Anyone who has anything to do with children will hopefully understand that teaching them rules and consequences is good for them. When I taught, I had the odd kid come through my classroom who obviously was not held accountable for their actions. It’s not pretty, and in my mind, borderline disgusting. Being completely self-indulgent isn’t a pretty picture. Bringing up a child letting them have free reign will have long-lasting and disastrous consequences. Discipline, understanding right from wrong, and how to treat themselves and others around them are critical skills in growing up into a functioning adult. Being accountable to one’s actions and taking responsibility for what we’ve done helps us to be better people and to continue to learn.
Boundaries are needed throughout our lives. We understand to get a paycheck we have to show up for work. We know that to keep a spouse, we have to sacrifice sometimes what we want in order to help the other. We know that indulging in cookies everyday will at the very least make our insides feel gross, let alone the possible consequences of weight gain (been there, done that). And a parent knows all too well the many sacrifices of self (time, money, and energy) in our efforts to raise a child.
I’ve got some of the basic ‘boundaries’ in my life in control. I set my alarm to greet the little one I babysit for. I grudgingly go grocery shopping and prepare good food to feed me and my family in the best way possible. I’m quite faithful in my exercise practices, to varying degrees, depending on how I slept through the night.
But with the recent weight gain, something isn’t working. Some rules need to be readjusted. I had let up on a strict paleo diet and allowed non-gluten grains back in; my son has much better poops with more starch in his diet so I also used that as an excuse to include it in mine (even though it did the opposite for me, so constipated <!!!> … and I believe it’s the main culprit for a recent 15 pound weight gain). I’m also horrible with sweets; I open the door a crack to let a little in and before I know it, an avalanche is ripping the door off its hinges.
No excuses. So often I hear people say they just ‘can’t do that’. If you want something bad enough, you will make it happen. If you want better health, then commit yourself. Period. I say this to myself and I say it to you.
Ever since my 2-month streak of clean paleo, sugar-free eating back in the fall of 2013 that resulted in no weight loss and the worst streak of insomnia I’ve ever had, I was discouraged (to say the least). But I’ve learned since then that those with adrenal fatigue quite likely need higher carb diets since it’s hard for their bodies to use fat as fuel. I’ve also learned that the key to any health endeavor is to first deal with mental and emotional stress. Either way, I used that perceived failure to let me eat whatever I wanted to. I did also notice that including more sugar in my diet meant I slept much better through the night, so it’s been tricky finding a healthy balance and deciding on what sort of sugars (a direct hit or more fruit or more starchy veggies). I have a hard time moderating. I do much better with a ‘NO SUGAR AT ALL’ approach rather than just a little in a day. Somehow a dollop of honey in my tea leads to eating half a dozen cookies. Sigh.
Time to reign in and set some new boundaries. No more non-gluten grains. Ever. I’ve done this for a month now. Even though another reason for allowing them back in was for some easy-prep food, I’m surprised that I’m happier not eating them anymore. It means for more prep in the kitchen, but it’s a boundary I’m content with. Another boundary I’ve made is borrowing from Teresa Tapp’s God-made/man-made food plan. The basics she lays out is eat God-made food (unprocessed whole food) 2 days, then treat yourself on the third day with something more processed. She firmly believes in not depriving yourself for long-term success, and I agree with her. However, for myself, 2 days isn’t long enough before a treat of some kind so I am doing 4 days ‘on’ before I get a treat of some sort. And all of this is within the bounds of paleo. My treat is some sort of paleo baked good or a smoothie of some sort. This has been the perfect challenge for someone (ahem, me!) who has indulged in whatever I wanted for half a year, short of eating gluten (my arthritis simply does not tolerate that all all). I also find that I’m content with a much smaller treat than I’ve noticed myself doing in the past.
Another thing I’ve been able to do more of is exercise. Hopefully this is a sign of me crawling out of the depths of adrenal fatigue, but I also attribute it to Teresa Tapp’s methods. I went from not being able to walk more than 20 minutes due to horrid consequences of fatigue, a horrid night’s sleep, and arthritic flare-ups to being able to walk over an hour and be fine with it. I can do a T-Tapp workout 5 times a week and feel really good. Teresa takes the rehab approach, emphasizes the lymphatic system, and creates exercises that work with the body and not against it. There’s nothing wimpy about her workouts, I’m sweating like a pig after each one! My goal has been to step things up to try and build more muscle mass.
I’ve been going strong for a month now, though I think twice I pushed my exercise too far. I have not weighed myself yet as I think my body’s response will be slow. I don’t want to discourage myself from a number on the scale when I can feel a new confidence and strength returning to my body. My body has often been slow to respond in the past (except when I first went paleo) and I accept it’ll be slow while in the grips of adrenal fatigue.
Making boundaries for myself is a way of showing myself respect. That I care enough and that I am worth it. I’m much more happier following reasonable rules with goals for myself, than compared to when I just ate whatever and didn’t push myself a little while exercising.
Funny how that works.