Posts Tagged ‘Exercise’

Socializing While In Pain

September 3, 2021

Do I socialize when I’m in pain?

Yup, I socialize, otherwise I’d be a hermit!

Yup! Otherwise I’d be a hermit. Plus, very few friends can identify how much I’m in pain. My bff & my sister can tell by looking at me.. I have other friends & family who have learned the signs.

Mom can tell usually just by looking at me.. not always, but usually.. My sister is pretty good.. Her kids & hubby not so much – ironically I think the kid of hers that would recognize the best is her youngest, because he has seen me the most over the last few years.

My guy friend T has, over the last 3½ years learned quite a bit about how to read the non-verbal clues.

My BFF also has fibro & is sometimes a little too focused on her own fibro to catch my issues. Only reason I can gauge her easily is that she has an emotional response to her issues that I don’t even think she’s aware of.

My second BFF also has his own issues, and usually only sees me on better days.. I don’t think he’s even seen me at mediocre or worse in a long time..

Them there’s some of the Scouters I work with.. Raksha 13th & I have become good friends through Scouting & Rainbow I’ve known since grade 8 or 9, but through guiding & scouting as well. They are pretty good a picking things up.

There are other friends who are less prevalent in my life but even they can recognize some signs if I’m having issues

What I Can Do.

So, there is the basics of who I tend to see most, then the next thing is *what I can do*. Mind you the days when I’m seriously f****d up due to symptoms, I don’t talk to anyone unless I haveta Haveta HAVETA.

Now pain & other symptoms varyy from week to week, day to day, even hour to hour.. Fortunately in the last few years the hour to hour option seems to happen less and less frequently, but for a long time that is how I had to play it.

When my pain levels are super high, any communication is digital.. To everyone. If you’re lucky..

Digital Communication Only on my Worst Days, At Best

Next level down:

  • Mild exercise like walking my dog around the court
  • Have company over for low maintenance visits
  • Socialize for dinner with Mom & Dad
Exercise by walking the Dog Around the Court Is All I Can Handle Some Days.

As my pain levels drop, I can be more sociable in activities that require less interaction such as:

  • Hanging out with selects friends in a quiet environment, such as a campfire, living room, patio, poolside, dock.. This would be BFF’s, & T, for the most part
  • Walking around the neighbourhood
  • Watching the kids’ soccer games
  • Visiting the family cottage for a few days
  • Visiting the gym for a hot tub!
Hanging out with Friends, in Front of the Campfire, or Otherwise, Though we use Chairs – LOL

As the pain levels drop a moderate to low level I can usually do the following:

  • Karaoke
  • General.Cub Scout Activities
  • Marksmanship
  • Hangout with friends in a noisier, bigger, busier location like a restaurant or bar
  • Moderate exercise like the walks with my sister & the pups
  • cub Scout meetings!
  • Glamping at my BFF’s cottage
  • Concerts (depending on who, I may go on a worse day & accept the consequences)
  • Professional sporting events like the Leafs, TFC or The Rock.. & to a lesser extent, Argos, Jays or Raptors..
Concerts with Friends Are Always Fun!!

So assuming my pain level is low, there is a lot I can do. I can:

  • More strenuous exercise such as cycling
  • Visit the gym for Aquafit, yoga, weights, or the track. I had gotten in a few slow Zumba classes in before COVID..
  • I can Camp – not the glamping like at the cottage, but camping with friends, and even my Cub Scouts . In fact we were going to Camp Impressa for a year end camp earlier this month with my senior Cubs & the Scouts (See more in this post).. & I just went camping 2 weekends ago with T
  • Sporting activities like soccer with the girls or golfing with T
  • Some of the more physical activities in Cub Scouts.. Such as teaching how to put up tents, waterproofing the bedroll, setting up grey water, basic orienteering, limited kayaking/canoeing, etc..
  • The Pheonix. – Dancing at the club!
  • Hiking (like fairly flat, fairly short, nothing overnight – Second Marsh near me is a good example)
  • Roadtrip!
Easy Hiking with Friends

What I can not do.

There are so many things now that I would like to do that I just not in the cards. These are activities the I’ve either done or were at one point on the bucket list. This includes activities such as:

  • White water rafting. T wants to go – I can do the camping part, but not the rafting part
  • Backpacking/ Hiking. This includes longer hikes, more challenging hikes, or overnight hikes. I can not lug an air mattress through the wilderness 😄
  • Winter outdoor camping
  • Amusements parks – can’t do most of the rides, and way too much walking.
  • Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Zip-lining (not sure I’d do that anyways)
Canada’s Wonderland, the Prominent Amusement Park in the Toronto Ontario Area.

What would you like to do that you know you will never do again?

RLS then Exercise.. Uh oh!!!

