Wednesday, August 19, 2015

No Longer the Same

Reading over my blog this morning, and in quite a lot of shock. I can't believe how much I have changed.

With no updates since October 2013, I can tell you that almost nothing is the same anymore. That last update was just the beginning of my life goal of healing myself. Healing myself from many things. I was not able to keep up the raw food diet, although, in my heart I am still a raw vegan. Maybe someday I can return there, but for now, I have been lovingly dubbed "flexitarian." I don't eat meat except in extenuating circumstances, and I try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Same goes for my family when eating at home. Judah is sugar intolerant (I've decided it's a thing) so we avoid sugar to the best of our ability, and we eat a mostly plant based diet. I really really want to kick the casein addiction, but perhaps I will do that another year.

But more than the diet is different. In fact, I have learned how much the diet doesn't really matter when looking at a person. In 2013, I was trying everything to make myself feel better. Shortly after my diets and cleanses and realizations that things just weren't getting better, or not as much better as I needed, I finally sought help from "professionals" who I had been avoiding. My primary care doctor did blood tests and confirmed that nothing was wrong with me. Maybe I had allergies. So I got allergy tests done, and I was not allergic to anything. This was not news to me. But at the allergist office, there was a naturopath. I am so grateful she was there, because with a blood test, she found a HUGE piece of the puzzle that I was missing. It was a piece that most Western doctors don't even know about. It explained so much about all the things I had been struggled with over the past several years, mostly since the birth of Taylor. It all came down to vitamin deficiencies and my body's inability to absorb necessary nutrients.

How simple is that!

Not quite that simple. I began a regiment of vitamins and supplements which I took everyday for 3 months. At the end of this time, I realized that it was helping, but it wasn't resolving everything. There was the issue of the headache that I have had since 2010. I went to see a neurologist at Swedish Medical Center. She determined that I should take antidepressants.

What the hell!? Forget that. Thanks for nothing, Doc!

I was reaching the end of my rope, although I felt more empowered by the knowledge I was gaining from all the tests I was taking, I felt that there needed to be an extra push. A leap! An intention that would send me soaring! I would wake up everyday hoping that today I would feel better. Then at the end of the day, I would lay down and think that tomorrow would be better. Round and round it went. I thought that my genetic deficiency was something I would have to learn to live with, but the problem with this thinking is that I was living based on how I felt, instead of how I wanted to feel. I wondered, what if I just acted like I can do this or that? What if I can do what I want to do despite how I feel?

When I changed my mindset, suddenly those chains fell off! I didn't feel like getting up, but I did it anyway. Taking a hike seemed like so much energy and I wouldn't normally have the energy to get all the way thought, but I would tell myself, "I WANT to do this, so I will do it!" And then I would!

This may not seem profound to you, reader, but it was profound for me. I have lived in a bubble my whole life where I have been told to "wait on God," or "breakthrough is just around the corner," or "faith moves mountains," but I realized that this just wasn't true, at least not in my situation. It's as if I was waiting for an angel to come down and wave their magic wand, and I would feel better. After years of waiting of God and praying and praying and praying, I had to realize that He wasn't going to do anything. If I wanted something, I would have to do it myself. I was accountable to myself. If I was going to lay in bed for the rest of my life, then that would have been my decision, OR I could get off my ass and just do it!

So I went out and got a tattoo on my wrist that says "choose life," and everyday I have to look at it and decide to choose either life of death. I push myself to keep my life full of activity and enjoyment. I have pursued things I care about. I have taken time for self discovery. I have realized that I can do or learn anything! This year, I am going back to school to study Biology and chemistry. I am so excited! Even a year ago, I couldn't even consider this as a possibility for my life because I was so unhealthy in my body and mind. Now the world is open to me! The change of mind brought more healing to my mind and body than all the doctors, blood tests, and supplements.

I am not afraid of failure anymore. If I fail, it's because I was trying something. I was living. And if I die of cancer next month, I lived my life full of my family and with depth of soul.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baby Steps

The last few weeks have been pretty tremendous for me. Not that there was anything completely fabulous happening, but overall, I have been feeling much more energetic and healthy, and that makes everything better. When I don't feel constantly tired, simple household tasks aren't so exhausting anymore and you can enjoy little things more.

A few weeks ago, I did a 10 day master cleanse. That's an entire 10 whole days without any food. I didn't really feel any immediate effects, but about a week or two afterwards is when I realized that I wasn't getting tired as quickly. After finishing the cleanse, I was really disappointed that I didn't get the results I was hoping for, (especially after so much hard work and will power) but I realized after some time that it was still worth it. Worth it enough to do it again in the future.

Being healthier has paid off in other ways as well. My children and husband are also healthier, and that makes all the hard work easy to forget. For the first time in 4 years, Judah did not have an asthma attack with a fever! And Ricky has been having much less trouble with his heartburn, and he lost weight too!

We all still have a lot of adjustments to work out, but we are taking baby steps, and I am happier and more motivated to continue changing for the better (even though it's a lot of work). When my family is happy, I'm happy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My Raw Food Revolution

Hey there faithful blog readers.

