Inner Thoughts

ContemplationI was looking through an old writing tool this morning. One that I’ve used for years to jot down thoughts, ideas, and chapters for books I intend to publish at some point. And I found this snippet I wrote 7 years ago…so, sometime in 2009. My father had just passed away the year before after a lengthy (14 year) struggle with ill-health.

I thought it was interesting enough to share as a blog post. Because I wonder if these thoughts and feelings might resonate with others…

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INNER THOUGHTS

So here’s the thing…

I’m scared all the time. And I don’t know why. I don’t even know what I’m afraid of. Making wrong choices. Saying the wrong thing. Hurting someone. Losing my mind. Losing use of body parts or functions. Losing loved ones.

Losing, period.

Living a life without meaning. Simply existing.  And then not existing anymore at all.

Un-becoming. Un-learning. Forgetting.

I’m afraid of the unknown. And I’m afraid of the known.

I’m afraid of ignorance. And I’m afraid of knowledge. Was I happier…better off…before I knew that brilliant minds could become dim with time? That bodies break? That people give up on their dreams? Get worn down and worn out?

I’m afraid of being lied to and deceived. But I’m also afraid of the truth. Because the truth is that people lie and deceive.

I’m afraid of pain. And violence. Mental, emotional, and physical.

I’m frightened of religion and belief systems. Because they cause more division than unification. More judgment than mercy.

Was life better when I believed in Santa Clause and magic and Jesus?

I’m afraid of being alone. And I’m afraid of being lost in a crowd.

I’m afraid of being not enough. And of being too much.

I’m frightened of being soft because it makes me vulnerable. But also of being hard because that makes me stern and impenetrable.

I’m afraid of poverty and I’m afraid of the demands that come with success.

I’m afraid of disappointing others. Not meeting their expectations. And I’m afraid of being perceived as someone with all the answers because people become needy and demanding.

I’m afraid of anger because it can lead to all kinds of abuse. But I’m afraid of being meek and peaceful because it makes me easy to attack and take advantage of.

I’m afraid of starvation and I’m afraid of gluttony. Because in either instance my own body can turn against me. And so can society. And it generally will.

I’m afraid of judgment and condemnation. I’m afraid of self-righteous people who proclaim themselves wiser or smarter or chosen or more enlightened.  And make those proclamations based upon presumption and deception. Then justify their own abusive behaviors on those beliefs.

But here’s the thing about fear…

It doesn’t get you anywhere.

It makes your body speed up, accelerate, expect some kind of pay-off or culmination or orgasm.

But it never comes.

It only makes you feel like your brain is going to explode. Or your heart will pound so hard and so fast that it will break from over-use.

It just makes you tired. And cynical.

I know there was a need for fear in the beginning. I think it had something to do with running away from animals who wanted to eat us.

Instead of Original Sin, I want to know who created Original Fear?

 

Copyright ©2016 Tracy Partridge-Johnson. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Raw Foods and Menopause

In 2000, at age 38, for the first time in my life I started experiencing some strange health challenges.

We had recently moved to a 20 acre piece of property we purchased in Central Oregon and were drinking the local, city water while waiting to put in our own well. Shortly thereafter I began experiencing muscle weakness in both of my arms and dizziness that became nearly debilitating…especially whenever moving from a horizontal to a vertical position, or when rolling over in bed at night. Kind of like an ear infection would affect your equilibrium. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that it might have something to do with the water I was drinking (strange that no one else in the family had these symptoms, though…) and I quickly started purchasing 2.5 gallon dispenser jugs of purified water to consume. The pain got better almost immediately. But the dizziness persisted…not nearly as badly as it had been before changing to the purified water…but it still clung to me, off and on, for several years afterward.

In late 2006 my younger cousin, Floyd, who was 40 at the time, was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a softball. This had a significant impact me, both emotionally and psychologically. I desperately wanted to find a way to help him beat that illness. Combined with the fact that my father had suffered a double heart attack, several years earlier, at age 60 and was experiencing a gradual, but progressive, decline in his health, I was motivated to begin research on ways to heal the body through diet and nutrition.

