Four letter F word…

    FEAR

    Never let your fear decide your fate.

    So picture this… It’s dark outside, my eyes are fuzzy… the bed is warm and there are TONS of things to watch on Netflix now that I have my Roku and DVD player hooked up from Christmas. Maybe I’ll just stay in bed a little longer. … My mind drifts to the fact that I posted to instagram that I was going to the gym this weekend. The earlier I go, the sooner I am done. The later I go the more crowded the gym will be, the less likely I am to find a parking spot, the more likely I am to just pull in circle the lot and then head to the movie theater and hide out in the dark all morning.

    I didn’t plan very well, I had to replace my lock the last time I went to the gym, I bought a cheap $2.00 one at the drug store, and I don’t know what the combination is for it… so no lock… I also cannot find one of my gym shoes. Here in Minnesota the land of 10,000 lakes, and 100,000 puddles this weekend (thanks to the polar vortex moving away!!) I find it best to just have 2 sets of shoes, one for the gym and one for everything else. Some gyms require that you have a set of shoes for the machines. (the salt/gravel/etc is bad for them, anyway). I couldn’t find my shoe, and I figured the hell with it I am staying in bed.

    Robb was seeing my frustration and helped me find my missing shoe, he had been getting ready to sleep as I was stomping around looking for my stuff. Why didn’t I pack the night before? Well I was out late, honoring my friendships with quality bonding time with some very dear ladies. So I made the trek off to the gym…

    I parked… the lot was full-ish, not nearly as full as I have seen it, the upper lot had plenty of open spaces, and I found one that looked to be as safe as anything else. I try to find spots that allow me to have good footing and a relatively clear path from ice/snow the ehlers-danlos makes my joints all wibbly-wobbly and the last thing I need is to fall. I sat in the car for a minute or two, seemed like forever. I grabbed my bad and walked toward the door of the gym.

    As I crossed the lot… there was the 4-letter word. I neared the door and the panic set in… What if I couldn’t work out as long as I wanted to? What if people were judging me based on how fast I was walking? What if I couldn’t do it? I knew I was not going to be anywhere near in the shape I had been. There are a hundred reasons why I haven’t been to the gym, my mind went to the levaquin and snapping tendon fears came flooding in. What if its been so long my membership isn’t valid anymore?

    I shook my head and shifted my thoughts into a better place, I remembered that this is about honoring myself, being honest with myself. I grabbed the door pushed my way through it, they scanned my card said welcome back and that was it, I was in the gym. I started on the treadmill, walked a while, not as long as I wanted to. I felt the pain in my foot from the PF that plagues me, as soon as I felt it I remembered why I stopped working out in the gym. I finished up my segment and decided I was not quitting. I wanted to leave with a positive feeling. I made my way to the recumbent elliptical, which may be my favorite piece of gym equipment that I have tried so far. I saw there is a new lateral running type machine I want to try but I need to get my stamina back first. Sadly one of the things EDSers deal with is the even more rapid regression of muscle tone. I pushed through about 2 miles in somewhere around 11 minutes and then I was done and I was okay with that. I had spent the time that I was on the machines thinking about my fear, thinking about why I was afraid and that in the end it is all controllable.

    This morning I got up, later than usual, but before the “get up or else” alarm and trudged off to the gym with my New Years present padded bike shorts. I have some serious pain sitting on the bike, but its good for my hip, it helps rebuild the range of motion that I lost from the 3 surgeries I had, and it has to be good for my knee too from the lateral and medial meniscal tears. Its a non-impact activity, something I need more of. I knocked out 25 minutes on the bike before changing gears, or rather machines for a 30 min cooldown. I didn’t want to go to the gym this morning, my abs hurt! A reminder that there are muscles under there, clearly from the elliptical, keeping my core engaged properly, go me!

    I fueled my body after my workout with an apple, a black Americano and 2 hardboiled eggs. I really wanted to go out for breakfast but the no dairy and no gluten thing makes it really hard to just grab something somewhere. I used to hit Panera Bread for an after workout breakfast, (Their hidden menu is awesome! and I believe it has been unhidden finally). I headed to Lunds (a local grocery store) that has Driscoll’s Strawberries 2/$5.50 right now and blueberries on sale too. I picked up a few Opal Apples which are super hard to find, but I really like them some zucchini and I got a few other bits and bobs there too. Next I headed to Target and grabbed some other things, chicken breasts, lean ground beef, frozen veggies, it was a productive quick trip, shopping the outer isles makes it so much faster.

    The afternoon has been a lot of meal prep, and stretching. My body, I believe, thinks that it is being punished right now. It is sore all over, super achy. I am dealing with it, I have the electric blanket turned on, and the fan blowing on me to cool me off. I am reminding myself that the choices I am making are to honor my body. It isn’t being tortured, or punished, As I stretch, and roll my body I speak gently to myself that the pain is temporary, that it is a gift, a reward for finally being healthy and strong enough to fact the challenge that this day brings.

    Each day brings a new set of circumstances that we cannot control, we can push through them with the skills and tolls we each have. We can work to adapt and try and teach ourselves and bodies to keep fighting, but I’ve learned I must do so gently. I am trying to live more from my heart these days. Being honest with myself about my feelings, my intuition. It all starts from inside. So dear body, thank you for letting me push you, bending but not breaking. I will continue to nourish you in the way you have told me you need. We do need to co-exist afterall. Mind and body. We just cant the that f-word be running us both ragged.

    Catching Zzz’s and the Fourth Meal!

