Fibronaut At Home

I Was RUNNING!

Note:  Please read the title in Forrest Gump voice.  Thank you.

Part of my trial-and-error workout program is doing what I think I will enjoy.  My gut has been steering me towards running lately.  Not sure where this instinct came from, but on my walks with my dog and kids, I’ve been feeling like, “I can do eet!”  So I did.

I started slow, running behind Emma on her bicycle or in her Barbie Jeep.  My older two came along sometimes, but mostly it was Emma, Chewie and me.  I have an iPod Nano that will track my walks and my runs.  The music helps me find and keep a pace.  The first day, I ran sporadically, whenever Emma decided to go a little faster than a crawl.  Every day, I ran a little more.  Chewie, Emma and I all needed some practice coordinating who goes where and other logistics, but we have a pretty good routine down.

Well, we did.  Emma just started Kindergarten yesterday.  Now it’s just me and the dog, unless we go after school.  After going on one previous run with just me and Chewie, I wasn’t about to run yesterday.  Running without Emma to watch out for and direct allows me more time to think.  If I’m not careful, I get all up in my head and forget to concentrate on how I’m running.  Pretty soon, my shoulders are tense, I’m not breathing well and I’m feeling discouraged and negative and thinking on all things bad.

Here’s what I did today.  When my brain started rambling, I checked in with my shoulders and loosened them up.  I checked in with my breathing and made sure I was taking deep breaths and letting them out slowly.  I keep my head up and looking ahead instead of looking at the ground.  I made sure my chest was out, with my shoulders lowered and my tummy in.  I’m not sure if I’m doing this running thing correctly, but these things all seem to make the going easier.  Then, I just made a running loop in my head of all these things.  Almost like meditating while running.  Once you’re checking in with your body is automatic and something you don’t have to focus so much on, you go into your happy place.

When I get home, I stretch, take deep breaths and eat fresh fruit or veggies.  I think it helps with any sore muscles I may have.  

I’m up to a mile now.  I only stop if I need to stretch something out, or if we have a situation (other dogs, Emma meltdown, etc.).  I even pushed Emma on her bike, while running with Chewie and while she was screaming about her legs hurting.  I feel you, Emma!

Next month, I’m playing on a rec volleyball team with my hubby.  I cannot wait.  I never thought I’d be able to play volleyball again.  Like everything else I’m doing, I’ll stay positive, keep my head up with a smile on my face and remember to breathe.  Shoulders back, check.  Teeth unclenched, probably not, but that’s why I have to check.  Take a deep breath in, let it out slowly.  You got this.

anteater got this

Running soundtrack:  So far I’ve run to Paramore, The Ting Tings, Panic At The Disco, Rihanna, and Young The Giant.

Advertisements
1 Comment »

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!

Image

 Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes! 

Image

4 Comments »

Go To Outfits

One of the things that bothered me the most when I was really feeling poorly was not having the energy to care what I looked like.  Maybe it’s vain of me, but I like to feel like I look nice.  I started putting outfits together, including shoes and jewelry, in my good moments.  Then, when I was getting ready and not feeling well, I could grab those outfits and still feel pretty.  I called these my go to outfits.  They included colors that I liked, that always cheered me up.  They were items that I’d received compliments or that I knew looked good on me.  After a while, I noticed that the items that I’d purchased on the cheap at thrift stores and the items I’d sewn or upcycled gave me twice the joy and pride to wear them.  The positive energy you get when you are complimented on something you made cannot be beat.  Sometimes, just having that extra armor against others perceptions of me, made me feel better.  I’m supposed to be all, “What others think of me is none of my business”, and I realize that this kind of goes against that.  It did give me practice in not getting all offended or feeling like I had to explain when people would say, “You must be feeling better.”

Now that I’m losing weight (exercise and eating right help immensely), I get huge boosts of self esteem every time I try on something that used to fit and it is too big.  What used to be a source of frustration and melancholy has become motivation.  I have one shirt I thrifted 2 years ago.  I kept it in my closet because it was a reminder that if I wanted to wear that pretty shirt, I had to get better.  I wear that pretty shirt all the time now.  CHEESY SMILE!!!!  I believe that anyone can do this.  You have to believe you can do this.  You have to stop letting the pain and fatigue win.  I used to sit on the couch for so long in the morning that the fatigue came just because I wasn’t getting up as soon as my coffee kicked in.  I was just at home, why did I need to get up?  GET UP!!!  As soon as your meds kick in and you have a little relief from the pain or you feel your brain kick in, get up.  Get up, get moving and tell yourself that you’re not going to stop.  If I do sit down during the day, I make sure I’m upright, sitting up straight.  Posture is everything.  When you lay down, even in your recliner, you are telling your body that it is time to go to sleep or to nap.

