Monday, February 20, 2017

So much going on in my head

I am feeling scattered and unfocused. Yesterday, I was super grumpy.

Today I feel bloated and "ugh".

I sure hope it's my period coming, as I haven't had one since....I can't remember when. Honestly. I think around Christmas time, but I am not sure. It could have been even before that? So is this now the start of menopause for me...? I do feel like my hormones are changing. I can just feel my body is becoming different now. In subtle ways. But the changes are there. Oh well, maybe the period will come.

I STILL have this thrush tongue even though I have now taken, including today, three anti-fungal tablets. I am going crazy with this. It's getting me down. It just makes me feel yukky.

I am now avoiding sugar like the plague. The thing is, the thrush - Candida - does seem to make me crave sugar more. I am thinking about sweet things A LOT - my usual mental fight - but I am trying not to give in.

I wonder if sweeteners also contribute to thrush at all? I have been having quite a bit of sweeteners lately - after giving them up so well before - because on a hot summers day (and it has been HOT AS HELL lately) there is nothing better than something icy cold to drink - like a cool drink of some sort, (Woolies sugar-free drinks) or I make coffee/chocolate frappes in my Nutribullet, but they need some sweetness to not taste gross. I haven't actually had much real sugar, but it was Valentines not long ago, and my darling "husband" (ex) bought me roses and chocolates. I have been trying to restrict the chocolates (they are dark Lindt balls, but you can TASTE the sugar in them) but I ended up having three of them yesterday! I just can't say no to one of those!

I really need to clean up my diet!

I have a lot on my mind to do with my dad: he has left me a pretty good inheritance. I am very lucky. It doesn't mean I will never have to work again - but it is a lovely nest egg that I can invest and hopefully grow for my retirement. Which is great because as things stand today, I have no real retirement policy. I have one little policy with Stanlib - unit trusts - and they are doing ok but they are no where near adequate for retirement.

So, if my dad's house sells for a decent, fair amount then that will help me. His car will sell. And I will get a few of his policies. Out of what he has left me, he has put a trust in place for my son where a big chunk of money will go - which is really really lovely. One thing I can say for my dad, he was a planner. And that is truly going to help me and my son. And now my partner.

But the problem is: I am struggling with feeling like I deserve this. You see, he and I were not exactly close. I mean, we were, but he was old school, where he battled to show his true, real emotions. I longed for that from him. I longed to know the real him and how he truly felt about things. He never really gave me that. He never really divulged his real feelings to me on any topic. He was the type to talk to me about the weather and cricket, for goodness sake! Me, his own daughter!

The fact is, I can't change our relationship now or who he was, but I do know he loved me, and I loved him. He infuriated me but I loved him. And I suppose, thinking about my own son, I would leave every cent I had to him in my will too, even if we were not close. It's not about how close you are with your children, it's the fact that they are your flesh and blood! They are you!

So I have already been to see a financial adviser. With my partner. Gosh, I really am just going to call him my husband, as that is really what he is. We are just not married on paper anymore. Which, actually, is one of the first questions I asked this adviser. Is it better for us to get married or remain divorced but living together? He said, without a doubt, it's better for us to remarry, because in the case of death, the estate automatically rolls over to the spouse if there is no will in place or the will is not actionable for whatever reason. He said it's always better in most situations to have a contract in place that states your relationship.

Soooo, it looks like we are getting remarried!

And I am happy about that. I really am. I said that he and I should, this time round, get married on a boat cruise! Do something totally fun like that. Different and fun. We've done the formal wedding, now we can elope! And, how cool is this? This time round our son can BE at our wedding. Hahahaha.

The thing is, I now am coming into enough money where I don't actually need to stay with my partner for financial reasons. I could actually now set up a life of my own. But I don't want to be on my own. I WANT to stay with my ex-husband, soon-to-be husband. I love him. Yes, he frustrates me, but that is normal. My own son frustrates me. It's totally normal and it shows our bond. I now realise that in our marriage, pre-divorce, I was looking for "perfect". I thought that if I felt frustrated or upset by things he did, that it meant we shouldn't be together. How wrong was I!!! I now realise that there is NO perfect. There is NO such thing. There is only working on your relationship all the time, because you have chosen each other and you want to work on it. This time round, we are committed to that.

So one good thing: this money coming to me is making me realise that my relationship now is REAL and it is what I really want. I always knew that, of course. I wouldn't have moved back here if I didn't, but when you are the partner who is not earning the big money, then you always feel a little dependent. Now, finally, I can contribute real money to our future. It's great. I want to. I want us, as a little family, to feel secure.

This money is also making me think about my future and what I want to DO with the rest of my days. I have the luxury now to plan a bit. I am 38 turning 39 this year. I could live another 40 years. Or more. Or less. But let's estimate around 40 years. That is a looooong time. It's also a short time. But really, it's a long time. I need to make this money work for us and our retirement. Retirement could be awful or it could be great. But talking about this with the adviser made me realise, what do I value? What would I want to spend my money on in retirement?

