My roller coaster ride

It was a week like any other. Nothing new, just memorable because of the great start I had this particular Wednesday morning. It began with JT coming into my room at some ungodly hour, climbing in the bed next to me and falling asleep till 6.30am. A much welcomed change to talking incessantly, flopping all over the bed frustrated at a groggy mum or introducing all his ‘favourite’ toys and books to me to entice me to play – all at 5am(ish).

 

That morning was particularly nice due to my roller coaster ride with my intolerance’s and allergies and the effects they have on my psyche. The previous two mornings we were “up and at ’em” at the crack of dawn (this was pre daylight savings time so the crack is absurdly early :)). Anyway….not only did I have to get up at the crack, but I awoke to infected sinuses, an accompanying headache, a tumultuous tummy and such overwhelming lethargy I could barely move. But move I did.

 

For anyone who has suffered depression or deals with anxiety issues, has irritable bowel, sinus, allergies or muscle aches, I know you can relate. Those with auto immune diseases will also gel with my story, but for those of you who are lucky enough to be in good health most of the time, just put your head space into flu mode and you may be able join me on the roller coaster ride that is my life.

 

I cannot know in advance when I will have a flare up, unless of course it is self inflicted (some times it is just soooo hard to say no to something you crave and love so much). I try to be very vigilant about what goes in to my body and steering clear of known allergens but there is little you can do about coming in contact with trees or cut grass for example. Anyhoo, I digress. Apart from the debilitating physical side effects my little “quirks” bring to the party, it is the mental mind games that do the most damage.

 

During that week, like most that follow this cycle, I lose all confidence in my abilities. I want to shut down my blog. I see the catastrophe of the weeks passing without me building the right relationships. I see missed opportunities. I see a mountain of work to catch up on. I see others succeeding. I feel I should just give up!

 

I hate these low days. My mind goes on a downward spiral that is neither helpful or productive. I feel helpless and thats a shitty place to be. I often can’t focus very well and walk around in circles A LOT. The housework falls behind, my to do list goes to potty and the vision of building my blog/business gets very blurry. Those ‘must do’ errands, become a ‘whenever the hell I bloody hell I feel like it’ task and everything else gets relegated to the next status down.

 

Luckily, this no longer goes on for weeks as it did in the past and generally as a rule of thumb (recently anyway, knock on wood) by Wednesday I am sitting on the hump. I have struggled to get here and am now teetering between feeling downright awful and about to hit the good times.

 

As you guessed it, the week culminates in me feeling bouncy and alive! That particular week, the Thursday and Friday hit 30 degrees in old Sydney town and you see me basking in all of it’s glory. I have energy, my mind is buzzing with possibilities and I am back on track again. I have ideas bounding out of my head for blog posts, I get stuck into the backlog and if I’m lucky can get started on the weekly tasks. Maybe next week, we can look at the wish list and get this blog/business fire burning.

 

Where does your head space wander to when you are feeling unwell?

 

Until next time….

Becc

My very first Girl Crush

So, I’m sitting in the car repair shop. They said it would take 1 hour but it is now nearing 3 hours and I have the shits! Luckily they have really good coffee (it’s also a Mercedes dealership so they bloody well should). They also have WiFi (bonus), but there is only so much “playing” you can do on an iPhone – right? Then I spy the magazine rack and my anger begins to diffuse as I discover my very first Girl Crush.

 

I believe it was Harper’s Bazaar. I picked it up and soon enough came across an article on Roberta Armani. I don’t know why I stopped to read it as I just assumed she was as vacuous as some of those born into famous/rich families, however in this case I was pleasantly surprised.

 

In my anger – prior to coming across this article – I had asked “the guy” to wrap up the car clean even though it was a free part of the service….c’mon it was 3 hours later and I was trapped with no way to get home, no way to get back and still a little confused on when I would be able to escape. But here I found myself wishing and pleading with the universe to make them take their time so I could finish up this fabulous read.

 

What was so enticing about this article? I think that can be summed up in her words:

 

“If you look for happiness outside yourself it will be a weak kind of happiness. You can meet the most amazing man, but if you are not centered and happy within yourself, the man will probably disappear. I am trying to fall in love with myself”.

