Tag Archives: heal your body

In other news….

That picture is soooo not me, I don’t have a picture of me working out! Perhaps I should fix that!

Anyway, to start, my stress triggers recap: house hunt/purchase attempt(s), Equifax mumbo jumbo, mortgage application, frigid weather, sinus cold, my dad’s state of being, hormones, relationships/moving-on from pointless hopes, kids being kids…

Yeah: I think that’s most of the ones I’ve talked about of late.

Now add to that my brand new shiny computer had a glitch from a recent Microsoft update, and the resulting frustrations over not being able to work on my dome designs. I had really hoped to have a significant amount of that completed to show here by now, but alas it will have to wait until the glitch is resolved. I won’t have Sunday time to do that until after Thanksgiving, but I very much look forward to the results when I eventually do get to it.

I am slowly chipping away at the process to become a continuing education course provider. Currently I’m on the portfolio/curriculum vitae. It doesn’t seem on the surface that it would be a big deal, but organizing 15 years of applicable skills into the format they are seeking is a bit tedious. So that is not completely done yet either, and I haven’t even started writing my courses. I projected 6 months when I decided to commit, and like all cases, my estimate may or may not be entirely accurate, but I will eventually complete it. One step at a time, as my schedule allows.

Finally, because of all these stress triggers, I’m feeling the need to burn it off – quite literally!

Except when I’m smack dab in the middle of a stress-trip with a spice cake right in front of me, I have little to no appetite. I’m still eating, but finding it easier and easier to stick to healthy items in very small portions. That’s a great thing! Especially since I’m officially eating vegan now; no grains, no meat, no dairy, no soy, no nightshade vegetables; except that darned piece of cake!

Then, I have a strong desire to move nearly constantly. In between clients I am finding myself pacing quite a bit. I’ve also been taking every opportunity to go exercise. Being it’s been so much colder, nearly all of my workouts have moved inside. I’ve been alternating between the Planet Fitness across the street from work and the YMCA near home.

I have been lifting 2 to 3 times a week, except this week because my cold caused a missed day. I do use the dummy-proof machines since I’m not working with a trainer or spotter.

As for cardio, I am still getting at least 40 min of speed walking via treadmill 4 to 5 days a week, I aim for an hour when possible. I fluctuate between 3.8 and 4.2 mph on the treadmill because I so enjoy matching the beat of the music I’m listening to. This last week though, I’ve been working with incline more, to push the cardio aspect a bit. It’s that or run, and I really don’t enjoy running…. ¿Yet!? …. Will I ever?

Anyway, I just wanted to share my progress with my readers to show you really can do anything you want. For me, that just means a little of everything.

My current lifts are all weights based on 3 to 5 sets of 10 reps at a time. I do 2 sessions, with the second hitting 5 sets, before I raise the weight by 5 pounds again. Last week I had a day I pushed a little too far or too fast and I really felt it for a couple days afterwards.

  • Leg press 205
  • Leg extension 85
  • Seated leg curl 90
  • Inner thigh (Adductor) 110
  • Outer thigh (Abductor) 110
  • -Glute extension 70 (I haven’t actually done this one recently so it may not be completely accurate.)
  • Back extension 140
  • Abdominal (curl- arms up) 85
  • Abdominal (curl- arms front) 80
  • Rotary torso 80
  • Lateral raise 55
  • Shoulder press (I just learned this is also called military press, and it was one I had backslide on poorly, I’m part way back up.) 30
  • Tricep extension 55
  • Tricep press 65
  • Biceps curl 30
  • Lat pull down 70
  • Seated row 65

I haven’t been good about logging my times weightlifting in the health tracker- mainly because I log the pounds and sets in a different app and forget to duplicate it, but here’s my average steps and calories views.

I’m not seeing the results myself yet, but several people have said I’m looking better these days. In my pregnancies, that stage was 2 to 3 weeks before I actually noticed changes myself. Besides the scales have not budged, they still stay between 220 and 225. Merh.

