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Exercise and Fibromyalgia

When I first started blogging I spent a day or two a week and focused on writing about something other than a daily log of my exercise routine or the happenings of my days. Honestly, since starting back up with the blog it has been mundane. Just a countdown of days and commentary about what routine the Les Mills Pump calendar tells me to do. I am sure many people are getting pretty bored with reading the same things over and over and over again. So from here on out I will try my best to mix in some other health and/or fitness related articles in. Mix things up a bit.

Most people know i suffer with Fibromyalgia. It makes life harder. Sometimes even the touch of my clothing against my skin hurts. It can wear on you to always be in pain and to not be able to have the quality of life you crave. Motivating to get things done is hard when you are battling with the chronic fatigue and depression that comes along with it. Most people don’t understand what fibromyalgia is. I will assure you it is real, it is not an excuse and it is hard to live with. With the help of my doctor we have found a combination of medications and physical activities that helps cope with the fibromyalgia and improve my daily life.

What is Fibromyalgia?

The word Fibromyalgia comes from the Latin term for fibrous tissue (fibro) and the Greek words for muscle (myo) and pain (algia). Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects around 1 and 3 percent of people. The debilitating syndrome includes stiffness, chronic fatigue, diffuse tenderness, widespread muscle aches and pains, numbness, nutritional deficiencies, migraines and muscle spasms. It can make everyday activities such as working with your arms, walking, carrying objects, and most everyday chores hard to accomplish. In my own experience during a flare it is especially hard to do anything where my arms have to be raised up or have to do the same repeated motions in general. Most people who have this condition have to deal with pain, fatigue, psychological distresses and difficulty coping with stress. Fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by increased sensitivity to pain as well as environmental factors.

Fibro is quite often considered an arthritic condition even though it is not a form of arthritis because it does not inflame or damage the joints or muscles. However it does cause significant pain and fatigue and it can interfere with a person’s ability to perform simple everyday tasks. Just like arthritis, fibro is categorized as a rheumatic condition. Simply put a condition that impairs soft tissues and joints as well as causing chronic pain.

Exercise and Fibromyalgia

Many people think that common sense would suggest that people with fibromyalgia should not exercise or be anything other than sedentary.  In reality you can’t afford not to be at least a little active when you have fibro. But it seems that most patients with fibromyalgia avoid physical activity and limit it due to fears that it will worsen their symptoms.

Exercise when done properly will interrupt the downhill spiral of muscle and cardiovascular reconditioning which can lead to loss of function or atrophy. Deconditioning can and will lead to increased pain and soreness after the smallest amounts of activity. It can also lead to or worsen tight muscles, lack of range of motion and postural balances. All these things put further strain on the body and make moving harder.

A well-balanced exercise routine had been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia. Just remember that starting can be a challenge and to star small with simple activities such as walking and other gentile exercises. It is important to slowly build up endurance slowly. Just be sure that a doctor approves your activities and be sure to be honest with your doctor about how certain activities affect your pain level, flexibility and general mobility. Many doctors recommend being active and if your doctor has not brought up the option to you talk to him and find out what you can do. From personal experience exercise has helped with the depression and moodiness that comes along with having to deal with chronic pain. With more strength and increased flexibility everyday tasks are not as impossible. I only have to take maybe two breaks from blow-drying my hair instead of the break every minute to minute of a half of holding a blow drier. It may sound lame but small victories are victories nonetheless. An accomplishment or positive change is positive and even small victories deserve celebration.

Exercising releases the levels of stress hormones in the body such as cortisol and adrenaline so it has a neurochemical benefit to fibro patients. Exercise also increases the body’s production of endorphins and those are your body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Along with those benefits there is the sense of pride and confidence in knowing you accomplished something. Your strength and stamina will increase and there is even the possibility to have your waist like shrink!

Just to be clear, I am not in any way, shape or form a doctor or any type of medical professional. This was written based on my own personal experience as a person with fibromyalgia, what I have learned from my wonderful doctors as well as books, articles and medical journals on the subject of fibromyalgia. Be sure to clear any exercise routine with your doctor. And remember every person feels the effects of fibromyalgia differently.  Physical activity may not be recommended in every case. But it does improve the quality of my life.

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Day 34 of 120 – Totally Messed Up

Well it is Day 34 of 120 Days of Les Mills Pump. Tomorrow is the final day of Te Were – phase 1 then onto Panoni – phase 2.

lmp day 34

Today we took the kids along some extra kids to the pumpkin farm. Everyone had a great time. It was a wonderful day to share with our family and friends! I do have a confession to make while we were there I ate like total CRAP! I had a doughnut, some fries and a soda. Yikes. Honestly packing something healthy did not even come to mind. It was dumb to assume that there would be a healthy option at a pumpkin farm. To top if off when we got home I had a slice of pizza. Granted I only went approximately 200 calories over my daily set amount. But I did it by having a little junk and not enough good stuff. The only healthy thing about today was my breakfast and I had a bunch of water.

