Doing What I Do Best, CI#46

One of the most consistent praise of my work as a journalist and an academic researcher is my ability to find the unique perspective, to take the story and look at it through every imaginable angle to find the most compelling way to tell the story.  I can confidently say this ability is one of my gifts.

Of course, I brought out that gift after I posted last night.

I actually put the words, “non-scale victory” into my search bar and read nearly a dozen articles and blogs.  Unfortunately they all were your standard NSV faire–more energy, looser clothes, increased confidence, decreased symptoms of a slew of medical conditions and other bits of similar awesomeness.  I am by no means downplaying any of those victories but that “Ah ha” moment just was not coming to me.

I went to bed answer-less but on time which is its own victory.

My first thoughts were filled with how empty all the suggestions felt.  Luckily, it was early morning and I had the new quiet to help me process.

Slowly, I started to replay several conversations I have had since my husband and I came home and some embers appeared.

  1. I came home with TEN POUNDS of bloat…and…it was nearly all gone in less than 24 hours.  This has been a persistent struggle my whole adult life as even a normal amount of salt enters my bloodstream but this time it was different.  Hummmmm.
  2. I took my new, expensive shoes with less than 10 miles on them to hike around in the red clay and silt.  The old me would have never done such a thing for fear of ruining them.  The new me does not want to wash the dirt off.  Because as I rather glibly quipped to a friend, “I see a chick who loves being covered in red dirt.”  Hummmm.
  3. Then there is the matter of all the NSVs I named above.  I was rocking all of those on those rocks.  People, I went hiking!  Sure, it wasn’t far in any one stretch nor was it up steep terrain but I went off-road, got dirty, and felt my soul recharge through my soles.  Hummmmm.
  4. There was also the, “I have to come back here” moments.  We did not take every side road through the park so we left some of it unseen.  Even typing that sentence fills me with “I have to go back there” feelings.
  5. I did something really brave and scary on one of the hikes.  For now, it is a secret but it’s fairly huge for me.
  6. As my hubs and I were driving, I had one of the most revealing epiphanies.  From my earliest memories, I have wanted to be an athlete but was never afforded the opportunity.  There are many reasons I plan to explain through another post but very basically those dreams were never supported by anyone who would have been in a position–ballet teacher to parents–to foster them.  Looking back, I was only a child so I had no way of taking them for myself so I can look on all the memories with a bit of perspective.  More later about this one.  Promise.
  7. This morning another thing hit me.  I always gain weight in February.  Really.  How do I know?  I have recording every mouthful and movement of my body and the scale for over 10 years.  The data doesn’t lie.  Does it make any sense to me?  Of course not.  But on this last day of February 2014, I nearly missed the significance of not gaining an ounce.  Not only have I lost weight this month but I have lost weight this week even in the face of 10 pounds of bloat and eating way too many things I normally would not.

However, none of these things really felt like “the” thing.  Sure, I can tick them off and explain them and even work through each of them mentally and emotionally but they just didn’t have the right “click” I have been looking for.  They are plenty celebratory in their own right and as a collection but the feeling of rightness is missing in them all.

And then…

It happened.

My gorgeous daughter has an opportunity of a lifetime to participate in an in-service for professional photographers taught by one of LA’s finest.  She will model for each of the participating photogs and be sent home with a full portfolio of their best work.  The booking photographer had not seen or met her but hired her off of the recommendation of another photographer.  In the modeling world, this is huge!  The only catch to the session is she needs to provide her own wedding dress.  No big deal.  The thrift stores here generally have an excellent selection so we moseyed on down this morning and the first dress she tried on was “the one” partially because it fit her like it was tailored to her body and it was only $50.  For a “starving” model and her momma, the price was certainly welcome.

However, as I zipped her up and she turned around there are just those feelings of seeing your child, your baby girl in a wedding dress.  I assure you I will be the proper mess of a human being when the dress is for something more than dress-up.

Then I noticed it.