I welcome all of you to share your progress in the comments as well. I’d really love to know if there’s anyone out there that I’ve inspired in any way, or encouraged to persevere through their own struggles. And there’s always room for commiseration in fitness journeys!

May you all have easy stress free times. May you have great work-outs with plenty of support. May you find you only desire the calories your body needs. And finally, may you see results of your own hard work.

Siva Hir Su

Flogging Story So Far

Listen: https://youtu.be/BZGkxlLZZsM

I am thanking God I’m alive, yet acknowledging that Nathan and my couple of friends might be sick of my fitness puzzle updates, I thought I’d write it out. My story so far does make me who I am, and currently it’s kinda pissing me off.

Despite having birthed 2 children, losing weight during pregnancy, to reach 190 pounds twice; I’m shaking my head as to why the eff I’m hovering between 200-225 now.

At this point I can honestly acknowledge that I’m doing spectacular by all reasonable definitions. I already knew I was doing decent, but there were a few people that thought I wasn’t eating enough and thus causing my body to think it was starving. Because of their doubts I began to use my Samsung Health Tracker app to its fullest potential to find out for certain if my knowing was accurate or if their doubts were.

I have to say, except for the fact that it doesn’t track the calories I burn doing deep tissue massage, I’m really enjoying the accuracy and details it allows me to track. When I enter food I can pick brands, specify my particular serving, even down to individual ingredients for things like my breakfast shake, and it does all the math for me. I love it.

As you can see below, my worst day of food intake (when I’m at the old job) is the number of calories that many people consume as normal. Yet, for me that now only happens once or twice a month. Most days fall more in the range of what I took in on the 26th, which is more of the 850 to 1100 calories. Which, by the way, gives me plenty of energy. I actually struggle more on the high calorie days, because usually those involve succumbing to my food allergies.

That reminds me of a cartoon that Nathan found a few days ago…..(he’s been sharing memes on this topic with me because I’m ranty about it, he’s trying to help me find levity.)…

Anyway, I find it interesting that my nutrient balance score is low. I have been watching that score system and basically I get a better score when the protein to carb ratio is in a certain range. Unfortunately, I usually eat few carbs. My food intake still has carbs, but much lower ratio than most people. I also try to focus on healthy fats and I eat seafood or use pea protein powder for my proteins since I have had issues recently with red meat and never did do well with dairy or soy. I’m betting they factor that into their algorithm as well.

Moving on: in addition to these super healthy lower calorie days, I’m getting plenty of exercise. Beyond doing massages- which do burn calories, I’ve been doing more yoga and core exercises (leg lifts, variety of crunches, and planks) and walking a ton. Today I’ve done 30 min of yoga, about 40 min of core exercises, and then took an hour walk, keeping up pace with my Flogging Molly mix. My app only counted one of my jogging bits as running, but I picked up the place several times during my walk to keep up with the music. That’s despite the cold weather. *I really do love Flogging Molly for exercise.* My average steps per day is generally over that which the app recommends with few exceptions, and the one high-calorie day I hit 18,000 steps, nearly 8 miles of walking!

I’ve also been reeling in my blood sugars, finally getting my fasting numbers to begin to normalize. I have to say that the walking increase has helped with that, but making sure my dinners are on the light side also did. And blood pressure never was a concern, but I’m logging them anyway to make sure it stays that way.

My stress levels are even doing great and even when I push my speed with the walking/jogging I’m still keeping lower heart rates.

I swear that this meme is too true. Too close to home, but still funny.

Damn those genetics.

Anyway, I’m definitely feeling like all my work should amount to something visible. I have nothing to show for 4 months of dedicated exercise and food control. Except slightly better blood sugars. Oh well, I suppose I know, and regardless of people’s assumptions, I still know I can lift my husband (and most of the people I work on). I’m healthy despite having an obese body. Rawr.

I’ll leave you with 2 appropriate funny memes, and my usual blessing.

