Social Distortion

I love the band Social Distortion.  There is always a song for each happening in life and, although this may seem like it will be a band tribute, it isn’t. I’ve had some experiences in the past few weeks that … Continue reading

A Little Break

As you can tell, I’ve taken a little break from writing.  Some of it because I’ve, honestly, not felt like writing because I felt like everything I would write would be not overly positive.  Not because everything is horrible but because that’s when I feel like writing the most.  The other part is that I’ve been busy and putting my brain to writing seems to exhaust me.

That brings me to this.  I’ve been tired.  Like sleep 10 hours a night tired.  And thankfully I’ve had this weekend off so I’ve been going to bed at 9 after struggling to stay awake.  I mean, six o’ clock and I could go to bed tired.  Then I sleep until 7 or 8.  I’ve  been tired for a while but the last couple of months it has started to really bother me.  I went to the doctor and they did a complete blood panel and everything came back normal.  My T3 (thanks to my hypothyroidism) is a little off but nothing to be overly concerned about.  Nothing to explain this feeling of exhaustion.  Unless it’s mono, then all I can do is sleep it off.  I go back to the doc in a couple of week to see if the new meds for the T3 are working and will have them do the mono test at that time.

Also, I know this is the time for people to go out to eat with their families and it can be a struggle.  No matter how many times you ask if a meal is gluten free, ask the server to mark it on their order, mistakes can happen as can cross contamination.  This happened last week, I went to a restaurant with a friend.  I made sure the server knew it had to be gluten free (asked about each item on the list and requested it three times) and then when it was served I asked several times again.  It wasn’t gluten free, my tummy told me that, and I spent most of the night with a tummy that tried to get rid of the food as quickly as possible.

Now, I know I take a chance when eating out.  This is the first time in over four years that this has happened, people around here tend to get it right, to understand how important it is.  But this was one time when care wasn’t taken no matter how careful I was.

I’m sure some of this contributed to my lack of energy this weekend.  I did have an amazing Thanksgiving and had the energy to prepare the meal with the help of my mom and dad.  I did have the energy to finish decorating the exterior of the house and it took all day on Friday to do the interior of the house.

So I’m taking little steps with the little energy I have.  Thank you for your patience as I took some time off the radar.  I will be better in the future.

Taking Time

There are times in life when we are forced to slow down.  This was one of those weeks.

Monday I woke up, didn’t feel great and took my temp:  102.  I called in sick to work, a friend recommended that I go to the doc and by the time I got to the doctor, my temp was over 103.  The flu.  Whee!

So I was down and out for three full days.  My temp would go down during the day and then I’d wake up with a temp, Wednesday was the worst with 104.  Thursday my temp was gone when I woke up, I was on the mend.

I went to work on Friday and lasted half a day.  My body is spent from fighting this thing.  It was such a nice afternoon on Friday that I got a chair outside in my backyard and sat in the sun, breathing in fresh air.  I just sat.  I listened.  I closed my eyes and soaked the sun in.  I was forced to take time. My body was forcing me to slow down, take a breather and remember that I’m not invincible and that taking it slow isn’t a bad thing.

You see, we are always in such a hurry, always scurrying from one place to another, one thing to another, filling every minute of our day.  Because if we aren’t filling it, what are we missing?  Did I forget something?  That’s always my fear.  And it shouldn’t be something feared, it should be something that makes us happy, to have time.

Time to stop, wash some windows, trim a shrub and then sit and watch the world go by.

Staying on the Positive Side

Let’s be honest, sometimes life gets us down.  This is a story of getting down and then getting over it.

I have a pretty positive outlook on having Celiac Disease, having to eat gluten free and not getting to eat things like egg rolls and Chinese food in Chinese restaurants.  About once a year I get PF Chang’s and satisfy my Chinese craving for a bit.  It’s not as much as I used to eat it but it helps.  Eating gluten free isn’t really that bad either.  It could be worse, I could be allergic to dairy, avocados, and almonds.  Things that I eat EVERY day.  But it’s just gluten, right?

