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Where Have I Been?

Well, I have been here. Mostly home trying to occupy time. A little bit ago I had X-Rays done on my Knee. After the follow-up appointment put me in a funk. The doctor gave me a list of do’s and don’ts. More don’ts than do’s though. Not happy about it. But it is understandable. She is a great doctor and looking out for my best interests and my health.

So here is the diagnosis. Arthritis. Not Rheumatoid yet. But my RF is still climbing and that will come in time she said. So for now Osteoarthritis is the issue. She said I had it in multiple locations. Bleh! So she banned me from doing my workouts for 6 weeks. I have PT but it seems to be making it worse, that makes me cranky. Not just that but the fact that I have goals I want to meet and these PT exercises are not big calorie burners. Most of them are done seated, not much of a workout. Soon I will be allowed to do some yoga though. I am looking forward to getting to do anything right now.

The point in the PT is to get the joint stronger and more lubricated. Then I go back and see the doctor and she is going to see where things are at pain wise. If they are not satisfactory she will refer me to an Orthopedic specialist and start me on corticosteroid injections in the knee. The way the knee is now that I am going through the PT it is pretty much a given the injections will happen. I am ready to get them. I have enough pain from the Fybromyalgia and Raynaud’s disease.

All I know is I am ready to get back to “real”, more productive workouts. I want to see results. I don’t want to sit around on my ass all day when I would rather get in some Pump or jog or even power walk. In due time though. Patience is key and pushing it and possible opening myself up to further injury is not a worth risk taking.

So I am around. I am pouting. I am bored. But I am alright. Hoping soon things will start going my way, if not with the help of the doctor we can hopefully find a middle ground that satisfies both of us.

I may not blog daily but I will still blog on occasion until things get moving again.

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.

Deja Vu?

lmp day 25

I feel like I have done this before..

Back to Day 25 today. Now that there is more feeling in my thigh balance and form are not as much of a problem. Granted there are still issues and the workout was not exactly comfortable, could be worse though. No workout could have happened.

Today’s scheduled workout was Hard Core Abs along with a 45 minute walk. Hard Core Abs went well, a tad bit harder than normal. Possibly due to the fact that I have skipped workouts this past week and that took its toll. In place of the 34 minute walk I did 35 minutes of low impact aerobics. Started to feel quite imbalanced so I skipped the last 5 minutes and went straight to the cool down. It was possible to push through it but I didn’t. It is not as easy to push through things when you have medical issues. In no way am I disappointed in the workout and it definitely got my heart rate up and a good sweat going.

So it looks like I am back in action! Just in time for the RunScreamRun 5k on Saturday. Definitely just power walking through this one. Dr didn’t give me the go ahead to try running. no matter what it will be a ton of fun and I am very much looking forward to my 3 mile power walk.

Food wise I am still on target. Eating clean, taking in 1,700 cals a day and drinking LOTS of water.

Time to make dinner and put together my costume for Saturday. Hope everyone has had a terrific Thursday!

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??

Hiatus.. I’m not dead, I just went crazy!

Once again I disappeared. Sorry guys. There has been too much going on lately and I haven’t made the time to keep up here or an any of the social networks. Sometimes life gets crazy and you just have to take a step back from other things and focus on getting back to normal. I had a minor medical issue after returning from vacation, wrecked me knee after that then had a Bridal shower and wedding invitations to make for a wedding I am MOH in this September on top of dealing with my family being a bunch of crazies and a bush catching on fire that was right against my house as I was leaving for vacay. Busy, Busy. Fun. Fun.

I am ashamed to say that my diet has been sub par but no so bad it is out of control, I have gotten workouts in a few times a week but I am just walking or peddling on the recumbent bike, my knee swells at the thought of anything more. The swelling has gone more but now that the swelling has lessened it hurts like crazy. I am hoping that in a week I can be back to normal. But, if the pain doesn’t die down by Monday I will be into the doctor and getting to the bottom of this. I have no idea what happened. I hadn’t worked out the day it started and there were no falls, twists or bumps to it. Maybe it is just my Fybromyalgia? Who knows.

