really only wear makeup a few days a week now (church and maybe on the days I go to town… but not every time). I’m thankful for my wrinkles. I like my eyes. My round face. My freckles. My hair because it’s easy to take care of now and throw in a pony tail. My camp eagle shirt (it’s my favorite long sleeve shirt now).

Come on over to Home Of the Croslands Facebook page and share a selfie (on my selfie pic), and tell us what you like!

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It’s also self care Saturday!

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I worked on my budget (which makes me feel better about money) and did the dishes (I love keeping up with the house!  It helps my anxiety!).

I’m currently drinking lots of coffee and sharing my daily gratefuls with my sponsor.  I am also blogging, which I love.

Part of my self care today will be to choose one of these books and get started.  I think I will just go in order.  I haven’t ever been a big reader, but I have all these books that I want to read!

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I will also drink 8-12 cups of water.

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Our family will go on a hike this afternoon (when it cools down).  These are some pics of my last hike.

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I will eat some Girl Scout cookies but also healthy lunch.  We will have green chile burgers for dinner, which is fun because I love when Robert grills!  In the past, I would have had at least a six pack of beer to go with it ;-).  Now I just enjoy my Coke Zero.  I don’t need beer anymore to enjoy the little things in life.

Enjoy your Saturday!!  What are your plans?

Weekend Prep, on a Friday :-)

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This post is going to reflect more than just meal prep, but that’s a big part of what I got done yesterday.

Earlier this week, I cleaned the house really well.  Yesterday I “touched it up” by making all of the beds, wiping down sinks in bathrooms, cleaning the table and counters in the kitchen, catching up on dishes, vacuuming and sweeping, and catching up on laundry.

Here’s what our clean house looks like!

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Then, I got to work prepping meals for next week!

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I cut veggies (some of these were from last weekend).

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I prepped lunches for next week.

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I organized my lunch/fruit cup (for the kids) drawer.

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I organized the kids’ snack cabinet.

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I boiled eggs (well, instant potted eggs).

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I wrote out my meal plan for the next two weeks.

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I pulled the meat out of the freezer to thaw for the week.

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I baked breakfast cookies.  I used Kodiak Cake Power Cakes instead of flour.

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I made breakfast taco filling (this time only eggs and bacon).

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Today I will do one load of laundry and PLAY WITH THE KIDS!  I love that I am home on Fridays now!  I can get my prepping done instead of doing it on the weekends!

Weekly Meal Plan: Week of January 30-February 5th

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Here you’ll find a balanced meal plan with healthy/not healthy foods.  I’m good with the balance I have found!

Breakfasts

  • Breakfast cookies (using Kodiak cake power cake mix instead of flour)
  • Oatmeal (just plain old Quaker)
  • Green protein smoothie
  • Sprouted English muffins and eggs (in the freezer)
  • Kodiak Power Cakes pancakes (in the freezer)
  • Pop tarts 🙂

Lunches

  • Chicken salad (made with leftover chicken), boiled egg, veggies and hummus, Triscuits
  • Cottage cheese (or lunch meat and cheese), boiled egg, veggies and hummus, Triscuits
  • Sandwich or wrap, boiled egg, veggies and hummus, fruit
  • Leftovers

Snacks

  • Sandwich crackers
  • Sriracha cashews
  • Dry roasted almonds
  • Veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers) with hummus or ranch
  • Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges or a fruit cup)
  • Veggie straws
  • White cheddar Cheez-its
  • Annie’s bunny snacks
  • Homemade Greek yogurt
  • Granola bars (plain old Quaker)
  • Z-bars
  • Clif bars

Dinners

Prep for the Week

  • Bake bread
  • Cut veggies
  • Make Greek yogurt
  • Thaw meats
  • Prep lunches
  • Prep smoothie bags
  • Soak beans Tuesday night
  • Make breakfast cookies

My Anxiety… An Explanation

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I have had anxiety my whole life.  I remember being a tiny child and feeling like my world was ending, often.  Because of this, I would throw terrible tantrums, even as an older child.

Then I got into high school and had so much anxiety over my school work.  I would make everything a big deal.  I would question everything and obsess.  I would care so much what others thought of me (obsessing over every conversation that I had with people).  I would worry that I was bothering people.  I had a sick stomach often, and I had a racing heart often.  I just felt like the world was ending often.

I remember that after I was told I have generalized anxiety disorder (by a psychologist), I told a previous teacher (that I had for 2 years, and I babysat her kids… she was the superintendent’s wife), and she said it made so much sense.

I had severe anxiety in college.  I tried to pray it away, and sometimes that worked.  But not often.

After I had Karis I had postpartum depression and anxiety.

Then after I graduated, I started trying to work.  I had severe anxiety and panic attacks.  Every. Single. Time.

I had to quit jobs 6 times because of severe anxiety (and severe depression).  My anxiety often leads to depression.

I have had two times in which I had hyperventilation syndrome (basically panic attack 24/7… the first time this lasted about 3 months and the second time about a month).

Fast forward to going to La Hacienda for alcoholism.

I met with a psychiatrist 3-4 times, at 1-1 1/2 hours each time.

He diagnosed me with mild bipolar 2 and severe anxiety (general, panic, social, and obsessive/compulsive).

