Was talking to best friend Diana (the Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams Diana) on the phone the other day . . . girl talk, about the Oscars, about her granddaughter being accepted Cal Poly ~ (oops, yes, MUSICA!) Anyway, the conversation was gradually moving toward me telling her how shocked I was to discover that the thing that may have been keeping me from losing weight in any sort of a sturdy, healthy, long-lasting way, without cravings, for years, no matter how I starved myself, was stress. Up until lately, I thought stress was just one of those things, like the weather, you see it and ignore it. Diana’s a nurse, and her answer was, “DU-UH? You’re shocked? I’ve been telling you for years, you need to rest more!!!” Normally I ignore her (for obvious reasons) because I don’t have time for resting, it’s boring, I feel fine, I’m busy! But this time, after all my recent investigating, I knew better, and replied, “Well, all you had to say was, ‘Stress makes you FAT’ and I would have listened!” 🙃 I’m probably last on my block to know, but just in cases, I thought I’d write a post about it . . .Interestingly I wrote this (above) in 1999 in my Girlfriends Forever Book. And it’s still very good information! Too bad I haven’t been paying much attention to it! And, because I didn’t it know then, I didn’t mention, ‘Stress Makes You Fat!’ But it’s even worse than that, if anything could be worse, too much stress has a life of it’s own, like the flu or diphtheria ~ it affects EVERYTHING: your thoughts and feelings, your relationships, everything from mood to skin to hair, your vital organs, your belly fat ⚡️, your nervous system, your mental acuity, everything that is you, even the quality of your sleep, your ability to lose weight or even be happy. Ignore it at your peril! What I did get right was, “It’s cumulative and it sneaks up on you, especially when you are too busy to notice.” That’s what happened to me. For a long time, maybe the last ten years, I’ve had lots of happy stress, but sad stress too, and I’ve been extra busy, applying self-imposed pressure, with book writing and publishing, travel, speech-a-fying, and there were huge losses, like my dad, my brother, and Girl Kitty, worry for my mom, her brother, my dad’s wife, making sure they are all cared for ~ so busy with everything, I didn’t notice that stress was building up. It’s stuff we all have in some form or another, some so much worse than mine, which makes us take our own for granted, and just plow through and do what needs to be done, because that’s life and we are brave and amazing people.I think what saved me from total disintegration was how much I LOVE what I do, plus the automatic exercise and walking I do most everyday. Meditation, too. And girlfriends. All of them, big de-stressers, but there is so much more we can do to help ourselves if we have awareness!
And for any of you suffering, as I’ve been, from constant dietus non-workingus . . . complete with spare tire, nagging sweet tooth, cravings, and little irritating symptoms that seem to be disconnected, it just might be stress-related inflammation talking to you! It’s a stressed-out world these days, we’re all feeling it. Down-time is almost nil. Phones, blue lights from electronics, mind-numbing news, sugar squashed into everything, bad fats, dis-HEART-ening DIS-information, icky drug commercials, bullies on social media, we’re up against a lot. If we don’t take care of ourselves, and rid ourselves of as much of that as we can, no one will do it for us. The Internet is a wealth of information, if you’re curious, and careful who you listen to, and don’t believe everything you read ~ If you’re saying to yourself this could this be me, there’s lots of help out there. I’ve been having a field day with it! My favorite thing about aging, one of them, is the discovery that you never stop learning! There’s always something to make it a red letter day! It’s been just over three weeks since I began to investigate stress, and five weeks since I changed my eating habits. I’ve lost fourteen pounds without cravings and without feeling hungry!I learned about healthy brain chemicals ~ serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, melatonin, and oxytocin, and how they relate to stress. And best of all, I learned to take a little more time each day to feed them the healthy lifestyle they need. Starting with food . . . they love the whole foods I talked about in the last post. They especially adore that big filling breakfast up there, anti-inflammatory brain-food that helps neurotransmitters protect against stress-causing disease. I mean Dis-Ease. The tension and worry-causers that keep us from noticing how sweet the world can be.💖 I found out that there’s a really good reason we kindred spirits have such an affinity for the little things in life, it’s our natural feminine wisdom telling us something ~ Common sense! Everyday things DO heal our stress and release all those luv-lee brain chemicals that bring happiness and joy to our ordinary extraordinary lives. We just naturally know that a cup of tea is good for us . . . . that puttering around the house . . . .
. . . and putting flowers in a little vase feels good.
That some sort of yard-sale rescue-operation of a lifetime can make our hearts sing. That clean counters can promote prideful staring. That ironing with a favorite radio program can be a good thing.
That feeding birds makes us happy.
So does rolling out a pie crust.
Or making chicken stock . . .
