Monthly Archives: July 2013

DAY 23 OF CHALLENGE

On this day of my challenge I was feeling pretty good and could say I was well rested. We discussed the fact that I needed a little nephew time and although because of my mood swings and bouts of being irritable I was keeping my distance but seeing him for short amounts of time to stay connected. My sister-in-law needed a little help so we took him for the day. My mother loves to spend time with her daughter and grandson so she helped me with him and I kept all my emotions in check and had a wonderful day. When this little boy laughs he does it from his belly and it is completely contagious. I forgot how beautiful the sound of a child laughing can be. His laughter not only filled my home but my heart and I really needed that. There is nothing he can do that upsets especially at this age so my fear is unwarranted. We spent the day running around and playing and he helped Auntie achieve 17894 steps. In my dark moments I need to remember that there are these bright lovely moments tucked inside special people, special moments and special days.

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DAY 22 OF CHALLENGE

Things seem to come in 3 and my exposure to Paleo is one of those things. First exposure, I had a reader write and tell me that she started the Paleo diet after reading my blog and it not only helped her MCTD symptoms but her menopausal symptoms. Exposure number 2 was running into a yoga friend who has started something similar to the Paleo diet but no name attached to it, and here is exposure number 3. My husband and I were invited to a party this weekend and we decided to go. I have been a bit of a recluse while I try and figure this stuff out and since I haven’t been feeling great and a bit moody it is better if I limit my exposure to people unless I truly have to which is every day when I go to work and I work in sales. As you can imagine I don’t have a lot of tolerance and energy to put on the happy face after doing so all week but we did it. I mention this because if you feel bad for whatever reason, MCTD, menopausal, just because, sometimes getting out there and being exposed to people can make you feel better.
We don’t always have the strength for putting on the face, but if you do have the strength do it. Pick your times wisely and then get out and have fun. This is exactly what we did and went to a pool party. As we were chatting with everyone someone mentioned they were doing the, you guessed it, Paleo diet. My husband’s ears perked first and said let’s go over and listen. This woman was fairly new to the concept but was so excited about it and how good she felt and even going to pool parties didn’t slow her down because there is always things there for her to eat. She was so excited about her new lifestyle and honestly her excitement was contagious to me.
On our way home I said to my husband I’m ready to start again. Go strict Paleo and really incorporate this back into our lives. He looked at me and said, this never left our lives it just changed a bit and isn’t that really what a lifestyle is? We eat protein and vegetables every day and although I have loosened up with some grains we still don’t eat breads, pastas and rice. We added oatmeal to our regime and that is not to be scolded over. We do need to drop the sweets but with my mini challenges I’m working well towards that goal and lastly is dairy. Most strict Paleo take it completely out but I have always chosen to keep some in my diet except for yogurt. I like yogurt but the sugar is high so I stick with cottage cheese and other cheeses. I’m still playing with the dairy idea and haven’t decided exactly how I’m treating that going forward. I never stopped listening to my Paleo podcast and my exercise reflects the Paleo lifestyle with my walking, yoga, weight training and 30 minutes of intense exercise which can be cross fit or sprinting. These days it is mostly walking and yoga though.
As I start to rethink things in my life and re-explore old habits I’m ready to take back on the Paleo lifestyle, but I have to finish this challenge in the meantime so on this day I walked 14089 steps.

DAY 21 OF CHALLENGE

On this day of my challenge I start again fresh, still restless night but not nearly as bad so I’m able to get up and walk. I start with first fresh air and again this is a Bikram day so I head to the studio. One of my yoga ladies is there that I have not seen in a very long time and she looks amazing. We all want to know where she has been and what she has been doing. As it turns out she started the Paleo diet (although she does not refer to it by that name) she is describing that she eats protein and vegetables. She has removed grains, legumes, fruit and dairy and turned to walking. She is working with her doctor on this and ran into a situation that is commonly known as carb flu, where when you start to remove certain carbs from your diet you really feel like you have the flu. Your body is adjusting to not having those moments in the day of blood sugar spikes, your body is adjusting to not burning sugar and your body is adjusting to detoxing these sugars out of the body, the result is feeling pretty crummy for several days to a week.
In that time it is best to ride it out, walk and drink lots of water. This is what she did but she also decided just to walk until your body started to adapt to the change. Some people lose their energy until the body learns to run on fat instead of sugar. Our brains need sugar but our body will make the amount of sugar it needs to function we don’t need to eat that amount. Our bodies don’t have to run on sugar although it looks to that fuel first and when it can’t find it it turns to fat but in the meantime some people find it hard to exert any real energy. She was in this state for a few weeks.
Once her body had learned to adapt she felt as though she was ready to come back to Bikram. Once you start Bikram and take a leave it can be hard to come back into the studio and find that balance in your practice. She experienced this as well and found her practice devastatingly hard. I must admit I have not seen her since. She looks marvelous and I hope that once she finds confidence in her strength with her new body she will be back, but I write about this because it seems as though the topic of Paleo is resurfacing for me and it might be a sign to take it seriously and get back to a strict Paleo lifestyle.
On this day I walked 12089 steps, this day was structured around actual time of exercise with Bikram thrown in the mix. I feel confident that when I make time to exercise I can reach my goal of at least 11K steps a day.

