I am sitting here, fatigued from fighting allergies and looking forward to my second year of taking the #bloglikecrazy challenge. Every day in November (per See Jane Write founder Javacia Harris Bowser), we are challenged to write a post.
It couldn’t have come at a better time for me. The last 2-3 months, I intentionally took some time away from consistent blogging. Hubby and I are on a healing journey that became more serious in nature in August. There wasn’t much left in me to express.
I couldn’t seem to find the words. I didn’t want to look at new recipes and there seemed to be no words left to write about any aspect of writing.
After the Digital Storytelling Workshop for Women of Color at the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, new life was breathed into me. I want to keep blogging but I know I want to shift my focus. After all, I am interested in so many things: minimalism, plant-based food, natural hair, spirituality and religion, dance, travel, natural healing, fertility, reading, storytelling, paying off debt, giving back and becoming an established writer with entrepreneurial skills.
Although I am not sure what that looks like yet on this site, I do feel drawn to figuring it out now.
I believe blogging like crazy will help me shape these ideas and forge a new path for me as I head into 2019.
Every week, I try new plant-based recipes and explore ways to move my lifestyle away from “if it’s vegan, I’ll eat it” to “whole foods plant-based.” I can’t say I am always successful but I see the difference. For example, I cooked without oil for several meals this week and after a rigorous workout, I chose to blend a Honeydew lime smoothie with watermelon on the side. It helps to eat something light but filling and I can sit here and write afterwards without a problem. I even managed to release 3.8 lbs this week and I know it’s because of a concentrated effort to adjust my habits and a willingness to adjust my attitude. There were (and sometimes are) times where I wouldn’t consider the fruit smoothie and melon as a worthy snack after exercise. My greedy eyes would be searching for a “real meal.”
I know this mentality is something that is learned and ingrained after a period of time. I believe making wellness a priority will change my eyes with many things. I am looking forward to it, especially as I get more busy with my writing.
Have you made any changes lately that has impacted your wellness? If not, what do you plan to do?
Thursday has become my day for posting wellness updates. The morning routine of going to bed and waking up earlier, taking time to journal, pray and listen to something inspirational (mostly sermons and podcasts) and now working out has helped immensely. Even though I have always acknowledged that wellness is more than just weight, ignoring that part while I write here is not really what I want to do either.
I am a firm believer that my writing and my health are inextricably linked. I know when I am burning the candle at both ends, not eating well or moving myself consistently, my writing suffers. I am not as energized to do it and it feels more rushed. I believe I have always been able to convey my message but who doesn’t want to feel good while doing it?
I believe I have been having a series of God moments these last few weeks in regards to my health. Let me explain. I am part of Heather Parady’s Facebook group and in it, she issues weekly challenges to build new habits each week to add to our morning routine. Being a part of this group gives me accountability and it came at the exact right time. I was literally trying to bring order and slow down after the anxiety came and had no plan laid out as to how I was going to do it. I could have either sat back and not gotten the message or take the challenge that was laid out before me. I am not a huge believer in coincidence. I know if I had not started down this road, I am not sure where or how I would be right now.
I weigh-in at home each week to track myself and steer towards a gluten-free lifestyle. I still am plant-based and I love it. What I am learning to fall in love with is being more whole-foods plant-based. It’s been about 9 months since Jeff and I said good-bye to all meat and dairy but it’s taken awhile to find our footing when it comes to staying away from so much processed food. Since I struggle with PCOS, it is especially difficult for me to lose weight but definitely not impossible. I am not claiming that for myself. I choose to believe that with the right habits I will reach my goal. This week I actually lost 4 pounds!
Like many of us on this path, I get excited in the beginning. I start getting results quickly and I feel like I can stay stick to my new habits forever. I’m a “whole new person.”
I am still the same me. The one who has fallen down and gotten up again. The one who said she was stopping eating _______ and picked it back up weeks, months or even a couple of years later. The one who promised to work out X amount of times each week and every time I have failed. Every time there is an excuse and every time I let myself off the hook.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t need to beat myself up. But I do need to be honest.
I am the me who does so many other awesome things and won’t give up no matter how many times I try. I am also the me who keeps getting knocked upside the head with the truth of how my habits have affected my present but hopefully not my future.
I can’t tell anyone (not even myself) how any of this will work out. I just know I can’t stop trying because I know there’s no end in sight. This is my life. I will always have to work a bit harder than others but it’s worth it.
I have been thinking about what should be next in plant-based journey. I have thought about cutting out wheat, oil and finally going ahead and removing all soy-based products from my diet. It would be hard for me to stop myself from feasting on the chicken-fried tofu from Whole Foods but of course, I would survive. I can’t help but feel like there is something I am missing and something I am moving towards. In terms of what I am missing, I am missing consistent discipline with everything to be truthful. I have been able to maintain my blogging schedule, met my E-Book publication goal and will start working back on my novel and another project soon. However, when it comes to my self-care I am definitely slipping. I have not focused on doing both. I have thought about it but I would be a liar if I said I have taken consistent action. I’ve been missing dance class which I love and have been snacking late for no reason whatsoever. I wrote a piece about being scared to be empty in one of my writing classes. I could mull over the reasons why or try to develop an origin story for this fear but I would rather funnel that energy into moving, getting to bed early and forming new habits. I am moving towards a new me that is healthy and for the first time, is starting to see animals. I mean, really value them. I even told hubby I wanted to visit an animal sanctuary. For those who don’t know me, this has NEVER been me. I have never owned a pet or particularly cared to pet an animal. It was not for me or to ever be for me but eating this way has changed me. I find myself more curious than I have ever been. I don’t know where this newfound curiosity will take me but I am willing to follow along.
A important part of this blog is to focus on my wellness journey. My healing from it all-the weight, the PCOS, the psoriasis, etc..I know I don’t write enough or almost at all about it. I post what I cook on Mondays but not much else. I think I want Thursdays to be a wellness update.
I am not sure if I will include pounds lost or skin cleared but it will be real and it will be here.
After #bloglikecrazy (30 days of blogging in November) was over, I still felt like there was something else I had to do. I kept feeling like there was something missing. It’s probably because I had built a habit. I love knowing I wrote every day and when I stopped, there was a longing there. That left no room to doubt that no matter what the outcome, I will always write.
I cannot pretend I will always want to because laziness and frustration are real. But I can’t let laziness and frustration become more of a reality than persistence and consistency. The only thing I can control about this process is my effort. Even through the fatigue I feel right now, it keeps ringing in my head.
The part of me that wants to control everything is driven crazy by the fact I can’t control what happens after a submission, a pitch idea, a fellowship application or a challenge like #bloglikecrazy. But I have learned to treasure the freedom that comes with it, too. I put myself out there, fight my fight and then let go.
It’s the close of Day 6 of 21-day Water-Workout-Write 21-Day Challenge. I definitely have to work on getting one workout in before work. I can’t believe how hard it was for me to move this morning. I understand old habits die hard. I am clearly pulling from a deeper place and writing about it every day was the only reason I worked out today. I am not sure if it is just sheer laziness or gloomy skies but I didn’t move and do both workouts until about an hour and a half ago. I drank water and am halfway to my goal.
I put one of Jeanette Jenkins Pop Sugar workouts from YouTube and made it about a half-hour. She started to do burpees and even the modification model’s version horrified me so I decided I would take a quick break and find something else. I found a Zumba compilation and a reggae dance workout. I gave it my all, single-single-doubled through the yawns and the sweat.
I feel like I am running to catch up with my goal and on another day, something could easily make me veer off course. But I made it through today and I can only allow myself to worry about today. Tomorrow will have its own challenges and triumphs.