Weight Loss – Fibro Style

I wrote this as a response to another Fibro parent (so very small changes to make it work for blogging). But I’ve had this discussion with so many friends, family and strangers that asked how I lost all the weight. 

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Finally able to help with community projects

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I’m 5’1” and was 185 at my heaviest and couldn’t lose it after baby two.  I totally totally get it. It took 3 years to get all of it off but I’ve now maintained 125 for a full year and a half and that includes pregnancy #3.  And we’re on food assistance so I get that part too.  To top it off I’m super picky so a lot of options juicing or special diet options just aren’t applicable. 

First and foremost. Only use a salad plate and salad fork. Leave space between your foods so you see some plate. Make sure you can still see plate. If you get full or start feeling full, put away the rest for later. Don’t finish it because it’s on your plate. 

I don’t recommend actually dieting. Just portion control. And easy exercise. I make lots of casseroles because boys eat a lot. Like a lot a lot. 🙂 Use real butter. Your body processes it better. In the afternoon have a small snack of cheese and crackers, fruit, popcorn or a granola bar. Not a lot but enough to keep your metabolism going and your cravings away. If you want sweet but don’t want fruits then snack on a bowl of lightly sweetened cereal like honeycomb or golden grahams. And the next most important thing of all is ICE WATER!! Lots of it! Try not to have more than 2 cans (24 oz) of soda a day and if you’re a froufrou coffee drinker, work on cutting back on those or at least how froufrou they are. 


If you have kids, find a close park to walk to or a place that you can enjoy easy walks to. Every night during the summer and as many good days during the rest of the year I walked 1/2 mile to the park then 1/2 miles home. I mostly sat on the bench while the boys played. Now I’m able to play a bit more. 

You can totally do it. Do it slow and steady. It’s easier to keep off. And you’re going to feel so much better!

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How Archery Saved My Life

I’ve been MIA on here lately. A big part of that is my depression, being busy, and being overwhelmed that it’s been so long since I last posted. I think I got it in my head that every post needed to be perfect. That blogs have to be done just so. But then it wouldn’t ​be mine. My life isn’t just so. So I’m back. Hopefully consistently. 

My life isn’t just so. A lot of people with chronic illness and especially those who got it later in life have a very hard time coming to terms with life not turning out even slightly as one thought it would. Archery saved my life.  Not in the terms of keeping me from killing myself or dying, those belong to my dog, husband and children in that order over the years. But growing up I did everything. My parents are active people, we went camping, fishing, hiking, swimming. We did it. Growing up then as a teen even more was added by doing new things and things with friends: backpacking, mountain biking, snowboarding, 4 wheeling, mudding, dirt biking, horseback riding, road trips, volleyball, softball, canoeing, tubing, white water rafting. I’ve done so much. And I won’t regret it. But realizing slowly over the years that those things that I loved, that in a way defined me was hurting me that night, the next day, when I finally stopped…. Then the pain set in. 

I gained weight. I let my migraines, back problems and fibro tell me I couldn’t, can’t, do that anymore. I tried to fill it with other things but I felt empty. I felt defeated. All I could do was walk my kids to the park or drive them and that’s it. I wouldn’t be the mom who got to show them the world. Show them all the amazing things that I got to do. Then my dad showed me his recurve bow. We started talking about Archery. He tried to show me as a kid, but at the time I preferred my dolls and dress up. In trying to find out how to fill my emptiness I had delved into my ancestry and heritage. I found so much strength from my ancestors, the knowledge that they survived far worse because they were strong, because they were Vikings and being strong was their only option. So I had this fascination with the traditional and when he pulled out a traditional self bow (a type of long bow) and said “here, this should be a good weight for you, let’s try” I had to try. And I was okay at it! I felt connected. Connected to my ancestors and heritage. Connected to my past active self. Connected to my father (that’s a story I’m not ready to tell yet). 

