I have been struggling. In early December, I got test results that I had resolved my h. Pylori bacteria overgrowth (on my own, without antibiotics!) and thought life was going to get easy. Then, I left my part time office job, we drove 20 hours back to CT for Christmas, spent a couple weeks, drove home and then packed up everything and moved from Alabama to upstate NY (way upstate, think Canada), getting a puppy on the way and finally settling into a place in March. Since then, I have been unemployed and just trying to keep myself and my family, and my crazy puppy, alive. I'll be honest, I haven't been in a very good mental state and it's just been getting worse.
You'd think, with all the free time I have being unemployed, I'd be accomplishing ALL the things: exercising, cleaning, recipe developing, learning to take freaking good pictures and how to make my silly little blog pretty and eating all the amazing, healthy things. Instead, I found myself spending a lot of time on the couch feeling more tired, unmotivated and sad. Everything became an intense struggle, cooking, cleaning, taking the dogs for walks. I've had bouts of depression in the past, starting in high school, but I guess you just think that it can't get to you once you know ALL THE THINGS about health, right? Well, I learned that all the knowledge won't do anything unless you do the work and fight it. I'm tired of being tired and sad and worried. Time to take it back!
Strategies that I know help: simple, clear schedules; get shit done BEFORE you sit down to relax; start small (accomplishing just one thing you've been avoiding can make a whole day a bit brighter); and lots of deep, calming breaths when you feel like you're drowning. It's not a perfect system. I've been awake for 3 hours today and have done nothing but feed the dogs, drink coffee and start writing. My workout was supposed to happen first thing but now I have to force myself to start it once I drag myself off the computer.
Speaking of working out, almost a year ago, I attempted to begin Steph Gaudreau's (of Stupid Easy Paleo) Healthy Happy Harder to Kill program. It was a month, just a month of workouts and food. I managed the food just fine, she had a beautiful, simple meal plan that reduced a lot of my thinking and planning. The exercise, however... I'm not sure what happened. I started out so pumped, and then I just wasn't. Part was simple lack of motivation and energy, I was fighting h. Pylori and I just often didn't feel well. The rest was that I probably just took on more expectation of myself than my body could handle and my brain couldn't manage the letdown. I tweaked muscles a few times, they hurt and each took a few days to heal. Not only did I lose motivation in those days I wasn't doing anything, but I didn't know what I was doing wrong. Was I just too tight? Do I have some sort of weird imbalance? Is my form terrible? I was pretty confident about my form, but I started to doubt and then I just gave up. I needed to focus on my gut anyway, right? But now it's been almost a year and I have done nothing for my physical health (beyond lots of Pokemon Go fueled walking this month).
So I'm trying again, with the very most basics. Little to no weight, lots of stretching and mobility and slow slow slow escalation. I'll take this month to be VERY careful and, if it goes well, maybe next month I'll start it over and actually pick up the barbell this time. It's a process, guys. I don't have it figured out, but I am done giving up.
I'm excited about food again. Last week, I sat down with a few of my favorite cookbooks and made my own meal plan. The rules I set for myself were that I MUST eat three meals a day (except for Brunch Sunday), the meal must be relatively easy to make and use minimal dishes. The dishes have been killing me. My tiny kitchen is always a mess, which I don't want to work around and, when I finally clean it, I don't want to cook anything and make a new mess. When I cooked the other night, using my new meal plan, my husband marveled at my genius of selecting something so delicious that left so little mess in the kitchen and wondered how we didn't think of this before.
GUYS, you can make amazing food using just 1 knife and cutting board, a colander and 2 pans! Some of the books I'm using this week: the Frugal Paleo Cookbook by Ciarra Hannah, The Zenbelly Cookbook by Simone Miller, The Performance Paleo Cookbook by Steph Gaudreau (she's kinda my favorite, can't you tell?) and One-Pot Paleo by Jenny Castaneda.
This has been a long, probably boring post, but if you stuck with it, thanks for letting me vent! If you have any thoughts, I'd love to hear them in the comments! Off to workout, ciao friends. :)