The other night, my hubby and I celebrated our 14th Wedding Anniversary.  It was a Tuesday, so after work, he and I dropped off the kids with the Grandparents and went to dinner and a movie.  Dinner was from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm and our movie didn’t start until 10 pm.  After the movie and picking up the kids and “celebrating” at home, we didn’t get to bed until 2 am.  The next day, I felt like crap.  I let myself sleep in one hour (8 am) and then I was up and moving.  Music, coffee, green tea all kept me going.  I kept in mind why I felt this way though and rested more than I normally would.  This recovery of mine is all about baby steps and being conscious of what I need to do to keep going.  I also have to be forgiving of myself.  Even when I do sleep well, I sometimes feel fatigued.  I’m okay with that though.  I don’t let the fatigue win.  I acknowledge that I’m fatigued or in pain and I move on.  Stretch out those muscles that are aching.  This doesn’t have to be a super stretch.  Sometimes just warming those muscles up a little and gently moving and stretching them are all they need.  Sitting on the couch or laying in bed will only stiffen them up more.  The more little things you do, the less you will hurt.  The little things pave the way for the big things.

Stay positive and be kind to yourself.

Leave a comment »

New Philosophy

I have been doing everything differently the last couple months.  It has worked so well, that I can’t help but share.

I’ve been really working on staying positive in every moment of my day.  I’m so sensitive, everything in my environment affects my emotions.  People, places, music, atmosphere, things I’m reading or watching; You name it and it probably has an affect on how I’m feeling.  I start out my day with music that makes me happy, makes we want to dance or makes me want to sing.  If I feel a little blue, I don’t examine those feelings.  I’ve noticed, that if I get all up in my feelings early in the morning, it becomes more difficult to get out of them.  Setting the tone for the day as one for positivity and accomplishing goals has been the most important change I’ve made in my life.

I recently read an article (http://www.weather.com/health/why-its-better-be-morning-person-20140407) on The Weather Channel about how morning sunlight can affect your body.  As soon as I wake up in the morning, I open the shades, curtains, and if it’s warm enough, the front door.  I’m less likely to stay sitting on the couch when the sunlight is shining in.  I’ve been keeping to a schedule of waking up at the same time, even on the weekend.  No sleeping in for me.  I take less naps and have less fatigue during the day.  If I do get fatigued, I need less rest before I can get going again.

I have been spending less time on the couch and lost in the internet.  Accomplishing this is easier than it seems.  I started with the goals that I wanted to be off the couch by 10 am and showered by noon.  In one month, I am off the couch by 9 am and I feel guilty if I haven’t showered by 11 am.  I think I am most proud of this achievement.  Yesterday, I wasn’t on the couch, but I was on the internet for 3 hours in the morning.  I had such a hard time getting going after that, and while I made my goals for the day, I did little else.  Today, I decided to start things off positive and to limit my internet this morning.  It is almost 11 am and I’ve already done dishes (what little there was, I’ll go into that later), started laundry and showered.  I’m resting on the couch now, but blogging, which is okay, because I know I’ll be up after I finish this post.

The next change I’ve made has to do with time management.  This is so important for me, because I have a deep need to feel like I’m contributing to my household.  The more time I spend accomplishing tasks, the less time I spend on the couch.  I used to get fulfillment in this area from work.  Since I can no longer work, I have to find other ways to contribute.  I do this through housework, being there for my kids and my hubby and sewing.  If I try to examine in my head what I’ve accomplished during the day, I get stuck in my head.  Other thoughts pop in that are unnecessary, hurtful to myself and I forget a lot of what I’ve done.  To combat my bad memory and my negative thoughts, I’ve started to keep an accounting of what I’m doing during the day and how long these tasks take me.  My system is very simple.  I write down the time I’m starting an activity and what it is.  When I start a new task, I write down that start time.  Sometimes I combine activities or make notations in the sidelines if I forget to write down a time.  That’s it.  I don’t examine this later.  There are no judgments later, no in depth study of what I’ve done.  I just keep track and that helps me to recognize that I’m accomplishing more than I think.

