Midlife Makeover!!

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Remember being a pre-teen and feeling like “if I could just get one of those makeovers like in the magazines, I’d get…” or “I’d be….” Usually the answers involved popularity, boyfriends, etc.  No, you don’t remember? I do.  (Above, that’s really Heidi Klum in costume, not me after my middle-age makeover.)

Well, if you’ve read more than five posts here, I’m sure you know I have Fibromyalgia and I ended my 20 year teaching career about a year and something ago because of it, and I’m needing to reinvent myself. It’s not that I want boyfriends or popularity. I’m married and have a blog that gets at least three hits a day. What I want is health, confidence, happyishness (which is a term I’ve copyrighted, so I hope if it takes off and gets popular, it will make me popular too–oh, contradiction!). When I say “happyishness,” I mean tending toward happiness without being weirdly fake or Polyanna. Happy and with a range of emotions that show I’m really alive.

So I was thinking a few weeks ago that my confidence is just not where it’s supposed to be. At my age, I don’t really believe in my self doubts. How weird is that. I know that when a person identifies with a certain role for many years, and then stops, but doesn’t have anything to take it’s place (except maybe the role of “sick person,” ugh), they may get a little blah.  It’s not really real though (in the big scheme of things). So I decided that I needed to cheer myself up and buying new clothes wasn’t going to work, I needed to lose some weight so those new clothes would look good. I didn’t want to be a Cathy cartoon. bathing suit dressing room cartoon

I had recently stopped smoking, YAY! and felt confident that I could make another healthy achievement.  My sister-in-law recently lost 30 pounds through exercise and portion control, which was inspiring, but I knew I couldn’t exercise that much with my fibro.

Enter Whole30. I had been looking at it for a while. I am really hesitant to follow things that have lots of ads and lots of people on the internet going “wow! wow!” But I researched it. It’s free, well, I bought the Kindle book for around ten bucks.

I knew that Paleo had helped some people with Chronic Fatigue and Fibro, and I had wondered if it could help me. Maybe I could lose weight and heal.  I had been off wheat for about three years, but the other “healthy whole grains” like oatmeal and rice were still in my diet. I read recently that Robert Downy Jr. said of quitting drugs, something like, “It wasn’t hard after I really committed.” I knew this was true for me with smoking. So I committed. It’s only 30 days. Today is day 12. I have more energy. I still hurt. Osteoarthritis, IBS, but I’m figuring it all out. I’m happyish. (BTW, if you haven’t read my post about Methylfolate and Methyl B12 and how much it helped me, read it here.)

I’m totally committed and have been cooking really great food. Its a great cooking challenge. More to come about my food and my Whole30.  Be well.

P.S. In your comments, please refrain from advice-giving or judgments. Stick to your own experience. “For me…” is a lot more helpful than “You should….”

P.P.S. I know some people think Paleo and Low Carb are bad.  If you’re one of them, I know you’re out there, you don’t need to tell me and throw cold water on my enthusiastic experiment :-).

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The Death Star Crafty Cookie Coma Craziness

About six months ago my my brother, Self-acclaimed Star Wars Freak, said he wanted a crochet Death Star Pillow for Christmas. So I started Saturday December 13th. It seemed like plenty of time, but alas, it’s now December 17th and it’s looking a little wonky. I’m a bad stitch counter I think. Here’s the one he wants, and two photos of what I’ve made.

I started making a big sphere with this pattern thanks to mspremiseconclusion.com, who did the advanced math for me which I either forgot how to do or never understood how to do. I planned to use that plus the makezine pattern and kind of put them together. Now, I’m wondering whether it’s a fail.  Do I go on with the pattern to show that I tried? Will it be funny to have a bumpy Death Star? Luckily I got him another present today, a T-shirt with Darth Vader and Storm Troopers opening presents in front of a Christmas tree.

I simultaneously baked Gluten Free Springerle and Cranberry Orange cookies for Saturday’s Annual Holiday Cookie Party. I wish I’d looked at my own Paleo Christmas Cookie Post from a couple of weeks ago.  But I wanted to make cookies without going to the store, so I made these.

The Springerles turned out great despite the substitution of Pamela’s Gluten Free Baking mix for the flour and baking soda, and the fact that I only had 3 eggs instead of four. Springerles are an old tradition in my family. An old-style German cookie made with Anise seeds and a special decorative rolling pin.

Unfortunately for the Cranberry Orange, also made with Pamela’s Baking Mix, I used Coconut Sugar instead of regular sugar. These were great fresh out of the oven, but after a few hours they got limp and soggy. Flaccid cookies–not a good thing.  Still tasted good though.

Coming home with a big box of cookies put me in a sugar coma for a couple of days. I definitely can’t eat sugar. I love baking though, and baking Christmas Cookies is a tradition for me since before I can remember. The party was fun though and I’m glad I participated. More attempts gluten-free-sugar-coma-free traditional cookies to come next year.

 

 

Weekly Photo Recap

My online photo class is over and I thought I’d put up the weekly photo recap today to celebrate! It has been a challenge to keep up with Nablopomo and Photo101 this month, and I feel proud and a little fatigued.  And strangely, a little bored.

I’m curious about the relationship between fatigue, boredom, and the ending of a chapter in one’s work life. I feel it with this month’s ending, a sense of relaxation and relief, mixed with a “what now” feeling.  It’s a microcosm of the ending of my teaching career. For the last year or so, I’ve been working at not working, and strange as it sounds, it’s not easy. I have to learn to be free.

What if there is no “they” out there telling me what to do? Telling me the “shoulds” and “have tos” of life?  Sometimes, it’s easy as pie.  Relax, do some crafts, read, watch tv, go for a walk, visit with friends, do chores. But sometimes, it’s hard, like, “how do I do nothing?” “Am I allowed to do nothing?” “What do I want to do?” How to we get so accustomed to just following directions, coloring within the lines, buying our lives off the shelf?