More on my Labs…

During the last two months of changing the way I eat and viewing, through a blood lab, the inner workings of my body I’ve come to realize that 80% of my food intake has not been good for me.

Somehow, probably due to my active lifestyle and the fact that I am a type A and can run circles around a lot of people squeezing every last second out of a 24 hour day (and every last letter out of my notorious run-on sentences) please breathe, no matter what I eat I hardly ever gain weight …except when I was pregnant…

I imagine my body would have reacted quite differently had I been a sedentary, other type, person but miraculously things had balanced out, or compensated, and I’d thrived on my anything goes diet, at least while I was young…

Aah, the woes of getting older.

Terri’s advice (remember the Homeschooling Doctor?), made me take a long, hard look at my lifestyle and I discovered that it wasn’t just what I was eating that was causing my labs to tell tales on me.

As well as having a skewed view of what healthy looked like, I also thought that my boundless energy meant I was hard wired that way and keeping several balls in the air at all times was absolutely normal whether I was worn out or not, gripped by headaches or creaking from aching joints!

Obviously the restorative fresh air provided by my outdoor activities and the self calming techniques I’d learned – first through meditation and contemplative prayer and secondly, over the last five years, through regular yoga practice – had helped perpetuate the myth that I was not what I ate or else I’d be a Crunchie bar…yum!

labscrunchie

Anxiety, fretting and staying perpetually busy were buying into the strain my body was under and I needed to start refusing payment.

Just because there were no visible signs of my inward nervous tension didn’t mean it wasn’t there manifesting beneath the dark glasses and turned up collar as:

sickening bouts of nausea on awakening,

butterflies showing up whenever I open my bills folder and prepare to peruse the financials,

lightness of head almost flooring me when I stand up quickly,

anxiety attacks keeping me restless in the dark hours of the morning,

and bouts of depression descending for apparently no reason.

My gut feelings were spiraling out of control during this year of relative calm on our rural retreat and I’ve not been able to get to the root of these unpleasant physical upsets so I can deal with them appropriately.

No-one could look at me and say,

“Hey, you’re struggling with stress over there let’s have a hug.”

In the unseen reaches of my body, bitter complaints were emanating and when I couldn’t find the hook on which to hang my angst I decided to put down in words how madcap my life had been over the past decade:

Both my sons went away to college, graduated and returned home to live, my father fell, broke his hip, was hospitalized and never went home again, I commuted for years across the pond helping both my parents in their end of life crises, my oldest daughter, a missionary in Africa, was airlifted to a hospital in Germany in critical condition, malaria had gone to her lungs, my childhood asthma returned,  my father died, I sold their house, bought a flat in London for Mum and moved her in, 18 months later Hubs, my youngest daughter and I re-located to England to look after Mum who died shortly after our arrival, we lived in her flat for a year, made new friends,  settled their estate, put the flat on the market, returned to Texas, married our youngest son, sold our family home of 29 years, returned to London for six months disposed of the flat, moved back to Texas, lived in Tyler with my mother-in-law, cleared out and sold her house, moved her in with her youngest son in Dallas, took up house-sitting for a year while we regrouped, rented a flat, started house hunting, bought property, moved our  belongings out of storage into our new home, set about making friends, finding a church, exploring shopping options, adapting to empty nest, volunteering, trying on the retirement hat before marrying our youngest daughter at Footlights with 3 weeks notice.

As a trained Stephen Minister I really should know that on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 low and 10 high) I was a 20.

No wonder my body is under strain.

This all leaves me wondering what my blood results would have looked like while I was in the throes of all of this?

Hang on a sec, I am in the throes of all this!

Terri is so right, our bodies can’t differentiate between good stress and bad stress,

Whether we’re bemoaning the fact that the days are getting shorter,

Or mourning the death of a loved one,

Getting angry over traffic,

Or excited about a wedding,

Stress is stress.

Rather like sin in the eyes of God, it’s neither big or small, it all separates us from God.

labsstress

In her words,

“The only hope (I) have of controlling the body’s biochemical stress response which can wreak havoc on the heart, blood vessels, waist line, cholesterol levels, blood pressure or ability to fight off colds is to quell (my) mind  and its reactions to external forces.  Or to remove impeding obstacles.”

I now recognize that retirement, living quietly, having grown, independent children, being in a new place spiritually, emotionally and physically, are not to be taken lightly, they too are stressors …

I can react by living mindfully,

delighting in the Word,

praying fiercely,

meditating on His commands day and night,

enjoying the natural beauty that enfolds me every day,

walking in the way of the Lord,

and taking pleasure in Hubs’ company.

Knowing when I do,

I will be like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither.                                                                                             (Inspired by Psalm1)

labswater

And my labs will improve.

One question though,

As a side effect from all this new eating the weight is melting off so… how much meat and greens equal a buttered French loaf?  I need to at least maintain and not fade away.

Hubs says,

“With all this trial and error, let’s take the supplements and carry on as usual, our pantry is beginning to look so boring…”

Gotta love him!

Thoughts on supplements coming up soon!

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2 Comments

Terri

2016-09-12 13:05:42 Reply

Have your hubby look at the desserts in the side bar of this gal’s blog and see what he thinks! Maybe he won’t be so bored. :-) And you might be able to pull your weight back up where it needs to be.

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/

She has some great ideas and recipes, for sure! For helping boost weight, I’d try 1) ripe avocado topping the main meal. I put it on top of lentils, beans, salads, etc. Or 2) add in a little bacon and sausage (without yucky stuff) for breakfast a few times a week; save the drippings to saute veggies in. Or 3) don’t go too low carbohydrate as long as the carbs are REAL (potatoes, sweet potatoes, lentils, beans, squash) and drizzle the carbs with olive oil, or saute them in coconut oil or leftover bacon drippings.

And, oh man! I had no idea all that was going on! I could have abbreviated what I had to say to one paragraph…

Well, maybe not–I never can! :-)

    Vivienne

    2016-09-12 19:51:33 Reply

    Thanks Terri! I’ll check out the site and try to bulk up the healthy way!! In the meantime we are doing well…using seasonings to ring the changes and grapes to make our sweet and sour turkey sweeter (good eh?) and no rice either just a grated sweet potato thrown in…soooo yum! I personally love the challenge now I can see the wisdom and Hubs will reap the benefits!

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