Monthly Archives: December 2014

THIS WEEK IN WALKING

Here are my stats and amazingly they look just like last week’s exepct that I didn’t walk as many floors this week as I did last week. I was staying on level groung this week instead.  I put in a lot of yoga this week since I had the last 10 days off so I wished it was more but you should see my Triangle (Trikonasana)

Total steps = 85,019

Average daily steps = 12,146

Miles walked = 32.6

Average number of floors climbed = 97

 

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TIME FOR CHANGE

As we move out of this year and say good-bye to all the good times, bad times, and just times we prepare to say hello to the New Year we find ourselves making New Year resolutions.  Some we will keep and some we will try our very best and still not meet the expectation.  How do we make these New Year’s resolutions stick?  I must admit I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but I set goals and I have found to make the goals meaningful and give it a real purpose so when I’m struggling to meet my goal, or just begin my goal I can look back at the intention for that particular goal.  I have also learned recently that it takes 21 days to change a habit but 66 days to make it automatic without thought and just part of your life’s routine.  Keep that in mind with whatever goal or resolution you set and make sure you stick with it long enough for it to first be a habit and second to become automatic.

I am setting the intention for daily meditation.  I have been doing a lot of research and now with my yoga practice it has become even more important.  Some might argue that meditation is just second to sleep on the scale of most important daily routines.  This is a practice just like yoga and one must start out slowly and deliberately in order to reap the benefits of the quiet mind.  I started a few weeks ago and only for 2 minutes.  You will hear people say everyone has 2 minutes and that is true but everyone only has 2 minutes to do things they want to do.  Even finding 2 minutes for mediation if it is not engrained in your routine is difficult so I have chosen to meditate the same time every day so it becomes automatic in my life routine.

I have however graduated to 5 minutes and will increase little by little until I feel I have reached my divine time.  I don’t know how long or how long it will take to get there but making this part of my day is just becoming what I do like getting up and going for walk, or getting up and going to my spin class.  I am truly at my best first thing in the morning so my perfect mediation time is right before getting into the shower.  I know I will shower every day no matter what because I have been doing it my entire life and therefore before I do I give myself that time for mediation.  This also means I don’t rush getting ready and therefore it slows down my entire day.  It seems like a minor change but it has been really beneficial for me in many ways.  At this point it is just becoming a habit but it will become automatic and although act of meditation might be automatic the actual meditation is a true practice.

Meditation is teaching me to quiet my mind, while also teaching me to be with my thoughts for a period of time.  The idea is not to wipe away all thoughts but allow them in and let them go.  Yoga is a sequence of postures to build strength in the body so that we can sit for a long time with our own thoughts.  That is very difficult for some people and as you look around at people walking by themselves are they really by themselves or are they on their phones?  Can two people walk side by side without a saying a word and just enjoy each other’s company? Many cannot.  Is it possible to go to a restaurant by yourself and enjoy an incredible meal?  Some find that act very scary and others who see you sitting there feel bad for you.  What if you just feel good in your own skin, know you are a good person, and enjoy your own company?  I say congratulations to you.  If you aren’t there yet perhaps spending a few minutes completely by yourself with your thoughts and in your body might help you find the comfort for those very things.

Final thought, choose meaningful goals or New Year’s resolutions and give it 21 days to form the habit and 66 to make them automatic and enjoy what the New Year has to offer.

TIS THE SEASON FOR STRESS

First things first, here are my weekly Fitbit stats.

Total steps week = 88,338

Average daily steps = 12,620

Miles walked = 33.78

Average number of floors climbed = 130

On with the stress. Everyone looks forward to spending the holidays with loved ones, sharing food, laughing over drinks, spreading the cheer and engaging in the stories but when we are out and about it seems as though everyone is stressed.  More than just stressed they also seem incredibly tired and completely worn thin.  This is the season when we do way too much and somehow completely forget how to say no.  I bring this up because for the readers with MCTD you only have so much energy to give on any particular day so finding extra energy can be really difficult.  I know from experience that it is very hard to say no to one more get together, one more fire side chat, one more “this is really important” dinner with either friends or family and one more “I could really use your help shopping” so give yourself permission to say no.

