Monday, November 9, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

Wow. Ok, so I was awarded my FIRST award and it is a really meaningful one! Healthy Loser Gal nominated me and said: "You inspire me with your blog and your day to day successes." A huge part of what makes me feel successful everyday is knowing that other bloggers and other women in general are right there with me journeying through health, weight and fitness and making it, women like Healthy Loser Gal. She is on an amazing journey so check out her blog. And follow on twitter too-- she's great fun!

The Rules:

1. “The Honest Scrap” award must be shared!
2. The recipient has to tell 10 true things about themselves.
3. The recipient has to pass along this prestigious award to 10 more bloggers.
4. Those 10 bloggers all have to be notified they have been given this award.
5. Those 10 bloggers should link back to the blog that awarded them.

1) I am afraid of deep water. By deep water I mean the ocean, lake superior and the deep end of the pool. I think this goes back to when I was little we visited the ocean in Florida. I sat in the sand, right at the end of the tide and watched my Dad and Brother out in the ocean walking and playing. I was convinced that they were going to drop off the continental shelf any minute and they'd be goners. I got so much sand in my suit.

2) I love all kinds of music. I think one of the greatest albums ever is The Monkee's Headquarters, one of my top five recording artists is John Denver, I have body surfed at Metallica, danced alone barefoot at Dressy Bessy, met the christian rock heavies Petra and been to 4 Ani Difranco concerts and 4 New Kids on the Block concerts. Hearing Journey causes adrenaline to pump through my body, and at least 25 % of my music is lounge like Sinatra and his contemporaries, but I can't stop listening to 80's music, particularly Ice, Ice Baby.

3) I am not too far off from being a crazy cat lady. I have had 5 cats in my lifetime, one of which I only had for 2 days before I called the woman I got her from and said "You have to take this cat back." She asked, "Did you take the black one or the CRAZY one." Which do you think lady? If I had a house or even an extra room, I would get a baby kittie and prolly a dog of some kind. I would really like a brindled great dane & name him Jules, after Jules Winfield from Pulp Fiction.


4) Less than a year ago a co-worker told me I should start a blog and I said "No way, I'm not going to start a blog!" And proceeded to run down a huge list of reasons why I wouldn't. Now, not only have I started one, but I LOVE it, it makes me feel connected to myself, my fitness and to my writing. I have so much fun doing it and I love all the great people I have met! There are so many amazing men and women blogging, it really is humbling to be a thread in the tapestry.

5) I am growing my hair long for three reasons: 1) for when I get married someday and I can be a long haired polyester bride 2) so I can wear 2 long braids flapping behind me as I drive, in a leather top, on a motorcycle someday. Ahem. And finally 3) so when I am sick of long, I can get it dreaded and then bounce around the room for 20 min with my BOINGY new hair.

6) I knit. I have made hats, scarves, mittens, one sock, one full sweater and one that is 3/4 of the way done! I used to meet with a knit group every week to get together and knit, eat and chat. It was a wonderful time to just be with other creative women! When I started all my work was a backwards jumbled mess and I am proud and happy to say that I can knit, even hard things like cables:

7) My Bachelors degree is in English Literature and Biblical Studies. I switched my major from English Ed because I didn't want to get up for 8 am School Health and Drug. I was a wee bit short sighted. All my profs told me I should be a writing major, but I said no, because if I was a lit major, my writing would improve by reading great writers. Someday I will get my MFA in Creative Writing.

8) The first 2 miles are the hardest. For me, the first two miles of a run, any run are the hardest. They can easily be my slowest, I always want to stop and walk, I wonder why I am out there. Something about the first two miles is very hard for me. Looking back in high school, it was no wonder I didn't LOVE running the way I do now. My cross country race was 2 miles! Racing was always felt so tough and defeating and I often didn't give it my all in practice because of that. I wish I would have know the JOY of the 6-10 miles!!

