Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fibromyalgia and the Gym: Things I've Noticed Besides People in Spandex.

I have passed the three month mark in my Experiment In Fitness. I started back at the gym in mid-February, and started seeing a naturopathic doctor about the same time. My trainer at the gym has kept me from hurting myself and my naturopathic doctor has supplemented me toward better energy. These are the things I have noticed:

At the gym I can now add light hand weights to my routines. I have better control of the movements my trainer guides me through. I now have to warm up at a faster pace on the treadmill than I did originally in order to start moving my heartrate up, and I've upped my pace on the treadmill altogether from 3 miles an hour to 3.3 miles an hour and added an incline to keep my heartrate in the workout zone. Doesn't sound like much, but it's a change in the right direction, right?

I sleep better and on less medication than I needed for a night's sleep than before. I wake up less groggy. I am better able to do sustained activity than I was previously. I don't see a huge difference, but my dear hubby says it's significant.

Due probably to both supplements and exercise, my flares have been minimal. Where previously I could expect one week out of 4 to be extra fibro-achy and difficult, I've had only a few days in the whole 3 months. This to me, a whiner from way back, is huge. I think it may be even huge-er to my family.

I believe the supplements have supported my efforts toward the exercise, and the exercise is supporting my efforts to take better care of myself. Slowly but surely, forward steps are being taken and small results are being seen.

One reason I started this trip down Supplement-and-Exercise Lane was the thought: In a year from now, what could be different about my health and fibromyalgia? A year will pass one way or the other, so why not DO something?

I've had a number of people tell me that either they or a friend had fibromyalgia "and one day it just went away." I'm not sure if that is intended to encourage me (it doesn't, by the way) but rather than wait around and hope for a cure by The-Raw-Foods-Diet/Prayer/Misdiagnosis or Magic, it seemed prudent to take some steps of my own. And what do you know? The steps are moving me forward.

Where I felt "stuck" in the quicksand of this thing called Fibromyalgia, I'm feeling a bit more in control. What is your area of "stuck-ness"? What choices could you make to improve some part of your life that otherwise will be just the same a year from now?

Skimmer's Recap: Julie finds no magic in her past 3 months, just some serious acts of the will--but finds them oddly satisfying. However, she does not anticipate wearing spandex any time soon. Or ever.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Memorials and Memories.

I sat listening to stories about a friend's father, being bathed in the loving laughter of those around me. They were good memories, strong memories, the kind to bring back out and savor when you need to smile. One told by my friend was of her childhood, of when her father would be ready to leave for church in the morning but the rest of the family wasn't. He would announce, "I will be leaving for church in two minutes and thirty-six seconds!" His exacting times to push the family out the door became an inside joke to those who knew him and loved him.

I also saw the tears of those who would now miss him, for we sat in pews of the church he'd attended for his memorial service. Memories of his strong faith in the God who created him and the ways he kept that faith strong were shared by those he had touched. He memorized scripture and sang hymns, and urged--maybe even nagged--those he loved to do the same. And they were going to miss it all.

I can't pretend to know what other people think, but being Queen Of The Navel-Gazers, I tend to feel self-reflective after memorial services: what have I done to be remembered? How do I want the rest of my days to look?

How do memorial services affect you?

Skimmer's Recap: Julie, who attended her friend's father's very positive memorial service, decides she would also like to be remembered with laughter and cake.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Me At the Gym.

Walking along on the treadmill I looked around me at the women of various shapes and sizes running on their treadmills. I thought, "why not try it?"

So I did. For all of  9 seconds.

I would need to severely batten down the, er, "hatches" for that sort of thing. And by "hatches" I mean all the wobbly bits. Of which I have many.

Maybe in the distant future.

No time soon.