wearing thin

"I don't know how you do it."
"You have so much will power, I could never be that strict."

I have been on some sort of restrictive diet for the past fifteen or so years.  Whether it was vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, or now, paleo, I have dealt with a lot of foods being off limits to me in one form or another.  A lot of people say things like this to me.  They tell me I eat healthier than "anyone they know."  Their compliments often times feel unnecessary because, I really don't feel like I have a choice anymore when it comes to what I eat.

The other night I hit a wall and I broke down.  I've been dealing with my PCOS symptoms for three years now, and while I've seen success with my current diet, I'm tired.  I'm tired of not being able to enjoy things like pasta or english muffins or cream cheese.  I miss being a part of society in terms of food.  I miss being able to go to a bakery and order anything at all without worrying if it will cause a flare up in my symptoms.  Sometimes, and I know this is silly, I daydream about Justin and I going to Europe and being scared that I won't be able to eat anything at all.  It's been a long, exhausting, emotional run with this problem and honestly...I'm over it.  

I know many of you out there with PCOS can relate.  It's an annoying issue to deal with on it's best days.  On it's worst days it's all consuming.  I feel so fortunate that my symptoms err on the mild side and that I really don't have to deal with as much as some ladies out there.  I can look back at the last year and see my progress and see my success and it is inspiring, but sometimes you just need to feel exasperated...know what I mean?  Luckily, that's when you give in and have some sweet potato chips and just feel sorry for yourself.

Anyone else out there hitting this wall?  I know it's only temporary, but I'd love to hear about your experiences with getting back in the groove.


the week in food 4/52

from top:  cucumbers and sprouted hummus; pesto beef with spaghetti squash; gyro meatballs, cilantro lime cauli rice and cucumber slices; zoodle pad thai; my new favorite snack: dang coconut chips; avocado egg salad; a huge salad with turkey bacon and soft boiled eggs

The weather here is slowly getting warmer which is showing up in what we've been eating around here.  Salads and cucumber slices are now showing up more and I love it.  I love this time of year because snacking becomes more practical than eating a heavy meal.  We've also fallen in love with cauliflower rice (we've had it three times this week!).  Yet another thing I'm upset I waited so long to try!  I hope your week is going well! 


girl talk: growing up is not giving up

Let's get one thing straight:  I love myself.  Not in a vain, creepy way, but in a "I'm kinda cool" way.  I can literally think back to several moments in my life and be amazed at my strength and perseverance.  I think a lot of you can relate.  I'm older than about 95% of my friends these days; perhaps it's the curse of living in a college town.  Some of my friends are ten years younger than me, some of them only a few months.  I don't have a lot of friends who are older than me, I never have.  Consequently, I've always tried to retain my youth and "blend in" with my young friends.  

A lot of my friends are still in school, they are still learning about who they want to be and what they want to do in their lives.  I admire them for chasing their dreams.  Some of my friends are newly married, like me, except they are newly married in their 20's which I'm sure feels very different than what I feel in my own marriage.  Everyone is in a different place; trying to make their lives what they want.  

I've always been drawn to younger friends.  My little sister (who is actually only a year younger than me) has always been my best friend.  I was friends with more people in her class in high school than I was with people in mine.  In my 20's, being in the punk scene, I made friends with a lot of people who were always younger than me.  It's just how it's always been.  Until I turned thirty I always wished I was younger, even if it was only by a few years.  When I turned thirty, I realized I liked being my age, that I had some experience, and that's okay.  

I think a lot of people out there think that if you're older, you've given up.  That you've just settled for what you have and that you have nothing else to offer society.  It's always the youth of the world making the changes.  I disagree.  In my own quiet way, I am still making an impact on myself and those around me.  I am still challenging issues that are important to me.  I just don't feel the need to do it on such a large scale like I once did.  I don't feel the need to shout if from the rooftops anymore.  Why?  Because I don't feel I need to prove myself to anyone.  

Here's an example:  In my early 20's, I read the book Cunt.  Great book, by the way, you should read it.  Anyways, I read the chapter about menstruation and how the author felt about giving money to companies for pads and tampons and that she felt it wasn't right.  It really struck a chord in me.  So, for the past ten years I've been making and wearing my own maxi pads. I haven't spent a dime on pads and it's great.  For awhile I felt like I needed to tell all my friends about it, get them on the bandwagon.  And I got a few to join me.  Ten years later, I don't preach about the benefits of doing this, it's just something I do.  I've made it part of my story, in the most natural way.

I hope that, as women, we can see that getting older doesn't mean what it used to mean.  It can mean whatever we want it to mean.  We don't have to be constantly chasing youth, and whatever that means to us.  We can be comfortable in our skin.  We can be happy with our lives.  We can know that we have made decisions that have gotten us to where we are and know that those decisions were ours.  And we can be okay with that and still be a viable part of society.  I no longer chase youth or being younger.  I no longer sit with friends at a table and look at them and say, "Man, I wish I was where they are now."  I no longer feel that being young means that you have more opportunities or fun or whatever.  I know what it's like to be that age. I remember the times I had and I know that I will always have those memories.  Nowadays, I'm happy being me, at 34.  I've got great memories, and I have the ability to change as much as anyone does.  I've realized that growing up does not mean giving up; it means evolving and changing.  It means that you become who are supposed to be.  I have years of experience under my belt and I wouldn't trade that for the world.  It's worth too much and I've fought too hard to get it.