Well, last Monday was my “feeling sorry for myself” day.  I had been at JUCO (the Junior College World Series) which happens every May in Grand Junction.  It’s basically a week of sunshine, baseball and more sunshine.  I spend as much time attending games and chillin’.  Memorial Day I got to the stadium at 11 and stayed there all day.  I had brought my usual snacks to tide me over and had plans to jet at 6 to grab a bite to eat before the 7:30pm game.  Plans changed and I ended up taking photos of the team the Grand Junction Lions Club hosted (every year we host one of the teams) and not going to eat.

Mind you, this was my fault…I will admit that.

I had, earlier in the day, started wishing that I could go to the concession stand, pick whatever I wanted and just EAT.  Not have play 20 questions with the gal behind the counter and then hope that she was right.  It’s like playing Russian Roulette, really.  I was tired of being different, of not being able to grab food and go, to have to leave the stadium to get something to eat and then come back, try to find a parking spot and…it was too much.  I’m guessing the sun and heat had something to do with this breakdown as well.

But I had a pity party.  I almost started crying and had to compose myself several times.  Sometimes being gluten free really sucks.  In fact, I found this and posted it to Facebook:

Don't you ever just want to be normal?

Don’t you ever just want to be normal?

I had friends comment on the picture from “Be strong!” to “I have those days” to “I wouldn’t eat normal for the world, I know how it hurts me”.  The support was so good.

I ended up getting fries.  They told me that they were gluten free.  I hope they were right…

So, I had my moment, ate my fries, watched the game, went home, went to bed and the next day I was fine.  My outlook was better.  Sometimes you just have to have a moment and move on.  The sun always comes up tomorrow, I’ve been told…and that is a true statement.

The moral of the story is twofold:

1.  Have a pity party, get mad or sad or whatever and then MOVE ON.  It’s life and the way it is whether it’s Celiac or a dairy allergy or something else.  It could always be worse.

2.  Stay positive.  Negative energy only brings you and everyone else around you down.  The more negativity, the less people will want to be around you and, when you really need support, it won’t be there.

Gluten free isn’t always the most glamorous or the most fun but it’s the most healthy for me.  It could be gluten free or death and I choose gluten free.

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How do you do it?

This week we decided, at work, to start rotating and each Friday we take a little “brunch break” at work.  Not only does this give us a little break in the morning but each one of us gets to make something and share the recipe with the rest of the bunch.  One of my co workers was searching recipes and kept asking “can you have this?” and “can you have that?”  Of course when it comes to biscuits, pancakes and so many other breakfast foods, they are off limits for me.  The poor girl was trying so hard and I kept having to say no.

She then said “I don’t know how you do it, I would starve.”  Interestingly enough, when I asked friends what things they heard the most when you’ve explained your gluten free diet, the most common were “how do you do it?” and “you can’t eat anything.”

I will start with the question.  You do it because you have to.  Believe me, this isn’t something that I’d choose.  I do miss eating pancakes at a restaurant, biscuits and gravy on a buffet and egg rolls.  Oh, how I miss egg rolls.  But it’s something that is necessary for me to live.  To not live in pain.  To remain healthy.  You read labels, all of them, because wheat is hidden in so much.

Then to “you can’t eat anything.”  Well, if you mean you can’t get a Big Mac from McDonald’s, then yes.  Not that I’d eat that if I could…nasty.  You can eat, you just have to do research and, yes, it does take time and effort.  But I eat, I eat a lot.  You just learn what you can and can’t have.  You learn to shop around the outside of the grocery store, which is typically the healthiest choice anyway.  I eat lots of brown rice, quinoa, veggies and chicken.  I get creative.  And yet, I don’t look all skin and bones.

I feel bad for my co workers and anyone else that tries to cook for me.  Some of my friends have become experts in reading labels, in asking and, when all else fails, in sending me pictures of the labels of foods I may eat at their homes.  It isn’t the easiest thing in the world but it’s done because it’s needed.  And that’s how I do it…the short version!

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The Road to Health

January 1, 2013 was my changing point.  The week before I had looked in the mirror and was not happy with the person I saw.  I was as heavy as I was when I moved to Colorado in 2005, was making bad food choices and, although I was working out from time to time, I didn’t have a set plan.  With many bad health conditions running in my family, from heart disease to diabetes and so much more, I decided that I wanted to control as much of my health as possible.  I decided to take control of my health and do what I could.

