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Enough is enough

I found myself perched on my favorite corner of the couch, going over my to-do lists in one of the rare times that baby C had fallen into a deep sleep. I saw the miles of numbered items, just sitting there waiting to be crossed off. My eyes shut and my mind drifted to how I didn’t feel well…how I wanted to lose the baby weight by such-and-such date…how I wanted to impress my husband with this new recipe/meal/outfit…how I wanted to be a better Christian (as if there is such a thing!) etc… the list went on. It then occurred to me: at the center of all of these thoughts, it all came down to how I wasn’t feeling as if I was enough.

Hence my thought: enough is enough. 

It’s so easy to buy into the feeling in the haze of stress, ever fluctuating hormones, and the general attitude of society screaming ‘bigger, better, faster…’ that’s enough. 

In fact, the root of so much meanness between women especially lies in feeling jelous and inadequate. We compare our clothes, or socioeconomic status, our bodies, and just about everything in between. We meet up for hangouts at coffee shops and leave with an LAX airport’s worth of baggage.  I’ve felt this way hundreds of times. 

If this is you, and you resonate with this: friend, we have the wrong friends.

We should seek out ladies and partners that build us up and exhort us to look beyond that shallow lens. None of this will matter in the eyes of Jesus. In fact, Jesus has made us in His image, which is absolute perfection and completely unique. It sounds cliche to say embrace yourself, but challenge yourself to go deeper. Think about it…

Someone loves your little quirks and the way your eyes light up when you talk about what you love.

Someone observes the way you look at flowers and nature and scramble to get pictures of the things dearest to your heart.

Someone loves how your hair falls around your face, and how you blush when you laugh.

But before we can truly give and exist healthily in a relationship, we have to fall in love with being thankful for our qualities and finding ways to put them to use and give back to another person.

Not fall in love with ‘ourselves.’ 

For many women who struggle with insecurity, it may feel near impossible to fall in love with oneself. It creates a turbulent and viscious cycle of trying to be okay in your own skin, getting angry and self centered, which turns into depression and self loathing. If you’ve struggled with being torn down from another person, or physical or mental illness, it is easier to slip into this cycle. This cycle can be avoided by choosing to appreciate and discover who God made you to be, with the focus on serving other people within that scope.

Challenge yourself with choosing thankfulness for all that makes you unique. How can you use one of your unique qualities to pour into others today?

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To the mama on bedrest…

Pregnancy is the absolute greatest blessing. You get the privilege of raising and creating a smaller version of yourself, along with the drastic responsibility of making sure you do your job well, as you have been called.

However, pregnancy comes with its own sets of complications. Physical and mental. I struggled with issues that had me on bedrest for seven out of the nine months I was pregnant. I had never been angrier or more depressed leading up to this point.

I could only leave bed for once weekly showers and bi-weekly appointments and checks, not to mention hospital trips for preterm labor almost weekly and being told several times that baby C may not make it and I shouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place.

In bed, in the quiet, when the house is still and everyone is at work, is perhaps the least peaceful environment you can be in. That’s when the anxiety and depression come to play. There is almost a sense that this is your fault and you could be doing something more to stop this from happening.

I had an absolutely, awful, traumatic pregnancy. The furthest thing from the ethereal, zen, affirmation filled wall experience you can get. It is perfectly okay to not be in love with your pregnancy or birth experience. Mine ended in fetal distress, heart decels, and an emergency c-section even though the doctors swore he was fine…he wasn’t. And I knew.

The point of this post is one of acceptance. You may be in the same position I was in of months ahead of you of bedrest and not working. You may be looking at it with tears in your eyes and anger in your heart. This is okay. 

We must move past that though if we plan to get through this darn thing – all nine months of it – with a happy and healthy baby at the end and a happy and healthy mama too…physically AND mentally.

Acceptance is key. Understanding is crucial. We choose bedrest for the sake of our health and our baby’s well being. We choose to rest. And in this culture, that is extremely hard to do. We choose to be brave in the face of adversity by having peace about our situation. But most of all, we take it one day at a time.

