OMG! What are you doing?

Sorry I didn’t have the time (or the energy) to answer you when you saw me at the grocery store/church picnic/birthday party/wedding………

I suppose instead of telling you “a bit” when you asked me how much weight I lost, I could have told you that I have lost about 60 pounds since July of 2013.

But I think it’s weird that you asked me, or at least it makes me feel weird. I don’t know how to socially talk about something so personal.

So – here is the reply to the increasingly common question:

“OMG! What are you doing?”

I get professional help – medically. 

Everybody is different – and every body is different! What works for me may not work for you – save time, money, and energy and get professional help!

Several years ago, after watching several compelling documentaries (Food Matters, Food Inc., Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, The Future of Food, Forks Over Knives, The Truth About Food, Hungry for Change – and a few more) I became a plant-based, “beans and greens”, vegan.

Meaning: I was doing it “right”. I didn’t rely heavily on processed veganized versions of my favorite foods (though I did make a great vegan pizza).

I thought I was making the right decisions for my body. It made sense. I felt better for a little while. And then… nothing.

After visiting his practice for pain I had from plantar fasciitis, and debilitating lower back/hip pain because of something with my piriformis, I started seeing Dr. Tom at Natural Medicine Clinic for Nutritional Counseling.

Dr. Tom is patiently leading me down a very windy road.  What he reminds me of often, is what I want to share with you:  This is a process. There is not one simple answer. There is no quick fix.

He has led me in my diet, suggested exercise, prescribed supplements, and prevented surgery.

And for the most part – I obey him. I trust him. I know that he knows more than me, and more than what I read on WebMd. He is worth every penny spent in his office.

On a personal note: You will never find a more hope filled, honest, sincere, patient and caring man to be your doctor. He is the only doctor who has never made me feel shame for being fat. He believed me when I told him I ate healthy and exercised. He has been with me through tears of joy, and as the pendulum swings, yelling in frustration.

On a professional note: He is a fantastic Dr..  Aside from the personal note above:  He knows his stuff! He almost immediately (correctly) diagnosed me with a thyroid disorder that every other doctor, my entire life, had missed. Dr. Tom then recommended that I go to an Endocrinologist for a second opinion. I did, only to be told “You look like you are doing great, I wouldn’t change or add to anything your Natural Dr. is doing!”  Dr. Tom has been correct on each diagnosis that he has given me, and has provided me with the labs results to “prove it”.

You need to find someone who knows what they are doing, and someone you trust. Trusting means being compliant. Obey.

I exercise!

Do something that makes you happy.

We all know I don’t like the gym!

But, I found something I really love – Boxing.

I’m HOOKED (pun intended)! I love the structure of the class. The cost is totally reasonable, and the trainers are encouraging and attentive. I am not quite ready for a cross fit intensity, and am over just being at a gym, so this was a perfect fit. It’s 15 minutes of “warm up”, 8 rounds of boxing/kick boxing with a minute of Active rest (lunges swats sit-ups etc) in between and then 15 minutes of stretching. And it is a great work-out. The energy is fantastic!

And, I still go to a gym to do Dr. Tom’s recommendation: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

I get professional help – spiritually/emotionally.

Don’t believe everything you think.

I don’t have the koyach to get into it all right now, but it’s really important to have a personal (and professional) network of spiritual/emotional support. It is impossible to seek physical healing without dealing with the spiritual/emotional aspect of the process. The body is intricately entwined with the soul and the spirit.

This whole process has opened old wounds and created new ones. There are about 50 unwritten blogs as evidence.

I have to resist the temptation to isolate.

I could not have made it through any of this without my friends. Their love, patience, encouragement and faithfulness has been used by God to sustain me in my weariness.

I could not have made it through any of this without professional counseling/inner healing. I am grateful to have Pastor Steve Pennell and his wife Sarah.

I have changed my relationship with food. 

Every bite either fights disease or fuels it – choose wisely.

These changes have required alot of learning, alot of cooking, and alot of saying “No, Thank You.” But, I can assure you, it is all worth it.

After our first Nutritional Counseling appointment Dr. Tom suggested that I radically change my diet. No more vegan.

I remember him saying something along the lines of” “You may be saving the animals but you are killing yourself.”

Yikes! I now eat meat.

It’s Paleo-ish. I hesitate to say that, because it is not just bacon and meat.

The gist of it is : Meats, Fruits, Veggies. Healthy Oils.

Some people can tolerate nuts and seeds.  Me? Not so much.

After a few months on my new eating plan, things still weren’t progressing as expected so Dr. Tom ordered more specialized testing to see what foods my body was reacting to.  I am not allergic to these foods in an “eat them and break out in hives” way, but they cause issues for me internally, one of which being inability to lose weight.

I know you are curious – so here are all 32 foods I had stopped eating:

Those beans I loved as a vegan? My body was still reactive to them, even 6 months after eating any! (That’s not good!)

I still avoid several things on this list, mainly: wheat, eggs, dairy, yeast, beans.

Some things I have reintroduced successfully, other things (coffee) didn’t come up, but are problematic for me.

Again – every body is different.

