Happy Friday + Randomness

Happy Friday, my friends! So, this has been a bit of a crazy week, and I’m glad that it’s the weekend. One of the major highlights of my week was a doctor’s visit, as odd as that may sound. I’ve mentioned before that I have a health condition, and this requires that I get blood tests and check-ups approximately every three months. In many ways, it’s felt like a science experiment for about a year.

When I last wrote about all the positive lifestyle changes I made back in January, things were looking up. I was well on my way to full remission without medication, and life as a whole was good. Then just before summer, I started to relapse. Due to a number of reasons that would bore you to tears, my stress levels started to increase, I was starting to feel ill more frequently and test results showed that my thyroid hormone levels were out of whack again. It wasn’t a life-threatening relapse, but it was enough to cause concern.

I met with my doctor in June, and after some discussion, I had to admit that I had fallen off the health wagon. I’d been so busy that I wasn’t eating as well, I wasn’t exercising as much and I certainly wasn’t sleeping. All those great lifestyle changes I had made — though not abandoned entirely — had not been practiced nearly as enthusiastically.

The relapse scared me and this was around the time I started my green juice regimen and got back on the dreaded treadmill (let’s just say exercise and I have had a long and contentious relationship). I’d like to point out that in a cruel turn of events, I’ve managed to gain weight by eating better and working out more. However, I’m feeling rejuvenated like I did back in January and again, the test results from this week confirmed that I am near full remission and even better than January. And once again, my doctor was amazed that I improved without medication — “You’re my poster child!” she told me.

The relapse was a much-needed wake-up call and I’m determined not to start a cycle. The test results clearly show that if I’m mindful of the health trifecta (food, exercise and sleep) and reducing stress, a multitude of ailments can be managed effectively. It sounds so straightforward, yet it’s so challenging to maintain! I listened to this Ted Talk about stress, and I’ve been mulling over it a lot since there’s just no way of eliminating stress from life and I like the idea of viewing it as helpful.

I am also well aware of how very privileged I am to get to work on so many things that I love like blogging and sewing and illustrations and I think it’s a huge contributing factor to my well-being. But sometimes, the aspects that inspire you can turn into something else – obligations, pressures, sources of insecurity. In some ways that was starting to happen to me: I obsessed that I wasn’t producing high-enough quality content on the blog and began to worry about stats (always a bad idea); I felt like my sewing was hitting a plateau and wasn’t good enough; I had a list a mile long of creative goals for which I felt unprepared and unskilled (very discouraging). The benefit of the relapse and then turning it around through my own efforts was that it jump-started my mojo and reminded me that I write and photograph and sew and draw because they delight and energizeΒ me, and that I needed to turn off my inner people-pleaser and harsh critic and just do what makes sense to me.

Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble on and on — it’s a constant struggle to find that elusive balance. But I have a goal to reach full remission by the end of 2013 and I believe it’s achievable. I’m so close!

So, no K quote or haiku today, but I’m wishing you a spectacular weekend full of healthy food, physical fitness and restful sleep.

Oh, and before I forget: I loved reading about all the wonderful aspects of yourselves that you hold in high regard,Β and the winner of the giveaway is Kim T. You should have received an email from me already. Congrats!!!!!

24 thoughts on “Happy Friday + Randomness

  1. I’m happy for the improvement of your health Sanae. Also very impressed in how you have the discipline to get better not depending on the drugs, but changing life habits. You know it is a bit odd, but the last part of your blog is very touching because it fits perfect on my personality, I often self sabotage my creativity due to my perfectionism. I like your blog, I like what you make and I like that you are sincere and that is something I can see in your creations. I wish I could have the courage to write every day a post like you do! Happy weekend and take lots of care.

    1. Thanks for your well-wishes, Maria! It’s been a fascinating health experiment, and I’m glad I went the non-medicine route though I know that it’s not for everyone. I greatly enjoy your blog too, and I think it’s the desire to make the best possible creations that make your clothing and other sewn items so fabulous!

  2. I enjoy reading your blog. This summer I found out I have hashimoto’s. it sucks but with a change of diet and medication things have gotten better.
    I feel like next time you guys come to Traverse City we should hang out:)

    1. I know so many people with Hashimoto’s, Lauren – I have the less common Graves’ and it’s heartening to hear that change of diet and medication are working well for you! I hear that it sucks the energy right out of you, which is so hard (I get the opposite – I get heart palpitations and stay in overdrive mode). And yes, would love to hang out when I’m in Michigan again! πŸ™‚

  3. So so awesome, Sanae. You are a constant source of inspiration, do you know that? I hope you do. I’m so very happy that your health is on an upswing. High five, lady. Now, go have an awesome unstressful weekend. xo

  4. Wow, respect! Very happy for you, and inspiring to read. Suffering from CFS since my teens, not dangerous or anything, but with quite an influence on my day to day life. The influence of food, stress & general lifestyle is sooo huge! Especially stress, during more complicated work periods I can’t take anything, whereas I feel like moving a mountain when I’m relaxed and doing what I love on my own terms. It thus means a lot to me to read your story, thank you! Your style & creations already were inspirational, now your way of living is as well.

    1. Thanks so much Pienkel – I’ve heard so much about CFS – Do you know the writer Laura Hillenbrand? I found this interview amazing. It sounds like with your wonderful lifestyle choices, you are able to keep the condition under control more often than not and that is so motivating!

