Monday, March 25, 2013

Can I be a butterfly?

One of the blogs I have been reading as long as I've even known what a blog was is Roni's Weigh.

I've used her graphs and charts to try to help me lose weight. I've used her recipes from Green Light Bites to make healthy and good tasting meals and snacks. I've read about her good days and when she faces her fears and tries new things. I've read about her bad days and how she handles them. Her blog is one of two that I still read five years after I started (Pioneer Woman is the other...).

Yet, in one of my comments a few days ago, I unintentionally made her feel bad. I feel as if I hurt a friend though we've never met. I'm not sure if she actually felt bad or sad but I do know my comment inspired a post. Reading the post, I got tears in my eyes (and again, just as I type this). 

Let me back up a little and go back to the original post that inspired my comment.

Roni wrote a post about how she lost her weight. It was a great post. I liked pretty much the whole post but one of my favorite parts was this:

"When I started I simply made an effort to move more. Do more. Taking after-dinner walks, playing active video games, taking the stairs, hiking at parks, going bowling — these were the baby steps that led to things like step classes, which led to running, which led to boot camps, which led to CrossFit. Don’t underestimate a simple goal like moving more. You never know where it will lead and I speak from personal experience, it’s awfully fun to find out!"
After reading and re-reading the post, I wanted to tell Roni how much I appreciated it. I thought about my comment quite a bit and this is what I ended up saying:
"This post reminded me of why I started following your blog in the first place - years ago. Lately, I've been skipping some of your blog posts because they seem so far away from my reality - I can't see myself ever doing the things you do now...
This post reminded that you started the journey a long time ago and have worked your butt off (literally) to get where you are today. You are an inspiration and I appreciate you taking the time every now and then to remind us that it's not an overnight trip - it's a lifelong journey. One that we have a choice every day to start or put off until tomorrow..."

The point I was trying to make was that she has been and continues to be an inspiration. That I have been following her for years and will continue to do so. I might not be able to see myself doing cross-fit or tough mudders like she does - but she started out with baby steps and look where she is now! Just because I can't see myself doing those things, doesn't mean I should ever think that I CAN'T do them. Just like Roni and everyone else, I've got to start somewhere and believe that I can do anything I set my heart and mind to do. I've got to remember, just as I said in my comment, that it's not an overnight trip - it's a lifelong journey and I'd best get started.

A few days later, Roni posted about going from being a caterpillar to being a butterfly. It was another great post. Unfortunately for me, it started out with my comment. Roni stated that through my comment "Sam touched on a fear I have. One I think gets magnified because I blog. Not only am I trying to figure out this whole weight loss,  maintenance, fitness, new identity thing, but I’m doing it in a very public way, which also happens to effect my livelihood. Hello, pressure!

Adding pressure or making her doubt her livelihood was totally not what I meant to do with my comment. I so admire people like Roni who blog - especially those who blog openly (not hiding behind a nickname, etc...) and who blog about real things such as trying to lose weight, trying new things and risking failure, and just all in all about how life is not easy or perfect but you just have to go for it. They open themselves up to people like me who make comments about their writing sometimes even critiquing their thoughts and fears and everyday existence. People who don't even comment using their real name (though "Sam" is my real nickname...).

Roni went on to talk about how hard it is to change and about how hard it is to really accept yourself once you've made the change. She ended with the quote: “How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”  – Trina Paulus

She made me think about and realize that I have allowed myself to stay "comfortable" (as in "it's what I know", not that I'm happy with it) within the lines I've drawn for myself and for years have not tried anything new or scary, no matter how much I think I want it. I guess that's the main problem for me - I think too much. I haven't found or embraced the one thing that I want so much that I'm willing to do the work (like building a cocoon...) to get there. I so want to be the butterfly. All that's left is to see if I'm willing to do the work to make it happen.

This is one of my longer posts and it's pretty rambling. The bottom line is that I get inspired by Roni and that's why I read her blog. She has been so brave - not only to make hard changes in her life but to tell the whole world about them. I started this blog hoping to do the same. I hoped to make significant changes in my life and to record the process here. I've still got a long way to go...

[I just posted another comment for Roni with a link to this post and somehow my whole name popped up! AACK. My heart is racing and I'm freaking out. And I'm really mad at myself for allowing it to happen even though I've got no idea how it did. I think it had something to do with "signing in" with google vs just typing in "Sam"...? I've tried so hard to keep at least part of my life private - there's so many weird people out there and so much openness on the web already, I try to limit it as much as I can...I don't mind my first name vs my nickname popping up but my last name too!? How did that happen and how do I get rid of it!? NOW! Any suggestions...? Ugh, I feel like I was right to stay off the internet/blogging world for a year. Look what happens when I try to do something new...