June 29, 2021

On Friday last week, I posted about issues with my RLS, but that wasn’t the end of it.

As I said, on Wednesday night I was having problems getting to sleep, big problems due to restless leg syndrome in all four limbs – very rare. So I went on the treadmill for 20 minutes then snuggled nicely into bed.

Walking on a treadmill can help burn off the restless feeling when my RLS flares.

Thursday morning, I woke up & my legs had felt like I’d run before full marathon with zero prep the day before, instead of just 20 minutes.

So I started with the pain meds, the anti-inflammatories and the muscle relaxers that I do every day when I get up. The unexpected pain did eventually start to lessen more.

But Thursday nights are one of my cub nights with my third years, howlers from both packs. We’re helping them work on their Seeonee Award.

Fortunately, when this meeting was planned we weren’t aware if we were going to be in person or not so we planned a virtual meeting. The kids wanted to play Drawsaurus which is an online version of Pictionary. Lots of fun!

Drawsaurus is an online version of Pictionary! The boys love it!

So I didn’t have to do anything. I did not have to prep much, other than just set up the game which took about 30 seconds. We played 4-5 rounds I believe. We could do this because it was a smaller group, just the four of them tonight.

So as we started we are having fun and I’m relaxing. Silly me, I text my sister and ask her if she wants to go walking tonight after my meeting, which we normally do on Thursdays.. Of course she responded in the affirmative.

I was actually starting to feel better at the end of the meeting – Yay!!

I make it to my sister’s for 9:00pm and we leave shortly thereafter walking the dogs. Our pups were both very well behaved tonight, strangely enough – they usually do not start calm & maintain that for most of the walk.

So our walk was uneventful and we walked the neighborhood just south west of us. There was nothing extraordinary about our walk in the way of physical exertion.

There was a coyote but that’s a different story altogether.

One thing about that walk however was the length. It was almost 11:00pm by the time we got back to her house. In steps that is over 10,000 and about 5½ miles (no clue why my Fitbit is still in miles)

God Help Me! Five miles & 11,000 steps for one casual walk.

So take a guess how I felt afterwards. Horrible! My leggs were very painful. I’m thinking a 6 or 7 out of 10 on my pain scale..

I had a shower and the hot water was lovely- everything seemed to relax under the hot spray. Unfortunately it would return when the heat got moved to another spot. I think I need to go snorkeling in a hot tub! LOL..

So I medicated again, including my MMJ…

Guess how I felt the next day…


I was actually expecting to be in a flare the next morning… Surprisingly, my Leggs were sore.. pain at a 3, 3½.. was expecting 7 or so.

So, Yay! Not as bad as anticipated!

24 Ways to Ease Up

June 11, 2021

With apologies to Paul Simon, there must be… 24 ways to ease your living.

Why 24? Why not? It’s a start! That people have to go online and type the words “How to relax” into a search engine should be indication enough that modern life may be getting too stressful. Why, with all the innovations and timesavers, do we feel more and more rushed?

Time is a constant – it always remains the same. What changes are our expectations of how much we can accomplish in that same old time. It’s scientifically proven that stress can lead to sickness and that relaxation is one of the things that can soothe the savage beast.

Hopefully everyone has at least one favourite way to wind down, because not every stress soother will suit every single person. Next time you feel tense and uptight, try out one of these ways to relax. Perhaps some will work for you, while others might inspire you to write your own list of ease-up ideas.

  1. Dance.
  2. Mono-task, as opposed to multitasking.
  3. Progressively tense each muscle, holding each for 5 seconds then releasing.
  4. Stretch.
  5. Go for a walk.
  6. Play a game. Sudoku, crosswords, hopscotch, whatever.
  7. Soak in a bath.
  8. Laugh.
  9. Turn off your electronics. Enjoy the quiet.
  10. Read.
  11. Take a 5-minute break to clear your mind and breathe.
  12. Cover your eyes with an eye pillow. Allow your anxious eyeballs to feel like they’re floating rather than gripping.
  13. Play with your pet.
  14. Drink a cup of hot tea. Or iced if that makes you feel better!
  15. Take a whiff of a favourite soothing scent, maybe citrus or lavender.
  16. Clean out the drawers of your dresser. De-cluttered can equal destressed.
  17. Soak your feet in Epsom salts.
  18. Listen to your favourite music.
  19. Light a candle and watch the flame flicker.
  20. Write in a diary.
  21. Talk to a friend.
  22. Make everyday activities more meditative. Like walking, for instance. Rather than rush down the hallway, place one foot in front of the other and really feel your feet ground into the earth with each step.
  23. Unplug (or turn off) your phone.
  24. Strive to take deep breaths to reach the tight spaces of your body – try to feel your breathing in your lower back and your shoulders

Source: PC Health by Shoppers Drug Mart

Myth Debunked VI of VI

June 6, 2021

FIBROMYALGIA DIAGNOSIS IS THE END OF THE ROAD

Many find it hard to accept a fibromyalgia diagnosis, not just because of the condition itself but because of what it means. It can feel like the healthcare professionals are saying ‘there’s clearly something wrong with you but we have no idea what it is… there’s nothing more we can do for you’.  This ties into the point of the trashcan / umbrella diagnosis.

