The Fulfillment Series

The Fulfillment Series

Friday, June 22, 2018

Unexpected Life Changes

So, I recently wrote about our new eating plan, and I'd intended to do post on the oil cleanse method, which has revolutionized my skin. But life had other plans. Unexpected plans.

My great uncle J.H. passed away. In April, he'd been diagnosed with kidney cancer, and by June, he was gone. While it wasn't quite as unexpected and out-of-the-blue as my PaPa's death, it was still so fast. Too fast. When PaPa died, I wondered if it would have been easier to have known and have had some warning. But now I know. You're never ready. We're never ready to let go of the people we love.

J.H. was my Mema's (grandma) brother. So, he's technically my great uncle, though I've only ever called him Uncle J.H. Uncle J.H. and Aunt Bobbie. Their names have always flowed together as one, like Mema and PaPa. I *still* say Mema and PaPa, and it's been almost a year. I can't think of one without the other, and the same goes for Uncle J.H. and Aunt Bobbie.

Y'all, I've always admired Uncle J.H. He carried himself in such a stately manner, like if you looked in the dictionary under "Southern gentleman," you'd find his picture. But he was also down-to-earth, always asking about other people and being genuinely interested in their answers. He was one of a kind, and the world--our family--has truly lost another bright light.

Deek often comes up with these great analogies for things, but at first, you don't see the connection. So, he always starts with "Hang with me for a minute." I'm going to say that now. Hang with me for a minute, and you'll see where this is going...

This morning, I envisioned our family like a Light Bright picture (see...hang with me here). Does anyone remember those? I think they actually still sell them.

Each member is a light that makes up the amazing picture that is my family. And slowly, over time, some of those lights go out. MaMa (my great-grandmother), PaPa's brothers and sister, cousins, PaPa, and now Uncle J.H. Sometimes lights come into the picture, when babies are born or when people get married, but never in the same place as the lights that went out. Those are not replaceable.

This Light Bright picture of our family is ever changing. One image is not more beautiful than the next, just different. But when you're like me and remember the original picture--the one with everyone who's gone--you miss it. You yearn to see it, and them, just one more time. 

But the truth is...that's not the original image, is it? That's the new picture that changed when the people before us--PaPa, his brothers and sisters, Uncle J.H.--lost their own loved ones. The image I feel is the "original" came only when other lights faded. I bet PaPa and Uncle J.H. missed their "original" Light Bright family pictures too. I bet they stood where the rest of my family is standing today...mired in grief and sadness. Missing. Longing. Wishing.

Yet PaPa and Uncle J.H. kept shining. And we should too. Instead of thinking their light has gone out, we should imagine it has been transferred--to the rest of us. It's up to us now to shine as brightly as we can. This family Light Bright picture may not be the one we remember, but it's beautiful too. It's infused with the lights of so many generations. 

It's a legacy. A proud, deep legacy.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Life Changes

Hey y'all! It's about to be summa, summa, summa up in here! WOOT!! I am so freakin' excited! Give me a hot day over a cold one any day of the year! ;)

Throwback to our honeymoon after the 2nd/Southern wedding!

Speaking of throwback and the 2nd/Southern wedding, Deek and I just celebrated another anniversary! Let me tell you, life with this man just keeps getting better and better. Every day I think I can't love him any more than I did the day before, and yet, I do! He is my dream come true, and I adore him epically!

And now... 
More in love than ever and having a blast!

And if you needed more proof that my hubby rocks, may I present his latest "just because" gift to me...

House Stark forever!!

Okie dokie, now let's talk about some changes that have been in the works.

Eating: For the past five years or so, I've struggled with my thyroid and adrenal failure. Before Deek, I lived a *super* stressful life, and living that way for so long has lasting effects (see my posts about that here and here).  If you know anything about thyroid problems and adrenal failure, you know it's almost impossible to lose weight.
I'd had success with South Beach and paleo in the past, so Deek and I gave those a shot. We worked out and we ate right and...nothing. I might bounce down a pound or two, but it would always come back. Many times, I'd look at my husband and say, "Screw it. I might as well eat pizza and Coke every day for all the good this diet is doing me!"

I still think pizza may be the most perfect food ever invented...

Also, I had been having pain in my stomach every time I ate. Back in January 2017, I had a stomach virus, and my tummy has not been happy since. A doctor said when your stomach goes through a trauma like a bad virus or something like that, it can take up to two years to fully heal. Think of it like this...if you break your arm, you put it in a cast, and it heals. But your stomach is never "off duty."

Enter keto. I'd been reading about it a lot and considering it for a long time, but everyone said, "Don't do it if you have a thyroid problem. It will shut your thyroid down!" So, I stayed away, but it kept creeping up the back of my mind. One day, I told Deek I was going to devote some time to really studying this eating plan and see if it would mess my thyroid up even more.

Confession, I freakishly love to research. I mean, I *really* love it. I need some kind of job where I just research stuff for people. Anyhoo, I found a way to make keto work with the thyroid. After Deek and I discussed it, we decided to give it a try.

Y'all, I am losing weight! It's slower than most keto people because of my thyroid and adrenals, but it's happening!!! I had this pair of shorts that did not fit me in April. I'm talking about I looked like a sausage being stuff into casing--that bad. But I wore those shorts yesterday, and they were super loose. What the heck??

But more than that, I *feel* good. My stomach does not hurt at all anymore, and I have energy like crazy. Now, I'm not a doctor (check with professionals if you're considering a diet change), so y'all take this anecdotal story with a grain of salt. But man, it's changed my life!

In addition to eating keto, I do HIIT workouts, tabatas, and interval running.

I spoke to my mom yesterday, and she decided to do keto also. She said she's losing weight and feeling great. She said "Keto even works for old people." LOL! She's not old BTW. ;)

Ain't she purty? And definitely *not* old.

Since this blog post is already super long, I'll save my next change for my next post. In that, I'll be talking about my new facial regime (it's not for any sales company). I make it at home, and it's revolutionized my face. 

I'll leave you with this recent photo of me and Deek doing what we do--having fun together. Until next time... 

It's you. It's always been you, and it'll always be you!