The lower bodice and the skirt are strikingly similar to a peachy-orange formal I owned when I was a few years younger than she is now but nearly the same size.  You see in my youth I participated in The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a Masonic youth organization.  Our attire to every meeting was strictly formal.  At 16-years old, I had a collection of gowns.  The peachy-orange one was a favorite because it made my waist look so tiny.  As my daughter clasped her own hands around her waist and exclaimed, “Look at how tiny it makes me look.”  I bubbled and blurted, “I know…I know.”

In my head, however, I was silently screaming and crying as the memory of my own waist alternated with hers.

It occurs to me had I had at least one decently, functioning parental unit perhaps I could have grown-up a lot more Emily-esque and a lot less like the “hot mess” a dear friend described me as yesterday.  You see I was raised by my grandmother and step-grandfather, then step-grandfather and step-grandmother who was hell-bent on insisting I was now her daughter, while still having regular contact with my mother and occasional contact with my father but there was not a “parent” in the lot of them.  My grandma tried but she was gone from me way too soon.  I know the collective dysfunction affects me still partially because at 44-years old the behavior endures.  The stories, the horrors.  But I digress.

Standing there fluffing the train, I thought of something a friend in my carb cycling support group said.  She cried this week during a class at her gym about the anger of what she has become and who she has to leave behind as she moves forward.

The idea that maybe this week isn’t about “Woot, Woot” moments already crossed my mind but standing there with white satin in my hands and orange chiffon on my mind I felt the “click.”

I am not sad.

I am angry but more because of how many times I have tried, begged, and pleaded with a doctor to please help me fix my thyroid when it turned out to be Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and complications from PCOS.  Because of those specific diseases my body does things I cannot make sense of or figure out how to work around.  I do not mind, not one single bit, about the work required to reclaim my body.  In fact, most of the time I love it.  But, when I put forth the effort and my body just sits there saying “meh” to the things I do it’s hard.  It frustrates me to no end.

I have screamed.

I have cried.

I have thrown a royal hissy fit.

But standing there today with my daughter I did not feel any of those.

Instead, I am insanely proud of her.  I also know more now than anytime in my life I have the potential to be her–not a copycat so some desperate plea to regain my youth–but because once upon a time I was her.  I never appreciated that girl I was, the one with the tiny waist.

For the first time in my life, I feel confident I can have a tiny waist AND be okay if I still have thunder thighs.  I think I can look in the mirror and appreciate the woman looking back at me.

We didn’t buy the first dress.  You never buy the first dress, right.

Created with Nokia Smart CamShe had to go check-in with her new job and I had to take her brother to his exam so I took myself out to lunch while I waited for him to finish.  As I always say, “Chinese food fixes everything.”

A great cup of Jasmine tea is sunshine in a cup so I went to the place with the best tea.

The next place we went was the bridal shop in hopes of finding a last season gown for a steal.  When we explained the reason for the purchase, the very nice ladies offered to sell her a gown for what they normally rent.  Depending on the gown it was 50-percent off the sale price.

The only discount dress in her size is Audrey Hepburn-esque.  Stunning!

Just for fun, I tried on a baby doll style.  As I kept formal wear sizing in mind, I picked the one that looked right and headed for the fitting room.  I was nervous and hopeful as I slipped it on.  I could tell instantly it was the wrong size.Created with Nokia Smart Cam


My daughter said she could grab a good two inches!!!

This size 22 dress was way too big.  If I weren’t holding my phone the way I am, it would have slid down.

When I married my husband three years ago, I was in this same dress shop trying on a satin gown.  That 3X dress was comfortably snug.

Best celebration ever!

What I learned today…

Uncommon moments of pure joy often come from the most common moments of life.  I am so glad I was out living today.

Like my support group friend, I encourage you to actively look for your own moments, your own ways to make this journey your very last.

I would have been THRILLED if this dress I had no intention of buying fit, but because it did not I found a moment.

TWO EXTRA INCHES OF FABRIC…un-freakin’-real.

I Almost Forgot, CI#45

Last month, I made myself a promise to use Slingshot Week to celebrate how far I have come on my journey including reminding myself to see my success.  In defense of my forgetfulness, this has not exactly been a normal week, slingshot or otherwise.  I remembered at that is the important part.

But what to do?

This has been a big week already and frankly I am in the mood for quiet, or as close as I can get now that my daughter is back home and the busy level of my house has doubled.  I do not know how that child does it but she is a one woman force of nature.  She has been since she was very little.

