Category Archives: Health

All I know

It seems like I only ever come here to post lately, when I need help. When I’m heavy and struggling. When I need people. And I’m sorry for that. I hate people to feel like they NEED to respond or reply, but honestly? It’s so hard for me to reach out for that reason exactly. I never want anyone to feel burdened by me or heavy. Ever. Regardless, I still need people.

For many years, I felt heavy and neglected. My husband worked a stressful, demanding job, 12-13 hour days where I wouldn’t hear from him. Where he would potentially be in dangerous situations, dealing with awful situations. I mean, I still remember the 1am phone call that he had been punched in the face and I was to meet him at the hospital. It was one of the most terrifying and life-altering moments that I’ve ever had, followed by facial reconstructive surgery two weeks later. He attended school full time in a prestigious, yet again, demanding program. There was no time left for us. For me. For a while – that was okay. I worked too. I missed my family but couldn’t reach out without hearing, “chin up!” I missed him. I missed us.

After we got married, I became a full time housewife for a couple years and for a while, that was okay too. We fought as I begged him to spend time with me. To take a semester off. As I noticed the changes in him the longer he worked a job where he had to shut off his feelings. As he denied the changes and blamed me. I cooked because I loved it. I provided. My heart on a plate because that was what I could do. I could show my love and care in carefully constructed meals. I could provide some love at lunch time for him, even if I wasn’t there. I worked out. I obsessed about food. I lost weight. I put too much value in my appearance. I dreamed of what I wanted to do with my life but couldn’t yet.

When we moved to New York, it was tumultuous. If I am completely honest, we were openly talking separation before we both decided to put TWO FEET IN and make it work. Even now, I admit that when we fight, I worry that we’re still there despite making big leaps and taking great steps. The move shook things up and settled the all the same. I somehow, by the grace of…who knows, finally took steps to enter in a career that I’d felt absolutely compelled to be in for years. Finally.

The pieces started falling into place after I took the training. I got another job. I was accepted into a collective of amazing doulas with mentorship. I started taking clients. I got promoted to office manager. My office grew and grew and I got a raise. I found an amazing childbirth educator and she started referring me fabulous clients.

And here I am.

I am emptier than empty. I’m still charging very low rates due to my membership in this group. I am running all over, answering multiple emails from multiple accounts daily, all hours. I feel like I can recharge a little bit, but then each interaction takes more than I was able to recharge. I keep talking about it and talking about it – but I don’t know how to change it. I can’t figure out what I can possibly drop as the sole earner right now. I am useless when I get home and that certainly doesn’t help my relationship no matter how badly I wish it could be different.

I love giving to people. Supporting my clients feels so good. I get to see new life. I get to cut cords. I get to tell people how much I really do believe in them, that they CAN do this. I get to watch people become pain free and live their lives healthier. I truly, in my heart LOVE helping people so, so much. But…I just don’t know how I am finding the energy to keep giving. It’s all coming at a cost that I quickly am becoming unable to pay.

Pressing the publish button is really difficult for this post. I feel like I am just whining and people are rolling their eyes but…this is really hard. It’s just so, so hard to love what you do but still feel completely worn out and exhausted by it all.

I don’t have answers on how to fix it and you don’t have to respond.

It’s just all really heavy right now and all I know is to talk about it.

More than Chiropractic

Working as a chiropractic assistant, I deal with a lot of people in pain.  Often.

People in pain just aren’t themselves.   (Are you ever your best self when you’re sick or in pain?) They are often crabby, short tempered, angry and all sorts of other difficult emotions and sensations that make them sometimes, quite frankly, difficult to deal with.  There is really a great person underneath all that they’re experiencing.   If you have worked in a health field, you may know exactly what I am talking about.  If you’ve never worked in a health field where you deal with the sick, the pained or those who have lost hope, I’m not sure you can fully understand the energy it takes and what a special environment it is.

I love what I do and wouldn’t trade helping people heal for anything in the world but, it is still a challenging environment at times. I’ve learned over the years that you just have to help people to the best of your ability and wait for their true personality to emerge once you’ve washed away their pain.

