Just Processing Through Anxiety and Continuing to Figure Out Who I Am

So I’m sitting here on my back porch just feeling terrible… hyperventilation syndrome, chest hurts, cough, tingly hands and feet, foggy brain.  Just bad.  And since I’m struggling with the breathing thing, yet again, my mind goes to “fix it” mode.  What’s wrong with me this time?  What can *I* do to make myself feel better?  It has to be anxiety, why am I anxious?

My blog is usually my way to process through things, so I’m going to use it to try to find some relief.  And if I can’t, I’ll just go to bed early and do some meditation.

I started Monday out excited.  I found a blog called Blissful Britt that is basically who I used to be and who I want to be all wrapped up in one.  She’s a coffee lover, hiker, runner, foodie, and blogger.  She’s not married and she doesn’t have kids (at least not from what I can tell), so there’s that.  Obviously our lives look a lot different, but I can do what I want out of those things to be who I want to be!  It’s a choice that I make, right?

Robert seemed very excited because he was happy to see me excited about the outdoors again.  He really feels that being outside more will make a huge difference for my anxiety.  And for the most part he’s right.  I’m sitting on my porch and while I feel pretty terrible still, I can breathe a little bit better.  Unfortunately, though, that is what caused my breathing issue Monday night.  I went for an hour long hike and started to struggle, and it just never got better.

So now I’m wondering if maybe I’m trying to be someone I’m just not anymore… or maybe someone I can’t be right now at least.

This is who I want to be:

  • A person who is outside often and does all the nature-y things with her family.
  • Someone who backpacks regularly.
  • Someone who cooks and bakes often (and does a good job).
  • A homeschool mom who has a relaxed way of doing things and just enjoys being with the kids.  A Charlotte Mason homeschooling family (I LOVE her work).
  • A sober person with the ability to encourage those who are trying to be sober or are struggling (and sponsors others).
  • Someone who uses her mental illness to help others.
  • Someone who loves Jesus and that is evident in her life.
  • Someone who can let the house go a little.  Someone who can let go of organization a little and just live.
  • A good writer.
  • A mom with a lot of grace.
  • Someone who practices regular hospitality.
  • Someone who makes health priority, but doesn’t obsess over it or make it the focus.
  • Someone who is content with who she is.
  • Someone who doesn’t feel the need to live up to anything (in life, in homeschooling, in appearance, etc).
  • Someone who can just enjoy the moments as they come and not be so serious all the time (I want to be joyful!)

Oh, and then I actually considered trying to start “living naturally” again yesterday.  Like, go back to the no BPA, no paper, natural products, homemade cleaners, all homemade foods, organic, grass fed, herbal supplements, blah blah blah that I let go of a long time ago!  Maybe that’s what also caused my anxiety yesterday.  Some is good, but 100% is NOT healthy for me! (this is me, the black and white thinker here)

So now I’m trying to decide if I should make decisions based on these things (like a mission statement), or if that’s too much?  Am I causing anxiety by expecting too much from myself?  Maybe I just need to be okay with “enough.”

This is who I am (now):

