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Sky Returns: This Is the Way
SkyGirl posted a topic in #109: 9/11/2022SKY RETURNS: THIS IS THE WAY Hello and long time no see!! My name is Sky and this is my first challenge thread of 2022 - I've been an active member on the forums since 2016, but this year I've been hibernating in the Battle Logs section of the forums, mostly treading water while I navigate a wildly busy year. In addition to enjoying my first year of marriage to my amazing husband Eamon, we've also both changed jobs, had medical procedures, traveled for work and vacations, hosted friends and family, and supported both our sets of parents and grandparents in major health problems. It's been a lot. In the midst of our lovely happy chaotic year, I have not prioritized my diet and exercise, and as a result I've gained a lot of weight and lost a lot of strength and stamina. But now is the time to change that - I've recently been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a chronic condition in which the large intestine's muscle movements don't coordinate correctly, leading to irregular bowel movements and other symptoms, like cramping, nausea, and pain. In addition to being triggered by certain foods, IBS is also often worsened by stress and anxiety; and as a lifelong anxiety sufferer, I've definitely found that my mental and physical symptoms can get into really obnoxious feedback loops. So this month, I want to finally take my health seriously and try to feel better - I want to develop an IBS-friendly meal routine, get back in the habit of moving at least a little each day, and keep caring for my mental health and stress to try to lessen their triggering power. This Is The Way I'm doing a Mandalorian-themed challenge because Eamon and I watched the whole thing together on our recent vacation, and we were obsessed. I love the idea of a creed that uses its strength and power to protect the vulnerable and take down the bad guys, and I also loved watching Mando's growth over the course of the show. I want to grow healthier and stronger so I can better care for the people in my life and be ready for whatever adventures come my way, just like Mando. The Creed: Anxiety management and mental/emotional health Frustrating as it is, changing my diet alone will not be enough to help me manage and recover from IBS. My primary trigger is anxiety and emetophobia, an extreme fear of vomiting that's linked to OCD and trauma. When I eat a food that makes me sick, that triggers anxiety and panic; and when my anxiety and panic levels are high, that almost inevitably triggers IBS symptoms. So I need to tackle this problem from multiple angles, and the foundation is my mental health. My goals for this month are: List 3 things that help me manage or breathe through anxiety symptoms and discuss how to practice those daily / as needed Make (or at least talk about) a plan with my therapist to begin EMDR or exposure therapy for my emetophobia Create and practice a mantra or group of mantras to remind myself that I am more than my fears, I am not controlled by my fears, and I am safe even when I feel afraid. Ironically, as I write these goals I'm recovering from a panic attack brought on by an unusually strong reaction to something I ate at dinner, which made me feel very nauseous and, subsequently, very panicked. I'm feeling okay now but embarrassed at being triggered and a little rattled by the unexpected food reaction, since I don't know what caused it (allergy? pre-existing anxiety from a stressful movie? hormones? problem with how I cooked it?). But on the other hand, it's a perfect opportunity to remind myself that I am safe (even if the worst were true and I were very sick, Eamon is with me and would help me, and I can get to a doctor if I need to), this will pass (I already feel better and I've made it safely through nauseous episodes many times before), and I am not controlled by my fears (after the initial panic had passed, I was able to gently move around and do some simple tasks to help ground myself while I breathed through the downswing). ❤️ The Armor: Physical movement Like many of you, I'm participating in the Nerd Fitness Walking Challenge on Facebook, which is a great kickstart to help me be a little bit active every day. While I certainly eat a lot more now than I was eating before I got married, the other factor in my weight gain is that I really just ... don't move. Our apartment is tiny, it's only about ten steps to everywhere we need to go, and it's been a very hot summer and much more fun to hang inside with my new husband and play video games than to sweat and gasp up and down hills in the heat. However, I've had periods of my life where I was very active, and periods where I was very sedentary, and so I know from experience that I feel immensely better when I'm active. While I'd love to be able to just flip a switch and go easily back to the levels of activity I was at when I felt best - who wouldn't! - I know I can only get back there slowly, through patient effort. So for this challenge, my goals are: Walk 10 minutes every day. It's totally fine if that's just walking in circles around the apartment while Eamon plays a game, or two 5-minute walks up and down the apartment building stairs during the work day. But 10 minutes a day. Go to the gym once a week. No limit on what I do there, how long I stay, etc. because I want it to be for the fun of it. Do I feel like rowing? Walking? Playing with medicine balls? Whatever my little playground heart desires, I'll be moving and that's what I want. ❤️ The Child: Diet and IBS symptom management And lastly, the final piece of the puzzle is diet. I'm working with a nutritionist to try the low-FODMAP diet, which is a diet that restricts certain foods and sweeteners that are shown to often irritate IBS. Typically, the process looks like cutting all foods that could possibly trigger my symptoms, then slowly re-introducing possible triggers one at a time and watching for symptoms, until I figure out the unique constellation of foods that I personally can and cannot eat. Now, I happened to have my first nutritionist appointment right at the beginning of a crazy month, so I have made almost no progress on the plan and need to ask her for more time to get in the groove. But last week, I did finally download some apps to look up FODMAPs in foods, planned some mostly-compliant meals for this week, and added tracking into my daily goals. So, progress is being made. My goals for this month are: Complete my second nutritionist appointment and modify my plan based on her feedback Track all daily meals in a food / nutrition app Track all daily IBS symptoms to collect data for patterns Try one new low-FODMAP recipe and report (and share!) It's not a fancy challenge, and progress will be small and slow, but it feels good to be back. I'm hoping for good discovery - and to get to check in with you all more often! This is the way!
