Feelin a little funky.

Do you ever find yourself in a funk?  Like your life is quickly passing you by and then one day you stop and think, “How did I get here?  I feel like I’m stuck!”?  The past couple of weeks have kind of been like that for me.  I thought that maybe if I share a little about what I have been feeling, not only might I feel better, but maybe someone else out there can relate and not feel like they are the only other person who goes through crap like this.

So, first of all, you might have noticed that I haven’t posted in a few weeks.  While I feel like getting out of a weekly rhythm may cause people to forget this blog even exists, I really have not been in a position to write about anything and be genuine.  That would go against what I want for this blog, and make me feel like a fake. That’s just not going to happen, folks.

Second, I have been in a transition at work, starting in a new department, and that in itself has been an adjustment.  Having to learn a new job can certainly take a toll on someone’s brain.  I love what I do, and I also love to learn, so this isn’t a bad change for me.  I’ve just been busy, like getting handed a project by my supervisor to complete before Christmas break when I wasn’t completely confident in my abilities of being able to complete it in a week type of busy.  I did though, by the way, and I even completed it early.  I love when I surprise myself like that!

Thirdly, there have been some deeper and more personal things going on that I wasn’t quite sure how to deal with.  Does that ever happen to you?  Just out of the blue the lemons handed to you aren’t the good ones you can eat with salt, (judge me,) but the moldy brownish ones you can’t even use to freshen your garbage disposal with?  Yuck!  I am still not completely worked through this situation, but thankfully I have a supportive husband, and a few solid women I can vent to who aren’t afraid to give me some words of wisdom.

Lastly, I have been a little off track, with my health, and with my physical activity.  I have had moments when I chose a lazier path with what to eat for dinner, and how to spend any spare time when I could have gone for a walk or something.  As a result, my skin is a bit patchy, and my clothes don’t fit as comfortably.  And I just feel like crap, to be quite honest.  Thank the Lord that this is my favorite time of year, or I’m not sure if I would have realized how much this funk has been affecting me.

So what is one to do when they feel like they have let themselves and their life go?  I think the first thing is to talk about it with people you trust who care about you, and be completely honest with them.  I believe with all of my heart that lying will get you nowhere good, and I know from experience, dude.  Especially lying to yourself, not cool.  What comes next will depend on what kind of person you are.  Men and women tend to deal with things a little bit differently, actually, a lot differently.  In my case, after I talk about it and hear other’s perspectives, I look at things I have gotten off the paths from, and ask myself what made me get on them in the first place.  For example, why did I start eating real food to begin with?  I am a reflective type of person, so I will  also think about what event’s may have led to my funkiness, and ask myself if any of those issues still need to be addressed.  What I am not, is a self-motivator.  I thrive off of motivating others actually, and prefer to have the same done to me.  I just need to be careful who I look to for motivation.  It is easy to come across another “wallower”, and get stuck even further into funkiness.  Another thing I can do is write about it.  Write in my prayer journal, or write in my blog.  Either way, I welcome feedback, and usually learn something new as well.

I think an important thing to remember if you ever get into a funk is that you are not alone, and you can always get past it.  It may not seem like it at the time, but it’s true.  As I write this, I am already able to look at a few things that I could do to get my bo-hiney back on the right path.  It makes me feel amazing to know that I have you all out there supporting me as well. Thank you!!

A little piece of my heart.

Since this blog is dedicated to sharing part of my journey through life with you, I am going to give you a little more information about what made my husband and me want to start living a Primal/Paleo lifestyle in the first place.  Like thousands of other couples out there, we have been struggling with infertility.  While I won’t go into many specifics as to how we are affected right now, I will let you all know that our health has had a lot to do with it.

Last year, I made an appointment with a fertility specialist, and one of the things they had mentioned was that my BMI was a little too high.  Wait, what?  I’ve never had this “issue” before, and to be honest, I was a little embarrassed.  I have been so conscious of my weight for the majority of my life that I hadn’t ever really thought of myself as obese.  But there the numbers were, and they didn’t lie.  In addition, I felt sluggish, and my clothes didn’t fit.  What happened to me?  How did I let myself lose this much control?  How could I let my family down like this?

Soon after that appointment, I talked with my husband about wanting to get healthy again. I had been using the Atkins diet as a guideline to lose weight for the past several years.  I thought, “It worked before, why hasn’t it been working for me lately?”  The truth is the diet plan was too open to interpretation.  With their “snacks” especially, it was very hard to stay on track.  The original way of eating that Dr. Atkins talked about had been skewed, and added toxins were creeping up in the plan, hidden by the Atkins label.  I had given in to the new program, and all of its little extras that were supposedly ok for me to consume.   So, what happened?  Instead of losing weight and feeling better, I gained weight and I was feeling like crap all of the time.

I’m not going to go into all of the details of what all made me sick, but artificial sweeteners had a lot to do with it.  The main one was Splenda.  I used to be such an advocate for that brand, believing that it was a safe alternative to sugar.  It turns out that I was wrong.  In fact, studies have shown that artificial sweeteners can be more harmful than raw sugar.  I was surprised when I studied the research, but now that I have been experiencing the benefits of eating real food, it all makes sense.  The second big factor was still having processed and non-organic food.  I’ve gone over how these 2 can affect health, but they can also affect the endocrine system, which can affect fertility… Oops.

What led me to try Paleo this time?  The first thing was that a good friend of mine had been doing it for a while.  She had told me about it, and I even bought a book and read about it, but at the time it didn’t seem like a good fit for me.  Looking back, I feel a little silly that I ever thought that eating real food wasn’t a good fit.  Wow, was I brainwashed.  The second thing was that my husband had done a Paleo type diet before, and been successful at weight loss.  We sat down and talked about “going Paleo” together so we could get healthy, for us, for our future, and for our family.  We both read the book I had together, so we could be on the same page about what we were doing, and so we could learn all the reasons it is important to eat a real food diet.  I believe I have mentioned the book before; it’s called The Paleo Solution, the Original Human Diet, by Robb Wolf.  I highly recommend reading this book to anyone who is interested or curious about Paleo.  It not only explains the why of this lifestyle, but the science behind it.  I think it’s important to understand something like this before you try it out, that way you’re not doing it because it’s just some fad you heard about.  Paleo isn’t a fad; it’s been around since humans started to eat.  It’s also not just about what you eat; it’s about how you live.

I don’t think I have really mentioned the whole “how you live and being Paleo” before.  I know I’ve discussed what we put in and on our bodies, but there is more to it than that.  Paleo also means moving like our ancestors, not being glued to electronics, reducing stress, and for goodness sake, sleeping!  I can dig into each of those separately, as they are equally important to our overall health, so these will definitely be a part of future posts.

What have our results been?  My husband lost about 50 pounds, and I lost about 25.  Our health has also improved greatly, and we are in a better position to create a healthy child when we are blessed with one.  It hasn’t happened yet; however, we are not losing hope.  I still have some things to work out also, like reducing my stress, and getting into a physical fitness routine with my busy schedule.  I would also like to lose a few more inches, and that will come in time.  I have been making progress, and I will continue to work on changing my health for the better.

What about you?  Have you struggled with any health issues and changed them by improving your nutrition/sleep/exercise habits?