Bear with me. This one’s longish.
It’s been over a year since I posted here. So many times I’ve thought of doing it, but haven’t sat down and done it. So many words in my head that haven’t travelled to my fingers. Always thinking it won’t be good enough, or worth reading.
Should update how I’m doing.
Should be normal by now.
The last time I was here, I had just completed a 60km bike ride. And then I got off my bike and gained weight. And then some more. And my bike started collecting dust.
Then I tried walking. I like walking. I strapped the toddler onto my back and walked. We walked the older kids to the train station and took them to school. We walked home again. Sometimes I walked 5km in one trip. Sometimes it was more, depending on the mood of the kid at the other end of the journey, or the timing of trains. But I didn’t shake that weight. I gained muscle, and strength, and stamina. But I didn’t get smaller.
And then life happened. The bigger kids were really struggling with things. Not academic things (not directly), mental things. Like my mental things, the ones I was just starting to overcome. We all went backwards. The walks stopped. The car trips started. Then came the appointments with the psychologist, first one kid, and then two. More driving. Always driving.
Should get back on my bike. Should at least start walking again.
Should figure out how to lose that weight again.
Should get myself some help.
The kids are improving. The counselling seems to be helping. I started seeing a psychologist too. More driving, but more hope. Just walking in that door was one of the biggest walks I’ve done in a while. Not physically, of course. Emotionally, mentally. It’s exhausting.
Should mention that “should” is a trigger word for me.
My husband doesn’t understand why. He claims that it’s a positive word. I agree that it’s possible to use it positively. More often than not, it’s used in a negative way. Shaming. Guilt-inducing. Not productive. I use it all the time. My psychologist has pulled me up on it. It’s one of the things I need to work on.
Should declutter the house (that endless theme).
Should try a vegan/vegetarian diet.
Should try a paleo/primal diet.
Should cut out gluten, dairy, grains, sugar, “bad” additives, nightshades, anything, everything.
Should figure out which diet really will help us, physically and mentally.
Should drink more water.
Should should should should should…
So here’s what I am, and have been, doing.
A few months ago, I obtained some starters for milk kefir, water kefir, and kombucha. I’ve been culturing these, and the whole family has been enjoying them. I want to get into more of a routine/plan with taking them, but we’ve just been using them as desired and being all freestyle about it. This is hopefully just the beginning.
Interestingly, since I had to wait so long for the cultures to arrive (ordered online and it takes time to grow them) I had plenty of time to arrange a space for them. I decluttered an entire corner, and I’ve maintained it so it’s functional. I’m a little bit proud of that.
This led to decluttering another corner that was originally intended for my creative/crafting space. It’s not perfect, but I’ve been using that space too. I even started sewing again, which is turning out to be almost as therapeutic as knitting. And then another gap opened up to create a space for The Girl, to play, to draw, to store.
Bit by bit, corner by corner, box by box, I’m making some progress. There is a lot of clutter to get through, in the house, and in my brain. As they say, when eating an elephant, take one bite at a time. And there was one awfully big elephant in this room (elephant metaphors, wheee!)
We’ve been working towards a diet that leans towards GAPS/gut-healing, nutrient dense. We’ve been mostly gluten free, but not 100%. I would like to say I’ve been 100% gluten free for almost two months, but I know I haven’t avoided every tiny bit of contamination, so I can’t say that. I actually want us all to try grain free, at least for a while. We were originally going to also try dairy free, but decided to give the milk kefir a try for the gut healing, and to allow cultured dairy. We’re still being a little slack on the other dairy, another thing I need to rein in.
Researching diets is so overwhelming. Everybody is so sure that they are right.
You should be eating this. You should be avoiding that. You should do this because it worked for me. It’s just not that simple. And I’ve given up before starting, so many times, because of it. So we don’t have a label for what we’re doing, because I don’t want to give up this time.
Finally, I’ve started an exercise plan. It’s a weights training regimen, and so far I’ve managed to stick with it for over a month. Dishearteningly, I’ve actually gained a couple more kilos since starting, but I’m hoping some of that is muscle. I feel stronger, and I know that somewhere under the fat, muscles are becoming more toned. The program did come with the warning that measurable weight loss could take time, so I’m counting on that. I’m also fitting in a few sessions on the stationary bike, and trying to figure out a way to get back to walking, at least a little bit, with the kids again. I’m eyeing off the dusty bikes, and working on getting us all riding again too.
I’m not going to promise to update every day, or every week, or even with any kind of regularity. I am, however, going to try to write something sometimes that doesn’t need to start with “Well, it’s been a while…”
I’m not even going to promise to use this as my public way of holding myself accountable for progress. It doesn’t work for me. I only end up rebelling.
So here I am. I’m not sure where “here” is right now, but I think, just maybe, I’m headed in a positive direction again. Wish me luck.