Lack of information and fibromyalgia-specific support at the time of diagnosis can leave many feeling like the diagnosis is the end of the road, but that doesn’t have to be the case. The OP was personally told by her rheumatologist not to go online because she’d ‘fall down the rabbit hole’. I imagine the doctor wanted her to go home, give up and stop bothering doctors.

Acceptance, often a difficult and ongoing work-in-progress for many, can be done in conjunction with keeping open mind, still being open to new developments, diagnoses and tests and treatments while working to manage fibromyalgia in day to day life.

Myself, I knew my diagnosis before my doctor’s did (Did the same with my endo), so acceptance was never much of an issue for me. I think my GP had a harder time accepting it than I did.

While there’s no cure, a multi-disciplinary approach can help to some degree. The likes of pacing, pain self-management therapy, massage, acupuncture, gentle exercise, gadgets, self-help books, medication, supplements and so on will work differently for everyone; both the experience of fibromyalgia and its management will be different for each person. It’s often a case of trial and error for each individual to develop a routine and to find the tools that work more effectively for them. 

My regime is a multi-disciplinary approach as mentioned above. I have a muscle relaxer, an anti-inflammatory, low level narcotics, MMJ and a small selection of vitamins. I also regularly see a physiotherapist /osteopath, RMT, pain physician for trigger point injections, & my dentist because of my TMJ, I participate in exercise which prior to covid was Aquafit for the most part. I try to watch my dietary choices, but I know I still fail there- addictions to sugar & McDonald’s. I am also involved in chronic pain support groups in my area which are currently virtual.

What hasn’t worked for me includes Lyrica, Gabapentin, Cymbalta, Fentanyl and Codeine Contin. I have given acupuncture several tries but have not found it helpful for me & occasionally detrimental. My best friend sees a chiropractor but I found that they were less helpful for me. I also still need to be very careful in the way of exercise so it’s not to over do..

30 Facts!!

May 24, 2021

Originally written for the 25th Anniversary with 25 facts,, this is a list of things you should know, from someone with Fibromyalgia. From someone who experiences it, not just studies it. I have taken the original, modified it and added to it from *my* perspective as my experiences with fibro are not the same as hers. OP info available at the bottom.

