Monthly Archives: January 2015

STEPS FOR THE WEEK

This past week I was focusing on other things such as my yoga so my steps are decent but did drop after coming off the last couple of weeks.

Total steps – 78,709

Average daily -11,244

Miles – 30.03

Floors – 109

This week will end up looking very similar to last week but either way I’m still getting at least the average of 10k per day which is really what I’m trying to do.  However, I only got in about 13K for the entire weekend so that will certainly show in next week’s numbers.

Keep making your own steps

Nicole

FINDING MY YIN

I very much look forward to Sunday mornings as I rise early get in a long walk and make my way up to the yoga studio for a demanding yet dynamic yoga flow.  This Sunday my yoga flow was accompanied by Yin yoga.  I love all types of yoga but have struggled with Yin on many occasions because it has been a standalone class in which I go in with a cold body, stressed mind and tight body.  This morning I had an hour of yoga flow in which we were going deep into lunges, triangles, flying lizards and with each demanding posture my body was heating up from the inside out preparing me for the next 90 minutes of Yin yoga.

With Yin yoga we only do a handful of postures but we stay in them for 5-10 minutes depending on the posture.  Staying in these postures we are dancing on our edges of deepness and melting into our hips and lower back.  These are not easy postures in fact they can be extremely demanding but the idea is to find that place of letting go and let the deepness sink into the connective tissue of the body. Think of the connective tissue as the protective layer around joints, bones, muscles and organs.  With MCTD our connective tissue is attacked by our immune systems leading to discomfort, stiffness, tightness and stress on muscles, joints, ligaments, bones and yes even internal organs.  Many times when our internal organs are affected we move out of the MCTD category into the Lupus category. I feel thankful that after 11 years I have stayed in the MCTD category and hope that my internal organs are never affected by my immune system but if there comes a day when they are I will manage that too.

When releasing postures in Yin yoga we do so slowly and there is an ache that follows the release of the posture.  You may be thinking that doesn’t sound all that great but after that ache comes this incredible release in the hips and the lower back and after a few minutes the body just feels like melting lava is running through the joints.  It really feels quite good and as long as you continue to breathe and test your edges without going too far you can find those places of opening.  I am looking forward to finding more Yin in my life but to do so when I’m warm. I practice a lot at home so after my flow when my body is warm and ready I am going to start to add some yin at the end of my practice before moving to savassana.  The experience, journey, and path of yoga has helped me so much to become in tune with my body and what it needs.  I used to think that I had to be moving all the time or I would stiffness up and I still believe that today but my moving has just slowed down a lot and where I was rushing from point A to point B, I’m now enjoying the journey from point A to point B.

WALKING STATS

Here are my weekly walking stats which turned out to be more of spinning stats than actually walking stats. I found some free time to hit more spin classes this week so the week looks really good from my point of view.

Total – 97,668

Daily average – 13,953

Miles – 37.37

Floors – 151

Hope you are all having successful weeks

Nicole

DETOX STRESS

We are a couple weeks into the New Year and you might find yourself saturated with the word detox. I know I am hearing that word in casual conversation, seeing posters about the newest detox, join the 14 day detox, people at the gym sipping on their juices because they are detoxing and when I hear this I don’t know what to think. As a society we spend the last part of the year abusing our bodies so we can detox them when the New Year starts. What does detox really do for the body? Is it possible that the detox itself can be stressful to the body? What constitutes a detox program and what really works? We are so focused on our goals which by the way is not a bad thing but are we willing to go to extremes and is that bad?

I bring this up because I was recently approached to try a detox program and here is my thought on the whole thing. By the way I am not looking to lose weight but like everyone I did a fair amount of abusing my body between Thanksgiving and New Year’s so my body could literally receive food at any moment without feeling hungry. In fact I laugh and say that I have not felt hunger since before Thanksgiving because there is so much food around during the holidays that I’m tasting something and never feeling hunger pangs. With that abuse comes the mind and body addiction associated with so much food and always eating. Not to mention that my sleep patterns had changed due to what I was eating and to be honest I don’t go off the rails that much but even a little can set me back.

So, on January 2 I had to make the decision to get back to regular eating and regular sleep in that order because once my eating was back to normal my sleep would follow. My exercise was a constant the whole time so I didn’t have to add that to my routine.

It only took a few days of clean eating for my sleep to go back to normal and actually make my workouts feel stronger again. My weight training sessions were stronger and my spinning was stronger. I spend a lot of time on my yoga mat but even my focus was better while I was there. Analyzing what it means to detox and looking at different programs, I did my own detox but without giving up any food. I know that many of the detox programs offer “enough calories” because you are drinking so much juice or other liquids but is that kind of detox un-necessary stress on the body? All of us are faced with stressors throughout our day and should we be adding a stress of very little food after gorging for so many weeks during the holidays? I don’t have the answers and I don’t use the word detox when I’m talking to people but I just say I got back on track right after the new year and everything is back to normal for me. At that point they can decipher what that means.

I don’t walk in anyone’s shoes but my own and each day I am trying to make my body a little stronger so I need to eat real food and honestly I eat a lot. I wouldn’t say that I have felt hunger pangs yet this year but I’m not in that constant mode of eating either. I fuel regularly and based on what my day has in store. If I know I’m going into a stressful day I try to not add that that stress by worrying about my food or lack thereof. I have cleaned my cupboards and anything I want to eat is suitable to me again. There will always be times when I will run up against temptations and wouldn’t be human if I didn’t but when I feel strong and see progress with my yoga practice and weight training abilities it sure makes those temptations less. Also those temptations have to be pretty special, but they will arise again.