  • I like to sit on the porch daily to blog or read but I don’t go for hikes as often as I would like (1-2 times a week).  The kids and I do nature walks/studies once a week.  We have plans for camping in the fall.
  • Robert and I go backpacking once or twice a year.  (I may not be able to go in August like we have planned if I don’t start feeling better, but I’m hoping to feel better, and there’s always next time)
  • I cook and bake often :-).  I love using recipes, coming up with recipes, and tweaking recipes.  I like to bake bread, pizza crust, muffins, cookies, etc.  I love to cook new things for dinner.  I have been branching out more lately.
  • I am a homeschool mom that is learning to relax and enjoy spending time with her kids using mostly a Charlotte Mason method.  I am also learning to throw off stuff that is heavy and doesn’t serve me well (I’m simplifying even more than what I had written on my last blog about curriculum).
  • I AM a sober alcoholic that does my best to encourage others when the opportunity presents itself, but I don’t sponsor like I would like to (and should) because I live so far from town!
  • I am very open about my sobriety and mental illnesses and I have a small group where people can share their needs.  I hope that my blog helps people.  It’s hard to know, though.  I don’t have many followers/readers/commenters.
  • I do love Jesus but I often wonder if it’s evident in my life because my mental illness overshadows it.  I’m working on growing this relationship, but it’s going to take a while because I have been running away (not really intentionally, but through my mental illness and addiction).
  • I definitely struggle to let the house or organization go.  I spend more time organizing than I actually spend using the organization.  And I’m constantly cleaning or yelling at my kids to clean.  That was the source of major anxiety yesterday (we spent HOURS cleaning and a lot of that was me yelling at the boys to clean!).
  • I don’t have as much grace with my kids as I would like to have, but I’m hoping I will get there one day.  Most of the time I’m doing much better than I did when they were smaller, but I have my days (I guess we all do… maybe I need to give myself that grace… maybe that’s the conclusion to all of this…).
  • I am learning to practice hospitality, but it does bring me anxiety and that makes me sad :-(.  Friday through Monday we had people over 3 times!  I really only had anxiety one of those days (Friday night).
  • I’m working on the health thing, one habit at a time.  I’m probably not going to go back to the natural/organic thing because I’ve begun to see that natural/organic isn’t what makes something healthy… it’s the nutrients in things that makes them healthy.  And slow, habit change is what’s sustainable (I have never been able to do a diet more than 3 months max).
  • I’m working on being joyful but it’s really hard when I can’t breathe right.  So that’s going to be a one moment at a time kind of thing.

Maybe I’m closer to who I want to be than I thought.  I have a really hard time “just living life” and being content with things.  I have had so much change over the years that I am always expecting something to change.  Or that we will have to do something differently because of my mental illness (and then it will be all my fault).  Thing is, I absolutely LOVE life (I’m pretty much living my dream)!  I just hate anxiety!

I’m trying to remember that I am ME, and I don’t have to fit into some kind of  box.

Well, after some time writing, I’m feeling somewhat better.  But I do think I’m going to go to bed pretty soon and do some meditation.

Tomorrow is a new day.  And I am going to town for AA, so that’ll help so much.

Scaling Back, Learning through Anxiety, Healthy Habits, and Becoming More Relaxed

Yesterday morning I was having an “I hate mental illness” day.  I went to bed with a lot of anxiety and that stupid breathing issue again.

After some time and talking things out, I figured out WHY I was having anxiety, but it didn’t make me hate mental illness any less.

I have still been putting too much on my plate.

I will feel really good so I’ll pile stuff on my plate.  Then I will have anxiety, and throw it off.  Good, more.  Anxiety, less.  Rinse and repeat.  I was talking to ladies in my Home of the Croslands group and one of my friends said that it sounds like a bipolar thing.  Then another friend said that it sounds like an anxiety thing.  But whatever it is, it has been something I have struggled with for years and years.  I guess, ultimately, it doesn’t need a label.  I just need to learn how to cope.

Also, Tuesday, I was obsessing about curriculum again ALL day.  I wrote a blog post that took me HOURS (I have since deleted it).  All I was thinking about was homeschooling curriculum and mostly about ALL of the resources that I have (SO many)!

And then there is the whole *hiking as my new habit* for the Balance 365 program that I have been feeling guilty about not doing even though I said I would!  I had a goal of getting to hiking every day and that was over my head.

I have just been feeling overwhelmed.

Yesterday afternoon Ethan went to town with Robert so I let Karis and Levi just be on electronics so that I could lie down.  I was in bed for quite a while and couldn’t ever fall asleep, but it was still really good.  I listened to my Serenity Spa Music and just focused on my breathing.  It was very beneficial for me.