    One of the things I neglected to post about yesterday was that among the things Cassie spoke about on Saturday was how crucial sleep is for each and every one of us. Especially for weight loss. As many of you know I work some pretty crazy hours, right? I get up at 0300 in the morning M-F and work 0400-1400 (meaning I am in the office at 0345, because I start on time, knowing what is going on and if my relief is on time I finish at 1400, rarely do I get my feet out the door of the office before 1415) this means I spend 10+ hours a day at work. How much time does this leave for the rest of my “life” In short, not much. I used to work nights, and I kept a crazy schedule, sleeping when everyone else in the world was awake… I used to have sleep apnea and slept, and even napped with my CPAP on. It didn’t take long for me to realize just how crucial sleep was in my life. Being behind the wheel for my job as a driver meant i could be putting others at risk if I was drowsy.

    Did you know that sleep helps your immune system? Yep! Your body works to restore your body when you rest. Think about it, it makes so much sense right? All day long it has so many things to do to keep you functioning that when you finally sleep and rest it can take care of itself. So sleeping, and taking care of yourself, is truly letting your body take care of itself!

    Sleep also regulates Leptin and Ghrelin which are the two hormones that regulate hunger and satiety. Cassie spoke about a common phenomenon that gave me a chuckle as I used to see it all the time when I worked nights. I call it the bar closing munchies. The longer you are awake the hungrier you get, and the less satisfied you are. Have you driven past a McDonalds at about 2:30 in the morning? Have you ever seen the line that extends around the building? Is everyone on the planet SO HUNGRY they can’t go home and make something, and they are never small orders… it is always several burgers, multiple orders of fries, junk garbage and crap. (no offence) You eat the food you would normally eat, plus extra, because you just aren’t satisfied. That’s the leptin and ghrelin being disrupted by being tired!
    This is why I believe TacoBell has cornered the market on the “Fourth Meal” Cheap carb laden food that will carb bomb you into sleep. If you believe that it is the tryptophan in the turkey at thanksgiving dinner that makes you pass out, you would be mistaken. It is the stuffing, the potatoes, the rolls, the starchy corn, the ticking time bomb of carbohydrates sending your body into shock, nap needing mode. That “fourth meal” at TacoBell will do the same thing, fill your stomach up enough to make you “full” send you crashing out to sleep just long enough to wake up in the morning wondering why you did that to yourself.
    I know when I am up late I find myself starting to get hungry, I look at the clock, often times it truly has been 8 hours or so since I last ate and my body might actually be telling me it is in need of something as time has slipped away from me. Other times, I have been consistent, had enough to sustain me and I can tell myself it is time for bed and I don’t need anything else. It is okay to be hungry.
    Sleep helps the brain, it helps the body. Adults should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night, how much do you get? I have a bedtime… yes a 30-something adult with a bedtime. It sounds superlame right? My phone goes into Do Not Disturb mode at 1700 (5pm) meaning you can’t reach me by phone unless it’s an emergency. This is the time I get into bed. Yes it seems excessive, but I am one of those, I need a drink of water, oh I have to pee again people.
    I get somewhere around 8-9 hours of sleep a night. I need it, my job is high-stress and super demanding on my brain. I can tell when I am not getting enough sleep because it starts to effect my work. I occasionally slack on getting my sleep and I pay for it for the next day or two. It’s usually the second day that is the kicker.
    Being consistent with my sleep is the key. I vary a bit with my sleep on the weekends, staying up a bit later on Friday, but still getting 8-9 hours. It is just something I find valuable to me.
    How about you? Is the only time you get the proper amount of sleep when you are sick? Do you think this might be an issue? Do you have a bedtime?

    Here we go Again…

    So… here we are again, the blog sits quiet, Kris is not so healthy. It has been about six months since I started the Weight Watchers program and I have lost and gained the same 10 pounds. I followed their program the way it is intended to be followed, and I also followed the suggestion of the leaders/receptionists and lifetime members who have successfully kept the weight off and we have manipulated the numbers.
    Truth it, it isn’t working for me. There is something else going on.
    Aside from the fact that currently I feel lousy, pain in my leg and foot, falling, back pain, my guts were a mess around Easter. Pretty much anything that I ate was giving me horrible stomach and intestinal pain. It could be anything from bread to a salad to a piece of chicken and I would just feel horrible pain. Looking at my food log, which really helped this process along, we can see my diet had a lot of two things…. dairy and wheat. Well guess what… time for something to go. :/
    a few days with no dairy and no wheat and I started feeling better. I started on 2 different probiotics and that helped I am sure. It was suggested probably 2 years ago that I try giving up wheat for my fibro, at that time I wasn’t ready to hear it. … Now having IBS issues in wake of what I am guessing was too much sugar, I am sure that it is something that needs to happen. *sad panda* So I am now learning to navigate the world of low carb once again.
    Low carb is not something I thought I would ever go back to, I did Atkins for a while when I was with my Ex-husband. Lost some weight, but never got to the point where I felt healhy, but I was also not exercising, and it was a toxic relationship.
    I know a lot more now about nutrition, and about how to properly fuel your body with the right chains of fatty acids and such. I am uncertain if the gluten is actually an issue with me, or if my guts were just on a sugar holiday, But I am starting to feel better. I can eat and not feel like I want to rip my intestines out from gas pains so that is awesome and I will take it!
    So I guess my latest lesson is to trust my body, if it is yelling at me, I don’t need to yell back I need to shut up and listen then do something about it.