Cat pee and cups of tea

I arrived home at 10pm on a Thursday after a quick two day trip to Russell in memory of my granddads passing. I ran a bath, made a cup of tea, sat aimlessly on the couch staring at a picture on the wall, stood in the kitchen for a moment wondering how to get food in my body without having to eat, then I went to my room. I petted my cat and went to put my hot wheat bag in the bed so it was warm when I got in. There, in the middle of the bed was a pee stain. A cat pee stain. I looked at the bed, I looked at Charlie, he looked back at me, I looked back at the bed. Right. I’m not sure what most people do when they’re emotional exhausted and find their cat peed in their bed, but I laughed. Charlie meowed. I laughed a bit more and looked at him and said, “yep, I know what you mean”. I have no idea what he meant. He’s a cat, he probably just meant he wanted food. But I’ll take it as a sorry. So the sheets are in the wash, including the waterproof mattress cover which is apparently not also cat-pee-proof and I’ve remade my bed. Of course he also got the duvet so that’s tomorrows job. I pulled out another one of my many and put that on my bed instead. The problem I faced with remaking the bed however, is every bed in this house is a double and mine is a queen…so fitting sheets on it is similar to me trying to fit back into my size six jeans after France.

So, here I am in my bath with my cup of tea, well the second cup, the first cup ended up cold and with floating bits of cat fur in it, balancing my laptop precariously on the edge of the bath because I’ve concluded this is my only quiet ‘me’ spot…it’s even safe from the cat.

Tomorrow, Friday, is all about bridal shower planning. I’m super excited but also rather dubious as to how I am going to make a paper mache in one day…guess it’s time to get out the hair dryer! I’m also rather frightened I might poison all the guests with cake as I haven’t made a normal cake in years and as I can’t taste it, well….you can imagine how that might end.

Never the less I am alive, I went for a run today and only nearly died, and I have tea, and a bath, and a clean bed.

Deep breaths, tomorrow is a new day.

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I think it’s time for this…

It’s time to get personal. No, not the kind where I get all emotional and what not… the kind where I dish out a little bit of reality.

I’ve been gluten free for nearly three months now…actually it could be longer, I don’t count days. Lately they’ve been all blurring together like one big happy nightmare. I’ve been dairy and wheat free consistently for a year and keep my sugar intake as low as possible without going insane when eating out (there is no hateful look quite like the one a waiter gives you when you ask if it has gluten, dairy, or sugar in it), but it’s been a slow journey over the past three years.

So this is how it is from the point of view of a dairy needing, pasta munching, sugar craving, alcohol drinking human…until I moved to Hamilton.

I lived off pasta and cheese. Every time I was sick through my childhood, it’s what I ate. I loved pies, I loved take-a-ways, I loved every single kind of whipped cream, milk containing, glutenous product there was.

No, I never put on weight. I could eat anything! “You’re so lucky!” I was always told… because I could eat anything.

No, no I couldn’t eat anything. My whole life I have been dairy and wheat intolerant. I just had no idea.

So what’s it been like? FREAKING FANTASTIC!

Ok, so cutting gluten out isn’t the easiest thing in the world, yes, yes that pie you’re eating in front of me when I am very hungry because I have to walk an extra two km to get something gluten free does look freaking amazing… but you know what looks better? My insides.

Do I want a piece of my favourite type of cake you’ve just ordered for the office to eat…and then left it right in front of me while I eat my lunch? Yep. Yep I do.

Easy. No. There is nothing easy about doing something that most people don’t actually understand. But there is something fantastic about how I feel.

I have a major health condition pretty much completely under control. My skin is a million times better.

People almost always look at weight as a measure of ‘health’. This is just plain wrong. While I love the fact it is unlikely something I will have to worry about while on a gluten and dairy free diet, it is far from the reason I do it.

So, here is the world through my eyes since getting it together and deciding I want the best for myself.

The -it’s too hard-
One of the things I hear most often is ‘I’d die if I had to do that!’ No…no you wouldn’t. You might, doing what you’re doing. But no, you won’t die without cake. That sounds mean, but it’s true. And it’s very hard not to retaliate with it.

The -I can do what I want!-
Then there is the ‘I’m so glad I can eat whatever I want’…well yes, so can I. But that sluggish feeling you get? The headaches? The weight? Actually many things that you might not even know are going on with your body, are happening because you eat whatever you want. I can put whatever I want into my body, but I choose not to damage it that way. I choose to be healthier and happier. And I choose not to slowly kill myself with gluten.

The -but you don’t need to lose weight!-
This is often followed up by ‘But you’re so thin! Why would you need to be on a diet?’ When I google definition of diet it comes up with 1) the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.