Today, we had a man who was in severe, acute pain. I would say distress. He could barely lie down or get on the table. Standing took him effort, held breath and visible struggle.  It broke my heart to see him that way as he fought his insurance company and radiology clinic on the phone, just to get help.  Although it was very busy, I did my best to tend to him as much as I could to make it easier for him.

I asked him many times, what else I could do for him. At one point, he asked if I could help him with his shoes since it hurt so much for him to bend down. I smiled as I tied his shoes and tried to joke around in an effort to make him more comfortable with the fact he just couldn’t do anything on his own.  When I asked him if he needed anything else, his response made me stop. It made me pause and put down my other work. It made me come around my desk and into the waiting room next to him.

“I could really use some moral support.”

I couldn’t help but smile and tell him that I really had been there. It was how I found chiropractic in the first place, when my roommate came home to find me on the floor, unable to get up.  I told him that it does get better even though it doesn’t feel like it.  I told him that he certainly was in the right place with the right people that could help him.  When he mentioned that I looked like I had full range of motion, I grinned and said, “Well Sir, I’ve been under chiropractic care since 2005 and it helps. It really does help.”

Later, he dropped something and sighed frustrated, maybe even dejectedly. Resigned.  He called my name and when I went to help, he apologized and said how helpless he felt. How awful it was to feel like he couldn’t do anything on his own.  I reassured him that this was what I was here for and I was happy to do it. Anything I could do, I was happy to do it.

It really was the truth. I loved helping him. I loved being able to at least get him to smile.  These little interactions with him warmed my heart for the rest of the day. It made me feel so good about where I worked. It made me think about all the people that we’re helping on a daily basis. It also made me realize that not all pain is just physical.  There is so much surrounding physical pain – emotional and mental trouble that comes along side it.  We need to be more cautious, more aware. More intuitive.  More loving.

This man returned to my office about a half an hour later, reaching over the counter to hand me the washroom key.  He had gotten all the way back to his hotel, taken off his jacket and realized he still had the key.  I laughed and shook my head, asking him why he came back all that way, in pain, just to bring us back the key.

He responded with, “It was the right thing to do.”

 

First Meals of 2014

Well, here we are in 2014 and we have no super futuristic meal replacement pills or Jetson like setups. Hrmpf. We do have Roombas which are  basically efficient cleaning robots, so that’s a start. I guess.

I’ve been eating like crap since I started working the late shift. I just don’t feel like cooking at 9pm. I realize many of you probably work longer hours and later shifts, but this is all new to me and I just haven’t gotten into the groove yet.  So. I vowed to myself that after the holidays, I’d buckle down and meal plan. I’d plan snacks and portable foods for me to take to work.  I’d plan some simple meals that can be whipped together in no time.  I’d plan meals that were healthy and would work with my fitness goals for the year. Less sugar. Less fat. More veg.

Well, today I did just that. I stayed in bed with a hot cup of coffee, several cookbooks and an iPad and went to town.

I’m pretty excited, I won’t lie.  I planned about ten meals to last over the next two weeks, (I leave a couple days for take out or alternate plans) and with what I had in the pantry and what my Dad gave me from his garden stash – I only spent about $130.  Maybe you’re a better budgeter, but for me, this is stellar!

Without further ado, here are a few of the recipes!

Rustic Tomato Rice & Kale Stew Healthy. Happy. Life.  I just made this one tonight and honestly, it’s one of the best soups I’ve ever made. Hearty. Rich. Flavorful.  EASY. You should add this to  your menu plan for next week.

Potato Leek Soup (Vegan)Fettle Vegan.  I’m excited about this one too. My Dad gave me a whole bunch of leeks and potatoes from his harvest this year that need to get eaten up. What better way to showcase them, than a 5 ingredient soup?

BBQ Cauliflower Salad Fork & Beans.  I’m hoping this will be hearty enough for a dinner salad since it has avocado and beans in it.  Maybe a hunk of crusty bread on the side?

