Monday, January 30, 2012

The End of The 15 Day Reboot - We Did It!

We did it!!! Fifteen days of juicing and fruits and vegetables on the reboot! Yesterday was our last day and I feel pretty good about following through with that commitment to myself.

This morning we rewarded ourselves with a zucchini, broccoli, onion, garlic, goat cheese and bacon omelet with fruit and coffee. The meal was about seventy to eighty percent fruits and vegetables so we were able to have our reward and still keep our portion size in the range where we want it. It was delicious!

I have to say, I missed coffee so much. I'm interested to see if I'm extra sensitive to the caffeine and sugar since being off of both for the past three weeks. So far, I'm not feeling any different. I'm debating whether to stop at one cup or have a little more. Right now I'm pretty full though so I may stick with water for the rest of the day.

I couldn't help but snap a photo of breakfast to share with all of you! Thank you for all of your encouraging words through these past few weeks! They've helped me get to a healthier me! You all rock!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 14 of The Reboot - Almost Done!

I've made it to day 14!  Last night my girl and I were talking about the day we sat down to look at the reboot programs and decide which one to do.  I remember thinking, "Fifteen days isn't all that long."  Let me tell ya, fifteen days turned out to be quite a long time.  When it's about food and attachments to it, it's a very long time indeed.  I didn't think I had the will power to make it when I was in the middle of it, but, taking on the perspective of "I've made it this far, I can do this" has really helped.  You have to stay positive through it and have little reminders of why you're embarking on this journey. 

I'll be honest, the last couple of days for me have been rough.  There's been a lot of stress in my life around work and finances and it's made me want to reach for comfort food.  Comfort food, for me, feels like a nice, warm, loving hug from myself even if it's terrible food for my body. 

I have been listening to my body more these days and have discovered that I actually do need a bit more protein in my diet in order to really feel healthy.  Despite drinking plenty of water, I've had dark circles under my eyes during a good part of this and decided to deviate from the menu a bit in order to get a bit more protein.  On day 12 I scramble a couple of eggs and have been doing that for the last couple of days.  Just 2 eggs a day in the morning with my fruit and it's helped tremendously.  I wonder if the couple of years I spent playing football and packing in the protein has changed my body's need for protein. 

We have deviated from the menus a bit during this process mainly because of left overs (there's a lot!) but also because there are a few recipes that we didn't exactly care for.  But, we've stuck with the recipes within the plan whenever we've changed things.  We've still lost weight and we still feel good so it seems as though you don't have to be strict and stick with the meal plan as stated for each individual day, which is fantastic in my eyes. 

The one thing about the program is that it takes some meal planning and cooking.  It seems as though my girl and I have spent the majority of our time these last 14 days either putting together our grocery list, shopping, washing, chopping, juicing or cooking all of our meals.  With both of us working, we have to plan ahead for lunches and dinners, as well.  It takes some time but it also helps you to see just how important it is to feed your body good things.  Preparing your meals should be seen as an act of love towards yourself.  You're giving your body what it needs to live and thrive.  It's an act of self love. 

Going forward I am going to change the portions on my plate at every meal in order to add more fruits and vegetables to my diet.  Before the reboot the portions on my plate were roughly 50% protein, 25% vegetables and 25% starch.  After the reboot my portions will be 50% fruits/vegetables, 25% protein and 25% starch.  It's a much more healthier way of feeding my body.  I feel really good about this.

Here's to a healthier me!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 11 of The Reboot - Back To Solid Foods!!

We made it to day 11!  This morning we enjoyed a huge bowl of fruit full of pineapple, mango, orange, kiwi and fresh mint leaves and I have to say, fruit never tasted so good.  For lunch we reheated some delicious soup my girl made while we were juicing and we made sweet potato and carrot "fries", which are tossed with olive oil and a few seasonings then baked for about 45 minutes. 

One thing about this reboot, you certainly grow to appreciate food more.  Also, your stomach shrinks a bit when you juice for 5 days.  I was quite full with about half of what I would normally eat.

I'm feeling really good today, although I have decided to add a bit of animal protein to the mix for myself because I've been feeling a bit weak and I can't quite get rid of the dark circles under my eyes.  So, I've scrambled a couple of eggs to take with me to work tonight.  Hopefully that will help.

A nice side affect of this is that I'm 12 pounds lighter since we started this 11 days ago.  My belly is smaller and I'm below a weight I haven't been below in quite some time.  Feels pretty good!

