What an amazingly inspiring and informative week this #MentalHealthAwareness week is!
I thought I would share how I handle the crushing depression, general anxiety and crippling brain fog that I get (or used to get) with my Lyme Disease and Fibromyalgia.
Watch this video for a much more detailed description of what it feels like and how I handle it, but here is a quick summary ….
Crushing depression – is Vitamin B – get your Dr to check your vitamin and minerals if yours feels like the one I describe.
Anxiety – get moving – my local beginners dance class is key to handling this
Brain fog – Omega 3, 6 & 9 oils and Circulation are key to improving this. Plus tap dancing or playing the piano to improve the synapses in my brain.
But most of all it’s about accepting who I am and working with it, instead of against myself – I am who I am, and that is someone who will always need to look after myself, even once I am symptom free.
I have created my own system to deal with the ups and downs of life called ‘Heal your life’ which incorporates journalling, affirmations and meditation – very simple, but deeply powerful and empowering. I incorporate it in my 6 month membership program ‘Be healthy, fit and slim’ because I believe that health is the priority and self-care and emotional health are key to that. Remember, if you support your body, it can then support you in the ups and downs of life.
Any questions, please feel free to to pop into my facebook group #MUMMYWHISPERER Tips – I’m always happy to help.
Last week I spoke to so many Mums who were being really harsh on themselves, that I wanted to chat to you about being more accepting of who you are – it’s certainly something I’ve had to do over the past year.
Some big news for me – and why it’s OK if your progress is slow!
Last weekend I made a huge breakthrough in my fitness, and managed something I never thought I’d be able to do again frankly.
I’m just so chuffed, so I wanted to encourage any of you who are judging your progress in health, fitness, emotional health, finances or business to just keep going. It doesn’t matter if our progress is slow. For me it’s not an option to not be healthier than ever before – so really when I’m 90 looking back, I won’t care that it took me a couple of extra years. The same goes for anything.
I’ve managed it by tuning into my body, so that I could work out when to push and when to pull back, and what it would love to do. Which leads me onto ….
Embrace who you are
Stop telling yourself that there is something about you that is wrong.
It won’t help to try to ignore or cut that part of you off and guilt just creates a tonne of brain noise, that means you can’t find a way to make a new choice or work around it.
Instead work with it:
– So maybe you are limited physically and have to pace like me – but perhaps that is just opening up your eyes to new ways of being, like doing yoga instead of marathon running? My progress has been unbelievably slow, but to be able to run, for however short a time was something I never thought I’d be able to do!
– Perhaps you have anxiety – to be honest, you might always be that kind of person, so the coping mechanisms that you put in place right now, you will always need. Like going to an exercise class to physically move the anxiety out of your body or have quiet time regularly – whatever it is, that’s OK.
– Perhaps there are things in your past that make you less sure of yourself – that’s fine, you might just need a constant friend or coach for a while to help build you back up. Know yourself and accept it – find a way to do it.
– Perhaps you’ve had depression – that doesn’t make you weak or wrong you know, it’s just an experience and part of who you are. So the fact that you might need certain things to keep you going or to avoid certain scenarios for self care is fine.
– Perhaps you are overweight? Doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful! Doesn’t mean you aren’t an amazing person! You could even be very fit! Feeling guilty about it, will just make listening to your body and what’s going on harder. Losing weight is not about cutting out the person who loves food, it’s just about persuading them to love a slightly different type and maybe a little less. It’s not about removing all the pleasure in your life (not my way anyway!), because that’s not sustainable. It’s about becoming MORE of who you are, not less.
I’m not saying we can’t make a choice to change some of our habits.
But it’s about working WITH who you are, not trying to force yourself to be someone different – your neighbour, or that other Mum who ‘seems’ to have her shit together, or that business woman who gives the impression she is more successful than you, or your friend who is skinnier than you.
Anyone who joins any of my programs will become MORE of who they are in their hearts and learn to adapt what I teach them to suit them perfectly. Wether it’s my mastermind groups, or law of attraction courses or my 6 month membership to lose weight – it’s all about empowering you to be able to love yourself more and take over the reigns in your own life.
Just wanted to let you all know that you are perfect and don’t try to be anyone else ?
