Perfect Way to Relax

I’ve been trying to stay on top of my stress levels, and it has been working lately…..for the most part.

0627181601~2934088226..jpgThere was a bit of a scare with my kitty Sake this past weekend, who wasn’t feeling good. I had to take her to the vet over the weekend and get her IV medication to be able to keep food down. After what felt like running all over Maui trying to get her taken care of, we finally got everything taken care of and we were both able to relax at home.

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Something that has been an easy stress reliever for me lately has been doing Paint By Sticker. This was something my co-worker got for me as a Christmas present last year and I have absolutely loved it. After I finished the one book she had gotten me I even went on Amazon right away and ordered a whole other design.

There is something with following patterns that is so satisfying to me, and gives me a sense of control in my life. I tried coloring but there was too much decision-making with what colors to choose. My OCD tends to come out because I have to match up the colors of a picture to what would be the most realistic……people are the worst because it’s so hard to match skin tone. With Paint by Sticker the colors are already chosen for you, making the decision making easy!

After a stressful day I am able to come home and I do one page of the Paint By Stickers and by the end I’m calm, relaxed, and ready for what may get thrown at me next. It is very important to find an activity that is stress relieving. This has always been a struggle for me. I feel like I should be using my time to stay fit and active, or socialize with people, not sit at home and place stickers in their pattern spots. What I’m starting to realize more and more is that it’s not about what you do so much, it’s more about how those things make you feel.

So, after a stressful day of worrying about my kitty companion, I came home and turned on the TV to Friends and busted out a page from my Paint By Stickers. As always, this was just what I needed.

I’m so looking forward to working on my new book of designs!

 

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Appetite…..Where Have You Gone?

Why hello everyone! It’s been a while since I last updated.

I have had absolutely no motivation to do much of anything, especially critically think to be able to come up with something to write. Starting this blog was supposed to help me stay positive about being Gluten-Free, but I must have motivation to write as well…….which just hasn’t been happening lately.

Screen-Shot-2012-09-26-at-7.24.29-PM.pngMy diet has been going, but my eating habits have gotten extremely poor. I stopped eating at work since I noticed about an hour after I eat anything I’m sick to my stomach. Of course everyone is saying this is related to stress but of all jobs, mine is pretty stress free. There’s not really an easier job I could have that would be less stressful. My stomach just seems to be in knots when I’m anywhere but my couch.

I keep getting scolded about my eating habits especially since there is a direct correlation to what you put in your body to depression and anxiety. I just don’t have the energy or the motivation to cook much of anything, or grocery shop for that matter. Once I am home after work and I’m relaxed a bit, I do snack on a few small things like crackers and cheese, a handful of almonds, or a spoonful of peanut-butter. This is what my meals have consisted of the past few weeks though.

There has been a lot of changes when it comes to friends these past months. One of my best friends moved off island, and my other good friend, who is also my roommate, has drifted away from the person I thought he was. These things have caused a lot of anxiety in my life and I do not do good with change. They were my rock and my comfort place and now I’m forced away from those comfortable things. Usually when there is change in my life I eat my feelings but lately I’ve lost my appetite for anything. It just seems easier not to eat, which is a strange and different thought process for me.

I’m aware neither eating my feelings away or not eating at all are not good things to get in the habit of doing, feeling, or thinking. I go to therapy weekly and I try to get out of my funk, but it just doesn’t seem to be hitting home when it comes to my food and diet.

On a happier note, I have been spending a lot my nights after work on the beach enjoying the peace and beautiful sunsets. Watching a sunset is such a simple and easy thing, but yet so meaningful and healing. People spend thousands of dollars to be able to come and spend a week here, and I get to enjoy it every day. I am so lucky to be able to live in such an amazing place like Maui. I’m thankful to be able to enjoy so many breathtaking sunsets and the beauty of nature right down the road from my house.

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Outside Encouragement

Since I’ve started my blog I’ve received an amazing amount of support and resources to encouraging me through my journey. It has been great to see the research progress, vendor awareness, and overall acceptance of dietary restrictions, and autoimmune diseases that has happened since I’ve been away from this world.