Allow the time to pass you by. Stop looking at it as a countdown clock, mama. You speak life into that situation and talk to your little one about how much you love them. About how you’ll take them on walks to see the stars in our galaxy, and to beaches to feel the soft sand in their toes and build sandcastles with. Although it may be hard, we need to bring peace to our situation where there is none.

And above all, seek peace from the One who invented time. Jesus feels your pains and your fears for this little one he blessed you with. He holds both of you in His hands. He walks with you through every moment from now and even after its all over. He loves deeper than anyone else could. and He chose you to be this child’s mama.

Rest in this.

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The Restless Anxiety of Chronic Lyme Disease

The familiar rush of anxiety, pain, and nausea pushes its way through my body, starting from my ankles and pushing up through my brain. The tightness in my chest follows, along with the shakes and immediate depression.

Why do I feel so afraid? I’ve felt this for years now every single day. 

Even if you have been declared in remission, it is still such a long road to fight. The secondary co-infections, bodily issues, and hormonal malfunctions are too much to handle at times.

So many of us have sustained countless surgeries, piccline insertions, antibiotics that turn our bodies inside out… so why are we still so afraid of these rushes? Of the doctors?

Lyme patients are so sensitized to the bodily symptoms that we know no other sensation. We spend our days fighting to be heard against a broken and corrupt medical system that just won’t listen. We are sad over the loss of bodily autonomy and scared of what’s to come with the ever-changing illness. We have fought tooth and nail through each day for years to try to make something of ourselves in spite of the illness. We work with co-workers, live with family members, and talk with spouses who don’t understand our limitations at times. And still, we expect ourselves to be better and to fight through the moment peacefully.

While this is ideal, this is not always pracical. And that’s okay. 

You didn’t do the dishes for the third day in a row? That’s okay. 

You can’t bring yourself to shower after a full week from the reaction that follows? That’s okay. And we love you anyway. 

The house is a wreck and you break down and cry the moment your husband walks in the door? That’s okay. Marriage is about supporting one another. 

The only thing you did today is force yourself to breathe deeply through the unrelenting symptoms? You are a warrior. And that is more than okay. 

Release the expectations you put on yourself. We are trying to heal and trying to be heard. Take every small thig that you can do and count it as a win. We are all rooting for you and are in this together. 

Together, we will find a cure. But for today, let yourself be still. 

*Graphic courtesy of http://www.lemonandlyme.com*

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Thyroid Disease – Does Diet Matter?

For those of us who struggle with hypo & hyperthyroidism we understand how hard the daily battle is. You have absolutely, less than none energy. As in: -3827%. However, the day’s tasks must be done. We have jobs to do and families to care for. We have bills to pay and bosses to please. So you get out of bed and your feet hit the floor – and the anxiety and air hunger begins. Your mind begins to wander and you begin to feel lightheaded. You were holding your breath again. You feel shaky and continue to get ready anyway. You barely slide into your desk gripping that sugary Starbucks, knowing it isn’t great for you, but existing solely in survival mode.

sound familiar? 

I’m looking at myself as I write this. I have had hereditary thyroid issues since I was 14, complicated by Lyme and other health issues. I know that the destruction it causes is not a joke. So why do health professionals prescribe you a pill and tell you to go live your life? The pill provides maybe a small boost of energy in the first few hours but you’re right back on the floor at lunch hour.

I’ve been where you are, friend. I literally would call my mother daily from the fetal position behind my closed office door. No amount of changing the medication made a long lasting difference…

The key to long term management of a thyroid problem (either hyper, hypo or Hashi’s) lies in diet and stress management. You heard me. The deadlines. The pressure. The venti caramel macchiatos with add shots and extra syrup… those days have to be over. Or at the very least, tackled with the least amount of stress possible.

Having thyroid dysfunction in either arena completely throws off your hormones, which puts added stress on your adrenals – dumping harmful cortisol (stress hormone) all over the place…clean up on aisle 9.

You may be thinking – I can’t relax. I’ll literally die from the panic. I cannot handle being at rest because once I stop I turn into a skid mark. 

Yup. That’s the taxed body and the overdone adrenals talking. And they are wrong. You will be able to relax again. But first, the diet change has to happen so that the inflammation and imbalance in the body can regulate itself.

Mayo clinic admits some thyroid issues can stem from a lack (or too much) of iodine in the diet. They can also come from overuse of soy in the diet, which is very easy to do in our preservative-centered culture in America.

