Week 3: I’m going to make this short.

Yes, I know some of you are laughing and that’s cool.  You’re laughing because you know me and are well-acquainted with my lengthy posts.  It’s all good.  But, I promise this will be short because I’ve actually been dreading writing a behemoth all day.  Then I realized I could use economy in my writing.  I could simply say….

THIS WEEK SUCKED!!!!!!!!!!!

But that’s not the whole truth.

It just feels like the whole truth because my body’s a bloated, water retaining, puffy mess.

The truth is I made some positive strides.

I made my first ever canning jar salads.  I admit I was skeptical but they’re really rather awesome.

Tomatoes, yellow peppers, celery, and radishes in roasted red pepper vinaigrette

Tomatoes, yellow peppers, celery, and radishes in roasted red pepper vinaigrette

However, I did learn that radishes brewed in vinegary dressing for a few days sorta smell like feet (note to self: put the radishes on the top next time).  Other than the stinky feet smell they were actually super yum and oh so convenient.  Three jars of chopped veggie salads took me less than 15 minutes from chopping to sealing.

Then Wednesday showed up, my allergies turned on the juice, and that’s where misery found me.

Thursday night was good and bad.  An Instagram friend showed me a cool coconut flour mug cake so I “had” to try it.  It was low carb and highly DELISH.  Easy, healthy, and clean….But, a dessert on a Thursday?????  Honestly for as good as it was it made me feel like crap for not sticking to my plan.

Friday was allergies AND my new neck thingy.  I couldn’t feel my fingers on my right hand so I didn’t enter my food into Fitday and haven’t since.  I can give myself a pass for not doing it when I’m in pain but for avoiding it the rest of the time I absolutely know better.

WP_20150124_003Saturday was busy early and peaceful later.  In the afternoon, I went with my hubs to deliver some firewood near “my” mountain.  It’s one of my favorite places in the whole world and I really needed to be there.

Today has been good.  Reward Days are easier though.  I admit I am behind on water and I haven’t eaten exactly every three hours but otherwise it’s been a good day.  I even went for a walk.

About the walk: I am officially a fibro girl in training.

Training for what?

Used without permission from Princess Cruise's Facebook page.

Used without permission from Princess Cruise’s Facebook page.

CRUISING TO MEXICO!!!!!!!

One of my secrets to enjoying vacation with fibromyalgia is putting myself in training weeks before the planned get away.

Fibro bodies need time to work up to the activity level of the trip.  I believe this is where so many fibros fail when attempting to go on vacation (or even grocery shopping…but that’s a topic for another day, another blog).

But enough of that for now.

The only other thing I want to share is: The scale is up even more than last week.  I know it’s lying.  I know I’m bloated and puffy so I reject the number.  It is not real so I refuse to give it space in my brain (okay you know I’m thinking about it but what I mean is I’m trying to not let those thoughts go south).

Just remember accountability is NOT perfection.  It is about owning your mistakes AND moving forward.  This week could have been better and that’s on me.

 

Week Two: Ugh!

UghUgh!

Just ugh!

But allow me to likely ramble while I elaborate.

Do you remember the pain I talked about last week?  Wellllllllllll it turns out that pain was something.

Oh make no mistake fibromyalgia pain IS something but last week’s pain wasn’t the fibro pain I’m used to.

Fortunately, three weeks ago I had scheduled a check-in appointment with my doctor.  Then on the day of the appointment something more urgent came up.

Isn’t it always the way?

The next morning I headed straight for the nurse practitioner’s office in another city and part of the group of doctors I see.  He always have open appointments.  I was seen in less than an hour after my phone call.

The diagnosis:

Cervical Ridiculopathy.

RIDICULOUS!!!!!

(Yeah, the irony that those two words contain many of same letters is not lost on me.  Not one effing bit).

Now before I dive off into much more of an explanation of this particular pain I am going to stop myself and say simply I left with orders for an MRI with the potential of surgery looming.

That much pain!

I spent the next day and a half pouting.

I usually only allow myself one day but under the circumstances I needed a little more time to work through it.

What has this done to my efforts to lose weight?

Upset them of course!!!!!!!!

Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s have taught me to march through a lot of pain and dysfunction but yet another new issue which may have life-long consequences?

