Food

My relationship with food is a tad dysfunctional. I’m what Oprah (or most therapists) calls an “overthinker” and that’s certainly true when it comes to food. But I can never seem to find a middle ground. Either I’m obsessing over what I should be eating, or I’m eating whatever is available. Like, I love leftovers. You cook once, you eat for days! But sometimes the leftovers aren’t even mine. They are left from my family members, who won’t eat leftovers (with the exception of cold pizza). So I see them in the fridge and I think, “Hey we don’t want to waste that delicious food I prepared a few days ago! I better eat it.”

But the other day I was introduced to a novel concept by a friend who is also a health and nutrition coach. She talked about eating only what your body needs, and pairing healthy proteins and carbs. So you aren’t feeling deprived, and your body starts using those fat stores. I think. I maybe have it a little wrong. But here’s what I started doing. New Plan: eat 6 meals a day, up to 200 calories per meal, every 2 to 3 hours. Each meal should have a healthy protein and carb, heavy focus on the protein. And drink lots of water! And exercise.

Folks, I’ve been on this new plan since Memorial Day and I have needed zero naps to get through the day, and I’ve lost 3 pounds already. It’s crazy! I almost think it’s a fluke but I’m gonna keep going with the plan in case it’s actually working. I mean, what a concept. Exercise daily, eat healthy portions of nutritious food, and your body is happy. I’m doing all this because I had gained weight this past year. Not a ton, but enough that I had to buy new pants and I don’t feel so good in my skin. So I had started counting my calories and I lost a whopping 6 pounds and then… nothing. I was stalled for several weeks. So it’s incredible that in less than two weeks I got the scale moving in the right direction again. My end goal is to lose another 16 pounds. Folks, that may not sound like a lot, but on a 5’1″ frame, it’s significant. It’s as if I’m carrying around a gallon and a half of milk around my waist and legs. I would really love to shed those gallons.

Another incredible change that I’ve noticed is that I don’t have nearly as much brain fog. I don’t struggle as much to remember or to process things. I find this especially true on the days I’m drinking my “greens”, my It Works drink powders that have my fruits and veggie nutrients and just a tiny bit of caffeine. It’s all about the veggies, people 🙂 I’m still taking a B12 supplement but I think all of these changes put together is really helping my brain to work better.

My favorite change of all? No napping required. Stable energy levels. I’m getting up at 7ish every morning, and I have the energy throughout the day to do things. Not boundless energy like when you chug a Red Bull, but normal, constant energy. Up in the morning, devotions, coffee and breakfast, a few chores maybe, then another meal (snack), more work around the house, lunch, and on it goes. I’m not feeling like I’m losing half my day like I was when I would crash at 1 pm and wake up 2 hours later. That, and I’m kind of always eating. And do you know who loves eating? This gal, right here.

It’s like some kind of freaking miracle. I’m here, present in my surroundings. Life is finally not moving too fast for me. I’m able to keep up, and without much effort. I am so grateful to be where I am today, and I’ll never forget where I was 6 years ago. I’m going to stay on this path to better health and wellness, because there is so much life going on around me and I want to be a participant, not just a bystander. Amen? Amen.

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Walk MS 2019

If I already blogged about this, forgive me. I’m just pretty sure I didn’t, so you’re getting this report a month late.

So! In May Mindy’s Minions gathered again to walk 3.1 miles around the capitol city in support of everyone living with multiple sclerosis. This is such a fun and lighthearted event, but it also does so much good, seriously.

The National MS Society puts on this event, and I am always eager to support them because they have been such a huge support to me from the beginning. Even before I was diagnosed with MS in October 2009 they helped me. During that summer, I had this strange and painful itching in my right arm. I was googling on the interwebs to find out what could be causing it, and I stumbled on their website. What I found was a detailed description of my symptoms, one far more detailed than I could have written. In short, they nailed it. I remember the moment so clearly. I was on my lunch break, sitting in my cubicle, and I had to hide the tears that were rolling down my face. I knew at that moment what I had, and I was terrified.