It all made sense at that time.  I am anxious in general.  I have panic attacks (when I work, especially, and I had that hyperventilation syndrome when I started homeschooling the boys).  I have social anxiety.  I used to drink alcohol before social events to help me get through it… and I struggle with dealing with people in general.  Part of this is because of abuse, but part of it is just my anxiety.

And the biggest is obsessive/compulsive.

I obsess over a lot of things.  One example is when Karis was a baby.  She had a lot of tummy issues at first so I thought it was from her bottles.  I would buy a whole, huge set of bottles.  Then when that wouldn’t work, I would buy a whole new set.  I ended up buying like 5 different sets (we ended up finding out she was allergic to dairy).  I would also compulsively buy stuff for her on credit.

Another example is curriculum.  I would try one curriculum and when I decided I didn’t like it after like a week or two, I would obsess over something different, researching for hours every day.  This was my life for almost about a year.  I would spend so much on credit (Paypal credit).  I’m compulsive when it comes to spending money (especially on credit).

When I was doing the THM diet, I stocked up on THM foods (including a case of Wasa crackers that I will never eat) and spent so much money on credit.  I did so much obsessing over that diet.  Same thing with the 21 day fix diet.  And counting calories.  Working out 2 hours a day (which was part of my hypomania as well).  All of that consumed my every thought.

I recently finally closed my Paypal credit account because of compulsively spending even more on it (I used Paypal credit for my Boxed.com orders, but I’m going to pay that back with curriculum money).

Today we decided to cut up credit cards because I obsessively buy things on credit.

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Luckily, I’m really good about buying things in person (at HEB… I try to spend very little).  But.  I do obsess over that as well.  I wrote grocery geek posts early (for this week & next week), before I even bought groceries, based on my grocery list.  I obsessed and kept changing what I was going to buy (and re-did my list about 5 times because I can’t handle just crossing things off that I decide not to buy).

I think my house being clean all the time, laundry being caught up all the time, my household notebook, etc, are all part of me being obsessive with my anxiety.  If I can control things in my world, I feel better.  Now, I won’t stop doing those things because it does help, but it’s hard when things are a bit messy or I forget to plan my day on my planning sheet, I struggle.

My anxiety is actually much better lately because of a lot of self care (including lots of medication).  My life is all about self care right now.  Self care makes me a better wife and mom.  If I were working, I wouldn’t be able to do that.

If you struggle with anxiety, you’re not alone!

Grocery Geek, January 25th

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I bought groceries for most of 2 weeks, and I spent about $150.  I got a table full of fresh food!

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  • HEB long grain brown rice (2lbs)
  • HEB pinto beans (4lbs)
  • Aguilar flour tortillas (2 packages of 20)
  • HEB Corn tortillas (80 count)
  • Zulka sugar (4lbs)
  • Pyure
  • Duke’s mayo
  • HEB Coke Zero (3, 12 packs)

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  • Bananas (2 bunches)
  • Gala apples (3lbs)
  • Bell peppers (4)
  • Russet potatoes (5lb bag)
  • Sweet potatoes (4)
  • Roma tomatoes (6)
  • Jalapeños (3)
  • Avocados (5)
  • Broccoli (3 crowns)
  • Cabbage (1)
  • Carrots (1 medium bag)
  • Celery (1)
  • Cantaloupe (1)
  • 50/50 spring mix and spinach (1 small)

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  • HEB whole milk (2 gallons, 1 for yogurt)
  • HEB half and half (1/2 gallon)
  • HEB cottage cheese (32oz)
  • HEB sour cream (32oz)
  • HEB shredded cheddar (1lb)
  • HEB summer sausage (12oz)
  • HEB bacon (12oz)
  • HEB butter (1 lb)

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  • Ground chuck (4lbs)
  • Hormel natural lunch meat (4)
  • Farmhouse eggs (2 dozen)

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  • HEB frozen chicken breasts (36oz)
  • Kiolbassa polish sausage (2lbs, 11 links)
  • Kiolbassa beef sausage (2lbs, 11 links)
  • HEB whole chicken (1)
  • Grands biscuits (1)
  • HEB hummus (2 snack packs)

In the next two weeks, I will need:

  • More HEB Coke Zero (yes…)
  • Milk (2 gallons)
  • Eggs (2-3 dozen)
  • And maybe some produce (we’ll see… this may last)

I love grocery shopping!

 

Grati-Tuesday, January 24th

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I feel like I don’t have much to share because I have shared most of my recent pics already.  I’ll keep it short and sweet this week.

I am more and more thankful for my family every day!  We are strong together!

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Game playing with this guy after he was gone since Thursday morning (I hadn’t seen or talked with him since Wednesday).

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Playing games with my Levi

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She Reads Truth Bible Study

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I love that Levi chooses to read now.  He’s a great reader and he picks books up, sits on his bed, and reads.  It’s beautiful!

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I’m SO grateful to have sold all of this!

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I’m grateful to live in such a beautiful place.

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I’m thankful to be learning so much about how health and weight don’t necessarily have to correlate.  I am healthy and at my heaviest weight.  And that’s okay!

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And I’m so thankful for the freedom that I feel since I’m learning to let things go that I’ve been holding onto for a long time!  Praise God!

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