Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dorothy's Diary: Finding Dorothy

As part of The Gluten Free Health Challenge, Dorothy will be sharing her journal entries with you the first 3 Sundays of every month from now until December. She'll be receiving free health coaching from Drew Parisi of Parisi Nutrition and Iris Higgins of Your Fairy Angel during this period.  

Hello all of you out there reading this blog! I've been on many journeys in my life, but this is going to be a whole new journey for me. I've traveled to many countries and distant lands - some for work, some personal. This new gluten free journey is a very personal and spiritual one, because I have to dig deep. I have to face the unexpected...and myself. I have to let myself be vulnerable and exposed (vulnerable, the MOST FRIGHTENING WORD out there for me). I'm on a big search for "Finding Dorothy" and this will involve food, emotions, fears, moving through a major life transition, and hopefully finding the real me. The new me. If you join me on this journey, then I won't feel as alone and uncertain. So pack your bags and come with me, please!

My thanks to Iris, who I met in hypnotherapy class at Bastyr University. During that time I was having a number of health issues: very high blood pressure, internal inflammation, digestive issues, painful feet, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and very low energy. I was (and still am) overweight. I actually wondered if I might be dying.

When I learned Iris was a gluten free author, I had an "ah ha" moment. I hired Iris to teach me to cook gluten free and to prepare gluten free meals (okay, to be honest, Iris did most of the cooking). Cooking lessons turned into cook therapy. I remember crying a lot, but Iris just kept looking at me with her kind face, and there was no reaction or judgment. Just acceptance and wise words.

I really loved the gluten free food Iris prepared. The meals were delicious and nutritious. I was eating pure, healthy food, and my body started responding. My blood pressure and digestion improved, the energy went up, my stomach went down. I was feeling better!

Can you guess what happened? The hypnotherapy program ended. Life felt out of control. I slid back into old habits and old cravings. My gluten free eating went by the wayside. And her I am again...back to not feeling well, with my health impacting my entire life: my work, my finances, my social life, and more.

I want to live life, not survive life! Here I am...ready (and desperate enough) to join a committed gluten free project. I can't tell you how scary it feels to open up about my life, feelings, and emotions to other people. Like freak-out scary. But I'm going to do it! I AM GOING TO DO IT!! Please God, let me be able to do it.

Dear Diary...

April 29, 2013
I received an invitation from Iris Higgins to participate in a gluten free challenge. It's for 6 months. 6 months!!! That is a loonnngggg time to stick to a food plan.

I immediately make a list of reasons why I shouldn't do it: 
6 months is a long time. What if I can't do it? 
My camera is broken. How can I take pictures?
(Really going down the panic path now...)
What if I move and I don't have a place to live and I'm on a couch? How can I cook gluten free?
Wait, I'm going to have to write, be vulnerable, really tell what happens. What if everyone is disappointed - or worse - shocked and disgusted because I couldn't hang in there. I feeling panic, it's actually fear.

I called Iris (the first of several calls). Then at midnight I found myself eating out of control and I wrote Iris a long, rambling, unorganized e-mail - see below. Apologies for the typos, not to mention possible curse words.

May 1, 2013 (about midnight)
Hi Iris,

Today I read the agreement. I printed it out at work and brought it home. Then after work I went to the grocery store and bought Foster Farm turkey hotdogs, BBQ baked beans and french fries. Oh, and a package of apple fritters. I ate two hot dogs with the beans, a ton of fries and then ate an apple fritter for good measure. This is crazy. I haven't eaten a hot dog in forever and ever. 

Yesterday I made the decision to move back to California. I was so happy, I felt relief, I felt released from something hard. I could see myself back in sunlight and the ocean, surrounded by flowers and gardens. I was so happy to be there. 

Today at work, I was so happy...seeing work through new eyes because I know I'm going to be gone soon (don't know exactly when but within two months maybe?). 

Then I read your agreement today. I had thoughts like...where will I be when I'm doing the gluten free project? Will I be settled? Will I be on a couch? Where will I be working? What if I fail? What if I can never get it together with the food? It didn't bring me down because I was so darned happy about my decision. But I did feel uncertainty and some fear (I can hear my voice talking about secondary gains/parts therapy here).

Anyway...all this to say that I bought the worst food tonight and ate it, and I don't even know why. Why in the world would I even crave hot dogs and beans and apple fritters? I don't even like hot dogs and beans that much. Okay, I do really like apple fritters. I feel full and gross.

I'm not even sure why I'm writing. I know this is another blog post. How can I possibly write this stuff and let everyone read it? Lots of emotions here. There is a part of me that knows I should do the gluten free project. And I get free help too. 

I'm not sure why I'm telling you all this. I don't think it's to ask for help...more like I know you will understand and maybe even know what it means. Or not?

Let me add that this is not me every day. In fact, I've been doing much better for a while now, and that includes my eating too. But lately, and especially tonight...yuck. 

Okay, I'm going to take a hot bath now. Thanks for listening. 

Written about 5 minutes later:
Hi Iris, 

It's me, Dorothy again. I just sent you a very rambling, unorganized e-mail. It all just came gushing out and I hit the send button before I changed my mind. Hope it makes sense to you. I'm feeling weird about it. 
Okay, goodnight, thanks again.

May 2, 2013
Call Iris again. This time I decide "yes." I am going to give it my best, MY BEST. I do not give up. I DO NOT GIVE UP!!! I signed the contract and e-mailed it to Iris. Oh Lord, I'm really in now!

May 8, 2013
Hey Iris, am I allowed to use profanity in my blog? Just in case I have a melt down? 
Iris responds...yes.

For several days...
My work is out of control, my life feels out of control, I am eating out of control, especially late at night. Help!



Natalie said...

Oh man, I love this. So real. Thanks for sharing yourself with us, Dorothy. I too have written Iris at least a couple rambling emails like that!! What you said about Iris is so perfectly her..."but Iris just kept looking at me with her kind face, and there was no reaction or judgment. Just acceptance and wise words."
You can do this!! Keep up the good work!! said...

Good luck, Dorothy!

mel m. m. mccarthy said...

Hi Dorothy, Thank you so much for sharing the reality behind making big changes. So often I've searched for "difficulty staying gluten-free" (looking for help in some random article or just a voice out there that makes me feel less lonely in struggling with it). Talking about the tricky bits can make it easier to plan ahead for them, so thank you so much for sharing the real you! ox

Dorothy said...

Hi Natalie, Your comments make me feel better, not so alone and out there. Thank you, thank you. Dorothy

Dorothy said...

Dear Mel and Glutenfree muse. Thanks for your comments. I am just beginning to understand that there is a whole community of gluten-free women out there, living a very unique kind of life experience. I never really knew that before, not really. Writing and sharing does make a difference. "Talk" soon.


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