The winner doesn’t have to take it all – positive reinforcement 

When you are trying to change and lead yourself to a healthier life style, letting go of bad habits that give you immediate pleasure will be rough. You will continue having bad moments and then you will crave for your usual easy way out. You might get lazy and think that maybe it’s ok to skip the gym one day or that your room is not that messy (you can clean it next time you have time… Right?). Well, that kind of thought is completely normal and it is very easy to get dragged by it and let it become a snowball that will get you back where you first started.

I decided that one of my changes would be working out and getting stronger (my goal is strength, not definition, no matter my weight, no matter the size of my muscles, I just want to be able to do my everyday activities without asking for help). I had a severe weight loss and never got my muscles back, I started working out and then stopped going, had no will. Now I decided that I must start over and find the physical activities that will keep me going.

If you are having problems keeping yourself on track, like me, maybe you are lacking on motivation and if that’s what is happening, you need to remind yourself why you decided on taking this road in the first place. It is time for positive reinforcement!

Positive reinforcement is not about being bright and happy all of the time, it is about encouraging yourself rather than beating yourself up (metaphorically of for reals) because you should have known better. You can study your mistakes and your motivations, find out why you are willing to try instead of why you should not have such habits. Set some goals and celebrate them when they are reached or, if you didn’t make it, sit down and plan a new deadline for that goal.

 Failing a hundred times doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t do it. Maybe it is time you get help… If you did fail many times, maybe you need some guidance, and that’s ok! This should not be seen as a failure “good, can’t even take care of myself, need a babysitter to solve my problems”, but as a tool you will be using to help you reach your goals. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, or how many, you can always find professional help for it, or rely on family, friends or someone going through the same changes. 

When asking for help, try to find someone who will motivate you in a healthy and positive way. Having someone tell you that you are doing everything wrong, repeatedly, will not allow you to make the changes you need in a fulfilling way. 
Be strong, hang on, try your best every day, you can do it! 

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Shattered glass 

Nothing could have destroyed me more than giving it a name… I had lived with that pain for so many years, and thinking it was normal made me feel like I had to bare it. It was normal. Why would you cry about something every woman feels every month?

My hormones were complicated since my first period. It came when I was 10 and I had cramps since then. When I was about 14 it got worse, and then sex became painful (yes, I was young and having sex. I had lots of hormones going on and I was horny 24/7, get over it), something that made me feel so good started scaring me. Few years later I realized that it wasn’t always painful and I made my way around it. 

And then partial freedom was gone. In November, 2015 the cramps got worse. The first time, I didn’t know what was happening to me, had no strength on my legs to walk, felt desperate to pee (I had this feeling that peeing would relieve some of the pain), but couldn’t relax my muscles enough to let the urine run down. I spent about half an hour on that toilet seat, wishing to just die and feeling nauseous. 

With time, I realized that the aliens (how I’d call my period/cramps because it felt like some creature tearing through me and pushing down and out of me) were playing good cop and bad cop, so if my period was kinda ok, I’d spent the days waiting and preparing my mind for the next critical hit. I had kidney stones and they got nothing on endometriosis cramps. I’d beg for people around me to kill me, talk to god (I don’t have a religion) and ask why couldn’t I just die there, laying on the bathroom floor, shaking and crying. 

Even after all that, I didn’t want to ask a doctor about it. When I was 16 a doctor said “yeah, you’ll feel pain during sex” and didn’t ask for any exams, so I just assumed it was 100% normal. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2017 that I went to a new doctor that suspected endometriosis from day 1. Had lots of exams and there they were: one lesion in Each ovary. 

“You have endometriosis” and then everything changed. I started on the pills two days after and didn’t feel any horrible cramping until yesterday (it’s been a month and a week). But I have cried over this more than ever. Now I read stories I can relate to, now I can feel the meds taking over my mood and specially now I feel like I have the right to cry. I feel more fragile than ever and any discomfort gets me terrified that the pain will come back from the dead. 

It is winter here (south hemisphere) and every time it gets cold before I have time to roll up into a covers burrito, I can feel it there, threatening me with the possibility of getting worse. 

Now I have a question for whoever is out there, did you feel worse after you had your diagnosis? I’m not just talking about endometriosis, I am talking about anything. Did it make you feel paper thin? I know I am still picking up the pieces, risking cutting my feet on the sharp bits.

Do you even scrub???!!!

Sorry for the violent title but I couldn’t help it. 🤣

I have a secret recipe to share with you, so sit a little closer and make sure your door is closed…

In the last two years, I have been making my own body scrub. “But, Lili, companies spend years researching and creating products that will be balanced with your needs!!!” Well, maybe those products fit your needs and I don’t think I’ll start telling people they shouldn’t use products that they love and really helps them. My case is a little bit more complicated than that because of very common components I am allergic to, such

My case is a little bit more complicated than that because of very common components I am allergic to, such as: Triethanolamine (TEA), Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), Latex and two others I don’t know how to spell and that are less common.
What do I use instead of store-bought products? Corn Flour. And I do not mean corn starch. Corn flour is yellow and not as silky as corn starch, in my country it is called Fubá and it gets ready to exfoliate your skin, without scratching or damaging it, in five seconds or so. Just follow the instructions below:

  1. Grab yourself any small recipient you can take in the shower with you (remember that you must be able to grab the body scrub with your fingers, I like to use small bowls or a Tupperware);
  2. Pour some corn flour in the recipient;
  3. Pour some milk in the recipient and mix.