Archery uses muscles but doesn’t pound the body. Mild exercise is good for fibromyalgia. Using those shoulder and “angel wing” muscles is good support and strengthening for the neck muscles causing migraines. I feel powerful. I feel beautiful (except when my dad takes pictures, his timing always makes me look terrible). When we do shoots, the hikes are fairly easy. And I never have to tell people I need a rest because we stop at every target! Because my parents have accepted my fibro, they understand if I can’t go up and back to retrieve the arrows. If I’m feeling good them I do, if I’m getting worn out I wait at the shooting stake. If Brent can’t join us, then Papa will pack Findlay around…………. IF Findlay allows it. If not I pack him, or mum will. Or we switch off holding bows and baby between shots!
Then with camping my mum helps with the meals and clean up. Everyone helps with the boys. At the Western States Traditional Rendezvous, Findlay wasn’t feeling well and would not sleep despite everything I tried. I hear mum outside my tent “can we take him for a drive?” My parents drive around for 5 hours so I could stay with the other two and get some sleep because they know my body won’t function if I don’t get some rest when I push it for these weekends. My body still gets mad at me for pushing it, but not to the point where my family tells me I’m done doing that (like mudding, snowboarding, dirt biking, horseback riding etc)
 

I don’t hit everything. But I’m getting better. Mostly though, I’ve found something that makes me feel normal, feel alive, feel like I’ve got a tiny bit of me still.

What makes you feel normal, empowered, beautiful, alive? I’d love to hear in the comments. 

Black Bean Chicken Tacos

Easy meals are a must when you’ve got kids and a body that doesn’t always cooperate. If you haven’t noticed from recipes like my Creamy Ranch Chicken, my kids love ranch. They’ll eat just about anything if you give them ranch.

Here’s an easy meal that everyone loves, including the baby, and even better it’s pretty healthy. I typically use leftover chicken, even leftover turkey works well. Of course if I’m making this for guests I will grill up chicken fresh.

Black Bean Chicken Tacos

  • 1lb Cooked Chicken (diced)

  • 1 can Black Beans

  • Ranch Dressing

  • Shredded cheese

  • (Optional) Cooked Rice, lettuce, tomato, onion

  • Tortillas

Directions: Spread some ranch on the tortilla, add chicken, black beans and cheese. Build the rest of taco to your preference. Microwave and enjoy!

Dear Insurance Company…

Dear Insurance Company.

All I’m asking for is a real pain management program and treatment.

I’m not asking to be a druggie. I’m not asking for much.

I have tried all those medications for depression that you think will help the pain.

I have tried every supplement that doctors, health coaches, other patients, supplement companies and random people have recommended.

I have tried so many varying diets that are supposed to help pain, migraines and inflammation.

I have tried every over the counter medication that might possibly work….. multiple times. So many times that ibuprofen under 800mg and any acetaminophen don’t work at all, that even Aleve and aspirin now cause GI upset.

I do stretching and yoga.

I do meditation.

I do Acupuncture and Physical Therapy.

I push my body beyond what is practical and beneficial simply so I can lead as normal of a life as possible.

I ask you to tell your children they can’t turn on lights or open the blinds in the house because you have a migraine….again.

Tell your children they can’t go outside because you can’t have the windows open to listen to them or sit out with them because it’s too cold and too bright.

Tell your children you can’t walk 5 blocks to the park because your back hurts too much.

Tell your children you can’t tickle them because it hurts you too much.

Tell your children they can’t talk or make noise because of your migraine.

Tell your 7 yr old child to watch his 1 year old little brother because if you stand up you’ll throw up from pain.

Tell your children they can’t hug you or sit on your lap for story time because it hurts too much.

Tell your children you can’t take them to indoor play places because the noise and fluorescent lighting triggers migraines (if you don’t already have one).

Tell your children they can’t invite friends over because their friends are too noisy because they weren’t raised with a migraine parent.

Do your children under 7 years old know how to completely load and unload the dishwasher, do laundry start to finish or make themselves breakfast and lunch because standing causes your feet to lose feeling and makes you lightheaded from the pain?

