growth

My love affair with Brussels sprouts

I crazy love Brussels sprouts. Now.

I thought I didn’t like them. I don’t remember if I tried them and didn’t like them, confused them with something else I didn’t like, or decided as a child I wouldn’t like them and the thought turned into a fact. It’s possible I made an uninformed decision to not like them.

I recently had some and after the first one I was blown away. I love vegetables and wondered how I managed to go this long believing I didn’t like them. I still have a lot to learn about myself.

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As with any new love, I’ve been binge eating them. I’m making a decision to back off a little, rather than eat them to death. I tend towards food ruts, so I’m mixing it up and adding them into the rotation.

I’m in this relationship for the long run.

wellness

Letting Go of All or Nothing

Limits. Moderation. All or nothing.

When it comes to food, exercise, and sleep management I have problems with all or nothing behaviors. I’m currently working on it. I am now a month into some changes that are going pretty well. My focus is on making long term sustainable changes and I’m working on it gradually. It’s the “gradually” part that is in many ways the biggest challenge.

The things I have added or shifted have been easier than I expected. I started doing pilates twice a week. I need to exercise every day, but for now all I am doing is my twice a week pilates. I’ve been at it a month and I love it. I actually want to go. I’m going to give it another month and then add something else in then eventually something else, etc.


Petting my Cat is my Cardio shirt at Amazon

Prior versions of me would have come up with a big plan for how I am going to work out 5 or 7 days a week then blown it in the first week and gone back to doing nothing. I remind myself of this each time I think about going from my twice a week pilates to adding on three more days worth of stuff. When I think about what things I’d add it all sounds great. I’m pumped up to do it, but then almost immediately I feel it all crumble apart inside of me. I know deep inside that I’d revert back to nothing. Instead I remind myself of this new plan, to do one thing for a while and let it become ingrained and a part of me before I add or change it up.

Gradual change. Sustainable change. Real change.

The same week I started the pilates I also made some eating changes. I’ve been eating about 90-95% vegan. Accepting that I don’t ever need to be 100% has freed me somehow. I’m going on my 5th week and it has been easy and working out so much better than I expected. Old me would have made a much more extreme choice, cracked after a few days and binged on something I swore off forever.

I still have more eating changes ahead of me. I still need to deal with snacking, portions etc. For example, a package of organic cookies is still a package of cookies. I’ll get there. Eventually.

Gradual change. Sustainable change. Real change.

p.s. When your plans to schedule a blog post go awry and instead it’s a publish immediately, call oops and move on.

growth

Metamorphosis

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. ~R. Buckminster Fuller

Butterflies hatch from a chrysalis, a stage in the life of a butterfly. It’s actually the hardened outer skin of a butterfly pupa. A cocoon is an external structure that is spun from silk and surrounds the pupa of many moths.

When people talk about the transformational imagery of butterflies, they usually make references to cocoons. Remember the movie, Cocoon? Maybe cocoon sounds less clinical than chrysalis, although chrysalis is a pretty word. Anyway, cocoons have become symbolic of transformation. Sometimes it’s just to rest, like being holed up on a rainy day under blankets and watching movies or reading books, emerging more rested and able to get back into life. Other times it’s on a bigger scale. Coming out of the cocoon can mean moving out on our own, changing careers, achieving personal growth.

As a self-help junkie, I love the transformational symbolism of butterflies. This little egg grows, outgrows it’s skin a few times, then becomes a gorgeous butterfly. What’s not to love about this? While I haven’t always felt like a beautiful butterfly, I can say that every time I have come through a difficult challenge or pushed myself to make change, I do feel better about myself. I feel stronger and happier and more at peace with my life. There’s beauty in that. Change isn’t always easy, and endings can be painful. The butterfly imagery always gives me hope.

Last year was really hard for me. My mom died. She was such a big part of my daily life. I miss her so much and spent a lot of last year in a cocoon, healing from the loss. I accept that it was her time, and I’m glad that she had a peaceful exit. Her body had become an inhospitable place for her spirit. She is free from it now, an ethereal butterfly.

Are you in the middle of change? If you need a nudge, check out this t-shirt on amazon. Maybe it’s your time to leave the cocoon.

Yes, I know technically I should have used “chrysalis.” 😀

Have a beautiful day.

What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly. ~Lao Tzu
cocoon-woman-placeit