Brewer5

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Everything posted by Brewer5

  1. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    We are all like onions. There are many layers of complexity that go together and make us appear as a Whole person. When you look at an onion in the grocery store ... if it clearly has a spot that is soft or discolored, what do you do? You put it back down, and you move on to an onion that looks perfect on the outside. You may unwittingly choose an onion that has blemishes hiding under that papery outer skin ... but in that moment, you make the best decision you can, and you move on with your day. Because you're tired of the bright lights, the screaming children, and that old lady who keeps bumping into you with her cart ... and because, honestly ~ who thinks this much about onions? I do.
  2. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    @Amy_Michigan I'm sorry I left you hanging! It wasn't the person on the other end of the phone, or even the content of the call itself ~ as much as the realization that having an actual conversation, even for just a few minutes had such an impact on my mood. Now, this can go both ways, and I think it's something to really be aware of: What sort of energy do others create in you? Is it good or is it bad? And more importantly: What does it mean? What does it tell us about ourselves? So often, we'll say that someone "just rubs us the wrong way" or "I can't put my finger on it, there's just something about him" etc. etc. I think it's a lot easier to pinpoint the people who don't make us feel good inside ... and for the most part, we instinctively engage in avoidance behaviors with that person. But what about the people and situations which do make us feel good? Do we actively seek them out? Avoiding a person or situation - I think that's the easier part. We know that we only have so much gas in our tank, and we will do what we have to do to protect it. What I think is more difficult, and perhaps does not come as naturally to us ~ is pursuing and acquiring the human interaction that helps fill our gas tank. There is a lot that could be said about this -- but the #1 reason that stands out to me is the fear of rejection. "What if they don't like me? What if they think I'm a weirdo? What if? What if? What if?" --- I've got flooring to do today (shocker!) so I will stop with that line of thought for now. Our evening away was awesome, and we decided we definitely need to do it more often. We actually went and stayed in a hotel ~ very spur-of-the-moment ~ and we went to IKEA for the first time, etc etc. Lots of good things I can't post about right now. I hope you all are well. I'll be back ............ Happy Sunday!
  3. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    I'm not going to number today. Not yet, anyway. I had a big post started here ~ sounding kind of down, like I was feeling. Then I had a phone call that strangely lifted my spirits. (More on that later, perhaps). Plus my morning coffee is kicking in. So I'm going to leave it at this: I'm going to get off the couch now, and I'm going to go kick this day's ass. Then tonight, I might have some wine. With my husband. And life will go on. And it will be good.
  4. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Day 4 today ~ and the floor is coming along beautifully. You would think, living in a home with four males aged 13-43, that I might have some help ... but I really don't. I'm not typing that out in a bitter PMS state. It's just a layer of my onion that I'm putting out here to observe. There is a sense of pride and accomplishment, seeing our home transform ... row after row after row ... and I will always be able to look at it and say: I did that. It's not perfect, and it never will be ~ but it's mine. I've come to realize that I have a need to create. I think, perhaps, that need has gone unfulfilled at many points in my life ... and I wasn't even aware of it being a need, until recently. Now that I am aware of it, I will cultivate it. I have a lot of ideas in my mind, all the time. I will try not to get frustrated if those around me cannot see and share my vision. I most likely don't need their help ~ I just need their support. Get out of my way, and let me create. --- I popped over to Amy's log today, and it was so interesting to see her talking about her Outlander addiction. ...Oh, @Amy_Michigan ... girl ... I so hear you. I read approximately the first three books, before I lost interest. That was years ago. But I just finished watching the entire Poldark series, while working on my floor over the weekend. Then I'm like: well, crap, now what? So I go to Amazon - realize that apparently I had purchased the first season of Outlander, years ago - and apparently I had watched the first couple of episodes. I started back up, somewhere in the middle of the third episode. I'm just thinking, "Whatever ... it's something to listen to while I work on this floor." For the past two nights, I have stayed up until close to 2:00 am -- not working on the floor, because that involves banging with a mallet, and my kids are in bed -- but watching this damned show. Last night was The Wedding, and ... good Lord. I mean, seriously. Seriously. Lol. I'm not sure if it's a good thing for me to be watching. It made me want to drink wine with my husband, for one thing. And it made me realize how far, far, far away it is from my reality. It's far away from everyone's reality, clearly, and that's why we love it. It's an escape. So I started thinking along these lines: Is it better for us to shut things like this out, and not stir up those feelings of discontent? Is it better for us to watch things like this, and acknowledge that perhaps this is an area of our life that could use some ... weed-pulling? Hmmm. I am going to keep deep-thinking on that one. The conclusion I come to might decide whether I'm buying wine again anytime soon. Which brings up the question: Why do we need wine? I'm not saying everyone does ... but I am going to call a spade a spade, and say that our level of intimacy is most certainly enhanced by alcohol. Man. Now my brain hurts, and I have to go to work. As always ~ best wishes for a glorious day!
