Isagenix Day Two

It’s not my place to get into the nuances of nutrition and healthy eating – I’m not a registered dietician and I’ve primarily made eating right a mission for myself. So, I’m not going to preach about food and eating correctly or the farming industry, or the benefits of one particular diet over another. Honestly, I just feel overwhelmed by most of it; do you feel that way, too? Ugh.

In the past I’ve done healthy elimination diets, which means canceling out dairy and carbs, nightshades, things that can wreak havoc on the system. But it’s a lot of work, a lot of cooking, a full time JOB! I’ve already got three full-time gigs as it is, so I’m not in the frame of mind to take on that sort of commitment right now. Instead, I’ve opted to take the plunge and try the Isagenix 30-day cleanse. Yes, I’ve researched it, I’ve read the reviews, I’ve talked to all my friends who’ve tried it and I felt pretty confident that I could stick to it and come out feeling good at the end of the month.

While the commitment is huge, the process is actually really simple. No special grocery shopping, stocking up on loads of greens that spill out of the fridge. No special three meals a day plus snacks to prepare. Really, it’s basically two shakes a day, two snacks, and one sensible meal. How hard is that?

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I’ll tell you, it’s day two and I’m craving snacks and coffee. Yeah, I’m a decaf drinker so it’s not the caffeine I’m chasing just the taste and smell and warmth of the cup in my hand. My coffee drinking is more of a hobby than an addiction. So is my snacking. When I have writer’s block or when I’m in the flow of writing I need nuts, or pretzels to just mindlessly pop into my mouth. I’ve cut myself off from all this in order to what? Well, vainly, get rid of the last few pounds of pregnancy weight my body just doesn’t want to shed even after I eliminated sugar and work-out five times a week.

It’s frustrating.

It’s frustrating that my clothes fit, but not comfortably. Instead they pinch and pull and cut into all the wrong places. It’s annoying that wearing anything baggy makes me look schleppy and anything fitted feels snug. And that bloating that happens after lunch? Well, I’m sick of it. I didn’t have these things pre-baby, but post-baby my body has just changed so much. It’s like I’m rediscovering how it/I work.

I don’t honestly know where I’ll end up at the end of this monthly challenge, but I’m hoping for the best. I’ve definitely set some high expectations in my head, which I’m aware is silly, but I just feel a sense of positivity and I want to honor that, because why not? It’s so much work to be pessimistic.

How do I feel right now? Pretty good. Day one was rough. Not because I was hungry, but I had every symptom they tell you might happen. Which basically equates to feeling like you have the stomach flu. Ugh. But day two I’ve seemed to level out. I’ll keep you posted with my honest feelings, because why wouldn’t I?

If you are interested in some awesome foodie info from a vegan, my dear friend and author Michael Chrobak has a wonderful blog talking about the food industry and some great vegan recipes that I’ve tried and approve of! You can find his site at: eatingwrite.weebly.com

In addition, another wonderful resource for nutrition and wellness is my dear friend, Health and Wellness Coach, Kelly Schoger and her company ApotheKelly Wellness. Kelly is a trained and experienced coach with so much amazing knowledge. Her website is truly helpful: ApotheKellyWellness.com

Why am I telling you all this? Why not? This mom can’t be alone in feeling sluggish, anxious, bloaty, and tired, right? I want to feel good all the time for my son, my work, my partner, and me!

A story blog is coming later this week… stay tuned. 😉

The Neighborhood RV

It all started on Friday. Well, that’s when I noticed. I thought little of it at first, but vowed to keep my eye on it: a blue-striped Tioga, circa 1990, sans rust (thank G-d) RV. I found it parked across the street in front of my house, this utter eyesore in my otherwise epic, urban, nirvana of a neighborhood. A neighborhood caught between two worlds, mine and it’s Latin American heritage.

I start texting neighbors:

“Do you have friends visiting in an RV?”

No.

No.

No.

No.

No.

I panicked because the part of life I was witnessing from a small distance away had now arrived on my quiet, clean, insolated, cul-de-sac: the community’s displaced residence who live in RVs.

NOOOOOOOOOO!