I was quite skeptical about sharing my new life online, because once it's out there, it's out there, and you can't take it back. But I made a life change about a month ago, and I wasn't sure that I could even follow through. However, now that it has been a whole month, I have more faith in myself that I may actually be able to pull this off.

After many years of considering a diet change, I finally took the plunge, and have been on a raw food vegan diet. Crazy, right? I know it is. I was the one person who knew how incredibly crazy it was. I had way too many things hanging over my head that I just couldn't shake. Cancer and diabetes being foremost on my mind. My world was falling apart in many ways.

I had always hoped that by the time I got cancer, there would be a cure for it, but we are all becoming more aware that that will never happen. The cancer industry is just that; an industry. It's making money and not making cures. Not to mention the fundamental flaw in my perspective. My thought process was "when" I get cancer. Not very optimistic is it. I tried to be healthy in hopes I could push it out to later in life (my mother died of breast cancer at age 30). And if it wasn't cancer, it would be diabetes. 1 in 3 Americans will get Type II diabetes, and that number is rising. I realized that I felt like there was no hope. Even if I were lucky enough to not get cancer, then Ricky would.

We can't escape it in this country. We hear that tomatoes fight cancer, so we eat more tomatoes, but then we learn that tomatoes grown with pesticides cause cancer, so we buy organic tomatoes, but then we learn that only cooked organic tomatoes fight cancer, so we eat only cooked organic tomatoes, but then we learn that the cans they have been stored in have BPA which cause cancer, so basically, you can't win. No matter how hard we try, we can't escape the cancer epidemic. We step back and realize that despite our best efforts, there is always something that they claim will cause cancer. After awhile, you come to the worst conclusion of all; we don't know anything about what causes cancer. I didn't believe any studies or articles or claims anymore. I felt more and more in despair, that I should just live and let live and whatever happens happens.

Then one day, I had had enough of my pessimistic "I'll-just-have-faith" bullshit approach. If there was something I could do, then I should just do it! It only seemed crazy to take a drastic approach because no one else wants to be drastic. But let's consider again how crazy the American perspective is. Most of us think that we'll just eat whatever we want. If we get high blood pressure, there's medication for that. If we get heart disease, there's medication for that. If we get diabetes, there's medication for that. If we get cancer, there's medication for that. More people are surviving cancer than ever before, so they say... But more people than ever before are also getting heart bypass surgery, and taking those medications than ever before. Some might say that taking a vein from your leg and putting in your heart and opening up your chest would be drastic. Do you think that's a bit drastic? Some might think that removing your breasts is a bit drastic. Do you think that's drastic? OR, I could only eat things that I know are the best fuel for my body. Is that more drastic?

So with support from Ricky, I began to eat only fully raw mostly organic produce. Nothing else. No oil, no salt, no wheat, no meat, and no cheese. It's been one month, and I feel great about what I am doing for my body. In just one month's time, I am no longer afraid of those diseases. They are not hanging over my head. I crave good food. I don't need all those foods that I though I needed before. My family is eating healthier too. They are not on quite as drastic regiment as I am... yet, but they are eating more fruits and vegetables.

Of course, I haven't been perfect. I suppose my goal is to eat 99% fully raw, and this month I could say was close to 90% fully raw. Pretty good, huh? Considering I went on vacation and still have a family eating a mostly normal American diet. So now here I am, out in the open with my secret life I've been living. There will be more to tell in the coming months, I hope. Since living this way for a month, I now know that I can live this way. I am learning a lot and still adjusting to the lifestyle, but it will be something worth keeping up. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Great Kids

Motherhood is such a roller coaster of emotions. Or maybe that's just me...

I find myself constantly at odds with... well, myself. One minute I am dedicated to letting my kids think for themselves, and the next minute I am yelling at them to obey "because I said so!!" One day I play and do crafts and laugh with them all day long, and the next I am rolling my eyes at their every little quirk. They are just trying to make me laugh like yesterday, but I hit my ceiling of "letting it go." The most useful piece of advice I've used since becoming a mother has been to "pick my battles." A tried and true ideal, but a hard one to maintain consistency in.

One trait that I have prided myself in since I was young, was my guilt complex. I have none. Or more accurately, I HAD none, that is, until I became a mother. I have never struggled with unnecessary guilt until that first little bundle was strapped into the car seat at the hospital. Ever since that fateful hour, I have berated myself for being a terrible mother. I don't read enough books, I don't give them enough vegetables, I forgot the sunscreen, I can't seem to finish that baby book, etc. This list could be endless. But when I take a step back, I am usually satisfied with my motherly work, and on rare occasion, proud of myself. However, that roller coaster goes up and down and up and down without stopping.

But...

