In 2013, my mother traveled to Jamaica. She purchased a knitted swimsuit for me that was in the design of the Jamaican flag. Unfortunately, it was unable to fit. I comforted myself by saying I would give it to a smaller friend with a frame that could appreciate the suit. Fast forward to last Sunday morning. The sun rose, and I realized that I was beach bound. Since so much weight has dropped off me since February, I decided to try it on. Not only did it fit, but it looked good on me. It gave me such joy to wear it and enjoy the wind on so much of my skin.
These days bring me a lot of attention. Coworkers pull me to the side and ask me what I am doing. They want me to share the secret. Several people have begun dieting because of what they have seen with my body. Doors are simply held open for me wherever I go. It is a whole new world. Cooking has also become very important as I’ve picked up new tricks to keep myself well nourished.
When I cook my dinner, I pack my lunch before I eat. There are tupperware cases of salad laying around in case I do not have time to chop first thing in the morning. The microwave is only used at work, and water is everywhere. Water bottles travel back and forth to work and there are water jugs in my office if a refill is needed.
It took over my life like a ten foot wave. Greens. Plain meat. Quinoa. Water. This has been my standard meal for about seven weeks now. I have done more consecutive days of cooking than I care to remember. It was only supposed to last for six weeks. However, one sandwich caused a major relapse and signaled that the diet must continue indefinitely in order to combat a lifetime of poor eating.
One would think that I miss eating whatever I want. The fact of the matter is that I feel thankful for the change. It was abrupt. The lack of warning meant that I did not have time to overthink it or take a long time to prepare. It was black and white; do it or remain unhealthy. Period. The side effects have been life changing.
Weight has dropped off my body. Pants hang of my shrinking frame. A lot of attention is bestowed upon me wherever I go. While confidence has always been a strong point for me, it has increased. The way I approach people is very different from before. If I have something to say, it is said without hesitation. Wine is something that I do miss and the occasional cup of coffee would be really nice. When I think about the history of Diabetes in my family combined with the unhealthy components of foods that I enjoy, it just seems to make sense that this diet turn into more of a lifestyle change. It is strict. However, within its boundaries, I have found a new sense of freedom.
The cooking continues along with my exploration of green veggies. Food tastes different to me now. I no longer eat for pleasure. I eat for survival. My body has proven to me that my eating alone can determine the state of my health. There are different textures in a salad. There is more to it than just mere grass. Yogurt is my best friend and water is simply a staple. It is possible for me to dine in fine restaurants. It just means that there are a lot of specifications for the chef. Protein and greens are my friends.
Forty looks real good on me. My diet has one more week left on the clock, and I look good. These days find me wanting to have a very soft feminine look. I have been invited to a wedding which has caused a massive outfit consideration. The perfect dress finally appeared this evening, and I said yes. Make-up, shoes, and jewelry have also fallen into place. Through the power of technology, two friends were able to give their input. Luckily, both of them always had the same opinion on each ensemble.
My first Friday night in the 40s finds me surrounded by shopping bags and tissue paper. My fridge is filled to capacity with food that I cooked for my consumption this week which includes: quinoa, chicken, and broccoli. The wine and desserts have been set aside for a more appropriate time; saving them for a special occasion. Scandal reruns are running on loop as normal on Netflix for me. A random text arrives every now and again. My water is flavored with apple cider vinegar. The roses need to be thrown away. It is nice and quiet…but I miss my popcorn…..
This new book brings me a lot of excitement. Many life events will take place in this decade. I plan to marry the love of my life, and give birth to a bouncing baby. Why, I have already started planning the nursery. While I chose not to make any goals for 2017, it has been hard to stay in the moment as usual. My future feels so very bright and filled with happiness that I have never thought possible before. The idea of me being married or with a family of my own has never been a lasting thought until now. My heart looks forward to what lays ahead on the horizon.
Every woman should have lunch with a rather handsome man at least once in her life. He should be the type of handsome that causes disruptions in public. It does not matter if he is a love interest or a shopping buddy. He should have a smile that overshadows the sun, and an hora that shouts, “I AM ANGELIC”. His body should be more durable than the Grand Canyon with pecs that give cleavage a run for the money. It was my good fortune to have lunch with such an individual yesterday, and it was such a treat.
After the delicious lunch was consumed, Starbucks was graced with our presence. Specific instructions were given for the custom made coffee that he ordered. This moment stayed with me. Why? After having access to Pilon coffee in my home, Starbucks coffee simply did not cut it anymore. This has been somewhat of a problem. Tea is not cool to have while at Starbucks; it is a coffee house, not a tea room. All of the fluffy high calorie intake coffee selections do not always appeal to me, especially since I plan on eating three meals a day. One cup of those things can sky rocket your daily intake of sugar.