Then I got up and wrote in my Balance 365 group that I am struggling with my first habit, still.  One of the founders and a coach both reminded me that it needs to be so easy that I am 90-100% sure that I can stick with it.  I’m realizing that the 4-5 days a week of hiking is just way too much for me right now!  So I told them that a few weeks ago the kids and I started hiking once a week for their nature studies and they told me that would be enough for now!  If I’m 90-100% sure I can stick with that, then do that for a while.  Once I’m consistent with that for about a month, then I can add more to my plate.  This is going to be a VERY slow process and that is so hard for me to get used to!  I’m so used to dieting and exercising hard for a little while and not being able to continue because that’s not sustainable!  I can do 1 day a week!  I’m hoping to add in another day after Family Camp :-).

I actually have a lot of good habits in place: daily self care, one load of laundry a day, getting the kids to do their daily chores, making my bed each day (most days at least), tidying the house most days, once a week “big clean,” mostly healthy meals (balanced), meal planning and prepping (every 2 weeks),  and most importantly, I’m almost 9 months sober (on Sunday!).

Then there’s the whole curriculum and book/resource thing…

I was sooooooo overwhelmed after looking at all that I have.  Thinking about coming up with my own units for science (in addition to Apologia and nature studies) using living books in addition to our history curriculum, and just having ALL of the books and resources was too much.  And trying to do The Good and the Beautiful AND Brave Writer was too much.  So I’ve decided to reduce and scale back.  I keep having this fear that if I scale back it won’t be enough, but I’m learning that the kids need me healthy and it actually benefits them in many ways to reduce what we do.

I decided that for the next few weeks (until Family Camp… we leave on the 19th), the kids will just do math and read for 20 minutes.  We will also do nature studies once a week.

After Family Camp (we come back on the 29th) I will add in The Good and the Beautiful, then after labor day (after Robert and I get back from our backpacking trip), I will add in science and history.

This is my plan for the fall:

  • The kids will read independently for 20 minutes per day.  Karis will read extra to do her history novels (1 per month).  She’s 11 and can handle that.  And she loves to read.
  • The Good and the Beautiful language arts covers all of this, a little bit each day: Phonics, reading/literature, poetry, spelling (with additional activities that I came up with), grammar, writing, art appreciation, and geography.
  • I’m scaling back on the Brave Writer Lifestyle.  We will do Poetry Teatime because the kids love it (but even if we miss a week it won’t be the end of the world).  The kids like Friday Free-writes, so we will continue that most Fridays (I told them that they didn’t have to, but they want to). Copywork is through G&B handwriting.  No consistent dictation (only once in a while).  No writing projects for now (Brave Writer Partnership Writing).  I have this for good (it is a pdf so I can’t sell), and we can always add them later if we need/want to.  We will continue movie nights and playing games because we’ve always done that before Brave Writer.  And like I mentioned, we will do nature studies.
  • Instead of reading aloud (for morning time), we will listen to audio books: Shakespeare, The Action Bible (I also bought the book for them to take turns following along), and novels (some classics, some newish books).  If we don’t get to it in the morning we will do it before bed (or even in the car).  I won’t be strict about this… just several days a week.
  • Math will be the same: Math U See with some Kumon books thrown in for extra practice.  Karis is JUST doing the Kumon division book right now to practice.  Like I’ve said before, she’s a few years “behind” in levels because she really struggles with math.  That’s okay.  She’ll get there.
  • We will do Apologia Astronomy for science and Exploring Nature with Children (with the Handbook of Nature Study) for nature studies.  We will not add in extra fun units for now even though I have a TON of living books.  This may be something I add in eventually, but I need to keep it SIMPLE for now.  I have the Apologia text, note booking journals, and the lab kit with the materials in bags labeled with the lesson on the outside.  Karis will do every part of the notebooking journals (including taking notes, answering questions, doing vocabulary crosswords, project recording, mini books, and more), but the boys will do less.
  • Story of the World for history:  The boys will answer the questions and do narration orally.  Karis will do written questions and written narration over what we read together.  She will also read the novels on her own to go with it (one a month) and do a book project over it.  We will do the internet links through the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History together because they are fun videos.  I probably won’t do any extra projects through history.  Maybe every once in a while.