  1. Every morning is a tough morning.
  2. I can sleep all day and still feel like I just ran a marathon.
  3. If I went out last night, I need a day or two or three to recover — its okay, it was worth it.
  4. When i’m tired, let me sleep.
  5. Certain foods make me flare up, For me that’s items like Ice cream breaded food products (like fish sticks or chicken fingers), mayo & salad dressing, KD, etc.. Some I know why, others no clue.
  6. When I’m in a flare, leave me alone in a dark room but please check in, even if I don’t answer. It makes me feel cared for & loved .If I am flaring and I am responding, I’m likely asking for a ride to the ER.
  7. Yes, diet matters, but in flare mode, all bets are off.
  8. Yes, my face is swollen. No, I didn’t gain 5 pounds overnight… Well I could have gained, but not on my face.. So, Yes, that is a tell that I am in a flare.
  9. I have many different sizes of clothes in my closet to accommodate flare vs. non-flare days. I currently have clothing from a medium ( very generous medium) to 3x.. I’ve lost weight, so likely only a few items & eventually they will go too.
  10. Fibro Fog sucks. Ya know when you get absent-minded every once in a while? Misplaced your keys? Misread something? Forgot to water the plants? That’s Brain or Fibro Fog. While it happens to everyone at some point, it not the norm. For people with Fibromyalgia this is the norm. Every day. I have even lost my train of thought, mid-sentance. It happens enough that those close to me don’t bat an eyelash when it happens. Some even see it happening & will remind me of what I was saying. The worst, is fogging out when I drive & I love to drive, but have to be super careful to make sure I am clear minded.
  11. Ask before you touch. Some days, I can barely tolerate the feel of clothing or even my hair on my skin. When I’m ok, give gentle hugs please — my skin & muscles may still be tender. But if I give you a bear hug, you can give me one back!
  12. Bright lights, loud noise and too many smells can overload the senses and can cause nauseous (or worse) or kick in a migraine.
  13. Allergies play havoc on my body. Scented products like perfumes & body products are typical culprits Sometimes I don’t even know I’m allergic until I experience it, So it’s a bit of Russian Roulette when I go into public because I can’t control what scents other people wear. Food allergies/sensitivities do not make life any easier either, especially when eating out.
  14. I am a human barometer ( there’s a post around about that.. I can typically tell it’s gonna be too cold, too wet, too hot.
  15. Yes, i am on medications, sometimes even alot of them. I have a decent relationship with the pharmacy staff, and I know exactly what all my medications are, the dosage, and why I’m on it & how it helps.
  16. To me, car rides are joy rides cuz I really love to drive. I need to stop every hour or two to keep my legs from going numb or seizing up. It, for me, is so worth it! But so many with fibro feel differently than I do & equate it to a highly painful roller coaster ride.
  17. Some days it’s OK to let my Fibro win. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  18. I can get moody. You would be too if you were in pain all the time, be patient with me.
  19. Don’t be surprised if I can tell your mood as soon you walk in the room. My Fibro/spidey-senses are tingling.
  20. My day, week and month are carefully planned to accommodate my Fibro. Only important events & people like you are scheduled.
  21. If I cancel my plans with you, don’t be mad.. Remember, I made plans with you, because you are important to me. I am trying and obviously want to hang out with you, so please keep any nasty commentator yourself as I already feel guilty.
  22. Your friend with Fibro that says they have no pain doesn’t make me feel any better. Plus if they have no pain, they may not have fibro cuz *all* Fibromites have *some* level of pain at *all* times Alternatively they could simply lying either about having fibro or about being totally pain-free. Also, just cuz someone says they are “Good” that’s does not mean pain-free
  23. “You should exercise.” ROTFLMAO. Have you considered going to the gym while you are in the middle of the flu with body-wide aches & pain, fatigue? Didn’t think so, so how can you expect me to when I have body-wide aches & pain and fatigue? Yes, I do exercise, but I’m not a hypocrite. Do you know how long it took from me to go from bobbing in the water during aquafit to get to my current level of exercise? Years!! It helps, that I have lost weight. Before you use me as an example of of someone with fibro who is ‘fit’, remember that I started my journey to become healthier & to increase my fitness level in the winter of 2012, almost 9 years ago. And I would not consider myself ‘fit’
  24. Going to the doctor makes me sad & sometimes overwhelmed— it’s a reminder of my condition. And it doesn’t help that I have at minimum a half dozen medical appointments each month – GP, Pain Doc, RMT, Physio/Osteo therapy, Gyn, Neuro, Dental, Psych, mental health support groups, and one offs for tests like bloodwork, ultrasound, x-ray, MRI or CT.
  25. There are zero no-pain days, but my low-pain days are my happy days. So if I’m looking good and acting good and I’m social, I’m better, right? No, just a good *low* pain day. Fibromyalgia is chronic & will not go away
  26. Because of Fibro, the mandated downtime gives me the opportunity to write this blog, and I’m grateful. Unfortunately, some of that downtime does not even permit blog writing because the pain or fatigue is*too* intense, so I have missed posts.
  27. Because of Fibro, some Fibromites get to spend more time with their families than if they were healthy.
  28. if i am being a dick about my health, you will not change my mind. I have to figure it out myself. For those in my life who put up with that for years, I am sorry.
  29. Because of Fibro, I’ve become part of a strong, supportive community that reminds me I’m never alone.
  30. Yes, I have depression. No, it’s not because of my fibro. My depression started at age 16, but fibro, we believe, started from Mono when I was 19-20. So, obvs they started at different times plus I do know the triggering event that started my depression.

Original published by Puja Rios on May 11, 2007 at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/25-facts-for-fibromyalgia-awareness-day_b_59148663e4b01ad573dac1c2

Exercise Snacks? Huh?

January 4, 2021

Exercise Snacks? Yeah.. & no, not cookies shaped like bodybuilders! Lol!

Weightlifting Gingerbread Men

Many of you know about my loss in weight and my improved health.. Part of that is due to exercisr…But because of covid, my gym closed & since it reopened, I haven’t felt comfortable going back yet..

Some of you know that I’ve taken up “running” to continue weight loss or at least maintain what I have lost. I still needed to exercise so I’ve been doing a short circuit around the block every couple days.. Some of it’s simply walking, some jogging, and when I’m feeling up to it, I’ve gotten into a dead run (I’m faster than my dog!).. With the changing of the seasons, weather’s gotten cooler & with regular snow just around the corner, touring my neighborhood is not going to be an option.

I saw this research article from UBC about Exercise Snacks & it’s an interesting concept.. Do short bouts, like 1 minute short, of exercise a couple of times a day and it gives you the same benefits as doing it all in all be shot.

