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  1. Here we go again; I've lost count of the times we've gone again at this point but as always, once more with feeling! The only thing worse than starting again would be not starting again, so I've got that going for me. It's been a hot minute since I was here last and a hefty chunk of things have happened since then, but a few things have remained constant. Specifically I've sat very firmly in at least one pit of denial over the course of the four-ish years since I got my hEDS diagnosis. It became a very predictable cycle. I would pull myself out of my depression cave, usually spurred on by content of people my size or bigger getting shit done to achieve their goals and me saying "if they can do that then I can definitely do that!", begin a new wave of something while firmly ignoring the voice in the back of my head whispering "Yeah, those people are doing those things at your size; but they're not also built out of old rubber bands and caffeine.", cause myself a significant enough injury to need to stop doing the things, get angry about failing again, crawl back into my depression cave. Repeat ad infinitum. It's been exhausting, physically and mentally. I'm now in the worst shape I've been in my entire life. The day before this challenge officially starts is my 35th birthday and I've slid so far down the mountain that I've lost sight of the base of it, never mind the top. The starting line most people start at is a hazy blur in the distance, whereas I'm here outside this ramshackle barn being stared down menacingly by an alpaca who has declared the "start" spray painted on the dirt track as his territory. Even considering approaching is daunting. So, we're starting with acceptance. Accepting that I do not have the tools or the ability to start in the same place as most people; nor most of the farther back places others start at. And that it's not fine, but there's nothing I can do to change it unless I accept it and use the tools that I do have instead of pretending I have ones that I don't. The latter hasn't gotten me anywhere productive, it needs to stop. With that in mind, it's three goals for the start of the year. 1. Steps My fitbit pings me at ten minutes to the hour, nine hours a day, to do 250 steps. Do the steps, get the 9/9 active hours every day. It's not hard, not really. Min 2250 steps/day 2. Core I saw an exercise physiotherapist earlier this year and the start was going really well, but as with all things seeing a physio who wasn't hEDS informed became a problem very quickly. Building muscle is a necessary thing for me, but it takes longer than it does for other people and pushing me to almost triple my output after six weeks is just asking for injury and failure. So I no longer see her, but there are lessons I can take away from that and things that did work that I can implement until I feel ready to progress them further. Right now it's my core that needs the work, it's a mess and without immediate attention I'm probably heading for a wheelchair. 3x8 Sit to Stands 3x8 Seated Calf Raises 3x8 Wall Push Ups 3. Calories I'm on the waitlist to discuss bariatric options with a general surgeon, but that doesn't mean I can't work on it myself in the meantime. I use Lifesum, no muss no fuss, it does me well when I use it. Track food intake/maintain caloric deficit
  2. My track record here speaks for itself. But I'm back again. I can't spend too much time here recounting things like a journal because #toddlermomlife Daily check ins only. I will not even think about keeping up with others. Sorry, but again #toddlermomlife So goals: Walk 5k steps a day, ideally including 30 min morning stroller walk with sidekick PT twice a week and daily exercises and ice at home IF 14+ hours a day MOAR veggies Do something that I enjoy, that's not a fracking numbing behavior. Bedtime is roughly 10:30 Other things: Shelf or other fabrication so laptop can be at eye level while I'm on the treadmill. Once built, CR watching limited to treadmill time or PT/ice time. Will be buying tablet and stand for treadmill. Plan weekend trip to state park for fall color hike. Plan/purchase costumes for Tiny Human. Plan/purchase costumes for self. Doctor appointments - GP for physical and bloodwork, also referral for hand pain - hand pain doc - psych for med check - counselor
  3. Evening NF World, I needed to vent a little, and for some reason I felt this was the place to do it. I have been busting my ass at the gym for the past 3 weeks.... increasing my time spent there, increasing my weight lifted, trying out new machines, increasing reps, and I've even lost 7 pounds. For those things, I was proud. Until some jerk had the nerve to confront me after my workout tonight and state, "Done working out already"? Um, excuse me sir, do I know you? Do you know how many times a week I'm in that gym? Do you realize what I'm putting my body through? Sure, you see an overweight chick who should probably be spending hours running on the treadmill or whatever. But what is really there is a mother of 3, full time student, and chronic pain sufferer giving it all she's got. Your approval is not needed. Therefore, your comments are unnecessary and downright ignorant. What the hell makes people give their two cents? I'm pretty sure I'm not wearing a sign that says "Please tell me your opinions of me" so who the f*ck does he think he is? UGH!! I needed to get that out! Thanks, FitChick_Maybe