Wohoo!  Only 4 more days to go and I can say I followed through with this commitment to myself!  That right there is a pretty awesome feeling!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Shout Outs To Some Awesome Butch Blogs

In reading through my Google blog reader feed this morning, I realized that I haven't given any shout outs to my butch brethren out there in the blog-o-sphere.  There are some pretty awesome butch blogs out there who focus more on the butch aspect of being in the world, whereas I just do so when I'm feeling it.  So for those of you searching the web for more butch content, check out these blogs!

Butch Wonders - For some tips on what to buy the butch in your life, how to pick out clothing and cuff links and thoughts and ideas around why all butches aren't trans, click on over there.

Buzz Cuts & Bustiers - Bren and Maddie talk about everything you've every wanted to know about butches and femmes including the best choices in butch underwear!  Don't miss out on the Beaver Whisperer posts, either!  Click on over!

"Can I Help You Sir?" has a great series of Butch 360 where she asks readers and other bloggers to chime in on the topic at hand.

Kyle over at Butchtastic has lots of interesting reads about being butch, being trans and being kinky.  Definitely check it out!

If you don't believe butches can cook, check out A Butch In The Kitchen.  She even posts all kinds of delicious recipes to try complete with beautiful photos!

Max over at Pretty Butch has some great reads about breaking into show business as a butch.  One of my favorite posts is coming out butch over, and over again.

Personally, I'm good with jeans and a t-shirt or the occasional dress pants with a button down, but if butch fashion is your thing, check out The Bois Department.

Finally, last but certainly not least, is the amazingly talented (and editor of the first book I'll be published in!) Sinclair Sexsmith over at Sugarbutch Chronicles.  You'll find everything from tips for the new butch to writing dirty and lots of dirty writing. 

Many thanks to my butch brethren out there in the blog-o-sphere for your inspiration and encouragement to continue on my path and to take pride in who I am.  I am grateful for you and your strength. 

Day 9 of The Juice Fast - I Haven't Given Up Yet!

Yesterday was filled with lots more of those wicked cravings I told you about in my last post. I even considered breaking the fast tonight while at work but I think I can make it through the next couple of days of the fast so I'm going to give it my best.

A couple of motivating factors for me have been reminders from and talking with my girlfriend and also finally making myself a priority. I've wanted to give up these last few days but my girl and I have been good about reminding each other that we've chosen to do this for our health and that we can choose to eat those other things. For some reason, having that choice makes it easier to continue. Also, if I gave up now I'm not sure I'd get the full benefit out of it. This was a 15 day commitment that I made to myself and I'd really like to follow through with it.

I don't often make commitments to myself and when I do, I don't often follow through. Really taking a look at that, I can tell that it's a part of how I feel about myself. If I made a commitment to someone else I would do my absolute best to follow through. But I'm not that committed to myself which shows that I don't think as much of myself as I do others. That has to change. A part of changing that is following through with this commitment to myself around my health.

I made it through the yesterday by looking ahead at all of the delicious recipes coming up in the next week. I was really worried that I'd be eating the same soups and other baked things as I did during the first five days. They all started to taste the same and I really wasn't looking forward to that again. Thankfully, all of the recipes are different, except the salads which is totally fine. I can deal with that.

For the most part, I did my best to give my brain a rest around the processing part of this. The thing that did come up for me yesterday, though, was missing the ritual of preparing a meal with my girl and sitting down to enjoy it. In spite of what I may tell myself and others about cooking, I do like to cook, specially for others. It does make me happy. Not just cooking for them but sitting down to the meal and enjoying it with them. Juicing really doesn't allow for that, but it's made me appreciate it more.

Tonight is my first of only two nights at work during this fast. With some gentle reminders to myself I can hopefully make it through the night without throwing in the towel and driving down the street to the grocery store.

Oh, and, since starting this 15 day commitment to my health, I've lost 10 pounds. Go me!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day 6 – The First Day of The Juice Fast

Yesterday was day 6 of the reboot, the beginning of the juice fast.  I had a lot going on in my brain and was finally able to get it out in my journal last night before bed.
Here's what came out.

Today has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. All I could think about, obsess about, were my cravings. Nachos, beans & cheese, tacos, hot dogs...all things crap. Mostly.