You may be doing your own detox and actually feeling good so if that is the case than I urge you to do what feels right for you. If you are feeling stressed with your detox maybe rethink it as stress is a big trigger for MCTD flares and you don’t want to inadvertently cause a flare while “doing something good” for yourself. As the year moves forward it is important to take care of your mind and body and soothing your soul. Just a side note I am still meditating each and every day sometimes with success sometimes not. A reader suggested I try honest guys and I did. I would recommend them to others as well. I don’t use it regularly because I really like picking a song off of a CD and just getting lost in my breath and the music but if I need some help I will turn to them. The meditation is my 2015 commitment and one of my favorites. Every year I pick goals that require me to do more and this goal is unique in the fact that I do less. I just need to sit quietly by myself for a few minutes each day.

STATS FOR THE WEEK

I participated in a work week challenge this past week and needless to say my steps increased just a bit,  but so did my fatigue.  I still have to put in my hours on the mat and that cannot change regardless of how many challenges I participate in so I took the weekend off and just focused on my mat work. My steps fell from 14-15K steps per day to a total of 10K for the whole weekend.  All in all I it was a good week and when I was tired I recongized it and adjusted.

Total steps = 90,028

Average daily = 12,861

Miles = 34.43

Floors  = 191

 

I am participating in another work week hustle this week as well so we will see how next week looks and how I feel over the weekend.  As long as I rest when needed then I put forth the effort in these challenges.  Although they might seem silly it is a great way for many of us to have friendly competitions and get people up and moving.

Enjoy your week and step when it fits into your life.

Nicole

STICK WITH IT

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about sticking with your change, goal or resolution for 66 days in order for it be part of your new routine.  My change is to meditate each day and as of today I’m up to 8 minutes. Not very impressive for the fully committed meditators I’m sure but for me a huge accomplishment.  I started at 3 minutes and moved to 5 minutes and a couple of days tried my first 8 minute session. It was a crash and burn session in the fact that for whatever reason my mind did not want to be sitting on that bolster, against that wall, listening to those sounds, wiping out those thoughts for any length of time.  I started some negative talk and had to remove it immediately. I didn’t fail because I couldn’t sit there that day but I think I put too much expectation on myself to soon so I tried again this time with no expectation and found that quiet moment for 6 minutes.

The next day I went back to my space and 8 minutes seemed very doable and there was my graduation point into the 8 minute mark.  Once I make the commitment and do it each and every day at the same time it really does seem easier.  The thing to remember is that I don’t take a shower every day at the exact same time but I do take a shower every single day so the commitment is to meditate before taking that shower. This morning we talked a lot about meditation and the benefits in my yoga class and even though I was at the studio for 3 hours I still did my 8 minute meditation when I got home and before I got cleaned up.  I don’t know what will happen when I have to take multiple showers in a day but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to meditate multiple times a day, but who needs that pressure when you are just starting out? Not me, that is for sure.

My yoga instructor mentioned that she decided for one day to do 10, 1 minute meditation sessions throughout the day and she was telling us that it is really hard to meditate for even a minute during the day.  This was interesting because I had heard that we can all find 2 minutes a day to meditate but I don’t think it is that simple.  If there are 10 specific areas in which you know you will be meditating it might work but just finding 10 random times during the day seems very difficult.

During my work day I say to myself each and every day that today is the day that I will get up and stretch and get more water every hour.  I try to remember but my day moves quickly and I really get up and stretch when I need to and get water when I reach for my jar and it is empty.  I wish I was more mindful at work for the little things but I’m spending so time being mindful for the work things that I don’t have any more to give for the little things.  The little things matter just as much so as I get better at meditating and reducing stressors my belief and hope is that it will help me focus on the little things as well.  It is all about balance and although I have found some nice balance in some areas the other stuff will come.

I am fully expecting to find myself in more crash and burn sessions as I continue this endeavor for daily meditation but I just have to nice when I am struggling and allow the positive talk to be front and center and not allow any of the negative talk enter into the mix.  This is not a sprint and won’t be over quickly so sure I’ll fall but it just matters that I get back up and try again.

DO I DESERVE THIS?

We have successfully entered into the New Year pretty eventful-free and although 2014 was a good year for me I’m looking forward to what 2015 has to offer, hopefully full of flare-up free days and lots of great health. I have made the commitment to do regular PT sessions which I started back in the fall and carrying over into the New Year because I believe it helps with overall management even if they are not fixing any specific issue. There are always my blue fingers to focus on, natural tightness in my joints and working on the strength of my smaller joints like wrists, elbows or ankles.

I was at my weekly PT session last night and while I’m lying there having my energy manually manipulated my PT looks at me and says “contrary to what you may believe you do not deserve this?” Wow, where did that come from and how does someone process such words? I didn’t even know what she really meant so I had to ask her and she said that my energy was telling her that I believed I deserved this. I deserve what, taking care of myself by being here, or that I deserve MCTD? I needed clarification and she gave it to me. She is feeling in my body that I somehow think I deserve MCTD. She even asked me if someone told me I deserved such a disease. I had to passive-aggressively ignore her line of questioning while I wrapped my head around what she was saying.

On my way home the thought kept coming back to me that why would I ever believe I deserved this. Why would anyone believe they deserved any disease especially one that comes without a cure? I searched my inner soul to see if I can find the place in which she found that I actually believe this to be true. I even spoke to my husband when I got home and although we call my PT “voodoo” PT but none the less we both believe and especially I believe it works. This type of voodoo feeling energy that says I feel as though I deserve this doesn’t really work for me. I’m not saying she cannot feel weird things happening in my body but how would she ever be able to feel feelings? I believe I deserve a lot things but MCTD is not one of them.

I feel very good after my weekly sessions and will continue to do them but I will have to come up with a polite way to let her know that is not a topic of conversation I care to engage in. I have an open heart to many things and she did say that maybe I should meditate on it. Maybe I will.