Week Seven Update

This post features pics of my furry boyfriend.

Today marks the middle of my seventh week of a refocused effort to improve my health and well being on my Journey to Wellness. I think the seventh week is my danger zone. With previous attempts, I would make it through six weeks but then start falling off the wagon in week seven.

I think focusing on the changes I have made can help get through this:

  • Hired a lifestyle coach; my program started March 20.
  • Stopped eating processed foods (refined carbohydrates/sugar).
  • Started cardio exercise and resistance training.
  • Quit my 365 Project.
  • Bought a Fitbit.

I’ve plateaued and have been stuck for four weeks. After the initial 10-pound/inches lost in the first two weeks (water weight), I’m hovering around the same 3 pound/inches range. I’m getting anxious about this, but my coach is still unconcerned. Prior to hiring a coach and starting this program I had been learning about the benefits of intermittent fasting. As an aging woman, it may be what I need to do if I continue seeing zero changes.

While physical changes aren’t happening, mental/psychological changes are! This happens every time I return to eating clean. I start moving away from What Not Well Feels Like and my outlook and demeanor shift toward more positive notes; I’m more outgoing, energized by being around people, willing to take risks and try new things, and happier overall. I also spend less of my spare time in front of screens.

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What Not Well *Looks* Like (hiding in the corners)

Except right now, well, this week actually. I haven’t exercised at all, I’m generally grumpy, and I want Five Guys and a pint of Cherry Garcia. I’m suspecting hormones—I hate them—or some weird biological seven-week timer that’s had it after six weeks.

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I just can’t even.

Today’s Wellness Wednesday Wisdom is perfect for where I’m at right now.

“Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.”

I’ll keep on swimming tomorrow, or the next day, maybe even the day after that.

I WILL keep on swimming.

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Isn’t he so cute?

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

I’m in the middle of week five with my lifestyle coach. I’ve lost 10 pounds and about as many inches from chest to thighs. Week one started out great, but cut me down quickly with the beginnings of a sore throat Thursday evening. I was full-blown sick during week two—I attributed it to my body responding to the changes in my diet, something like a “carb flu“—and on Tuesday of week three, I went to the doctor. I had a sinus infection!

I’m doing great with what I’m eating—I’ve been dairy, gluten, and sugar free for 30 days now—not so much with the meal schedule. I’m supposed to eat five meals a day and I haven’t accomplished that yet. My coach isn’t concerned I’m not getting enough food because my body is responding. Right now, this is my favorite meal: roasted sweet potatoes, chicken (seasoned with smoked paprika and lime), spinach, and avocado. So good and yummy!

I’m also not doing great with eating at the same times each day, much less getting up at the same time each day, or even exercising daily.

On Tuesday of week four, I stopped my 365 Project. It occurred to me that I had successfully committed to a daily habit for 132 days—a commitment that does not support my health goals. As I have a bad habit of choosing the easier and more fun things to do, leaving the “should dos” to pile up around me, I thought it best to be happy that I could commit to a daily habit and then redirect my time and energy to activities that will help me achieve my health goals.

On Thursday of week four I ordered my first Fitbit, it arrived on Friday, and I love it! What a great tool to encourage more movement!

Although right now I feel like I’m taking two steps forward, then one step back, I am making progress and it is a thing to acknowledge and be inspired by.

Just keep swimming!

Quest for the Immeasurable

I wonder how much first world disease and sickness is rooted in people living in a way that is “well adjusted” to a profoundly sick society. Probably more than we could ever know. Generations after us will have better insight; hindsight is 20/20. Although, I have started to see more articles about eschewing the “24/7 on” lifestyle and it’s contributions to our rapidly declining health as a society. I think there is a general awareness beginning to develop and swell.

I sometimes fantasize about selling everything and moving to a tiny house. I’m not sure if it would be out in the woods or in the city. Why not both?

So, it’s exactly one month since my last Journey to Wellness update. I’ve been on and off since then, and I was home sick most of last week—not really making any headway. Early this month I decided to hire a lifestyle coach and started the three-month program this Monday, March 20. I am already beginning to feel my energy levels return! In addition to eating well, I’m exercising and drinking way more water. I’m on day 3 and it is painfully clear how a lack of routine easily supports bad habits.

Part of that pain is I work full-time, sometimes overtime, and with the addition of my daily photo project, exercise, and food preparation (vs. picking up prepared/fast food at the store/drive-through) I don’t have time for much else. Last night I watched one 45-minute show and this morning I realized I could have used that time to better prepare for today. So boring and sad!

I understand that once new habits are set (supposedly after 60 days), it will be easier and I may see some of that spare time return. But for now, my playing with pixels time is spent on the photo project. I have time for ESO and WoW maybe once a week and that is to just login for a quick task so I’m not booted from guilds due to inactivity.

No pain. No gain. Since I was diagnosed with MS seven years ago this month, I have not made the permanent lifestyle changes I want to make. I have goals and I have to work for them.

I’m on a quest and the reward for completion will be immeasurable.

Entering the TMI Zone

Beginning with this post, I’m going to start expanding the content beyond the scope of gaming. It’s something I need to do for myself and you are more than welcome to come along for the ride.

A Little History First, Mostly for Me

When I blogged as Mama Druid in 2008, I wanted to use blogging as a tool to enhance my writing and to participate in the WoW blogging community. I also wanted to stand out as a voice for the casual player, which wasn’t heard much back then. My blog lasted eight months before real life commitments—full-time job, two active teenagers, etc.—won the battle for my time.222ec3962f0dcf35c92586c58950ef7883a5a28e9e101c39778db4924eeaaaae

In 2010, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease—Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I started a new blog to document my experience. Once again, I wanted to stand out as a voice for a lesser known/vocal group—those who are treating their disease naturally. If you are curious, read about why I said no to pharmaceuticals.

Blogging = Better Health?

I found that when I was actively blogging, my health improved and I felt better. Here, an excerpt from the last post on MS Newb:

Actively posting seems to help me manage myself better. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but [it] just seems strange to me that my accountability is enhanced by writing stuff about myself in a virtual space that anyone can access. I suppose it’s like journaling… except for the lack of privacy aspect. It’s weird. Blogging to the world is like standing on a street corner reading your journal entries out loud.

Source: Howdy Doody!

At the beginning of this year, 2016, I spent some time coming up with my word of the year—instead of a list of resolutions—and through it learned why blogging personal stuff in a public space works for me. I’m an INFP and Explorer archetype (and player type too!), which means I have an inner desire to live authentically and share my journey, in whatever form that may be; virtual or real. Publicly sharing my goals reinforces my Explorer (sharing my journey) and social accountability helps me achieve my objectives.

One Blog to Rule Them All

As I don’t want to manage two blogs, I’m continuing the types of posts I published on MS Newb here. I have to. While my MS is mild, and I feel quite lucky it isn’t worse and hasn’t worsened since I was diagnosed, the inconsistency in my diet will eventually catch up to me. I must make a permanent change this year.

My word for 2016 is HEALTHY. I truly believe the social accountability aspect of blogging, whether real or imagined, will help me achieve my goals.

Join Me

I’m not sure where we are headed, but I can guarantee you’ll learn something along the way.

Shall we?

I can’t promise this won’t happen.

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Ok, maybe not that. I don’t go to bars. But you’ve been warned!