There, you are good to go.

The final product should be soft, but thick enough for you to grab a lump of it on your fingers (I will make a video on that and put the link here ASAP). It should not be liquid and it should not be so dry that your lump of scrub will break apart and fall to pieces when you try to pick it up from the bowl.

After I make my little mix (a bit more than half a cup will be enough for me to scrub from head to toes), I hop in the shower and scrub, scrub, scrub my skin until it is lightly red. My skin is quite pale, so I don’t really know how a darker tone should look after a good scrub… Please let me know, I don’t want to risk saying bullsh*t. After that, I will turn on the shower and rinse off all the small particles (kind of rubbing them off, just because) and shower as usual. I might apply some moisturizing lotion (I mix rose oil on it because my skin needs that extra care) or not, if I want to keep the milky smell and silky texture from the scrub I’ll only moisturize before going to bed.

Since the corn flour is made of small kind of rounded bits of corn, and not crystals (such as salt or sugar scrubs), it is very gentle to the skin. I have very sensitive, dry, cracking skin and this doesn’t hurt at all. I use it on my face and it does wonders. My skin will feel smoother and hydrated for about two days after that.

Using a good quality milk will provide you a more moisturizing and nursing body scrub, but if you are vegan or if the fact that your body scrub smells like food bothers you, you can simply use water and the flour will remove dead skin the same way.  I haven’t tried this before, but I believe you could add a couple drops of any essential oils you wish or apply them on your skin after showering, mixed with body lotion (as I mentioned before, I put rose oil on mine) about 2ml to each 200ml of lotion should be enough.

That is pretty much it for today, I hope you will give it a try some day and feel just as luxorious as I do when you are done.

Take some time to care for yourself and massage your feet, legs, arms, etc with the corn scrub and maybe even have your significant other do it for you and you can do the same for them.  It is relaxing and it will help to renew your skin.

I will see you around, I hope. Till the next time…

New life – Why I disappeared so soon

As I mentioned before, I decided to change my life, and the first step was to schedule appointments with all the doctors I had been ignoring. That’s mostly why I made my first two posts and then disappeared. 

I was very busy going to doctor appointments, doing exams, teaching, studying and grieving over a friend who’s recently passed away. Few weeks after that , I had an MRI and confirmed an endometriosis suspicion. I started on the meds last week and had my (hopefully) last painful period for the year. 

What is endometriosis???
Well, I am not a doctor. All the information I will give you is based on reading and asking my doctor. If you want precise information, or if you suspect that there is anything wrong about your body, ask your doctor about it as soon as possible. 

The endometrium is a body tissue that grows inside the uterus and forms the menstrual blood every month. Endometriosis is when endometrium parts grow anywhere that is not in the area of the uterus where it is supposed to be. It can grow basically anywhere in the body but the most common places are the fallopian tubes, ovaries and other organs that are close to the uterus. 

There isn’t much information about what causes this chronic desease, but there is a suspicion that women who had hormones related types of cancer (such as breast cancer and uterus or ovarian cancer) are more likely to develop endometriosis. 

The most common symptoms that I’ve seen everywhere and experienced (most) for the last two years are: 

  • Very painful cramps during ovulation or pre menstrual days;
  • Pelvic pain in general (not just in the uterus, since your lesion/s could be anywhere in your pelvic region);
  • Cramping triggered by sexual activity;
  • Pain during sex; 
  • Heavy period flows;
  • Pain while urinating during your period; 
  • Painful ovulation;
  • Many more things that make you go: 😥.

If you have one or more of these symptoms, talk to your gynecologist about it. I always thought painful periods are normal and that it was supposed to be hell, but then I had my boyfriend force me to visit a gynecologist and talk about everything (I am absolutely terrified of gynecologists), and I was all like “I feel pain all of the time, that’s life” and I’ll never forget how she looked at me in the eyes and said that ” It is  never ok to feel pain. We will find out what it is and we will get you better.”. I almost bursted into tears right there. It felt like a shot. No doctor ever told me I didn’t need to be in pain almost every day. I did the exams and in two months now my hole life has changed because someone told me better days are coming.  

In my case, I found out pretty soon and there were only two visible lesions, one in each ovarie. It was almost as good as it could have been and I might be free from it in around six months. Maybe not for life, but the endometriosis I have now will leave me alone (in theory). 

If treatment works, I don’t even know what it is going to be like (I’ve had terrible periods since the first one, 11 years ago), and that gets me so happy. But I also feel very scared of it not working and that I might be caught by surprise next month and feeling even more severe pain (since I won’t be preparing myself for it days ahead). My cramps were worse than kidney stones cramps. Now even the guys can imagine how bad that is. 😂

Lastly, I want to apologise again for being away for so long. I will be posting more things about organization, healthy eating, medical conditions that I think everyone should be aware of and many other things. 