  5. Brewer5

    Amy's Log for 2020

    @Amy_Michigan ~ how is your knee? ...Why, yes, I did pop in here just to see how you're doing... I am going to throw this out there one time, and one time only ~ because I think I got quite the reputation here, years ago, of being a Potato Hater. Lol. I'm not a Potato Hater. You know I've been eating them. I think they can be a great transitional food and a sanity-saver for those coming to W30 from SAD, in particular. But I do have a long and proven history of arthritic feelings showing up on Whole 30 when I am consuming potatoes / most likely nightshades in general. I get swelling and pain in the joints of my fingers, aches and stiffness in my knees, and popping in my knees and ankles -- all things that are not occurring when I am not consuming potatoes. It's been tested and obvious enough over and over again ... that for me, it is now a Personal Fact. That is all ~ I just wanted to share my experience. If it helps one other person out there have a lightbulb moment, then my time away from my onion was well-spent. I hope you have a wonderful day!
  6. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Day 3 today ~ and back to work! It's amazing that I can type that out and realize that I actually look forward to going to work. What the heck? Is that a thing? Do people do that? Haha... I've always liked this job ~ and there were some days in nursing where I was happy to go back on some level. Those days just also had an impenetrable, underlying sense of anxiety, because it's the nature of the profession to never know what the day is going to bring. I can handle "rolling with it" pretty well in most areas of life, but when people's lives are in your hands ... it requires a level of constant vigilance that is just exhausting. I did that day after day after day, often for 15-16 hour shifts. {I wonder why I feel burnt out on nursing.} So I'll keep it short today and just say: I'm so glad I listened to that little voice. I searched on indeed one time for the word "manager" to see what came up in my area. "I also have the business management degree ... let's just see what else is out there." My employer had listed this job as "Executive Assistant/Office Manager" -- and if she had not included the word "manager" -- we never would have found each other. That is crazy. I have become a part of the family, and I cannot imagine where I'd be and what I would be doing today if I hadn't listened to that little voice in that moment. As it is ~ I did listen ~ and now I get to go spend my day away from the chaos of my house ... in a wonderful, quiet, uncluttered, office space with the two beautiful Irish setters who have become my very best work buddies. ...Sorry, boss, if you read this someday. You know the dogs are why I stay. Everybody, as always, have a fantastic Monday. I hope you listen to that little voice and make great things happen.
  7. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Day 2 today. Funny how I feel confident going ahead and posting that in the morning, instead of having to wait until the day is over to see if I make it through. My period showed up like clockwork this time ~ none of this "several days early" business like I had last month. And you know what? No, I don't feel like a crazy bitch. I didn't think I felt that way last month, either ... but looking back, I know that I was unhappy/stressed with several things in my life, and I was pretty vocal about it. I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with that. Some things really do need to be said. But I'm going to keep an eye out over these next few days, and be mindful of both how I am speaking to my family and what I am saying. Yes... there is no doubt I am in a better place now. --- Imagine your gas tank is sitting at "E" with the light on ... you can still drive around, and the car is still fully functioning. Each night, you have just enough money to fill your gas tank to 1/4. Whew! The "E" light goes off, and you feel better. Imagine this cycle day, after day, after day. Imagine that your tank never sits at 1/2 ~ let alone full. Is it possible to function and be happy this way? Sure, it is. But you won't go any further than your current routine. You will have just enough to get where you need to go, and back home again. But what if, one day, someone handed you an extra $10, and you put that extra $10 in your gas tank? If you are smart at all, that's exactly what you'd do -- and now, you have created a new baseline. Not only can you get through most days without the "E" light having to come on at all, but if you needed or wanted to go further in a day, you could. And you'd enjoy that feeling of not running on "E". It would boost your confidence in your ability to go places, and it would reduce your overall daily stress. And you'd think to yourself that, the next time someone gives you $10, it is most definitely going in your gas tank. --- This is how Whole 30 is for me. I'm not in it for the 30 days ... I have been there, done that. I am in it for the long haul. --- I realized, after I posted yesterday morning, that I referred to my grandmother as my great-grandmother. I sort of laughed to myself and thought I'd make a joke here about "Mexican food brain". Haha... I blame the Mexican food! But that's not funny. I read Grain Brain and Brain Maker by Dr. Perlmutter years ago, and I was a big fan of his work at the time. I read both of them more than once, and they were heavily highlighted and loved. What happened to me? Where did I go? I took a journey that was necessary, and I did what I thought I had to do to survive that journey. I've been in survival mode. For years now. Holy shit. I was having those "Grain Brain" moments before I came back here ... more often than I'd like to admit. But there is a force, deep within us, that says: WAKE UP. Like Percy Jackson and the lotus flowers. Poseidon says to him: WAKE UP. And Percy realizes that he's been in a dream-like state, and that time has been passing by -- quickly. He begins to refuse the lotus flowers -- which, keep in mind, pisses off those around him (!) because they all want him to stay in this state, in this place. Forever. But Percy is a smart guy, and he's got Poseidon watching out for him. He runs away from those &$%! lotus flowers, and he goes on to accomplish great things. Huge things. Meaningful things. --- So Grandma: I'm sorry. You are a Great Grandmother, and even a Great Great Grandmother. But to me, you are Grandma. The picture of strength and mental clarity for the first ~38 years of my life ... and an inspiration to me like no other.
