May 10, 2011

Dear Mental Illness

This is just a quick on the go post, but I found a website last night that I just had to share with the world.

It’s Dear Mental Illness and it spoke to my heart so much. It’s a place for people dealing with mental illness, either personally or through a friend/family member, to vent all their feelings in a letter to their mental illness. It was heartbreaking and empowering to read about others dealing with mental illness and how they are working through it.

I even wrote a letter to my depression. And the honest truth is that it was so satisfying to write. Something about personifying my depression as an evil villain and then having the freedom to tell him just exactly how i felt about his role in my life, was astoundingly comforting and empowering.

As I told my depression last night, I am going to royally kick it’s ass. :)

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

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May 9, 2011

A new day is upon us!

I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I posted. Mental note: Make this a better priority. Truth is I’ve wanted to post many times but just haven’t found the right words to put down. Even now, I’m not really sure why I’m on here writing. Hopefully something profound will come out of my thoughts.

I’m embarking on two very important journeys as of late and I’m excited to share both of them with whoever is reading my thoughts. 

The first journey is one for my health, both physical and mental. The hubs and I have jumped into a clean eating diet, and we are loving every bit of it. We dabbled in clean eating a bit about a year ago, but never really committed to it out of laziness and gluttony. Hard to admit but the reason we gave up on it was because we weren’t ready to give up some of our favourite daily indulgences! We’ve been on it for about 3 weeks now and it has made a world of difference for me.

For those that aren’t familar with clean eating, the principles are pretty straight forward. Clean eating is avoiding processed and refined foods, eating five to six times a day (I’m currently on my second meal of the day: fat free Greek yogurt with honeydew, walnuts and cinnamon!) and  reduced portion sizes. The first bit is the whole foundation for this diet. When I say diet I’m not referring to a short term meal change to gain results in my body shape or weight, I mean a diet as in my overall food intake. We’re making it a lifestyle change and we intend to stick with it forever and eventually raise a family on the same principles. This probably sounds daunting to some people but we find it to be really simple. We eat way more vegetables, appropriate protein portions, no refined sugars, flours or pastas, and dabble a bit into natural and organic products. I’m no advocate of organic products, but we inadvertently get them when we need some natural products that only seem to come in organic as well.  I even get to eat sweets occasionally, such as a Lemony Cream Tart from Clean Eating Magazine that I made this week. It’s basically a diet cheesecake – also known as heaven.

In combination with the clean eating, we’ve also taken on the challenge of losing 20 pounds each and running our first 5k and 10k runs this summer. I will be doing the 5k as I’m not much of a runner really, whereas the hubs definitely likes running more. So far our total weight loss is about 10 lbs between the two of us (about 5 lb each). 

Aside from the obvious health benefits of good diet and exercise, the mental health results have also been life changing for me. I can hardly describe the difference this has made for me on a day to day basis. Excluding all the preservatives, additives, artificial colours, refined sugars, etc from my diet has proven to provide me with better mental clarity, stability, focus, everything. No more sugar crashes, no more feeling like crap from eating fast food. It just feels great!

It seems like I’m jumping on the bandwagon with this new eating lifestyle, but I am just in love with it from every aspect.  I know that there’ll be days or times when we can’t adhere, like if we’re at a friend’s house for dinner or out at a restaurant, but everyone needs a little indulgence once in a while. Like I say, the idea of never eating chocolate again for the rest of my life has to be the most depressing thought. I will still eat chocolate. Just not as often perhaps ;)

As for my other journey, that will be for another post! =)

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo


April 4, 2011

My muscles cry out in anger!


… I am looking forward to a day of rest tomorrow, my poor legs/shoulders need it!

