Fitness

After my husband bought his first iPod, I reprimanded him for being suckered into spending money on a fleeting product. I don’t trust new things.  I hate following trends and I am anti-establishment.  I am difficult to manage and opinionated.

I have been faithfully pushing and following 6 meals a day for years. I have been taught that it is the best way to support a strong metabolism.  When I heard about intermittent fasting a few years ago, I was not interested. Anything that involves the word fasting feels dangerous unless God is involved.  My co-workers were raving about the benefits for years, but they were all guys. My daughter lost 20 pounds doing intermittent fasting but she considers ketchup a vegetable.  My other daughter started to send articles on the neurological benefits of intermittent fasting and hmm.  So when I was struggling with injuries, weakness, and brain fog I considered making a change to my nutrition.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my breakfast routine. I linger around the kitchen perfecting my bacon while watching CNN and FOX News.  How could such a beautiful routine be anything but beneficial?  The only way I could have survived the past year of morning news was my regular dose of bacon.

I impulsively made a decision to start intermittent fasting over a week ago. I rushed home to finish my dinner by 7 pm. It took a lot of self-control to make changes to my nightly routine but I stopped myself from grabbing another spear of asparagus and so it began.

I am loving this new plan.  I have so much energy and more time in the day.  I believe we should all become students of our own body.  The first few days were not great but things started to change.  My family knows not to call me 15 minutes before my feeding. My girls compare me to a vampire because of my attitude toward to 8-hour feeding schedule. Only two weeks in and I am not as crazy. I am more relaxed and my pain is gone. My brain feels different.  I have my six-month neurology appointment on Thursday and I am feeling pretty good about my choices.

 

You can google “the importance of 6 meals a day” and find a lot more articles promoting the benefits.  I would encourage you to watch the youtube video at 13.58 and research the research.  No one should tell us how to think because they don’t know how we feel.

What is intermittent fasting, and is it healthy?

 

 

I will keep going on this until I don’t feel well.

In 12 weeks it will be Halloween.

mean girls

Personally I missed the Girl World generation of dressing up for Halloween. As a teenager I used Halloween as an opportunity to wear my favorite overalls and looked for a costume to indulge my love of comfortable clothing. Halloween has changed as times have changed.

When I was new to parenting, Halloween was an opportunity to showcase my parenting style, that I dubbed “lazy-creative”.  I promised  my oldest that this ensemble would help her achieve a new level of social status among the other trick-o-treaters.  I called it “package that fell off the truck”. Smart phones were not around during this time and our lives were private.  I was content to be a costume designer, make a wonderful meal, eat candy all while I wore my stretchy pants on Halloween night.  There were no smartphones to document my choices.

maddie

Now, with camera phones and social media, Halloween is a time to post great pictures. Just like any other event, people want to share  their lives with the world.  Some people go all out with the family costume or theme costume.  Some just love to get those timeless shots on Facebook or Instagram, so they can hold onto that moment in time. And now as Facebook shares those memories we are reminded of those cute costumes and adorable kids.

In 12 weeks it will be Halloween and the smart phones will be coming out.  I want to challenge you to find a new level of success in 12 weeks.  When you hand out Halloween candy this year, avoid temptation because you have never felt so good. I want you to add new clothes to your wardrobe that only emphasizes the hard work that you will be putting in over the next 12 weeks.  So join me as I prepare to dress up this Halloween as my best self.  Even if you won’t be sporting this Wonder Woman costume, you could if  you were was so inclined.

womens-wonder-lady-costume

 

Beginning a blog is a daunting prospect, especially since I don’t have faith in my writing skills.  After struggling with my words for years I was surprised to hear from my clients that I need to go public with my story.

At times, my train of thought can be described as a crop dusting of brain farts.  I was diagnosed with a learning disability at a young age and when you combine that with the distractions of motherhood, screen time and my most recent MS diagnosis, let’s just say this experiment could be a train wreck.   I will do my best to find some clarity in my calamity.

In 2000, I was living with Lupus and switched my career to fitness because I had seen the benefits it had on my health.  For 10 years I had a good run.  I completed multiple marathons, an Olympic distance triathlon, and a 200ish mile relay race. In addition, I survived three high-risk pregnancies. I was teaching spin, yoga, Pilates and training.  I was in a rush to live this life and did not want to waste a day.  

In 2010, my Lupus appeared to be in remission and I celebrated by bragging to all my fitness classes. I was a walking advertisement for the benefits of exercise.  I had grown accustomed to living in constant pain but I was thriving.  

36 Pounds ago!

36 Pounds ago!

A few months later I was out running and felt weakness in one side of my body with discomfort lasting 2 miles into the run.  At rest, I had tingling in one arm and vibrations down both of my arms.  I was exhausted all day and every day.   The final straw came when I was in Lenscrafters getting my eyes checked without any successful results.  It only seemed appropriate that such a life altering moment should happen at the Burlington Mall.

My doctor scheduled an MRI immediately and that was when they discovered the first lesion on my cervical spine.   My diagnosis was transverse myelitis and eventually MS.  

MS is not an easy diagnosis and the MRI was just the beginning of my journey with this disease. It’s a club that you would prefer not getting an invitation to, but I got the official invite after years of testing. The process for a diagnosis is  time-consuming and easily took over my life. First opinions, second opinions, and excessive tests.  Waiting rooms, needles, lab technicians, nurses and doctors became my social outlet. I slept during my scans and blamed it on my morning runs sandwiched between teaching two spin classes.  I discovered the best place to get a scan with warm blankets and good music.

I became the Roger Ebert of medical procedures. I was lucky to have a 5-star neurologist perform my first lumbar puncture. He was a true artist with a needle. He was delicate but efficient.  He played his role with the unique charm of a true veteran in his craft.  I cried and laughed before it was over and knew that he was the only neurologist I would trust with my spinal fluid.

I used to tease my husband that I thought my neurologist was just into me and that’s why he kept asking me to come back. After all, how many almost 40-year-old hotties did this guy get to see on a regular basis?  

During this time I was trying to be a good mother to three girls;  two in high school and one in middle school.  I vividly remember my OBGYN, after my third daughter was born, warning my husband about the impending hormonal craziness of the teenage years. Just like any good oracle priestess, her enigmatic prophecy became a reality at the most stressful time in our life.  I can still remember one dinner where we watched PMS get passed around the table like a bad cold.  

The peak of teenage years.

The peak of teenage years 2011

The worst of the high school drama was happening while I was losing my dad and coming to grips with MS.  My plan to move forward was unconventional and some would say crazy.   There was no manual for this life, so I had to write my own.  

January 2016 working on my balance.

Along the way I have shocked my doctors and friends.  I am strong and fit because of lifestyle choices, nutrition, fitness and NO pills. I even gave up my daily ibuprofen for pain(2400 MG a day). In addition, I have lost 36 pounds and transformed my life. Some people talk about all the amazing things they are going to do in this life and quit when things get tough… I used to be less inspired than those people. I used to be afraid of announcing a goal or aspiration.  It took me a long time to be different.   

Committing to and completing my goals is something I have learned in this crazy life.  I know if I eat a donut I will wake up in pain… so I don’t do donuts.  I know I could be in a wheelchair or using a cane in ten years if I don’t workout every day… so I get off the couch.  I force myself out of bed at 5:30 AM even when my body screams “no”.   

My next goal is to provide a weekly blog post. I will share how I handle stress and what motivates me to keep moving forwardSubscribe to my blog by adding your email address to the form on the right. You’ll be the first to hear about how I have shocked my doctors and friends!