  8. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Day 1 again today. I'm posting now ~ because this is my quiet time to do so. The rest of the day will be filled with running kids here and there, conversations with my family ... and putting down the new flooring. I worked on it for a couple of hours last night ~ and it is going to be beautiful. But boy-oh-boy ... it's going to take me awhile. That's okay. It's winter and I would rather have a project to focus on, for sure. It's satisfying, seeing each piece click into place. Hmm ... progress that can be seen before my very eyes ... I like that. I had originally gone to a nearby flooring store and stamped my foot like Veruca Salt, saying, "I want it now!" You know, not really, but ... at first I did just want to pay the "professionals" to come in here and get it done quickly. There's a little bit of Veruca Salt in there sometimes ... it's good for me to be aware of her presence, and keep her in check. --- My computer was doing some update crap this morning, and I couldn't use it to do things with my morning coffee like I usually do {Veruca was pissed}. So I finally picked up this new book I had ordered: The UltraMind Solution by Mark Hyman, MD. I like holding real books in my hands ... and I like highlighting. That's a part of myself that does not get honored nearly enough lately. I have always had a love of learning, and I especially like reading books about the human body. I don't know a lot about Mark Hyman, and I don't revere any doctors as Gods. But these books usually have some great information that I did not know before ~ and, if they are worth anything as an author ~ some deep and thought-provoking quotes. I hit a point in the very first paragraph of Chapter 1 that made me tear up this morning. He is talking about the epidemic of "broken brains": "It deprives children of their future, the elderly of their past, and adults of their present." Indeed. This hit me right between the eyes. I have children - one, in particular, whose mood and behavior is highly affected by his food choices. I am the adult, and so is my husband. And I have a great-grandmother, dear to me, who is 93 years old ... and the deterioration I have had to sit back and watch over the past few years is painful. Downright, almost, seriously, physically, painful. The way her "care" has been handled has caused a rift in our family that I think will never fully mend. --- Whew -- I hate to end on a sad note! Let's not do that. So I will share one more thing, and maybe go into more detail later. I have been undecided on whether I am ever going to work in nursing again ... very up-in-the-air, and I hate that feeling. I know, sometimes it is necessary, and those uncomfortable times are often when we really grow the most. I have decided to go back to WGU for a bachelors in business management -- that choice I decided on awhile ago. What's crazy is this: I spoke with my admissions counselor yesterday. I said yep, I like the way you transferred my credits, looks good, green light - let's go. But I want to change my start date from March 1 to April 1, after spring break. (That's no big deal - WGU starts every month, all year round). Turns out, the program catalog is changing for all students who start April 1 and later. So now, instead of just having a straight-up business management degree, you get "micro credentials". And the two choices are: Marketing track, or Healthcare track. I'm working for a marketing company right now, and I love it. But I'm also a nurse. Lol. I'm like ... are you freaking kidding me? And it brought me clarity. Looking through the marketing classes causes excitement. Looking through the healthcare classes makes me want to barf. I'm not sure it can get much more clear than that. If you've actually read this far ~ Ric Flair "woo!" ~ I'm thankful for your presence here. And I hope you have a fantastic weekend.
  9. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    So glad I could give you a hearty laugh, @BabyBear . I was laughing, just picturing you laughing. Yesterday, of course, was Day 10 ... I was just too busy with other things to post. Today - the long-awaited trip to Qdoba - which my boss was literally counting down the hours to, she has been craving so much ........ Well, we got there and there was a sign on the door that said they were closed due to a water main break. We ended up going to a local Mexican restaurant instead. I got my usual chicken, cheese, rice (arroz con pollo) and ate it with some chips and a few bites of salsa. The food really had no effect on me, one way or the other ~ I mean, it was good, but I really didn't think about it too much. The company and the conversation was good, and I was glad to be able to just go with it and not feel (at all) like it was going to cause me to go off the rails on the crazy train. Things have changed for me, so much. The rest of the day has been, and will be, my W30 food. There's really not anything else I want to have ~ it was just this one meal, because my boss wanted to take me out for lunch. I didn't even get a diet dew, and I totally could have. I drank water. And life goes on. And it is good.
