TIGER BLOOD

[Content Note: Whole30, food talk]

Well, folks, it is day 16 for me on this go around of the Whole30 and…I feel great. Truly. I even pull some little muscle or pinched a nerve in my upper back and I’m all “whatever” about it. It hurts when I laugh, which is funny, which makes me laugh more. It’s a vicious cycle…OF HILARITY.

I owe this, at least in part, to starting a yoga practice. I have been taking morning classes regularly since the start of the month and it’s amazing. I now can see that my day is infinitely better if I make the effort to drag myself out of bed by 5:40am to get to the 6am weekday class. I didn’t go yesterday and was all cranky. Like, I was in a meeting and was totally that “I AM NOT GOING TO DO THIS AND THAT. THIS AND THAT IS NOT MY JOB!” asshole. (Granted, I had some founded reasons for being miffed, but not indignant and inflexible). I leave class feeling awake and ready to take on the day with finely tuned productivity and smartness attacks.

I realize that I am swiftly becoming a white, middle class stereotype, and I think I’m fine with that.

Stuffwhitepeoplelike

Anywho, now that I am pretty much accepting that this way of eating is way better for me, I am trying to figure out what I’m going to do after the strict month is over. I know, I know. I’ve been here before. Before it was about caffeine. I had confirmed three different times that daily caffeine does me no favors (it takes me from bouncing off the walls to HULK SMASH in a few days of regular consumption). For some reason though, I thought it was tooooo haaaaard to avoid it, on account of my love of seasonal lattes.

Yes, I know. I’m doing nothing to break that whole stereotype thing. I also frequently cook with sea salt. SUCK IT.

pumpkin-spice-latte
But I figured out at some point that I don’t even love lattes that much (I do love vanilla chai lattes however, and their caffeine content is low in comparison) and they should be a treat anyway. A decaf peppermint mocha is awesome…every once in a while. I think it became easier once I also figured out that the sugar in these things, or in coffee that doctor on my own also made me feel like crap if I had them often. When you get to the point that you understand that pretty much nothing about a specific food or beverage does you much good, it’s easier to relegate it to the realm of “special occasion”.

This has been what I have long wanted to do with crusty bread, all things containing substantial amounts of added sugar, all things grainy…but setting this intention is harder because these things are EVERYWHERE. I feel great right now, but it takes considerable effort to eat this way. In talking to Wes yesterday, we agreed that limiting grains and added sugar was the best way to move forward. I’m great with that because I discovered zoodles (noodles that are just spiral cut zucchini) and I really enjoy them with pasta sauce. He also shared an article with me showing a bunch of interesting and delicious-looking things I can do with cauliflower and I will try them ALL.

The other big reason I want to keep on this way of thinking is because I cook a lot more and bring lunch to work and haven’t been resorting to getting take out for dinner. So there is the added bonus of saving a crap-load of cash. I have…SAVINGS. I could, like, actually save up for some pricier things I want like traveling or a new acoustic/electric guitar or moon boots (or whatever the kids are buying these days). This is more exciting than I expected it to be and I really want to keep the trend going. I want this energy. I want this discipline. I want this focus moving forward.

I would just like to eat a piece of cheese or some refried beans here and there. Basically, I want to be able to eat Tex-Mex food again because omg yum, ok?
Of course, one of the other reasons I have been doing so much better with this round of Whole30 is that I found better recipes and have been enjoying the process of cooking. Dinner generally takes me an hour total to prepare (including baking time or whatever) and that’s fine for me. I have gotten into a weeknight routine that ends up with me cooking a healthy meal and cleaning the kitchen up intermittently. And now I have all this energy, nothing seems all that hard to maintain. I have also been cooking things that everyone in the house seems to like, taking that entire stressor out of the equation. Not everything has been universally liked, but in those cases people took care of themselves and I let them.

So, what I’m saying is, I’m way happier right now and that makes everything infinitely easier. I’m happier because of all the healthy things I’m doing for my body, but I’m also significantly happier now that I finally understand what people have been telling me about not worrying so much about everyone else all the time. That part of my ego has deflated and stopped tormenting me. I am doing things that benefit me and the improvement to my wellbeing is huge. I don’t worry about everyone else being happy because I can see that my being happy makes everyone else happier (that’s a Happiness Project thing, and a Wes-ism…I finally get it).

I have still been working hard at home, but I do it gladly, without resentment, and am finally back to a place of really digging my home and the people in it (and the people who visit). Sure, I’m still on antidepressants. I might be on them my entire life because depression isn’t just about things not working in your life. There might also be a chemical component to it. I might never be balanced well without it. BUT I also can’t (and wouldn’t) deny that I have made a bounty of positive changes and finally am feeling lasting positive effects of those changes on my addled brain.

I’m still sort of addled. I have been known to get distracted by the dogs while trying to do too many things at once, subsequently forgetting what I went up to the attic for in the first place, amongst various other stupid human tricks. But that’s just me. I’m also not angry, hate-filled, and heartbroken anymore. I also feel like I can do so many of the things that used to bring me joy but stopped because I simply couldn’t spare the energy.

I got in contact with my “old band” (we haven’t played together in a year or something) because I suddenly realized how much I was missing music, our music, in my life.

Arcati Crisis

I think I’ve picked up my guitar twice in the entire time we have been on “hiatus” and that’s super weird after years of playing it a little every day. I’ve barely sung, except a few times at karaoke and sometimes in the car. I’ll be playing with Peter next week and I’m really looking forward to it and after that I’m hoping to work with everyone to find a way to do that stuff without it becoming too much for me. Of course, I feel like I have infinite ability again, but I know I don’t actually (and I don’t want to have too many nights where I’m not cooking at home). But, honestly, we’re an amazing band and I think I want to be part of that again in some capacity yet to be determined.

I don’t feel that way about everything, of course. I’m pretty much over theater for the most part. That might change, but a series of unfortunate theater experiences over a number of years “cured the acting bug” I guess. I could see doing a project here and there, but it’s really not my artistic priority anymore. I’m glad, then, that I decided to be a chemist instead of an actor because man would I be pissed now. I feel similarly about burlesque. I would probably enjoy doing a show every so often during the year (APW I’m looking at you!), but it’s not what I want to be doing with my time anymore. It served its purpose for me and then became linked with memories of a lot of people and events I don’t want to give energy to anymore. It was a good time and now it’s over in the capacity that it was happening in the past.

So yeah, I’m feeling good and for the first time in a while I can see that feeling lasting. I’m doing what I want, what I need and it’s awesome.

No matter how white and privileged it makes me. I know, OK?!?

Anyway, next time I’ll geek out about how cool cameras are.  Stay tuned!

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