This Is How Short One Minute Is

So, I’m thinking that hopping on Mom’s treadmill a couple times a day for a few minutes could very well be a better option for me than running around the neighborhood in snow boots!

Now, I didn’t always have this much functionality because of my fibromyalgia. I also realize that there are many fellow Fibromites or others who cannot go running, jogging, or even walking a distance.. This might still be an option because you don’t have to walk. Your exercise does not necessarily have to be intense. You can do stretches – one or two simple yoga poses.. Or lift weights and when I say weights, I’m talking anything heavier than just your hand. This could give you the same benefits..

It’s something to consider..

https://beyond.ubc.ca/exercise-snacks/?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=Facebook_Instream_Video&utm_campaign=BAM-exercisesnacks-ON&utm_content=6214293621226&fbclid=IwAR136bMw5Spkla0AjSfJWXlt7VyYixwzdBv2k6vDSygkXA4wi9VeTMwNDrg

** If this link does not work, please advise. I do have a local copy. **

Weight Loss Tips – To Do or Not Do

November 26, 2020

DO Have a Good Mindset

Attitude is critical to sucess, and if we are not approaching our disciplined regimen with the right outlook, our chances of success are slim. Stress and other negative emotions tend to lead to either over-eating, binge eating, poor food choices or a combination of these.

DO Eat Protein in the Morning

Studies have shown that eating breakfast triggers the release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical which allows to control impulses making that afternoon snack of a candy bar significantly lower. Research has also shown that skipping breakfast is harmful to our metabolism which can actually make us 4.5 times more likely to be obese, and it increases our odds of overeating at the next meal.

Eggs baked with cheese and veggies.. Yum!

Starting the day with high protein levels creates a higher thermal effect increase the number of calories burnt through the day. This morning boost also better preseres lean body mass, which further protects the metabolism, and aids in a more tone and defined look. High morning protein levels also lessen cravings, mood disturbance, irritability, stress, and fatigue levels.

DON’T Eat Too Late

Eating a large meal late in the day could be hurting our chances of successful weight loss.. Eat larger meals for breakfast or lunch, and include healthier treats & snacks. Switch the soup or salad from lunch and eat it for dinner instead. People have lost upwards of 35 pounds simply from shifting meal times, while eating the exact same diet. This shift also improves sleep quality and decreases morning grogginess.

Eating late is not recommended, but if you must, choose something light.

DO NOT Starve Yourself.

Make sure we are eating enough. Skipping meals or simply not eating regularly tells your body that you may experience a famine in the near future and your metabolism will adapt. Regular eating tells your brains that there is food ready to be consumed and your body doesn’t need to store what you eat as fat for later.

While we think that skipping a meal or postponing a meal will help reduce caloric intake, we become ravenous. We over eat, binge or don’t make a proper meal in lieu of something quick – like fast food from McDonald’s or Little Ceasar’s. Healthy snacks, premade food both dinner or prepped, and structured meal times can help make sure that hunger stays under control resulting in more balanced, healthy meals.

Starving also creates blood sugar imbalances, where it goes up and down each day resulting in hormonal chaos. When hormones are out of whack, the weight does not come off no matter what is done.

Do Not Make Excuses

Shit or get off the pot. Commit to it. Make ourself accountable. Set goals and follow through. We have to make these changes to see changes.

DO Monitor Your Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is one of the biggest weight loss challenges. A single glass of wine is between 120-125 calories, a vodka soda is a little over 100 calories, and a 16 oz margarita can set us back more than 1,000 calories. Then how often do we only have one? Typically with no nutritional value, alcohol tends to make us crave greasy, unhealthy food rather than a protein-and-veggie-packed meal

Just one glass of wine has 120-124 calories.. But who drinks just one?.

Do Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Most grown adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to function at their best. As it turns out, that amount of sleep is also ideal for preventing the pile on of excess pounds. A recent study found that people who didn’t get the recommended amount of sleep were more at risk for weight gain.

Do NOT Regularly Drinking Pop/Soda.

This is my Kryptonite.. My caffeine is Coke.. I really enjoy drinking Pop.

Pop, Soda, Soda Pop, whatever you call it

Drinks & diets high in sugar have the potential to decrease the microbial diversity in the gut within the digestive system which appears to be associated with most of the human diseases affecting westernized countries, including obesity.

Do Not Weigh Yourself

Well, yes, you do need to weigh yourself, just don’t do it every day. Once a week is good. Daily weigh ins are often discouraging due to natural fluctuations. You see every bump & glitch in your weight loss. Weekly weigh-ins are a much better time frame. Also us the same scale, in the same clothes, at the same time of day to get consistent & more accurate weight-loss readings.

