Tuesday, October 6, 2015

One Year

I bought my Nutribullet one year ago.  I still drink my green juice every day.  I used to worry that maybe this was a fluke.  I worried I'd wake up and the fibro would be back.  After a year, I don't worry about that anymore.   I barely take any supplements anymore.  I still take Vitamin D.  The nerve pain is gone.  I am back to drinking tea with no problems.  The muscle pain is gone.  I'm still tired all the time.  I was tired all the time when I was a teenager, though.  

I went to Europe this summer and walked constantly.  I walked up the hills.  I climbed stairs.  I ran through airports to catch flights.  My husband had to keep up with me.  

But I ate a lot, with good reason, and I came home to a deathly ill kitty that I took care of night and day.  
Then he passed away and I cried for weeks.  And I ate.  And slept.  

So I gained some weight back.  I'm back to losing now, and I'm back to exercising again, and I keep coming up with clever ways to make this new lifestyle easier.  

I've been making big batches of homemade beans, brown rice, and marinaded meats.  Then I freeze them in individual portions.  We use our bamboo steamer with parchment liners to reconstitute the rice, and the beans heat up nicely on the stove (but don't taste like canned).

learned how to make fish tacos, which helps because light fish is so unsatisfying.
We eat fish consistently once a week now.  

I'm learning that I feel satisfied with fewer calories if it tastes amazing.

The treadmill is repaired so I've done some walking and some weights.  Trying to keep it simple.  I'm doing P90 Sculpt B 3 times a week.  

I just want for those with fibro not to give up and only accept whatever their doctors tell them.  I thought my life was over.  I couldn't even get groceries without an electric buggy.  I couldn't go on vacation without a wheelchair.  I thought my adventurer days were over.  In the last year I've climbed castle walls in Estonia, been scuba diving, camped, went body boarding, swam with dolphins, climbed a Mayan pyramid, and I haven't been in excruciating pain once.  I'm able to do what I want to do.  So don't give up!  Find your own fibro root and pull it out!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why is this working?

I'm down 44 pounds, and I don't know why.  I can have a good week, or I can have a bad week, but I still drop 2 pounds a week.

I am bored with my workout so I started Focus T25, which is a 25 minutes a day workout.  It is hard on your knees if you're on carpet (I am), so I put duct tape on the bottom of my shoes.  Not on the heels, only the front where I pivot.  It has helped immensely.  I love knowing I'll be done in 25 minutes.  I really hate working out.  At least with T25 I feel like I burn more calories than walking.  

One of the reasons I want to lose weight is so that I will be healthy enough to go scuba diving again.  Last May the buckle ends were a foot apart from each other. 

It buckles now!  I didn't expect it to!  I only wanted to see how many inches I needed to lose before it clicked.  I still need to lose a couple more inches before  I could use this BCD.  The Velcro wrap underneath touches, but doesn't overlap.  Give me 10 more pounds.  

I gave up potato chips.  I make soup for lunches now.  On Saturday I slave over a hot crockpot all day long (just kidding).  I made a shredded chicken, black bean, corn, kale, brown rice, salsa, cheese, and sour cream taco soup.  It's so spicy and good I don't notice the kale.  Kale isn't my favorite, but I know it's good for you.  Since I switched from sandwiches and chips to hearty soup- I don't get hungry anymore.  I also eat an ounce of nuts for a snack every day that keeps me full.  

I've been dragging lately.  I hope the kale gives me superpowers.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Trial and Error

I'm down 36 pounds today.  I've had to continue to make minor adjustments to my supplements, to what I eat, and to how I exercise.  

Last year I bought a workout called PiYo.

It was "too hard" for me.  Even the modified version was too much.  It was one more thing that I quit.  I knew that I was going to really love it once I lost weight, so I hung on to it.  I decided to try it again, expecting to quit after day three.  I just finished week five.  What changed?  I still can't do the workout, at least not the way the DVD shows it to be.  Some moves I have to do on my knees, and other moves I use a chair, and some others I can only do one of before my body collapses.  It's working though.  My waist is shrinking in.  My legs look more like legs and less like a science experiment gone wrong.  It's not Yoga, it's not Pilates, it's something new.  It builds balance, flexibility, and stamina- much like my beloved ballet classes.  I'm actually working out every day.  This is not like me at all.  

