An update on the New Thing.

So…the New Thing.

On August 1 I joined One Fit Widow (1FW). Check them out. I have been following them on Facebook for a year or so. Since August 1, I’ve been detoxing…cutting out the sugar, the fried foods, the dairy, the bread and wheat and the wine. Disclaimer: I did eat sugar and wheat on August in Thanksgiving aka ChrisEasterGiving and I had a glass of Chianti two nights ago and two bites of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge another night. And guess what? I could tell. It didn’t sit well on my gut; I felt like crap. And I didn’t sleep well. BOOM. Ah-ha moment.

So. What have I been eating? Everything else! Lots of veggies. Fruit. Small amounts of lean protein. Whole grains. Salmon and tuna. Yesterday for lunch I had about 10 chips and freshly made guac. It was perfect. I ate the the rest of the guac with a fork after my allotted chips were done. I’ve been drinking tons of water and unsweetened, organic Green Tea. I’ve been walking and I’ve been hitting the gym. Ten days in…3.5 pounds down. And my morning coffee? One cup only. With a scant teaspoon of coconut palm sugar and a small splash of cream. Not half and half…whole cream (the only dairy I have). I’ve been taking a light iron supplement every other day since I was iron deficient at my last check-up. But eating dark leafy greens several times a day is slowly replacing the iron supplement. I do take my calcium, Vitamin D and my B’s. Magnesium helps my fibro. And I’ve been taking Fish Oil.

The best thing about 1FW? The support. The women on the (closed) board. The coaches. The accountability. The encouragement. So many of them have suffered loss, whether a husband or otherwise. They. Get. It. They get the need to comfort with food. They get the need to vent and be heard. They get that it’s several days of great and one major crash day. They get picking yourself up again and moving forward.

Some of the tools I’m using. My Fitness Pal. If you are honest with MFP…and yourself…that alone will hold you accountable. It was quite eye opening. No more eating mindlessly. I put everything…every bite I take of my own food and someone else’s (i.e., ice cream). I log every sip I take, water or otherwise. I have a workout plan. I have a (sketchy) meal plan. The meal plan I am still working on. I’ve been wearing my FitBit Force. It tells me how many steps I’m taking during the day and I have to tell you that the first week…I was shocked at how little I was really moving. It tells me when I have a really active time during the day. I had zero. Zip. I mean…crazy wow.

Things I’ve noticed already. I. Feel. Awesome. I haven’t had a detox crappy feeling at all. My fibromyalgia? What fibromyalgia? It is crazy. It is not a coincidence. Going into August 1 and the first couple days, my fibro was in overdrive. The last few days I would still crawl out of bed sore, stretch and feel better each passing moment. This morning? I stretched out in bed, chatting with the kitties, and I realized I wasn’t stiff. I was pleasantly sore from working out. I jumped out of bed and didn’t have to do the bent over, granny shuffle. Ten days people. Ten. Days. This morning I had an extra half cup of coffee cuz it’s Sunday, The Lord’s Day and we all know He made coffee for us coffee lovers. And a smoothie made with unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened coconut water, fresh blueberries, a scoop of vanilla hemp protein powder and two big handfuls of power greens…kale and collards. No sweetener of any kind, not even honey, although I did toss in a teaspoon of bee pollen. Top off with a handful of ice and my Ninja did the rest. Yummy.

Since I’ve been posting on the 1FW board, I haven’t updated my facebook page much, but will do so starting this week, I hope.

Love you guys.

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Catching up with The Smith’s.

I should be at CFA aka “bible study” with The Girls this morning. Instead, I am sitting on my not-so-new-anymore beloved blue couch trying to function. Fibromyalgia has won the battle after a very long and stressful two weeks of getting ready for vacation; having beach house keys in hand and receiving a phone call that My Man’s father had suddenly taken a turn for the worst; deciding to unload at the beach house and sending Russell back home at 0400 the next morning to say goodbye and finalize arrangements. Thankfully, his sister was able to drop everything and make the four hour trip to be with their father. The boys and I tried to enjoy some vacation time but our hearts were back home. Russell did show back up at the beach the very next day at 10:30 am after another early morning drive. We spent a couple days pretending to relax and enjoy the beach but honestly, when we received the call that Granddad had passed, we were all ready to pack it up and head home two days early.

The Wild Boy on his Skimboard with his GoPro 

You know you have good friends and church family on a day-to-day basis, but when they really slam your heart to a standstill is during a crisis. Friends who show up at your beach house to help you pack up and clean up. Sure, they were only half a mile down the beach, but still. Friends who call and text and encourage you to stay at the beach because we’ve got anything and everything you need covered at home. Friends lined up to provide food and meals for “as long as you want.” Friends who offer you their vacation homes so you can rest and vacation after the funeral. Friends who show up and stay the entire visitation time. Friends who say, whatever you need me to do, I will do and mean it and do it.

