Fibronaut At Home

The Happiness Project

I have finally started reading “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” by Gretchen Rubin.  Julie Ryan of Counting My Spoons, suggested the book to me months ago and I’m so glad that she did.  I’m only half-way through, but I already love the book and I’m heading back towards the totally awesome me that I found in April.  I’ve been in a slump lately, which is the main reason why I haven’t posted here.  I didn’t want anyone to know that I was struggling, though my hubby and my Mom knew.  I’m ecstatic and relieved that I’m back.

The main goal that is sticking with me now and that could be life-altering for anyone, but especially for others like me with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is, “Act the way you want to feel.”  I was already trying to do this and seeing that it worked for someone else, really helped me.  I think I went into a slump because I was starting to wonder if what I was doing was really working.  Rubin had a similar experience.  Reading that made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my doubts and gave me tools for combating the negative thoughts causing those doubts.

Even though I was doing all the right things, doubts crept in and the old conflict of to-work-or-not-to-work started playing havoc with my mind.  If I don’t work, there isn’t any money for extras and if I do work, there isn’t any time for extras.  I want a part-time job so I can still pick up the kids from school and spend my evenings and weekends with them, but most places only have full-time available, or I just can’t imagine working there.  I talk myself out of jobs before I even apply for them.  I have finally come to the conclusion that, when it’s right, it’ll happen.  When I find my mind going to that black hole of never-ending worry and what-ifs, I sing to myself, “Que sera, sera.  Whatever will be will be.”  A little silly, but it works.

We’ve also had extra stress dealing with some school issues.  I’m not going to go into it.  I think we’re almost through it and I can look back and see that despite all the stress, some good things have come out of going through this.

I’ve gone back to keeping track of all I accomplish each day.  Even if no one else notices, it makes me happy to see all these tasks completed.  I have a spreadsheet I found in Microsoft Excel that’s meant for a chores list, but works perfectly for me.  Each week, I’ll start a new spreadsheet, so I can look back and see how much progress I’ve made.  There are some tasks that I do daily, some I do twice a week or more and some I only do once a week or once a month.  I don’t have to look to my hubby or my kids for validation that I’m reaching goals.  I’ve also added several items since I started.

I’m learning to find the positive in every situation, no matter how bleak.  I’m learning to be grateful for where I am, who I’m with and everything that I once took for granted in life.  Those are some pretty big statements, but I’m confident in them.

I’ll probably post again about this book because there is so much helpful advice in it.  I would recommend this book to anyone, whether you feel like you are happy and especially if you don’t.

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Finding A Workout that Works For You

*I am not a doctor.  Consult your doctor before starting any workout program.*

When I was first diagnosed with fibro, this was one of the biggest challenges I faced.  Every doctor I visited and every book I read said, “Do yoga.”  For me, going to a class was out of the question.  I was depressed and full of anxiety in relation to how others saw me.  My spirit was in the fetal position unable to handle anyone’s criticism, no matter how compassionate.  To me, no one understood the pain I was going through.  I checked out numerous DVD’s from my library and got seriously frustrated.  I couldn’t make it through the warm-ups on those DVD’s.  I gave up.  I told myself I wasn’t going to get anywhere exercising.  I told one of my doctors that I didn’t have time to exercise.  What I meant was that I had limited time in my day.  If I had the energy to do anything, it wasn’t going to be exercise; it was going to be something for my hubby or kids like housework or doing something with them.

Here’s what I figured out in doing housework; I was working out!  Every load of clothes I separated, every time I loaded or unloaded the dishwasher, I was exercising.  When I was warmed up, I would stretch out the muscles that were tightening.  I started to tweak the way I did some chores as I noticed that doing them more often made them easier.  Getting things done makes me feel good.  When I notice something out of place or dirty and I take care of it, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE, instant mood booster.  It was through housework exercising that I first started losing weight and inches.  (Getting off of narcotics and Lyrica and Cymbalta helped also.)