That’s still a lot but I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore.  I won’t use many “living books” after all because I just can’t right now.  And that’s okay.

This is all of the stuff that I WON’T be using (at least not intentionally, for now):

Everything that I’m using is in the kitchen/dining room where we do our school (well, except novels that the kids will choose from).

I’m in the process of making a list for the kids’ independent work to put in their binder, but mostly for Karis.  She will be involved in the read alouds of science and history and will branch off for the rest.  I’m going to make her level of the Good and the Beautiful more independent even though it’s supposed to be together (we started on level 3 even though she’s 11 because this curriculum is advanced and she doesn’t have a solid foundation in grammar).  I will find a way to make it work because she is ready for independence (she WAS independent before the boys came home).  Also, making her more independent will actually help me out a ton.

I’m also going to make things more relaxed.  As long as we get things done in the day, we’re good.  Ethan is doing better these days without a strict schedule so I’m trying to have more of a routine and not a schedule.  I want the kids to be able to stay up for fun camp activities, to have people over, and to just have movie nights and game nights.  So I want them to be able to sleep in if they can/want.  Of course Ethan CAN’T sleep in no matter how late he stays up, so we’ll have some limits :-).

 

One of the biggest things that I am learning is that I can use the breathing issue to my advantage.  I have noticed that when I am doing too much and I get overwhelmed, I struggle with my breathing.  When I take stuff off my plate, I feel better.  So if I struggle with breathing, I will evaluate what I need to take off my plate!

I also just keep telling myself “grace” over and over anytime I get a thought in my head that I “should” or “need to.”

Now to print this off and hang it on my bulletin board!  Haha!

 

Happy Weekend! Busy Saturday!

Yesterday I met my mom in Kerrville for her to pick the kids up and take them to her house.  They are there till Monday.  I spent a lot of the day today being lazy.

At about 3:45 I had had enough of that so I got up and got busy!  I cut up veggies and baked some muffins.  Robert came home about the time that I was going to cut a cantaloupe and honey dew.  He ended up cutting it for me, then he pan-seared some salmon and chicken breast for me to have over salads this coming week.  I bagged mixed nuts for snacks, made pumpkin steel cut oats in the instant pot, tore lettuce and put it in a big container to have salads, made homemade dressings (creamy buffalo and balsamic vinaigrette), and made quinoa.

I also have peeled boiled eggs (I buy them boiled and peeled from Walmart!) and Greek yogurt to grab for snacks or to go with meals!

I feel like I am set up for success!  It feels so good.

All of this work only took a few hours!  It helps that Robert pitched in!

On a similar note…

I started the Healthy Habits Happy Moms Balance 365 program several weeks ago. The idea is to pick one healthy habit at a time to focus on, and once you are consistent with it for a time, then you add another one. It’s slllloooowwww and hard sometimes. I have honestly struggled with even figuring out what to start with because I feel like I’m not at all where I want to be with my health. I am learning to love my body the way it is, but I know that I have a ways to go in the health department. But dieting isn’t the answer. It’s not healthy, it isn’t sustainable, and it actually leads to bingeing and weight gain. So I want to be okay with the slowness of this program.

Robert and I were talking earlier and I realized that he’s right… I need to focus 100% on being active again. So many reasons. I have high cholesterol and the meds that I was on cause high liver enzymes… since I am an alcoholic my doctor prefers for me to not take them unless I have to (even though I’m not drinking anymore!). Also. With my generalized anxiety disorder and the return of the weird physical symptoms, being outside hiking is REALLY good for that. It’s one of the best things for anxiety, actually. My counselor has told me that she wants me to walk 30 minutes a day and I haven’t been doing that. I find joy in being outside. I love hiking. I have just gotten out of the habit. I used to hike ALL THE TIME. Also, we are backpacking in a couple of months and I am NOT physically ready for that! It’s just the best habit to focus on right now!

