The Nothing

I am being eaten by the Nothing. What is that? Well, according to anyone who grew up in the 80s it is the ultimate evil that will destroy Fantasia and the beautiful young princess who needs Sebastian’s help…er…sorry, getting a little off track here. But there is a point to this. The nothing in the Neverending Story was the ultimate evil- it was a lack of care and belief that a child had any effect on his or her world.

So I am being eaten by the Nothing.

Like my earlier post on cheating, words have power. The Nothing, for me is what I will say when I try to justify when I step off the path. “Nothing will happen if I skip having a smoothie this morning,” or “Nothing will happen if I don’t do yoga today, right?”

And you know what? I am right. Nothing will happen. Not a damned thing. My weight won’t change, I won’t feel better, I won’t have any movement in my lifestyle. Nothing will, indeed, happen.

But it is also a mental thing. I get wrapped up in this loop and it goes from  once a week with a brush with the nothing, to twice a week, to every day. And what makes matters worse, is nothing does happen. Because I have made enough adjustments to my daily eating habits (Still soda free, still sticking to veg 9 times out of 10, still chemical free), that I won’t gain any weight back. But by evidence of my now-three-week plateau, I will get stuck.

I am stuck.

It started out with Vegas. I wish I could say I stuck to my diet 100 percent while in the Sin City. I didn’t. I had red meat and a lot of seafood. I mean a lot. When I got back, I was dead certian I had gained weight. But I hadn’t. I was still at that 211 weight. Great! My worst fears didn’t come true…or had they? Nothing happened, right? Wee!

Then, last week I turned my foot. Not as bad as I have in the past (I didn’t land in the hospital), but enough where I don’t dare wear high heels for two weeks or so. But that meant my awesome C25K plan went right out the window. So much for starting to run, I can barely walk for ten minutes without my foot throbbing. So now I’m not exercising. at all. Nothing will happen, right?

Nothing has.

My environment hasn’t been helping any, either. I am working- a lot. I am loving what I am doing, but Origins Games Fair is fast approaching along with a ton of work to do with it, my job at J.E.P Contracting, Inc. is speeding up, and another project I am working on is starting to take shape. And that’s just work I get paid for! That doesn’t count my babies, my husband or my LARPing.

Oddly enough, I am still at this weird half-trying phase. For example, I had two parties on Sunday. So Saturday night I spend four hours making a Chemical Free Marinade for the chicken wings, a chemical free Thai peanut sauce for raw, veg Vietnamese spring rolls I also made, a chemical free organic chocolate cake and chemical free buttercream frosting for it. My BFF made an amazing veg white lasagna in honor of Sunday night’s party special guest, London Andrews, but I still feel like I ate like crap.

In the movie, the only way to save Fantasia was to have someone- one single person- believe. I need cheerleaders in my life more than ever. And not lip-service cheerleaders. I need people who will ride my ass if I start to invite the Nothing into my mindset.

Ciao,
Erica

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Personal Update & Plateauing

My grandfather, Walter, died yesterday. This is the second time this has happened, and will happen again, probably sometime over the next few months. Very morbid I know, but the truth. It was true that it was Walter’s time: he outlived two of his three children, two great grand-children, his wife, and most of his friends. I remember being at my cousin’s funeral last year, and looking at my grandfather, and him accepting the condolences, and wondering exactly what it was he thought about everything. Was it old and busted to him? Was there a point in his life when he buried on too many family members in which he became numb?

Unlike Carl, my mother’s father, who will probably die sometime in the next two months (He is on hospice), Walter, who was my stepfather’s father for the record, had his mind fully in tact when he went. It was his body that did not agree with living anymore. With Carl, it is his mind that has given up, and his body will just not let go. Interesting paradox, truth be told.

I haven’t cried yet, and I am not sure that I will. Truth be told, I didn’t cry when my stepfather died, nor when any of my other relatives died. My Aunt believes I am too much like my mother. Some people have called me unemotional- and to them, I laugh. Anyone who spends five minutes with me knows that is the farthest thing from the truth. I am a very passionate, driven person. And the tears won’t bring them back, and they won’t soothe my wounds either. They will however, make me blotchy, runny-nosed and sick to my stomach. Little return on big investment, right?

On other notes: my pee is green. Quite the segue right?! I know! My husband laughed and said it was because of all the green food I’ve been eating lately. I think its because I started a “Stress” vitamin supplement yesterday. C & B Complex, mixed with a little Zinc. I just find it fascinating that its green. I mean like…lime green.