I am not on a diet where I plan to lose weight. I do this, because like I put the right fuel in my car to make it work, I want the right fuel to make my body work. It doesn’t always, like my car, but it works far better than if I were to put diesel in a car that takes unleaded 91 petrol.

The -makes me want to punch you in the face-
The moment someone says ‘you’re too healthy’ I actually want to hit them. There is no such thing! Sure, people can go waaaay over board with a diet, but then that would be unhealthy. Hence, no such thing. In this world, everyone wants to put a too infront of whatever you are ‘you’re too thin’ ‘you’re too fat’ ‘you’re too tall’ ‘you’re too small’ ‘you’re too healthy’ ‘you’re too unhealthy’. Whatever it is, you’re too much of it. I am not doing this to please men, nor am I doing it to please anyone other than my stomach. When I am writhing in pain because of what I ate, I am not very happy. So, why would I want to eat foods that make my mouth happy for two seconds, and the rest of me unhappy forever?

The -you have a lot of self control-
Yeah…I also have a great imagination…for the last half hour I’ve been picturing myself starting a food fight, covering you in whatever thing I used to love eating. Normally during these visions I have a very angry and wild look on my face.

The -BUT WHAT CAN YOU EAT?!-
A lot actually. Other than the bakery section of the supermarket, there is almost always a sugar free (and I don’t mean diet coke where it’s just replaced with a whole bunch of other chemicals, I mean actually free from sugar and it’s artificial substitutes), gluten free, dairy free way of doing it. You have to get creative. I have become a far better cook and LOVE eating now far more than I ever did.

So how is life now?

Fantastic! But there is still so much I am learning about my body and what it needs to make it function properly. People often start down the natural health track and expect results in weeks, or months. It takes years. Once you solve on problem, often another will surface and it can feel like you’re constantly putting out fires.

Worth it?

Yes. Eventually I will get to a place where I feel really happy with my body, and it feels happy with me. Most of the time it is like that. But I still need more sleep, more water, more greens, less meat, and it goes on. It always does. It’s about learning which steps to take when, and what’s right for you and your sanity.

What have I noticed physically?

My skin was the number one. Though it still has its moments, I am comfortable around people without makeup, I wear less of it in general, it is brighter and my eyes are happier. I was so unhappy with the awful blemishes I had, and the fact my eyebrows never grew. Now, I have eyebrows and my skin doesn’t break out to the extent I cry in front of the mirror.

My weight. Though I never put on huge amounts, it was always up and down. I would put on 5kgs in a week and then lose it randomly. My boobs were changing size all the time, my face would puff up randomly, my stomach was always bloated so I never knew how big it actually was. Now, the weight is spread evenly across my body and I have only fluctuated a kg or two at a time and never quickly. For me this is a huge relief… and I can shop for what I want and not freak out it won’t fit me the same in a week!

My hair grows! It would grow before, but always ratty and upset. I can style it with hot irons every day and go eight weeks between cuts now and still feel like it is full and healthy…and it grows at twice the rate!

For me it was changing how I thought about food. Rather than thinking about my taste buds all the time, I think about it as a fuel. What am I getting out of this? And it makes it worth spending money on it now! I am equipping my body for the day, and when it’s not performing, I look at my diet and find out why. How can I fix it? Rather than we have a problem, let’s just take a painkiller and hope it stops.

p.s after reducing alcohol to once a month for five months, I can now drink a couple of glasses of wine and not feel any adverse side effects (before I was in pain with half a glass and felt awful the next day). My body is detoxing better and it is able to handle it when I have a day where I eat more sugar or drink alcohol. By giving it a break, it was like a reset.

Anyway, that’s my health rant over for now.

Cheerio until next time.

This is why I eat healthy: it’s not to be skinny!

I know I’m not meant to be blogging, I have so much work to get done! But I’m hiding my to do list under my dirty plate and cup of tea just for a little bit while I get yet another spiel off my mind.

I often get asked about the way I eat. Actually, it’s surprising how many people associate eating healthy with losing weight.

That is not at all why I eat healthy.

I eat healthy because I deserve so much better than what I dished out to myself every day. As you all know by now, I have a beautiful list of ‘health issues’. I see them as blessings, but each to their own. They gave me the wake up call I needed, and here I am.

Why don’t I drink? I just don’t really like it any more. I mean, I enjoy the glass of wine with a friend, or after a really long week. But I don’t drink because I don’t need to any more. I dance without alcohol, no matter how bad or who’s watching. I prefer to be sober when I talk to people because I have this terrible trait of forgetting everything someone says to me when alcohol is involved. I just like being who I am, all the time. I don’t really like the alcohol version of myself. Not because I do anything bad, she’s just no where near as cool as the sober version.