May you know your hard work matters. May your determination net visible results. May you see your improvement, and may you enjoy a healthful life.

Siva Hir Su

Postpartum contrast playground.

So the bliss of birth adrenaline & endorphins only lasted me about 2 days this time, and the crash afterward was pretty harsh. My hormones fell off almost the exact same time I started having excruciating pain from nursing. However, my woes with my body are not all that’s happened in the last 2 weeks.

Long story short, I got the short straw genetically speaking when it came to having babies and in nursing too.

In the not so short story, Ian was tongue tied, so we thought pain was related to that and I dealt as best as I could, knowing his mild tongue-tie would grow out; that is until thyroid shutdown happened and I quit producing milk at all.

This time I went in doing my best to tackle both preemptively. However, the diet dictated that some of the milk production tools were off limits third trimester. Then baby was born and she had no tongue-tie at all. She latched just fine straight away, or it appeared so from outside. I started taking milk boosters right away, but immediately discovered nutritional intake & hydration seemed to play a more important role. I also wondered if one or more of the milk boosters was giving little Katherine gas and making her very uncomfortable. Then the pain started.

Initially I thought it was all for having gotten plugged up on a poor hydration day right after birth. So we started doing things I did with Ian: hot compresses, painful massages to force milk flow, hot showers, and very intense pumping. At one point I cranked the strength of the pump up to maximum and in drawing out a plugged spot, I bled. Not good, and so not fun, it scabbed and pain got very severe. Right side was so sore that I favored left and within hours the left hurt even more.

Imagine if you will an ice pick being jabbed into the center of your breast while an infant sucks on it, that’s pretty much what it felt like. I cried through multiple feedings. Because I was struggling with nursing, the midwife’s assistant came and did a weight check, & discovered baby was gaining just fine, great in fact.

They then offered suggestions: nipple shield to help heal, use more nipple butter and more frequently, lecithin supplement to help encourage free flow of milk, and pump milk to dropper feed if necessary (to avoid bottle attachment).

I did all, but wasn’t noticing improvement. 2 days later I took to actually bandaging my nipples with a mixture of nipple butter, lavender essential oil, triple antibiotic, and colloidal silver gel. I made sure to do that in between every nursing, and would pump after nursing to try to keep ducts clear. Eventually the scabbing fell off to reveal large deep cracks & holes in my nipples. 2 more days of the bandaging and the pain finally started to back off.

I’m now in the still painful, but not to the point of tears range. Improvement.

In all of that mess I was drowning in Advil hoping to help the pain, but I ended up reacting to the Red40 coating so much that I spent 2 days with flu-like symptoms including full body aches and severe chills, without a fever.

After consulting with midwife again, she said some moms just get the chills from postpartum shifts in hormones and fluids, but she did say the body aches was an addition that might just be me. I pulled up enough out of the pit of sucky to put two and two together and switched pain relievers to acetaminophen (red free), and amazingly within 12 hours the depression, body aches, and chills ceased. I wasn’t up to rose colored glasses yet, but I wasn’t wanting to give up either, a big improvement.

At this point, with breast healing started, and pain mostly under control, I’m maybe 80% to figuring out what all happened.

So far I’ve figured out:

The baby having gas so bad does seem to correlate to either my milk tea blend of one of the supplements, so I have some more adjustments to figure out which.

I am having to stay strict on my diet, but it seems I can and should be consuming more sugar/carbs to keep my milk supply tasty for baby’s desires. So far that’s mostly manifested in nuts, chocolate, and fruit. Side note: I’ve lost about 45 pounds this pregnancy, & I’m back to where I was when I gave birth to Ian, 100 pounds lighter than my heaviest. Healthy baby too.

And the cracking & holes in my nipples that induced such horrific pain seems to be less about baby’s latch, and more about me having “flat nipples”. I put it in quotations because they’re not literally flat, the description that got us to that decision essentially said flat nipples are nipples that don’t stretch easily or as far as is normally expected, and thus damage is caused to the nipple during nursing. So wonderful, right?! To that end my efforts will eventually work, but I’ll have to be diligent with goo & shields until I’m fully healed.