I also finally found a workout DVD that I could do.  That’s right.  One DVD is all it took to start getting my body back.  Healing Yoga for Aches and Pains started me on my path to wellness.  There are a lot of moves on the ground and sitting down.  I did hurt my back once when I got a little too enthusiastic with my stretching.  Go slow and don’t worry if you feel like you’re not really working out.  The best workouts don’t feel like workouts at all.  My favorite part is the last, where you are laying on the floor with your legs resting on a chair and just breathing.  That move always leaves me feeling centered and ready to conquer anything.

Now that I’ve been building my muscles, I’ve been trying some regular workout DVD’s.  I’ve always liked dance workouts and games.  We traded in all my dance games when I thought I’d never be able to do them again.  Now I want them all back.  I really like Zumba.  There are tons of options in the Zumba workout DVD’s and I’ve checked out a couple of them from the library.  My favorite dances are the salsa and the Mexican dances.  They have a special name but I can’t remember it and both times I tried to search for it, I even confused Google.  Ha!  There are some that I don’t like, so I skip them.  At first, I couldn’t figure out the Calypso moves.  They were too fast and there was too much hopping that I couldn’t figure out.  The last time I did a Zumba DVD, I tried the Calypso steps and was able to do them!  Made me feel great.  I love that they have choices between just dancing and having the instructors tell you what to do.  I started out learning all the moves.  Now I can do the dance party.  Just a warning, Zumba is addictive.  I find myself thinking of Zumba moves whenever I listen to music.  I always dance around the house, but now I’m Zumba-ing around the house.  My 5 year old loves it and is doing it too.

I’ve also tried a Hula DVD, Island Girl Dance Fitness Workout for Beginners: Hula Abs and Buns.  It is easy and low impact.  The most difficult move is a lunge move but you can always skip moves that you find too difficult or that might cause you pain.  I love this DVD because you learn an entire dance while working out.  By the end, you combine all the moves in a dance.  I am a fan of workouts that make me feel like I’ve accomplished something at the end.

After being turned off by all the corny belly dance DVD’s that I tried, I finally found one that I like.  There were several belly dance DVD’s that I couldn’t get through the first move they were so corny (Here’s looking at you Goddess Workout).  A huge high-five to my kids for not cracking up at the corniness of The Goddess Workout: Intro to Belly Dance before I did.  The DVD I did today was Belly Dance Fitness for Weight Loss featuring Rania: Hip Hop Hip Drop.  They go through the moves slowly at first and then speed them up.  You learn an entire dance with this one too, combining all the moves into a dance at the end.  If you don’t like Hip Hop music, don’t worry.  There isn’t any Hip Hop.  I’ve just requested Belly Dance Fitness for Weight Loss featuring Rania: Cardio Shimmy.  If you find something you like, look for other things like that to keep your workout interesting.

As with everything else in wellness, it is a learning process.  If one thing doesn’t work, try something else.  Also, just because something worked once, doesn’t mean it’s going to always be for you.  My example of this came through a DVD that I used to own pre-fibro and decided to try because I remembered how much I liked it before.  10 Minute Solution: Pilates used to be my favorite thing to do.  I did the 10 minute ab workout 2 or 3 days ago.  My abs are still screaming.  Pilates is definitely not for me at this time.  Maybe I’ll go back to it later, but right now it is not for me.  The belly dance DVD helped with the soreness in my abs, but I’ve learned my lesson there.

If you are doing a workout and there is a part of it that you dread to the point where it keeps you from working out at all, then don’t do it.  Find another option.  If you are bored by any of your workout, don’t torture yourself through it.  Don’t give up, find another way.  Try, try, try and try again.  I even ran today.  I was in my pajamas and trying not to get hit by the sprinkler, but I ran.  It didn’t even hurt.  I’ve even been thinking of going for a run with the kids.  Forget walking!

I don’t write this to hurt anyone else’s feelings or make you feel like you aren’t doing enough.  That is for you to decide.  If you think you should be doing more, then do it.  Encouragement!

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We Got This Wednesday

  • Made peanut butter, chocolate chip, banana bread and chocolate chip zucchini bread.
  • Made chicken enchiladas.
  • Did some dishes.
  • Altered some things for my girls; pajama pants, skirt, t-shirt and shorts.
  • Went to Katie’s volleyball game and went to the mall after.