Kung Pao TofuFettle Vegan.  I’ve tried a few kung pao recipes before, I’m hoping this one is a winner. I think I’ll add some toasted nuts to it for crunch and serve some broccoli on the side. Yum.

Chinese Tempeh SaladFork & Beans.  I’m SUPER stoked about this. I love tempeh and I love the asian style salads with crunchy chow mein noodles. I’ll probably bake my tortilla strips instead of frying them, but I will give the tempeh a toss in my cast iron for some texture.

Smokin’ Hoppin’ John Serious Eats. I was supposed to make this for New Year’s Day but…fail whale. I was lazy, didn’t feel well and ordered New Year’s Day Pizza instead. It was yummy and I’m sure this recipe will be as well. I might toss in a little kale since I have MASSIVE bags from Whole Foods that I’ll need to use up.

The other meals I’m planning on don’t really have recipes, but just in case you find some inspiration in them I’ve included them.

-Veggie dogs, baked beans and toast
-Sundried tomato basil white bean burgers & salad
-Black bean quinoa bowls with homemade salsa and avocado
-Tempeh reubens & salad
-Chili stuffed baked sweet/regular potatoes & salad

What are you making this month? Are you changing your diet at all this year? 

Happy New Year, friends!

Slip Sliding

I’m not very focused these days. I’m sure being jobless and watching the purse strings get tighter and tigher isn’t helping. I’m sure being in a new place isn’t helping. I’m sure feeling soley responsible for our survival isn’t really helping either. There’s most likely a lot contributing but regardless of what it is, I’m still more scattered than I’ve ever been.

I have slid, slid, sliiiiiid back in my health and fitness. I am SO frustrated yet clearly not committed to getting back on track. My eating is all good – minus sugar. I am a FIEND for sugar and we are possibly in the worst time of the year when it comes to treats and candy. Ugh. I have zero willpower around sugar. The SECOND dinner is over, I already start craving something sweet. I know I need to break this addiction but damn if it isn’t super tough.

Thank goodness I don’t have a scale right now because I would most likely break into tears. My body doesn’t FEEL good, inside OR out. I can FEEL flab where it wasn’t before and I am so uncomfortable. I was running when I first got here, but then a mystery ankle injury sidelined me as it tended to flare up even after a lot of walking around. The neighbours downstairs complained when I tried to work out in our livingroom. I can’t afford dance classes just yet and I am waiting until I have an income to join a gym so I can zone out on a treadmill. It sounds like so many excuses but I just…don’t know what to do right now. I can’t be the only one, can I?

When I was losing weight steadily, I was kind of work out and food crazy. I really don’t want to be like that again but fear I have to be. The small changes aren’t making the changes I want in my body. THey aren’t really getting me where I need to be.  What I need to be able to do, is jump and workout in my apartment. That’s so, so frustrating. My anxiety has me wound about the neighbours so I haven’t dared try in over a month. Running isn’t all that fun for me, I just do it because it’s cheap and ‘easy’. In other words, it doesn’t take any thought for me.  I do it because it helps my mind space out and give me the break that being anxious and highly sensitive will never, ever let me have.

I feel so awful about myself every day. I KNOW better. I KNOW what to eat. I KNOW that I have to move. Why is it so damn difficult? I feel like people look at me and frown, knowing how great I was looking before oh…the world felt like it was caving in on me.  If I’m honest, I barely made it through the summer so I know I should cut myself some slack.  I probably wasn’t that honest this summer with anyone, you, myself, my family. No one really knew how close I was to just…collapsing.

And then I moved across the country. Into another country. Where I’d be the sole earner. In an expensive, loud, busy new city. I guess there’s a bit of reason to be stressed, to have let myself fall by the wayside.

I’m just so frustrated guys. How the hell do I get out of this hole? How do I stop feeling sorry for myself, fearful, anxious and just..DO something?  I mean, I know it’ll get better and I’ll find a groove but for now, this sucks.