Then I take my children out in public, and although I am ignoring another motherhood virtue (never compare) I am always ALWAYS shocked into an admiration for my children and proud of the kind of mother I am. My children are usually the best behaved and I am usually the most relaxed mom. For example, Judah did a soccer class for 4 year olds which we attended once a week. The parents sit on the bleachers and watch, and in a class of about 20 kids, I was the only parent who would clap and shout "Good job, Judah!" He'd run his laps and give me a high five each time around. I supported him. What were the other parents doing? Nothing. I was shocked. I though they would loosen up after a few weeks, but they never did. What was wrong with everyone?! Don't you always make sure to support your children? I guess I was the only one who was thinking about it. While these classes were going on, Taylor would sit next to me and clap and shout too, and otherwise sit quietly. The other siblings waiting around with their parents were off the walls. Running onto the court, screaming, and causing trouble. Meanwhile, I look at my daughter (the same daughter that I couldn't stand last year) and can't believe how hard I've been on her. I had been viewing her as a needy, troublesome, out of control, emotional wreck. Now that I see other girls her age, it turns out that she is actually a great kid after all.

That means I'm a good mom, right?

Our dear sweet Judah is growing up so fast. Now, I'm not one of those parents who is always looking back sentimentally and thinking that "it seems like only yesterday [fill in the blank,]" and in fact, I am quite the opposite of that. So when I say that Judah is growing up fast, I really mean it. I am not wondering where the time went (I know exactly where it went) or wishing I could go back (I really really don't). Judah is simply becoming an extraordinary child very VERY quickly.

Ricky and I always expected great things from him ever since I learned I was pregnant. Everything that we hoped for him at this age has happened, or is happening, and we are happy for that, although, it turns out that we may be in over our heads. As for Taylor, I thought I was tied into a future of frustration with her. She is not like me at all, and it was hard for me to connect with her. Now, as time goes by, and see her more and more for her good qualities. Maybe we'll get along after all. I can't take all the credit as a mom, but today is a day that I can sit back and neglect them a bit, because today I feel like a good mother.

So here's a shout out to Judah and Taylor: thanks kids, for being great kids.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The last year in pictures

Taylor asks to wear Mommy's bra.

Taylor is so motherly. Here she is putting the cat, Bailey, to bed with her doll blanket.

This is Judah's first day of preschool with Miss Lauren.

Judah and Taylor love swinging together all year long.

This is a shot with all the cousins Easter 2012. Kids name's from left to right: Conner, Lilyana, Emmett, Judah, and Taylor.

Halloween 2012. Judah is a fighter pilot and Taylor is Cinderella.

We threw a harvest party in 2012. This shot is of Grandma JoAnn reading the kids a book. Kids name's from left to right: Emmett, Lilyana, Judah, Taylor, and Conner. 

First time all four of us went to the Puyallup Fair together.

Matching tattoos from the fire station at the Puyallup Fair.


Any resemblance?

Judah's 4th Brithday - July 2012

Taylor and Judah compete in a Nascar race.

Uncle Luke visiting from Abilene, TX.

Papa James teaches Judah to race. Also in the background you can see Ricky and Papa John.

Playing arcade games with Grandma JoAnn.

One of the only males that Taylor will let hold her at this age.

Judah's eating his cupcake birthday cake.

Reproach

Hello, faithful blog followers.

I have been reminded by several people in the past few weeks that I have not updated my blog in awhile. Of course, I knew it had been quite some time; probably 4 or 5 months. So when I finally logged on a few days ago and realizing that it has been almost an entire year, I felt quite the reproach. Not only is the neglect a dutiful reminder of my laziness, but also an insight into my head for the last year. Now that both children are at an age in which they need more attention than ever, the minutes devoted to myself everyday could probably be counted in fingers and toes. On a good day, I am lucky to sip an entire cup of tea without it getting cold, or to actually plate food for myself. It is commonplace to see me eating straight out of the pot of macaroni as I walk through the kitchen (on my way to reheat that cup of tea.) I eat breakfast no more than once a week.

Unfortunately, my lifestyle as of late has made me extremely egocentric. I'll have a fleeting thought that I should take some food to my friend who just had a baby. So I look up her status update on Facebook to learn that the baby is almost two months old now. Oops. My life is going by so quickly, yet it feels so slow. I can wash all the laundry in the entire house in one day, and it seems that it all needs to be washed again two days later. Of course, if I sit and think about it, all that laundry was done over two weeks ago. Oops. Friends and relatives say, "Oh, you're just so busy," but really, I'm not. It's just that my life is tedious. Feeding, wiping, organizing, washing, folding, disciplining, playing, and teaching the same things everyday gets so monotonous that all my days blend together. I rarely know what day it is off the top of my head, even though we haven't gone out all week. So I'm not "busy," but more appropriately termed "mentally unavailable."

To those of you feeling like I don't have time for you, you're right. When I feel that I am constantly playing catch up with my household duties, it's true that I am not thinking of you at all. It's not that I don't care. If you work yourself into my line of sight, I will genuinely care about you and think about you and tell myself to call you this week, but I'll get back home, and dinner is not going to make itself. You'll slip back into the deep recesses of my subconscious. Chances are I think about you several times a week, and maybe even have good intentions to call you or help you with your bake sale, but I hardly have the capacity to sip my cup of tea.

Maybe next year.