“C’mon body, work with me dammit!”

Sigh.

I was frustrated and not at all totally on plan.

My food was okay.

On my day and a half of pouting, I did “need” a bag of Skittles.

I wanted fruity, sweet.

I wanted to feel better.

The first 8, 10, 12 Skittles were exactly what I was hoping for.  The rest of the bag honestly tasted like shit.  All the flavors blended together.  The waxy, polished shell was annoying and gross.  And, they failed to satisfy.

However, all the parts of my brain which light up in the presence of sugar were awake for the first time in days.Sugar brain scan

As a drug, Skittles gave me what I was hoping for.

I rarely resort to sugar but….and maybe this is going to be too much TMI for many of you…but when amazing sex isn’t enough of a rush it’s time to bring out sugar.

Yep, sex more than sugar is one of my pain coping mechanisms.

This time it failed.

Ironically even though it was completely a lovely union, when it failed to pull me out of the pain-pit it was a perfect sign something more than just fibro was going on.

When I send fibro pain a rush of intimacy-fueled endorphins, she says, “Thank You Nice Lady,” and calms down at least for a little while.  This time.  Nada.  Okay, not true but only maybe 15-20 minutes of post-coital bliss.

What has pain done to my commitment to move?

Honestly, not much.

Am I doing much with my upper body?  Uhh, that’s a big, fat NO!!!!!!!

But am I still moving?  Yep.  Even on my days when I was “resting” I was still getting up every 60-90 minutes.

How’s the scale look?

Bloated.

Not weight gain, bloated.  Water retention, bloated.

One of the things chronic pain has taught me is just how much our muscles rely on water to process pain and in this case injury.  Any pain event causes the scale to jump not because I’m being ‘bad’ and not doing the things I need to but because my body is in recovery mode.

As much as I know this, it’s soul sucking to see the scale and my body puff-up.

However this experience reinforces my message that when you are trying to lose weight with fibro, thyroid disease, or even your run of the mill ridiculous, ridiculopathy you have to keep you head on straight.  You have to know in advance what you are going to do and more importantly NOT do when pain hits you.

My best advice:  If you can conquer the mental part of the game and only use food as a tool–even a little sugar–to vault you from where you are to where you need to be, when you body is back to behaving you won’t have to battle extra and real weight gain.

WP_20150108_001My best, BEST advice: DRINK WATER!!!!!!!  If you’re a water-hater like me figure out what you need to do to DRINK WATER anyway.  My new favorite is no sugar, no artificial sugar, lightly flavored seltzer water.  Flavor it!  Infuse it!  Drink mix it!  JUST DRINK IT!

I also love that the name of the store brand is “Super Chill” because I have been needing to do a super lot of chilling this week.

In a weird way my new water find has been a comforting reminder this pain is going to pass.  It might be a speed bump now but it is going to get better.  If I keep my head, it won’t throw me off track too much.

Keep Calm…and move on…even if you need to ugh, ugh, ugh along the way.

 

 

 

 

First Week–Ring In The New, Remember The Old

It has been a pain-filled week.  Weeks like this make losing weight with fibromyalgia even harder…not impossible…just harder.

I did lose two pounds.

I did NOT exercise (what you would think of as “exercise” anyway) for even five minutes all week.

I do stretch multiple times a day.  Plus several years ago I started building movement into my normal routine.  If able, I park a few extra spaces from the door.  I make sure and move every hour or, at most, every two hours.  I look for opportunities to get an extra step or two every chance I get.

As for food, my man and I are having a struggle.  He’s normally a SAINT but this week he’s been trying to feed me carbs when he knows it’s low carb day and tempting me with Cherry Coke (my favorite Reward Day beverage).  We even had a little tiff about it.  We rarely have tiffs about anything.

Lesson: Your support system is going to fail you at times so decide now what you are going to do when it does.

Between you and me, he’s off the healthy eating track and instead of doing something about it there seems to be an effort to pull me off.  I confronted him about it and he says that’s not the case but garlic bread and Cherry Coke are louder.  He says he supports me.  And he does.  He says I am happier when I’m Carb Cycling.  And I am.  But, when the garlic bread comes with, “I know it’s low carb day but…” then there’s more going on than he is admitting.  Because I am aware of it I can almost not take it personally.