  10. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Thanks, ladies! Day 9 yesterday ... and @BabyBear had me thinking a little bit this morning about the psychological effect of choosing to eat at Qdoba this Friday, and start my numbering all over again. It went a little bit like this: Google to find out who Ric Flair is Realize that possibly everyone but me knows who Ric Flair is Smile to myself ~ because I think it's just fine that I didn't know who Ric Flair is Have a moment of thankfulness for the reference, because now I know who Ric Flair is. Realize that Saturday will be Day 1 again for me Smile to myself ~ because I think it's just fine that Saturday will be Day 1 again for me Have a moment of thankfulness for W30, because I think that's a pretty good place to be.
  11. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Day 8 yesterday ~ and, nothing much to report as far as food goes. I love how, in the beginning (of any new journaling/getting back to basics with food), the posts ARE more focused on food for me ... and as time goes on, it gravitates more toward experiences and, as @Amy_Michigan said, sharing that positive energy I am feeling. I think when I first posted here again ~ some people might have been like, "Like an Onion ... wtf is this ... weirdo ..." LOL. I knew exactly what I meant at the time I first posted ... I knew that the real me was hiding under several layers of bullshit that I had either piled on myself or allowed to be piled on by others. I knew it was time to find my voice again ... to peel - and dig deeply, if needed - to cut out the bad parts of this onion and be rid of them. And, as we all know when cutting onions ... I knew there would be some stinging and tears. But man... when you start to get past some of that ugly and rotten stuff... the inside of that onion can be SO worth the work. --- Amy, I won't tag you here again, because I know you're already here ... but I wanted to say that I saw you tagged me in your journal yesterday, and I did read the post when it showed up in my email. As I kept reading, I started thinking, "Dang, this is long... she doesn't usually post things this long in my journal..." and then I was like: OH! This is in her journal! Lol. I'm glad you tagged me. Because it was great to read more detail about what's going on in your life, and because I honestly have not been traveling outside of my own journal at this point. So I had a moment where I felt a little bit like an asshole ... and I wanted to apologize to you, and others who have been here daily to offer your support and kind words along my journey. It means a lot. I've been on a tiny carnivore group in the past, where it got to the point that it just felt like I was talking to myself all the time ... and that gets old pretty quickly. So again, I'm sorry that I haven't "ventured out" more to support others. There is a longer, more complicated reason for that ... but also a very basic reason ... and it's not that I'm just an asshole. I assume that we're all familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs ... but if anyone isn't, please google it now. Not just because it's important to my next point, but because I think it is important for all of us to have as a tool in the back of our minds, as we think about ourselves and what is going on in our lives. I am still in the bottom two layers of Physiological needs and Safety needs for much of my time. That is not to say that I'm not also floating up to those higher levels at times -- most certainly, I am. But my two bottom levels are not concrete right now ... they just aren't. And they haven't been since my entire world got turned upside down in the Fall of 2016. So I'm still going to stay here and post, because I have to for now ~ but yes, please continue to tag me if there's something you want me to see. I do care. And on that note -- I want to share something I discovered a few months ago. It's 100% legit ... I can assure that I am a researcher, and I would never steer anyone in a direction unless I knew it was a good one. Maybe you already know about this -- (FYI I do not read the news, watch TV/commercials, or partake in social media, so I really don't know what is common knowledge these days) -- it's a site called Flex Jobs. I'm not even going to post a link, because I don't want anyone to think I'm somehow profiting from this. I'm not. Just check it out, if you haven't already. I think it's pretty freakin cool. The status quo of the workplace is changing. My boss's husband is a mechanical engineer for 20+ years, and they have now joined the site and have been checking out opportunities for him, too, since I told them about it. --- As always ~ to anyone out there reading ~ I wish you a beautiful day!
  12. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Ha, yesterday was Day 7 and I almost forgot to post about it! All is good. Had some funny stories from Lowe's ... don't have time to post about them right now. I've decided to do the flooring in this house by myself. Do you think I'm feeling better? Some may think I'm crazy. I say: I'M BACK. My mom was like, "well you know, there's such-and-such installer down on such-and-such street" and I'm like, yeah mom, I think I'm gonna do it myself. Then she's like (etc etc) and I'm like, yeah mom, I think I'm gonna do it myself. Then she's like (etc etc) and I'm like, yeah mom, I think I'm just going to do it myself. That is what I'm telling you. Lol. There's more. But alas ... today I must go to work. Everybody have a great day!