I’ve finally kicked my butt into gear and got my poop in a pile about losing some weight. I did some yoga yesterday and ran today, so my poor thighs are protesting by sending sharp pain signals to my brain every time I take a step.  It’ll be worth it, I know it. Ultimately, for me, it is about losing weight and being thin and feeling good about my body, but I know I’ll benefit from being healthier and all the other pluses that come with a balanced life. For now the idea of being 10 lbs lighter is my driving force

What kicked my butt into gear? Honestly, a comment by my husband over the weekend. Now, don’t misread as my hubs did not say anything negative about my weight or say I should lose weight, etc. We were getting dressed to go out with some friends and I was putting on my old jeans (I managed to rip my two good pairs in a week. That’s another story) and they were a little tight. Now when the hubs and I started dating, I put on some weight due to the honeymoon stage we were in and our lack of care about what we were eating. I crested into a size 10 and nearly died out of embarrassment. I’ve never worn a size 10 in my life before then, nor since then. I know that a size 10 really isn’t big, not in the world of average women, but for me it’s just unthinkable. Anyhow, I was pulling the jeans on and my husband asked (again, like he does all the time for whatever reason) if those were my 10’s. I was sick of him asking and emphatically reminded him I haven’t worn a size 10 in 2 years. Then he made an offhand comment that maybe it was time to step up a size in the pants department. Well, that really hit a nerve. Needless to say, the following day I spent 1/2 an hour doing yoga and re-vamped our fridge, pantry and meal plans for the next month.

My current weight is around 150, and my goal weight is 135 for right now. Why for right now? Because I know that I could get down lower and be healthier. For now, I’m working towards 135 and when I reach that point I’ll set a new goal weight.

My insecure, image focused part of me is just embarrassed to have thicker thighs and a bit of a Buddha belly. I want to be svelte, and frankly I want to do it before I have kids. My youth will run out and I don’t want to wait until I’m 35 with a post-baby body and carrying an extra 60 lbs to try and look my best. I’m in my prime – I want to look my best now.

Real gold fears no fire (or treadmill!),

Torrie xoxo

April 3, 2011

Book of The Moment

My typical Sunday night usually involves lazing around while I should be either doing last minute work preparation for my week or house upkeep tasks; this Sunday night is no different. My great accomplishment for the day is that I worked out for 1/2 an hour – hooray for me!  I’m sitting here at 8 o’clock trying to decide if it’s too early to hit the hay or if I should muster the gumption to do some work prep. I suspect the former idea will likely win out.

The reason I wanted to write wasn’t to ramble self-depreciatingly about my productivity – it was to inform the world of a great book I’m currently reading. For those that know me well, they know that books are my number 1 obsession bar none. I have around 200 of them that are 100% my own as my husband doesn’t read (at all. period. nope) and I read through books with the same fervor that most people eat hot dogs in a food eating contest. My genre preference lies somewhere in between fantasy and Christian books. Preferably when the two are combined (you say, what books would combine these two very different perspectives? The Chronicles of Narnia for 100 points please!). At the moment, I am on a binge of Christian literature thanks to my in-laws recommendations. Currently, I’m reading Heaven by Randy Alcorn, a non-fiction Christian book discussing the topic of Heaven.

And let me tell you people – what a treat we believers are in for when reach the big castle in the sky! It just makes me stoked about being in Heaven one day. Randy does a great job, so far, about drawing biblical conclusions about Heaven, Hell, the New Earth and everything that entails. It’s freaking great!

After I’m finished the epic book (it’s really long – I don’t know the exact page count but it looks like it’s easily 300+), I’ll let you all know if it’s worth a read. But as it stands right now, I’m saying it’s worth a read. ;)

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie

March 31, 2011

03.31.11

“You don’t have a soul.

You are a soul.

You have a body.”

– C.S Lewis

Hi all!

So after my few hiatus off here, I decided I should really get on here and write to myself. It has been an uneventful few weeks for me, with nothing but work and family really that have happened.

For those that I know I started an anti-depression medication at the end of February, I’m still taking it. I’ve now been on it for just over 5 weeks and it has been life-changing for me. My overall mood has increased and my perspective on life has changed dramatically! I think it’s fair to say that the husband I have fought significantly less in the last month than before. I enjoy my work more, I’m less stressed, I’m sillier with my husband, I laugh more and I genuinely feel like I’m enjoying life. Overall, this has been a great decision for me! I won’t say I recommend it to people who are suffering from some sort of depression because I’m not a doctor and I have no idea what I’m talking about. I just know that for me, it’s worked great!