Why I don’t eat dairy? Well, it started when I had really really really bad break outs. I hated my skin. I didn’t look after it at all. I went to every length I could to get rid of how awful it looked. I NEVER let people see me without make-up. I still have issues with going out in public without it on even though I have pretty good skin now. The last thing I did before I went to bed was to take my make-up off so the amount of time I could accidentally see my skin was limited. When I cut out dairy, I started to see a huge change in my skin and as a result, I love my skin. I want to nourish it and love it. I want it to shine and I don’t want to cover it up.

Why I don’t eat gluten? I just don’t really like hallucinating to tell you the truth. If I was one to do drugs, acid would never have been one of them. Yes, eating gluten over long periods of time turns me into a nut job. I don’t actually know how I kept being somewhat sane through my life. It triggers my thyroid for starters, and it prevents my body from absorbing B vitamins. These over time lead to a raft of ‘me being a crazy person’ characteristics. I don’t want that. I want to feel like me, I want to be in control of me. I want to know when I see a dark shadow run past, it actually was a cat… not some crazy demon coming to get me. Yes, it gets bad.

Why I don’t eat sugary crap? Yeah, I still eat sugar sometimes, but it can be hard when you try to cut out sugar and everything else at the same time! So I’m still working on this one. But It’s just bad. Why would I put something in my body that is doing absolutely no good? Silly.

Why I love my greens and my smoothies? To tell you the truth, it’s actually because I hate chewing, so it’s easier when it’s all in one cup. But I need all that amazing goodness to make my skin nice, my body have energy. I want to be bubbly and beautiful. So if I can get that by eating well, why would I not?

Why I love my sleep? Sleep helps to reduce the wrinkles I am well aware are developing on my face. It helps me think, it helps me stay calm, it helps me cope. It is my time out and if I give that up for you, you must be a pretty special person to me.

So… that’s actually really brief for how long I could go on about my health.

But in short, I eat well because I love who I am. I want to look in the mirror and think ‘man, I’m a babe’ I want to run out and see people with no make-up on. I want to love summer when I can not wear make-up at the beach.

When I eat well, I am proving to myself that I love who I am and want the best for myself. When I put the crappy food first, I’m saying I value that more than being in love with myself.

It is the same way I want to make my relationship the best it can be with my partner. I don’t cheat and I don’t do things to hurt him because I love him and I want to be with him forever.

Likewise I want to love myself forever and I want to show myself that is the case.

So with that, it’s time for home-made bacon bone soup.

‘Out on your ass!’

It was my sisters birthday the week just gone. She was 17. Makes me feel old, she’s leaving home at the end of the year! Anyway, we went out for a nice dinner. Me, her boyfriend, my cousin and 8 of her friends. She booked a restaurant down the Mount, a new one that I love(d). We rock up and sit down, order drinks and begin to chat. 

10 minutes later the waiter comes back and asks if we are all over 18. I look at her boyfriend and the two of us say ‘well, we are’. Then there is silence. She awkwardly fiddles with her hands before informing us that each person under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. I feel awkward. I look at her and ask if we can call one parent (mine and my sisters), she told me that would not be enough. 

‘Oh’

‘Well, what do you propose we do now?’ I ask rather indignantly.

‘Uhm, well you will have to leave,’ she said.

I felt sorry for her. She wasn’t the manager. I was however not happy. They completely failed to inform my sister when she made the booking for her birthday dinner that her and all her friends would be kicked out if they were not 18. 

What do you do with 12 people on a Friday night down the Mount looking for a restaurant? I repeated in my head over and over it’s ok, she can deal with it. My sisterly over protectiveness was straining to break free and kick ass. Thankfully it stayed in it’s cage. 

We left the restaurant and made out way down the street. Her boyfriend went into the only other suitable restaurant and they made room for us all 15 mins later. It all worked out and in the end she was happy.

I always imagined the first time I was kicked out of a restaurant it would be for disorderly behaviour… not for being with people underage.

That is ok though, I have not yet forgiven them for nearly ruining my little sisters birthday dinner. I don’t forgive easily when someone upsets my little sister.

 

Don’t eat darling, just starve yourself, one day you’ll be 30.

Weight. It is the number one demon that seems to plague, well, everyone. You’re too thin, too fat, your boobs are the wrong size, the wrong shape, the wrong bounce, your butt is too chuncky, too lumpy and it goes on. But this is not your general bitch about weight. This is the voice of the ‘skinny person’ who likes to eat a lot. 

I do not consider myself to be stick thin and I’m really not, I am a healthy 57 kgs and I am 163 cm tall. I am happy at that. I put on a bit of weight here and there, I loose a bit when I go for a run or walk up a steep hill. In summer I am toned because I am doing at least 1 hour of exercise a day and 3+ on weekends because I love outdoor sports. In winter… the abs go for a little vacay and the hips have a little more to pad them. That’s ok. I rarely eat take out, my bad food for the week is chips (ready salted) and I love my fruit and veg. No I am not a heath ‘freak’ but I like to eat healthy. It is a personal and a medical choice. I get very sick if I don’t. That is an unfortunate but good fact of life. 