For anyone looking to lose weight, the doors to my 6 month membership program ‘Be healthy, fit and slim’ are now open and there are 2 great limited number offers:
1) Join with a friend ???and share the bill, making it only £7.50 a week! I love accountability – so this will give you a big accountability boost!
2) Join on your own ??? and get 1 month’s free Deluxe membership upgrade for only £15 per week – so that you have daily text and voice access to me and a 1to1 to boost your start.
I’ve updated my website to include videos that go into LOADS of depth about the program, you even get to see inside the content: https://mummywhisperer.com/be-healthy-course/
(But message me before booking, for special links to purchase the offers)
If you’d like to get a feel for how I work, join my group #MUMMYWHISPERER Tips and check out the 3 day [reboot] detox – it’s great for giving you a chance to stop and rethink some of your habits (and boosting your weight loss if you need it).
So in April I reviewed the Far Infrared Professional Sol Cocoon and Earth Mat (chair mat) from Get Fitt. I had amazing results, and thought I should update you how things are going since then. Plus I’ve had over 50 people try the Cocoon and Chair mat, so I”ll let you know what I’ve found out from those trials.
Things I have learnt:
The Cocoon is much stronger than the Chair mat; if you have a chronic illness you are going to need the Cocoon, if you want to get better. But the Chair mat will help you keep going.
Using the Cocoon 2-3 times a week at my Salon & Spa is not the same as using it twice a day; doh!
I’m lucky to be able to use it twice a day; some people are so sick they can only use it once every couple of days at first. I’m not sure why, but potentially as I had my supplementation, nutrition, exercise, meditation and pacing in place.
Circulation is King in recovery from every illness; I really hadn’t understood how important it is, so I’ll write more about this with more tips.
I’ve been focussing on being able to work and be with the kids, not healing; this is a big shift in thought process for me, that I’m still working on it.
Pro’s of the Earth/Chair mat:
I use this for about 30mins at night and 5 mins in the morning.
It’s much prettier than the Cocoon
It helps me stave off a flare, or hold it off until I can get in the Cocoon.
It helps me to relax ready for sleep each night
Both kids love it before bed during reading time (it’s on a rocking chair).
It’s great for bad backs (no it doesn’t fix them forever, you need to keep using it and go to Pilates).
It can give a boost of energy, just not as much as the cocoon – I don’t think it would last more than a couple of days in someone like myself.
It’s easy to use because you can sit on it while you work
The kids also like to lie on it watching films etc when they are tired.
You can lie it on your stomach or knees for pain relief
Everyone who has tried it has found it’s great to reduce the pain and grumpiness of PMT (like magic!)
It means I can take it with me when I go away and still enjoy my holidays
So I’m really glad I bought one for myself personally and for my clients and I would really recommend it either as:
A cheaper option that you supplement with a Cocoon at a salon/therapist
Or for pain relief/PMT/energy boost if you are not chronically sick
Pro’s of the Cocoon
Massively reduces POTs symptoms and stops a flare up (heart palpitations, feeling as though my arms are tightly bandaged, pain across back & shoulders, fainting sensation on standing up).
Almost meditative in nature; it seems to put everyone into a state of peace and calm that creates a really deep sense of rest.
It helps me with the sense of overwhelm that being a mum of 2 young kids + a new business + Lyme disease brings on. Honestly, there are times when I think it is the only thing that keeps me going.
The Cocoon shape definitely has a psychosomatic reaction and relaxes people; it must be a bit womb like.
Using it 2-3 times per week is keeping me going. But I’m not making the degree of progress in improvement that I was making before. There is some improvement, but not noticeable day by day as I was getting before, and life isn’t helping me maintain the improvements at the moment.
It’s great before or after a massage of for people who are too stiff or don’t like the intimacy of a massage as a replacement.
Here is a list of the types of problems that people have come to try the Cocoon for. I would like to try a few of them in more depth.
Relaxation, stress relief, exhaustion: This is the prime use of the Cocoon at the salon and it always works for this. If they go racing out into the world, the energy will last 1-2days. But if they pace, it will last 4-5 days.
Children: All react really well to it and it seems to be very calming and relaxing. For mine, I get a lot less tantrums kicking off and their health seemed stronger. It’s good with the Chair mat (better than before), but not as strong. I’d love to try more with hyperactive or sensitive children.