My oldest sister S subscribed me to a couple of Gluten-Free magazines recently. She had gotten me a subscription in the past and I really enjoyed it. Her surprise came at the perfect time, as I was just looking into what new Gluten-Free magazines where out there, when I opened my mailbox to see one there! I’ve enjoyed reading the different articles and research studies, and of course all of the different recipes.

The two magazines I have received so far are Gluten-Free Living and Gluten-Free & More. They are both a little different from each other, so it is nice to have a variety. What I’ve found is that Gluten-Free & More is geared towards brand specific products and the large variety of substitutes, while Gluten-Free Living has more of an emphasis on research and general challenges of being Gluten-Free.

Here are some of my favorite things about each magazine, but I would highly recommend both:

Gluten-Free & More

  • Don’t Miss This! (This section is always full of great new products outside of food)
  • Updated medical articles
  • Well labeled recipes for allergens

Gluten-Free Living

  • Brand breakdown (Each issue emphasizes one food item and provides a detailed brand break down)
  • Nutritional information
  • Easy to use recipe index including simple allergen information
  • Gluten-Free Table (Fun recipe section)

FODMAP-definitionIn April’s edition of Gluten-Free Living there was an article about The FODMAP Diet. This is an elimination diet where you can better determine which foods your body has issues with. It breaks down the different food groups and gives you specific foods to work with to find where you’re body is going wrong. I’ve done this in the past with no luck, but it seems I need to try again. I’ve had several people send me articles and resources about this diet and I so appreciate everyone keeping me in their thoughts.

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What Now?

tumblr_ntc1h5wXxI1sg0hteo1_400So, I had my pity-party all last week. I ate gluten, I cried a ton, and I was not pleasant to be around all week. I hid out and ignored phone calls all week. I know this is destructive behavior, but I’ve found I’m not going to get past anything until I get the self-pity out of the way.

With eating Gluten I did put it together that yes, I do have my “stress symptoms”, and I also have my “gluten symptoms”. I stuffed my face during the day all week with going out to eat, but I also spent my nights feeling bloated and having diarrhea. This I felt was manageable compared to the awful stomach pain and incessant need to throw up. Those symptoms is apparently where the stress comes into play.

job-search-frustration-ftrI seem to have blocked out a lot of things from the previous time I was strict gluten-free, because as soon as I started thinking about what all my other doctors had said previously I remembered this was the way it was before. My mom was always asking if I was “Gluten sick” or “Stress sick”. I had forgotten because I was so frustrated with stress causing everything I just blocked it out.

Okay. So now I connected the dots again in my own brain, but what can I actually do now to cope with stress in my life? My nausea hits every morning, randomly throughout work, and obviously when I’m worried about life (which is always it seems). So my next thing I need to ponder and process through my brain is, What Now?

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I’m going over different body awareness exercises and deep breathing in therapy, I’ve been taking drives around the island to relax, I have stress relieving essential oils around all the time, and of course I now have my kitty for snuggles. I’ve really tried hard to eliminate my day-to-day life stress, but I feel like this is not enough for when real anxiety comes up in life. So what now?

 

Sake: A Cure For the Blues

I never take as many pictures of life as I feel like I should, so I’ve been consciously trying to take more. I’ve also been trying to think of positive things lately to get me out of my funk over the past week, and one of my favorites is my kitty-cat Sake. A lot of my pictures seem to be repetitive, but each pictures makes me smile in a different way. Just looking at my photo album picking out pictures for this post made me smile and laugh.

I will state right off the bat that I have no talent when it comes to photography. Thankfully my phone camera does a pretty good job, for the most part, making up for my shakiness and lack of eye for the camera.

On my low days Sake gives me the energy to play and get off the couch. She has a talent of always being able to make me smile, even when I’m crying. Her old soul is just like mine, and it’s nice to have her sleepy company. I am so thankful Miss Sake came into my life when she did.

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