I've found myself in another funk today. A couple of times I tried to joke about wanting food by throwing a little tantrum and found myself starting to tear up. Then I would ridicule myself for being so ridiculous because it's just food ferfucksake! After a few minutes of yelling at myself I'd calm down then five minutes later it would start again. It was like riding on those little roller coaster hills. Up and down, up and down, up and down, all day long.

Finally I thought to myself, what is it I'm actually working through here? I had to think on this a bit but I realized that I have this idea of “not enough” around both food and money. Something in my head has been programmed to tell me that I better eat now because there might not be enough later. Eat now before the money runs out! Where did that come from?

It took some time to think it through but as I was climbing in to bed last night it hit me and the memories came flooding back.

I grew up with an alcoholic Father who had a hard time holding down a job and who lived on vodka. There wasn't a lot of food in the house during my teen years. I remember walking back from the grocery store when I was 13 with three bags of food that I bought with the money I earned from my paper route. I was hungry and there wasn't any food in the house so I went and bought some.

This happened quite a bit during this time in my life. My Father was losing his grip on things and I stepped up to hold it together for as long as my little 13 year-old person could. So, perhaps this is where this programming started.

If so, it must have really taken hold at that time in my life because even though I've not gone without food and rarely without a paycheck my entire adult life, my mind still functions in this survival mode. Which makes me wonder about my thought processes around other things in life.

This isn't just a cleansing of my physical body. It's turned out to be an all around cleansing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 6 - The Juice Fast Begins...

...and my mind is all over the place. I hope to get it figured out soon. I'll write more when I get it figured out.

This has turned out to be quite the emotional roller coaster for me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Finally Made It To The Top Of The Hill!

I am happy to report that I am feeling much better today! The funk seems to be gone and so is my headache. Thankfully!

Also, today's breakfast was the bomb. Check it out!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 3 of The Reboot: Still Climbing The Hill

It's day 3 and I'm not feeling all that great physically. I've had a headache for the past couple of days and I feel like I'm in a bit if a fog. It's a wee bit difficult to focus and my memory is not cooperating. A bit frustrating, to say the least, but I don't blame all of this on the reboot.

Unfortunately, the very day we started this adventure was the day the wonderful (note sarcasm here) Aunt Flow decided to visit. Apparently I decided to give myself a double whammy, so, my physical issues could very well be from that alone. Plus, I didn't sleep very well the last couple of nights.

Emotionally, I still feel like I'm in a funk but I don't feel like I'm going to cry at the drop of a hat. Thankfully.

I have to say, there is plenty of food on this reboot 'diet' so I haven't really been hungry. I've had cravings for bread but that's about it so far.

The good news, well, amongst the good news that I'm taking care of myself, is that I've dropped 8 pounds since I my last visit to the doctor in December. I feel good about that.

Here's hoping that I'll keep feeling better as the days go on!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

First Day of The "Reboot" or Discovering My Emotional Attachments To Food

My lunch today.
Today is my first day on a system “reboot”. Today and for the next 10 to 15 days I will be eating nothing but fruits and vegetables. Salads, smoothies, juices and slightly cooked vegetables. I say 10 to 15 days because I'm eating all organic and I'm not sure that I'll be able to afford to make it through the entire 15 days. It's about $30 a day to do this reboot with organic produce. If I choose to eat non-organic it's about $15 a day. The thing is, I want to taste my food if all I'm eating is fruits and vegetables. I also can't stand the thought of all the chemicals used to grow non-organic produce and genetically modified foods just plain creep me out.

The idea of this “reboot” is to cleanse my body and give it a rest from the difficult work of processing foods like meat, dairy and processed foods. I'm also incorporating it into getting back into exercising and eating better in order to take better care of myself.

Physically, I'm feeling pretty good today. It's amazing how much fruits and vegetables fill me up. I haven't been hungry but I've noticed that I've thought about snacking. But it has nothing to do with being hungry.

Emotionally, I seem to be struggling. I want to feed my emotions and I find myself with a sense of sadness. I know that this isn't a permanent diet and that the foods that I gave up to do this will be available to me again, albeit at a more moderated level, but for some reason my brain just hasn't wrapped around that idea. I feel as if I'm grieving the loss of my friends and I can't help but look at those feelings with a sense of wonder. After all, I am talking about food. Not people.