Recovery from hard core physical exertion: I was really excited to have a Polar Explorer tried it out on his return from the pole. So I can be sure it helps and that it fits very, very, very tall people! A mum tried it after doing a moon walk and it helped, but I should have popped her on it again for her to get no fall out from all that walking.
Preparation for exercise: a couple of OCR enthusiasts (Obstacle course racing) have found it really helpful. I’d like to try out a few more to see if it helps with their results and preparation for races. Now personally I think these people are C.R.A.Z.Y and doomed to hurt themselves, but heh ho, who am I to judge, and at least this will help protect and/or heal them 😉
Recovery from viruses: Loads of people tried if for recovery of bugs/illnesses that they couldn’t shake off and it either worked immediately or by the next morning.
Cancer: It definitely helps with the exhaustion, stress and pain relief. I would consider it a supportive therapy, but I wouldn’t want to claim or promise anything else.
Chronic illnesses: (E.g. Fibromyalgia, M.E., CFS. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis). It’s not a replacement or short cut for lifestyle changes. It’s great for the exhaustion that often goes hand in hand with them. The detox can be brutal, so care needs to be taken to not over do it initially; it even detoxes emotions (see my post on the sudden burst of grief about my parents death). For some people it helps with pain relief straight away and for others it takes time; it’s going to take a few more clients before I can set people’s expectations clearly. I definitely to keep going with more long term case studies on this.
What I’m going to keep investigating:
As you can see dogs like Far Infrared too 😉
I’m really interested in how it helps with PMT/Menopause and Depression, so I’m going to do some 2 month case studies in the coming months. I’m pretty convinced it will help with these two really ‘normal’ problems, which would be amazing.
What’s not clear is which chronic illness is can not help or how many sessions my clients will need to make an improvement. So we need to do more repeat treatments.
I reckon it will be good for weight loss, because of it’s motivational and detoxing abilities, but I haven’t focussed on this yet. I can’t wait until it helps me, but the guys at Get Fitt reckon it will take another 4 months before my system normalises; argh! (Yes, I know this shouldn’t be a priority, and I know I would tell you it’s not important!).
I’ll probably start all those case studies in a month or two, and just focus on continuing treatments with the people who have tried it so far.
In the meantime I’ve made a big decision; I’m going to take the Cocoon home for another month and see if I make as much improvement again as I did the first time. this might seem really sensible to some people (and selfish to others), but it’s massive for me, as it’s a sign that I’m really prioritising myself ahead of other people and is a big step forward.
If I improve again, then I know that for the chronically sick I can only offer slow improvement/keep going treatments at Espiritu and that they’ll need their own cocoon to really improve (not knocking ‘keeping going’ as an option, as it’s better than ‘spiralling downwards’). Also I’ll know whether I need to buy a Cocoon for my home usage.
But don’t worry, anyone who really needs it can still use it; I’ll bring it in once a week to Espiritu, or you can use it at my home or use the chair mat at Espiritu.
Want to try it?
Pop me a message on Facebook and we can have a chat. If you are close, I really recommend you come and try my Cocoon. I offer the first consultation (with a little coaching guidance) and first Cocoon treatment for free; that way if it doesn’t help there is no pressure on either of us. My case studies are either free or on a large therapeutic discount.
If you aren’t close, Get Fitt do a ‘try before you buy’ option where you rent it for a month and then if you buy it, that rental comes off the price. Do you mind mentioning to them that you read my blog posts, if you do take this option please? They’ll give me a little reward and I’m putting any I get towards more products; there is no doubt that I’m going to need more support to recover completely from my Lyme disease.
At Espiritu I’ve created 10min, 20min, and 30min Far Infrared Cocoon services, a 15min coaching session for afterwards and packages of 6 for the price of 5 and 25% off 10 treatments. Really popular is the Chair mat upgrade to pedicures/manicures/blow dries and the Cocoon upgrade to the Spa services (but remember, it will only be available 1 day per week for the next 2 months).
Remember to subscribe to this blog if you want to make sure you don’t miss the next instalment of what happens when I take the Cocoon home again and start using it on a daily basis again.
I’d love to hear from anyone else using the Get Fitt products and how it has helped.
Not fixed. But dramatically and unbelievably better!
It’s like someone switched the lights back on in my body!