I'm totally obsessing about this...I feel so stupid. It's not as if Roni and I are friends, she doesn't really care what I think or don't think. I just wanted her to see my post and that she inspired me to have a blog. Not only that but now it doesn't even look like I'm the same person who made the original comment because there are different names for both the comments. How stupid does that make me look? Now I've got my full name, my blog address which I've only given to about three people, everything, out there in the blogosphere. Why? Because of stupid pride. Aargh...so much for my short life as a wanna be butterfly. Now all I want to do is crawl back into my cave and hide out from the world again...]
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Fighting Fatigue

The other day, I happened across the Dr. Oz show and they were discussing how to fight fatigue and increase energy. I didn't have time to watch it right then so I recorded it and watched it this morning.

Dr. Oz had a doctor on who discussed how she researched and learned about the best ways to fight fatigue and fix your whole body/system and "get your energy back."

Dr. Jennifer Landa discussed four critical steps that can help you get your energy back right away (my own paraphrased transcript of show. See a video of this Dr. Oz show here):

1. Recognize the connection between gluten and iron. If you are sensitive to gluten ("25% of us may be sensitive to gluten") the gluten attacks the intestinal cells causing inflammation; causing us not to be able to absorb nutrients like iron which can lead to anemia. When you eat you should feel more energized. If you're gluten sensitive, you feel more tired after eating.
Fatigue Fighting Solution: Cut the gluten (do as much as you can to reduce foods with gluten) and add Vitamin C (citrus, peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc) which will help you absorb iron.

2. Increase your Iodine. "Iodine is the building block of thyroid health." "Research shows that 1/3 of the population is not getting enough iodine." Why? As people try to reduce and/or cut salt out of their diet, they no longer get the iodine that has been added to the salt. One way to know if you are deficient in iodine is exhaustion. In addition to that, trouble losing weight and losing your hair - especially the outer third of your eyebrows (!) are thyroid symptoms. This is what really got my attention because I've noticed over the years that my eyebrows have gotten shorter. Now, I have no idea if I really have a iodine deficiency or thyroid problem but I do know that I've been using sea salt for the last few years and never even thought about it not having added iodine like table salt.
Fatigue Fighting Solution: Get more iodine in your diet. Seaweed has a lot of iodine but the easiest way is to make sure you are buying iodized salt. They now have sea salt with added iodine - make sure it says "iodine" on the label. Dr. Oz specified "we're not telling you to add more salt to your diet, we're simply swapping out the kind of salt that you're eating."

3. Recharge Your Liver. The liver is the powerhouse of metabolism in the body. It breaks down everything that we eat and turns it into energy. It also gets rid of toxins in the body. If you have too many toxins in your body it slows down the functions of the liver and makes you sluggish.
Fatigue Fighting Solution: Drink Dandelion Tea twice a day. It helps the liver work more efficiently so you have more energy.

4. Boost Testosterone. For women who have a tenth the amount of testosterone as men, testosterone is critical for our energy, our emotions, helps with "foggy brain" and helps get fat off while maintaining muscle. Stress (cortisol) lowers testosterone levels. To bring testosterone up, you need to figure out how to lower stress and cortisol levels.
Fatigue Fighting Solution: Pranayama Yoga Breathing. Sit on knees or Indian style. Belly breathing - block one nostril with thumb while breathing in and out. Then block other nostril with fingers while breathing in and out. Take nice, deep belly breaths. Do this for 5 minutes a day (twice a day is even better). If you have to, Dr. Oz recommends going to the bathroom where no one will bother you.

Following this, Dr. Oz and Dr. Landa discussed Monk Fruit (Lo Han Guo) - a fruit used as sweetener for centuries in Southeast Asia. Traditional Chinese medicine has been using this to treat diabetes and obesity for centuries. It has a very low glycemic index and stimulates insulin secretion. You can get it in packet form (orange), drops, and even scoopable forms for baking and recipes.

I am always so tired, no matter how much I sleep that I wonder if (hope?) some of these things could really help. I suppose they can't make it any worse so you really haven't got anything to lose.

I'd love to know your thoughts and/or if you try any or all of these Fatigue fighting Solutions...
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