The following are common reasons you may be struggling with thyroid issues, either too little or too much of it:

Hypothyroidism (too little): 

  1. Too little iodine in the diet.
  2. Too much soy, gluten, dairy, or other inflammatory foods in the diet (including processed foods.)
  3. Hereditary causes in genetics.
  4. Cancers, autoimmune disorders, or nodules disrupting the thyroid’s rhythm.
  5. Certain drugs and medications.

Hyperthyroidism (too much): 

  1. Autoimmune disorders,  specifically Grave’s disease.
  2. Hereditary by genetic factors

Hashimotos (fluctuating): 

  1. Hereditary by genetic factors
  2. Hormonal swings (i.e. from pregnancy)
  3. Too much iodine
  4. Radiation exposure

While some thyroid issues  cannot be cured, they can be manages by a proper diet and excercise regimen. I’ll be writing scientifically backed articles and meal plans to help in dealing with these issues.

References

Nippoldt, T. (N.D.). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/expert-answers/hypothyroidism-diet/faq-20058554

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I’m not in love with my husband…

I'm not in love with my husband. And I'll tell you when I knew.

Baby C had a problem this morning and we had to promptly rush him to the emergency room. During this time it was very stressful, as he couldn’t stop vomiting and screaming but was hungry at the same time. Conflicting for a tiny baby. My husband and I began to bicker from the stress and from there, hurtful feelings and words started to fly.

It was then that I knew I was not in love with him.

Being “in love” with a person naturally indicates the opposite may happen: falling out of love.

My husband and I have had some severe fights, fought the distance of loving each other across the country, and moving him here to our state. I would never dream of leaving him despite my anger at the time. But yet, I fear him walking out on me every time I make a mistake.

Perhaps this is societal conditioning or a result of my own perfectionistic tendencies. As women, we need to remind ourselves that this is not the case with our husbands.

On that day where we stood at that altar with tears in our eyes, we pray. We dedicate our hearts, tattered and torn from prior lovers who mistreated and tossed us aside, to our other halves. We smile through the tears of joy, and we promise.

Marriage is a picture of unconditional love. Like God’s Love for the church and for his children.

We don’t need to live in shame and fear when we make a mistake.

We can walk freely despite our anger and come to a resolution in forgiveness with our spouse.

We are not “in love.”

We are unconditional love displayed in two human beings. We are eachother’s halves and teammates. For now, and for the end of time.

And that is, perhaps, the best love story that’s ever been told.

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Why Go Gluten Free?

Why Go Gluten Free?

Most of us are familiar with falling victim to the ‘carbs of wrath’ over holidays, special occasions, or just out of sheer exhaustion. Whether you’re battling inflammation or health issues, or simply tired from the 40-hour work week, eating clean is not easily attainable. Carbohydrates, specifically the ‘white carbohydrates’ such as gluten (found in bread, pasta, and pastries), are general fallbacks in many daily diets that can upset the body balance despite eating ‘clean.’

Gluten is damaging for so many people, specifically those struggling with thyroid issues, mast cell activation, Lyme disease, diabetes, MTHFR mutations and general inflammation issues.

According to an article published in Endocrine Connections, “In most patients who strictly followed a 1-year GFD [gluten free diet], there was a normalization of subclinical hypothyroidism, suggesting that in distinct cases, gluten withdrawal may single-handedly reverse the abnormality.” (54). The article goes on to explain that following a gluten free diet regardless of what thyroid disease one suffers from can reverse the autoimmune factor of the disease that flows from diet.

Hundreds of other peer-reviewed articles support the link between gluten, inflammation and autoimmune in chronic illness. You can read up on my favorite articles under Resources.

Axing gluten in the modern-day diet can be difficult, but worth it. Check out my thirty day diet plan for thyroid rehabilitation and reset! Complete with snack selections and easy-to-make recipes for the on-the-go lifestyle, this plan gently introduces the gluten free diet change so it can be easily implemented and affordable!

Lerner, A., Jeremias, P., & Matthias, T. (2017). Gut thyroid axis and celiac disease. Endocrine Connections, 6(4). 52-58. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5435852/