Inside I screamed. Then I went to my cupboard and pulled out my new, unchipped, clean Ikea bowl, a bag of organic chia seeds from Trader Joes, a tub of greek yogurt, a 5lb bag of oatmeal from Costco, Grade A real maple syrup, and pecans and I made some delicious overnight oats for the next morning.

Then I sat down at my MacBook Air laptop, took a swig of my electrolyte water, and watched the RV from my beautiful Craftsman windows, parked just past my legit landscaped front yard that’s filled with fruit trees, succulents, and dog poop, in the house I own.

New construction has upped the value of real estate in my once sleepy town. Not to mention a million national articles in publications like Vogue and the New York Times calling us the trendiest and best place to live. It is as condescending as calling a beautiful older woman on-trend, “cute.” They consider my town some sort of wonderful oddity as we maintain a small town feel in an otherwise big city.

The landlords love the attention, as they renege on leasing contracts and up the rental prices beyond a mortgage payment. And as family and individuals become displaced from the only town they’ve ever known, a drug called methamphetamines has become an epidemic.

Even the feral cats have started to leave.

I’m wondering if I should take a chocolate Babka over and introduce myself.

As I’m watching I see my 90-year-old neighbor walk over to the unsightly home on wheels and pound. A gentleman emerges, there’s a brief discussion and the RV hums to life. I sigh, it’s leaving.

NO! He just moved, to the other side of the street, right in front of my other windows. Dammit, why did we buy a house on the corner?

I want to go out there and find out the haps, but as a woman I’m always hesitant of large vehicles I could disappear inside of with no one being the wiser, so I wait.

Patiently, but with laser focus.

I have watched and waited for three days now, and while I’ve seen the fluorescent glow of light peek through the filmy windshield, I’ve not noticed anyone coming or going, but the one time.

Also, and I don’t know quite how it happened nor do I remember when, but we were elected and still retain the position of Neighborhood watch block captains. Dammit. So, naturally, going on Day 3, everyone is starting to pull us aside and complain:

“¿Qué hacemos con esto?”

“No está bien…”

“Can you do something?”

Sure! I’ll just wave my politically correct magic wand and poof, the poverty will disappear from our street.

And then something happened, the RV purred to life again (and I’m being generous with my use of purr). And it drove away. Out of sight from my window. I looked left from my window and right and I couldn’t see it. I felt relieved. I also felt bad for feeling relieved. But I definitely felt relief.

I saddled up the dogs for a walk and left the confines of my gated yard to the street. And as I steered us to the right, I saw it. The blight on our community, the scourge of our street, the beast on wheels, the RV now parked two houses up.

Dammit!

I walked the dogs over with me and I “admired” the vehicle looking to be “caught.” And I was.

“Hi!” came a booming, male voice.

I jumped, a little too startled since I was officially trying to be seen.

“Hi,” I replied, but was drowned out by the warning barks of my loyal 12-pound companions.

“I’m not staying, don’t worry,” the owner of the RV said smiling, politely. “I’m just visiting family. You don’t mind that I’m parked here, do you?”

I fumbled with trying to say something, but couldn’t figure what to say. He wasn’t asking, but rather telling me I didn’t mind. He wasn’t homeless. He was recreationally traveling in an old RV and parking on streets to avoid fees at the parks. I wanted to scold him. Stand on my soapbox and preach about his lack of consideration for the many homeless locals living in RVs who mind the rules and don’t park on residential streets because it’s illegal and enforced by the community police. And why did he think he had the right to avoid such persecution just because his purpose was vacation?

“Okay,” I cowardly replied, “when are you leaving?”

“Tomorrow,” he smiled again.

I nodded and walked away. I’m glad I didn’t take a chocolate Babka over. This story doesn’t have an ending, but that’s life. I’ll let you know what happens tomorrow. Also, we’re going to make burritos with my neighbor and pass them out in the community later. I know I do it to feel better about the rising number of displaced people – it’s selfish.

 

Until Next Week

I’ve written three posts for the blog this week, but have not shared them or published them because they’re not done.

The words are written. Sentences are formed. Paragraphs are neatly prepared and are moderately decently structured, but my thoughts are muddy and ill formed and just not complete in any of them.