But, I am sitting here with a puzzled, perplexed look on my face as to how to use the last three days of the week to celebrate.

Perhaps if I could identify the what to celebrate I could find the how to celebrate it.

This has been a super flat month as far as weight and inch loss goes.  I have made progress but it’s not really celebration-worthy.

I did not give up but I am naturally tenacious so that does not feel like a party either.

I have taken on several new experiences but that is just my nature so it does not bring out the confetti and balloons in my mind.

I am just sorta stuck.

I did tell myself I would go try on clothes each slingshot week so there’s that but honestly it feels a bit lame considering I bought new clothes last slingshot week.  My daughter and I are going thrift store shopping for wedding dresses for a photo shoot so I will try some things on but it is just not “clicking” with me.

Last month I wrote:

Progress….I have to see it AND be okay if it is slow AND still make myself celebrate it anyway.

How do I cultivate the spirit of celebration? 

I guess I am looking for that “great idea” feeling.  It’s me so I’ll be obsessed until I find it…I hope it strikes before Sunday 🙂

It’s My Party So I’ll Change My Mind If I Want To, CI#42-44

So I know I said I would write individual posts for each of the days I was gone, but I really don’t want to so I’m not going to.  So. There.

I hate the feeling of being “behind.”  Honestly it is causing me more anxiety than I need so this is one of the few times I am going to okay myself to go back on a promise.  I know a big part of this journey is keeping promises and this is the first one I’ve broken.  It’s for a good cause and with good reason so I’m okay with it.

How was my vacation?


Was I on plan?

Most of the time, yes.  But here’s the reason why there were times I was off-plan: we were on a crazy-tight budget.

The hotel and casino we stayed at offered a breakfast special of 2 eggs/bacon/sausage/pancakes and hash browns NO SUBSTITUTIONS for $2.99, for example.  And then there’s the buffet where you can actually score some really nice, healthful options for varying prices throughout the day.  We ended up at the buffet twice and while I made good choices I also scored some extra calories from making too many choices.

However, here’s the good part in my trusty bag was a notebook and pen that I placed beside my plate at every single meal so I could write down exactly what I was eating and record it all, I did.  When I had access to a computer again, one of the first things I did was plug every morsel into and it turned out to be less of a train wreck than I thought.

Yay me!

How was my activity level?

We actually walked everywhere.  Our room was two buildings from the casino and restaurants so we walked to all of our meals rather than driving over.

Then there was The Valley of Fire where I logged over 8000 steps.  Some of them were brutal as I hiked short, unimproved trails to have the best shot of the vistas.

We even managed to cruise a convenience store for AN ENTIRE HOUR looking for souvenirs.  Yeah, blew our minds we were in there that long.  But, I found a funky hat to help keep the sun out of my eyes and off my face when I go walking.  Plus, it will always remind me of our adventure.

It was really interesting to not be able to check my BodyBugg several times a day.  I found myself wondering, “Have I moved enough?”

But, even with the extra calories from over-indulgence and not having all the right resources, I am very PROUD to say I still maintained a deficit each day.

WOOT WOOT!  Non-scale victory happy dance!!!!!

The only downside to our adventure, it was too short.

I did learn some valuable lessons for our cruise in December and all future excursions:

  • Hubs needs to be walking more!!!  His knee is still bothering him but he was struggling more than he should have.
  • I need to practice walking/hiking steeper surfaces and stairs.
  • Bringing snacks is great…if you remember to put them in your bag….must put them in my bag.
  • Charge the camera battery even if it says it has a full charge…only 120 photos…grrrrrr
  • Bring the stupid camera battery charger!  The reason for the compilation videos is because of a dead battery.
  • Bring your swimsuit!!!!  After our day in the valley, we both looked at the hot tub wistfully.  It would have felt GREAT!!!
  • Double check the suitcase after hubs messes with it…he took out my heating pad…I didn’t “need” it but I would have used it if I had it.
  • If it’s over 65 degrees and the day is activity-filled, resist the temptation to wear heavy denim “just in case”.
  • Find a new bag…the one I was using ended up being a giant nuisance!!!!  AND practice walking with a loaded bag. I was surprised how much it threw me off-balance.
  • Make sure hubs as an entire 48 hours to recover before he goes back to work.  My recovery time is one thing but he’s a pain patient too who won’t schedule his own recovery time.
  • Buy a zippered hoodie.
  • Remember you get “vacation brain” so make a transition plan back to the real world.  A good ol’ fashioned To Do list including all your basics but especially “Unpack thyroid meds AND remember to take them.”  grrrrrrrrr