 

That was just her take on finding a partner. Being the niece of such a big name and working for Armani I just expected some sort of sense of entitlement. There was none and the more I read about her the more I began to recognise my very first Girl Crush!

 

Possibly if I wasn’t in such a strong marriage, I may have started to reconsider my sexuality!!

 

I later read an article on Deborah Mailman in the Woman’s Weekly where she stated that she “got to a point where I had to deal with my own demons and insecurities and talk myself into being kind to myself and start loving who I am, warts and all. I guess it’s called growing up. I just think as women we have to start being more kind to ourselves”….are you sensing a theme here?

 

I have to say, I do think I have had girly crushes before. If I really look back I think my very first girl crush must have been Olivia Newton-John, but she was everyone’s around the time of Grease. I think I’ve dabbled a bit with Miranda Kerr and Megan Gale, but although all of these women have amazing things to say, I think those crushes may have been a little superficial as they already seem to have that self love, self knowledge and sense of purpose. Maybe I’m more attracted to those who are still searching for that self acceptance that seems to allude the rest of us mere mortals.

 

I personally have come a long way in my pursuit of ‘falling in love with myself’ and building my confidence. I have recognised that I love flawed people. Does anyone really like someone who appears to be perfect? What is there to like about perfect? It is boring, dull and annoying. So, if this is the case, why wouldn’t I love my fabulously flawed self? Maybe I’m directing my affections toward the wrong place, maybe I should be crushing on me.

 

Have you had a girl crush? Tell us who it was and why in the comments section below.

 

Till next time….

 

Becc

How to survive special occasions with food intolerances

Food chemical intolerances can complicate your life, but none more so than when you need to eat out. It is hard enough to restructure your whole diet and relearn everything you know about healthy eating, but trying to convey the message to wait staff, friends or family can be a mission! So, how do you survive special occasions with food intolerances?

 

My husband and I have made the lifestyle choice to eat out on most weekends. The variety on most menu’s is limited for me and it can sometimes be like playing Russian Roulette, however it is a time out we both enjoy. An added bonus is that my son also learns how to behave in this environment,  practice his table manners and if he’s lucky there will be a play area for him to run around in.

 

As I said previously, the options open to me are generally slim pickings. Some restaurants can be difficult if they do not have knowledgeable staff or a psychotic chef who thinks you will steal their recipe (yes seriously!!).

 

On some magical occasions I can find something sensational. We have found many gems where the restaurants have created dishes for me, tweaked the menu or the poor waitstaff have grilled the chef (pardon the pun) on all ingredients till their feet have worn out going back and forth to the kitchen.

 

Weddings are another minefield. Recently, I had to call a reception hall so I could work out an appropriate menu. I loath to do this which is weird because it shouldn’t be something to worry about, but of course you do. Why? Because for some reason you don’t want to be a ‘pain’. Considering the alternative though, you go ahead and you get through it.

 

I love a great wedding organiser. Not only did I want to be one when I was younger but they really do work for their money. This particular wedding organiser spent 1.5 hours on the phone with me to find something, ANYTHING, that would be suitable for me. We finally managed it though and that girl received a glowing reference from me.

 

The hardest part of a wedding though for me personally is the free flowing wine. I have overcome the hurdle of the preservatives (why exactly do they put them in there – for the pleasure of the hangover maybe?). There are some great drops out there that reduce the preservatives in the wine which are in convenient purse size bottles, however I still have that little issue with the actual grapes they put in there 🙁

 

With intolerances it is the build up that is the enemy and also the reason why they are so hard to diagnose. I can have a glass or two of red wine without a problem, however if I pair it with another intolerance item such as tomatoes I will be as sick as a dog for days. So the problem with wine specifically is that the more glasses you have the more build up you have that pushes your defences down. Now anyone that enjoys a glass of wine or two would know that the alcohol also comes into play and takes your best intentions and throws them out of the window. So, the fabulous idea you had of stopping after the first glass or two seems to get overridden with the new idea to let your hair down and party!!! Oh, and don’t forget that obligatory glass of champagne for toasting – I’m in heaven and hell at the same time.