Either way, the avocado and potatoes (not meat and potatoes, remember, I’ve gone veg) of my current Crazy, Sexy lifestyle? Plateaued. Ugh, how I hate that word. Since beginning my whole lifestyle change I am down about 30 pounds, which is great. But I haven’t moved from there in a week.

I knew I would hit this eventually. It was the same spot I got stuck the last time I was dieting. But this, combined with a head-cold and leaving for Vegas in five days, means that instead of letting it get the better of me, I will coast it. That’s right, I am going to ride this plateau and make it my bitch.

So I will be maintaining through  my trip and when I come back, I will be digging in. To what, you might ask? Well, to this: http://www.couch25k.com . That’s right. This Crazy Sexy woman is gonna run three miles.

Okay, I’ll wait until you are done laughing to continue. Yes, I hate walking. Yes, I’ve never run further than to my car in my life. But I need something to break this plateau and I really think that this is it! So when I get back from Vegas, on March 21st, I am starting this program, and I will stick with it, god damn it. If only to prove MYSELF wrong.

I also started using sparkpeople again, but not really for the weight-loss tracking, more to see where my nutrients are coming from and going to. Going as raw as I have been, and making so much of my food from scratch, it is a little harder to track nutrients in my head. And I discovered something rather important: I am shy on protein and carbs. Which might be while I am irritable and sick all the time these days. the solution? More Beans!

Like the Avocado (note: this is now a running gag, and will be beaten into submission), I have had flirtatious relationship with the bean. Black, Pinto, Red, garbanzo, if it was a bean, I was pretty sure it was going to be bad for me. I didn’t trust them, as I had only really been exposed to the second-hand regurgitation of re-fried beans. It was like sloppy seconds, and no one likes sloppy seconds. Not even me.

So I have slowly been mixing it up and playing with them. Dried takes an awful long time to prep, so I bought a few cans this week. My decision: I probably like them more el dante then the rest of the world, but if they aren’t mush, they seem to be pretty good at filling me up. Score, right? And the carbs? I’m working on that. That might be a hurdle to jump for next week. Or when I get back from Vegas. Any ideas? I’d be happy to listen.

There is so much more to ramble about. Work, friends, life. But I think we’re good for now. I’ll leave  you with a poem I wrote for Carl last month. There are lots of inside stories, so if you don’t get it, I’m not offended.

Ciao,
Erica

Dementia

I.

Carl was a smoker
Part of him lived in a cave under the house
Divided to the light and dark, her side and his-
the old leather chair riveted into place with brass brads
A dirty ashtray as tall as her seven year old curiosity, as wide as his palm and melted into the carpet
Piles of half toppled paperwork
A sign of a messy mind is…
Brilliant insanity
All that is left of the inheritance.

II.

Philanthropy is a lesson learned at home
Give Mint
Give Mine
Give summers of laughter
Of a pool so blue it would still be her favorite color twenty five years later
The little home under the forsythia bushes
Stolen Blueberries
The swing made of rope and planks
Tied to heaven.

III.

A raised voice caused ice to form over the surface of imagination
Conversational snoring interrupted by antics of an eight year old
The threat of leather and loss
Enough to make her silent for years to come
Sharp contrast to questions that had no answers
Rhymes
Riddles
Nonsense martinis with double olives
Even the cat could tell the time by the cubes in the glass.

IV.

She went to Duluth and was struck by how blue the water was.
The same color as her son’s eyes
As his
He threatened to send her there so many times
And when she came back disappointed he could only laugh
A small shrug
A wink
It would teach her to stay close to home.
Lesson learned.

V.

This is not how she remembers you.
She remembers roses every week,
Seven months swollen with her smallest girl,
A screaming match sending the florist running.
She remembers love,
She remembers the good times,
She remembers the day they met,
But still holds the funeral vigil
While he sleeps.

VI.

He doesn’t say much these days.
The words have gotten too complex for translation
From brain to mouth seems like so much work
And he is so very tired
Well aware of the heat in which he burned
Has melted reality to his satisfaction.
Now, he is content to look the other way
Give the babies a small smile,
And keep his last words to himself.