I miss coffee the most. I haven't had any for the last 6 days nor have I had any caffeine for the last 4 days. I've been drinking coffee off and on (mostly on) for the last 26 years. It's become a “comfort food” for me. Today is one of those days where I'd normally curl up on the couch with a book and a cup of coffee while the fire burned in the fireplace and the snow fell outside. There isn't anything in the world for me that could take it's place.

Emotional attachments to food are difficult to break, to say the least. Our memories, when they're connected to our senses, easily come back to us when one or more of our senses are triggered. The idea that food made everything okay for me when things really were not okay is difficult for me to fully accept. Before embarking on this reboot I felt pretty confident that I could control the things that I ate if it really mattered. Health reasons matter so it should be easy. That just doesn't seem to be the case when the emotional attachments come into the picture. 

From there I seem to fall into this circular pattern of criticizing myself and seeing myself as weak.  Not a good place to be.

I hope that my writing about them, acknowledging them and accepting them can help me to eventually let them go.

This isn't going to be easy.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Theme Song For 2012

Incubus "Drive"

Setting My Goals For 2012

Seven days in to 2012 and I'm finally sitting down to write some goals for the year. I've been working days these past couple of weeks and it's thrown my schedule off more than I had expected. I very much enjoy having the evenings with my girl but my sleep has not been good and my mornings are so rushed that they start my day off a bit stressed. I haven't prioritized writing or anything else that I do to keep myself in balance. Not the best start to the new year but here I sit about to change this situation.

For the entirety of 2011 I felt pulled between my photography and my writing. I think it may have been due to the fact that I didn't have any clear goals set for the year for either of them. It felt really good this past March to get the email that lead to my first short story submission being chosen for an anthology. Many thanks to my awesome editor and friend, Heather, for helping me with the story and talking me through some things about it. I learned quite a bit in refining the raw piece of work I originally sent her way. I very much look forward to holding the book in my hand and seeing my name as a listed author. I really think that the idea that I am truly a writer will sink in once this happens.

In 2012 I would like to experience that euphoria of being published again. This means I need to start writing and submitting more short stories and/or get to working on a book. If I'm being completely honest with myself, I will more likely work on more short stories and submit them while slowly working on a book. The book may be a year or so out. Or not. I feel myself slowly getting past the fears I have around writing it so it may be sooner rather than later.

As far as my photography goes this year, I'd like to...I'm really not sure what I'd like to do with it at this point. My confidence in my abilities has fallen again. I am my own worst critic, to say the least. Plus, I can't seem to find my “style”. Perhaps that's what I should do this year. Play around with it and find my style. I am participating in another 365 day photo project with some family members on Flickr and hope to actually finish it this time. It's my third attempt at this project. An idea just popped into my head as I finished that last sentence. Projects within the project. They would certainly help me to find my style.

My big goal this year is to make it to Burning Man and take tons of photos while there. I am fascinated by this intentional community and am excited beyond measure to participate in it this year with my girl and her friends. I don't want to make any predictions about this adventure nor any plans beyond just getting there so that I can stay completely open to the experience.

This year will also be the year where I start taking better care of my physical body. My girl and I are about to embark on a juice fast detox before eating a more plant based, whole food diet. We've been watching lots of documentaries on the American food industry and have come to learn that most of the foods found in the grocery store are so over processed that they no longer contain the nutrients that came with the original source of the food. No wonder we're the most drugged society in history. Our eating habits affect much more than our physical bodies. Poor nutrition also affects our mental and emotional states. I have so much to say about this but for now, I'm going to just leave it here. If you're curious about it, I highly recommend watching Forks OverKnives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Be forewarned, there are some disturbing slaughterhouse scenes in Forks Over Knives. People should know what happens in those places though. It's a horrible environment for not only the animals being slaughtered but also the people working in those places. There are other ways to be an omnivore. Local ranches who raise their cattle on grass and practice humane ways of slaughter (I realize that's a bit of an oxymoron.) are great places to buy meat. Much better then the stuff you get in the grocery store. Stepping of my soapbox now, I'll just end with the request to educate yourselves about the food you eat. It's important on so many levels.

To sum up this years goals I, of course, must put things in list form.

My goals for 2012
  1. Write and submit at least 5 short stories.
  2. Finish the 365 day photo project and include projects within the project in an attempt to find my “style”.
  3. Attend and fully experience Burning Man!
  4. Eat healthier and exercise at least 3 times a week.

There you have it. Or, rather, there I have it. My goals for 2012. Attainable goals and “good for me” goals. May this year be even better then the last!