Saying all of this my recent 90 Day Challenge will be started over and I promise myself and all of you that I will get back on track and come back better than ever!

This Sunday is The Color Run in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately i was ready to run it but now do not want to change further injury on my knee. I am still going to do it but at a much slower pace (speed walking more than likely)

Also, I will get the vacay pics loaded and post those soon. I hope all of my fellow WPers (thanks for checking on me Kurt) are doing well as well as everyone else.

Stretching to Relieve Back Pain

I threw my back out last night doing pretty much nothing. Oh the joys of Fybromyalgia! So today I am going to talk about stretching to relieve back pain. Even with a chronic pain disease I have found that stretching can make quite a  difference in pain levels. Plus stretching daily can help lengthen and strengthen your back muscles, improve posture and make it less likely to injure yourself in the first place.

I know what you are thinking, my back hurts no way do I want to exercise, stretch or even move. Everyone knows that exercise is important for our overall health but people sometimes forget the importance of stretching. The back and spine are made up of muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments, it is made to bend, twist, and carry quite a bit of our body weight. Stretching on a regular basis helps reduce stress on joints, improves blood flow and adds flexibility. Also, stretching before exercise helps prep your muscles for activity and reduces the risk of injury.

Not everyone hurts their back during exercise or vigorous activity. I know this and I have hurt mine doing what? I have no idea, I was standing in the Little League Concession Stand volunteering, at that time I was bagging popcorn. Popcorn is not heavy, neither are teenie popcorn bags or the scoop I was using. It just happened. Maybe there was a moment where I twisted strange or maybe it is because I am a cripple. Either way, it hurts and it is improving because of stretching it out.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while you are stretching:

  • Start at the top, if you stretch  your neck then work your way down you use already stretched muscles in the rest of your stretching routine.
  • Don’t stretch until you are in pain, go slow and only until you feel a bit on tension.
  • Be sure to stand steady, no bouncing around. Think strength in stillness.
  • Hold in your stretch for 10 to 20 seconds and do not forget to breathe! Be sure to inhale before the stretch and exhale during.
  • Small sets of 3 is enough, do not over do it! You can always add more as you are more flexible.

Personally I stretch daily, more than once in the instance that I am stiff or sore. Today there will be a few sessions of stretches going on to get this pain worked out of my back. You do not have to do it daily but I really would recommend doing it a few times a week (personal opinion, I am not a doctor.)

Here is the routine I use. I do believe that I first found it on http://www.webmd.com. I do not have a link to their direct article, but the routine is now in my memory.

Neck Stretch

  • Stand with your feet flat , knees bent just a little bit.
  • Tilt your head slowly forward, bringing your chin toward your chest.
  • Turn your head to the left until your chin is lined up with your shoulder.
  • Do this again on your right side
  • Tilt your head to the left so your ear is to your left shoulder.
  • Do this again but on your right side.

Shoulder Rolls 

  • Stand with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent a little bit.
  • Roll your shoulders forward 10 times starting with small circles.
  • Roll your shoulders 10 more times in large circles.
  • Roll your shoulders backwards 10 times starting with small circles.
  • Roll your shoulders backwards 10 times using large circles.

Hamstring Stretch

  • Lie down and bend your knees.
  • Grab one leg around the thigh and slowly bring it toward your chest.
  • Pull until you fee a light stretch.
  • Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat with you other leg.

Hamstring Stretches 2

  • Stand with one leg out in front of you, straightened and put your leg on a table or chair, I use the stairs.
  • Bend the leg you are standing on until you feel a little stretch under the thigh of the raised leg. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat with your other leg.

