Eyes Ahead to Fitbloggin

So here we are, in the thick of winter in Minnesota. It’s cold and it’s been “dark” here for what seems like eternity.  It’s dark when I get up for work most mornings, and the sun in setting, or set when I leave work.  The “real feel” temp this week was -33 when I went to work this week.  Key in the ignition of the car and I closed my eyes and hoped as it cranked hard, and then eventually purred to life.

Realistically I know the daylight is lasting a bit longer everyday, as I can see the sun out of my office window a little higher each day.  As I mentioned in my last blog post, I am inching my way into the anniversary of the”jump” that changed my life.  You have to jump before you can soar, or fall flat on your face as the case was the first time.  Last year when I left my job it could not have come at a more critical time.  I truly was at the end of a truly frayed rope, that had been tied and retied so many times. I as a shell of a person.

I was so afraid that in leaving my job that I would not be able to make it to Fitbloggin in Savannah.  Fitbloggin is Family.  I needed my family.  I needed my family more than ever after quitting.  When I attended Fitbloggin in Portland, I knew I needed to follow my heart and get thing in order… I didn’t attend the whole conference in Portland.  I spent some time connecting with actual family… that got me to my center… any a year later in Savannah, I cried when I saw my fit-family… and I cried as they departed, I held back sobs in the cab on the way to the airport in Savannah.

Savannah Fitbloggin provided me with the reinforcement I needed to know that I was on the right path.  Coffee and quiet heartfelt conversations, laughter so hard that it gives you a headache and the spins.  Hugs from Mickey Mouse… I mean Cmon… where else do you get a sense of belonging and acceptance no matter what choice you are making because it is what is best for you.  Even now thinking about Fitbloggin I get misty eyed.

This summer brings the opportunity to travel to Denver for the “family reunion” this year.  I can’t wait to see everyone again.  I’ve never been to Denver, just as I had never been to Savannah or Portland.  One of the great things about Fitbloggin the last few years is that it has been moving around. This allows us to see different cities and experience different things.  More than that it allows people from different parts of the country to get to the conference, that couldn’t based on the previous location.

One of my fears again taking the job I have now is that I wouldn’t have vacation to get away for Fitbloggin in June… right now my eyes are on the PTO accrual prize to get my 24 hours accrued so I can put in my request so I can have Thursday, Friday and Monday off (because who want’s to go back to work on a Monday!) I will have the time in, despite having to serve Federal Jury Duty in March, so I will be there.

I can’t wait to get #AllTheHugs and have #AllTheFeelings.  I have been working on my goals that I set for myself during the #JustTrollin session hardcore for the last few weeks and I am actually seeing results.  Now that I am finally in a stable environment with my job where I feel secure I am getting “into the flow.”  I want results by the time I reappear at Fitbloggin even if I am the only one seeing the results of my work.  The changes I have made I don’t know that I would be as comfortable with without my friends. It’s time to thank everyone!

Are you coming to <a href”http://www.fitbloggin.com”>Fitbloggin</a&gt;? If you haven’t been before you don’t need to be afraid, people are VERY welcoming.  Plus you can always come find me! 😀

When #JustTrollin means #WycWyc

So today I arrived at my friend Jeans house for a pre-baby shower dinner party. I was early I had come from work. I didn’t know when she and others would be arriving.
Instead of sitting around in the car listening to podcasts or music I took to her quiet neighborhood and went for a walk. Yes I’ve still got the sniffles, no I wasn’t in workout clothes, no I didn’t know where I was going and didn’t plan on it. So what.
I had time and it wasn’t going to go to waste! No more sitting on my rear!! Get it in gear!!

Focus

So, 2014 is underway… I look at my blog and I have FOUR blogs that I started, and never got back to… Do I lack focus on my blog? Possibly… more specifically I have been reaching out microblogging with my instagram account (Do you follow me over there? my name is KrisGetsHealthy) 2014 the year of Honor, honoring myself, my choices… making sure I am focusing on what I need to do to set my lifestyle up for those sustainable changes we need to make to have a lifestyle stick.

Since I took my new job back at the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 I have had an increase in my bottom line… meaning my rear end… not cool! My focus has been to try and make my life, that WAS working to get my weight down, work with my new 10 hour days of high stress near non-stop desk work.

I found that looking at the big picture was SO overwhelming, in as much as it wasn’t working. You can’t manage everything at once. There is too much to control! I have taken to breaking it down into more manageable parts and I have been trying to establish each part into it’s own manageable little bubble.

The first thing I worked on was to establish a bedtime routine… in my job I need to be sharp, I need to look at the bigger picture, visualize traffic patterns for the time of day, cross reference with the general layout of the state/city in my mind, estimate recovery times from airports, think critically etc etc etc… Dealing with brain fog from fibromyalgia is bad enough some days, add a lack of sleep and my goodness a lack of sleep spirals my brain into a VERY messy place!