9) I would LOVE to be a swinging stay at home Mom someday. I have enough energy, ideas and love to rear and mold at least 5 little mini Mary's--scared?? :) I have a lot of great plans, hopes and dreams, but am really looking forward to being the fun Mom who teaches her kids fun important things, takes them on exciting and exotic field trips to Cub foods and is generally the awesomest Ma I can be. Now...for the right guy... hopefully one who will put up with my bad taste in music.


10) Water is a daily and weekly struggle for me. I give myself until noon everyday to drink as much coffee as I want and then I switch over to water. Usually I have to drink some mineral water or carbonated flavored water to ease into it. Somedays I don't make it and have MORE coffee in the afternoon, then I end up chugging water in the late afternoon and evening and am up all night with trips to the bathroom! Egads!! On a good day I drink between 65-80 ounces of water. When I am working out I will aim for 90-100 and I won't talk about the bad days.

Thanks for reading and letting me indulge! Thanks again to Healthy Loser Gal for the award and for giving me this chance!!

Fibromyalgia and natural care

As I mentioned in a post last week, my Mother has Fibromyalgia. When I wrote that, I realized that it was a post all to itself because of the nature of the condition and the way my Mom is specifically treating it: Naturally.

Fibromyalgia is categorized as a rheumatologic condition that primarily affects one’s muscles. It is distinguished by chronic widespread pain in specific areas, fatigue, sleep disturbances, heightened sensitivity & irritable bowel syndrome.It affects three point four percent of women and point five percent of men and a total of ten million Americans overall.

Drugs ranging from Tylenol, anti-depressants, sleep aids and general anti-inflammatory medications have been used in attempting to aid in or reduce the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, there is even a new drug specifically for it, but with all the side effects as well (nausea, headache, constipation, vomiting etc.) Who wants that!!

But isn't there a way to reduce the severity of the symptoms naturally? Yes, there is and my Mom is living proof! A bit more about it quick:

Because no laboratory test can confirm FMS and many of the signs of fibromyalgia are similar to other diseases, FMS can be difficult to pinpoint. At one time, it was thought to be psychosomatic but discoveries about it have dispelled that theory and now speculation is that FMS is a “constellation of dysfunctional biological responses to stress”. STRESS? Yes.

Think about it.

Trauma, sleep disorders, depression--these can all be associated with stress and can cause even more problems if unchecked. Sleep disorders can be triggers of FMS as well as a symptom. Depression and low seratonin levels have been shown to contribute to people experiencing poor sleep patterns and there have been studies connecting inadequate sleep and muscle damage (or in this case wide spread muscle pain).

Aside from reducing stress and eliminating certain triggers from your life there are many aspects of self-care that you can do, that my Mom did to control her FMS so it doesn't control her. She takes vitamins and supplements on a daily basis. Pills such as Omega-3 fish oil for her joints and Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) for her bones.

She has cut her sugar and processed food intake and has introduced healthy fats like coconut, olive oil and nuts. These changes in diet have been shown to ease the muscle stiffness and increase the quality of sleep.

Regular relaxation when tired or in pain and being in a state of mild continuous motion has been shown to help ease the pain (sounds like active rest to me!!). Many sufferers feel increased pain when under stress and we KNOW regular exercise will help that!! When Mom is experiencing pain, she will go for a walk and by the time she is home, the pain is gone or considerably better. She pushes through knowing it will work.

Alternative medicine such as chiropractic, massage therapy & acupuncture are all suggested treatments and my Mom says she would not be able to function without regular visits to her chiropractor.

The key to all of the care is to minimize the symptoms and improve the patient’s general health. With the list of negative side affects on prescription drugs for FMS and so many other conditions, it seems it may help the condition at the cost of the overall general health.

Adequate sleep, healthy diet, supplements, chiropractic care, exercise & mild movement can counteract the issues that aggravate fibromyalgia these things are within our control! It is able to be managed naturally and it is encouraging to see my Mom's success. She has been managing it this way for almost 7 years and although it is a daily struggle, she is coming out on top. She's a trooper, naturally.

This post is part of "Prevention not Prescriptions" at The Kathleen Show blog. You can visit the blog and contribute Here! Happy, healthy Monday!

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