Monday, March 3, 2014

What is Fibromyalgia?

  1. 1.
    a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localized areas.

That is the dictionary's definition. My definition is a living thing. It's relentless fatigue, that can make getting out of bed virtually impossible. It's "fibro fog", which is like trying to think while buried in sand. It's pain, that when it's bad, wearing a shirt is excruciating. It's about learning to live with limitations, so that the pain and fatigue are manageable. Instead of being able to accomplish many different tasks throughout the day, you pick one or two that are most important. Then rest. 

It has taken many years to learn to live with fibromyalgia. I went through the many stages of grief when diagnosed. Anger, fear, depression, defeat and acceptance. You grieve for what you once could do. You're mad that you can no longer do those things. You become depressed. You become defeated. Then you finally accept your limitations. It is at that stage that you begin to heal. You learn to live fully within those limitations. You learn strategies for lessening the pain and the fatigue. They are constant companions so you must learn to live with them. I still have bad days, but I have learned to cope with them.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I showed up

Half way through my workout today, I realized something. I tend to get down on myself for not being able to do what the people on the video are doing. Then it dawned on me - I showed up. I'm doing what I can do while living with fibromyalgia. I will never be able to do what they do. And that's OK. On most days I can't even do a third of what they do. But I show up. And because I keep showing up, my pain is much less. My energy is more than it used to be. I am taking care of myself. That's what being healthy is all about. Making the right choices and taking care of yourself. Just show up. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Story

I had lived a relatively normal life for 38 years, until I was hit – by “the truck.”

The year was 2002. I’d been married for 10 years and was the mother of a three-year-old girl. I had recently been promoted to executive assistant for one of the top managers at an international corporation.

Life was pretty good. We liked to ride bikes, go hiking and take long trips on our vacations. Sure, I’d always struggled with my weight, needing to lose those last 5-10 pounds. But I was active, working out 5-6 days a week.

Then one day, seemingly out of the blue, came “the truck.” TWO trucks, actually. One named “chronic fatigue” and the other “fibromyalgia.” I woke up exhausted that day and haven’t been the same since. I ended up with no job and being miserable lying on the couch, because I didn’t have the strength or energy to do anything else. I gained almost 50 pounds.

Ahh, fibromyalgia, or just “fibro” to its victims. For the first year or more, the pain was intense, usually an 8 or 9 on a scale of 10. Fibro’s constant companion (or accomplice), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), made sure that I also had zero energy. Just getting dressed was a major accomplishment.

Over the past 12 years – yes, I turned the Big Five Oh –  I learned tricks to help manage my disease. Not cure it, there is no cure. Yet. These tricks help me feel better, unfortunately not great, not even normal. But definitely better.

 Food and fitness are the key. I’ve slowly managed to lose those extra 50 pounds, improve my overall health and increase my energy level.

Shakeology has helped improve my energy level and curb my cravings for sweets. The fitness programs have helped increase my fitness level, which has improved my overall health (measured by my annual blood tests).

I am grateful that I have found things to help improve my quality of life while living with CFS and fibromyalgia. I want to help other people achieve their fitness and health goals as well.

Transformation Story

I reached a point where I realized I’m always going to be exhausted and in pain. I was tired of what I saw in the mirror, terrified that I would develop heart disease and other ailments, so I decided to try to do something about it. I started walking on a treadmill slowly and using an elliptical. After a while I added light weights. Started watching my meal portions. Slowly the weight started coming off. Then I hit a plateau. Nothing I did on my own offered any improvement.

Thankfully, I saw a commercial for P90X3 on TV and decided “why not”. I liked that the workouts are only 30 minutes. I didn’t order the Shakeology because I figured it was a waste of money.  But I kept reading all the testimonials and I finally decided to try it since they have a money-back guarantee. Lo and behold, my energy increased. I may never be 100% again, but Shakeology has helped a lot!