However, there’s another thing I needed to be on guard about.  The more he tried convincing me that I “needed” those carbs–no human ever “needs” soda–the more I could feel myself wanting to restrict them even further.  It’s an old, super old behavior that hasn’t been an issue in my life for so long I cannot even remember the last time other than to say my teenage years.

Lesson: Everything you think you have conquered will show up again.  You can either see it as an excuse or a moment to shine.  It is up to you to decide which it’s going to be….and if you pick excuse then hold yourself accountable and pull yourself back on track. 

In my family food was used as a means of control.  I once changed my mind about pancakes but since they were already made I was forced to sit at the table until I ate them.  I ended up sleeping there.  I did not eat the pancakes.  There was also the ever popular, “If you do something good, you can have (junk food).”  But by far the one I fought against the most was, “There are starving children in China” argument.  Even as a pre-teen and teen I could clearly recognize food as a weapon.  It is what lead me to disordered eating and trying so desperately to be an anorexic (weak gag reflex but I exercised up to five hours a day to compensate).

All of that control, all of that battle mentality rushed back the more my husband tried to feed food I do eat but never on LC day.  However, as I recognized the rush of memory and remembered where I had been and how when I started this journey 12 years ago I vowed I would never resort to extreme tactics or to weaponize food; I could find a sense of calm.

That Cherry Coke has been waiting in the refrigerator since Wednesday.  It’s Reward Day today and I’ll drink it when I am ready to enjoy it.

Lesson: No matter if you use Carb Cycling or not, build moments into your plan when you are allowed a little something sweet or special.  For YEARS I thought this was a lame excuse by food addicts to cheat.  The truth is Carb Cycling a la Chris Powell has taught me for my wonky Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis metabolism Reward Day is CRUCIAL to keep my body from shutting my weight loss efforts down. 

Aside from that my food hasn’t been great this week.  I had one day where I had three protein bars to avoid eating “bad” food and because I ended up extremely busy and unprepared.  Three protein bars are always better than junk food.  But having a day that caused three protein bars is a signal my life was off-balance and that’s not good.  Honestly, pain and her accompanying sleep issues were part of the equation.  I woke up late: protein bar.  My schedule backed up: protein bar.  I needed something healthy but not filling: protein bar (but had I eaten normally during the day I wouldn’t have felt the need).

The best thing about my week: finding unsweetened, flavored seltzer water.  I have been drinking one, 1-liter bottle a day.  I HATE water.  Light bubbles and a hint of flavor make all the difference in the world.

Lesson: No matter how much you think the week has sucked find just one thing to pat yourself on the back about.  Losing weight with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease (or whatever you are dealing with) is hard enough.  Find that one thing and congratulate yourself for getting it right.  You do not need to be perfect to lose weight.  Just incredibly honest.

Here’s my best advice when fibro is kicking your butt, your support system isn’t playing nicely, old bad habits rear their ugly head, and when you just feel like you can’t do it:

Eat Like You Love Yourself

 

CI #99–No More Unicorn Chasing

Weight loss is all about changing habits.  Most people rush straight to food and fitness and there’s nothing wrong with that but weight loss is more the just changing the way we eat and move.  Weight loss has to include changing all habits which do not promote health and happiness with our bodies.

All.

No arguing.

I have a habit I need to change.  It’s an odd one for sure.  It is the kind that might even go unrecognized because it is a good habit in disguise.  Without the struggle this past year has been and without a fortuitous chain of events as the old year was slipping away and the new year would charging in I might not have really latched on to my need to change.

My good habit is creating goals but it becomes bad when I create goals for my body that are not in balance with my body.

At the end of the year I decided to keep the last goal I missed and give it a deadline of the morning I step on the cruise ship.  It would mean to reach 236.6 I would need to lose 11 pounds in 7 weeks.

Let’s forget the cruise for a sec.

That number is emotionally charged all by itself.  236.6 was what I happened to weigh on the morning of my last day of full-time work.  I was fired from my job that afternoon in large part because I became physically unable to keep up with the demands of the job.  It was my weight when I finally realized the weight of fibromyalgia.  Getting back there and taking that number back is a big deal to me.  Huge.  I can be honest about that.