Here are some of my favorite food resources:

I could write a whole blog about how whole30 (and whole9) has changed my life. In a nutshell, it’s a 30 days reset for your relationship with food. And they are nice, and snarky, and smart. And they offer a daily email for each day of the whole30. Check it out. Their book “It Starts with Food” breaks down the science of it all in really easy to read, and understand terms.

Her blog and book are amazing. And she introduced me to my favorite gadget ever – The Spirilizer to make Zoodles (zuchinni ribbons to replace noodles)

Dawn (Dr. Tom’s wife) “healthifies” our favorite goodies! She has created me “Julie-compliant” recipes. I love being her taste tester, and everything I have tasted has been great!

Recipes and knowledge galore!

So, there it is: a condensed version of “What I have been doing!”

The best is yet to come! 

Julie’s random roller coaster… california edition….

This week I have been in LA for an Urban Youth Workers Institute conference 

Right now I am supposed to be writing in my new free Living the Legacy  journal about my time here and putting together a practical plan to “Living the Legacy” , but I am blogging instead because if I think about anything important at this point, I just might cry again today…

Just know that my brain is fried and I have had no time to process or reflect the real stuff  intentionally, I have been going from breakfast to small workshop to big main session to small workshop to lunch to small workshop to big main session to small workshop to dinner to small workshop to big main session  to worship to “bed” for the past several days, I hardly know what day it is, I haven’t had my phone with me all week, I have been sick from being sick last week plus interesting food adventures, jet lag never set in… it’s well past midnight west coast time, and I leave in 4 hours and my brain is spinning, and I don’t feel like sleeping…..

buckle up, and enjoy the ride on Julie’s random roller coaster… California edition..

Why did I need to stop in North Carolina to get to California?

I think the “glamour” of LA is all media hype. Wrong judgement I’ve been told, it was based on just visiting the airport …

California is beautiful…. mountains, and soft grass, and purple flowered trees, and roses everywhere.. I am growing to appreciate the smell of Gardenia, and Jasmine…

I love In-and-Out Burger, so much so that we had it almost everyday here, it’s inexpensive and the toasted bun won me over…. but there is a reason I know it is called In-and-Out Burger, and it has nothing to do with quick customer service…. They have bible verses on their wrappers, and I am ok with that because they don’t sell clothing that I think is slightly skanky and put a bible verse on the bag, and I have a critical heart sometimes…

I took my silver ring off of my left hand ring finger and put it on my right hand because I didn’t want Mr. “you could be my husband because you love Jesus and love kids and you are here so you must be someone who might be my husband” guy wouldn’t think that I am married… and then I refused to go to speed dating…

I almost really got a tattoo tonight… 

I am becoming that girl who carries her Nalgene bottle around with her so I always have water (thanks to Sharon for always remembering what seat it was under)…

This lip balm I got was certified 58% Organic… I don’t even know what that means…

I like being barefooted so much that I am getting ok with my feet being dirty even though I scrub them, and I am almost ok with me thinking that other people maybe thinking that I am dirty because my feet are “dirty”… I’m not, even if they “are”

I over packed books because I didn’t consider that I wouldn’t have time to read…

I under packed clothes because I didn’t consider that I spill stuff on myself every time I eat…

All leadership books are 90% the same just refonted and repackaged… when the people who keep buying them start implementing them – then what?

I went from “losing” the free books we accumulated, to having extra?

I will eat almost anything if it is free, even a few dry nonoatmeal raisin cookies.

I think that it is wonderful when guys hold doors open for women, really hold them open not a kinda just keep it from hitting you as I storm through, and I told some random young guy that today that I appreciated real gentlemen, he smiled and kinda chuckled.

I think I talk to every person I make good eye contact with, or feel like talking to for whatever whim moves me at that moment. I love making contact with people, and making them smile, or laugh.

I ate Mexican soup with pig skin in it, and by ate, I mean a spoonful, and will never again, and by never I mean unless that’s what God’s plan is, and I hope not, at least the soggy, slimy, chewy pig skin and intestine part.

A speaker guy dropped the F-bomb in one of the sessions, and it wasn’t vulgar,or slang, or just because, and I am ok with it, even though I know God is refining my speech, and it was “impure”…

I want to be free from my ethic dilemmas in my head –  thinking I am bad for my thinking it is ok for a “Christian Speaker Guy” to drop an F bomb, but I have a problem that there were burned CDs in the prayer room, of signed copy-written Christian music, with a label on it “Leave in here, if you want your own copy of this CD email”…

I have alot of “issues” about non-essentials, for what I think are good reasons – but I don’t want to die fighting the wrong battles, on the wrong hills.

I want to start journaling, for real – this time.

I don’t know what happens in my head from filling in the blank on sermon notes, to the notes in the margin, it would be neat to see a map of how my brain fire-wires these connections that are profound to me.

I need to re-write, and reprocess, and reread notes so soon after things like this, because I know that if I had written down what I knew to be true from God to me through conferences or sermons in the past, I wouldn’t have to revisit the same thing over and over.

I am sick of the carousel, as beautiful as the horses are, I am sick of the circle, and want take a ride on paths of those before me and trail blaze a new one for others to follow.

Ok this is getting to not fluffy for tonight…