 

The absolute worst though is friends and family. The main reason is that you just don’t want to put them out or be a burden. At least at a restaurant or wedding you are paying for the service and quality of food, however friends and family are usually casual or spur of the moment affairs. If they are more formal and planned you still feel ill at ease because you have a list as long as your body that you are unable to eat! It also took you FOREVER to find some decent tasting recipes yourself so how are they going to deal with it?

 

Although there are many hurdles in dealing with your food chemical intolerances, there are also ways to survive and I have put together a list that has helped me in the hope it may help you:

 

  • Get over it! Ask, ask, ask about all the ingredients.
  • Seriously, for a moment of embarrassment or awkwardness is it really worth a week in bed?
  • There really are some pluses such as actually liking what your served when you have had a dish specifically prepared for you.
  • There are some places where you are completely stuffed! In these cases the key is to plan – the problem is to remember! Make a note in your
  • diary, pack some snacks or even a main meal if required.
  • Know your boundaries and make a decision. There are times where my willpower and reasoning just won’t hold up and I have made the decision to
  • indulge “just a bit”. Obviously I won’t bend on things that turn me into Linda Blair from the exorcist (you know head spinning and projectile
  • green….well you get the picture) but I will reschedule the next day and accept that I will be less than par – kinda like a hangover but one
  • helluva lot worse.
  • When your family and friends know that eating and drinking the wrong things can make you sick for a day or several weeks, they want to ensure
  • they provide for you. Don’t think of yourself as a burden. All they want is for you to enjoy yourself with them and fretting about food all day
  • is a much bigger burden on them than asking for some alternatives to be available.
  • Remember, there may be some slip ups, but you have come so far. A sick day here and there rather than almost every day is a big accomplishment.

 

Have you ever had to deal with dietary requirements (personal, friend or acquaintance)? Tell us about your experience.

 

 

Have I lost my empathy?

I had a chat with my husband last night over this question – have I lost my empathy? The answer thankfully is no!

 

What prompted me to ponder this question is that I have made incredible inroads with my anxiety disorder. I no longer break down into an uncontrollable crying mess when others I love are suffering. This to me seems harsh and very cold because this is how I have previously gone through their dilemma with them. I was essentially “living” the horror with them and literally feeling the pain. Now I do understand that this reaction is not healthy, but when you stop feeling for them in this way, it somehow feels inadequate.

 

My husband was extremely proud of me and explained that what I was doing was in fact being strong, supportive and empathising as it should be done. So essentially, I understand the pain and what they are going through, but am identifying with them because I have felt the same or similar emotions that they are now experiencing. I am not engulfing myself within the emotional pain and making myself sick over how they must be feeling.

 

It was not only nice to hear what he had to say, but it also allowed me to broach another subject with him – the fact that I was worried I wasn’t providing enough support for him. Owning your own business can be very stressful at times and his stress levels can run very high. Once again, because I wasn’t overwrought with worry, it seemed to me that I wasn’t “being there” for him. That maybe I wasn’t sharing his pain as much as I should.

 

What a weird and wonderful thing an anxiety disorder is!

 

It’s a new and strange feeling being able to stand back from a problem, fully understand it and “feel” for the person without drowning in the emotions. It feels like I’m seeing things from a distance because I am no longer falling into my own inner slump….like standing on the outside rather than being in there gloves and all.

 

I think I like this, it’s kind of freeing. The strength and resilience within is liberating. Being able to set myself free from a problem and see it objectively, look for solutions and act on moving forward must be a step in the right direction. Have I lost my empathy, no, I’ve just become a better friend, mother and wife 🙂

 

Have you lost sleep over someone else’s problems?

 

Have you ever over invested in someone else’s pain?

 

Have you ever suffered from an anxiety disorder?

The person you used to be

Do you ever miss the person you used to be? I’m not just talking about the ability to bounce back after a big night, or to fully function on 4 hours sleep (although this would be delightful), what I mean is the traits you used to have.

 

Having gone through depression and ongoing illness for over 10 years, I seem to have lost a big part of myself. I remember one of my good friends describing me as having lost the twinkle in my eyes. Somewhere in all that was going on at the time I lost my sparkle.