My goal is 2-3 times a week by myself and once a week with the kids to do their nature study . I would like to do what my counselor told me to do (every day), but I’m going to start slow.

Overall I am doing SO well right now. I just still have this anxiety. And it’s weird that I’m having the breathing issue off and on.  I know the anxiety is always going to be there, but my counselor tells me that I can get it more manageable if I get outside exercise. So that is what I will do!

Robert also reminded me that usually when I am active, everything else falls into place.  I am more consistent with a lot of things in my life… time in the Word, eating healthier, I’m more active in the community, etc because I’m feeling good mentally!

Healthy Habits, Self Love, and Self Care

This is kind of a hard post to write because it means me finding my voice and maybe going against something that I’ve been told over and over again.  I’ve also learned to take the good from something and to be okay if I don’t agree with every part.

The body positive community is a tough one.  On one hand, they helped me to learn to hate my body less, learn to eat more balanced (and stop dieting), learn to not feel guilty if I don’t eat perfectly, helped me to understand that fat phobia is a real thing and I’m in the process of overcoming that, helped me to see others in a different light, helped me to learn to eat when hungry and stop when full (intuitive eating), and much more!   On the other hand, they are very feminist (which I have mixed feelings about), very anti-weight loss (which I have mixed feelings about because what if weight loss is the outcome of intuitive eating and joyful movement?), and I feel that they don’t seem to think that health is all that important.

I have been feeling guilty for wanting to eat healthy, for wanting to exercise (and have goals in this area), and for disagreeing with the community in any way, shape, or form.

Today I have been talking with the ladies in the Healthy Habits, Happy Moms group that I’m in, and they have helped me to feel empowered to do what I want for myself, my body, and my mental/physical/emotional health.  Dieting doesn’t work.  Habit change and intuitive eating does work.  And if I don’t lose weight due to being healthy, that’s okay too.  Healthy habits are my goal.  I have decided that it’s okay if I want to start running again (despite being told that I shouldn’t).  I want to become strong again.  I want to be able to run a 5k again.  I want to be able to hike long-distance again.  I want to be able to feel good and not need a nap every day.  I want to be able to backpack long-distance again.  I want to continue to have a balanced view of food and feel okay with eating Cheetos, but also feel good about eating veggies.  I don’t want to feel guilty for either.  I want health to be my goal but to not feel guilty for wanting to lose weight in the back of my mind.  I can’t help it and it doesn’t make me a bad person.

For my self care, I am going back to focusing on healthy habits.  The two that I’m going to work on are: Doing Couch to 5k and reducing sugar in my coffee.  I will continue eating balanced, taking vitamins/meds/supplements, and working on self love.  The behaviors of exercise and balanced eating are what make me feel good, so that’s what I want.  I also want to feel strong.  When I was running before I felt so proud of myself and accomplished.  I was able to handle so much physically.  I ended up backpacking 23 miles in one day at one time (that wasn’t planned and I hurt for days afterwards, but I did it!).  When we backpack, we typically hike 13-14 miles on average in a day.  I want to be able to do that again!  Right now, if I walk up a hill I feel terrible.  I am so out of shape.  I will probably also start doing strength training again eventually, but I’ll get there… don’t want to overwhelm myself.  Three days of walking/running is sufficient for now!  Self care is my goal, but if weight loss is the outcome, that doesn’t make me anti-body positive.

I want to also eventually try to increase my water intake and decrease my soda intake… but that’ll come.  One habit at a time!  Studies show that the more habits you try to change the least successful you are at actually making those changes.

The biggest thing that I am learning lately is that I need to stop caring so much what people say or think.  I need to do what I need to do for myself.  The same thing happened with my desire to homeschool.  It all comes down to what’s best for me and what’s best for our family!

Robert completely agrees with me on all of this, and I’m so happy to have his support!

