Month: March 2014

March: Get Moving!

So, February is out and we’re making way for the madness of March.  It’s time for an update on my resolution progress.  (By the way, I actually wrote most of this at the end of February, but didn’t get to finish it until now.  Oh well, such is life.)

This month’s resolution was to go on an elimination diet for the whole month.  And did I?  Well, I actually started on the second of February, but, yes, I’ve maintained the diet since I began it. 

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Fair Warning:  Talk about “lady things” and bodily functions is about to commence.  Gird your eyes if you’re the dainty type.

I allowed myself to start on the second because I started my period on the first.  I have, as long as I can remember, had a history of pretty horrific menstrual symptoms.  I nearly always get extremely moody and achy the week before I begin bleeding.  Then the first day or two I am often accosted by some gnarly cramps.  The cramping has gotten worse over the past few years leaving me doubled over with pain on more occasions that I’d like to recall.  The cramping is usually accompanied by nausea, headaches and achy, achy joints.  It is not a pleasant situation.  And it is the only time I am ever driven to take OTC pain relieving medication.  (Yuck.)  So, on that first night of February, when I was due to set out on my new food journey, and I was feeling like the worst kind of crap, I decided to take the night to wallow in my long-practiced food follies.  It was a last chance to highlight all the ways I use food badly – treating myself for feeling badly by eating comfort foods, stuffing sour feelings with sweet treats, eating mindlessly in front of the telly after work – as well as a chance to say goodbye to some of my most beloved food friends:  pepperoni pizza (at least it was gluten free and organic), gelato (there were bananas in it!), and sweet potato chips (vegetable chips, that’s healthy, right?).  It was delicious.  And I felt HORRIBLY afterwards.  Turns out it was an excellent motivational boost to starting the elimination diet. 

My experiences since beginning the diet have been, well, varied.  The first few weeks really sucked.  Let’s [appropriately] lose the subterfuge of the sugar coating, shall we?  It’s been hard navigating this new way of eating.  It’s been a challenge to come up with new recipes that are easy, delicious and portable – a must for me as I work long shifts and can’t just pop home to make my lunch or dinner.  I have finally managed to amass a few standbys and staples that I know I like and can whip up on a moment’s notice should the need arise.  I am slowly training myself to stock my pantry, fridge and freezer with the basics to make these dishes on the fly.  Although, truthfully, part of eating so close to the Natural Way means focusing more on a slower, more mindful relationship with food, and moving away from that sense of immediacy and convenience that seems to reign supreme in these unhealthy modern times.  But, realistically speaking, as I’m still adapting, convenience is a big help for me right now. 

From a physical perspective, I have been experiencing a whole host of healing symptoms.  As I’m rounding up week five, I am able to notice some patterns emerging.  (Bodies are so fascinating!)  Of course, when in the throes of symptomatic detoxification and cleansing, I was completely blind to any sort of organization in what was happening.  I have experienced the following symptoms, in varying degrees of intensity, during the month of February:

Skin breakouts/blemishes

General itchy skin rashes – usually on my wrists and ankles

Category 3 rosacea flare up (a first for me)

General skin inflammation (mild) 

Flatulence

Bloating

Mild diarrhea

Mild constipation

Stool of differing colors

Flaky skin and scalp

Insomnia

Fatigue

Achy joints

Hay fever type symptoms

Headaches

Mild nausea

Mood swings

Fuzzy brain / inability to focus

An excessive earwax situation

At present, most of the symptoms, though not gone, are greatly diminished.  When I started my period recently, there was only very mild cramping.  I didn’t even need any pain relievers.  Hooray!  My menstrual cycle has also regulated itself back to my natural rhythm of bleeding with the new moon. 

I’ve noticed a kind of clarity emerging in my mental, emotional and spiritual states, as well.  I’m not quite sure how to describe this accurately other than saying it’s like a veil is being lifted from my brain and from my heart.  It’s happening slowly and non-dramatically, which is, to my mind, how it should be. 