Once we got home and all of the kids that do not belong to me went home it was fairly late. Not to far after Mr. Baby’s bedtime routine needed to get started and then Emma decided to go sleep over somewhere so I had to pack her up. Once she left I was pooped. DH wanted to rent a movie and veg out so he ran put to pick up a flick and i went and got my pjs on. Then it was time to join the real world again and tell myself that I ate like crap and did not workout. A couple hours of walking around while baby-wearing doesn’t count as an actual workout. So Immediately I went downstairs and did my daily workout. In my pjs mind you. Had to do it and right at that moment because if i sat down it would not happen. So here I am after 45 minutes of Pump and Shred. Sore and tired as hell. But I did it. May of been reluctantly but  it still counts. It was not done half assed either.

Now it is time to veg out and watch our movie. Hope you all had a wonderful Saturday!!

Day 30 Progress Report (Weigh in)

lmp day 30

 

30 days down and 90 days to go! 90 sounds so much better than 120, that is for sure. Today’s workout was Hard Core Abs as well as a 45 minute walk.  Hard Core Abs went well. I gave the planks a try and got a few in before my hand was telling me that it was a bad idea. At that point it was taken down to a plain old regular plank resting on my forearms. At least I tried! The the 45 minute walk I hopped on the treadmill. I warmed up, then jogged until my knee was mad at me then walked briskly until I did a cool down. Was able to go at 6 mph for a mile and a half before slowing it down. That is actually pretty good for me lately. The old creaky knee likes to give me a hard time. I really wish I could go that long outside without having to pace it back to a power walk.

So today was the day to weigh and measure myself to see where I stand after these first 30 days. I was actually quite pleased with what the scale and measuring tape had to say. As far as the progress pictures go it doesn’t look like there was any change. I think I have a bit before any results obviously show.

  Day 1 Day 30 Day 60 Day 90 Day 120 Total Loss
CHEST 36” 35.5”       .5”
WAIST 42.5” 40.75”       1.75”
HIPS 45.5” 45”       .5”
BUST 42” 40”       2”
NECK 13” 13”       0”
R. FOREARM 9.5” 9.25”       .25”
L. FOREARM 9.5” 9.5”       0”
R. UPPER ARM 13” 12.75”       .25”
L. UPPER ARM 12.75” 12.5”       .25”
R. THIGH 27.75” 27”       .75”
L. THIGH 27.5 27.25”       .25”
R. CALF 15.75” 15.5”       .25”
L. CALF 15.75” 15.25”       .5”
WEIGHT 189.7 lbs 184.2 lbs       5.5 lbs
BMI 30.6 (obese) 29.7 (obese)       .9
PANT SIZE 14 14       0
TOTAL INCHES           7.25”

5.5 lbs and 7.25 inches.. not too shabby! Surpassed my goal of 5 lbs and 5 inches!

DAY 1 PHOTOS

DAY 1 PHOTOS

 

DAY 30 PHOTOS

DAY 30 PHOTOS

 

So I suppose a goal should be set for the next 30 days. I think I will stick with 5 and 5. 5 more pounds and 5 more inches. Got to keep it realistic.

 

So Here’s the Plan

 

As I confessed in yesterday’s post I didn’t exactly have the healthiest weekend and have a pesky numb leg. So workouts were skipped and pizza was eaten and copious amounts of wine were consumed. Eating has been back on track but I still have not worked out. My leg is more tingly today so I am hoping it is back to normal by the end of the day.

So with everything mentioned above skipping out on actually finishing 120 days of Les Mills Pump is not something that I want to do. So skipping back to when I had the junk food and started missing workouts is the right thing to do. So back to Day 25 for this chick. Getting rehydrated is number one on the list. There was definitely more wine than water consumed over the weekend, my body is not happy about it. I feel drier than the Sahara Desert! Food is back on track so there are no worries there and later on a workout will be attempted. If my balance and stance is still off due to the numb leg then I will stop and start Day 25 again. This is the longest the Fibromyalgia has left my leg numb. I think it may be time to make an appointment and get checked out. My creaky knee is worse so that needs to be looked at too as well as the fact that it is the time of year that I should start taking meds for my Raynaud’s Syndrome.

So I am off to eat a healthy lunch, drink more water and call the doctor’s office.