Do Get Exercise, Like Walking

Working out plays a crucial role in weight loss and can help us maintain our weight loss for years to come. While people tend to find one workout routine that works for them, research has shown it’s important to switch it up. Instead of simply running or walking, try to vary the speed as you go. Walking at varying speeds can burn up to 20 percent more calories compared to maintaining a steady pace.

Running is a good form of exercise

Do Reduce Your Carbs & Added Sugar Intake

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories per day from added sugars, or six teaspoons, for women, and 150 calories (nine teaspoons) for men. Most Americans are ingesting much more than that, so to get & keep the weight off, reduce the amount of added sugar you eat. Reducing the intake of calorie-dense sugar carbs automatically reduces the amount of calories consumed on a daily basis, which forces the body to burn fat stored around the midsection for energy, rather than the sugars it takes from carbs!

To increase the chances of obtaining that bikini body, swap simple carbs for high-fiber foods. The current recommendation of fiber intake is about 25-28 grams per day, Focus on eating whole foods that are naturally high in fiber like fruits, veggies, and unrefined grains. Suggestions include : whole grain breads, whole grain oats, , fruit & veggie smoothie, veggie chili, veggie burrito, sweet potato toast, nuts, yogurt with granola, veggie pasta with turkey, fish baked with vegetables, stir-fry, and veggie scrambled eggs (the more veggies the better) – I like bell peppers & mushrooms with some cheese in mine

Do Eat More Protein

In addition to fiber, protein is another important player in the weight loss game because it requires more energy to burn than carbs or fats and thus keeps you fuller longer. A study found that Greek yogurt, with the highest protein content, to have the greatest effect on weight-loss. For an added boost of protein and flavor, consider topping your Greek yogurt with some fresh berries and almonds and then pair with a hard-boiled egg. Other high protein edibles include jerky which now comes in a ton of flavours, string cheese, high-protein smoothies, veggie pasta from beans, egg muffins which is the same idea as scrambled but baked instead, cottage cheese with fruit or nuts, frozen Greek yogurt adding peanut butter powder & fruit, roasted pumpkin seeds, again oatmeal with fruit & nuts , cheese muffins, pancakes from Kodiak flour, and protein bars or better yet, homemade protein bars made from oats, dates, nuts & protein powder.

Chheese Muffins! Yum!

Do Slow Your Eating

It takes twenty minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s had enough, so if you eat slowly chances are you will consume less and see your belly shrink. One study found slow eaters took in 66 fewer calories per meal. While only 66 calories might not sound like much, cutting that amount out of every meal adds up. Just that difference alone can result in a loss of more than 20 pounds in one year! The simple trick to slow your pace: Place your fork down on the plate after each bite.

Remission! What is it?

October 2, 2020

What does this look like? Honestly, it’s not that different. Most people who have chronic illnesses only go out when they are having good day.. In remission, you are having primarily good days.. So, the big change is that people will see more of that person. Instead of once every 2-3 weeks, depending on your relationship, you might see them 2-3 times in a week!

What does it look like for me? It looks like better connections with family & friends as I can see and interact with them more.. It looks like consistent cubs meetings with a higher participation. It looks like I can do something from before but without the bad consequences like I was able to go for a hike down by the lake today and tomorrow I may be a little sore, instead of a nice big crash that used to happen.

Remission means a temporary relief from pain, fatigue & other dymptoms. I can do so much more than I could!

Do I still crash? Absolutely.. Does it happen as much right now? No. Is it as bad, as painful, right now? No, actually the pain is better right now. Does it last as long? Not usually.

So, I’m sure you are wondering, can I return to ‘normal’ life? No.. I’m still having off days. I still can & do overdo it. I crashed out one day last week for no particular reason. Today I am toast cuz of the weather shift earlier in the week. I having been slowly adding more ‘normal’ things to my life including friendships, romantic relationships, scouting commitments, family interactions, increased activity including exercise.

Am I still in pain? Am I symptomatic? Sbsolutely. That one reason I know I’m not ‘cured’ I still have pain evety single day. But lately it’s only a 2 or 3 on the pain scale these days.. I still am exhausted, but I don’t necessarily need the 12+ hours of sleep to recover from a regular day. IBS? Oh yeah., Fibro Fog? Definately.. Sensitivities? Sure, some less intense.. Morning stiffness? Oh yeah, but it’s usually less..

Why am I in remission? What did I do? I can’t say for sure, but the timing of the end of a toxic even abusive long-term relationship may have something to do with it. I returned home, slowly rebuilt relationships, re-establishing connections, increased fitness, weight loss, changed my meds & got off several, decreased dosages of others.. Lots of good changes, all of which may have contributed to my current status.

Will this last? I wish, but I doubt it.