  13. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    And I wish I had a "love" button. Your aunt sounds like a wonderful person. I think we would get along just great. And I think anyone who is blessed to be related to her should be taking full advantage of her company. Are you still close to her -- in location, and in connection? If you are still physically located where you can spend time with her ... please, reach out and do that more often. I know, (I know!) you are busy with work and kids and life. But I really feel that this is an effort which would pay off greatly for your overall wellbeing. We get a HUGE (huge) surge of dopamine from spending time with others who make us feel good. And we do not realize how disconnected we have become from the outside world, from our extended family ... and we, as mothers, literally forget who we were for awhile. We assume this new role -- and boy, are we proud of it -- "Mother". It's fun at first -- I mean, so much fun -- and we give ourselves, 100% and so willingly ~ because what bigger job could there be than to be Mother to a completely new being? And we are bonded with that child through all of the glorious chemicals that surge through both of us when we breastfeed. And even if we don't breastfeed -- we are bonded with that child through the surges of dopamine (that's a neurotransmitter largely associated with "reward", in case anyone doesn't know). First smile, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, talking ... I mean, the list goes on. And each one is an Achievement for Mother, too. It's a shit job ... I mean, both literally and figuratively. Lol. But we are all too eager to take it on. And while all of this is going on ... we DO lose touch with that part of ourselves that we were before we were Mother. There is a church sign down the road from here, where they had a message one day, and it has really stuck with me. And it does not matter to me whether you believe in God or not ... it can be applied to other people in your life ~ and I have done that in my mind regularly lately. It said: If God seems far away ... who moved? Man. So simple, yet so powerful. My husband seems far away sometimes. I moved. My kids seem far away sometimes. They moved. --- If your aunt seems far away to you ... I can almost guarantee that you moved, and that she did not. I have a niece who is 13 years younger than me, and she spent a lot of time at our house growing up. She went on family vacations with us. She now has a husband and kids of her own, and they moved about two hours away, and they are "busy" just like everyone else. But I really enjoy her company when I do get to see her. I love her kids so much, even though they don't know me very well. I love my niece and her husband and her kids in a way they probably don't really understand. And I think it's probably the same with your aunt.
  14. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    I don't really even know you, either ~ but I will confidently say it is not "just you being lazy". I don't believe laziness is even a real thing. What appears to some as laziness is a symptom of something bigger ... and I don't think anyone is going to change my mind on that. --- Let's think in terms of nature: If we see a bird who remains on the ground as we approach, we almost immediately and instinctively know there is something wrong with that bird. It is not acting on its primal instinct to flee -- because it can't. We are aware that if we see a possum or a raccoon out in the broad daylight -- it is most likely sick. Yes, it could be starving (which is sickness), and yes, it could be fleeing because something just invaded its home ... but the bottom line is this: If a nocturnal animal is out in the daytime ~ something is up. If I get out the dog treats, and one of my dogs remained lying on the floor ... that would immediately set off alarm bells in my head. --- So, I ask you: Have you always wanted to lie in bed all day? Always? That's a rhetorical question. As children, we ran, and laughed, and played. We used our imaginations. We had fun. In high school and college, we could (most likely ~ I realize I am generalizing) eat what we now realize was total shit ... yet we could still manage to go out and have fun with our friends, or go out on a date and enjoy it. If I see a human who wants to -- or feels like they need to -- lie in bed all day, I absolutely do not think "lazy". Humans were not designed/wired to be "lazy". It is the absolutely ridiculous disconnect we have with nature, and the completely artificial, man-made "normal" lifestyle we as humans have set up for ourselves ~ all in the name of Progress. If you look at how rapidly things have changed in recent years ... yet the makeup and the fundamental needs of humans has not ... surely you will see why conditions like anxiety and depression are being diagnosed at an all-time high. @Amy_Michigan ~ I am not pinning blame on you, nor am I saying that you should (or should not) lie in bed all day. I am simply giving you my perspective, in hopes that you will see that you really are on a good path ... you are peeling back layers of your own onion. Love yourself through this, show yourself grace. Think about what those fundamental needs of humans are -- the ones we can see, as evidenced throughout history -- and take stock of whether yours are being met.
