Thankful Thursday is a pause to reflect on my life and all the bounty I have been given. It does not matter what else is going on in my life. Whether I am up or down, gratitude is important to keep at the forefront of my mind. There is always something for which to be thankful.
:: The fruits growing in the orchard and the vegetables growing in the garden.
:: Watching my boy grow from a beautiful child to an amazing little man. Soon he’ll be a big man, but I’ll always have the little boy in my heart.
:: Sharing the joy of writing with my girl. She loves it as much as I do, and her imagination flies!
:: My journal. It is my refuge and my best friend at times. I can be silly and angry and giddy and it absolutely lets me just be.
:: My hair. I love it. It took decades, but eventually I came to enjoy every crazy, curly strand. It’s unique and part of what makes me Pili. I’ve always been obsessed with it, and not always in a good way. Now I just let it be. It will never be mainstream (unless the 80s come back). That’s OK. Nobody else has hair like mine, and I am thrilled with that fact.
So, I wanted to pull up a an old (and dear) subject. One I don’t share very much anymore.
Now, my days of telling people what to eat are over, so I am only sharing what I do for myself and my family. I was a restaurant manager (with the degree to prove it) and then a CrossFit Level I coach, so my involvement with food has spanned almost twenty years.
I love food. Love it!
But, I also use it as an emotional anesthetic.
In my life I have used food to celebrate, to numb myself, to hate myself, to fuel myself, to feel in control and to feel out of control.
Food and I? It’s complicated.
I’ve been on every diet or nutritional plan. I did Slim Fast. My mom talked me into doing the Cabbage Soup diet with her. I was a vegetarian for years. I did the Zone. I did Paleo. I did Flex dieting. I went Keto.
They all worked…somewhat. What none of them addressed was my mind, my heart, my soul, and my relationship with food.
Then, through a keto podcaster, I heard about intuitive eating.
What? Eat what you want? No limits? Trust your body?
That all seemed sacrilegious to me. I had already learned I could not trust my body. Here was a “diet” that advocated doing exactly that. After “falling off” the keto wagon yet again, I looked at the looming holidays and said OK.
So life changing.
For the first time in twenty-five years I ate what I wanted, as much as I wanted.
The first couple of weeks, I was eating bread and cookies and all the things I had denied myself. Every time I told myself I was fine. I was OK. I was allowed. Weeks moved into months and something strange started happening. The bread lost it’s appeal. The cookies went from four or five to one or none. Quite simple the forbidden fruit, once no longer forbidden, wasn’t quite so tempting any more. By the time my Christmas cruise to the Caribbean came around, I was back to eating mostly paleo, high-fat with the occasional sweet treat thrown in. It turns out that’s the way I like to eat, and how I feel best. The few pounds I gained during the initial weeks of intuitive eating came off.
So, after decades of hyper fixation on food, now I just enjoy it. I start every morning with a fat fuel latte (keto). I eat a breakfast of eggs and veggies (paleo). And if I want dried mangos or a croissant, I eat it.
I no longer need to “forgive” myself, because there is nothing to forgive.
In fact, it is only three vegetables right now. Given how much work this property needs to just get it cleaned up, that is all I can handle right now. We have Swiss chard, yellow squash, and zucchini seedling starting to push up through the soil.
In getting the small area ready for our modest kitchen garden, we decided to go for a permaculture approach, it calls for far less weeding, but there is still weeding.
I was out there pulling the individual weeds that fought their way through the layer of hay we had laid out, and it struck me that such a small thing is such a big deal. One small weed doesn’t seem like a lot, but the fact that I am nipping them in the bud, one by one as they pop up, means I won’t have to deal with the later. I won’t be overwhelmed as the garden grows. I will be able to enjoy coming out here for a few minutes each day to water and tend to my vegetables, and not dreading the amount of work that needs to be done.
Small steps are a big deal.
I’ll leave you with the sunset the other day when we went to take the trash out.
Growing up, I have always re-written stories. Long before I knew what fan fiction was, I would close the book on the last page of a story, and imagine myself into that world. I was a princess, befriending the dragon everyone feared and ultimately saving the kingdom. I was the young girl crossing the American west into a brave new world full of hardship and discovery. I was the space pilot, stranded on the enemy ship and trying to find a way back to the rebellion. Those stories shaped me more than anything else in my life. Through books I have lived thousands of lives. I have saved planets, vanquished villains, found my true love, and found my purpose.
There is nothing I like more than a good book.
I’m one of those people who walks into a used bookstore and feels better just breathing in the smell. I can spend hours and hours just drifting along the stacks. I love to touch them. I love the feel of them in my hands.
If I was ever the last surviving human on earth, I would be happy as long as I had books.
As a child, I was shy, painfully so. It was almost debilitating. Books were my refuge to another world where I was brave and beautiful and had a ton of friends. Where I had a sharp and witty comeback to every taunt, and were bullies always lost. My sister, the gregarious one, was my buffer. I always had a book on me, and social discomfort usually found me retreating to a quiet corner and escaping into another world.
I am so grateful for books, in all their forms and genres. Maybe that is why I have long wished to write my own. I am working on that now. I started my first attempt with winning NaNoWriMo last Year. Now I’m looking ahead to Camp NaNoWriMo in July.
Maybe one day my own story will be among the others on the selves.