I am not that fancy, so no big cars or houses for me. In fact, personally, I keep saying to my husband, our house is big enough as it is, in fact, it may be a bit too big already for us, and that when our son is grown up, we should downsize and move into a small flat. Or a complex.

So on that front, no big expenses.

I love to run, do some exercise, and I am sure I will still want to even when I'm older. I may get slower, of course, and change from weights to something else. I may walk instead of run, but I am sure I will want to keep active.

I love writing, and if I ever get the peace and quite, I want to write that novel, dammit. I know, it's not always about peace and quiet, but often it is. Writing something makes a lot more sense when you have time. When you are rushed and stressed, it doesn't seem conducive to writing.

I want to be able to go out for a cup of coffee every single day.

That one above is my number one thing. I think going out for a coffee - and yes, it's really as simple as that - is my all time favourite thing to do. And to do it daily. Or almost daily.

Right now, I feel guilty if I spend the R30 or so odd rands on a coffee every now and then. I don't do it daily, but I easily could. I love it. It's about more than just the coffee, although the taste of "real" coffee (as opposed to the home granules) is much nicer.

For me, it's about the vibe. I love just sitting and observing. Or just sitting, taking a deep breath, and letting someone make something for me for a change, whilst I just relax for five minutes. This weekend I hardly sat down. In between the school outing on Saturday morning, going in to my husband's work and shopping and cooking and doing tons of dishes and cleaning up after the new puppy and disciplining it, I feel beat!

So yes, to walk into a cosy coffee shop where someone just does ALL that needs to be done (boil the water, prepare the thing, wash the cup and spoon afterwards) is a dream. And I get to sit still for that whole time. Bliss. And I get to observe a bit of life outside of my home. I think it's money well spent. I will not feel guilty any more for that. The truth is, I don't go for coffee every day. But when I do, I must just enjoy it and relax and let go of the guilt. I can't be pinching pennies over coffee.

Do I like to travel? Yes, and I would like to do some travelling as we get older. But I am a home body at heart, and I don't want to travel TOO much either. I like being at home. I love my animals and my space. So to me, a planned holiday once a year, or once every two years would be nice. Even just weekend getaways in South Africa are nice. I think travelling within our own country can be wonderful.

I don't really want to do much different than what I do now. I want pets, I want a roof over my head, a car that works, and hopefully my health. I would hope for a grandchild, but that is not my decision to make.

It's interesting times. It's a blessing to think like this.

It's also made me question my current work, my illustration work. I hate it. I am hating it. It's not so much the actual work that I hate, it's how they brief me that I hate. I never really know what some of the ladies want. And they want really complicated images. And sometimes they send me bad resolution images to work from and want them "yesterday", as in, impossible deadlines. I'd love to give up that work.

It's something I need to meditate on.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Progress pics

Pic on left in pink bikini is Oct 2016. Right pic, turquosie bikini is yesterday, which was 12 March 2017

Left: Oct 2016 progress pic. Right is Feb 2017. 
I share my "progress" pics here because I am going to start training properly again today. I don't know how well I will stick to any diet, but looking at these two pics, I look pretty much exactly the same, even though inbetween I went crazy diet wise, so I don't know that diet changes much for me.

I am simply recording where I am now, and let's see. I'd like more definition in my legs, as they are my "fatty" area.

I don't know if I will compete, I want to, but maybe it's too soon to tell.

I must've unknowingly had sugar yesterday. I say unknowingly, because my partner and I ordered the no sugar added Muggachino's at Mugg n Bean, but I believe the second lot we ordered had sugar in them because I went home with such a sore, inflamed gut. My gut is actually tender this morning. My thrush is still there on my tongue too.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Thrush AGAIN! And a new puppy called Nitro.

Oh gosh, I can't believe it, thrush on my tongue AGAIN!

And I know almost exactly what it's from. Skinny Diva spirit cooler drinks. You see, we were expecting a couple (friends of my partner) to come over for a braai, so last weekend I bought a six pack of them. I don't know why. I suppose I thought the new-mom (couple have just had a baby) might like one. I regret buying them now. So anyway, the braai fell through, and so I have had just ONE Skinny Diva a day  since Tuesday. Which totals four. And yesterday I woke up with thrush growing on my tongue again. Which just shows me - there is definitely, definitely a fair amount of sugar in that drink. I had another Skinny Diva yesterday seeing as I had bought and taken an anti-thrush tablet but I know it's not good for me.