This is when I found the Raw Food lifestyle. And without going into all of the history surrounding that (I’ve already written about that experience in detail on my other blog: http://tracyjprez.wordpress.com) I will say that over the next couple of years I followed that lifestyle with quite a bit of personal success. But it caused a significant challenge with my family, who did not embrace the idea of eating mostly raw foods, and this resulted in a fractured home-life, when it came to meals and food consumption. So, in early 2008 I gradually began eating more and more cooked foods.

During this same time frame I began noticing that my body was starting to experience some definite hormonal shifts. I wasn’t FEELING any different, but my monthly cycle was becoming sporadic, so I knew that something was changing. I hadn’t really experienced much weight-loss on raw foods during my first attempt following a high-raw diet, but most of my strange symptoms did go away, and I really LIKED the lifestyle. However, due to the situation with my family and other factors, I was lead back to eating mostly cooked food again. By January 2009 my weight was at an all-time high of 193 and I was feeling awful about myself. I’m tall, 5 feet 8 inches, so I can carry more weight than most women without looking especially over-weight. But no matter how you stack it, 193 is about 50 pounds more than I should weigh in order to be healthy. By this time most of our children had grown and were off, living on their own. So, I was in a better position to take a serious shot at Raw Foods again. And this time I did succeed in losing some significant weight! Between March and July I lost about 35 pounds and was feeling sooo much lighter and happier! I was energized and feeling more enthusiastic about life and this way of eating than ever before!

In November of 2009 I launched my online magazine, Eighty Percent Raw (www.eightypercentraw.com), fully convinced of the benefits of this lifestyle. Again, I’ve written all about that experience on my other blog: http://tracyjprez.wordpress.com. So, I will skip writing about all of that here, again. I want to get to the point of this post…

And that is this – Raw Foods and Menopause. Looking back on all of this upheaval and fluctuation in my weight and my health, with the symptoms that have come and gone in the process…I really think almost all of this can be attributed, primarily, to the hormonal changes my body has been going through. And I don’t think enough serious consideration, or discussion, is given to what havoc is really wreaked in a woman’s body, nor for how LONG, throughout the whole menopausal adjustment period. This isn’t like some short-term “condition” or illness that we go through and then get over in a couple of months. At least not in my experience. And if you are anything like me, you have tried all kinds of things in an attempt to force your body to cooperate with you to “fix” the problem. Well, guess what? Apparently the body wins. OMG! LOL!

Sooo…here is where I am today. I am returning to a high-raw foods lifestyle, once again. I am no longer experiencing debilitating joint pain in my knees (which always resurfaced whenever I would go back to high-raw or high-carb in the recent past…but, again, this appears to be related more to hormones and not to diet, as I previously believed) and my general health seems to be better than it’s been in quite a long time now. But I still struggle with the weight.

Raw foods is the one “diet” or lifestyle that helped me lose weight and KEEP IT OFF _without even trying_ for nearly two years. That is saying something, for me!

Here are some of the insights I’ve gained, so far as my own body and weight-loss and diet are concerned –

1. I can’t eat starches and lose weight (ie; cooked grains, legumes, potatoes, etc.)

2. I have to watch my fat intake. I can’t eat a lot of nuts, seeds, avocados, oils, etc. and lose weight (though, I was using eating lots of nuts, seeds, coconut, olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and olives with no problem prior to the major hormonal change, so I am going to be watching this)

3. Not sure if I need to be careful about condensed sweets like dried fruit, agave nectar (not currently using), pure maple syrup, honey, etc. So I will also be watching these. Also, not sure if I need to be cautious about high-sugar, high-starch fruits like banana, mango, papaya, etc. But I have my suspicions, so I am also keeping a close watch on what happens with these. *I _have_ noticed that I break out and get swelling and cracking around my lips when I consume much raw pineapple or watermelon lately… so I seem to have some weird food intolerance’s that I haven’t experienced before.

I would LOVE to have an open dialogue with other women who have had challenges going through menopause, especially where weight gain and hormonal symptoms are concerned. And I would particularly enjoy hearing from those who have overcome these symptoms and are following a high-raw foods diet & lifestyle!

Until next time…

Tracy