I’ve been able to get more accomplished in my day and have added more goals.  My daily goals in the previous year have been to shower, journal or meditate, hug/kiss my kids and hubby and tell them I love them, and work on dishes or laundry.  I have since realized that there is more to most of my days than just that.  I feed my cats and clean their litter every day.  I straighten my bed and straighten the bathroom every day.  Just having those little things done, gives me something to be happy about.  I sew or look for inspiration for my sewing every day.  When I do get on the internet, I spend more time on Pinterest and less time on Facebook.

I’ve completely changed my philosophy on housework.  With housework, the more frequently you do something, the easier it is.  In the past, I let laundry pile up, dishes pile up, dust pile up.  I didn’t sweep or mop until the floor was so dirty and sticky, that I couldn’t stand it anymore.  I wrote before of trying to do laundry every day, but that was just too much.  I had the right idea, but the wrong plan.  Now, I try to do laundry as soon as the hamper in the bathroom is full.  This is the hamper that fills up the fastest and the one I see all the time.  Since the other hampers aren’t full yet, I end up with smaller loads.  Smaller loads are easier to haul, take less time to fold and take less energy all together, thereby making it much easier to pace myself while doing them.  It was kind of a “DUH!” moment for me when I realized how much easier it was to get laundry done when my loads were smaller.

I’ve been loading the dishwasher after meals and soaking pans right away (most of the time).  It takes about 5 minutes to scrape and rinse the dishes and throw them in the dishwasher.  Then, when the dishwasher is getting near full, I make a note on my daily accounting to remind myself to start the dishwasher after the next meal.  I also put the dishes away the same day they finish washing.  Then, I’m not tempted to let dishes pile up in the sink.  Soaking the pans make washing them so much easier.  That sounds like a no-brainer, but I had a hard time with pots before because I would try to scrub them like I was my pre-fibro self.  My cast iron skillets get scrubbed with hot water right away or they get boiled first.  I also wipe off my counters every day.  Seeing a clean counter, like having my bed straightened and my bathroom counters clean, give me a little boost of positive energy.

I’ve also been keeping up with my kitchen floors.  If I sweep a couple times a week and mop at least once a week, it takes me half the time that it used to.  I wipe off the toilet if it’s getting nasty and do the same thing with the bathroom counters and sink.  Spending 5 minutes of straightening each little part of my house, even resting in between, I can keep my house looking almost decent.  I’m still working on the vacuuming.  Our vacuum went kaput from all the long hair getting tangled in the roller and my hubby couldn’t fix it, which turned out to be a good thing.  We started using our old vacuum instead.  It is lighter and easier to push across the floor, so I can vacuum small areas.  Last week, I dusted for the first time in months.  I’ve always hated dusting, so I’m hoping I can keep up on this.  I’ve accepted that ceiling fans will never be something I can clean.  The hubby will have to do these and I will have to be persistent but patient in getting him to do these.

I hope you stuck with me through this post.  I know it’s long, but I hope it helps someone.  You can do this.  I know you can.  Keep positive, smile and be awesome.  I love you all.

4 Comments »

Positivity Journal

I’ve just started writing in my journals again and had to share what I just wrote.  I was smiling and giggling when I finished writing it and then reading or singing or doing the motions, so I hope it makes you smile and giggle too.

Always look on the bright side of life!  (commence whistling part)

(repeat however many times you feel like)

(giggle and smile)

Chant while pointing your pointer fingers to the ceiling:

YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  

(This is the Daniel Bryan chant from WWE.  Even I do it with the crowd.  Sometimes my hubby and I look at each other when we aren’t watching wrestling and do this.  It’s contagious.)

BIG CHEESY SMILE!!!!  (was on my face so I wrote it down)

Cute and cuddly boys.  Cute and cuddly.  (One of the Penguins says this on “Madagascar” and I love to say it in his voice.)

Sing:

Mr. Bluebird’s on my shoulder.  It’s the truth.  It’s actual.  Everything is satisfactual.

Zippity-do-dah!  Zippity-ay!  Wonderful feeling!  Wonderful day!