I Am Grateful

August 25, 2020

I know my last post was not a hugely positive one. Unfortunately I just needed to vent about what I was seeing around me. But there are many many good things that I am grateful for and they are bigger and generally more important than the issues I discussed previously. . So today I want to tell you the things I am grateful for.

Family: After several years bouncing in and out of a toxic rekationship that estranged me from everyone, I left permanently after he was finally charged. Despite great trepidation and concersn from my family, they agreed to let me stay temporarily, expecting me to go back yet again. But with their support & others listed me below, I realized that I was hurting myself & them with my behaviour. I have since rebuilt my relationship with my parents, my sister & her family. I even have some semblance of a relationship with my brother.

Geeze.. I’ve only written one & I’m already in tears as I write this!

My Best Friend: I was absolutely horrible to this woman whom I have been friends with since high school . Because of the control my ex had over me, I was a complete and total bitch to her. My ex even contributed, I found out later, to the failure of her lucrative homer business. After she had a significant health scare, I was *allowed* to visit her. We slowly started to rebuild a relationship.. I even crashed on her couch for a few month during one of the times I left him. She was, I don’t think she realizes, had a significant impact on getting my head set forward. If this has not been re-established, I may not have let the police in or let the charges be filed. She was there for me when I needed her. It took about 4 years since we reconnected for her to again call me her best friend. She never realized how important that was for me to hear her say that. I am not sure she even knows now.

Man.. another doozy.. I’m sure that there’s gonna be edits cuz I can’t see through the tears. (& more years in the edit.)

Those who know us will get it.

Durham Family Services: Because of my income level, I was eligible to access the counseling services through the region (kinda like a county in the US) The woman I met, Fran, helped me through alot that first year I was back. I worked on my self esteem, learned some new coping skills and started to love myself again.

YMCA of GTA: This is actually my gym. I am grateful for my gym because I was able to get healthier and loose weight. I also has alot of social interaction there with people & started making friends

My Lilly: Yes, I did do a blog post about how she’s helped me, but I am still forever grateful for her. Whether she knows it or not.

Friends: Old and new. I’ve reconnected with alot of people in my past like in the post about three’s, but others as well.. Add in the new friends I’ve made since I’ve been back, plus the few I managed to keep from during my estrangement. While I may or may not maintain these friendships, or I could get something new from them remains to be seen, but just having a larger social circle is helping me. Which brings me to..

Scouting: I know most people wouldn’t get this, but before my relationship, I was an active Scouter. Now I was dwindling down on what I could do, but I did enjoy it. Flash 8-10 years later.. I’m back. And my eldest nephew wants to become a Junior leader)SIT with the Beavers. We (my sister & I) thought this would be a great way for me to reconnect with people & to build something with my nephew. . So I started as a “One hour a week” Scouter. Bringing my nephew every week… Now, with an awesome team of Scouters & friend (again, both old and new) I’m a major role in the Cub section (age 8-10).. I’m able to work with the youth, yet still be able to pace myself & no over do it.. much.. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to return to troop level and do that. Fortunately, I’m actually enjoying working with this age group.

International Symbol of Scouting.

My Medical Team: To the non-judgemental support from my current medical team, I am grateful. I am now on a positive Health Care Journey. With their help, I’ve managed to improve my health . I’ve lost weight, I’ve become more fit. I’ve come off alot of medications I really did not need, and supported me through addiction, tho no one knew at the time. I know I will never be healthy enough to return to work on much more than a casual part-time basis, but I am able to live a decent life despite fibromyalgia & my 6-bilkion other health issues.

This isn’t even going through the little things I’m grateful for.. The sun on my face, The lake at the cottage. Having a car to drive.. To have a regular income. To smell the flowers.. For being able to hug people (yes, only a special few right now). For privacy. For Fun. For freedom. For Love. For painting rocks. For exercise. For healthy outdoor spaces.. & you, still reading my post!!

I’m grateful for itvall.. & to those I can thank, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Self-Care

July 24, 2020

I figure today is the perfect day to discuss this topic, as today July 24 is Self-Care Day,!

What is Self-Care?

Self-care, as defined by the World Health Organization, as what a person does for one’s self to establish and maintain health and to prevent and deal with illness. This includes hygiene, nutrition, lifestyle & activities, environmental factotrs, sociao-ecpnomic factors and self-medication.  This includes physical as well as mental & emotional health.

So, basically, taking care of one’s self.  & showing yourself some love.

But this is something us with chronic illnesses have a problems doing.  We tend not to prioritize ourselves in the grand scheme of things.  It is something we need to do to help ourselve help get us better. Not healed, but better.. I guess a more appropriate word would be improved (that is another blog post in & of itself)

So what to do to help ones self? There are a ton of things you could do. Here is a by no means exhaustive list of thngs to help improve your personal health, or self-care.  A search on Google will give you additional ideas as well as suggestions for 30 days of self-care, a cheat sheet or a self-care checklist. I’m sure the list below includes information from these sources.