Taking Charge of My Wellness Holistically

I woke up this morning (after only 4.5 hours of sleep) feeling a drive for taking charge of things.  I have been working really hard (counseling, seeing my doctor once a month, taking my medication, working with a dietitian, etc), … Continue reading

When You’ve Lived Your Life the Way Others Say You Should for So Long, Part 2

Freedom pillar Apartheid museum

I wrote this post in January of 2015: When you’ve lived your life the way other say you should for so long.  I don’t want to re-write it here, so read it if you’re interested.

Unfortunately, I ended up falling back into my old ways of doing things recently.  I think I was trying to make up for the fact that I could no longer homeschool.  This was a hard thing for me to come to terms with.  I didn’t think I was a good mom if I didn’t homeschool any more (the homeschooling groups that I was in definitely didn’t help this any).

I recently (late fall-December) thought that I needed to go back to using natural products, cleaners, detergents, hand soaps, toothpaste, makeup, and so on… I also went back to trying the essential oils that I had at one time decided didn’t work.  I spent a lot of money on top-of-the-line vitamins and cod liver oil (I recently went with what is a little cheaper… and I will use the cheaper cod liver oil that I have instead of buying more fermented cod liver oil).  I wanted to eat mostly organic/natural foods.  I desperately wanted to start buying raw milk/local foods through a co-op and food through Azure Standard (mostly organic/natural foods) even though these would have made me go out of my way (driving to Kerrville/Boerne on a day that I wouldn’t normally go to town, let alone spending a fortune on these foods).

Gosh.

It’s so funny how easy it is to think that it’s something that’s required of me as a mama.

In November and December I bought all of this (and spent at least $200 even though I already had what I needed):

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I bought this to make elderberry syrup (that has never worked for us… this was about $40 alone!).

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I thought I needed to start using these again (and I just sold them all!).

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These are the products that I actually prefer!

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This keeps my face clear!

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Cheap and smells good.

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Cheap and smells good (also is great with my hair).

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HEB brand, so it’s cheap.

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I’m using this right now, and when we don’t have Bath and Body Works, we just use Soft Soap :-).

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We love the All Mighty Pacs for several reasons.  Easy for the kids to use, good price, and they smell good!

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This is my favorite makeup (I’m slowly moving over to Mary Kay, though… I LOVE the mascara to the right).

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Good cleaners!

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These work the best out of all the dishwashing detergent that we have found!

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I’ve also found a balance with food and fitness.  Buying healthy and unhealthy food all in moderation and balance.

Here are some of the foods that I buy.  I buy few natural or organic foods now (I am a stickler for Hormel natural lunch meat and Farmhouse cage free eggs, but most everything else isn’t organic).  I buy what is the cheapest of that type of food (mostly).  If I buy organic, it’s because it’s about the same price.

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I now buy a mix of processed food (for ease of use) and whole foods (for nourishment).

I exercise to feel good now and not to lose weight.  I hiked with a friend on Friday and it was fantastic!  I plan to do this 3-4 times a week now for mental/emotional health.  I’m also hoping that just exercising will help my cholesterol (I’ve read in a lot of places that it does!).  Though, my cholesterol is high because of genetics (almost everyone in my family has high cholesterol) and a medication that I’m on (Latuda can cause this).  So we’ll see.

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I love the freedom that I’m finding and the money that I’m saving.  Shedding the idea that natural is better, eating for nourishment and joy (not weight loss or organic/natural foods), and exercising for mental/emotional health!

Weight Obsession and Self Care

I am in an amazing group on Facebook (I’ve shared about this before) called Healthy Habits, Happy Moms.  It’s based on their website and business.

I have been doing their Strength Circuit exercises and I really like them because they are short and effective.

I’ve been eating well.  I eat homemade granola over homemade Greek yogurt for breakfast (and sometimes a green smoothie).  I eat deli meat or cottage cheese, bag full of veggies (this week it’s broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, and grape tomatoes) with hummus, Triscuits (10 in a snack baggie), boiled egg, and Tillamook cheddar (a little bit) for lunch.  Dinner is something homemade.  Tonight is homemade pasta sauce over whole wheat pasta and steamed broccoli with lemon pepper and sea salt.  I eat unhealthy sometimes, but I feel that balance is important.  Restricting isn’t good for long-term health.