This moment returned to me as I approached the happy barista this morning. I simply wanted a regular cup of coffee with cream, two sugars, and whipped cream on top. I asked if something of this nature was possible? I also wanted it in a mug. My car is having an oil change and it is customary for me to wait in the neighboring Starbucks. Not only was this request possible, it tasted good. I have been sitting here happily using my laptop and blogging from Starbucks with my custom made coffee in a mug. This is a highlight for my Spring Break. Ah yes, the Dominican Republic you say?
My plans to travel during this time were pushed back perhaps to the Summer. I will have more time to skip around the world and perhaps explore undiscovered treasures. For now, my days are spent taking various exercise classes including yoga and bellydance while eating salad and sipping lemon water. This break has given me the opportunity to take a look at my diet and how it has contributed to my overall health. In a nutshell, it needs daily attention and a serious overhaul. Instead of rolls with dinner while out, I have requested garlic spinach. It should also be announced that I cook more often than eating out or at least someone will cook for me.
All in all, I can say Happy Spring from the Piscean that has welcomed a new life cycle at the 38th year mark.
While June of this year will not go down as the best time in my life, it is not the worst time either. There have been great difficulties in every department of my journey but there have also been wonderful moments that would not have happened without the presence of the difficulty. Let us begin with my appointment with the ever popular gynecologist. Yes, you already know what time it is.
As I sat in the patient room awaiting the results from my ultrasound, I was prepared for bad news. My body had been exhibiting signs of distress for quite some time now. However, when she walked in with the nurse practitioner, the room seemed to blink for a moment. Two fibroids, two cysts, and a mass had taken up residence in my uterus. I remarked that there seemed to be a lot of occupants taking up space in there. My first question was about surgery; do you have to go in there? If so, now is the time due to my vacation. There isn’t any danger at this time and August shall find executing a second ultrasound. This whole scene could have gone another route.
Once I got myself home, my fingers started researching alternative approaches to this situation. The first thing that came to my attention was nutrition. A nice diet would assist with the process of trying to get rid of them. Everything that I enjoy on a daily basis had to be eliminated. While the idea of being a bunny rabbit is not necessarily appealing to me, the possible benefits are.
The boxes of microwave popcorn were tossed away. Kernels will now be popped on the stove in coconut oil. The alcohol was replaced with a very fine sparkling grape juice. Coffee will become tea…again. Spinach, onions, mushrooms, & garlic have been consumed since Monday. There isn’t a proper substitute for ice cream; not entirely certain what to do about that. There are also books and experts that I shall consult about the situation.
Between my health and the transition of my beloved father, perhaps tears could flow like a river. Instead, I have chosen to spend time in the company of fun loving friends, visit with my mother, and delight in the wonders of tea. Uplifting literature sustains me throughout the day. Doors are closing around me which means that new ones will open shortly. There are projects that are presenting themselves to keep me busy. July is filled with performances, and my new logo must go on the paperwork that clients need in order to book my services. Why, bellydance has even seen the return of its long lost daughter.
Life will always change. I figured that I can either sit still and let it pass me by, or flow with it. After all, existence is not the goal. Living a life is. How I live it is part of the journey.
It began with a cup of coffee. Then two slices of chocolate lava cake slipped in. A supreme pizza appeared. The next thing I knew, it was time to taste wine; white and red. The coffee was a sign. I had given up coffee as a regular thing years ago and became a tea person. I would have a shot of it in my hot cocoa every now and again. However, when I found myself purchasing an entire bag to make it myself, I knew that something was going on. My body is talking to me, and I have to listen.
In my quest to eat healthier and cook more, it became quite hard to avoid preservatives, starch, and add more veggies. Yes, I know that its for my health but my goodness. It became quite daunting. The explosion of going to the extreme of bad stuff simply reminded me that I would have to go to the other side: eat the rainbow of veggies for a little while to balance the scales.
Here I am, drinking water and enjoying soup. I want to be on liquids for a while and perhaps experiment with shakes.
What is affecting me you may ask? If you have read my piece on career transitioning, you know that perhaps there is something out there just waiting for me to find it. Until then, my diet has gotten away from me. There is a plan in place to slowly reel it back in. My workout regimen is back to its normal 3-4days a week schedule, and the water intake has increased. I shall begin Omegas soon, and continue with my supplements including probiotics. Why, I may even go to bed thirty minutes earlier each day.
My taste for food has also changed. Instead of entire meals, I want soups and teas. Perhaps I am in need of a detox of just lighter food. It is to my benefit that I am able to heed the signs that my body is giving me and listen to it. I will no doubt wake up one day and request a full course meal. Until then, perhaps I shall nibble on some celery sticks and drink mint tea. Feel free to join me for a cup:)