December, 2011

  1. How I do Fibromyalgia…Explained!

    December 30, 2011 by Heather

    I have received alot of questions lately in regards to how I manage to exercise and stay fit while having Fibromyalgia. I have even been accused of not having it. I guess there are some people in this world that would try to pass themselves off as having fibro, but I can assure you that is not me. My goal is to help those that want the help and to be an example that life does not stop with this diagnosis. And it saddens me that someone would do this to people that are just looking for help. I’m also not sure what said person would gain from this…but I digress! I thought this would be the perfect place to address the question, comments etc. so that it can serve as a resource down the road. And I won’t lie, I don’t want to have to keep typing my story over and over! It’s hard on the fingers!!!

    My story! I was diagnosed about a year ago but I have been in pain since 2004. I have been exercising consistently since I was 10. Mom had me running with her then!! So I already had a fitness base. I did not stop when I started having pain and I did not stop when I was diagnosed. Diagnosis was actually a relief for me, as I knew exactly what was going on and I knew I wasn’t doing any damage by continuing to exercise. Now I do realize that not everyone that is diagnosed has the fitness base I had. But that does not mean you can’t start SOMEWHERE. Exercise for me makes my pain levels better, on most days. I feel a difference when I do not move. I will not lie, there are some days, like this morning, that are really rough. Did I really want to go outside this morning in the freezing cold? Heck no!!! It was cold, and we all know what that does to our muscles, and my legs hurt. They didn’t want to go this morning. I didn’t want to go this morning. But I did. And my body thanks me for it. The less you move the more you body atrophies, the more weight you put, and the more stress this puts on your body. Your body needs to be the healthiest it can be to fight this condition.

    Now yes I’m a bit stubborn! Perhaps that helps!!! A parasite three months ago couldn’t keep me down! But the way I look at is, I can let the fibro win or I can fight. Fight like hell and not let IT win! So what does someone do that was exercising but stopped because it hurt or someone who wasn’t exercising at all? You need to start slow and realize that it may hurt at first. Even those people without fibro that start an exercise program hurt for awhile! And there may be days, even after you’ve been exercising for awhile, that it will still hurt. Figure out what exercise works for you and don’t get frustrated when progression is slow. The point is, you are doing something and over time the effects will add up!

    And of course exercise is not the only component to why I “look the way I do” as some people put it. Nutrition is key and is especially key with fibro! There are so many foods that can cause an inflammatory reaction in us. Of course, we are all different and I really encourage using a food diary to figure out what foods YOUR body does not like. And we cannot forget the all important supplementation. I don’t take meds for my fibro. I manage my fibro with diet, exercise and supplementation. Again, as we are all individual, what may work for me may not work for you. Just like with meds, we need to figure out what works for us. Your doctor doesn’t start you on 5 meds at once, right? Or atleast I hope he/she doesn’t. Same thing with supplements, start one thing at a time to figure out what is working.

    You also should take a look at your sleep. If you aren’t getting proper rest you need to really look at how to get yourself to the point that you are. Your body repairs itself during REM stage sleep and if you are not getting this then your body is never repairing itself. This causes increased pain, and it becomes a vicious cycle. Many of the meds prescribed do not allow for REM stage sleep so take a look at what you’re taking and see if the problem lies there. There are so many great natural remedies for sleep!

    Since the day I got diagnosed it became my goal to help as many people with this condition as I could lead healthier lives with the least amount of pain possible. Of course, there are going to be days that are better than others. Just because I exercise and “look good” does not mean I’m not in some degree of pain daily. I am. I just choose to not let it win. Are there really bad days where I want to cry and crawl under a rock? Yes! I get it out and move on. The pets won’t get fed and the dishes won’t get done if Heather is not a functioning member of society.

    Will everyone agree with my methods? No! Will I get criticism and skepticism? Yes! Will I still get accused of not having fibro? Heck yes! Will I still get questions about how I do it? Yes, and I encourage them! I hope to be a source of inspiration to those that need it, a source of information for those that seek it and a friend to those that need it.

    Now bring on the questions!!!

    Be well!!!!

  2. Day 4….X2 Total Body and X2 ABX

    December 29, 2011 by Heather

    Holy moly folks! This was a doozy! I was pretty fried by ABX but I got it done. Two things I learned today:
    1) stability ball kickbacks are HARD
    2) medicine ball pushups to side plank are HARD
    3) perhaps my core isn’t as strong as I thought it was…very humbling I tell you!!