Now, because there’s no cool, sneaky way for me to link the videos in the text so here they are all in a row 🙂

This was the best use of a slingshot week!!!  The freedom and permission were incredible!!!  I love carb cycling!!!!







DUDE!!!!!! and Weekly Results, CI#41

Earlier today my hubs and I decided we would leave for our anniversary getaway today rather than wait until tomorrow morning.  Which, of course, means everything we had planned to do by tomorrow morning had to get done.  We’ve been working out butts off!!!!! with yard work and house work and laundry and shopping…well you get the idea, right?

The evidence that at least one of us is no longer a spring chicken is in the fact one of us won’t wake up from a nap and the other is sitting here telling you this story but I’m not naming names.


One of my strategies to being active with fibromyalgia lies in the fact that I try very hard to maintain the same activity level from day-to-day.  It helps my body avoid pain.  I know that sounds a bit screwy but it totally works.  When my activity level changes, in either direction, my pain changes for the worse.  It also makes it possible for me to do more like make a nearly-spur-of-the-moment decision to change our plans without too much body-drama.

Did I nap too?

Of course.

If I need it, I nap.  I did so I did.  It is just how this fibro THRIVER thing works.

But now that I’m up, I am ready to go.


We’re not doing anything spectacular but going in search of a change of scenery and that restoration that only comes from good old fashioned alone time.

So, I will NOT be checking in until around this time on Tuesday.  My plan is to stay unplugged from the internet for as close to 48-hours as I can get.  When I return I will upload videos and add posts.

How’s the carb cycling going?  Well, I’ve planned since the first of the year to make this week slingshot week to give me the maximum flexibility with my food choices.  I am going super low tech and have a notebook and a pen in my bag to write down every bite so they can be logged into when I get home.  I will only be removing my BodyBugg to shower.  And there is plenty of hiking and walking built-in to our plans.

Fun videos when I get back.

My official results for the week:

Inches lost .5Pounds lost 0…technically the scale says I have gained 3.5 but the scale is a lying bitch and frankly I am glad to get away from it for a couple of days.  I’m working really hard to not let the “fake” weight mess with my head.  Honestly, I am likely successful because I do know two things I have been keeping my promises to be active and eat right and I am going away and having fun and my body does NOT get to ruin this time for me.

And we’re off….as soon as I can get him awake…grrrr….DUDE…C’mon!!!!!!


Empty Headed, CI#40

I got nuttin’

It’s been a long, busy day.  The kind of busy that isn’t interesting.  Okay that isn’t entirely true because I gave both my dogs a bath and that is generally about as hilarious as you can imagine but there’s no way I am letting my electronics near that mess.

Other than that, I cleaned my truck, did laundry, washed dishes, went to breakfast with my hubs, ran to the store for a couple of things…busy but boring.

Not a video-able moment in the bunch.

Since this project is as much about keeping my promises as it is the project itself, I made a video anyway 🙂

It’s almost midnight and I’m actually floating too far under my calorie goal today–my body has a fit it I’m more than 1000 calories in the whole–so I am making a nice mug of homemade cocoa–strong on the cocoa powder, weak on the coconut sugar–and heading to bed.

Tomorrow’s going to be another busy day but I’ll try to come up something more interesting.

And It Didn’t Even Taste Good, CI#39

My inner domestic goddess was in full force today.  I did laundry, I cleaned, and I even made brownies for my sweet hubs.  As far as getting things done, today was a good day.

So you’ve made brownies, right? You know how that smell gets into everything.

My hair was still damp when they were in the oven so that warm, baked cocoa smell managed to over-power my lavender mint shampoo.  That is a fairly tall order to over-power the lavendere.  So when he came home with dejection written all over his face.  I fed him a brownie.