I also like to do Sun Salutations for a sore back. Here is a video for you to check out that will show you how to do a Yoga Sun Salutation:

On today’s workout menu I have Les Mills Pump Step as well as getting back on the horse with my running. I know I may not have the best run (I usually kind of stink at it anyhow) but I am going to get out there and do what I can. Hope you all have a fit and healthy day! Time for me to go stretch out this sore back and work on getting my workouts in.

Why I Choose Active Recovery

It is commonly thought that complete rest after a workout is the best way to recover. Taking a day off and letting the muscles rest and repair does work for some people. I have found that with Fibromyalgia the soreness after a workout is far worse than when I used to be healthy, even the workouts themselves are harder to do. Taking a full on rest and recover day is not best for me.

Staying active with Fybro is hard work, the workouts are always more challenging, the aches are worse and some things you have to modify the heck out of just to accomplish in your own way. If I take a day off after I feel terrible. In my case I have found that a ten minute walk then a five-minute warm up really helps with my flexibility and my ability to keep proper form and follow through to the end. The bit of flexibility and looseness that is gained from that fifteen minute warm up is a game changer. After my workouts I make sure that I do a five-minute cool down as well as five minutes of stretching after.

Doing Les Mills Pump there are schedules rest days. Rarely will I attempt a full rest day. When I do I get stiff and sore, and jumping back on the Pump bandwagon the next day is extremely hard. This is where active recovery comes in. Besides my warm up and cool down I stretch, constantly. Anytime i start to feel stiff or the pain level starts creeping up I stretch. On my days off I may just jog, do some yoga or low impact aerobics. If I am really sore I do yoga. What I am saying here is something is done to keep myself moving. With fybro it is very easy to sit down and not move. Your body doesn’t like moving, but doing it is best.

It has been documented over and over the importance of exercise and stretching for fybro patients. I can say personally that it is making a huge difference in how i feel physically. I certainly am not in as much of the fybro pain, yes, there is pain and exercise is not a miracle cure, I am not making any claims that it is. What I am saying is that activity helps. You may have to struggle in the beginning, but gaining that strength and flexibility makes life so much easier. You have to be willing to power through for it to help. People with Fybromyalgia are more likely to have inflamed and tight muscles, poor circulation, poor posture and more toxins in the body. Regular stretching and exercise can help relieve those symptoms. Start out slow, don’t stretch too hard or hold poses too long. Keep it static.

After almost 90 days of exercise my symptoms are lessened, I have learned my limits and what I can do to feel better. I have learned that I have to work twice as hard to get a work out in as a healthy person does. I have also learned that I am worth that hard work and that I can do it. I have also learned that active recovery works best for me.

Today is a scheduled rest day with Pump so I am going to warm up with a walk and spend the day weeding my garden area (It looks terrible!) so I can get my veggies planted.

 

Time to get back on it..

Yesterday I ended up taking the day off of my workouts, I do not feel guilty about it either. There was just too much to fit into one day and my body could barely handle was already on my plate. And sometimes things are just more important than my workouts. I have two hours before I have two hours before I have to head Bridgeport for the funeral of a wonderful man and my friend’s Father. I have to stop on the way and buy something to wear. I shopped for yesterday’s showings but didn’t think to get something for the actual funeral. I have slacks but no funeral appropriate tops, I wore my only nicely fitting appropriate top yesterday. I am loving getting smaller but today I am annoyed that I have 2 closets and a walk in with clothes in them and nothing to wear that is dressy. Usually I love shopping but I don’t like rushing. also, it is time to take some more of my clothes to the consignment shop.

This puts it in perspective for you guys. Except your games still work and my clothes don't 🙂

I am going to squeeze in a workout this morning. I don’t want to take too much time off. But today’s workout that was scheduled wasn’t a hard-core one so I should be good. I need to keep moving and just adapt my exercise until this flare up passes. Even my doctor says to workout just take it easy because it is actually good for the fybro. Well I better quit wasting time and get moving, lots to do today. We have field clean up and practice for the kid tonight after school too. Busy, busy day. Time to go see what Les Mills has in store for me today.