    The strange thing about this workout (which did involve much pausing. Again, watching workout in advance would come in handy!) is that everyone in it was sweating buckets. I was breathing heavy and working hard and sweating a bit but it was almost like my body wanted to sweat more but wouldn’t. Weird! Stay tuned for next week’s sweat report!!!

    I am curious to see how sore I will be tomorrow. X2 Yoga on the schedule tomorrow but I did that one already this week and I have my Friday yoga class so I’ll run instead….if my legs let me!

    Be well!!!

  3. Day 3…X2 Yoga

    December 28, 2011 by Heather

    Today was really recovery or rest day but since I’m missing my Sunday Yin Yoga class due to the holiday I decided to fit in another Yoga today along with my studio class Friday. Still a bit of soreness in the lower abs and upper leg area near hips but lower. I don’t think my legs have ever hurt here!!

    I had already done this workout last week so I knew what I was in for. When I first did the workout I was a bit skeptical as I go to a Yoga studio and I didn’t think Yoga X was very flowy. But, I tell you, I was impressed! What a great workout! When every muscle in your body is shaking you know it’s working!! The workout flows nicely and is not easy. I would request more time in Shavasana but I guess you could just do that on your own!

    Tomorrow is Total body and ABX 2!

    Be well!!!

  4. Day 2 P90X2…Plyocide!

    December 27, 2011 by Heather

    This morning parts of my leg that I didn’t even know existed hurt along with lower ab muscles. Let me just say, it takes alot for either of these places to be sore on me! So I can only imagine what next week brings when I’ll be doing X2 core full tilt, without all the pausing and with the non-deflated stability ball.

    This morning was Plyocide. I will admit, I don’t think I gave this one everything I had. I think I was saving myself because I saw the length of the workout and didn’t know what I was in for. I didn’t realize that the last 15 minutes was stretching. This is where watching the workout in advance would come in handy! I was sweating and breathing heavy but I think next week will be even better because I know what’s coming. I’m thinking this might be a test week for me as I’m getting used to the workouts. We shall see. The first phase runs 3-6 weeks.

    No falling on my face today! I did, however, realize that a fully deflated stability ball can become very heavy and an 8 lb medicine ball looks innocent enough but really isn’t! Tomorrow is Yoga. Recovery on the schedule but I’m missing my Sunday Yin Yoga class and Friday I go to a class so I’ll run that day. Stay tuned….

  5. Day 1 P90X2….X2 Core

    December 26, 2011 by Heather

    Today was day 1 of P90X2. Let me start out by saying that I am a bit of a cardio addict.  Workouts that do not involve cardio make me feel like running up the road after I’m done.  This happens with strength workouts, Yoga etc.  Yes, I’m aware, this is something I need to work on!  Today was X2 Core, and yes this workout left me feeling the same way.  However, that being said, I was having to pause alot to see what they were doing.  So I think without the pausing I will be ok.  Stay tuned….The workout does move fairly quickly, as in there isn’t much time for instruction….thus the pausing.  Watching ahead of time recommended unless you like the pausing!

    I did learn two things today.  Medicine ball pushups are HARD!!!  I ended up going to the floor because there was a face plant in my future!  I think I still need to go back and watch to make sure I was attempting to do it right!  And half deflated stability balls are NOT your friend!  Do yourself a favor and get the premium stability ball if you don’t have it….you will need it!  I thought I could get away with using my old one.  Boy was I wrong!  I blew up the premium one tonite and what a difference. 

    I think the different stretching techniques are great but will take some getting used to.  The beginning foam roller stretches felt a bit rushed to me, but the recovery workout goes more into its benefits.  I haven’t done that one yetbut I do already use a foam roller. 

    Tomorrow is Plyocide…..


  6. Stuffing your face…optional!

    December 21, 2011 by Heather

    Every year around Thanksgiving something happens.  People put their health and nutrition on the back burner and swear to start anew January 1st.  It frustrates me to no end…quite possibly because I used to be “one of these people”.  Now I’m not saying this is everyone but I would venture to guess it is the vast majority. 

    For me, I would attend a holiday party and stuff my face.  Then I would feel so bad about myself I’d stuff my face the next day.  The cycle would continue until I’d just decide it was pointless and I’d get back on the wagon January 1st, at which point I’d probably have a good 10 lbs to lose not to mention how crappy I’d feel about myself. 

    So I wonder, why does it have to be an all or nothing thing?  You can still enjoy your holiday goodies in moderation and get in some exercise, so that you don’t have an additional 10 lbs to take off later. 

    So enjoy those treats in moderation.  Ask yourself if that cookie is worth an extra 30 minutes on the treadmill.  Lets practice mindful eating.  Stuffing your face is optional….