  15. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    My husband has heard this before. Then ~ next thing he knows ~ he's hearing, "whatever you do, don't buy me any dark chocolate!" It's one of those things I had a real problem limiting in the past. I'd eat an entire 90% bar all at once, then have heart palpitations and rushing trips to the bathroom. I haven't done that in a long time. I either avoid it altogether -- or, if I decide to try it again for some reason, I buy the small individually-wrapped squares. It doesn't take long before I remember: "Yeah, that's why I stopped eating dark chocolate." --- I think one of the biggest successes I've had since I returned here at the end of December is conquering the Diet Mt. Dew addiction. That began early in 2017, when I went back to college. I remember clearly ... buying one from the vending machine at school, to have in class. It was a "treat". And I started to really look forward to it ... because, of course, I didn't keep that stuff in the house! Now, there's some REAL psychoanalysis stuff that could happen (--> right here <--) but for now I will just say, this turned into an addiction for me ... which lasted throughout most of 2017, 2018, and 2019. Three years. Three years of putting artificial sweeteners, dyes, and a list of other unsavory items into my body -- and, by the end of that time -- like water. It's not that I'm stupid, or that I don't know any better. In fact, in this case, I will say that my self-education worked against me. Because, you see, I've read all about the amino acid phenylalanine, and I know exactly what it does for my brain. It's an antidepressant, among other things. So my husband heard: "Please make sure there is ALWAYS a supply of Diet Dew in the fridge." And occasionally he'd hear: "I have GOT to get off the Diet Dew. Whatever you do, do NOT buy any more." Then he'd hear: "We don't have any Diet Dew here. Please, please bring me one on your way home from work. Please." --- I've been drinking black coffee and sparkling water. I really don't care if it's flavored or not ~ there are just times when I still really do like to have the carbonation. And I don't feel depressed. Sure, I have days that I feel worse than others - like when the sun does not come out at all. But in general ... I feel pretty good. And note: I am saying that in FEBRUARY. So what has changed since I thought I "needed" Diet Mt. Dew to get through my days and function like a normal person? ...Well, a lot has changed. It isn't JUST coming back to Whole 30. But I think coming back to Whole 30 was the impetus for a lot of other really good things. And I think I knew that deep down for quite awhile, before I returned.
  16. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Day 6 coming to a close ... Man, I had "a moment" again this afternoon. Craving that damn Lindt bar in the cabinet. It isn't even that good! I bought those when we could not find Sno-caps ANYWHERE on movie night. The caramel inside had a very artificial taste. I know this. Yet ~ still, it screams to me. Ridiculous. I did have my husband bring me an RX bar from the store ... chocolate sea salt ... and that took care of it. I'm going to just go throw the Lindt bar in the trash right now. It cost like $1. It's not worth the temptation. Today was good & productive. We are finally going to do a cash-out refinance on our house and do some much-needed home improvements. So I spent a lot of time moving furniture, etc. I love that. I love being active! Winter just doesn't offer as much opportunity. So I'm glad we are starting some inside projects.
  17. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Yes ... I don't mean that we get to control every aspect of our story. In fact, in that particular conversation ~ we were discussing my husband's job ... and his outright refusal to picture any other story for himself than the one he chose at the age of 18. He could choose a different story ... he really could. Especially now that I am an RN, our kids are all older, and I'm in a good place to be able to help with much of the financial needs. Nope. Not happening. So I was telling our son ... figure out what is important to you, what is really important, right now while you guys are just starting out. Put together a list of values, priorities. Evaluate, and continue to re-evaluate. Because at some point, you may find yourself making choices in a way that does NOT line up with what was once important to you. Then it's time to stop and take stock: Wait, what am I doing? Why am I doing it? Does it even make me happy? And -- is it in line with what is fundamentally important to me?
  18. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Day 5 yesterday (I think ...) ~ and it's always a good sign when I have to go back and look at where I left off. That means I'm not really thinking about "Whole 30" ... I'm not counting down the days until the end, you know? I'm just living my life and eating W30 food ~ and it's fine. Most of the time, I really do like having the simplified options. Instead of considering every restaurant in town and trying to decide what sounds good, I'm often opening up the freezer and choosing from one of my frozen meal options: "Let's see ... no, I don't want that one right now, it's spicy ... that one has too many potatoes ... ah, yes - that one tastes like something Italian - let's do that!" So I can think about and do so many other things. Whole 30 no longer means that you've devoted your entire month to the blankety-blank kitchen. I mean, honestly. As much as I am not a fan of Walmart ... I'd like to hug the people who came up with these recipes. And ~ whatever anyone's feelings about Melissa may be ~ I'll just say, I think she's a freaking genius. I've read some articles recently - spurred by @BabyBear recommending the new book - and my gut feeling is that some of them were written by: just, really unhappy people. When you're in a generally happy place, I think you can look at the success of another person and be inspired by it, instead of feeling the need to pick it apart and tear it down. My boss recently told me a story about a woman who was a single mom and CEO of a company, who had put an ad out for help with her child(ren). She said people online were bashing her, because the ad listed so many requirements. But, according to my boss, the pay she was offering was unbelievable. Whomever ended up with this role was going to be well-compensated for it. But people said she was basically paying someone else to be the mother. Here's my thing: ...AND? ...SO? Tell me how it's better for a child to have a mother who does not pursue her dreams, who trudges through each day trying to do it all, all by herself? And probably feels like shit and is tired all the time. She most likely doesn't resent the child ... but she does resent all of the other daily BS that holds her back from spending quality time with her child. --- My point is simply this: Each of us has our own journey ~ and no one else can walk it for us. There are certain parts of ourselves that will not change. So we really should stop trying to work against them. Amazing things happen when we focus on maximizing our strengths. My sister loves to cook ~ she loves to spend time in the kitchen. She loves to create new recipes. She shows love to her family through food. I hate spending time in my kitchen. It's not my thing. My husband threw some kick-ass Butcher Box frozen steaks in the air fryer last night, while I sat here and intently worked on a cover letter for an intriguing new position I'd found. I was excited about doing that -- and if I'd have had to stop in the middle and go make supper for everyone -- umm, yeah, I'd have probably been pissed off and resentful about it. My husband doesn't mind cooking and taking care of the kitchen, so {shrug} I let him do it. --- Our oldest son is 18, and will be graduating high school this year and moving on to college. He has a serious girlfriend. They are just starting out in life. We had a conversation a couple of weeks ago ~ and I found myself saying this to him: "Each of us are writing our own story. One of these days, people will gather at your funeral, and they will sum up your life, in just a few short paragraphs. What do you want them to say about you?" The answer to that will be different for each of us ~ and I don't think any of them are wrong. But I want my kids to live their lives purposefully. Write your own story. Don't let others write it for you.