. . . and so do the flickering shadows dancing through the trees onto our walls.
Playing with our pets. Pure health.
Girl-talk. Communing with nature. Going barefoot in the grass. Checking things off our lists. Counting our blessings. Doing absolutely anything creative.
Fun thing is, my research told me these everyday little things in life actually have a basis in science . . . doing them releases those brain chemicals I was talking about . . . that reduce inflammation, balance our systems to keep cravings at bay, help us sleep, and cause happy feelings! How wonderful to discover it’s possible to heal yourself, without medicine, by doing more of the same! When we see stress coming, we can learn to trigger a relaxation response with deep breathing and immediately begin to feed ourselves from the well of sweetness. Tra-LA! Once again, who’s in charge? We are. 💞
Other natural healers include basking in morning sunlight, sewing, planting flowers, building something, watching CBS Sunday Morning, getting rid of clutter, turning off the news and turning on Turner Classic Movies, meditation, writing in your diary, keeping little bottles of Lavender oil or Vanilla (soaps, bubblebath, candles) nearby for fragrance therapy, making and giving gifts, donating to charity or volunteering, and as noted above, books, Musica, and movies that fill your heart and send you to the moon. Because what we do matters . . .
We women are natural givers, caretakers, nurturers, but it’s important to ask yourself, what am I going to GIVE myself today? 💞 Stretch out in bed before you get up, go for a walk, take a cooking class, an art class, learn to quilt, knit, crochet, all creative endeavors that provide self-sufficiency and release luv-lee brain chemicals that help to keep you healthy. That’s why you feel so happy when you do them! Vote, recycle, love thy neighbor, be an elf, because when you do something for the earth, for your neighborhood, for your family, even putting a wreath on your door, or planting tulips, making compost, or planting a tree, you feel good about yourself. Be a citizen of the world. Pet your kitty. Put something fun on your calendar. There are no photographs in our family albums of my mom exercising with
Jack LaLanne’s TV program because she was the one who took all the photos! But I remember coming home from school and finding her on the living room floor with two or three little ones around her, everyone flailing their legs in the air. She set a healthy example that has lasted a lifetime. Exercise, another natural way to overcome the worst effects of stress. Free endorphins right there for the taking.
I do these little exercises with weights every other day. I’m like my mom in another way, food isn’t food to me either. It’s protein, starch, and ruffage, it’s dopamine and melatonin. And yes . . . what you feed your body matters, in more ways than one.
You’ll never go hungry again if you feed yourself from the well of sweetness! Oatmeal with apples, blueberries, walnuts, mixed seeds and cinnamon, melatonin galore! And you won’t be hungry until lunch.
Check out the delicious dopamine ⬆️ dripping with Omega-3s and antioxidants! Learn about good fats and bad ones, especially watch out for trans fats in packaged food. And you know what stress thrives on and not in a good way? Sugar, which is in almost everything, and processed carbs. Stay away, eat healthy cage-free eggs, avocados, spinach, nuts and seeds, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, artichokes, and beans. Steam, scramble, saute, and bake. Drink lots of water and green tea.
Hope this keeps you busy and healthy for the rest of the winter! It’s been making me happy, I hope it helps you too!
So, perfect timing, our little handiwork embroidery project (where you will definitely find joy in doing and giving) ~ Jack and his Quilt Kit has arrived! I have him here in my studio, and cover him with his quilt at least once a day, I tuck him in. He’s even softer and cuter than he looks.💞 Has all the attributes of the Pillsbury Doughboy.
As for our butter dishes and tiny Courage vases and the rest of the little dishes and things, I’m so sorry how late they are. I have been sending distress notices to the manufacturer, lighting small 🔥 fires . . . not yelling per say, but beginning to think about it! 📢 I’m being told all the time, “soon.” I know they ARE coming, just when I’m not sure. I asked yesterday for an exact ETA, estimated time of arrival, but have not heard back yet. Last clear-ish picture I received was “two more weeks” and that was three days ago. But two weeks from when is what I want to know. I promise to keep you updated. I’m so sorry!
But, look what DID come in for approval! Took ‘er out for a test drive this morning and she passed with flying colors! All four cup designs are approved and being made in England as we speak. ETA: end of March, beginning of April depending mostly on what happens at customs. I also placed an order for the new A Year in the English Countryside Wall-Calendar for 2020! Thank you for preordering so I knew how many to get!
I had the girls over for TGIF last snowy Friday night. T’was wonderful. Fed them soup and salad in front of the fire.
Solved all the world’s problems and laughed ourselves silly. So good for what ails you. I wob my girlfriends.So that’s it for today ~ at ease my darlings . . . and please, stay that way.💋 It’s almost spring!