I decided to have one too.

Yeah, I know it’s not on my plan for the day.

Honestly, it was one of those moments that even while I was cutting them I was thinking, “What are you doing woman?”

But, I sat with my man who is working so hard and noshed and listened.

That 2×2 square was my first flour-filled dessert in….???????????….Gee, I really don’t know….but probably since the holidays.

Less than 30 minutes later the grumbling started.

Every inch of my guts is reminding me why I stopped flouring my insides.  Gluten is hell.

Then my hubs asked, “Is it me or did those brownies just not taste very chocolately?”

I thought it was just me.

I am so used to cocoa-ing up my black bean brownies to the obscene level of richness I love that I thought my taste buds were off.  After all, they were just boxed brownies.

So not only were they weak in the chocolate department they are killing me.

I am swearing off the fake stuff….assuming I live to eat another day.

Oh Yeah…Well We’ll Just See About That, CI#38

Earlier in the week I made the announcement I was going in search of my “joie de vivre” and my “raison d’etre.”  For you non-French speakers that is “Joy of life,” and “reason for being.”  Honestly that Joie thing is a little hard to come by while the barometer is drunk and bouncing all over the damned place.  But, this morning my “raison d’etre” was kicked swiftly in the pants.

In my community there is a fairly new fitness studio specializing in physical restoration work.  Yesterday the company posted a photo from their Barre (ballet) workout class and I started swooning like the 5-year old ballerina I used to be.  So I responded to the post and asked if they make accommodations for people with disabilities.  My query was promptly responded to with “please message the page with specifics” so we can see how to help.


I took time this morning to respond with enough detail the faceless giver of hope on the other end would understand I’m not messing around when I say I need accommodations.

The reply?

Your best option would be to purchase the assessment package – this includes 3 1 hour private physical restoration classes with Krisen. The first class is an assessment where you and Krisen can talk regarding all your medical conditions and goals that you may have. The price for the assessment package is 165.00, if you break that down you’d be paying 55.00 for each private session. I have seen many of her private physical restoration students transition into group classes just fine after they work with Krisen. She will develop a Pilates-based rehabilitative work out plan tailored to your specific needs to help you with the goals that you and her discuss initially.  I can go ahead and book that for you anytime, just let me know when.

Three, one-hour classes for $165.00 and she is sure I’ll be tuned up enough to take a regular hour-long class.

*you may want to cover your ears and close your eyes*


I could not respond nicely so I took a walk.  I had to leave to go to the store so I decided to put my feet on the riverside trail.

It also gave me an excuse to try out my new Runtastic app.  It charts my course with GPS, lets me store my workouts so I can see the results as well as my progress, and it’s totally fun to play with.  I even used to map my route during a quick trip to the grocery store.

My walk was one mile in 26:43 not including the 7:03 break I took to shoot the video of the river.

Oh yeah, three, one-hour sessions are just going to fix me right on up.

I wonder if she’ll take a check *sarcasm…I don’t even have a checking account*

By the time I came home, honestly I was too tired to be mean or even snarky so I politely thanked the faceless-yanker-away-of-hope and reminded her that I already told her money was a problem and that I already knew I was not ready for full classes.

And the chick responded with an offer to knock $30 off the package deal.

Deep breath.

I again, calmly, explained it has taken me three years to get to the point I am now and three, hour-long sessions is not the help I need at this point.

“I cannot find anyone who will work with me on the terms my body can handle. No big deal. I will keep looking.”

Personal training is a service-oriented business that is completely out-of-touch with providing actual service to non-normal bodies.  Personal training should be a support system for the injured and infirm.

Earlier, when I tried to leave all my frustration on the trail because honestly this is one of the better responses I have received from personal trainers I took some time to write this note in my Runtastic app to help me remember,

“(The name of the studio) is your why.  You can be better than that.”

You see one of my big goals is to become a special populations personal trainer.  I want to help someone just like me–frustrated but too ornery to give up–get some of their life back.  I know it is possible.  I have already proven it time and time again.