So January 1st, 2013, I took a picture of myself so I could track my progress.  I recommend doing this if you are going to start a weight loss journey, it’s very motivating.  My goal was to work out five times a week and have a certain caloric intake everyday.  I think I drove my parents crazy counting calories.  I also cut out alcohol for the first month, retraining my body.  I kept to my goals and did a workout five times a week, stayed within my calories.

The weight started coming off, slowly, which is the way I prefer it. Every month for the first year, I took a picture and could see the difference which was so very encouraging.  Last year I didn’t take as many pictures, once to show what a difference a year made and that was about it.  I had a few more pounds to lose and did that by doing an Arbonne Detox Bootcamp with which I had huge success.

This morning, for some reason, I decided to take another picture and did a comparison from two year ago.  Totally crazy…I am actually sharing it because I’m pretty proud of where I came from.

The story here is don’t quit.  It’s easy to give in and go back.  It’s easy to say “I’m at a plateau and can’t keep going”  It’s hard to stay the course and keep moving even though it’s tough.  So keep going, move through the tough parts to the parts that will be the huge reward!


If you can’t say nothin’ nice…

I don’t always keep in tune with what is going on in the world.  I typically do enough so that I can talk intelligently and know the facts.  I don’t like to sound ignorant so I educate myself.

Not everyone does this, which was evident by this interview that included TV talk show host, Joy Behar.  If you haven’t watched it, please do.  Unless you are in a good mood because it will tick you off.

I spend time trying to educate people about being gluten free:  what my reasons are, what it means and how I keep myself healthy.  What irritates me the most is people not educating themselves on why they are eating gluten free.  Admittedly, a lot of people that don’t know why they are eating gluten free are the ones who don’t have a medical diagnosis that requires it.  They do it because they feel better or, in some cases, because it’s the newest thing.  There are those people.

Ms. Behar is a prime example of talking without education.  Of speaking out of ignorance.  We are “needy” because our diet requires it.  Celiac Disease isn’t something in our head, it’s a REAL disease.  In fact, Ms Behar, I invite you to feed me pasta and hang out in the bathroom with me while my not real disease kicks in.

Part of me hopes that this negative publicity is a wake up call to this lady but, who am I kidding?  I have seen her before and she isn’t the brightest bulb so I am highly doubtful that it will change.  I just hope that other people won’t pay attention to her…and we can continue our education and bring positive light to eating gluten free.

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Starting anew

While most people were spending New Year’s Eve with family and friends, I opted to stay at home.  It’s been a weird week and then when I got home from work, my cat was sick and thought it was better to cuddle with her and make sure she was ok.  When your fur baby is over 18, you never know…

I had time to think while watching a marathon of “Wings”.  I had read a blog by Ashley Castle, a world-class traveler and Arbonne consultant, earlier in the day and it got me thinking:  What are my goals and dreams?  What do I need to change to reach them?

I actually met Ashley this summer.  She was working on the Mutual of Omaha Aha! Tour.  When I came in for my interview, she spotted my Arbonne necklace and made a connection.  Once an Arbonne sister, always an Arbonne sister.  Since then I’ve followed her on Facebook and via her blog.  I won’t lie, I’m pretty jealous of her lifestyle as she is always traveling somewhere, it seems.  But she is by no means a trust fund baby, she has worked hard to make it all happen and she is a travel writer so makes a living by the sights she sees.  The point is that that was her dream and two years ago it HAPPENED.  Now, someone didn’t just give it to her…again, she worked for it, it was a GOAL.

She makes goals in four or five areas of her life every year.  She WRITES them down.  I’ve had my Arbonne consultants ask why they should write their monthly goals down.  Here is the reason:  you are 70% more likely to reach a goal if it is written down.  If you don’t write it down, the likelihood of reaching that goal drops to 7%.  (Thanks, Ashley!).  In reading that, it made me think this:  “If I don’t write a goal down, I really have no intention of doing it.  I have no DESIRE to reach that goal.  It’s just a “if I do it, then it’s cool.” kind of goal.