  19. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    @Amy_Michigan I am laughing with you ... not AT you, of course. But seriously, can you imagine what all these moderators have seen and dealt with over the years? I think it's very interesting that at least a few of us who have gathered here, in this one spot, have been around that long. I'm glad.
  20. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Oh, @Emma ... no worries! You didn't say anything that offended me. {shrug} Even if you are feeling that way when you post, it does not mean that the feeling will necessarily be radiated through the internet. I have learned that people's words really have way more to do with them, than they ever actually have to do with me. That said: No, I'm not examining your posts for hidden meaning, and micro-analyzing your personality. Lol. I've got a list a mile long of other things/people/dogs/projects that are swirling around in my head each day. And I am trying to live each day to the fullest. I don't know anyone else's ages here ... but I'll just say: I'm 40. Will be 41 soon. There's been a transformation in me over these past few years, that I really could not have imagined when I was active on this forum years ago. It is the result of many factors converging simultaneously ... and I won't get into all of them at the moment. Perhaps later. I do want to say that I was not shaped into stronger and more confident person as a result of everything in life going my way. I've been shaped and molded into the person I am today as a result of things going wrong. And then choosing to do things that were freaking hard. Pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, being willing to take a leap of faith ... and being able to say: "You know what, shadows lurking around that corner? Screw you. And you. And you." --- There was a day when I (thought I had) time to worry about whether my egg+banana+vanilla was going to be considered a pancake, whether I was going to be ostracized for it, whether this meant that I was officially a pancake addict -- but knowing that I was not, and then thinking of the right words to justify sometimes eating this pancake-ish creation I made with my kids. ...Ho-ly. Shit. Yeah. Those days are gone ~ and I say, good riddance.
  21. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Day 4 ~ and perhaps this stretch will be longer than I thought. We decided to go to Qdoba on Friday -- Valentine's Day -- for lunch, instead. Since both of our husbands will be traveling for work, we'll take ourselves out for a date. I appreciate everyone's thoughts and feedback. To be clear: I don't believe that pretty much anything is "all in your head" or "just mental" ... and I don't even believe that "will power" is a real thing, or a healthy thing -- not in the way you see most people use the word. That is my point with this thread. I want to get to the bottom of why I make some of the choices I do. If one is cognizant of the triggers, the emotions, the events, that lead to __________ ( <-- insert whatever choices you genuinely regret later) ~ then it is much easier to figure out what can be done to avoid letting it happen again in the future. As an example, I know that I am more successful with eating in a way that is nourishing my body when I have some sort of accountability. Keeping a journal online has always been a BIG tool for me. There's no one else IRL who really understands, or cares to hear it -- but when you surround yourself with others who are like-minded ... there is strength in that. For sure. I once attempted a Whole 30 (years ago) and I gave up completely when I hit Day 11 and I just really, really wanted to have heavy cream in my coffee at Starbucks, to take along with me to my hair appointment. It was my ritual, my tradition, it's what I did every. time. Looking back -- man, that sounds ridiculous ... because I am in no way attached to heavy cream anymore. But at the time, it had a hold on me. It did something for me. I think it might have been calming / caused brain fog. Whatever it was, it was strong ... and I was suddenly like, "screw this, screw Whole 30, this is stupid, I don't even want to do this right now" ... and I walked away. For how long? I can guess: too long. But this time around ~ yes, exactly ~ it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Clearly I've decided to have some non-compliant things along the way, and then I've looked at those choices and examined: How did they make me feel? Were they worth it? I'm in a much better place with Whole 30 now than I was years ago, and part of that is because I've got ladies here willing to take the time out of their busy lives to reach out. Thank you.