Instead of falling into the pit of despair, I did what is so me I should trademark it and narrowed my eyes, felt an empowering mix of determination blended with righteous indignation, drew a visual line in the sand and thought, “Yeah you just wait…all the people like me who are eager to feel better…yeah, they’ll be my clients some day…and I won’t be charging no $55 an hour.”

Hello to my favorite NSV–not giving up.



All at the same time….this is at least my eighth attempt to find professional help…and there will be a ninth, tenth, and five-thousandth, if necessary.

On one hand I am very grateful I have some knowledge and experience already to go with the determination to continue to progress.  On the other hand, most disabled people are not in a position to access the services of people who charge $55 an hour, or more, no matter how good they are at what they do.

I do not know how long it is going to take me but I know I am going to do my part to change it.  Maybe I won’t be able to help people far away from me but for the people in my own corner of the world…oh yeah.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

The medical and pharmaceutical industry has disproportionate percentage of our income already–for me it is close to 45-percent of my disability payment–and the only way to reduce that is by increasing health.  Increasing health also takes money and effort.

Gouging people for their health has to stop and I aim to do my part.

Disabled bodies are like the river I was walking next to–they flow at their own rate, at their own speed and it would take significant intervention to change their course.  As owners of those bodies, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to follow the flow.  The more we demand a new course the harder it will be.  However, if we learn to work around the rapids, the oxbow bends, and swirling eddies we could have an amazing ride.  The world is the unforgiving trail.

Thanks stupid company…I already have motivation and determination but today you gave me new THRIVING fuel.

The Difference Of A Day, CI#37

To say “I hurt” would be a glorious understatement but I will spare you the expletives.

This morning my husband told me I was sleeping funny on my pillow and I am still wearing the effects all over my neck.  My range of motion is down to less than 10 degrees in the best direction.  The pain has been waxing and waning all day so I have done a “me” and taken advantage of the good moments and nursed the bad.

I was able to take an wonderful walk earlier so I am really trying to hold on to those moments of strength in the now moments when I find myself wishing for something strong enough to knock me out.

Yeah, the pain is that bad.

But isn’t that how fibromyalgia pain works sometimes.  Thankfully, I do not have these days often.

But if you know me at all, how often have you known me to say I just want to be knocked out?

I am taking more drugs and calling it a night.

Here’s my video but the audio’s not transferring 😦

Just Do It, CI#36

It is my favorite advertising slogan of all time.

Just Do It.

In my opinion, it should be the official slogan of fibro, and other, disabled people.

Up until the last six months or so I have been in up to two dozen “support groups” and I inevitably see posts a couple of times a week where a patient will rant about her or his doctor suggesting exercise.  Those rants are never pretty.  The truth is they are mostly a whole bunch of non-movers enabling someone else to become a non-mover too.

So here’s a harsh truth I’ve been fibro-slapped for numerous times, fibro is not going to kill you no matter how much it hurts but inactivity especially if it accompanied by obesity and/or diabetes is certain death. 

The truth is bodies…ALL BODIES…are made to move.  Fibromyalgia is NOT a free pass to a movement free life.  

JUST DO IT!!!!!!!

Yes, I know it is hard but you literally have your life in your hands…err sneakers.

The great thing….yes, I said GREAT…is fibro bodies do not need to move as much or an intensely as normal bodies to see positive benefits.  Don’t believe me?  Check out these articles.  They are what I based my health reclamation plan on:


My personal experience echoes the results of these studies.  Plus, I do NOT…N-O-T…know a single person who is managing their fibromyalgia symptoms well who is not a regular mover.

JUST DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!

I started with increasing my ability to handle functional movement such as cleaning or grocery shopping because I already knew every movement counts so I needed to make those movements things I could do without help, most of the time.  Honestly it took nearly three years to figure out how to accomplish activities of daily living with far less pain than when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  Can I get through the grocery store 100-percent of the time without piles of extra pain?  No.  BUT…the extra pain has become the exception rather than the rule.  Once I felt I had those things licked I moved on to less functional movement and toward muscle preserving, flexibility increasing, and cardiovascular strengthening movement–what you might think of as exercise, in the traditional sense.  The phrase “low and slow” often appears in the literature about fibromyalgia and exercise but for some reason we, as patients, and our doctors gloss over this very crucial element to any plan to exercise with fibromyalgia.  Depending on your personal situation, you may need to start with one, single minute.