What am I trying to say? Exactly. That’s what I don’t know. Not here or in the other three that I’ve written and won’t post… yet.

Anyway, it’s my birthday on Friday and I’ll be spending everyday beginning tomorrow on my own personal writing retreat in my backyard – otherwise known as the AirbnBeeber. All other jobs and work will be turned off and tuned out…mostly.

I’m hoping that with an uninterrupted (and my fingers are crossed that they are a full uninterrupted 8 hours) a day I’ll be able to form all those thoughts completely, wholly, and honestly.

Obstacles continue to present themselves. Plans keep altering. Commitments need to be honored. Dishes need to be cleaned. Toddlers need tucking in. Second jobs need attention and I could go on, but you get it so there’s no need.

We’ll catch up next week, I promise. And when we do I will be one year older and wiser. Until then, goodnight.

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Who Me? Change? Never.

I don’t write parenting posts because having a kid hasn’t changed me.

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Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Change, you ask? First, now I wear high-waisted jeans and think they’re the “bomb.” Kill me… no, don’t! Please don’t do that EVER! I have a baby now and I need to be right here for him forever.

Did you just read my light-hearted joke and the fact that I immediately retracted it in fear that someone would read that seriously? Like the Universe might not get that I was joking when I said, “kill me”and just might send in the Grim Reaper??? Did you just read all that? Yeah, that’s new. New panic. Death – in jest or in reality – has me very anxious now.

Also, every time I hear the word “kill” in a children’s movie or cartoon I think, “SERIOUSLY?? I DON’T WANT THAT WORD AROUND MY KID! WHY DOES HE NEED TO HEAR THE WORD “KILL” FROM A DISNEY MOVIE… OR EVER? HE DOES NOT NEED THAT WORD IN HIS LIFE!” I would rather he say the word “fuck” by mistake than the word “kill.” I mean that. But please don’t let him go around saying the word fuck either.

If I wasn’t clear, I’m trying to say I have changed and mostly for the better… (whispers) in my honest opinion.

For example, I don’t put myself down so much anymore, especially about the physical things, like my face…or my body image. Because my son is beautiful and I want him to grow up without insecurity and self-hate. I want him to see himself (and he will see a lot of his mom in him) and know he is perfect the way he is… because he is. So I try harder to feel love for myself so he’ll know how to love himself, too.

And, I don’t care as much about the things I cannot change, instead I concentrate on those things I can

I cannot change the fact that Trump was elected president, but I can be an active participant in making sure our country isn’t devastated by the actions he and his merry band of thieves try to enact.

I cannot change the way some folks see me or feel about me, but I can change the way I feel about it.

I cannot change the fact that I am an aging actress who has not yet met her big break, but I can change the way that sentence reads: I am an actor who has been so lucky to work and continue to pursue work with the same enthusiasm I’ve had from day one.

I have better insight now because I see the world through my son’s eyes, everything is new and shiny, and bright and I don’t want to take that away from him ever.

I’ve changed, yes, becoming a parent has made me a little soft (both physically and emotionally), it has made me brave, and most importantly it has made the important things far more evident than they were.

Just in case you were worried there were only good things, here is a list of the bad things that have changed since becoming a parent:

  1. I have no patience when my husband interrupts my five minutes of alone time (which is also known as Mom’s Shower Time) to brush his teeth, pee-pee, or bring in our toddler to say, “hi.”
  2. I do not have time for stupid people now. They used to be amusing, now they’re just a time-zap.
  3. I eat painfully, horribly, and without structure and it sucks, but we’ll get back there Food, we will.
  4. Dates nights are near non-existent.
  5. My clothing money goes to a constantly growing toddler.
  6. I worry a lot more. Yes, it is possible.
  7. If there’s a poopy odor, it’s usually because there’s poop… on me.
  8. Everybody wants to know when I’m going to have more babies. This is annoying. I do not need to have another child to be a good parent or fulfilled mother and if I do have another child I don’t have to be the one that carries it (I can adopt/foster/or trade) and frankly you either only have one more child than me or have no children so WTF? Step off. Thank you.

Life is good.