I do have my coffee with half and half and Pyure and sugar (less than a tsp of each), and I drink Coke Zero, but these are just a few things that are self care for me because I enjoy them.  I’m not willing to let go of them right now (maybe eventually).

So I wrote all of this in my HHHM group and I was immediately greeted with the fact that my sobriety needs to be first priority, not weight loss.  Some people said that I have an obsession with weight and that’s not healthy.  Some people said that the best thing to do is focus on just sticking with these habits for now and keep trucking.

I realized by reading these comments that I really do STILL have an obsession with my weight.  I haven’t been necessarily JUST doing these healthy things for self care, but also for weight loss.

I had a friend take this picture, and all I can see is that I am the biggest I’ve ever been.

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I don’t know how I got to this point.  It’s frustrating.

This is a picture of me about 3 years ago… in the same shirt.

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But the ladies in my HHHM group are so right.  #1 Sobriety, #2 Self care as part of my sobriety, and #3 learn to love myself as is.  That’s all right now.

One lady said that my family wants me more with a little bit of fluff and sober than skinny and drinking.  She’s right!

I have decided that my obsession with weight is something I need to address with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  This is something that I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember.  Even at my thinnest I thought I was fat and wanted to lose weight!  When I looked at pictures of myself I was disgusted.  I still feel that way.

I want to learn to love myself as is, no matter my weight, but it’s so much easier said than done!

I think I’ll get there between this group and my counselor.  One day at a time.

So right now I’m focusing on sobriety, self care, and loving myself.  Anything else is just extra!

Self Care on This Wonderful, Rainy Monday!

I have a group in which I ask every day what the beautiful ladies are doing to take care of themselves that day.  If you’re interested in being in it, send me a message and I’ll be glad to see if you should be in it :-).  The group is here: Home of the Croslands.

Since today is #movementmonday in my Healthy Habits, Healthy Moms group, I will be doing the HHHM Strength Circuits Workouts.  It’s cold and rainy so I won’t be running (the roads are all dirt and rocks here at camp so it will be slippery!).

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Hopefully I can do my Monday Couch to 5k workout tomorrow.  I’m learning to be more flexible :-).

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In addition to my workout:

1. Holiday blend coffee (with Pyure and half and half instead of sugar) and Bible study/prayer journal

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2.  Eat my healthy breakfast (homemade Greek yogurt and homemade granola with fruit)

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3.  Shower, dry hair, put on makeup

4.  Take my medication and supplements

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5.  Enjoy classical Christmas music

6.  Go to AA

 

7.  Enjoying the Christmas lights (I want to keep a tree up year round!)

8.  Blogging 🙂

9. Not cooking tonight!!  Eating in the dining hall!!  That means no dishes as well!

10. Keeping a clean house (as I shared yesterday)

11. Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help with my anxiety when it hits (which is rare these days)

12. Going to lunch with my hubby!

What are you doing for self care today?

 

Grati-Tuesday

Years ago, a friend of mine started a “Gratituesday” post in a group that we’re in, and she has continued it to this day.  I always love commenting what I’m thankful for (when I see it).  I have decided that I will start a “Gratituesday” blog every week!  I do write 3-10 things that I’m thankful for to my sponsor every day, but it’s fun to include pictures and more details, so that’s what this post will be!

Some of these are repeats of a thankful post that I wrote last week, and some of these will repeat each week… but I’ll try to update with new pictures if they do repeat :-).

 

Robert and I decided to buy a pair of shoes for ourselves as a Christmas gift… yes it’s early, but we do that every year.  These are hand painted Toms.  Toms are my favorite shoe, and these are my favorite Toms ever!

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I have been working on creating healthy habits.  The first one is doing the Couch to 5k program again!  I did Day 1 yesterday, and I repeated it today with a good friend of mine.  We’re going to do the program together!  I’m super excited about it.