This morning they were talking about foods making you fat on the radio as a light-hearted way of talking about those winter pounds that pile on. People phoned in about cheese burgers and chocolate and fried chicken and pies… well yes. If you eat 6 cheese burgers a week – you’ll probably get fat. No, it is not because you are eating a lot. It is because you are eating really crap food. The woman presenter then said something about feeling hungry on a diet.

It made my blood boil. People often tell me: ‘oh you just wait, you’ll get to your 30’s and you wont be able to eat like that anymore.’ ‘Eat less, it will catch up with you eventually.’ ‘Oh you’re so lucky being skinny, I remember those days, make the most of them while you have them’.

I sometimes get so mad I turn red.

I am not fat. I am blessed with ‘skinny’ genes, people come in all shapes and sizes and we should not judge that. BUT if I want to eat five servings of eggs, fruit, salads, oats (porridge) gluten free toast, stir fry, soup, crackers and humus or nuts… THEN I WILL EAT THOSE SERVINGS. 

Now I am getting myself worked up. You see, it is not the amount, it is what you eat. If I eat a cheese burger a day followed by a sausage roll and a coffee full of sugar then top it off with a packet of microwave white rice then yes, I will probably get to 30 and think ‘crap I used to be so skinny!’ But I do not intent to do that. 

I want to eat healthy, I feel better, look brighter, am happier and have energy. I exercise and I live a very active life style. The way women are taught to eat is ridiculous, we should not be taught to starve and to limit ourselves to amazingly scrummy good foods. Sure, there is too much eating, like spending all day in bed on the computer eating. I get outside I eat in moderation AND I have absolutely no intention to deny my body food when it is hungry. I will not starve. That makes me unhappy and sad and grumpy. I love food. We all should.

It is just so, so wrong. From the age of 14 people were telling me to eat less. I did not understand it back then. I ate when I was hungry and I didn’t eat when I was full. I ate good food that was good for my body. People wonder why we have such a bad body image, I love my body and not because it is ‘skinny’ but because it is mine and I want to look after it and enjoy having one!

We come in all shapes and sizes. We should not be told to starve ourselves because of ‘what might be ahead in the future’ – we should be taught to look after our body and enjoy our lives. 

Now I’m going to go stuff my face with apple, mandarin and then I will have a nice lamb salad with humus for lunch. And I will enjoy every last bit of it!

Rant is over.

 

I will eat my grapes! Just you watch me.

Just this moment I took my anger out on grapes. I feel sorry for those grapes. Yes they were going to be eaten eventually, but not in such a harsh ‘I’m pretending you’re someone’s head’ sort’ve a way.

Yes. Anger again. This time directed at my wonderful tutor. He’s a good tutor. When he’s not counting down to when something must be uploaded or being unhappy with me because I’ve done something quickly, or taken too long. Even then, I suppose he’s still a good tutor. Annoyingly.

Now I appreciate the ‘real life, in the industry’ sort of a feel we get from class and I suppose it gives us all something to laugh about but sometimes my blood starts to boil and I want so desperately to stomp my feet like a child.

Needless to say I do not. But those grapes. Those poor poor grapes. I was going to save them. Eat them slowly. Now they’re gone. Eaten in a profuse and ‘one bite and you are devoured’ sort of a way.

Some would say this could be conveyed as sour grapes.

Oh foodsicles.

Let’s eat!

One thing I love about being on holiday, other than having time to blog for you lovely people, is having time to eat!

At home when life is busy it’s the first thing to go for me. On holiday I can just stuff my face! Fruit, yoghurt, cheese, crackers, cooked breakfasts, cups of herbal tea, big,lunches! I love it!

I think I should holiday all the time!

Ah reality.

Nap time… bring it on!

Its a nice day today. A sunny day. A happy looking day. I’m wearing my new cuddly jersey and I managed to eat 3 times today already! I’m underway with stories and no longer stressed about getting them done. 

Now I’m listening to a bit of music and laughing in class. It’s nice. It’s fun. Enjoyable. Many of the things we talk about would make most people question our maturity. I like it. 

One thing we were talking about today is being a kid again. 

Nap time. Baby food. Being read stories instead of writing them. It sounds heavenly! I mean when we were actually that little we never enjoyed those things because we had no idea what else was out there. I suppose that’s like anything though. You never know how good you’ve got it until it turns on you. Grows, develops into something you’re so unsure of. 

Man it would be so nice to be a little kid again. At least then I could throw tanties when I wasn’t happy! And sleep… all the time! 

Let’s grow down!