  4. Hello all, As a sufferer of chronic pain linked to migraines and fibromyalgia, I personally would like a group that is primarily focused on getting past the pain in order to become more fit. Does anyone know where we Nerds may find a group like this? Or will this suffice to begin one of those groups? I know I am not alone in my struggle against chronic pain and I know others are out here looking for support. Perhaps those that have been in this longer may have some suggestions for getting past the pain and pushing through at the gym. Many of us are looking to meet our fitness goals but aside from the usual roadblocks, we are faced with seemingly insurmountable pain. Any ideas, suggestions, advice, or information is greatly appreciated. Thanks
  5. Hi folks, My Main Quest is to become more fit; which is to say I want to: Lose 3.5 inches from my waist at the end of 6 weeksWalk at least 75,000 steps each week (I have a Fitbit which tracks for me)Bike 30+ minutes three times per weekThe reason why I I want to become more fit/active, in short, is because I miss it a lot. I played a lot of sports until the end of high school where I was hit with a chronic illness that made life really tough. Once the illness absolved itself some, I developed severe osteoarthritis, which resulted in 3 major surgeries in 3.5 years. Now that I'm "recovered" from the most-recent surgery (a total wrist fusion in November) I want to start doing at least some of the stuff I used to. I also know that I need physical activity as part of my well-being: I'm working on my PhD exercise helps me sleep better and contributes to stress relief. But there is the caveat: even though I'm "healed" and the surgery was considered a success, I'm still in some level of pain all the time. Some days are worse than others ( = I need narcotics to "function"), but there are days when doing "normal" everyday adult things are really tough: as much as I want to do things my body cannot. I am what you call a spoonie. There are also a lot of activities I cannot do because either it requires wrist movement (lots of yoga and body weight exercises) or my wrist/arm needs to bear weight (which causes pain). I have a follow-up with my surgeon in early May to figure out my "next steps," but I am still figuring out what I can and cannot do, which changes on a day-to-day basis (weather/pressure changes impact my pain levels, as does my activities in the previous days, the amount of sleep I get, and things I'm still figuring out). Despite the caveat, I want to be healthier, and I want to survive grad school. I'm just not sure how much I will be able to accomplish. Thus, the motivation for my second challenge, is that every day is a fight. I will calculate how well I did (or didn't) at the end of each week, and post the result on Sunday. Beginning Stats: Weight: 179.8lbs Waist: 38 inches Week of April 6-13 I walked 86,477 steps Week of April 6-13 I biked 0 times (I was moving places...and yeah). I wanted to add as well that my Life Quest is to be done my conference paper (being presented on June 1) by May 25th. I want an initial draft written by April 27th, a second draft written by May 11th and then the last draft by the 25th.
  6. So, I've been reading the blog and waffling a little bit about whether or not a fitness community makes sense for me to join, but I'm here. I have a few major challenges to the concept of "fitness" that have made it hard for me even though I take my health very seriously. Before I launch into my "fitness story", let me introduce myself! I'm 25, I live a few hours from Washington DC with my amazing fiancee, A, a PhD student in history. I'm a graduate student studying medieval religion, currently writing my thesis. 3 weeks till the first draft is due! Wish me luck! I'm also a huge geek -- I grew up in a very Star Wars house (my dad showed me the Star Wars fanfiction he typed on a typewriter back in the day back between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back! Old-school, Dad.) and I met my fiancee through Tolkien roleplaying online. Tolkien has been my first and enduring fandom love, and my favorite characters are Boromir and Denethor (ask me about Gondor!). I play Lord of the Rings Online occasionally though I'm not at a very high level (Loremasters represent!). Most of my friends are fandom friends I met online talking geeky. I have a lot of food restrictions, so I've learned to love to cook and bake. I also write speculative fiction that combines my research in the medieval world with urban fantasy, science fiction, and weird tales. Writing is actually my main hobby. I'm also a huge balletomane (my lady love takes lessons and is wild about it) so if you're a ballet person come sit by me. I'm also chronically ill. I have the hypermobile type of ehlers-danlos syndrome, which is a short way of saying: "every major joint in my body dislocates at least partially". Not for any particular reason. Sleeping, sitting in a chair, and normal body movement are major culprits. I have subluxations (mini-dislocations) and larger dislocations daily. Here's a list: both knees, both shoulders, some of my toes on both feet, my elbows, a couple of ribs. When I sublux joints, I pinch nerves, which is excruciating, including ones in my arms, my hips, my neck, my shoulders, and my hands. I also have chronically inflamed muscle tissue that is extremely painful. I take a lot of medication for my conditions, and my