THE CHALLENGE OF FATIGUE

DAY 20 OF CHALLENGE
Not only do I do this blog but I journal every day. My daily journal is a way for me to keep track of flares, MCTD symptoms and triggers so I can share what is happening with my doctor. My journal has changed a bit as now not only do I write in journal about what is happening with MCTD but have added my menopausal symptoms as well. I wake up these days not knowing what kind of morning it will. Many nights are sleepless nights so I’m just exhausted and yet I still must function during the day. I have to be thankful for the fact that I do not have the dreaded hot flashes so what keeps me up at night are rushes of cortisol, tossing and turning, full brain syndrome.
I bring this up because on day 20 of my challenge I was so exhausted I did not walk this morning which is the first time in 20 days but I did go to Bikram and went to work. As much as I wanted to walk at lunch time I really needed to sit in the sun and read, so again I did not walk. I’m fortunate enough that my job allows me to keep moving so although I did not plug actual moments of designed exercise time I did walk 8066 steps. I didn’t check my body media that night or I would have probably just stepped myself to meet my challenge, or maybe not, on this day I was at a high level of fatigue all day and even my eboost didn’t help.
I’m really hoping to finish this challenge strong but as you can see I do have a couple of days where I didn’t meet the challenge. This is part of having a challenge, trying to meet the expectation, feeling good when I have achieved that and taking notice when I haven’t.

DAY 19 OF CHALLENGE

Every day I wake up I’m not sure what I’m waking up to, on day 19 of 31 I woke up feeling very stiff and sore. Where is this coming from? Is my body changing again and am I about to flare? I didn’t have a Bikram class this day so I did some indoor walking. When I was first diagnosed with MCTD I used Leslie Sansone’s indoor walking and I have many DVD’s to choose from so I chose an hour long one and just started moving my body. By the end of the hour the stiffness was gone and I was ready to start my day. I finished this day with 17089 steps even though I stared the morning in a rough spot. Also, I did not eat ice cream last night so I felt really good about that. However, I did have ½ a cookie today since they were home-made, extremely delicious and I just wanted it. I didn’t need more than my ½ and although it is sugar and gluten I was able to talk myself out of eating treats for a few days and gave in to a little treat today. Compromise is how this is going to work best for me.

DAY 18 OF CHALLENGE

My research as started and I’m currently reading a book called “The Menopause Makeover” by Staness Jonekos and she puts out an 8 step program for 12 weeks so in my last blog where I write about my small and achievable challenges that is coming from this book.  Eating clean is the number one thing to do and yet your brain turns on you so fast and makes you think if you don’t find a piece of chocolate soon the world could end.  I have read many books that say if it isn’t around you won’t eat and very few of us will actually go out of our way for treats. Really this is not true during this stage of life.  There was a time when sweets and goodies didn’t mean anything to me and if I wanted it I ate it and if I didn’t I didn’t think about it again.  Now someone can just say the word chocolate or pastry or ice cream and I literally think about it all day.

I had a weird craving for twizzlers of all things and actually took my lunch break to go get some.  This is unheard of for me and yes it has happened more than once so although I truly understand clean eating and know what it means my brain can make me think death is right around the corner unless I do something about it.  One brain game deserves another so that is what I’m doing now I’m playing brain games.  Yesterday I told myself just make it through the day and you can have a treat tomorrow. Last night my husband asked if I wanted any ice cream and I said no not tonight but I’ll have it tomorrow.  Well tomorrow is here so I have to deal with that.  My small achievable goals are to walk my 11K steps, take a walk at lunch time and eat no sugar products until tonight.  Today I’m just telling myself that I can have ice cream tonight when I’m done with dinner and hopefully mind trick myself out of that when it arrives.  The days are long and weird cravings can consume them.  I have also started to add some cleaner grains and legumes back into my diet so that my body doesn’t feel entirely deprived and maybe will ease off the mental cravings.

In Day 18 of my challenge I walked 17089 steps which was pretty high for this day but it felt good and when I keep moving it seems to help with many aspects. Going back to basics and just walking is therapeutic and the fresh air is lovely so on days when I don’t do Bikram and I just walk those days are nice too.

DAY 17 OF CHALLENGE

On this morning of my challenge I got up early mainly because I just wasn’t sleeping and went out walking.  I ended up walking 15056 steps this day and with first fresh air it felt good.  I didn’t do any yoga today but I’m really missing weight training.  I miss the Cross Fit too but if I could add one more thing into my mix it would be weight training.  I did do a few reps of lighter weights and didn’t seem to have residual side effects of fatigue from it so I might add it back in.  The idea is to take things out and see what I can put back in.  Walking and yoga are great for the mind but nothing for the strength of my body.  Also I’m in the mind frame that more is better not less, which I need to change I know but change comes slow.

This day I was feeling very moody and very forgetful. I have resided myself to writing down everything that is important or even slightly important and using my note pad to keep me on track.  No one seems to notice or even care so I keep a note pad with me and write down what I need.  It is challenging to be so forgetful but this will pass once I have the right combination of medications.

I’m on the hunt for a new rheumatologist since I fired mine and I really do need some medical guidance in my autoimmune life so I have instructed the help of others who might know someone close by and perhaps I need a woman this time that would be more understanding and able to help me when I’m silently screaming for help.  Speaking of help I’m going back to basics to see if I can help myself. I remember when I was first diagnosed with MCTD and had to take it one step at a time, one goal at a time, one achievement at a time.  I’m back at that place, for different reasons but same concept.  On this day I made my goals easy and achievable. Walk 11K which I did and eat no sugar products what so ever no matter how hard or loud the cravings get.  I kept telling myself you can eat all the sugar you want tomorrow.  Just one day and back to sugar tomorrow if you hold off today and it worked.