I was later diagnosed, of course, and the Society helped direct me to support groups for people like me. The first group I walked into was probably 80% older folks who were confined to wheelchairs. So, again, I was terrified. I thought I was staring into my future. It wasn’t until I found a support group for people my age that I started to have some real hope. Our group is a little more dispersed now and doesn’t meet in person anymore, but we still offer each other regular support through a private Facebook group. We share our struggles and our victories, we talk about our changes in diet, exercise, and medications. We are there for each other when we feel like no one else can understand. It’s been a true gift to have these people in my life, and I wouldn’t have them if it weren’t for the National MS Society.

So I raise money to give back. I walk, WE walk, to show our support. It’s an exercise in solidarity. I am surrounded by amazing family and friends all year long, but this day is special to me. It’s a day for my family and some of my dearest friends to come together and show their official support of me and my battle with this awful disease. I could not fight this alone and I am truly grateful to have these people in my corner.

I’m a big girl now

Something great that has come out of my disability in the past 6 years is that there isn’t much in life that I take for granted anymore. That is a huge gift, to have a grateful heart the majority of the time, without even having to try.

Yesterday I had a hair appointment to get my wig trimmed. Not literally, that’s just the phrase my husband uses for getting his hair cut. Anyway, the salon I go to is about 2 miles away, and in the past I would have utilized the paratransit bus system to get there. However, though it’s a great service that I use quite often, it does come with drawbacks. You have to schedule ahead of time, and then you have to wait. They give you a 15 minute window to work with, which is fine, but it can be a little nerve wracking at times. I had decided that since the weather looked decent, I was going to ride my tricycle. And I did! It was fabulous. I felt so free and uninhibited. I got where I needed to go, at my own pace, all by myself. Which sounds silly when I say that out loud because for Pete’s sake, I’m a grown woman. But you guys! I know you all get it, right? I did it! All by myself!!

You have to celebrate the little things when they are good so you make the good things bigger. God loves to work in the details and I love that about Him. Find something to celebrate today, no matter how small.

Toilet Tale #1

Let me tell you a story.

I was up late last night, watching television and reading. Typical stuff. It was almost midnight and I decided I had better get to bed, so I headed into the bathroom just off the kitchen. Before I sat down I noticed the seat had been left up (darn boys) so I put it down. Then I saw that the toilet paper was low. Now in order to get to the package of toilet paper up on the shelf, I always step with one foot on the toilet to give me some leverage. I’m five feet and one whole inch short, so this is a normal thing, climbing on things to reach stuff.

Now remember it’s nearly midnight and my brain is rather fried, but still. What my brain told me was that I had put the lid down, when in reality I had only put down the seat. Do you see where I’m going with this? Can you picture what’s about to happen? I stepped on the toilet to get to the toilet paper, but because the lid was still up, my foot went straight down into the toilet bowl water. I stepped INTO the toilet. Like a moron. And then I just stood there for a few seconds, confused, trying to figure out what to do next. So since I did at least have some leverage, and I’m ever the multi-tasker, I went ahead and grabbed a roll of toilet paper from the shelf, with my foot still in the toilet.

It went something like this:
Step 1 – grab the toilet paper
Step 2 – remove foot from toilet bowl
Step 3 – sit down on seat and pee with one foot in the air
Step 4 – wash hands and foot. Rinse and repeat 1000 times.

The icing on this crap-cake was what happened next. I was laughing at myself while I washed my foot in the bathroom sink like a contortionist ninja, and then opened the door to find a very confused looking dog sitting and staring up at me. She never does this. She had been lying in her doggie bed and apparently heard the commotion and came to my rescue. She couldn’t even appreciate what had happened, but she seemed happy to see me emerging unharmed. I told her all about it and she didn’t even laugh at me. Now isn’t that nice?

Ikea, you’ve won my heart

My friend Stephanie and I went to Ikea today and we had a blast! She is due to have a baby girl in July and she needed a few things for the baby’s room. Of course I found a few things for our home as well. And in between the shopping we had a delicious lunch. Did you know Ikea served food? They have a whole cafeteria up on the second floor. It’s wild, people. The prices are decent, and the food is actually really delicious!