health yo-yos based on the weather. I am gluten-free, egg-free, and 90% dairy free (just cheese, sometimes, or a cup of house chai at my favorite tea place). I make 95% of all my food at home, and it's low-carb (but not paleo because I'm broke and my budget and I love legumes). My fiancee and I make fabulous, vegetable and protein-heavy food at home. We cook from around the world -- Indian food, Mexican food, Asian-inspired cuisine, Russian food, North African and Mediterranean. We've been completely gluten-free 3 years, and it's made a huge difference in both our health (she's chronically ill too). While it didn't used to be, my weight has been a sore spot in my life for a while. Over the past year my weight's been going up. I couldn't figure it out at first, because my fiancee's weight has decreased gradually from diet alone as she's very low activity. I'm eating better than I ever did earlier in life, I sleep better than I ever have, my medications mean on average I feel better than I ever expected... but there's the problem! I'm on a medication for chronic pain that makes me gain weight. I went from 155lb to between 165-170 (I don't have a scale, this is from doctors offices) last year, with every weight creep associated with increasing the dose of the medication. I don't care about the number, but for the first time in my life I am starting to have a visible stomach. For obvious reasons, exercising can be pretty tough for me. And the kinds of exercises I can do are pretty limited because of my joint hypermobility -- I can do bodyweight, but not anything that involves bending my knees and straightening them again quickly. I used to do modified yoga and still do it occasionally. And I can walk but I have to be careful with that as if I walk on the wrong surfaces (ie: concrete and sidewalks and the only places there are to walk in my town) I'll dislocate my toes and screw up my knees and limp for the next 3 days. But I've got to keep this medication-caused weight creep under control -- I'm getting married on Halloween and I want to look like the man my fiancee deserves. And my conditions will only get worse if I don't get proactive now -- this might be the best I ever feel. What I'm doing right now is a small number of push-ups, sit-ups, plank, and strengthening yoga exercises. I also try to pace a mile in my living room at least every other day (now that spring seems to finally be in the Mid-Atlantic I might take my mile outside if I can find somewhere to walk). I haven't been doing either very long, only a week or two. I tried a high-intensity push-ups routine in the winter to work on my shoulder stability but it was too hard on my shoulders and I had to stop; now I am pushing myself to count one more of my exercises every day than the day before. (Today's goal: 15 push-ups/65 sit-ups/45 seconds of plank/4 sets of bridge for 1 minute). I've put visible muscle on my arms and shoulders even though I'm not doing very much, and I'm definitely stronger when my shoulders aren't going haywire, so I guess at least I'm doing my upper body right. My diet is already so restricted by income and allergies that I'm just not interested in paleo (though, frankly, many of my meals are paleo anyway if they don't have legumes or rice). According to my best calculations, because I eat almost no processed food and very few carbs (I really only eat GF bread if I make it, which happens once every few weeks, and I make it with grains-that-aren't-actually-grains so it has a very high protein payload for a relatively small carb payoff; we eat rice about twice a week if that) I'm getting between 1700-2000 calories a day, which OUGHT to make me shed pounds, but no dice. I certainly can't eat less without fucking up my already screwed up metabolism. I'm frankly contemplating adding more meals into my day because I spend a lot of time uncomfortably hungry. The only thing I can think to try is to control my sugar intake. I take sugar in coffee and do eat sweets (mostly chocolate, or in the form of a natural sugar carbonated beverage; occasionally in the form of baked goods I make myself) every couple of days, often when my pain is really high. I had though to try to restrict my sugar intake to 30g a day -- if I put sugar in my coffee it's going to have to come out somewhere else. I've tended to just ignore the sugar content of stuff, presuming it'll all come out in the wash. But it frankly makes more sense to plan for my indulgences since I'm having weight problems. I guess I'm looking for a bit of cheerleading. My fiancee can't exercise with me, though she's very supportive, so I'm kind of alone in my living room walking back and forth (my cat thinks it's a game! I hold a ribbon stick in my hand and let him chase it -- he's getting more of a workout than I am) pretending I am getting closer to Minas Tirith. I'd love to hear from other people with chronic pain how you stay consistent when pain flares up (the big reason I tend to fall off the bandwagon) and maybe hear ideas if anyone has bodyweight exercises that don't involve tons of elbow and knee bending that I might be able to incorporate into what I'm already doing. I'm also looking forward to getting to know people who won't think it's weird that sometimes when I feel really cruddy, I pretend I'm a wounded Gondorian soldier on medical leave, trying to get back in the race so we can kick Mordor in the teeth...
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