Had to press pause

So this weekend was full of fun and excitement, two of my favorite people were married and I had the privilege of standing in their wedding. it made for a busy weekend though!

Thursday my workout went as scheduled, I just didn’t blog about it. Had mani/pedi appointment and shopping with the bride then we watched The Vampire Diaries and The Originals premiere. And to top it off my oldest was home from school sick. So I just plan did not make time for blogging to be honest.

Friday was full of packing, Catching up on schoolwork with DD who was still home sick, housework, rehearsal dinner and stalking. One of the bridesmaids who lives out-of-town and I ran to the store to grab things to snack on at the hotel as all of us girls got ready. No one wants to spend a day on their feet with an empty stomach! While we were there it started to downpour so we figured it would be best to fart around the store while we waited the downpour out. The entire time some creeper kept following us around and making odd comments or repeating what we were saying. So then we stayed even longer because we were not about to walk outside in the dark and possibly be followed by this man. The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner went well. My escort was not present so Mr Baby filled in for him so I didn’t walk down the aisle alone. The dinner was pizza, bread sticks and salad. I ate pizza and salad and a bread stick. I was hungry and had no issue in participating in the meal. It was the bride’s favorite meal 🙂 I did a workout but did not make time to blog once again.

Saturday was the wedding day so no workout once again. I got up with the baby and spent time with him before he and his big sister went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for the night. It was his first sleepover! After all the usual morning activities we were off for hair, then getting ready, pics, and the whole shebang. It was a lovely ceremony and the reception was a blast. they put on a good party. I did not eat too terribly at dinner and skipped the cake (minus one bite) but drank way too much and later int he evening had a slice of pizza. It happens. it was a special weekend and every drink and bite was worth it to me and that is what matters. It was a celebration and I was there to do just that, celebrate! On the plus side I did enough dancing to count as cardio 🙂

Sunday after we had brunch with the bride and groom we checked out and headed out to get the kids. I unfortunately woke up with the back of my right thigh completely numb. It still is. One of the many lovely things about having Fibromyalgia. So no workout yesterday and no workout today. I tried but with my thigh numb I couldn’t keep my balance well enough to do most of the moves in what I felt was a safe way. I understand working out is important, but it is not worth risking injury for. The last thing I need is more pain. I hope I can get back to normal tomorrow. It is really annoying to not be able to do what you want because of some stupid disorder. Sometimes I feel like the fibro runs my life. Who knows, maybe one day they will find a cure?!

So now I need to decide if I just startup on day 30 tomorrow like I worked out all along or if I track back and go back to Saturday’s workout and go from there. Hmmm What to do??

Quinoa Trail Mix Bites Recipe

Today is Day 23 and it is a scheduled rest day so no workout happened. But I did make these:

Lately temptation has been everywhere and I have been coming unraveled because of it. It makes me cranky and no one wants to be around when I am cranky. So the solution to my problem was to make myself a treat that is not only healthy but gluten-free, high protein and that falls into the clean eating category.  The best part is there is no baking involved. When it is warm out nothing turns your house into an oven quicker than turning on the oven.

About a year ago I featured a Quinoa Ball recipe on my blog but decided I needed to amp it up a bit. So here is the recipe with all my revisions added in. I made quite a few changes!

Quinoa Trail Mix Bites. Don’t they look delish??

 

Ingredients:

1 cup old-fashioned oats, dry (Bob’s Red Mill brand offers gluten-free oats, most oats are not gluten-free, these are)

1/4 cup quinoa, dry

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (I used half flaked and half shredded because I like the difference in texture)

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup peanut butter (almond butter work too, I used chunky PB)

1/3 cup honey

Directions:

1. In a small pan combine the quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Cover then simmer for about 12 minutes, until quinoa has completely absorbed all liquid. Fluff it with a fork and pour into a large bowl.

2. Add oatmeal, dried cranberries. cinnamon and the coconut to quinoa and mix until everything is completely incorporated.

3. In a small pan bring the honey to a simmer then stir in the vanilla. Pour honey and vanilla mix onto the other ingredients in the bowl and mix until everything is combined.

4. Cool the mixture then add the chocolate chips, peanut butter and salt.  Mix until everything is evenly mixed through. using your hands seems to work the best.

5. Pop it all in the fridge to cool (takes about an hour). or you can pop it into the freezer and just stir it occasionally (it takes about a half hour then)

6. After it is thoroughly cooled scoop out the mixture by a heaping tbsp full and form into a ball. This works best if you keep your hands damp.

7. ENJOY!

I made a double batch and half the mixture in the fridge to ball up later. I like to ball them up in small batches to keep myself from chowing down. They are just that good. These also freeze really well.