And now I look back I can see that I was degenerating badly. It’s actually quite scary now I feel better, to see how I was on an inexorable spiral downhill. It was obvious if you had a little look at my house or Espiritu, which had become untidy and clogged up; I’m a lover of systems and organisation and the mess was a sign of my overwhelm.
Now I’m not underestimating the general stuff I was doing, CBD oil (since Sept and crucial for getting me out of bed), and more recently a naturopath (great for support, knowledge of Lyme and starting the healing process). But this change was sudden, has continued, and is continuing and is all down to the Far Infrared mats from Get Fitt.
Here’s a list of the majority of the current improvements:
Physical stamina and strength improved dramatically (I can walk the dog on the same day as Pilates and am at last up to my old weights on my legs on the Stott Reformer machines).
Pain reduced, even during period (normally chronic).
Brain fog, depression and overwhelm blown away (Business decisions are about 50times faster and life is generally much sunnier).
POTs symptoms: Heart palpitations and pain from lack of circulation in top half of my body from POTs improved (scary shit – I didn’t like that)
So how did this happen?
A few weeks ago I got a message from Lisa from Get Fitt. I’d heard of Far Infrared and even tried a sauna, but I was feeling so ill it took 2 weeks before I felt I had enough stamina to ‘waste’ talking to someone for 30mins.
On Friday 18th March she turned up with Mark the founder (a very passionate guy with that endearing ‘mad professor’ way to him). They sat me on one of their chair mats for 10 mins (I was too sick for more apparently) and explained the science behind it.
Helps improving the immune system, thus with battling the bugs in funky illnesses like mine
Gives energy, a bit like that ‘summer holiday’ feeling
Has a detox effect without the sweat of a sauna
Speeds up recovery from exercise
Helps regain energy from over doing life.
Who can’t go on it? Pregnant women and haemophiliacs, that’s all.
Off they went, and I was left with the feeling that they were really lovely people. Then the magic started to happen. Myself and one of my stylists reorganised the whole of the colour area at work, which required puzzle solving skills I’d been completely lacking for weeks and physical graft. I should have been dead that night, but I was ok. I was fine on Saturday too.
Sunday morning and it went PFFT (technical term!). OMG it was gone and suddenly I felt like I did before – it was a shock to remember how bad I had accepted feeling. So I cheekily messaged them saying I needed another demo; after all it could have been coincidence.
This time they popped me in their Professional Sol Cocoon. Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday were amazing – I spent time with the kids, solved business problems in 5 mins that had been troubling me for a week and started to sort through the mess at home and the salon. There was NO way I was going without it anymore – it was definitely my new addiction.
By Thursday, less than a week after first trying the mats, I had booked another ‘meeting’ and built my business case to buy 2 mats:
A beautiful Amethyst Chair mat (the earth pad) as a lovely upgrade to blow drys, manicures & pedicures and help clients with back pain, tiredness and PMT.
The Professional Cocoon Sol for those needing it therapeutically like me, pain relief and clients who had pushed themselves too far; basically more of a relaxing and healing experience, all on it’s own or following a Spa treatment.
BUT I took the cocoon home and the continued improvement was so good, that I decided to keep it home during the Easter holidays. I’d at last learnt the lesson to put myself first. When faced with a week in a caravan and no mat I realised it was never going to be enough for me to just use the mats at work, so I bought myself a chair mat (the Super 7 body mat with 7 different crystals and minerals) for home.
So what have I achieved that is so extraordinary?
I ran a 3hr training course, standing up the whole time, that I’d prepared for late into the evening for 4 nights running as it was the Easter holidays. With no fall out the next day in pain levels or exhaustion.
I went to Ikea with 2 children; a 4hr round trip, including lugging boxes and an amount of walking that would normally have killed me.
I went to a wedding; normally a nightmare for noise and people overload. I didn’t rest the day before, and just had a quiet day afterwards. I had FUN! And I DANCED for an hour!
I’ve reorganised the whole of the downstairs kitchen, utility and playroom, and my bedroom, which required a lot of physical graft and organisation skills, I’d been lacking for months.
I took the kids on holiday for 5 days ALONE to Park Resorts at Camber Sands, and although I was tired (what parent wouldn’t be), I had a wonderful time, as I was able to actually BE present with the kids properly. We played on the beach (so I didn’t just sit and watch them play like normal), went swimming in the pool every day, and I just needed a couple of gentle days on our return to recuperate.