Also, because of my new found love of life, my love of art has also returned. And let me say this : I missed you, art. I’ve worked on a few paintings and have started sketching again. It’s been so comforting, yet so freeing at the same time. I remember why I loved painting, why I loved seeing a sketch come to life. It’s just my love of my life (besides my husband and cat, ha!). I’m interested in other people’s art work again too. My cynical attitude that I carried for a few years about art and artists has been so stupid, for lack of a more eloquent word. I carried this chip on my should that artists were a joke and that they shouldn’t be taken seriously. I thought “what is art anyways? you can slap paint on a canvas and call it ‘art’. ” I’m not really sure where my negative attitude developed from, but I think the fact that I chose not to attend a good art school in a really cool city has something to do with it. I mean, my ideal world would be not working, even though I love my job, and just making art for a living. However, this is highly unrealistic as I am all too aware my own talent is not great enough to create a sustainable income for me and the hubs. So, I’ve come to terms that my art is for me and some friends/family and that is just as good. I’ve rediscovered that it’s not about if I can gain something from painting or drawing or whatever, it’s just about how I feel while I’m making it and the sense of accomplishment afterwards. Knowing “Hey! I made that!” is rewarding enough for me. I’m not interested in becoming a hipster and making it the sole focus of my life and bragging about it to others and trying really hard to be “artsy” because that’s just not who I am.

Speaking of who I am, over that last few weeks I had a big moment when I just sort of realizes who I was and wanted to be. I spent a lot of years wanting to be sort of “edgy”, rebellious, different, kinda bad-ass. I think that’s part of my personality – I’m not content being like everyone else because I know I’m different and I want to show that.  I realized a few weeks ago that that want to be edgy and BA wasn’t 100% driven by me, but by my angst and negativity. I always felt sort of like those coked-out rock stars – no reason to pick myself up and carry on, just dwell in the self-pity. I don’t feel like that anymore, and who I want to be doesn’t look like that anymore. I’m starting to see that I am a lot more girly than I thought. And I like it!  I feel like I relate best to that image of sort of feminine, soft, sweet, white, light pink, etc.

I feel the same way when you’re driving somewhere in the thickest fog and you feel so isolated and slightly afraid. You can’t see anyone or anything but the road ahead of you which now seems daunting and it feels as though it is the longest drive of your life. Doubt creeps in making you feel like you’ve missed your turn or taken a wrong one. You wish someone was with you because this is slightly terrifying and it’s not fair that you had to drive home in this weather. But once that fog clears you can see where you are, where you’re going and that you’re not alone! There are other cars on the road, there’s animals in the fields, and there are birds in the sky. You see the road miles ahead with homes and trees and other people! Instantly, you are comforted and reassured that you’re going the right way and that you’ll get to your destination.  You are confident in your path ahead because you know you took the right path and you’re going to get there just fine. No, better than fine. You’ll be great. =)

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie.

February 23, 2011

Jagged Little Pill

Today was my first official day of being on anti-depressants. I’m not  sure what I should say about this, other than I’m still not sure if I want  to tell people about the fact I’ve chosen to be medicated. Which seems  contradictory to the fact I’m putting out on the internet for just anyone  to read.

Here’s the deets: I’m on Celexa at a 20 mg dose. Nothing major, I have  to see if I need a bigger dose than that or if that’s all my brain needs.

I’ve felt one side affect so far and that is the fact that I woke up this morning feeling like I woke up from death. You know when you stay up until 4 am and then have to get up at 6 am for work, and it’s as if your body just cannot comprehend why you’re awake and why it got so little sleep? That’s what this morning felt like. I was in a sleepy stupor for much longer than usual, and my body felt incredibly sluggish and heavy. In fact, I had to buy an energy drink (I don’t drink coffee) to help kick my butt into gear. This lasted about an hour and a half, and thanks to the energy drink, I was good for the rest of the day. I’m not looking forward to this side affect so much tomorrow, but I bought a few more energy drinks in case this becomes a re-occurring side affect for the first few weeks.

Other than my zombie-like state this morning, nothing else to report. Life carried on as usual. I got to eat Chinese food for dinner tonight =)

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie.