To stay tuned, like my Facebook page Changing Lili and follow me on Instagram! The name is @changing_lili 

See you guys soon!

Clean your room to clear your mind…

If you don’t spend much time at home, it might be hard for you to keep everything in place, but you can always try and here are some tips:

  • Set daily goals.

You don’t have to do it all at once, you can just choose one or more goals to achieve, such as dusting and cleaning the floor and then for the next day, doing the laundry. There are some things that will need your time every day, like the dishes, but that shouldn’t be a nightmare.

  • Do it in steps.

When cleaning or clearing space, you can optimize your time by doing it in steps and it’ll help you when you don’t even know where to start (because you’ll start at the same point every time). I’ll show you the way I do it in a moment…

  • Make it a nice experience.

It is rare to feel like cleaning and actually enjoying it, but it shouldn’t be the worst part of the day. Let go of traumatic experiences  and build a new connection with cleaning. Combine things you enjoy with it, listen to music, motivate yourself in a positive way.

  • If you share the place, share the house work.

Don’t let anyone tell you that it is your job to clean the house, unless you are being payed for that. The place has everybody’s mess and no one should do the housework alone. Set a chore schedule with what  each person should do and when, if you need it, but share the weight. You don’t have to do it all.

  • Think positive!

In this blog you’ll read thousands of times the words Positive Reinforcement and Treat Yourself! Because that’s what I believe in at this point of my not-that-long life. {Laughs} It can be hard to just get up and do it if people around keep putting you down for years and years, so if you still don’t have a place for yourself, do your chores when you’re home alone, and if that is not possible, try and remember that you are doing it for yourself. You must motivate yourself, and remember that it doesn’t matter if you’re not the best, or if you’re not where you wish you were. Be positive! You can work your way up, little by little, and get there. Find the beauty in what you’re doing, take before and after pictures so that you can see clearly how different your place looks after you organize it, and how amazing it looks after you just cleaned it. You made that happen. Now go have yourself a nice shower and some rest/tea/whatever small treat you can get.

Now to the steps

Do remind that this is how I do it, and you can change it to best fit your way of doing things. This is what works for me when I want to clean my room in a way that brings me comfort at the end of each step. I look around and I can actually see how much I have improved, and if I have to leave home, I can just pick it up where I stopped

1. First things first: 

  • Gather motivation to do it;
  • Listen to your favorite songs;
  • Grab a trash can and leave it within your reach;

2. Move your clothes out of the way:

  • Make your bed (the room will look so much better, trust me);
  • Separate your pants in a corner of the bed;
  • Tops pile right beside it;
  • “To hang” pile;
  • Sort out underwear by type;
  • Put away any pair of shoes you’re not wearing in the moment;
  • Put them all where they should be;
  • Put ocasional dirty clothes or socks in your laundry box;
  • Admire your improvement;

3. Aaaaaall the objects:

  • Start with stuff that shouldn’t be in the room you’re cleaning (get them out of the way);
  • Get them big objects (purses, bags, boxes) in them right places;
  • Put every single paper in folders or throw it away (if you don’t need it anymore);
  • Take your books, notebooks, folders and storage where they belong;
  • Throw away all the garbage you can find;
  • Put your tiny objects where they belong;

4. Cleaning:

  • Start with dusting your furniture;
  • Take a broom or vacuum and get rid of all that dust and solid, visible residue;
  • Alcohol or Vidrex in a wet cloth – Start with higher furniture/objects and move on to the lower ones, to avoid dirt fallout;
  • Clean the floor with a wet cloth or with a mop;
  • Throw away all the garbage, dust, etc in that trash can you had by you;
  • Clean the wet stuff you used;
  • Smell the air and feel the cleanliness;

5. Treat yourself!

  • Clean yourself – Shower or bathe;
  • Have some “me time”;
  • Rest and enjoy the calm and clean environment;

 

I know it was a long post, but I hope it was useful. Share so it can reach more people out there who (just as I) look at that awful mess at the end of the week and don’t know where to start fixing it (or if they should buy a sword to kill that dragon underneath the pile of clothes). Also, I’d really like to hear from my few viewers if I made any grammar mistakes or if there is anything you’d like me to write about.

See you next week!

Ass.: Lili.

Changing my life 

Did you ever find yourself in an endless cycle where you have too much stuff to do and then you get too stressed to get up and do it, so things are pilling up and you don’t know where to start so you just lay there, staring at nothing hour after hour after hour…?

That’s where I was: One mess of a person, always late, always lingering in bed, smoking like an idiot and wishing for death.

No more.

I set a date (April 27th) to stop; And then restart. Take my baby steps towards a better life, a colorful life, full of self love and care.

Hopefully I won’t be the only one to change. The main idea of posting my progress and struggles is inspiring you to do the same: know your body, care for it, organize your mind so that you can organize your life with me and give yourself the chance to lead a healthier life.

              Let’s get it started!