———-

In other news….

We’ve been wearing baby a lot, especially with the gas troubles & nursing troubles, wearing her has soothed her nerves. We wore both Ian and Anya when they were littles, and have found 3 slings from previous, a Moby and 2 4-strap slings. I wanted to find the ring slings that I’d made and saved, but we have yet to find those, so we’ve used scarves and sarongs as substitutes. It works. Really, the difference is: moby style slings are best for long snuggle front wearing, 4-strap slings are better for kids that can hold their head up to be hauled backpack style, and ring slings or scarves/sarongs are good for impromptu short front or side wearing. The bonus of a ring sling over scarves is they’re easily adjustable and have a tail that doubles as a nursing hood, some even have pockets in the tail for small items like phone, keys, Binki, etc. They’re really convenient, and I love them. Today I chose one of my purple scarves though and it worked pretty well.

She’s so beautiful that complete strangers have stopped & commented the couple of times we’ve been out with her. I also can’t get over her black hair & eyes, neither Nathan or I have black. His is very dark brown, but still very much brown. How she got black only god or science can explain.

I’ve also enjoyed snuggling baby & kitties, all our cats are doing well with baby.

————

We also did get another step of basement work done. The wall at the end of the furnace went up & was trimmed out, & since big things were done we cleaned up the space to be our multipurpose room. It’s coming along nicely.

We even started to pull out electronics & organize our belongings. I don’t know if the TV will stay where it is (on top of the Ikea cubby shelves seperating Ian’s room), but it works for now.

I’m glad there’s progress happening, especially in the realm of pain relief. Even if it’s been a hard could of weeks, it’s still been worth it.

Farewell Cupcakes, and bread and….

So through the videos that I linked in my last post, and “The Depression Cure”, I’m discovering that my pregnancy diet isn’t just my diet. It’s a thing for a lot of people and many more that don’t even know it yet.

The videos swear that if I follow the food regimen, which they call Auto-Immune Paleo Diet, for the rest of my life- I could potentially heal completely and never need thyroid medicine ever again. At that point, it is more of a lifestyle choice, such as “The Depression Cure” suggests.

I’m discovering that there isn’t much difference between the dietary guidelines discussed in “The Depression Cure” and the Auto-Immune Paleo Guidelines. The biggest difference is that  the Paleo variety is really really focused on eliminating immune response, so you have to eliminate anything that triggers your immune system. They acknowledge that this can be different for everyone, but there are certain seemingly universal (or pertain to most people) elements, such as: Dairy, Glutens/grains, soy, eggs, and Nightshade Family vegetables, and often Peanuts.

I would hypothesize that the peanuts, being less universal, might be a combination of their Omega 6 heavy nature, along with the fact that Peanuts tend to have higher levels of  toxic pesticides and herbicides on them- at least compared with other nuts- and maybe that is because it is technically a legume growing on the ground. A double whammy. Which, The Thyroid Secret discusses the fact that a lot of Thyroid patients are having problems that are literally cumulative over time, and often are not dealt with until symptoms , and thus thyroid damage, are severe. Ultimately, an issue of toxicity gradually overwhelming the immune system. Thus, it would make sense that peanuts would land on the list.

I find it interesting that “The Depression Cure” lays out a diet based upon what “uncivilized” or aboriginal people would eat, and those same qualities are found in the Paleo diet based on paleolithic men. Beyond that most of the common “allergens” or “immune triggers” are just not commonly found in those diets. “The Depression Cure” doesn’t specifically state to avoid those items, just to eat the others. Yet both guideline systems have eerily similar statements about what to eat and to make it a permanent lifestyle choice, and they also have very similar results.