Within a couple of weeks I was back up to my original pre-June 2015 leg weights/strings on the Stott Reformer machines at Applied Pilates. My upper body, is still weak, but the constant feeling of constriction, like my arms were in bandages has gone.
I’m not having to constantly ‘count spoons’ as us Fibro/Lyme people do, worrying that I’ve taken too many steps in a day.
Work wise, I’ve been back ‘on the ball’. It’s actually really scary to think how much I’d degenerated, I was really scared that the Lyme had gone to my brain, but it looks like it was just lack of oxygen.
And it’s not just me!
So far my kids go on it once-twice a day especially little dimples; it helps when they are tired and reduces tantrums. The big hairy northerner has used it to recover from migraines and exercise, and his Dad was a big fan (he’s not the type to be easily persuaded about anything). It’s helped several friends with their backpain, but I want to investigate further to see how long the improvement lasts for. It definitely dramatically reduces the pain and grumpiness of PMT in a couple of my girls at Espiritu. The Amethyst Chair mat (or earth pad) has been in regular use, as much by my girls as clients over the last couple of weeks, so I’m really excited to catch up with everyone to see what happened during my holiday.
So tomorrow the Cocoon goes to the salon (boohoo!) and I’m very excited to see what magic it can create for my clients on it’s own as an experience, or as an upgrade to Facials. I hope to see just as dramatic differences as it seems able to help a massive list of problems. I’ll be offering it out for free for the first week and contacting as many friends and clients as possible. Then it will be at a reduced price for the second week for those who couldn’t make it. But I’m also thinking of permanently having a day where it’s heavily discounted, to help those who need regular treatments.
I’ll write more soon, but I want to let you know that I’m better, and it’s been a month, so it’s definitely lasting and continuing to improve even more.
I apologise, I’ve been promising this post for months, and really it’s pretty easy to write, I just didn’t get round to it.
If you have a weird funky illness that gives you pain and sleep problems, the I really recommend CBD oil made from Cannabis oil.
There is no ‘hit’. Just pain relief and a good 6hrs sleep, sometimes more. Potentially a slight anxiety reduction as well.
I buy mine from CBD Brothers (The white label cheaper version). Now I’ve been told that lots of CBD oil sold online is from Hemp oil. I can’t be sure, but the results are great and they assure everyone that it’s from Cannabis oil.
I’m not fixed. But I’m functioning, and I’m sure it’s the oil that’s doing it. I’ve been taking it since September and I get through a bottle about once every 5 weeks.
I have better sleep than I’ve had in years, without any other supplements/herbs (I used to have a huge selection). I take it 1-2hrs before sleep (it can have a stimulating effect if taken too close to bed time). (I drop under my tongue, held there for about 3 mins).
Then I take it in the morning and I can feel the pain relief within about 10mins. The couple of times that I’ve forgotten to take it, have really proved how much it reduces my pain levels.
I also have the balm, which I can apply straight to any shooting pains or chronic pain that I get – this is amazing, because those sorts of pains would normally cause me problems for days (shooting pains in my head or arms in particular). I’ve only bought one lot of the balm and it still has loads left.
How does it work? Put very simply the theory goes that the CBD oil helps the existing Cannaboid cells in our body that are struggling to get rid of all the nasty stuff (technical term!), as they are already overloaded with Pollution and rubbish diets. So it’s helping the body to help itself.
What can it work for? I think anything that is brain or stomach based (where there happen to be lots of these Cannaboid cells. It’s is suggested that it can therefore help Fibromyalgia, M.E. CFS, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Cancer etc. Although I have a friend who is a nurse, who has found that some epileptic children who tried it had fevers and sickness (I don’t know where that CBD oil came from) – so as with all things it may not work for everyone.
I don’t know if it can help you, but I think it’s worth trying if you are struggling. Please let me know in the comments how it goes.
“Right then, we have a target, all hands on deck we have a target”
“We estimate that this project will take <xyz> amount of energy over <abc> number of days: initiate gradual send out of energy per day”
“Oh shit, we estimated wrong”
“Initiate borrow of energy from ‘Bank of Energy’ to reach end of target”
“Yay target reached!”