Tuesday Weigh in Week 9 *sigh*

It is that time again. I’ve got my scale and tape measure handy and I am ready to go. I am not sure how accurate anything will be this week. I have some MAJOR bloating issues and still have a pot belly going on, swollen from my stomach to thighs (I can feel the fluid, yuck). My Fibromyalgia is flared up pretty badly. I feel foggy and things that should be easy are getting more and more confusing. I went to Zumba last night and wow, did I have a really hard time catching on. I did 100 times better last time, and that was my first go at it. Oh well, I did my best and worked up a really good sweat. That is all that matters. Right now I am hoping this fog, the bloat and the elevated pain passes quick. I am definitely going to have to tone down the weights for now. I really hope it doesn’t set me back to far. Ah, the life of a cripple.

I had to go pant shopping yesterday, needed some dress slacks for a Showing this afternoon. I hate shopping when bloated, makes finding things harder. I was still able to buy a size 12 though. So I was happy.

Let me hop on the scale and get this done and over with:

  • Chest: 36 inches  (- 0 inches)
  • R Arm: 12 inches  (- 0 inches)
  • L  Arm: 12 inches (- 0 inches)
  • Waist: 32 inches (- 0 inches)
  • Hips: 41 inches (- 0 inches)
  • R Thigh: 24.5 inches (- 0 inches)
  • L Thigh: 24.5 inches (- 0 inches)
  • Weight: 171 pounds (-0 pounds)
  • Pant Size: 12
  • BMI: 29.9

Well, that wasn’t as bad as I though it would be, all the bloat sits above and below where I measure. How convenient! So no change this week. Not exactly pleased but I will accept it and move on. I think I need to step up the cardio or go a little stricter with the diet so I can get some sure changes for next week. Hoping it will clear out this water weight I am carrying around right now. I really dislike weeks with no change they feel like set backs and are disappointing. It is the beginning of a new fitness week for me so time to change that!

Have a great Tuesday everyone.

 

No doughnuts but…..

Happy Friday everyone!

Just so you know. I did not have a doughnut last night! Go me! I did melt some cheese with sriracha sauce on    some whole grain baked tortilla chips. A whopping 310 calories worth. So I feel guilty this morning and am fighting the urge to step on the scale. Must.not.give.in! i haven’t been eating enough over the past week so I am sure my indulgence will not hurt me. On the other hand the not eating enough calories for the week may. I have had a small appetite all week. Still eating all my meals, just not much of them. Getting lots of my veggies in at least. I am sure that will bounce back after I get sleeping  again and this Fybro flare passes. After this and Emma gets on the bus I am going back to bed for an hour and hoping it refreshes me a little. I am sleeping in until 9 tomorrow, I’ll just have to threaten some lives before I go to bed, both human and pet.

I wanted to start Couch to 5K  yesterday. But I did not. Too tired. I sis get my scheduled workout in though. Pump and Shred, I killed it.   I may give it a try tonight if not for sure tomorrow.

I found another 5k that I really want to do. My friends and I dress up and go out for Halloween for mine and one other friends birthday every year. But I am thinking it is time to change it up a bit. There is a zombie 5k The Zombie Dash this April but now they are going to plan a Halloween Weekend one! It is a 5k plus Zombie Apocalypse. And if you know me you know I love me some zombies. You start at a cabin in the woods and have to make it to safety without being caught by zombies, So in a way capture the flag/race/awesomeness.  If no one else wants to do it I may just have to ditch everyone for the Halloween Birthday Extravaganza Weekend that I plan every year.

And to round off this post here is a picture of what I made for dinner last night. Udon Noodle Soup with Shrimp, Crab and lots of veggies. with a spinach salad. Have a nice day 🙂 Time for my nap then onto hours upon hours of neglected housework to catch up on.

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