Sometimes We Fail…

Sometimes we fail, y’all. It’s a fact of life I was reminded of when I set out to survive a green smoothie cleanse. Let me explain. I had high hopes of emerging from a long detox regimen with glowing, flawless skin, a flattened stomach and relief from the joint pain that plagues me do the inflammation in my body caused by chronic disease.

I went to the store with my mother, who generously offered to pay for half of the groceries in my cart that was loaded with spinach, frozen fruit, almond coconut milk and kale. I ordered some plant-based protein powder off Amazon, and busted open the box my sister’s Ninja blender arrived in well over a month ago. I scheduled several posts in advance for this blog and completed my school work so that when the detox symptoms set in, I wouldn’t have to try to think with brain fog. I was all set, and prepared for overwhelming success.

Until day 2.5 on the cleanse. Let me tell you something; days three and four of any sort of detox program is meant to separate the strong from the weak. It’s where heroes are born and you get to see exactly what you’re made of. Apparently, I’m made of the desire for something to chew!

I tried to hold out, you guys. I sat in my bed, watching Friends and noticing how borderline racist and outrageously fat shaming it is, willing myself to be satisfied with the herbal tea that was supposed to help my detoxing efforts along. But, I wanted a boiled egg so bad I could taste it. The salt, and the instant satiety called to me.

I made every effort to talk myself out of it. I told myself that I had all the nutrients I needed in those darn smoothies I had been drinking. Fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Any desire to eat an egg was not based on actual need, but rather on desire.

Logically, I knew that all of the above was true. But deep down, where my intuition dwells, I didn’t give a hoot! So…I boiled some eggs and ate them. They. Were. Phenomenal. Absolutely everything I thought they would be, and they satisfied me in a way that nothing had in days.

Then the guilt set it. I’d failed. I’d set out to do something, and I didn’t do it. I found myself spiraling down into the black and white thinking that used to make me binge eat at times like this, because I’d already blown it, so I might as well go to town. But, therapy taught me to arrest that kind of thinking, and understand that an all or nothing attitude hadn’t helped me in the past, so it wouldn’t help me then, either.

So, I counted it as a lost, but not the end of the world. Then I re-evaluated my goals for starting the cleanse in the first place. To lessen my pain, clean up my diet, and get a hold of my sweet tooth. I realized that I could accomplish all of those things while eating whole food, so that’s what I’ve decided to do.

I have a smoothie and eggs for breakfast, another smoothie for lunch and a nice dinner. It’s been working. My sugar cravings are almost non-existent, and the ones I do have can be solved with a Larabar. I’ve been sleeping better, I can do squats again without excruciating joint pain, and my energy is off the charts.

So I failed, that much is definitely true. But you know what else? I learned some things about myself along the way. Besides that, I also reaffirmed how much I’ve grown in my relationship with food, and the practice of self-love. I hope that you can see by my little anecdote that even when we fail, if we learn something along the way, it’s not a total loss.

Our failures do not define us. How we respond to them does. I’m choosing to respond with compassion and grace towards myself. I really hope that when, or if, the time comes, you’ll do the same. ♥

When’s the last time you had a goal that you didn’t quite reach? How did you respond?


Rest Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word: Why I Take My Naps Seriously Around This Piece!

I don’t know why we have such an aversion to rest in Western culture these days. Maybe it’s all the productivity tips and goal setting books, articles and Instagram posts. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with seeking success. But sometimes I think that our measures of success are way off base. Are you really successful if your bank account is full, but your life is empty? I’d quickly answer that question with a hard no.

For the past 18 months I’ve learned how to rest. You’d think that would be something that I wouldn’t need to learn, since we come into the world knowing how to do it. Somewhere along the way in my path of life I decided that rest was optional. Something to be done when I had the time to spare. Other stuff took priority, and I can’t even say that the activities that drew me away from rest were always productive.

I put myself last in so many ways. I felt overwhelmingly guilty if I took time to “laze around”. That’s how I viewed rest. Either I was being lazy, or I literally kept going until I collapsed. That black and white thinking pattern is typical of people like me (more on that in another post).  Going until I dropped was the only way I could justify the simple act of taking time to rest.