Of course they do. Thyroid problems can and often do cause Depression. Inflammation (immune response) -especially in the brain- can and often does cause Depression. Of course this is all one and the same issue. It doesn’t matter if you are diagnosing from the Depression, or the Thyroid/other organ malfunction, or the inflammation manifesting in the body or brain (RA, joint or connective tissue diseases).  It’s all the same problem.

I can see that now that I am actively trying to fix both problems at the same time, and conveniently finding  or being given the right information. It’s all falling into place and making sense.

Inflammation is the root cause of so many problems, diseases, and disorders, and of course our diet would be the #1 cause of inflammation in our bodies. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

Do you know how many times kids used that on me growing up? I could never figure out how my obesity was evidence of that, when they were downing just as many Doritos, Cheetos, and Little Debbie snacks as I was. Why was what I ate showing on my body, and what they ate wasn’t? Now years later I’m discovering that even if it didn’t visually show on them then, it would eventually accumulate enough to cause them some kind of problem. There’s little solace in that.

If someone had told me when I was 12- “Even though your thyroid isn’t completely malfunctioning right now, it will be unless you change your diet. This will suck short term, learning how to change, but long term you’ll be glad you did. You need to eat like this or your life will be full of pain, fatigue, and depression.” … I would have done it. I would have taken the greens over depression  for 20 years in a heartbeat. I might have been like every other teen and balked at the idea, or drug my heals in doing it, but as soon as relief was felt I know I would have kept with it.

So, now that I’m back on the bandwagon, and I’m cleaning my diet back up. Where do I go from here.

I’m starting to feel better again, and though the scale doesn’t register weight loss, I know I’m thinning because of the way my clothes fit and what people are saying to me. That makes me feel good. It always helps to know that I’m looking better when I’m also starting to feel better too.

With that being said, my body still has sags and folds from the pregnancy. This is libel to make that worse. I can’t afford a surgery to remove excess skin, and I have no idea how long it takes for skin to naturally shrink back up. I guess I’ll have to start getting creative now with ways to convince myself that the loose skin is fine. Mind over matter that one- and now that my brain is working better, I should be able to do that.

I want to feel attractive, but loose skin does tend to make that difficult, so I will start working on focusing on other things to reinforce my beauty in my own mind. Nathan swears that he finds me beautiful regardless of what my body looks like. I love him so much, and appreciate every word of that.

The diet isn’t easy, and makes me want to never go grocery shopping ever again. Do you know how few items in a grocery store are actually edible for me? That will definitely be my biggest challenge. Even today I went to Whole Foods and got a salad which had eggs, tomatoes and dairy dressing. After tossing the eggs and tomatoes in the compost bin, I relegated to one last dairy product.  There are so very few items in pre-made food that I could just grab and eat. It seems I will be forever picking things out or creating substitutions. That’s hard for me. Sometimes I just want to be able to be “normal”, but I’m discovering that the better way to look at it is: “Is living in pain for the rest of your life normal?” Because that is what everyone else is likely to experience, if they are not currently, at some point in their life they are likely to experience something that will require medication to mask symptoms, and possibly not even successfully at that. I at least have a chance at healing, if I stick with it and give my body optimum nutrition. I’ll take that chance.

SO, finally, I’m left with what lesson to take away from 22 years of struggle to find out it could all have been avoided and fixed long ago with permanent diet changes. I think for me it is about education. Since I couldn’t find a way around the 22 years of pain- physical and mental, maybe, just maybe I can help others avoid it. SO, I’ll probably contrive a nutrition class for our home-schoolers, and maybe find a way to speak to middle and high-schoolers in public and private schools.

I’m not much of a speaker right now. I get by when I have to, being more of an introverted personality, a bit shy. But I think this one is important. I have no idea how, but I’ll go about it like the trailer remodel- one piece, one step at a time. Maybe 10 years from now I’ll have affected millions of kids and become famous. Who knows. Right now I just want to help people avoid spending 2 decades in pain like I did. If I can help even a few people do that then my journey was worth it. NAMASTE and AHO!