February 22, 2011

Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri

I know I can’t take one more step towards you
Cause all that’s waiting is regret
And don’t you know I’m not your ghost anymore
You lost the love I loved the most
I learned to live half alive
And now you want me one more time
And who do you think you are
Running ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the eyes inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Who do you think you are
I hear you’re asking all around
If I am anywhere to be found
But I have grown too strong
To ever fall back in your arms
And learn to live half alive
And now you want me one more time
And who do you think you are
Running ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Who do you think you are
Dear, it took so long just to feel alright
Remember how to put back the light in my eyes
I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed
Cause you broke all your promises
And now you’re back
You don’t get to get me back
And who do you think you are
Running ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Don’t come back at all
And who do you think you are
Running ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
Don’t come back for me
Don’t come back at all
Who do you think you are?
Who do you think you are?
Who do you think you are?

February 14, 2011

Doctor, doctor give me the news…

I’ve got a bad case of lovin’ you!

Haha, just kidding. Now that I’ve started my post with a love song, I’ll follow up with a big

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tee hee ;)

But in all seriousness, I finally got the balls to go to my doctor’s appointment in regards to my depression. Okay, it was actually with a Health and Wellness Consultant. I didn’t know these existed prior to today. All we did really is talk about my being depressed and what I thought needed to happen in regards to it. I told her straight up that I wanted to try medication because nothing otherwise has made a significant enough impact for me. All the fresh air and exercise ain’t curing my bad moods.

She agreed and I made an appointment next week to see my doctor again to get a prescription. However, I’ve also been instructed to try the 5 areas of wellness (not sure if that’s exactly what she called them, I know there’s 5) which are as follows:

1. Socially – I’ve been instructed that when I get into a bad mood to force myself to do social things and to see people, so that I don’t sleep all evening and isolate myself (which currently is a frequent time consumer)

2. Emotionally – This is tied in with mentally too. I need to make sure I am sleeping, eating and getting physical exercise, which will directly affect my mood and mentality. I also have to start taking melatonin to sleep.

3. Mentally –  See above.

4. Physically – Engaging in physical activities, but also engaging in hobbies and interests regularly. If I’m starting to head down, bake some cookies or work on a painting.

5. Spiritually – She said this is not religious, but a matter of making sure the heart and mind are in tune with one another. No real guidance on this one. Going to try to do more biblical reading and devo times.

All, in all, that was my trip to the doc’s. As a result, we’re now going to convert part of the basement into more an actual art studio for me and I’ll be going for more walks. I’m optimistic about it all; hopefully I’ll find an answer soon.

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo

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February 10, 2011

Marriage is not overrated people!

In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up on Monday, I want to dedicate a post to my awesome husband and our marriage. This may be a little early, but I love the dude and want to let the world know that I feel that way all the time not just on a holiday.

Marriage is NOT overrated – it is the bomb.com. Seriously, whether you’re walking with God or not, marriage rocks. I know there’s a whole mentality out there these days that marriage a sham. I say this with all seriousness and conviction: Marriages are a sham because those people treat it like a sham. They don’t believe it. They don’t enter marriage with the attitude that there is no easy way out and they believe that it will be all fun and sunshine and lots of sex.

The reality is that marriage is  a lot of work. A lot. I can’t express how much “work” it really is. I put work in quotations because it’s not the work you think you’ll have to do. Things like compromising, or learning to share a bathroom. It’s working on putting my husband ahead of me all the time. I have to daily make an effort to honor my hubby by doing and saying things that are for his benefit, not mine. Things like telling him I really appreciate how he takes care of our house and makes sure our vehicles running. And doing things like doing the dishes for him even though it’s his turn. Why do I do those things? Why wouldn’t I? If I love him more than I love myself, so why shouldn’t I express that through my actions and words?