Comment on your accomplishments or share.

PS.  The point of this is to focus on the positive, which is really hard for me today.  I’m missing my daughter’s helper day at school because I’m in a stupid flare.  Out of all the days to be in a flare, why does it have to be today?

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We Got This Wednesday!

I was debating whether to start this or not.  I’ve been thinking about this post for the last couple days, but forgot to post all day long.  For some of you it is probably not Wednesday anymore, but here we go anyway.  I always have to remind myself to recognize everything that I’m doing that is good, even if it isn’t everything I used to do in a day.  When I do this, I get so many positive, happy vibes, that I just can’t contain it.  I have to call my husband or my Mom and say, “Guess what I accomplished today?”  This post is a version of that.  Please feel free to post your own “We Got This Wednesday!” to your blog or comment below.  No judgments, just mad props to all my friends, family and followers.

  • I have reached 100 followers on my blog!  This is really exciting for me.  I don’t even care that half of them are those blogs that tell you how to make money on your blog or are trying to sell me something.
  • I have been taking my kids to school every morning.  Coffee is my best friend.  I’m accident free so far!
  • I am caught up on my dishes.
  • When I originally saved this post to go look for an image, I opened it to discover the majority of my post, lost in the ether.  I went on to re-write my post, better than before.  I’m taking this accomplishment, even though I can’t remember what I wrote before.

encouragement

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Like a Chicken…

…with my head cut off.

That is my brain today.  Not my body.  My body could only manage like-molasses-running-uphill.  My brain is jumping from one idea to another and worrying over one thing after another.

As my husband would say in his best Yoda-voice “Meditate You Must.”  I capitalized all of those because every time I hear Yoda speak, I imagine him saying it like that.

I need to get back to my basic plan from my previous blog post.  My 5 daily goals and that’s it!

I start reading blogs and before I know it, I am second-guessing myself left and right.

1. Shower every day. (done)

2. Do one load of dishes (next) or laundry (done) every day.

3. Write 5 positive thoughts about your life every day. (This has been the hardest one for me to do.)

4. Meditate or do yoga or some other relaxation technique every day.

5. Hug your kids and kiss your husband every day.

Ha!  Reminder done!  Jedi-high-five everyone (Whoosh*).

 

*Whoosh is the sound made when you use The Force.

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Oh Happy Day!!!

Even though I had a ton of pain this morning I am now walking on clouds!!! Not just because I am listening to my dance music that I love so much or because listening to “Yoga Nidra” by James Jewell got me extra, pain-free sleep but because I weighed myself and even with clothes on I weighed 170lbs!!! Sorry for all the exclamation points but I am just so happy. Hopefully this lasts. I haven’t weighed myself in a couple weeks but my daughter told me two days ago that I looked like I was loosing weight and I realized yesterday that my tummy wasn’t quite so big so I decided to chance it and oh yeah, my face is thinner for a reason!!! I love you all!!! The changes I’ve made in the last month besides being gluten free include starting “Fibro Response”, a multivitamin that rocks and lowering my Lyrica to 300mg a day from 450mg and last but not least, I’ve been taking thyroid medication. I see Dr. Eckstein in Boulder, CO and he showed me a list of symptoms from low thyroid and I had almost every single one. Even though my blood tests showed normal, the symptoms matched. I am not a doctor and I can’t even begin to give medical advice but if you are not getting results from your current doctor, don’t give up hope! I still can’t get a thing done in the morning and tire too easily as well as experience pain, but there are ways of dealing. Don’t play the ostrich, be the lion. Tell your doctor what you expect and if they can’t be positive for you or offer you any kind of support besides a shrug of their shoulders, don’t take that! They work for us!
I’ll step off my soap-box now and say it again, I love you all!!! We can do it! If you are dragging your feet on meditation or deep breathing (yoga without the crazy western-style stretching), I beg of you to just try it. Yes, I did spend my morning on the couch, but I was concentrating on my breath not my pain.

PS: Google Chrome is trying to tell me that positivity is not a word. What’s up with that?

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