Monday, May 17, 2010
It's really amazing how listening to my body has changed my life. For years, authority figures (parents, doctors, teachers, coaches) had been telling me what I felt was wrong or false.
In toddlerhood, my mom and the daycare moms started loading my plate with too big portions and made me finish it all. My older sister, then a college psychology major, thought it would be brilliant to reward me with a sticker when I cleaned my plate. Stickers are sooo motivating for small people! From this I learned that being full meant being uncomfortably stuffed. My weight ballooned and my childhood was ruined.
When I was a teenager, I started to have control over my food choices and consciously started to limit my portions at dinner. Gradually, I learned to listen to my body to find the first cue that I was full and stop there. I told people it felt like my stomache shrunk because I now knew to be full before I felt like I was bursting.
Now as an adult, I dread feeling stuffed. It's horribly uncomfortable AND it reminds me of darker times in my life. I've learned to take little bites and I reason with myself that I will be able to enjoy this food again, so I don't have to eat every last bite right now.
About a year and a half ago, I started addressing the chronic pain that I've had for as long as I can remember. Doctors and other grown-ups insisted that I was faking to get attention or that it was my fault because I was fat. I was forced to divorce my mind from my body to get through each day. I can remember being a teenager and having to get out of bed early because my back hurt so much it hurt to breathe. My counselor(Grace) and my rehabilitative body work therapist (Carrie) (read: not nice massage) taught me how to reconnect with my body. Grace worked to reassure me that my pain was real and should be taken seriously, and we did EMDR and other mind-body work to rebuild that connection. Carrie, unlike other medical practitioners, spent hours actually touching my body; finding the problem areas and literally taking them into the proper position. And, importantly, she told me the name of each muscle, nerve, tendon, and ligament as she was working and showed me books of how my body is put together. I now have a very visual sense of what's happening in my body.
I learned that pain is not some nuissance feeling. Something that I used to ignore and bury now is a useful signal to me. Convincing my body to relax at night and learning how to sit and walk properly have done wonders!
Today is the first day in a long time that I've had almost no pain (like a 0.5 maybe)! I feel like I might be entering a new wonderful chapter in my life.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
April seems to be a wash already for getting any serious health going. I've been out of town most of the month already and will continue to do so. Not that I'm behaving recklessly with the diet. I'm a pretty healthy eater naturally...it just gets harder on the road. So, I'm thinking ahead and making plans for May. Perhaps spring will be in Montana by then as well.
Here's the plan:
Goal One: No more alcohol.
I don't drink that much. Never more than a drink or two and not every night. But, I seem to be allergic to more type of alcohol than I thought. Beer gives me a rash around my mouth. Now I'm noticing it with wine as well. And, I'm not supposed to be drinking with the Lyrica (I'm assuming because it makes you extra loopy, not that anyone has ever told me why). And, I want to start trying for a baby this fall, so I'll need to detox for that anyway. Not a hard goal, even though I love the taste.
Goal Two: Get back in the pool.
Master Swim has been frustrating me. Mostly I think because my back has been hurting more than when I started, and I'm not good at not being good at something right away.
Goal Three: Talk a walking break everyday at work.
My job actually encourages employees to get outside and walk a mile on breaks. I need to take advantage. I'm the girl who totally takes her lunch at her desk and it's Saturday and I'm in my office. I also usually wear heels to my job (even though we don't have to dress) but I'm already left a pair of shoes and socks in my cube. Now I just need cooperative weather and remember to go.
Monday, March 08, 2010
One of my goals for this month is to try and drink more water. When I lived in Minnesota, hydration was no problem, but since I moved to Montana (2 years ago!) I have hydrophobia.
Montana is a high desert -- it's dry here all the time -- but my water intake has greatly decreased to my detriment. But since I've been paying attention, I realized some things:
1. I'm very picky about my drinking receptical. I hate drinking out of bottles -- little plastic ones, big Nalgene-y ones -- I much prefer a glass-glass. I've found a bottle that I'll tolerate at work, but drinking water is definitely very conscious.
2. I prefer my beverages hot. This translates to more tea and coffee, but they have caffeine. Do you folks count tea?
3. I hate having to go to the bathroom so often.
So I have a few barriers to fluid intake...I think most of them, I'm just going to have to suck it up and drink more. This is a particularly hard habit to form for me. Do other people have this much trouble?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I need some advice folks:
I set a goal of keeping up an exercise regimen for 12 weeks. My reward for reaching this goal is a fancy Nikon camera I've been coveting.
Here's my program:
Sunday: Master Swim - 1.5 hours
Tuesday: Swim - 0.5 hours; Pilates - 1 hour
Wednesday: Master Swim - 1.5 hours
Thursday: Belly dance - 1-1.5 hours
I've been doing really well so far... but Sunday I was doing swimming and felt really nauseated, so I went home after only about a half hour rather than barf in the pool. Today, my pilates teacher is on vacation and I ran out of fibromyalgia drugs, so my pain level is a bit higher than I would like it. I missed my morning workout entirely.
Next week, I'm going to spend some time with my in-laws, so I'll miss Sunday, Tuesday and maybe Wednesday workouts. The week after that, I have to be up in Poplar (on the Fort Peck Reservation) so I'll miss Tuesday, Wednesday and maybe Thursday workouts.
So what do I do? Can I count these weeks because I did as much as I could before health, family and work obligations got in the way? Or do I not count them and push back my goal three weeks? I'll never salvedge the calories burned, because I won't be able to swim, but I might be able to fit some walks in here and there. What do you all think?
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