 

I drew a rune about halfway through the month.  It was the Elder Futhark (or Viking) rune of Laguz.  Here is the description of that rune from The Book of Runes by Ralph Blum:    

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Laguz

Unseen powers are active here, creative and fertile powers of Nature.  The attributes of this Rune are water, fluidity, the ebb and flow of tides and emotions, of careers and relationships.  Laguz fulfills our need to immerse ourselves in the experience of living without having to evaluate  or understand.  It speaks to the desire for comfort and the satisfaction of emotional needs, to the lunar side or our nature.  For while the sun strives for differentiation, the moon draws us toward unity and merging.

 

This Rune often signals a time for cleansing:  for revaluing, reorganizing, realigning.  A Rune of deep knowing, Laguz may call you to study spiritual matters in readiness for self-transformation.  Success now lies in contacting your intuitive knowing, in attuning to your own rhythms.  A Rune of the self relating rightly to the Self, Laguz signifies what alchemists called the conjunctio, or sacred marriage.  In fairy tales, it is the end where the hero and heroin live happily ever after. 

 

Seems appropriate.  I do feel like I am opening myself more to the great wide world, seeking union where, in the past, I’ve often sought solitude.  And all that ‘revaluing, reorganizing, realigning’ I started in January is still gathering momentum as the pace of the year begins to quicken … as it always, and inexplicably, does. 

So, the point of this post is to provide an update on my progress.  And I feel I’m making good progress.  In fact, I feel there is still much more progress to be made where this diet is concerned.  I feel like I’ve only just begun to really heal my gut.  And I’m actually, strangely, enjoying this experiment so much that I am choosing to continue the elimination diet through March.  I’ll keep you posted on how things continue to unfold. 

Now that February’s been summed up, let’s move on to March.  March’s resolution is: Get moving!  Exercise Regularly and Joyously.

 

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Get moving!

Well, I’m pleased to report that I’ve already been working on that one.  I’m still doing my Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis mat workouts with my friend.  Now, full disclosure, I have let myself cancel on a couple occasions, but those were few, and I’m recommitting to a more ‘no excuses’ regimen this month.  I’ve also started to do cardio again.  I had let that drop off during and after the move, and just kind of kept it on the back burner until a couple weeks ago.  Now I’m doing rebounder cardio following my Tracy Anderson workouts and it’s going beautifully. 

The floors in my new place are concrete, so they are not very joint friendly for doing dance aerobics like I was doing previously.  So, I decided to break out the rebounder to solve that problem.  The rebounder (mini trampoline) is a great way to get in cardio work without jarring your joints, and – BONUS – it’s great for getting your lymph system moving.  This is extra important during any kind of detoxification program, as the lymph system is the body’s way of eliminating wastes on the cellular level.  The shifts in gravity experienced on a rebounder help the lymph from getting stagnant and pooling in certain areas as can easily happen in our modern arse-sitting lifestyles.  I hope to eventually replace the rebounder I scored from Freecycle with a nice Bellicon one.  For those of you who are interested in rebounding, Bellicon is one of the best brands available.  They use bungee bands rather than metal springs, so they don’t have that creaky squeaky sound effect thing happening when you’re using them.  This is a bonus for those of us who live in dwellings with paper-thin walls.

I’m also hoping to start actually taking some yoga classes in addition to the ones I’m teaching.  Scheduling isn’t always on my side in that regard, so we’ll see how that works. 

Then there’s the fact that I’m still a staunch pedestrian who walks everywhere.  It’s built-in physical fitness.  Walking to work is about a thirty minute brisk walk, then another for the return trip.  Brilliant!  Reason no. 43 why I love not having a car!

I’m liking my prospects with this month’s resolution, really. 

How are your resolutions and goals for the year progressing?  Are they still working for you?  Are you still working for them?  Any changes?  Insights?  Additions/subtractions?  Leave a comment if you’d like to share your own experiences with resolutions, nutrition, health or fitness, or anything, really. 

Big love to all of you!

xoxo,

Melanie