  22. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    @Amy_Michigan ~ give your mom a hug for me. Seriously. I worked in long-term care for 10 long months of 2019. I know what goes into that job, and what it takes out of you. Despite what I may share here sometimes (some of my deepest thoughts and weakest moments) -- I think I am one strong woman. Resilient. Determined. I was top of my class in nursing school, and a mentor to others. But nothing they teach you in school can prepare you for what it's like to actually be The Nurse. Day in and day out. Over and over and over again. Long-term care will squeeze every last drop out of you, and then toss you away like an old sponge. And it is so sad. I worked with many LPNs, like your mom, who had been around for years. Their presence and their years of experience is invaluable. So make sure to tell her today ... some stranger out there on the internet says she's awesome. I can guarantee you, she has not heard enough of that for her years of service.
  23. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Day 3 yesterday was not without temptation. After puppy class in the evening, I just had a really strong and persistent urge to hit a drive-through and get something chocolate. Man, when I crave chocolate like that ... I want the most chocolate dessert you can possibly imagine. Like, nothing they even have at a drive-through in this town. Lol. So I mentally battled that on the drive home, but I did drive straight home and ate compliant items only. It really had me wondering if any of the chocolate RX bars are compliant. Because at least those have some freaking protein involved. The larabars really do need to go for me. They aren't doing any favors. And I know that RX bars really wouldn't, either ... except I guess they could help keep me on the rails if I knew they were an option, instead of letting myself drive my car through a drive-through somewhere. --- On Monday, my boss wants to meet at Qdoba for lunch. And I've decided that I am going to go, order what sounds good to me, and enjoy myself and not worry about it. Clearly, I am aiming for progress here ... not perfection ... because even if/when I achieve that goal of the "perfect 30 days" ............ then what? Historically, then what happens is that ~ despite the best of intentions ~ then I have to have all of the things I've been "missing". Perhaps it is better (for me) for those things to not get so built-up in my mind in the first place. Because, looking back, I do go through these cycles of strict --> careless, strict --> careless. Rinse and repeat. I believe it was @BabyBear who said she liked to look at it more like, how far can I go? And that has stuck with me. It's not giving myself permission to drive this train way off into the weeds, and crash into the ocean somewhere ... it's showing myself some grace, and not beating myself up, if perhaps my train veers off into the siding for a minute or two. That's okay. Trains pull into the siding all the time, to wait for other trains to go past. What's important is that they do get back on the main track, and continue their journey. Otherwise, they would never get where they need to be.
  24. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Along those same lines... I think this is a big part of why I'm up-in-the-air about what I'm going to do with my nursing degree right now. Or if I'm going to do anything with it at all. I chose long-term care for a variety of reasons, but one of the factors is because I have a heart for the elderly. ...Seems like a good fit, right? Perhaps not. I've gotten good at deflecting -- you HAVE to, as a nurse. You cannot be absorbing all day long ~ it simply does not work. But you can't always deflect, either. It's a shitty reality of being a nurse ... you really DO need to care, (I think) ... but you can't care too much.
  25. Brewer5

    Like an Onion

    Thanks, @Amy_Michigan ~ wow ... "a pro" ... I don't know about all that, but it made me feel good! I managed my way through Day 2 again yesterday. It wasn't a big deal at all, until I got home from work and had quite a bit of stress radiating from my husband. It wasn't directed AT me, but since I'm the one sitting here, listening ... I either have to deflect it, or absorb it. Do you absorb the stress of others? Really think about that one ... because again, it's taken me a long time to really, truly grasp this about myself. --- I had a great day at work -- so why, suddenly, was I wanting to go get the Lindt chocolate caramel bar that I know is hiding in the cabinet, and just jam it down my throat? WHY? I had already come home and eaten a nice, big, balanced, compliant dinner. It wasn't actual, physical, hunger. --- I've referenced this here before ~ something someone said they'd learned at Weight Watchers: HALT. Am I Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? I would add to that: Stressed. So it should be SHALT. Or TASHL ... which somehow ... just doesn't have the same ring to it. You get the idea. There are a lot of different ways to define stress. But I believe this one from dictionary.com is the one I am talking about right now: Physiology. a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism. My equilibrium was fine when I came home ... therefore, the food I had eaten was fine. But my equilibrium was thrown off by an outside force, and it caused an internal reaction in myself. I would love to say that I recognized this and somehow just magically powered through it ~ but I didn't. I chose to turn to pistachios again = a compliant stress food. Better than Lindt? Of course. Good for me? No. I seriously (seriously) just passed out on the couch after that, and was dead to the world until the puppy woke me up today at 6am. Hey, at least I'm well-rested.