The Big Boy took this one of his little brother

Don’t even get me started on family. We are unbelievably blessed by our families. My sister, aka The Laundry Queen, arrived at our house the day after we did, set her bags down, rolled up her sleeves and never looked back. She and my bff from high school are notorious for doing that, without a word. I like to think it speaks more of their love and servant hearts than it does of the condition of my house and lack of cleaning/laundry schedule.

Found this heart while walking the beach thinking of ABO

Not surprisingly, my body has crashed after the adrenalin rush dissipated. My body and brain are at a stand still and I have to be honest: it is The Most Frustrating Thing. Ever. Being one who must be in control at all times…having no control over this is infuriating. Also, it is a lesson. One that, apparently, I have yet to master. I know that my body does this. I know that there are things I can do to lessen the impact of the crash. Eating well, lots of water, taking my supplements and meds and giving myself a break, to name a few. None of which I did since returning home from Topsail Beach. I pushed myself. Ate crap. Sipped too much Black Dog and refused to slow down. I jumped right back into work Monday morning and decided I could push it until Friday when I would take a day off from work to catch up on the house. I’m sure My Plans have God laughing and shaking His Holy head while He murmurs, “silly girl.

The Wild Boy took this with his GoPro

I haven’t even pulled beach photos off my Nikon yet, but wanted to share a couple pics with you from Topsail.

I’m thinking I will work from home today, from the beloved blue couch and may not even change out of my jammies. My boss knows how to get in touch with me and where to find me. He lives right next door.

In the meantime, I wanted to catch all of you up on Life with The Smith’s and thank you for loving us so well.

If the workmen are here, it must be Saturday and a chocolate pudding recipe.

Y’all. We have had workmen in our house non-stop since the second week in February…TWO-THOUSAND TEN. Okay, that is a slight exaggeration but honestly, I am so tired of it. And there is still another week’s worth of work left to do in the master bath. Never mind that since we signed the contract we have added $2600 worth of extra work. *ahem*

Back when the kids were younger, I was way more OCD. I heard you snort out loud, Mrs. D. but, it is true. I would get so spun up about the house and stuff and all about me and I would yell and pout and storm out and I made everyone around me miserable. Also, I was miserable. So one day, I had a good long chat with God about it all and I let it go. I had way more important things to be stressed about, little did I know. And now…now I am picking back up the OCD mantle and wearing it proudly. My kids are older. They are capable of 1) doing what they are supposed to do like pick up after themselves, clean up as they go along, etc., and 2) deal with my OCDness. I do not plan on picking up the yelling, stressing, pouting, storming out mantles, however. Okay, realistically, some of that may happen now and then, but not if these people would just do what I tell them to do. *tongue in cheek, by the way. Sort of.*

So I don’t even get a break from the workmen on Saturday. They are here today putting up drywall. It’s not that I want to run around in my skivvies or anything but still. Which leads to this question…what are skivvies and how did that word come about? Someone google that for me, please?

I am in full-blown organizing/purging/haul-the-dumpster-to-the-door mode. I’m also not eating sugar, wheat and very little caffeine *read…very little coffee*. Surely this is an Apocalypse ready to happen? Thankfully, *I think* my fibromyalgia is also in full-blown mode so I have to take frequent breaks. It’s actually a blessing to all of us right now. Especially when bff, Mrs. D sends down homemade chocolate pudding. What? You don’t think it’s healthy? Really. Look:

Into Vitamix add:
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder (ghirdelli, etc)
1 t vanilla
Blend til smooth. Can also add a bit of cinn and/or espresso powder.

To. Die. For. You don’t like avocado? You won’t even know there is avocado in this. It is yummy and chocolaty and HEALTHY. And delicious. I promise.

I just sent Shawn to the grocery. He and I were brain-storming a meal for dinner tonight. My Man requested an “awesome and delicious feast.” Shawn is making steak au poivre, green beans and roasted veggies. I know, right? How spoiled are we?

Those of you that know us, and those of you who don’t but have been reading This Girl for awhile, probably know that Shawn and I have a love/hate relationship with each other. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there is ALWAYS love between us, but and sometimes we flat out do NOT get along. In some ways, he and I are very similar. In some ways, he and his father are very similar. I think that explains it all. We argue. A lot. He was the “mumbles a lot under his breath” kid. He would rarely be in-your-face obstinate, but always had to get the last word in as he was walking away mumbling. *must have gotten that from his father* I think he and I would make an awesome cook show combination, don’t you? There would be awesome cooking (Shawn) and baking (my specialty) and probably some *good natured* bickering and arguing. And lots of love. Of course.

Anyone out there starting up, or wanting to start up a new business creating websites/blogs…I’m your girl. I need an update and am willing to pay very little for it but will certainly promote you to the ends of the earth and back. Email me if you are interested. Really…sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Y’all are the best.