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I feel like we did a pretty good job for our first time together :-).

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The desire to create life-long habits, one at a time!

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After our run/walk, I decided to take a hike on my own for my mental health and to spend some time in prayer.  I got quite a few steps in and 101 active minutes!

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This is a typical lunch for me when I got to town!  This is cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, Triscuits, cucumbers, broccoli, and carrots with hummus.

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Robert made me a healthy lunch today!  It’s lemon pepper flounder with leftover roasted veggies (acorn squash, yellow squash, zucchini, sweet potato, onion, and russet potato).  Yum!  (I also had 2 cookies… because… balance).

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When I don’t have eggs in corn tortillas or oatmeal, I have a green smoothie :-).  This one is frozen banana, frozen kale, frozen berries, almond milk, protein powder (I don’t do THM anymore, but I love their protein powder), and spirulina.

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One of my favorite drinks is Bai with apple cider vinegar.  I also sometimes use sparkling water with apple cider vinegar in it.

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This makes me so happy!  My boys all playing with Legos together :-).

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Levi decided to write this all on his own in his journal! I’ll translate: Turkey, home, parents, and God, world, family, friends, and other people, rain, water, food, pizza, sandwich, donuts, ice cream.

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Ethan wrote these in his journal!  He is growing so much!

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I’m thankful that the month of meals is planned, and I have an organizational system that works for Robert and I.  Most of these meals are things we already have here so it should be a light month on our grocery budget!

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Mulled cider candle!

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The little tree that Robert made last year out of branches.  It’s so fun!

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Christmas books to read as a family!

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My new haircut!!!

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I could probably keep going, but I end it for now!  What are you grateful for today?

Forming Healthy, Long-term Habits

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I have tried so many diets and ways of eating that I have lost track.  And here I am, at my highest weight and biggest size.  I know how to eat healthy, I just don’t do it consistently.  I also have rarely been consistent with exercise!  It’s all because I haven’t formed habits… I just tried an all or nothing approach.

Yesterday I stumbled across a Facebook group called Healthy Habits Happy Moms.

I’ve been lurking in the group today… watching videos, reading posts, reading comments, etc.

They are NOT an anti-weight loss group.  Weight loss CAN be healthy.  But what they ARE is an anti-diet and anti-extreme exercise group.  They focus on loving your body the way it is.  They focus on self care.  Everything that I’ve been trying to find in one place.

They talk about how it’s healthy to allow yourself to eat “non-healthy” foods in moderation.  Having some chocolate, cake, cookies, etc is not a bad thing.  It can be a good thing!  They are not anti-sugar or carbs or fat.  They feel that all of those fit into a balanced diet.

Their website Healthy Habits Happy Moms says, “We are not about strict meal plans, good and bad food lists, or nutrition and workout dogma.”

This website and Facebook group is a breath of fresh air for me.  For someone who has been struggling with these areas for years, I feel like I might be able to be successful.

A few things that are important: 1) Focusing on a few new habits at a time instead of an all or nothing approach, 2) short, daily exercise, and 3) focusing on self care.

I purchased their HHHM Strength Circuits exercises ($22).

There are 6, 10 minute or less workouts and 5, 20 minute or less workouts.  There is a warm up exercise and a workout calendar included.  The calendar has 3 of the circuit workouts, cardio, recovery, and rest days included.

The new habits that I’m going to start (now) are: 1) Drinking half my body weight in water a day (reducing my Coke Zero intake… shooting for stopping completely over time), 2)  Drinking hot tea and raw honey at night instead of decaf coffee with sugar and flavored creamer, and 3) Working out, starting with 3 days a week, then increasing each week until I work out 6 days a week.

I will continue eating the healthy way I know to eat, allowing myself some “unhealthy” foods some, too.  I will continue taking my supplements (raw whole foods vitamin, cod liver oil, and B12).

I’m super excited and at peace in an area that has been bringing me so much turmoil for years.