Now, back to reality…

I am a woman who loves big goals and dreams.  Ask anyone who knows me.  I know that about myself and those around it know me for it.  Honestly, it’s kinda one of my favorite things about me.

Except.

It does not, never has, and likely never will apply to my body and weight loss.Habits

It bothers the ever-living hell out of me.

Yet, I keep setting those goals and pushing to accomplish them only to feel like I’m sitting on the sidelines watching my thyroid crap-out or a fibro flare to hit.  The deadline whizzes by and I’m left sad, discouraged and angry.  I pout for a while and then I pull up my big girl panties and try again.

And again.

And again.

For over 12 years!!!

There is one thing I know…

11 pounds in 7 weeks…not even if I starved myself!!!!

At best, it is an unattainable goal.  At worst, it is a symptom of habitual self-destruction.  Attaching yet another weight loss goal to another high point of my life sure sounds–and has felt–like self-destruction.  I spend a lot of time soothing my wounded will as another deadline passes without me achieving my weight loss goal.  I also miss out on celebrating the good, and even, great moments of my life because I’ve tagged successful weight loss to the event.

So I have to ask myself why would I want to attach all of this negative reality to leaving for Mexico?

That’s nuts!

I am stepping on the ship for the adventure of a lifetime.  Whatever pounds I am carrying will be along for the ride.  Is it really the end of the world if I don’t love the number on the scale that morning?  It could be…if I am the one creating that drama for myself.

Uhh, that doesn’t sound like a loving or vacation-y thing to do to myself.

Time to deal with the truth.

My truth is my body is broken metabolically, auto-immune-ly, fibromyalgia-ly, B-R-O-K-E-N!

I am not entirely in control.

Now, if I really–and I mean REALLY–know that then why on Earth do I keep setting weight loss goals only to watch my body miss them.  Apparently I’m into beating myself up.

No more.

While zillions of people are making weight loss resolutions, I resolve to avoid them.

Once I decided no more, I un-clicked my weight loss goals from Fitday.com.

Fitday.com is one of my favorite tools but sometimes it lies to me and tells me my goals are achievable. They are if I was a normal person.  I am not so it lies and I eat it up.

By the math–for normal bodies–losing 11 pounds in 7 weeks is not impossible.  It’s actually a respectable 1.5 pounds a week.

My normal average?

Oh I’m so glad you asked…one half pound.

Yeah.

On a good week I can muster a whole pound.  On a bad week I’m thrilled to pieces to see 2/10ths (the increment my scale uses).  Over time it works out to about one-half pound.

The sad thing is, for my body, this is an improvement.  Before my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis was diagnosed, I went years averaging only one-quarter pound a week.

For my body losing what is consider a normal 1-2 pounds a week is the equivalent of unicorn hunting–something to be chased, believing it could be true, but secretly knowing it isn’t.Unicorn

No more.

And, honestly it’s kinda killin’ me.  Unicorns are awesome.  Weight loss goals that become unicorns…not so much.

I’m a goal setting, goal achieving freak and that part of me is twitching at the notion of not having a weight loss goal.

BTW,  that is precisely how I know I have a problem.

Out with the oldThe unsettled feelings in the pit of my stomach tell me I am not as loving to my body as I think I am.

If the anxiety wells simply because I un-click a goal, I’ve been in trouble for a long, long time.

This is the year that changes. 

The fear I feel lets me know I am on to something huge.

With all goals defining accountability is the best way to determine success.

My accountability is now a weekly series of ‘kiss and cry’ posts where I resolve to be open, raw, and even downright mean with myself if necessary to disconnect goals and weight loss from my psyche once and for all.

Of course, I’ll be doing the right things to inspire my body to let go of the pounds.

Of course, there are going to be weeks my body just sits there and laughs.

Of course, I’ll even have times when I get totally fed up and disgusted with my body’s passion for making me feeling the journey is unicorn-like and use that as an excuse to fall off track.

It’s all normal even the unicorn-y part.  For me…it’s normal for me.

Isn’t it about time I come to terms with what I know about my own body?

Yes.

No goals.  No unicorns.  Accountability for actions.

2015 The Year of Weight Loss Goal-Less Wisdom