I will be following Ashley’s method of creating goals in my life from professional to different aspects of my personal life.  I also will be focusing on the positive.  This includes cleaning out the negative friends, acquaintances, books and so much more from my life.  I will be limiting some relationships because they are “poisonous” which may mean cleaning out my Facebook friends…the horror!  I will be downsizing because we all have too many “things” in our lives.  Things do NOT equal happiness.  I will cross one or two items off of my bucket list.  I will run more races, will take the time to FEEL better about myself which will translate into looking better, if that can happen.  Haha!  Just kidding.  I will take time for ME.  We don’t do that either.  Taking time for yourself isn’t a bad thing, being selfish with “me” time is a GOOD thing.  If we don’t take time for ourselves, we are no good for anyone.  As a social butterfly, this will be a hard one for me.  I hate missing out on things!  I will try new things because if you don’t try it, you don’t know if you like it!

This is a start to my new year.  This will be a new year, a new me and a great new time in my life.  This is the year I turn 40 and I won’t go into it kicking and screaming.  I will welcome it because it means greater things are ahead.

I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and that you have an amazing start to 2015.

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The Danger Zone

There are times where I just don’t eat.  Yes, I know that that isn’t healthy for me but sometimes it comes down to necessity.  There are other times where I’m limited on what to eat because I KNOW what is safe and what isn’t.

What I’m referring to are the parties that are coming up for the holidays.  If you are Celiac, or gluten intolerant or have any type of food allergy, you know what I’m talking about.  You walk into a party, look at the food and just know that you can’t have any of it.  There are times, like the fundraiser I was at last night, where I don’t even bother to look at the food or ask because it just seems like a waste of time.  I’m not being negative, just realistic.

But there are options, besides starving (like I did last night because of lack of preparation, totally my fault!).  Here are a few of my tried and true tips:

1.  Eat before.  What can it hurt to at least have a snack before you go so if there isn’t anything, you at least don’t want to chew your arm off in hunger.  It nearly happened to me last night, don’t think I won’t do it.

2.  Take a snack.  Yes, you might look odd grabbing crackers out of your purse but at least you know it’s safe and you can eat with the people you are hanging out with.  If you don’t want to be “that person”, sneak away to another room and quickly eat.

3.  Suck it up and eat later.  This is what I did.  Well, not the suck it up part, I did whine a little but I waited and ate after the event.  This was bad because I was so hungry that I didn’t eat anything healthy, it was all junk.

These are things I consider when I go out to someone’s home, to a party and, sometimes, when dining out with friends.  Sometimes I know that all I can have is a plate of veggies which won’t take me far so it’s better to be safe than sorry.  So the lesson is prepare, prepare, prepare!

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Giving Thanks

In two days it will be Thanksgiving and most people think about what they are thankful for just long enough to get to the turkey and stuffing.  Then the day is filled with football, naps and more eating.

Yes, I will be doing some of that, as well as running a race, but the last couple weeks have made me realize how thankful I really am.

You see, I have had multiple friends that have kids in the hospital, have a spouse or family member or close friend with cancer, or surgeries that were complete surprises.  At this time of the year, when we give thanks and move towards the happy holiday that Christmas is, there is so much hurt and heartbreak.

I think of three different families that I know right now that are dealing with cancer in one of their loved ones.  I know that there are more out there but there are the ones that I personally know.  There is much to be thankful for this holiday but I know that they are thinking farther ahead.  I hope that they take in each moment to treasure them in their hearts.

I think of my good friend Shawna who’s daughter is in the hospital fighting a bacteria in her lungs because she has Cystic Fibrosis and may, or may not, be out of the hospital before Thanksgiving.  Each day is precious to them as well…but Courtney is a fighter!

There are more but I’m writing to say this:  be thankful EVERY day.  There is so much to be happy about, to give thanks about on a daily basis.  Remember what they are, write them down, or at least write them on your heart.  Give thanks to God for what He’s given you, even the hard stuff because it grows you.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving, hug your friends and family and eat lots!  🙂