That’s the key problem for most marriages that fail, I think. (Now I am no expert, this is purely observation and late night musings, so if I offend I apologize in advance) The reasons marriage fail ultimately is that the people who entered the marriage are too selfish. Plain and simple as that. You can list “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for divorcing. What does that even mean? To me that means that someone couldn’t look past their own wants to see how they could honor and love their spouse. Marriage is not about “What can you do for me?” it’s all about “What can I do for you?” Marriage is not overrated – it’s the most pure and beautiful and intimate thing that God has created for us. I married my best friend and can’t imagine not being with them. Do I view my marriage as perfect and am I happy with it always? Hell to the no. But I’m still committed and I still want to put my hubby’s needs before my own. I want to honor him the same way he honors me by sacrificing my wants and needs for his. Do I fail at this? Yes. Does he fail at this? Yes. Does it mean either one of us is entitled to get mad and accuse the other? No (however, this does happen unfortunately).

The point I’m trying to make is that despite my short comings and my husbands, we are both 100% committed to making our marriage last. No matter the personal cost, financial cost, anything. The order of things I love descend in this order: God, my husband, my family, my friends, myself. It should be that way. Is being married probably the one relationship I’ll put the most work into? Definitely. But it also has the greatest rewards. Nothing I gain for myself will be as good as what I receive in my marriage.

Why do I love my husband? Because he’s my best friend and I honestly do not know what I would do with myself if something happened to him. Those that know us could describe us as the matching halves to a whole. He is my yin to my yang (cheesy, I know). I love how funny he is and how his light, carefree attitude helps my serious, negative attitude lighten up a bit. I love how he’s always in a good mood and how he spends most of his day just trying to make me laugh. I love how he looks at me, I love how he talks to me. I love that we can sit in silence and be comfortable with it. I love the look on his face when he gets caught doing something I asked him not to, ha! I love how he’s taller than me and I love how he loves cars (even though I dislike the cars sometimes). I love how he’s passionate about what he believes in and he stands for his beliefs no matter the cost. I love his confidence and that he’ll call the phone company for me to tell them I’m not satisfied with my current plan.  I love his eyes and the way he always holds my hand on his knee when we drive together. I love all of him, even the flaws and the parts that really, really annoy me. But the reason I love him most of all is because he loves me. Despite my flaws and my imperfections, he chose me =) How undeserving I am.

And that, is why marriage is not overrated.

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie xoxo



February 8, 2011

A Balanced Life – Does this exist?

It’s nearly 10 pm as I start writing this entry and I feel like I have not done anything on my To Do list. This isn’t true because I’ve made sugar cookie dough, done dishes, sorted laundry, run a couple loads of said laundry, cleaned my kitchen, picked out new floors and made 2 more social life plans while rescheduling 2 more. But I feel like I haven’t done anything because I have paperwork sitting that is 2 weeks overdue, a work To Do list that includes taking a photo of myself for an ID badge, cut out flyers for category books and create activity cards.

My week includes/ed: Full work week (for me, not truly 40 hours) plus wings on Monday, dinner with inlaws Wednesday, coffee with girlfriend and dinner with married couple on Friday, dinner with married couple on Saturday and church on Sunday. I effectively have tonight and Thursday night to accomplish all I want to accomplish. I feel exhausted looking at my schedule. In fact, I’ve been wanting to write a post for a few days but haven’t found the time for it because when I actually have some down time I just want to sleep.

That being said, I have to really make an effort to have  a social life, a home life, a job and a spiritual life. I find it incredibly challenging to find a healthy balance between all of these. This week is unusual in how many social appointments I made, but I find that if I don’t force myself to make plans and to commit to them, I don’t have a social life at all. If I have a great social life, my home life suffers. If I have too much of a home life, my job and social life suffer. Nothing suffers from having a spiritual life that dominates all. I’m just guilty of not making enough time in my day for spiritual time with God. Shame on me. But I honestly want to know and want to hear how you find a balance between everything you do in life.

How do you find that happy balance between home, friends, marriage (if it applies to you, this could be significant other too), work or school, and God?

For those that read this blog and know me and access it via Facebook, please leave a comment! I know you’re all reading this, don’t be afraid to drop a thought or anything! I welcome it =) Discussions are greater when they are not one sided and in my head.

Now that I’ve gotten my “balance” of home life tonight, I suppose I should get onto the work life portion. Here’s to happy thoughts!

Real gold fears no fire,

Torrie.


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