Bouncer's Druid Adventure
Loveable_Bouncer posted a topic in #99 08/01/2021(Story Time) Leaving the Forest Valley Academy for Druids, to enter my own next quest... I started to notice the relief of no longer having a grade. However, noticing the viciousness in my last trials That instead of just a grade, my name of Bouncer could be harmed. Sharp blows I could barely handle with criticims in a place full of magic. The old ways back in the darkness, especially with the Golden-Eyed Curse of cravings is not the correct way to go. Where placing good habits was difficult on top of quieting down the old ones. I was out of the darkness, but the strong feeling I should do more but tired. Professor Jade came forward, reminding me of my celebrations. Not just a man being my professor, but also a mentor who keeps an eye on me with check ins. He saw my puzzlement through a conversation, where I finally asked him for guidance. "If you are willing Bouncer, it is time for you to go to the Regal Woodland. Just being able to enter can be a challenge, no less find your way back out. I believe that will help get you to where you need to go". I felt the magic coursing through me with confidence. I believed that it would be easy to get into the Regal Woodland, however surviving it would be something else. --- So a story to hopefully make the challenge a little easier. Little about me: Self-reflect I finally feel like I can do more, but man I'm my worst enemy. What has helped me say goodbye to depression, my classes and chronic stress pains? Mindfulness... yup sounds stupid to me also. So before I can hit my goals of weightloss, no less finding a job I can live off of (and actually enjoy). I need to lean into the "magic". Have to write this out to remind myself when I hate this tomorrow. So challenge GOALS: Meditation Journaling Budgeting Gut Health I find all of these to be stupid a bit difficult but needed, and there is a "good feel" along with "crazy amount of anxiety" with these. Upside all of these are to help curb the anxiety if I do it long enough! And whatever Meditation and Journaling -- I see someone weekly that helps give me guidance. Been told for years to practice, now leaning in. Budgeting -- Using YNAB, I have anxiety to work through feeling "but I want to SPEND!!!" Plus I tend to eat healthier when I'm intentional about my budget. Gut Health- I'm seeing a Naturopath and am SUPER behind on the next step for gut health. Plus helps with my side effect of my hormones and birth control stuff. To add some fun, I'm adding a daily pic. I always love seeing people's posts, helps make people. Love to share with my favorite community.
Mikroftt Minds His M'sThe Mad Hatter: I'm investigating things that begin with the letter M. 1) Master's Muscles (+2 STR) For those of you new to this madness, I am doing the You Are Your Own Gym program and loving it. Last challenge I finished up the 1st class program and started the Master's class program. I am currently on week 4 so 5-10 will take me through most of this challenge. 2) Mudder Marching (+3 DEX, +2 STA) At the end of September I have a Tough Mudder that I will be running with some co-workers. It will be the longest obstacle course that I have attempted. In fact, it will be tied for the longest race I have ever run. The goal this year will just to be make it though alive. To do that, I am going to need to step up my running game. Last 3 challenges have all had this as a part but it is really getting down to crunch time now. 3) Midsection Miseries (+3 CON, +3 CHA) For a while I have been struggling with digestive health. Mostly it is just bloating and gas but there is sometimes back pain associated with it and other symptoms. So this challenge I am going to focus on eliminating everything that could be a cause. So you can call it a Paleo diet if you want but the focus will be eating fruits, veggies, and meat only. Since nuts is one of the items on my questionable foods list, I won't be adding those in. I know this is going to be a struggle for me but I really am sick of these gut issues. 4) Mindful Meditation (+2 WIS) This will be 2 part. One is to continue tracking what I am eating so that A) I can track calories, but that I can try to pinpoint what might be causing my gut issues. The second part will be to finish reading How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It has been on my want to read list for a long time so I got a copy and have read the first few chapters. Nothing earth shattering yet but there are a few more pages to go.
I've been struggling with gut health for a decade and a half now. I've been through the gamut of tests and possibilities. Conclusion: All roads lead to my diet! The major issue is that my digestive system, MY GUT, has been abused and neglected so often for so long that it is quite difficult to pinpoint what foods are troubling me and what are not. I recently went on two month long candida diet to battle a candida overgrowth in my gut, which I got under control. YAY! But right after this I fell back into old eating habits. I also had a small surgery that left me pretty inactive for two months and wreaked havoc on my stress levels and emotion (equalling an increase of "comfort foods") My eating habits are not as bad as I use to be, there has been some progress, but definitely still in the bad-for-my-gut zone. My digestion has been a mess. I've been struggling with my digestion for so long and have fallen off the horse so many times. I've never had anything be such a struggle before and have a history of being hard on myself about it. (Even quitting smoking wasn't this challenging.) I've also been afraid to be open about how often I've had to get back on the horse. Didn't want to sounds like a broken record or that I was looking for pity on something I was unwilling to correct. Well, no more! Feeling guilty, beating myself up, and hiding are only getting in my way. I'm kicking them to the curb! I've started tracking my diet and symptoms again. I've also started to slowly cut out possible irritants to see how it affects me. I've made huge changes in my diet before with some success, but nothing has been conclusive. I am accepting that this may not be something I can tackle all at once, but that it is a slow and steady process of regaining my health. I'm glad to have this forum here. Thank you for reading my respawning rant!