So a strange thing happened after my last post.

I was feeling all gung-ho, feeling good about being gluten-free and making good choices for myself and my health.

Then I woke up the next day and REALLY wanted a doughnut.  But I stayed g-free.  And then I had a few IBS flare-ups throughout this week, which are especially frustrating when you think you’re doing well with what you’re eating.

So I’m considering instead being a bit more moderate with myself and seeing if that helps me emotionally.  Because it very much feels like I’m trying to do the right things and I’m still suffering from my IBS.  So maybe it would be ok to have a doughnut every once in a while.  Or a nice slice of bread.  Something small that I really want.  No more gluten binges like I was doing earlier this year, and not every day, but as a special treat.

Because I’ve just realized taking care of my emotions is just as important as taking care of my diet with my IBS.  I’ve been sweeping my emotions aside and focusing on just the food.  But going forward, I’m going to learn how to give space to my emotions about my problem as well.  

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In the past, as Christmas stuff has crept earlier and earlier in the year, I’ve found myself annoyed. Like, what about Thanksgiving?  Let’s not forget about that!

But this year, I’ve got to admit, I’m actually liking it.  I’m getting excited about holiday stuff this year.  Thanksgiving and Christmas both!

One thing that’s interesting to me is my current mindset towards my diet as the holidays approach.  (Diet in the sense of foods-I-eat, not in the sense of weight loss.)

Last year around this time I began testing my food sensitivities and eventually discovered that eliminating gluten helps improve my IBS symptoms.  I’ve “cheated” a number of times over 2013 and eaten gluten.  But in the past couple of months I realized that I really do prefer how I feel when I’m not eating gluten.

My initial thoughts were that for my birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas that I would splurge and allow myself as much gluten as I wanted.  I did have gluten for my birthday, and I enjoyed it.  I also had gluten at the fair, and I really enjoyed it, too.  But since then (about a month now), I’ve been gluten free.  And it’s been great!

So I’m thinking about not going gluten-crazy at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I’m even thinking about avoiding the gluten completely!  When I think about the foods I love at these times, the only thing I can think of that can’t be made gluten free (like making the gravy with cornstarch instead of gravy) is green bean casserole.  French’s french-fried onions are DELICIOUS.  I’ve found some recipes in which you make your own g-free onions and then continue with a g-free recipe, but I’m not really interested in doing that (at least not this year).

So, with moderation in mind, I think I’ll aim to eat gluten free for everything at Thanksgiving except for the green bean casserole.  I have a feeling if I don’t overload my system with gluten, I will have few issues.  It’s something I want to try.  And I really really really like green bean casserole.  =)

After that, I’ll decide what I want to do about Christmas.

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Training Started

I started my training at Interchange Counseling Institute a couple of weeks ago.  It was really neat and really overwhelming all at the same time.

I met some really awesome people, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them better over the next few months.  

One thing that surprised me the most was how we were thrown into counseling each other on the first weekend.  I thought there would be more lectures, at least for the first weekend.  But we actually did a lot of different counseling exercises with each other, and then gave each other feedback.  It was really nice to know that I can actually do this, and will just get better as I learn more.

The overwhelm came from not knowing what to expect and being with over 150 people for almost 10 hours each day.  It’s been a while since I’ve hung out with a large group of people.

Fortunately, we did some good “get-to-know-each-other” exercises early on Saturday, so the introvert-overwhelm was easier to handle after I felt like I knew people better.

I think I’m going to learn a lot, both in my goal to be a life coach, and about myself.  And that makes me feel good.

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You know what’s easy? Not blogging.

You know what else is easy? Starting to blog again.

Easy peasy.

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“Since you cann…

“Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.” -Augustine of Hippo

This is a quote that I try to live by.  

But one thing I believe: most of the time, it’s not an accident.

Are you paying attention?

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Stop it.

It’s time to stop.

Stop comparing yourself to other people.

I don’t care what you do, who you are, why you do it.  Just stop.

Comparing yourself to others only makes you feel bad. 


Compare yourself to yourself.  Improve on yourself.  Notice how far you’ve come from where you used to be, from WHO you used to be.

Then use that as inspiration to become the YOU you want to be.  You’ll never be like anyone else, so stop trying.

Besides, we like you because you’re you.  Not because you’re better than someone else.  (Anyone* who claims differently is a jerk and doesn’t need to be in your life.)

Keep on rockin’.

*”Anyone” can refer to that jerk voice in your own head.  

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Changing the Odds

I got to attend a conference for the past two days about Changing the Odds for children.  It was really interesting and fun!  Lots of teachers and mental health workers attended, and we learned a lot about how to help children develop the skills and brains necessary to walk the path in front of them.

The biggest thing I took away from it was a reminder of a lesson I learned in Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset.  I highly recommend everyone read this book, especially if you work with children in any capacity.

I was reminded how important it is to try to instill in children (and ourselves) a growth mindset.  This is a way of thinking that encourages growing and learning, rather than giving up when you’re stuck (a trademark of a fixed mindset).  So, very simplified, a student with a fixed mindset would fail a math test and might say to themselves, “Well, I’m just bad in math.” And then they’d give up.  Someone with a growth mindset would fail the same test, but their self-talk would be more along the lines of, “Ok, I didn’t do well on that test.  Let me see what I can do to learn the material better and improve.”

I know I can get in the fixed mindset, especially around health and exercise.  Because eating healthy and exercising regularly really is hard work!  It’s hard work, and the idea that someday it might be easy isn’t helpful, because it won’t get easy.  It might get easiER, but it still won’t be as easy as going to a fast food restaurant and eating junk food.

So I’m going to use one of the tips they gave us at the conference, which is the word “yet.”  When I feel like I’m not healthy, or I can’t do it, or I’m not a good exerciser, or anything like that, I’ll just say “YET!” to remind myself that I can always improve.  “I’m not healthy, YET!”  “I’m not a good exerciser, YET!”  

Even though it’s hard, the more I do it and the more I try, the more I build those connections in my brain that make it easier, and that make it more of a habit.

That’s the goal!

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