No one wants to disappoint people on any given day but certainly no one wants to disappoint our loved ones during this season.  They have been there for you and helped you through some really challenging, scary, tough times so you feel as though you want to thank them and by doing so you end up doing too much.  Remember these very people that were there during your challenging times also realize that your bodies run out of energy very quickly and not putting yourself first could end you up very tired or even in bed with a flare.

I’m not saying use your MCTD as an excuse, but I do think that putting yourself above all others for a few moments each day to assess how are you feeling on this day, what kind of energy do you have, how much do you really have to do and how much can you actually do are very important questions to ask.

I have been living with and managing MCTD for 11 years and still after all this time I have to pick and choose the important times and yes there are times when I run myself into the ground but getting back up takes me a little bit longer so there are consequences for those actions.  My family is the last group of people who want to see me stressed, over tired and just making it through the day so they are also the first ones to give me the break of not participating and staying home to rest.  The rest of the world doesn’t even see me with an illness most of the time so when I tell them no I see the perplexed looked on their faces but I have nothing to explain or defend.

Getting to a place in your life when you can truly own your decisions and feel good about the decisions you make is unbelievable and it didn’t come to me over night. It came to with each flare and each recovery.  Although my base line is different and my endurance is better I still feel fatigue and when I do I have no one to blame but myself for not reading the signs and listening to my body the way I should.  I am going to get through this season, all the crazy hours, eating, drinking, song singing flare-up free but only because I have found my active listening skills and really worked to listen to my body and know when it is time to say No.  We believe we may miss something, but if you are in bed with a flare you are 100% certain to miss something.  Keep yourself well, forgive yourself if you over-do it and send yourself compassion if you do flare.  With each flare and recovery you will find the skills needed to read the signs and react in a way that helps your body.

The season is supposed to be fun so try to keep the stress of it down to a low roar.  Happy Holidays.

SURPRISED MYSELF

I surprised myself when I got my fitbit stats. There were some days I kept thinking that I didn’t pick a very good time to try and get people motivated or myself motivated by registering my steps on my blog. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking which does not register steps (although how wonderful if it would) and even more time than usual on my yoga mat. We are in the process of learning sequencing so I had to spend a lot of time figuring out what that all means to me and my practice. The great thing is that my numbers this week are not that far off from last week.

 

Just getting around and participating in life the steps add up so if you are feeling like this holiday season is taking over, making you exhausted and you feel like you might not be at your best, just remember you might even surprise yourself and find you are doing just fine.

Total steps week = 85024

Average daily steps = 12,146

Miles walked = 32.56

Average number of floors climbed = 136

 

Nicole

THIS WEEK WALKING

In my last post I indicated that I would share my fitbit results with everyone and I thought this was going to happening automatically but as it turns out I truly am technology inept.  I am however very capable of giving the stats myself and will do so on Sunday’s so this blog is for my walking through this past Sunday and will update weekly with my new stats each week.

 

Total steps week of Dec 7 = 87,771

Average daily steps =  12,538

Miles walked = 33.57

Average number of floors climbed = 108

Everyone keep on walking and just moving as much as you can with no pressure or judgment on the days you can’t.

FITBIT SHARING

I thought it might be fun to share my weekly fitbit steps and if anyone is counting their steps you are more than welcome to share as well.  As life gets busy and we forget about the simple things, just making sure to take 10k steps every day is a simple way to ward off stress, keep limber and stay healthy.  I do realize that some of you may not be getting 10k steps and that is ok too, you are where you are at the present moment.  This e-mail will meet each and every one of you right where you are.  There is no competition, it is strictly sharing our journey together.

I am putting many hours on my yoga mat so I do not have rock star steps these days and have opted to take a break from friendly challenges so I can concentrate on my yoga practice but that doesn’t mean I’m not moving.  I still try very hard to get in my 10K but you will see there are days I don’t manage to do that and that is ok.  Life is about the journey we are on, my journey takes me several places but I accept where I am every day.  Some days I wish I were able to do more but many days I’m very content where I am.  I am willing to share and open to having any of you share as well.