-EAG

Erica versus the Avocado

Avocado. Oh how there is sonnets written about the avocado. I could wax poetic myself about it…if I had every really tried one. That’s right, I am…or rather was…an avocado virgin. Like so many virgins before me, I let avocado get to first base with guacamole and decided it just wasn’t for me.  I have never bought one, I have never really eaten one.

 

So when I picked up CSD I decided now is my time. I will try the Avocado! I went to my winter fruit stand and zelously bought 20 dollars worth of veggies…including two avocados. Well, the stand I went to they pick the produce for you.

 

They were rock hard.

 

And so they went in the bottom of my veggie drawer. Then one night, I had an ephiphinay. I wanted an avacado and spinach smoothie! Wait, I still had avocados in the fridge. Were they bad? It had been a week….I rush to the fridge and….rock hard. Okay. Maybe they were really unripe when I got them. They are supposed to be soft, right?

 

And a  week later, they were still rock hard. So I opened one. Nope, still hard. Um. Okay. What now? Well, my google-fu is strong, so I went to the trusty handy dandy interwebs and googled the avocado. Apparently they will ripen if left at room temp.

 

Okay.

 

So I pull the (now two week old) avocados and put them in my onion basket- and promptly forget about them. Until I am reaching for my last onion and ….oh hey, there’s an avocado or two under the now-empty bag of onions.

 

Ew. It squished.

 

It would be two weeks later before I tried again. This time, I bought them from my local grocery store where I could touch them, and I chose a couple. And i knew to leave them out, because they were still sorta hard.  Then I promptly forgot about them. After all, I don’t like avocado, right?

 

That was four days ago. Yesterday, however, I took myself to a Vietnamese restaurant. I love eating at this place, it is so yummy and the soups are to die for. A couple of veggie Gou Coin (Rice paper wrapped veggies and tofu) and a big bowl of veggie and rice noodle soup and…what is this?

 

They have smoothies.

 

What is this?!?!

 

They have avocado smoothies.

 

I stare at the menu. The menu stares blankly back.

 

And when the waitress asks me what I want, I declare war: AN AVOCADO SMOOTHIE.

 

The nods, smiles and wanders off, no doubt thinking I am a strange random white chick eating alone at an ethnic restaurant ordering random things off the menu.  But I am suddenly nervous. What if I don’t like it. What will it taste like…why am I wasting 2.75 on something I don’t like!?

 

But when the concoction is placed in front of me it is a pretty pale green with dots of ice in it. I eye it, and take a sip. It was a TKO people. Avocado won the day, for it was the sweetest, yummiest thing I had ever tasted. I asked her what was in it – Milk, Condensed Milk, and avocado. That’s it…I nearly giggled with joy. I could replace the milk and condensed milk with almond milk and a little agave and…that was it. That was my newfound breakfast smoothie.

 

They had won.

 

We are Avocado of Smoothie. You will be blended. Resistance is futile.

 

I threw out my juicer

I have to wonder, will that get me kicked off CSL? Just kidding! Well, about the wondering, not about throwing out my juicer.

 

I know, that is sacrilegious. But, there was a reason, and it was in the CSL spirit in which I did it. So I will explain…no that is too much, let me sum up (points for recognizing the quote!)

 

Anyway, I am a second-hand buyer. My journey to where I am today in my lifestyle change really started with that. The idea that we use too much in our lives, why buy more? Why encourage people to create more things that we only throw away? I very rarely buy new anything- clothes, shoes, appliances, etc.

 

So when I started CSD/CSL on Jan 18th, I wanted a Juicer. I scoured my second hand haunts: Sally’s, Savers, even a couple of tiny thrift shops and church sales. I wanted a masticating juicer, of course, but I only found centrifugal ones.  Okay, fine. I settled on one. $6.00, probably made in the 90s. Black and decker though, a good name. Had all the parts and the manual, a good second-hand find.

 

And it was terrible. When I started blending, and wasn’t in the mood for pulp, I’d use a mesh strainer and gather the juice and use the pulp by mixing it with hummus and eating it on bread for a very hearty snack. But with this juicer the pulp went everywhere and I didn’t bother saving it. It took forever, I had to babysit it, so by the time my juice was ready I was running out the door.

 

Then I didn’t want to clean it.

 

Then It wasn’t clean so I wasn’t making juice with it.

 

Now I wasn’t drinking smoothies OR juice. I had a juicer, why would I make a smoothie?