Sanity

The first time I questioned my sanity I was eight years old. My older sister and I were sharing the small, dark-wood paneled bedroom at the top of the stairs, to the right. The room to the right had a plastered ceiling with swirling designs that you could stare at for hours and find almost any scene imaginable, shape, and animal in if you squinted hard enough. It was the only room in the house that was this ugly. It had previously been an office to the former homeowner. The carpet was a multi-colored shag rug of maroons, pea soup green, and maize and it smelled of stale shoe prints… dusty and earthy. I know this to be true because we used to bury our face in the fraying yarn and take deep breaths, I don’t know why, but we were weird, we were kids.

That night I had woken up completely and totally wet. Soaked. It must have been very, very early, or really, really late depending on how you read time, because it was dark and everyone was still sleeping. I thought maybe I had peed the bed. But if I had peed the bed, why was the whole bed wet and my hair damp… is it possible to pee all the way up to your hair? It didn’t occur to me at this age to sniff for urine.

My heart was racing. I was afraid of the quiet and the dark and when I realized everyone was asleep but me, I also realized this was the same as being all alone… in the dark… at night… a witching hour leaving me susceptible to anything lurking in the house. I let out an inaudible squeal as I jerked my comforter over my head and begged myself to go back to sleep, but this just resulted in making me overly heated and severely sweaty, and by default more damp and the bed more unbearably wet.

I made a deal with myself: if I could rip the comforter off and I could make it to the light switch and flip it on, I’d be okay, even if it did wake up my sister, which wouldn’t be so bad because then I wouldn’t be alone in the middle of the night – even if she did get really irritated at being woken up; I mean downright angry. On the count of three (obviously) I would go. I must have counted to three a million times, because the wetness forming around me was about as deep as the kiddie pool. Finally, unable to even breathe, I worked up the courage to bolt for the light switch, all of three feet from my bed, but at that point it might as well have been a mile. I screamed all the way to the light and heaved a sigh of relief once it was on. Nothing bad happens in the light, I had convinced myself some time ago.

Since no one stirred from my screams of panic or the bright light that flooded the room, I alone began to strip my soggy sheets, then peeled off my sopping pajamas and wrapped my soaked hair into a knot on the top of my head. Then I crawled onto my naked mattress and pulled the comforter over me – light still shining brightly above – and drifted back to sleep with ease.

Before we jump to conclusions on why I was so afraid, and worried, and panicked with fear of the dark I’ll let you know that no one bad thing had happened to me, per se. No, I have anxiety; genetic, chemical imbalance, run of the mill anxiety. It’s fairly ordinary and shows up in the dark usually, which is better than a lot of folks who suffer theirs in broad daylight, in crowds of people, and all the time.

If you’re a person that didn’t witness anxiety through a parent or sibling and are the first to be diagnosed, you may feel pretty relieved to find out that you’re not crazy, and that it’s fairly common, and you shouldn’t feel stigmatized by it. Maybe you’ll take beta-blockers, or anti-anxiety meds… forever. Maybe you’ll start a blog and channel lots of those fear driven stories into the blog to connect with others.

BUT if you’re like, just the next generation to get it handed down in your DNA, your reaction tends to be less enthusiastic and sound more like, “yup, cool, thought it skipped me – not. Ugh. No, I prefer to stay unmedicated based on the many examples of over-medicated people in my life, but thanks. I’ll just keep up the cardio and magnesium rich foods, and maybe take a few more personal days than I should, and yeah, I’ll go back to therapy because I do not want another anxiety attack under the artificial daylight inside Costco.”

I still sleep with the lights on when I’m alone and the television on when I’m not (because it has a timer). And before Jason Beeber and I became lifelong roommates I booby-trapped the hell out of my bedroom to keep the night prowlers at bay. And it works for me. It mostly, really does. You don’t need to analyze it. We all know I’m projecting a lot since that night when I was eight and had the first attack I can remember. But the light soothed me then, and it still does now (minus that one time in Costco recently), so I let it be that.

AND now that I share a bed with a large, hairy man – I don’t actually know if I’m sweating out my anxiety, or he’s over-heating us both, or someone has peed the bed. It gets very weird and uncomfortable.