I signed up for Weight Watchers Online because they were having a sale.  I love the new app.  I love having someone to text and ask questions with immediate response.  Plus, I don't have to attend any meetings.  I've lost 2 pounds a week since the first week.  I think I'll be doing this for life.  I'm eating some really delicious food in the process.  My husband has really stepped up to help with meals, and I'm eternally grateful.  (He's down to his lowest weight in years during this process.)

I changed my Nutribullet Nutriblast to one cup frozen fruit and one cup spinach, plus water and one package of Stevia.  I count the blast as 2 points.  

It's still delicious.  

I changed my supplementation as well.  I was having horrific fibromyalgia nerve pains shooting through my body, especially in my chest.  It felt like I was being electrocuted.  I added a few things to help.

The complete Amino Acids are 4 pills a day.  This means I take 9 pills a day.  I'd love to not have to take any, but I feel so much better that I don't dare discontinue any of them. 

I cut out all caffeinated drinks from my diet.  Even my beloved tea.  I never had a reaction to caffeine in the past, but they cause the nerve pain to flare up.  If I take my supplements (and stay away from caffeine) then I usually don't have any nerve pain at all, or if I do it is brief and muted.  

What do I eat?  We don't eat out much.  I eat grass fed beef, chicken, turkey, ham, swai fish, whole wheat, beans, vegetables, fruits, brown rice, olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, eggs, mushrooms, popcorn, nuts, and I even enjoy potato chips once a day (kettle chips in olive oil).  We eat homemade burgers and pizza.  It's not that drastic.  

The brown rice was hard for me to switch to because of time.  I bought a cheap rice cooker and soak the rice all day while I'm at work.  My husband turns it on when he gets home, and after I get home and work out - the rice is ready.  You can do anything with brown rice.  I make it plain for Chinese food, or I make Cajun rice, saffron yellow rice, and even Mexican rice with it.  1 cup dry rice makes 2 cups cooked.  1 cup cooked brown rice is 5 points.  I'm not afraid of carbs anymore.  

36 pounds is a major difference.  Knowing that I'm in control and headed in the right direction makes me feel so amazing.  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fighting Fibromyalgia (For Dummies)

I was involved in a car accident in 2006.  I never saw the car that hit me.  That same week a relationship ended, but I was still in love.  That job of 6 1/2 years laid me off.  Business had been slowing, and I saw this one coming.  I'd even given up my apartment and moved back home in anticipation of the fall out.  I was the bookkeeper and I saw how badly our branch of the company was doing.  However, they made up something I'd done wrong ("Uhh, the records weren't in order." "Which records?" "Uhh...") and fired me for wrongdoing (although they couldn't explain to me exactly what I'd done wrong).  I knew the drill.  Management would do this to avoid paying unemployment.  

Maybe if only one of these things had happened I would have bounced right back.   Three was too much.  I gained 75 pounds in one month.  I wasn't eating much, though.  That's just what my body does under extreme stress.  

I was never the same.  I just wanted to stay in the bathtub day and night.  I hurt like I'd run a marathon the day before.  I went to the doctor and asked him to check my thyroid.  He refused. He told me to quit making excuses and go on Weight Watchers before I died of heart disease or diabetes.  I cried right there.  I never went back.  

My family had a lot of autoimmune diseases so I went to a rheumatologist in 2008.  I had all the symptoms of fibromyalgia.  He diagnosed me, gave me some muscle relaxers, and told me to try massage and acupuncture.  I spent a lot of money on acupuncture.  It worked for about 24 hours, then the pain set back in.  Muscle relaxers just gave me a bad hangover the next morning.  After a few weeks they didn't make a difference anyway.

The only thing that worked was a hot bath, so that's what I did.