One minute…if that is all your body will allow the work within that limit until you can build to two minutes…no matter how long it takes.  Expect it to take time.  How much, I cannot tell you because each of us is so different but I can promise you if you will be faithful to whatever tiny number you start with it WILL make a difference.


Your life, the length and quality thereof, depends on it.




Besides, if you are trying to lose weight with fibromyalgia you cannot escape the need to exercise.

If it helps invest in some Nikes to remind you to keep those toes moving.  But these Nikes have a special purpose I will tell you about later.

😀new kicks




I am so excited to have my smartphone.  I will have so many more video options for this project.  Yay!

I do have my DSLR camera but it takes forever and EVER to upload even 10 seconds so I usually just wimp out and use my webcam.  I did a longer video with my camera just for practice and it was over an hour to load.  Thanks to my phone tonight’s video took a total of maybe five minutes start to finish.

I have had a weird day.

Lots of activity, which is good, but I’m still feeling “off” so I reminded myself I have been on an emotional roller coaster for the past week.  But, I have also worked very hard today to stay present and let this day be whatever it needed to be.  It needed to be busy and I was very grateful for the distractions. Without keeping myself wrapped up in emotion, I was also able to get more done than I would have if I had been fretting all day.

Why is this important to this journey?

Holding on to my goals is crucial.  Weight loss occurs over time but if over time daily habits are sloppy those daily ounces never build to something satisfying by the end of the week.  I already had an unimpressive week, numbers-wise, thanks to some wicked water retention and who knows what else last week so the last thing I want is a repeat.  Keeping my head in the game becomes one of the most important things I can do for myself.

Emotional eating is not usually a concern for me but it is important to stay present so you know if you are really hungry or trying to fill another need with food.

I went back to the gym for the first time in weeks.  Honestly, I was hoping for a rush of endorphins to snap my sour mood.  I did feel good when I finished but that post-workout high just did not happen today.  I’m not entirely surprised though.  Since it has been weeks since I made it to the gym, I was starting back at my “zero” which is what I call my baseline, the amount of activity I can do at one time at any given time. For me it is about 17 minutes on the treadmill at no faster than 2.7 mph and ab work for about 8 minutes with stretching in between.  While exercising, I monitor my heart rate so it never goes above 125 bpm until I feel the conditioning return.  I also drink extra water to help my body process the natural chemicals produced by exercise.  On exercise days, use nutrition to help my body.  Including foods high in potassium and B vitamins to aid in recovery and quality protein to give my muscles what they need to repair and grow help me, help my body.  All of these steps help reduce post-exertion malaise as well as pain.

With fibromyalgia, anytime my regular workouts are regularly interrupted I have to go back to my zero and build myself back up.  The process is slow and annoying but methodical.  It helps me avoid excess pain from movement with fibromyalgia so it works for me.  One of the biggest lessons I have learned on this whole crazy-fibro-journey is I can only hold myself to the standards of today and not what I was capable of at any previous moment.

I think this is what most fibros miss…they try to hold themselves to what their former bodies were capable of and it never works out well.  I see so many women who want to move more, who head to the gym for 30, 60, or even 90 minutes their first time out only to end up in so much pain they rarely return.  We’re conditioned to avoid pain but we’re also condition to believe 30-60 minutes of activity is the way to go.

STOP!!!  It is insane!!!!  I do not know a single fibro who can go from the couch to that much activity without severe physical consequence.

We have to know what we can do and work within that while slowly building our strength and endurance for more.


How slowly?  I never add more than five minutes to my normal routine at any given time.  While I am building, I constantly assess my physical health.  If I do not feel well enough I may only add one minute to my baseline.  The goal is to build as much as it is to avoid as much pain as possible.

With regular gym attendance, it will take me several weeks, at minimum, to work back up to being able to walk on the treadmill for 30+ minutes continuously.  I tend to make faster progress with weights after an absence but I think it is because I lifted so much before fibro.

Sometimes, I catch some flack for what I do but what no one seems to consider is how hard I work for my mobility.