Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Giving Yourself Grace

In a recent post, I blogged about discovering my numerous food intolerances (you can read that HERE). I'm still kind of on the fence about how much I want to talk about all of this, but there are little bits I am chomping at the bit to share! One of the things is exactly what I'll be talking about today!

So, in going to a naturopath and discovering all of my food intolerances, I also discovered that my adrenal glands are exhausted! I am by no means an expert in anatomy, but after doing a little research, I know that prolonged stress, lack of sleep, food sensitivities, too much sugar among other things affect adrenal health. It was so interesting to learn that all of the things the naturopath found are interconnected - my intake of foods that I am intolerant too actually affects my adrenal health! Crazy!

Now, I am muddling over how to fix all of this. It's like a big puzzle of things going on in my body that I know I want to address, I just need to figure out how. There are numerous things that affect adrenal health, but I think the ones I listed above are the ones that impact me most.

First and fore most - sugar! I mean, I used to blog a sweet recipe at least once a week and you better believe I was trying everything I was baking! My sugar intake was likely way too high. So, for the time being, I've cut out sugar completely. This was actually easier than I was expecting. Sometimes, I miss having a sweet treat after dinner, but for the most part, I'm ok! Which brings me to my next point...

The food intolerances - In ditching everything I'm intolerant to, I've realized how much I love bread and pasta! I've also really tried to cut down on grains, but I still have gluten free bread and pasta sometimes. I think I really used to rely on carbs! It's so easy to cook pasta, defrost some pesto and call it dinner! So the sugar, not so hard to cut! But eating carbs with every meal was a harder transition!

Here is where I come to my main point for today - lack of sleep which goes hand in hand for prolonged stress for me. Three weeks ago, if you would have asked me if I was stressed, I would have said no! I really thought I was good at managing stress. I got 8 hours of sleep every night with no exceptions and I really thought I managed stress well. Now, I just don't know! I don't feel anymore stressed or less stressed, I'm just trying to be more aware of my stress. (How many times can I say stress in one paragraph!?)

Since learning that I need to take better care of my adrenals, I've really worked on giving myself grace and giving myself room to make mistakes. I guess forgiving myself, in essence. I kind of set myself up in such a way that I don't make mistakes. I don't now how to word that properly, but I plan everything out to such a specific degree that I know everything will go as planned.

Since I was very little I've listened to an Amanda Marshall song called Everybody's Got a Story. The song's chorus says "everybody's got a story that can break your heart." And I think as I get older, I am coming to realize how true this is. I don't think I realized the depth of that song until my grandpa passed away in June of 2016 - My heart definitely broke that day and I distinctly remember looking out my kitchen window and seeing a biker go by, then a family laughing as they walked by. I remember thinking how? How is their world still turning? This kind of prompted me to realize that we don't know what any one person is facing. We can't possibly know everyone's story, but we can give everyone grace knowing that they have a story.

I think I'm pretty good at giving other's grace. I know there is always room to grow, but I think my major weakness is in giving myself grace. I just don't do that. I set really high expectations for myself and I am a perfectionist in achieving those expectations. On the exterior, yes, that looks good. The image is great! I love it. I love getting good grades and having good friends and organizing fun parties and the list goes on. However, I think I need to learn to forget about the image. This is where I am stuck right now because I am not image obsessed. I realize, in reading this paragraph, it likely seems as though I am. But, I'm not. Obviously, I don't want to be a big failure but I am not actually that motivated by what others think of me.

I just read that paragraph over & holy confusing! I don't even know how to properly express all of that! But, right now I'm working on letting myself go. When I blogged about my intention this year (to be more spontaneous), I think I was on to something. I am working on finding a way to be less planned and to let myself live less structured. This is all prompting me to reflect on so much - so many of the decisions I've made and most of my values are based on the structure I build for myself. It's so interesting to reflect upon all of this.

In the meantime, I would love to hear of ways you give yourself grace. It's hard! I'm trying to do some meditations, more yoga and just realign all of my thoughts towards what really matters to me. If you have any thoughts to share, I would love to hear them!

In other news, I'm officially on Spring Break until March 11th! Wahoo! I am so looking forward to this time off to get to work on the Bean's party and then spend a little time away! Tomorrow, I'm sharing a recipe for grain free and dairy free granola bars that I have been enjoying all week! See you then :)

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