I studied herbal medicine.  I took up to 30 supplements a day.  Amino acids, chlorella, spirulina, malic acid, magnesium, potassium- I took all of those.  I quit using fluoride toothpaste.  I went gluten free.  I went completely vegan for a year.  Two meals a day were raw vegan.   I didn't even lose weight!  

I spent my honeymoon in a wheelchair because I couldn't walk more than 5 minutes without intense pain.  Even in the chair I had to take muscle relaxers and pain killers to enjoy the trip.

Doctors have no idea what causes it.  They guess.  And they guess at what medicines to throw at you.  I was put on antidepressants, but I couldn't handle them.  They made me miserable.  It was then I quit all prescription medications and all over-the-counter medications.  I quit cold turkey.  If I hurt, I took a bath.  

I read more books, I took more supplements (some very expensive), but the end result was neon yellow and flushed down the toilet.  

I didn't want to give up and let myself die.  

Then, on an episode of Dr. Oz I saw a freak.  His name was Dr. Soram and he was wearing a turban and a beard, but he didn't look Indian.  I thought he must be a quack.  He was a proponent of high vitamin D levels.  The amount of D in my vitamin wasn't nearly what he recommended.  I had asked for my vitamin D levels to be checked many times, but no doctor actually did it.  (When you have fibro doctors treat you like you are a hypochondriac.)  Dr. Soram said the D3 over-the-counter was better than prescription.  So I took it, hoping I didn't take too much.  You can test yourself via a kit sold on his website, in case your doctor ignores you.  Too much vitamin D is bad for you.  After 6 months of supplementation my level was on low end of normal.  And I started to feel a bit better.  The muscle pain started to fade.  I could walk a mile at a time.  

But I wasn't better yet.  I was still tired all the time.  

Enter Joe Cross' "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead".  I loved every minute of that movie.  I was going to juice my way to health and happiness!  It lasted a day and a half.  The lack of fiber sent the sugar straight to my blood system and I felt terrible.  That movie stuck in my head for a long time afterwards.  He said the pure juice cleaned your cells allowing them to function properly, but my digestive system had never worked properly.  How could I heal my digestive system?

I had IBS and had been told to take the refrigerated acidophilus pills by my acupuncturist.  I didn't see many results with that.  I read "The Makers Diet" and took the soil organism probiotics he sold and they really helped.  They were over $50 a bottle, so I quit taking them years ago.  I found a cheaper brand online and started taking them again.  

My body wasn't digesting the food I ate.  It was too damaged to process it.  That's why I was sick- I was lacking nutrients and starving for vitamins from my food.  I decided to blend instead of juice.  I borrowed a friend's Nutribullet and later purchased my own.   I put in spinach, frozen berries, Greek yogurt (for probiotics), and flax seed (for Omega 3).  Later, I added a Stevia sweetened vanilla protein powder.  That's breakfast for me now.  I slowly noticed more energy.  It took months before I noticed it.  I think my body is getting actual nutrition from my food now.  The stomach spasms haven't visited in a long time.  

I still get the fibro nerve pain from time to time.  I hate it.  I'm experimenting with Alpha Lipoic Acid and it seems to be helping so far.  I still have the fibro fog.  I still can't remember words.  Earlier while writing this I couldn't remember the word for 'hypochondriac' and kept thinking 'kleptomaniac'.  

Thankfully, I feel like I have a shot at beating this, and since September 1, 2014 I've lost 23 pounds.   I've been going between MyFitnessPal and Weight Watchers Points Plus.  

Most of my miserableness now is from being obese.  I've been taking a garcinia cambogia supplement a half hour before lunch.  It helps me not to get too hungry before dinner, and from what I've read on Dr. Oz's blog it metabolizes into seratonin (a happiness hormone).  I'm no expert, but I do feel happier.  Maybe it's a placebo effect, but it's working for me right now.   

I used to spend $200 a month on supplements/prescriptions.  Now it's under $10. 

I use the rest of that money to save up for vacations.  In December we went on a Caribbean cruise.  I wasn't in a wheelchair, though.   I was climbing Mayan pyramids.