I have a fairly strict bedtime that I keep. I am slightly more flexible on the weekend, but not every weekend… and if I do it one day I try to keep the regular bedtime the next. (for example if I am up Friday night, then Saturday night I don’t usually stay up). I sleep with headphones on, (sleepphones actually) that I can pull down over my eyes and use as a blackout mask. This is not to say that I don’t have insomnia come visit me on occasion… I have melatonin and a few herbal sleep support things I can take. There is this awesome thing called Sleep Water that I drink on occasion that helps too. My sleep routine is, I would say, pretty well established, it is a habit. A healthy living lifestyle habit. People that tell me they get 4 hours or 5 hours a night on a regular basis and can’t figure out why they aren’t feeling well, or can’t do X (whether that is focus, or be on time, or lose weight, or whatever) I just want to grab and shake… sleep is a foundational element.

So now that I have that habit well established I am looking at what are the bigger holes in my life… what are the things that are SO IMPORTANT to health, and wellness and well being, that I just don’t have a handle on. One of the things that happens with my job being so busy is that I forget to drink..not just water, but anything… So many night I would come home from work and find that I had only had a cup of coffee in the morning, and then whatever I was drinking with dinner! How horrible for my body!! I took to taking a 3 liter bottle of water with me to work, and I’d work to drink that during the day. I did pretty good with that, since it was in my line of sight most of the day. Having something visually there means I can’t avoid it, I can’t ignore it. However ambient water gets old… it started cold in the morning but by the end of my 10 hour shift it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. What is a girl to do… if I don’t see it I wont drink it.

The last few weeks I have been having great success at monitoring my water intake with an app from the iPhone marketplace called Plant Nanny… it lets you set reminders to “water your plant and water yourself.” You set your weight, your activity level and it tells you how much water your body needs. I am set to sedentary since I have a desk job, and since even when I hit the gym it isn’t much activity… it would put me at normal at most. The default reminders you can set are every 2 hours between 8am and 10pm, I have mine set to start at 0400 and run till 0500 reminding me every hour to drink. Even if I don’t go get a drink right away when the little alert pops up it at least puts the idea in my head that I need to be hydrating my body. I need to make drinking a routine that comes as naturally to me as going to bed. I need to focus on hydrating my cells, pushing toxins out of my body, and helping my body learn that perhaps what I felt as hunger is thirst, or a combination of both.

So here I am bringing my #Focus to one thing at a time. I can’t do everything, I am spread so thin at work trying to control everything that I am glad to be finding a balance and being able to pick and choose one healthy goal to focus on here in my everyday healthy life. Finding the focus and determination not to give up. Honoring my body by making sure that I am establishing some kind of healthy routine, and making sure that I am putting it into place. The more you do something the more ingrained it becomes.

Do you track your water or do you find it’s just one more thing to try and keep track of? How much sleep do you get a night? Do you try to get 8 hours? What kinds of healthy living routines do you focus on in your life?

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.

    #WYCWYC

    Do what you can where you are, with what you have, and do it where you are. -Theodore Roosevelt.

    Roni (our fearless Fitbloggin leader) started a hashtag project #WYCWYC it is short for What you can, when you can. I had a post sitting in my “trunk” for a while about this subject but I have since tossed all my trunk posts in the trash. I don’t want to be that person, I don’t want to churn out canned posts. I want to be raw and honest with you.

    Thursday my dear friend Mel sent me the Theodore Roosevelt quote from the top of this post, which is actually the starting line from the post I threw away. She sent it to me as I sat at the hospital again. … yep again… I am still fighting with my body. It cannot seem to decide to fight for itself. Turns out I still have my sinus infection. … The one that caused me to lose my voice, the one I still went to work with, the one I took 14 days of antibiotics for. Yep. That one.

    Last weekend I missed a baby shower and a wedding (both of which really upset me, I had made a commitment to my friend Meredith to be her personal attendant and morning of my throat had a golfball in it!) My body is fighting me. I got up, showered, dressed, went to the farmers market like I do, did #wycwyc and tried to have a normal day. Turns out… that had to be good enough for me.

    Thursday they ran a CT on me, and prescribed some new drugs. I asked the doctor what I can do as far as activity since my body is fighting the infection I should’t be pushing too hard, and he said slow activity, talk about a blow to my system. I just feel so stuck and so much like I can’t get ahead. I feel like all my progress has been for nothing… so much hard work, fough for tooth and nail, blood and tears for every inch and it is being torn from me by my own body that isn’t strong enough or smart enough to fight for itself.

    …and then in another breath I remind myself WYCWYC… I am in a better place than I was at this time in 2009. I can do so much more than I could at this time in 2009. Everything talked time. It is not a sprint, it is not a race, there is not finish line. There are ups downs left and right turns in this. The path leads backwards forwards and you are going to end up running in circles more than once… it is how it happens, sorry kiddo, but that is how it is.

    I need to be kinder to myself, I need to work more on what I CAN do, and what I have done. This week despite not feeling at my best I ran around our warehouse scanning pallets, throwing totes of magazines, helping load trucks, pulling parts because things needed to be done. I am able to get things done now because I am healthier, I CAN do this because I grabbed onto hope.

    I need to find hope again. I am waiting for results from my CT as scary things roll around my head. The what if’s of my know-too-much from reading all those medical books plug up my brain. I have reached out for help, and reassurance that it isn’t those horrible things, but we never know until answers come in. Too many unknowns make me fear the worst, too much information is as bad as too little.

    So I am aiming to find my WYCWYC moments everyday. Even if it is things like parking further away that I already to, it is doing it, and giving credit for it.

    So yeah, Do what you can… because if you can’t do it… you can’t! 😉