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder of the thyroid (which explained why I was so inexplicably tired for a looooonnnnggg time) that I finally slowed down. Medical professionals have concluded that the type of health challenge I have is brought on by years of stress, both physical and emotional. I realized that in my case, the cause was also the cure.

I gave myself permission to sit down somewhere and chill out. My rest became sweet because it was no longer stifled by unnecessary guilt. My body, mind and soul breathed a sigh of relief because this was what all of me had been craving for years.

Isn’t it funny how God allows situations in our life to bring us to the place where He would have us? I truly believe that my life, the good and the bad, are orchestrated by the One who created me and set a path of His will before me. Even the bitter things are sweet if they bring about growth, knowledge and an expected end.

Making rest a non-negotiable factor has improved my well-being dramatically. The best part is that when I rest the way my body was designed to, I’m able to accomplish a lot more than if I pressed through the signs of fatigue and kept going. Besides that, the process of completing what I set out to do is much more pleasant.

I don’t share my thoughts and life experiences on this site because I’m a narcissist.  I share them because I know that there are some of you who might read this and have it resonate with your spirit. And maybe, it’ll change a mindset and therefore, a life.

Just paying it forward!

How do you balance your to-do list and your well-being?


My Beautiful Sister Tiffany

This weekend will make it one year since my sister Tiffany had a series of strokes that left her unable to walk, talk or eat without a feeding tube. Now she’s blogging about her experience! If that doesn’t show the faithfulness of God, I don’t know what does.

I am so humbled and grateful that she is still here with us. She definitely cheated death and I thank God all the time for that. I also thank each of you for your prayers and monetary donations during our time of need.

Enjoy Tiffany’s life affirming advice below, and excuse the occasional curse word. She struggles with aphasia, which is a side effect of the strokes that causes language disturbances. Reading her blog is just like talking to her and I LOVE it!!!

Tiffany D Gross

I’m so thankful to be alive! Yes! Yes! Yes! Now it’s time to live it up!
It’s coming close to the 1 year date of the strokes. March 13, 2015 it was a Friday. I’m glad I never was a very superstitious person because that fact alone would have really messed me up. I wanted to write something profound. Something really deep to share from my year of recovery. So here we go @#?! happens.

If you want to know how insignificant you are just get sick. If you want to know how smart you are get sick. You want to know what and who is important to you get sick. If you want to know who and what deems you important get sick. The only thing positive about any bout with any illness is the crystal clear clarity it gives to what is important to you. Plus knowing you have…

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St. Jude’s ‘Give Thanks’ Walk Re-Cap

This past weekend I froze for a great cause: St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital’s annual ‘Give Thanks’ walk. It was cold. It was rainy. It was windy. It was also fun! Along with a few hundred other ‘Mempians’ my family and I walked 3 miles for a great cause. Well…they did. I cheated just a little. More on that later.

First let me tell you a little about St. Jude’s:

The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay. Source

That’s right. If a family can’t afford to pay, they can still get state of the art treatment at St. Jude’s. How amazing is that? I can only imagine how stressful caring for an ill child is in and of itself. Adding financial strain to the mix just seems like cruel and unusual punishment. I am so grateful that places like St. Jude’s exist. It was so worth freezing for a couple of hours.

Sooooooo on the day of the ‘Give Thanks’ walk me, my sister, my aunt and a couple of my cousins braved the 30 degree weather all bundled up and raring to go. That didn’t last long. Especially for me. I’m still a California girl at heart and me, plus cold weather, equals a VERY unhappy camper. So I’ll let you all in on a little secret: about 40 minutes into the walk we turned the bend and I caught sight of my sister’s car. Just sitting there. Calling me into its warmth. My eyes were watering, my ears were aching from the wind continuously blowing my hoodie off, and my feet were numb. Needless to say I took a little detour and spent 15 glorious minutes in the car defrosting. By the time my sister came back around I gleefully joined her in time to cheer my way across the finish line and pose for a few misleading photos. Don’t judge me! My donation still counted. Any-who, check out a few pics from my walk of shame.

Even though the walk is over, you can still donate here if you like. Be blessed!

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