Hello hello !
Today, I wanted to share with you this journey I embarked on on July 2nd. After a while of consideration, and some good (and not so good) planning, I am in the middle of doing something called the Whole30.
I know you might wonder why I am sharing this on this space when it is not directly linked with anything creative but… it kind of is. See, being fully in my body, embracing who I am is part of my creative journey. And food is a side of creativity as anything else (and trust me, doing this challenge does require being creative, you’ll read why in a moment).
You may know by now that I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia almost three years ago now.
Fibromyalgia causes a general inflammation in the entire body, with flare ups coming and going as it pleases them. Plus the sharp pain that comes when it wants, where it wants, and the fatigue that sometimes peaks… no fun.
There are days I can barely move because even breathing hurts somehow. There are some days I just want to give up (no not die), and just lay in bed until it is over and until a better day comes.
But this year, I decided it was time to get back to who I am, to my true self. And to get there, it means I need to instore a good self-care policy.
What the heck is Whole30 ?
There is chances you have no clue what I’m about to talk about so here is a quick round up of what it is.
The Whole30 is an elimination diet (diet in the sense it has a time frame), I am doing to understand the correlation between the food I eat and the inflammation level in my body. It was created in 2009 by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. They both have background in either nutrition or physiology/anatomy. You can learn more about how they came up with this Whole30 thing and created their Whole9 business in their book, It starts with food.
By now, you have probably heard about the Paleo diet. Well, Whole30 is basically a Paleo diet put to the extreme (I like to torture myself like that, yes).
You stop eating the following:
- Grains (includes: rice, wheat, couscous, quinow, buckwheat, spelt, oats, corn, bulgur, etc. and the starch from them also).
- Sugar (includes white sugar, agave syrup, honey, stevia, brown sugar, maple syrup, Splenda, coconut sugar etc.).
- Legumes (yup… no beans). It means none of their derivated products either such as tofu, tempeh, humus, miso… no soy sauce either, and no peanuts.
- All kinds of white potatoes (but sweet potato is your friend).
- No alcohol, not even for cooking (but vinegars like red wine vinegar are okay).
Another important point (which may be the hardest for me…): you do not step on a scale during the entire challenge. Nor do you measure yourself *silent scream*. This is because this challenge is not about losing weight, even if there are chances that weight loss will actually occur.
It IS a lot to get rid of in your diet at the same time, I hear you. But it is only for 30 days, not more (well, you technically could. Some person do a Whole45 for example). It is intimidating and this is why planning it in advance is key to your success. Know what you can eat, know the food you have available in your home that won’t compromise your will power.
Why am I doing it ?
I have several reasons, to be honest.
First, as I told you: I need to see if eliminating certain foods can help with my health. Because I can go on like this. There is no cure to Fibromyalgia, but I am a firm believer that there is a link between what we put in our body, and how it responds to it.
Then, I have determination issues. I am aware of it. I can slip easily, find excuse even when I know they are excuses, and then the guilt tags along and I beat myself up for not comitting enough. Doing this is also a good way to prove to myself that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to, no matter how hard I some days want to give up, or how temptation to fail is everywhere if I focus on it.
Hold on, in part 2 I will share what I eat, the good and the «bad» I see in this challenge and what I envision for my «after»…
This is one of my mantra…
When in doubt, be thankful.
When in tears, be thankful.
When it aches, be thankful.
When you smile, be thankful.
When you’re happy, be thankful.
I never stop doing my own personal Gratitude Friday, in the shadows. But today, after a tough week on many levels, I decided to share mine with you, to invite you to pause for a few minutes and reflect. Feel free to share you own list. There is power in seeing words and sending them to be seen by other eyes.
On this Friday, I am thankful for:
- Technology bringing us together despite geographic distance.
- My Sabbatical Sisters.
- My will power.
- The morning Sun on my skin while I eat my breakfast, alone, on the balcony.
- Raw veggies.
- Our neighbors.
- Moral support.
Your turn, it does not have to be long or big. Tell me, what are you thankful for ?
Gratitude Friday is a weekly ritual I started in order to focus on all the small and big positive things that happened during my week. I invite you to join me, you'll see how much being thankful can change your life. If you want to know more about it, read my introduction post.
In my world…
Binge watching Mindy’s latest class’s videos, Imagine*Play*Emerge.
Editing the next episode of *Scraps of Life*.
Feeling lonely and lost.
Planning what I want to do next, what products I want to create.
Eating my way through the Whole30 program. Today is day #7.
Sketching again and again, new faces. Practice builds confidence.
Praying, my own way. For me, for them, for you.
Letting go of my expectactions, of what does not serve me anymore.
Missing my husband, currently on a business trip to Texas for the whole week.
Listening to an India.Arie station on Pandora. One of my fav. because it plays a lot of songs I used to listen to more than 10 years ago *hello Maxwell, Alliya, TLC etc*.
What is going on in yours, right now ?
I am so so happy to introduce you to what makes what seems to me to be a 180° turn. Abstract. No Nixie. No Sprixie. Yes, you have read right.
See, I have been willing to go more abstract for the past year. Because it is something I love looking at from other artists. But me, doing it, was another story. I used to be one of these people thinking «How can a square with a dot in the middle sell for millions of dollars ?» but until you know the artist’s process, who are we to judge. Right ?
I hate wasting my supplies, so I usually use what I call «the end of my palette». When I have leftovers paint on my painting palette at the end of a session in the Studio, I will use it to start (or continue) a page in my Art Journal. But this time I decided «why not actually start a background on a wood panel instead, and see where it leads me», so I played around and loved it too much as it to actually wait for a Nixie or a Sprixie to appear.
As usual, they are meant to be touched, they all have a fantastic texture. And not only the colors tell a story, but each stroke as well.
There will be more to come during this month of July :)
I hope you’ll enjoy watching me create one of them:
«Colorful Chaos» is in the shop right here.
«Gentle» is in the shop right here.
«Hidden» is in the shop right here.
«Shine On» is in the shop right here.
«Underneath it all» is in the shop right here.
… and what you don’t necessarily see/know.
For those of you not in BC (which means the vast majority) you may not know that our teachers are fighting the Government, which resulted in an early class dismissal for all the kids in public schools. So Summer Break started two weeks early for my daughters this year. Luckily, the weather is not that bad and it means they spend most of their days playing outside with the neighbors. However, it completely change my routine (and I love my routine).
I will very soon release my newest series, called Colorful Chaos (you can already see them on my Facebook page). Listing and sharing art takes a lot of time and energy, or at least I know it does for me and this is why I am almost always dragging my feet to do it. Taking pictures, resizing them, uploading them, finding the right words to share the intention behind each painting… it is not what I prefer but I take a special care in this because this is what you guys see :)
My fibro has not been really nice with me, either, and standing to paint results in plenty of pain afterwards (during the painting session itself, everything is good and it is as if fibro is not ruining my body… but it recalls itself to me as soon as I stop). I had to limit my time in the Studio, which is hard when you have so many images asking to be unleashed…
I am also changing things in this virtual space, so it makes more sense and looks more like who I am at the moment. So expect to see shifts happen here and there.
But know there is things happening behind the scenes ;)
I hope Life is treating you well, what’s going on for you ?