“Warning, warning, insufficient energy creation ability to pay back energy debt, the bank is pulling the plug”
“Warning, warning, the plug is being pulled, the plug is being pulled”
Cue my body literally feeling like someone let the energy plug out, differing degrees of pain and numerous other symptoms slumped on sofa for <efg> no of days. And no, I couldn’t just keep going anyway.
Targets so far were – a 2 month project working until midnight every night to work out the necessary price changes at Espiritu. It was the right choice, and I felt confident and sure that I’d been as fair as possible to everyone – clients, staff and the business. I was so amazed how my body did, and really thought I’d stopped in time. However 5 days later at the end of June I was hit by the worst pay back I’ve ever experienced and those 2 months cost me nearly 4 months (read my post about silent illness here).
I started to feel human again 3 weeks ago. There was a project (a client Christmas party and some new recruits). I worked hard (until 11pm this time, not midnight). It was really successful and the new girls are wonderful. I crashed for 4 days.
So I took it easy this week. But I spent too long at the salon yesterday, and suddenly the plug was pulled.
Do I get a warning?
Not really, and sometimes I’m too committed to the project with little option (yes I delegate and make sure we do as few projects as possible, but it’s a new business and there are always unexpected eventualities). But the pain during the Christmas party was a pretty good hint there was going to be payback. Yesterday I think that it was the over riding urge to get home, which I listened to – but I still felt guilty when leaving work.
The problem is that my estimations are all wrong. Then once committed to a project, the determination inside of me will always get me to the end.
This must be why people get sick on holiday – so they get sick once they are done.
I need to learn how to leave enough space for ‘new business type unexpected crap‘ to show up, whilst fitting in projects and not using my [determination of an ox] button to ensure successful completion. Oh and don’t forget the ‘has 2 young children‘ factor.
If I find the answer, I’ll let you know.
In the meantime, do as I say, don’t do as I do, because I’m really not a good example! Take care of yourselves, give yourself time to fill up your energy savings.
p.s. I have found something that has been helpful with the pain & fibro sleep issues. I’ll blog in a week or so.
p.p.s The rheumatologist doesn’t think I have Fibro – hmmmm – I’m awaiting blood tests and a referral to the neurologist.
p.p.p.s Why did I write a blog post if I’m tired – tbh I type quick and it feels good to do something very ‘me’ – I love writing.
Initially it was all rather slow, frustrating and two steps forward and one step back. My last post was very up and down.
However, it looks like it all accumulates into one big sudden improvement, once you have ticked off a large enough percentage of the changes needed. (I’m not fooling myself btw, I know there is still lots of work to do).
Here are some of the improvements:
I HAVE WALKED the dog every day for a fortnight. This is amazing. I tried before to gradually increase my walking and failed. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to be able to do it.
I am no longer in constant chronic pain. I have constant pain, but it’s not unbearable or depressing.
I don’t feel like an 80 year old any more when bending down to putting the washing in the machine or walk down the stairs.
My TMJ (jaw pain) is much reduced.
I seem to have moved on to just get 1 flare per month, rather than 2; which is much more manageable.
Neither of my arms hurt.
I can pick up Little Dimples – what a relief, it was so awful not to be able to carry her when she needed me.
I’ve had some sleep.
I’ve adapted to no longer being competent – heh, who cares if I’m unreliable, ditzy and dis-organised from now on?
I’m beyond fighting it, not identifying myself as the victim of the story of it, and now more in a place where it is a guide for a while until I get the changes really sorted in my life.
I have no doubt that I will have it totally managed in the next 6 months.
I have hope that it’s possible to be free of it.
What have I done?
I was found to be very low on VITAMIN D, despite taking it in a multi-fit (I was 42, it should be 72). They put me on a big dose of Vit D3 (gell capsules are best). I now buy my own and take a pill if there is no sunshine on a day. I’m going to ask to get my levels checked. This reduced my pain DRAMATICALLY (along with a big dose of sunshine in Lanzarote in the February half-term).
Found 5-htp and magnesium (must take the malate version – it’s gentler on the stomach) to improve my sleep.
CBT from the NHS (cognitive Behavioural therapy) – I need to blog about this some more, it’s helped, but I wonder whether it is a little shallow and only helped because I have a therapy background and could do a lot of homework. It was very helpful though in highlighting for me what causes a flare (e.g. freezing cold in a motorhome in Brighton will do it, or visitors who don’t help out!).