 

Three days of this and I realized what had happened, I threw it in the trash. The juicer had become an obstacle to my lifestyle. Kris Tweeted today that: “Choosing a juicer is like choosing a mate – it has to work with your lifestyle for the long haul.” And it sparked me to recount this to you and myself. Why? Because it was the exact reason I tossed it out. It wasn’t what I wanted. And like a bad boyfriend, I kicked it to the curb.

 

I am still hesitant to buy retail a masticating juicer…I might try craigslist….

 

Wish me luck in my search for a true Juice-Sole Mate!

Ciao

Erica

 

Success & Failures

Well, I am about to embark on week three of attempting to integrate the CSD into my life before I begin hardcore on the cleanse. I am happy to report I found a juicer (CHEER), at a second hand store. It is a masticating juicer, and its probably not the most peppy juicer. But its a juicer, which is a win.

So far, my successes:
1) No soda!
2) More water (this is a huge win for me)
3) Green juice daily!
4) Tons of raw in my diet
5) Removing red meat from my diet
6) Doing Yoga every night

So far, my failures:
1) Removing all meat from my diet
2) Doing Yoga every Morning
3) getting to bed at 10 PM
4) Meditation

My To-Dos
1) Get an Enema kit & start them daily
2) Pick two days a week to do a little more yoga
3) Contact Amazon.com and figure out what to do about my kindle issue and review the cleanse

I swear I’m not putting it off. I just don’t want to set myself up for failure. HOWEVER, the clock is ticking for me. I leave for 7 days in Vegas, and I know that is going to be a challenge if I haven’t done the cleanse yet. I love eating out, so it is usually a challenge in general, but Vegas is the buffet capital of the universe. I love eating in Vegas….any tips for while I’m out there?

I am proud of my successes and my failures…well I need to make some decisions. Either I will keep to meat once a day, under 4 oz…or I will try to go cold turkey again, I don’t know. The yoga in the morning thing is a little more difficult. I have never, ever, ever ever been a morning person. I love to sleep, I hate getting up and I already have to get up at 6 AM for work, and even that extra 15 minutes makes me whimper and curl into a ball. The meditation is wrapped into the going to bed thing. If I get off the computer at 9:30 I should have enough time to meditate & do yoga. But its getting me off the computer at 9:30 that is the issue.

Well, wish me luck.

Ciao,
Erica

Excitement

You know when you start down a new road you sort of look for reasons to turn back. Oh it is too rough, oh it is too dark…oh there are too many obstacles. Starting this new lifestyle has been part of that. But I am also pleasantly surprised when things work out…when you expect a tree to be impossible to crawl over…and you find there is a hole in the trunk big enough to crawl through.

I found that yesterday morning. I have to admit for all my purchasing of fresh food and organic munchies and eating salads, I was hesitant to blend anything leafy. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. I didn’t want to hear my husband say “see, told you this was a bad idea”.

I was determined to find a good breakfast shake though, so I tried a couple handfuls of spinach (my favorite raw leafy), a half a cucumber, juice of an orange, and a little turbano for taste…and…

I love it. I mean I really, really love it. I can’t wait to try it in juice form, because I’m not a big fan of the chunky-ness. But it tasted so good, so fresh.

So I’m excited!

Cheating

Okay, so I had an Epiphany in the shower this morning. Its where I have all of my good Epiphanies.

Cheating. My husband and I decided long ago that we would eliminate this word from our marriage. There is no such thing as cheating. If he needs something, whether it is someone else, he tells me, and either I’m good with it or I’m not. It takes the thrill out of it, sure, but it also makes our life, and our marriage less stressful. I am happy & comfortable in my marriage skin.

But what about my everday skin? Whenever I have talked to my friends recently about the idea of doing CSD they always cringe when I get to the word “Diet”. Oh its a “diet”. Its a lifestyle change, really, and how do you cheat on a lifestyle?

You don’t. Just like having an open marriage is a lifestyle, having a diet is a lifestyle. And I’ve decided to remove the word “Cheating” from that lifestyle. It assumes bad and dirty things…like oooh, you CHEATED. Bad girl, go to your room. No, if I have some cheese on my salad, I didn’t cheat. I had cheese. Its not a bad thing, its just a different thing. Its not what the other person on CSD decided to do, but it isn’t wrong. Its me. And hopefully, by eliminating that idea of the dirty cheating, I will eliminate some of the temptation.

After all, we all love temptation now and again.

Ciao,
Erica