(repeat as many times as it makes you giggle)

SMILE!!!  (do this)

Feeling ready to take on the day!  Let’s get it!

2 Comments »

I Forgot

I had a kick-ass-and-take-names kind of day today. I drove my kids, by myself, to a Birthday party an hour and a half away. I helped my three-year-old in the shallow end of the pool for over an hour. Thankfully, the pool was indoor and warm. It was like having a long soak after that long drive. I was able to enjoy myself at the party, even with the pain and fatigue. Kid parties may seem boring or like too much kid-time, but kids are just my speed. I avoid all the adult drama and hang with the kids most of the time. They are always positive, looking for the bright-side and magnets for fun and silliness. My older niece’s showed me some funny videos with interesting dancing and the exchange of laughter was a memory I will cherish.

I even made the drive home. I can’t say what kind of shape I’ll be in tomorrow though. It is almost midnight and I’ve been up since 7 am but I drank coffee on the way home so now I’m exhausted but wide awake. I hurt, of course, but I’ve got heating pads rotating from my legs to my neck, shoulders and back. I started writing this post in my head on the drive home, but had to force my thoughts to singing along to the radio so I wouldn’t fall asleep. It is killing me because I had a specific message I wanted to convey, but now I can’t remember what it was. I didn’t even realize that I was starting to go into the little creative space in my mind until my eleven year old reminded me to sing along. I told him to throw something at me if I wasn’t singing along to the radio because that meant I was asleep.

This is driving me insane now. I feel like there is something to get off my chest, but I can’t remember what it is! I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep until I think of it. It had to do with anxiety. I was thinking of the anxiety that I experienced in the days leading up to this party. Now I remember. The relief is short-lived. I won’t be okay until I get this out.

I was singing along to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert, “Same Love”, and it hit me. Whenever I have any event, party, anything really, to go to, I immediately begin over-thinking. I could even be thinking of all the fun, positive things that could happen. Eventually though, my mind turns dark. I might imagine someone being mean to me or my kids and the ensuing drama, stress and conflict. I might imagine a misunderstanding that gets blown out of proportion or some other situation where I am in conflict with someone who doesn’t know me.

While listening to this song, I thought back to all the negative places my brain went when confronted with my attending a children’s party at a public pool. Add the stress of finding out the night before that I’d be making a drive I haven’t made in two years, and I was a mess. In one of those made up situations in my mind, a simple misunderstanding in the pool between myself and another mother, blows up. This kept creeping into my thoughts all week. At the actual party, not the one in my mind, I did have an interaction with another Mom and it was nothing like I had imagined. It was actually kind of beautiful. If you saw me and this other Mother, side by side, you would think that we had nothing in common but that we were Mothers. We never talked to each other so I’ll never know. Our babies communicated first, with eye-contact and a smile and then so did we. I feel like we so often judge each other based on what we see and that is sad. Maybe that will be a new goal for me. More eye-contact and smiles and less judging. I can do that.

Leave a comment »

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?

Leave a comment »

ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

The Better Man Project ™

a journey into the depths

theGoodVader

Growth, together

The Elephant in the Room

Writing about my experiences with: depression, anxiety, OCD and Aspergers

mystical lunarose

Chronic pain, Rhumatoid Arthritis, Alapecia Areata,Rants, and Raves

My Journey 2 Scratch

"The secrets to life are hidden behind the word cliché" - Shay Butler

just a dad with disney questions

reading into things way too much...

hessianwithteeth

This site is all about ideas

Im ashamed to die until i have won some victory for humanity.(Horace Mann)

Domenic Garisto/havau22.com / IF YOU CAN'T BE THE POET, BE THE POEM (David Carradine) LIFE IS NOT A REHERSAL,SO LIVE IT.

Envision Your Future Online

Helping you Improve your Online Business

ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

Salty*mom

Tutorials and Ideas for the love of DIY

Rentbillow's Blog

"RentBillow" spelled backwards is "WolliBtner" which means "awesome" in a language I just made up.

takingthemaskoff

Addiction, Mental Health, Stigma, Spirituality

Dr. Patty's Chronic-Intractable Pain and You Sites, Inc.

Always A Safe and Nonjudgmental Place To Talk About Your Chronic Pain

Take-Two Style

A new style…all preloved, recycled and 'economical'

Let's Face the Music

Renovating an old house by a musical couple who want to live there the rest of their lives.