 

My husband was telling me the other day that he had met this woman that reminded him of me – “you know the way you used to be”. He went on to describe a vivacious, chatty (oh yeah she could talk!!) and bubbly lady who had all the traits that I once possessed. This was not a hurtful comment, it was true, we both know I have changed a great deal and the reasons behind that, but it did get me thinking.

 

What happened to the girl that travelled Europe at 18 all by herself? The girl that was told a number of times that she lights up a room when she enters? The girl that would turn up to a party and know almost everyone who attended by the time she left? What about that girl that was ever so reliable and if she started something, then she would follow through?

 

Did the demon anxieties take over or have I just grown up? Have I become cold, cynical, untrusting? As you know I do suffer with anxiety issues. I worry, I worry a lot! I was once carefree and now, I seem to spend more time caught up in my own dramas and those of the ones I love. It is very difficult to break free of a mindset that you spent what seemed like an eternity in. Being sick all the time has a tendency to break you down and I worry that I have not only let it take over my life, but now as I am trying to move onward and upward that it is still holding me back.

 

As I embark on my journey in designing my new life, I would like to get some of that old girl back. It is sooo very easy for me to fall into old patterns, but new habits need to be formed. I spoke recently of living in gratitude and I now go to bed each night listing the things that I am grateful for today. Luckily I wake up to my sons hugs and kisses (you know its the only way mummy can wake up) so instead of the sinus headache setting the tone for the day, I get to wake up enveloped in love.

 

My husband luckily loves me just the way I am. I don’t wish to speak on his behalf as his story is not mine to tell, but I think it would be safe to say that it has hurt him along to way to watch some of those things in me die. I hope that as I move forward I can gain some of that back and take charge of the person I am going to be. Not just for me, but also for him- going through something like that with someone is extremely taxing and there is a helplessness that nobody (let alone a man) finds easy to deal with.

 

So what is it that I miss the most? I think it is the energy, being constantly on the go and having a very full social life. Also, the reliability and dependability – you could always count on me.

 

So how far have I come? I’ve discovered the causes of my ill health, I’ve taken charge of my diet, dropped the weight and maintained it helping me to claw back some of the energy that I once possessed. I’ve done a style workshop, went shopping with a stylist and feel more confident when I stride out the door. I raise my son to know that ‘where there is a will there is a way’. My husband and I have implemented date night to reconnect each month and we will finish building our pool later this year providing incentive to return to the “party house” we used to be (well a little different – that picture now involves a gaggle of kids in tow).

 

So, do I miss that person I used to be? Hell yeah! But I am determined to make the future person a slightly different and better version.

 

What do you miss about the person you used to be?

What is it about our youth that makes us look back longingly?

Have you been through something that has completely transformed your life?

 

Dropping kilo’s without trying….how nice!

Today I had a lovely surprise. It was unexpected but very welcomed – I have now lost a total of 14.5 kgs!!

 

My original goal was to lose 20 kgs. That would put me at the lower end of the healthy scale for my height, however once I hit the 12kg mark, I
found I was very happy with where I was and have maintained that weight for some time now.

 

I guess what was so lovely about the extra 2.5 kgs was that I had been sick for many weeks. If you have been following me on my blogs or social
media you would know I’ve been hit with an onslaught of different issues including the flu, intolerance to the antibiotics I was on, allergy
flare ups, sinus infections and generally feeling horrendous!

 

I have not been diligent about my maintenance program, have taken more “days off” than I was supposed to and have done absolutely stuff all
exercise (or basic moving around for that matter). So, it was with great joy that I jumped on the scales to see that I was dropping kilo’s
without trying….how nice!

 

It’s funny the things that can make you smile. Even though I am perfectly happy at this current weight, I was still thrilled at having lost more.
Maybe it was because these past few weeks have taken me back to the old days where every day was an ongoing battle with illness. Maybe it is
cause I’m a step closer to my original goal, or maybe I just needed a bit of good news for a change. Whatever, it has reminded me of the need to
be grateful for the little things.

 

So, today I pledge to try to live in gratitude once again.

 

Can you list at least 5 things you are grateful for today?

 

Has anything happened to you recently that just made you smile?