      1. Thanks for the link, I didn’t know her story, fascinating read for me. Confronting as well, but I’m happy that it has been years ago now that I’ve been really homebound, so I consider myself very lucky, being able to enjoy my life with husband, three little kids and even work & sewing. Hope your improving health and sense of wellbeing keeps going upwards as well!

  5. Remission is a great thing – prioritize your life around keeping/maintaining good health and sanity, if not for yourself, then as a role model for your daughter! She needs to see Mom taking time and effort to care for herself.

    Also, weight is just a very small portion of your overall health. If you’ve gained pounds of muscle, be glad and proud!

    1. Hear, hear! Much of this last fourteen months or so have been about prioritizing my health and it’s really had a tremendously positive impact on my life. And you’re right! I should be proud of my muscle pounds and man, are the muscles growing πŸ™‚

  6. Thank you for your long “Sanae quote”! I am happy to hear you are on such a good path to remission and health! I watched the talk and it sounds very interesting indeed! (It reminded me a bit of neuropsychologist Rick Hanson and the things he talks and writes about. Do you know him? I think he is great.) Friendly stress – I like that! And I think you are already doing what she is talking about: reach out and connect (to us!). I liked what you wrote about turning off the inner people pleaser. And isnΒ΄t it strange, that when we do that and do what makes sense and feels right it actually “pleases” other people, too? Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for inspiring me!

    1. πŸ™‚ Thank YOU Ute, I do feel like I’m connecting and it’s awesome – and I have to check out Rick Hanson’s work as I totally trust your recommendations.

  7. Sanae I think your blog is really beautiful and I love your style. I’m not a commenter in general but I just want to send you support and best wishes in your pursuit for better health (I could do with regular inspiration also!) and also just let you know that yours is one of the few (of many!) blogs that I really look forward to reading.

    1. Thank you, Sophie!! I appreciate your words so much and I took a peek at your blog and your photography is stunning! I want to know the stories behind all the images…

  8. So proud of you, Sanae:) And so happy along with you for great blood work this last app’t . . . when you put your mind to something, girl, you get it done!! You are an amazing inspiration to so many of us who enjoy your blog – please don’t ever let it become a source of stress for you. At this very moment, I hope you are enjoying a relaxing, stress-free weekend filled with green juice, leisurely walks and fun family time:)

    1. Thank you, thank you Lucinda! As always such kind and encouraging words. πŸ™‚ I’m having a lovely weekend so far — M and I got to go out on a proper date tonight while K enjoyed a pretend sleepover at a friend’s house πŸ™‚

  9. I have Hashimoto’s that I have controlled for years with medication. The hardest aspect of having it was trying to get pregnant. I’ll just say it took a discouraging long while. What eventually helped, I believe, was exercise. I was super stressed about not getting pregnant and my doctor just wanting to put me on fertility drugs so I joined a running club to take my mind off of things. After finishing the three months of training, watching what I ate and running my first 5k, I discovered I was pregnant. Weird, no? I think there has to be a connection. I was healthier at the time I got pregnant than I ever had been before. Anyway, I’ve been out of whack here lately. I was taking a higher dose of synthroid during pregnancy and I ended up hyper after having baby. I had a heart palpitation episode in the cutting line at Joann’s and I felt like I was going to keel over and die right there. I figured that would be in my obituary- died while waiting for fabric to be cut at Joanns. Ha! It was not fun. Now I’m on a lower dose trying to get things back in order. And I’m trying to get back in to the running deal- when baby lets me πŸ™‚ Nice to hear you are taking care of your thyroid disease without medication. I’d love for that to be in the cards for me in the future.

    1. Oh Liza Jane, keeling over at Joann’s cutting line is no way to go – you know, that’s so interesting about you becoming hyper from your meds. My doctor told me that it’s very common for hyper to turn into hypo after taking thyroid prescriptions for awhile. That was part of the reason I decided not to rely on medication (again, not a move I would recommend in general). And I’m totally with you on the exercise theory. I’m convinced that made the biggest difference in my test results.

      Anyway, so glad that everything led to sweet Baby Jane and fingers crossed that you’ll be able to carve out some regular time to take care of yourself – it’s so important πŸ™‚

  10. Shoot… just keeping up with the blogs I like to read makes me stressed! I totally go through phases of feeling great and healthy and a multitasking machine, and then just sort of falling flat really fast. I will say that my healthy food intake just diminishes when I’m feeling stressed or not sleeping well. I started a green juice (blender style) campaign 2 months ago that I did really well with, and come to think of it… I felt great those weeks. But, I fell off that wagon a few weeks ago with all this back-to-school busyness. Ugh. I really need to get back to it.

    Anyway, thanks for always sharing your thoughts. And GREAT news that you are back doing well! Hope you had a stress-free weekend!

    1. Man, keeping up with blogs is a major stressor for me! I finally had to stop looking at my reader daily because I just couldn’t keep up.

      I really love the blender style green juice and I’ve been toying with the idea of alternating it with strained, pure green juice because I think I may be getting too much fiber?? I won’t go into details but I think my digestive tract may be getting a little overwhelmed. But yes, it’s a ton of work and some days I feel like all I do is wash and chop vegetables…I’m cheering you on Erin and hope you’ll start feeling like a healthy, champion multi-tasker again πŸ™‚

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