 

I’m Here to Bitch and Moan

I am typing this as the smell of freshly baked boxed brownies wafts through my house. It is making me really unhappy and unsupported. Normally I can handle temptation and rarely even feel like I diet, but right now I have been struggling with it and this is the last thing I need right now. I feel like crap is getting waved in my face and I am being teased. Oh I know, I sound dramatic as all get up. I know I do. Just can’t help it.

DH is sitting here eating burritos and baking up a box of brownies.. Really not fair!!!! I have to make myself some clean eating friendly dessert for me tomorrow. Either some quinoa trail mix balls or maybe I can grind up some quinoa and make it into brownies somehow. May have to experiment tomorrow.

I may still be 270 calories shy for the day after 3 meals and 2 snacks and calorie wise I could afford a brownie. With the way I have been feeling this week I know I would binge. And having one would defeat the purpose of eating clean.

So not happy right now. I want junk too! My brain says no but my hormones say…  CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!

 

p.s. DH I love you but you are a jerk

20 Down, 100 to Go

lmp day 20

Today was day 20 of Les Mills pump. Day 19 was a rest day so I didn’t workout. Today’s workout was Pump and Burn. all in all I was pleased with today’s workout. During the ab track I was able to double my weight. Hoping that next time I can double it for the legs and back track.

Eating clean has been going really well. Having a terrible hard week as far as temptation goes. Not even thinking I walked by a pack of cookies this morning, grabbed one and took a bite. Immediately realized what I had done and threw the cookie out without taking another bite. a slip up yes, but I remedies the problem with a quick trip to the trash can. I am thinking I really need to make a batch of clean cookies!

 

Clean Eating Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal Bake / Food Scale

Today my DH bought me a new kitchen scale. After weighing my dinner portions I figured out that my guessing on how much to eat has been way off.  Not that I am eating too much, I am actually underestimating and not eating enough. and when you don’t eat enough your body stores it. Gah!  Oh well, with the new scale the problem is solved. Until I get back to properly portioning food on my own the scale it is.

Something I have been slacking on in the worst way is eating breakfast. So I have breakfast for the next few days in the oven now.  The only thing I will have to do is pop some in the microwave and grab a piece of fruit. Easy peasy! With the gloomy fall weather today pumpkin came to mind. Nothing says fall like pumpkin, and who doesn’t love pumpkin? After looking through the pantry Pumpkin Oatmeal Bake is what I came up with.

Here is the recipe:
Ingredients:

2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons molasses
2 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 1/2 cups steel-cut oats
1 cup diced apples
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp coconut oil

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Grease 8 x 8 baking dish with the coconut oil.
2. In a large bowl beat together the pumpkin, honey, molasses, eggs, spices, salt, baking powder, vanilla, milk and yogurt until smooth.
3. Add in oats and apples and mix until incorporated.
4. Put into greased pan, sprinkle pecans over the top of the mixture and cover with foil. bake for 35 minutes then uncover and bake for 20 minutes more.
Serves 8.

Can't wait until the morning to try this!

Can’t wait until the morning to try this!

Measurements and goals

I am finally getting to the part I hate the most about blogging about weight loss and such. Telling the world just how heavy and round I am and them showing terrible pictures of myself in a sports bra. But accountability is accountability and what is the point of all this if I don’t make my self accountable? There really isn’t a point if I don’t.

So here is my plan. Prepregnancy when I was blogging my weight loss I weighed and measured in weekly. This time around the plan is to do it at the end of every 30 day phase. So every 30 days an updates set of measurements, updated progress photos as well as current weight. The plan was to do it weekly but this time around I just want to do it differently and to stay away from the measuring tape and scale as much as possible. Honestly I am not mentally prepared to put myself out here like this. The will probably be a meltdown as soon as the Publish button is hit.

So here are my stats for the beginning of Phase One:

Day 1 Day 30 Day 60 Day 90 Day 120
CHEST 36”
WAIST 42.5”
HIPS 45.5”
BUST 42”
NECK 13”
R. FOREARM 9.5”
L. FOREARM 9.5”
R. UPPER ARM 13”
L. UPPER ARM 12.75”
R. THIGH 27.75”
L. THIGH 27.5
R. CALF 15.75”
L. CALF 15.75”
WEIGHT 189.7
BMI 30.6 (obese)
PANT SIZE 14

And the always dreaded and super terrible Day 1 pics:

picisto-20130911151916-489718

 

 

My goal for the first 30 days is to lose 5 pounds and 5 inches. But if I lose more that would be great 🙂

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