This is my bodies way of telling me how bad sugar is. My body is sensitive and doesn't do well with sugar. On the plus side, though, it raised my blood pressure enough to allow me to donate blood again. I am guessing it's from the sugar. Or the fact that I had my son shopping with me. Lol. He talks so much that I end up losing my concentration and forgetting what to buy - and so yes, my blood pressure must go up with him around I am sure. But at least I donated blood safely and didn't feel faint. So I have done two donations recently. I had stopped for a long time due to always feeling faint afterwards, but it seems like I am better now.

I donate because I believe it's the right thing to do. One day if I need a transfusion I will be SO grateful to the people who give up their time and blood.
Meet Nitro! Cool name, I think. 

It's crazy in our house at the moment as we now have another puppy! This new puppy is our older Amstaff's replacement, as he is our main protection. So, in total, we have two puppies, three adult dogs and one cat. Six pets. Gosh. Surprisingly they all get along well. It's actually helpful to have two puppies together as they play together nicely. Before this new one arrived, our Frenchie was taunting the Pekinese and I felt sorry for the poor Peke.

But this is the LAST of new animals for a long time. I am pretty exhausted. And our house smells of puppy pee. I can't wait for them all to be house-trained.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Precious moments

Moving away from diet to motherhood.

The past two nights, I have laid down in the bed with my seven year old just before he goes to sleep and we "talk". He loves it. It's so special. I actually have really enjoyed that time. The first night we did it - just spontaneously - he told me all about the different robotic/sci-fi things he wanted to invent - and I was actually quite blown away by how clever and imaginative he is.

Last night I told him a bit about what I can remember from when I was seven, and he chatted to me about his day at school. This is the blessing: I have a son who WANTS to tell me things. I must not take that for granted. It's not always easy to get a child to talk to you, I mean, REALLY talk to you. It takes true, real listening. I think this is something I want to continue doing with him, as I think it will be a good "habit" for the future, when he really will need to offload his feelings and his day to me.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Feeling good on SOME carbs

So yesterday I ate a few carbs. Yes, some sugar snuck in there in the form of a few bites of cake. It's ok. I only had a little. I then still had salad, chicken and a boiled egg. So I got in protein and veggies. All good. And fat in the form of chicken skin and of course, there is fat in the egg.

And let me report this to myself: I slept SO well. I usually notice that I sleep well on zero carb/low carb - but last night, with just a few carbs, my sleep quality was different - better, I would say. I had a very balanced day eating-wise - not too much of any one thing. I had a glass (yes only one) of wine last night too.

I had such a good day yesterday. And I didn't overeat on any one thing.

I did get stomach pains after the cake bites - I guess my body is shocked by the sugar again. But I didn't freak out. I just knew that they would pass.

So last night I had these really, really vivid dreams. I don't recall dreaming much lately in my low/zero carb state. But last night I dreamed a lot. And I slept SO well. My body felt so happy.

In fact, right now I feel so relaxed and good. I could easily sleep more, but I don't NEED to.

I woke up easily too. And felt good driving Seth to school. Happy.

It's actually NICE to have NO food restrictions at all.

Yes I want to be a kg or two leaner and lighter, and yes, I want to be healthy, but the thing is, I am pretty darn healthy. I now KNOW that sugar is the problem, and so, rather than completely cut it out, just avoid it as far as humanly possible, but allow it now and then.

So I know I am confusing myself but I seem to be a lucky individual for whom moderation really does work, and who CAN eat almost anything she wants. Almost. Not without some limits, but luckily I don't have to go crazy limiting myself.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Meditation Sanity

Today I sat outside, with my cup of coffee and "meditated" again for about half an hour. I put that in inverted commas because I just sat and watched the trees, looked at the sky and got quiet inside.

SO vital.

I need to do that MORE.

I feel ready to tackle the day.

I feel healed inside.

Food is healing, but so is mental clarity. Meditation. Inner space.

Here is the thing with zero carb that I struggle with: mentally, limiting myself so much. I live in a modern world, where there ARE so many nice foods - and "hack" foods too (artificial sweeteners) and wine and nicely cultivated fruit and veggies.

It's difficult to limit the palate and the mind.

I would not want to go back to being a caveman who has to hunt for his food. I would not even want to be a modern hunter-gatherer type. I just want to enjoy my health as far as possible.

Having said all that: I must also be careful that the fear of disease and getting older is not greater than my enjoyment of life. What good is eating zero carb or eating clean or whatever, if I am not enjoying my days?

Sometimes I am far too stressed over what I eat or don't eat.

Sometimes I worry and google too much.

Other times, I get bored. The truth is, I probably need to work. I am an intelligent woman, whose brain is a little wasted. However, I like being home and being home with my child. I like being a hands on mom. I like doing things with him.

I need to accept that I DO live in a modern world where we eat out, where we have foods of agriculture and where things are busy and stressful.

I will just leave this awesome blog post here, where you can read about trying to live your best life in this modern world.