Self-Care Ideas

  • Take a walk
  • Meditate
  • Call a friend
  • Go out for a coffee/drink with a friend
  • Read
  • Warm bath, or hot tub
  • Yoga
  • Tale a nap
  • Dance or just listen to music
  • Sing
  • Keep hydrated
  • Sexual Acrivity
  • Compliment someone else (You’d be surprised at how well this can make you feel)
  • Plan kindness activities
  • Colour.. or Paint.. Do something creative
  • Knit, sew, crochet, macrame, needlepoint. Make something
  • Mani/pedi
  • Get a massage
  • Hug your kids, furbabies, nieces, nephews, grandkids
  • Stretch
  • Watch something funny – Tv show, movie, theatre
  • Plan a dream vaction
  • Plan what you would do if you won $25million
  • Take a trip to the salon to get your hair done
  • Get dressed up just to get dressed up.. If you look good, you feel good
  • Journal
  • Declutter a space on your home
  • Say or find posotive affeirmations. My mirror says “You’re Beautiful”. Who am I to argue wiht the mirror mirror on the wall?? 😉
  • Volunteer
  • Try something new
  • Ask for help!
  • Unplug. (This one is difficult for me)
  • Plan & eat a nutrional, healthy and delicious meal, bonus if its a new recipie
  • Hang with a friend
  • Watch funny videos.. I like Jeff Dunhan & Fliffy
  • Exercise
  • Eat dessert, but not every day!
  • Start a new, good habit
  • Create a bucket list.. A fanaticl one or a realisitic one, your choice
  • Pop Bubble Wrap!
  • Watch cute videos online – I love puppy videos, and the kitten ar cute too.. 🙂
  • Go for a drive
  • Deep slow breathing
  • Play with or cuddle with your pet
  • Learn a new skill
  • Practice positive selft-talk
  • Walk outside, feel the grass under your feet. (watch for glass if not in your backyard)
  • Forgive. Not for them, for you. it help you heal
  • Talk with someone, even a therapist or councillor
  • Remove negative people or groups from your social media
  • Family activity day
  • Make a list of what you are grateful for. Start with being alive, having shelter, and a full belly.. Go from there.
  • Sit in front of the campfire – Make smores, spider dogs, or mountain pies
  • Learn something new
  • Play a sport you enjoy, or watch it professionally

So..  Lots of choices as I said, There are alot of other options out there.  Remember this activitiy, or lack threeof, is to make you feel better.

My Go To’s:

  • Meditate
  • Slow, deep, easy breathing – helps me sleep
  • Read
  • Drive – I love to drive.
  • Muisc – Listen, sing or dance to.
  • Volunteer (I’ve been a Scouter with Scouts Canada in some form or another for almost 20 years. – COVID’s made it a challenge)
  • Mani/Pedi – by myself or at a salon
  • Hair Salon – Love the head massage when she washes my hair
  • Sitting by the campfire, preferably with friends or the Cubs with approapriate libations & snacks
  • Massage therapy
  • Exercise, when viable.. Walks, jogs, Yoga Aqua-fit, arriba dance, etc..  dependng on pain & energy levels
  • Hot Tub. I prefer bewtween 99-102.. Can’t do hotter. 😦
  • Huggs 🙂 From wherever safely possible
  • Sex, with or without a partner
  • Go for a drive
  • Compliment somone – their hair, nails, clothing, shoes, etc..
  • Forgive
  • Colour and/or paint
  • Knots. Not a typical activity, but i like the challenge, plus im a Scouter, go figure.
  • Socialization with friends & family
  • Play or Cuddle with Lilly, my dog. ( See: “She Saved Me” post for more info on her.)
  • Call someone or at least check in for only that purpose, to see how they are.
  • Think or plan how i\I’d spend lottery winnings
  • & the obvious – Journalling. My blog, my instagram & facebook pages help me express myself.

What to Avoid:

  • Excessive or inaprropriate drinking or drug use
  • Maintaining toxic relationships
  • Argue excessively
  • Ovedoing an exercise routine
  • Stressful situations
  • Gambling
  • High-risk behaviours
  • Voilence to one’s self or others
  • Other self-destructive behaviours
  • Self-isolation (except as needed for COVID, but even then you can zoom or call or text) aka Social suicide
  • Becoming abusive
  • Self-defeating Mindsets
  • Narcissism
  • Self-harm
  • Personal neglect – Physical or mental
  • Refusing help

What self-care activities do you do?

What new activity would yuo like to try?

What is setting you back?