On your good day, try not to feel like a terrible parent when your child get exuberantly happy because you are making “real breakfast!”

Stop treating me like I’m a drug seeker. My pain won’t ever go away. Never. It’s called permanent chronic pain because it’s always there. Always. I don’t want to be so medicated I can’t enjoy my children’s moments and childhood. I just need the pain managed to I can be their mom. So I can be the wife who is a partner to my husband. So I can help take care of my failing grandmother instead of her taking care of me because I’m worse off. So I can be me. I’m not asking to climb mountains. To run marathons. Just manage day to day pain without saying no to almost everything. Without crying myself to sleep because my body hurts… if I can sleep.Thanks,

Me 

Fearing the future

Days like today make me fear the future. Haven’t had a bad migraine in about a week, just little ones that meds easy took care of, then today a L9 migraine with all the symptoms except vomiting. If the migraine itself wasn’t bad enough it triggered a fibro flare. Every inch of my body hurts on a level that I can’t even describe. Then because the weather won’t decide what it’s doing my arthritis is flaring. My fear comes from older people telling me it only gets worse. How am I going to be a good wife, mother, friend, family member if the pain gets worse? Today just to survive I took migraine and pain medication 3 times. Just so I could function on a minimum level, not function well, not even hide it, just get out of bed and do what I had to. 
But then a small part of me says you will get used to it. You’ve gotten used to the daily migraines and fibro enough that most people don’t even know. I’ll get used to it. Such is life and then you die.

Anxiety is like a cheese grater…

Scraping away at my skin from the inside like some alien force that I just have to get out. Any time I have a panic attack it digs in. Just scraping me raw, making me itch. Not just itch but the need to peel flesh from my body to get it to stop. 

Years ago when my anxiety started I would hyperventilate, but people noticed that which drew too much unwanted attention. I learned to mostly control that symptom so my body internalized it. No one noticed the thumb scratching away at my hand or arm as I escaped the crowds. But anxiety comes for various reasons, the more intense the more I had to get it out. 

I’ve tried cutting it out with knives. Dont worry, no pictures of that.  Works to distract and calm the intense itching at the time but leaves marks on you body that people ask about. Then leave scars as reminders of how I couldn’t control my anxiety. How I couldn’t be like most people and just deal with it.

I saw a post on Tumblr a couple years ago about using a sharpie or marker (NOT a pen) to draw on oneself instead of cutting. I’m not much of a doodler so I wrote the litany of things I was telling myself in an attempt to calm the panic attack. It kept me from scratching. It kept me from bleeding.

Unfortunately, panic attacks don’t choose convenient times or places. They don’t wait for you to have a sharpie woth you. They come with a blink of an eye, whatever triggered them. Doesn’t have to be rational to trigger the attacks. And then I start scratching. I scratch until I bleed all the while screaming in my head to stop. It just won’t go away. 

Life will settle, my skin will heal, and I will continue looking for healthier ways to deal with the alien cheese grater that shreds my body.

World falling down

How do you write a blog when your world is falling down? While you’re just trying to survive this storm? Trying to glue the pieces back together?

Round 2 of Botox isn’t working yet. I’ll keep you updated on that.

The boys are once again sick. I don’t know what’s going on this year but they barely seem to recover before they fall prey to another virus.

My husband lost his job, thankfully taxes came st the same time but we had plans for them and it didn’t include bills.

And the big whammy. Sex is painful, it always has been but it’s something I know my husband needs. Well, it’s not enough. Through various what do we do nows, a mistress or open relationship was suggested and he grabbed on to it. In theory I’m ok with it. I get it. I’m also more old world than most so logically I get it. But my heart isn’t making the transition easy. Cue major panic attacks, bleeding legs, sleepless nights and my body is in absolute hell. But… I am Viking, and I will bend and move with the storm like any Viking longship.

 I promise more detailed posts about each of these various things but right now I just can’t.