I had only been to Ikea a couple times and I think both times it was with our kids. Those trips were not ideal. The kids got bored and wanted to keep touching everything. It was so frustrating. If I had known they had soft serve ice cream at the check out area we could have used that to bribe them into good behavior! Lesson learned, I guess.

This store has so much of everything you can think of for the home. I did not go with a list or anything, but I knew once we got there I would find there were things I “needed” that I just didn’t realize before. I exercised some serious restraint and was able to leave with a haul of just over $30. Not too bad!

We talked about stopping at Trader Joe’s after Ikea but we were both pretty tuckered out from all the walking. All in all I would call the trip a success. Steph found her curtains for the baby’s room and I have a new salad spinner to play around with. That and we had a lot of great conversation on the long drive there and back. I’m hoping we can make the trip again later on in the year!

We were on a break

Piper looks like she’s mad, doesn’t she? Probably cuz I didn’t bring her with me on this run. She’s passive-aggressive just like her momma lol.

It felt great to get back to running after my 8 mile fail a couple weeks ago! The knee is healing but I wrapped it for this run just to be on the safer side. I’ve been trying to be careful while staying active with walks and home exercises. The safest bet would be to keep resting it but I’m stubborn and I missed running!

So small steps, slow, short runs, compression wraps, and ice afterwards and I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to keep training for that half. The good news is that though it gave me a couple twinges during the run, the pain didn’t last and the knee feels great now! Yay for healing bodies!

In other but sort of related news, I’m really excited to share with y’all some of the changes I’ve been making with my health. I’ll try to get a post up about that tomorrow. Stay tuned and happy Friday folks!

Just let it go

From Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird”, “Sometimes this human stuff is slimy and pathetic – jealousy especially so – but better to feel it and talk about it and walk through it then to spend a lifetime being silently poisoned.”

This excerpt from the book really resonated with me, and I’ll tell you why. It’s not about jealousy really, but the slimy and pathetic stuff. This is personal, so bear with me. It’s kind of like ripping off a band-aid to find your wound is still all oozy and gross.

I am a sort of passive-aggressive person. I tend to walk around with my issues held close to my chest, with a smile on my face so nobody will know anything is bothering me. The problem comes when the issues start festering, and it’s hard to contain the angst. It starts spilling out here and there, like when you’re eating popcorn and you think you’re getting it all in your mouth only to find out later you have some stuck in your cowlneck sweater (not that that’s ever happened to me, *wink wink*). No, you can’t hide or ignore your issues. Especially with your family. They live with you, they know you best. They know something’s up.

So lately I’ve been walking around with this resentment in my heart. Ugly, nasty resentment aimed indirectly at my dear, loving, hardworking husband. And it seeps out in nasty ways when tensions are high, or the kids are being more challenging than usual. I just get grumpy and mean and downright nasty. So at church last Sunday I had some extra time to sit and really pray about this. I told God what I was feeling, as if He didn’t already know, and asked Him to help me let it go. I seriously struggle with the letting go. I asked a couple friends to also pray that God would help me let go of this ugliness I was clinging to.

I left church that morning still feeling rather conflicted and icky but I had hope that God would come through on my request, eventually. I had no idea how quickly He would answer my prayer! I went to a baby shower that afternoon and had a conversation with a woman I had not seen in years, and while we talked she was expressing some of the same things my husband has and yet I wasn’t judging her for it the way I had with my husband. The realization came fast and clear, and that’s when something opened up in my heart and I felt like the Grinch when his heart grew bigger. I went home that evening and confessed to my husband why I had been such a grump lately and why I had been so cold towards him on so many occasions. I told him I knew how hard he worked to be the best dad and husband he could be, and that I appreciated it and I was working at becoming more grateful. Guess what? He didn’t look at me with contempt and tell me I could sleep on the couch from now on. Nope. He looked at me with a look of understanding and love and he reached out to hold my hand. Because that’s what marriage is. For better or worse, always.

So, my friends, I share this because I want to encourage you to be brave enough to be humble and gracious, and don’t make friends with your grudges. Call them out for what they are: ugly pieces of garbage. Just let them go. And if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, let Him handle it. It’s kind of His specialty.

I may be deaf and half-blind, but I am and will always be… still Mindy