Oh! And remember this picture from my facebook page?

This is what it looks like in my living room as I write:

I know, right? My mother will be texting me as soon as she sees this picture.

More to come soon!

Things I am Currently Obsessed with…A List.

1. Trader Joe’s coffee beans. The. Bomb.

2. Whipping cream. Thanks to my dear friend, Vee. She turned me on to whipping cream for my coffee, in the Winter, many, many years ago. I am hooked.

3. Tony Stark, Phil Coulson, Steve Rogers and everything that is the Marvel Comics Movies.

4. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter. Actually leaned against the counter this evening and ate it straight out of the jar with a spoon. *not for the first time*

5. Colleges and Universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Four, specifically. In no particular order: Radford, Ferrum, Shenandoah, and Averett. Coincidentally, The Wild Boy is has applied to these four Virginia schools.

6. Advent. I mean I love Christmas, but Advent is consuming me these days. Advent is from the Latin word coming. It also means expectant waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus. I have a handful of Advent Devotionals and have already begun reading them and using them for my Quiet Time.

7. English Muffins. I actually purchased a set of English Muffin molds. I haven’t made them yet, but I plan to. English Muffins are so very delicious with TJ’s Pumpkin Butter, by the way.

8. Apples. With or without peanut butter. And in pies, breads, and crisps.

9. My acupuncture appointments. My next one is today at 9:30. I am, for sure, going to get tsk’d at for still not going 99.9% vegan for a three month period. But I’m okay with that. I am, every day, eating more and more healthy. And I am finally feeling well enough to think believe that this week I will start exercising again. So excited!

10. Sleep. I am still not getting enough of it,but I am consistently getting a block of 4-5 solid hours every night. I can definitely tell that this increase in restorative sleep is helping my fibromyalgia pain and fatigue.

11. Writing. The acupuncture, sleep and decrease in pain and fatigue has me needing to write. I need to come up with A Plan. Setting aside time each day to write. The fibro, when I’m in the midst of a flare-up, suppresses everything. The pain and fatigue suppresses everything. Relief from that is letting the creativity flow.

12. Your Comments. I am obsessed with checking my blog for them so keep them coming. Please!

Love you guys. See you tomorrow for Day 5.

Acupuncture and Mean Min.

I have been, sporadically, continuing with the acupuncture. If you know anything about Eastern Medicine, and the only real thing I know is what Thomas, the acupuncturist has told me and basically that is: “Western Medicine has been around for a few hundred years…Easter Medicine has been around for thousands of years,” than you know it is holistic. In other words, about the whole body, to include one’s mental state.

At every appointment Thomas reminds me that we are a partnership. His role is to guide, support, listen and, of course, poke me with needles. All of which he does exceptionally well. So well, in fact, that I feel myself calming down on the drive over to my appointments and, after my appointment is complete, he has to kick me out. It truly is the one time during the week that I make “all about me.”

That probably sounds odd coming from a former, “it’s always all about me” girl. I still struggle with that former girl, by the way. But when I am at the acupuncturist, I consciously allow it to be all about me. I have really needed that. The freedom of letting it be all about me and that it is okay. No guilt. Nowhere to be. No one to respond to. Just…be.

I can’t tell you how relaxing it is to lie on a comfy, padded table, stuck full of thin needles, with a warming lamp positioned over your gut, listening to classical music. It is heaven. It is such a relief. Wednesday morning, tears rolled down my cheeks as I tried to quiet my mind and my body. It is exhausting living in a body that hurts 24/7; that vibrates with fatigue and anxiousness; that can’t see a light at the end of the fibro fog-covered tunnel.

But yesterday, finally, I felt a little hope. My body was stiff and sore, which is normal for me, but the soreness was a little different. Mean Min had worked his magic on the knots and tightness in my back, shoulders and neck and, although it was all tender to even the fabric of my shirt, it felt alive. Unlike the dead, hopeless pain of fibromyalgia.

Min is a quiet man. He greets me each week with a smile that, while sincere, has just the edge of “it’s all smiles now baby, but in a moment you will be screaming with pain.” Okay, maybe not screaming, but there has been much crying. Because it hurts so good. As he tortures each and every knot out of my back, shoulders and neck, the agony turns to release as I feel the tension roll out from my spine. And then he moves to the next ball of pain. Some days, it is all over pretty quickly. Wednesday, because I hadn’t been in a couple weeks and had been one hot mess of anxiety and sleeplessness, the torture lasted for 3 hours. Really it was only 30 minutes, but it felt like 3 days. And when it was over and Min quietly asked, “you okay?” I didn’t mind the unspoken, “after I just ripped the tight balls of stress, anxiousness, grief, pain and sleeplessness from your body?”

Because he had and it felt wonderful.

More on living with fibromyalgia in the coming days.

Love you guys.