I’ve also tried EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for the discomfort in my back (almost itches and hurts from the inside) from the Adrenals and reduced the pain from 8/10 to 2/10. I can start to learn EFT myself and use it at home, so it’s a great find. (If you are local, try the lovely Mel at TherapHealing for EFT)
Come off the drugs – I CONFESS – I realised on the friday of the bank holiday that I had awful Edema, so bad that my legs were ripping. I knew there was no chance of a Dr’s appointment, so I stopped taking the Amiltriptyline. That is wrong. I know. But I was only on 10mg. I probably should have cut the pills in half instead. I had a couple of bad days with headaches and insomnia. But I’m glad now.
I’ve dropped sugar in my tea, I have the odd cake, but no more biscuits, and found a natural alternative to sugar for my tea. The horrible, hot burning pain in my hips is dramatically improved from this – if I make a mistake I know it immediately.
The MOST AMAZING change has come from taking Cherry Active concentrated sour cherry juice morning and evening. This is the reason that I can walk the dog.
Curly Headed Boy says I seem happier and look healthier than I did before I was ill.
Continuing with Previous Things:
Continuing with the Pilates – to strengthen my muscles means I don’t have to use as much of them, hence have less pain.
Still taking Omega 3, 6 & 9 (for brain fog), Optibac Probiotics (for IBS) and a good multi-vit.
Stopped taking Floradix – I feel I’m taking enough!
I’m going to a womans group monthly. We meditate, do something personal-developmenty, chat, drink tea and eat biscuits; it’s perfect! (If you fancy a supportive, fun, monthly group for women check out Actually Mummy’s review of our ‘Vision Boarding’ get-together),
Still meditating weekly, and a shamanism group monthly, which are great for support.
Warm showers every morning. Cold if the pain is burning (brrrr, but it works). Hot flannel for the muscles in my face to relax and if I’m tired, plus a big splash of cold water.
Hot bath with a couple of cup fulls of Epsom Salts and some aromatherapy oil once a week for at least 20 mins.
Aloe Vera Gell for the ‘hip burn’ (it itches and burns from the inside).
I have a PUBLISHING DEAL!!
This means that edition 2 of “Six Steps To A Sparkling You and Enjoying Being a Mum” will be out in September along with a NEW paperback version.
Plus the first edition of “Get Healthy, Fit and Strong without Diets and Bootcamps” with a paperback version straight away.
And book 3 “Who On Earth Am I?” is brewing nicely – look out for new posts along those lines soon.
I’ve also decided that I will definitely not return to teaching the Demartini Method, when I’m healthier, but instead go back to what I did 13yrs ago doing a mixture of healing and coaching. It’s a lot easier to fit into life with 2 children, and although less lucrative, it’s less tough on me as well.
This is a HUGE decision as I worked blinking hard, spent many years and a lot of money to get my senior certification, but it’s the right one. I’ll still use all the philosophies with my coaching.
Here is this week’s Vlog where I talk about how I did last week, what I did to achieve it, and my challenge this week.
I have picked an obvious target for the end of June; the BritmumsLive conference, which means an average weight loss of just under 1lb per week, which is practical at this level.
My focus was on comfort, and how losing weight can really help us to feel more comfortable, so I thought I’d show you this photo to show why I’m uncomfortable. It’s all very well standing up, but sitting down is another matter!
I’m going to do a series of Google+ hangouts about getting Healthy, Fit and Strong.
My first will be on Wed 27th at 10.30am.
Fancy joining me? You can either join in, or watch live and chat us questions, or watch afterwards.
Five keen Mums have already signed up for this hangout. There is space for only TWO more.
Join my FB page and contact me in my FB group. You will need a Google account too (here is my profile and page). I need to know your current weight, goal, and what methods you are using at the moment if you have already started.
Don’t worry I will record the hangouts and put them on my Youtube page and post them here on my blog.
In the last month or so I’ve tipped back officially into the ‘overweight’ range.
I know how it happened.
I spent much of 2011 thinking I had a bad back, frustrated that I could no longer run (despite being a rubbish runner) or do much exercise and not managing to fix it; add 4 lbs.
After several months with an Osteopath and Physiotherapist I decided to try an Acupuncturist. Despite knowing that I know about nutrition (heh, I’m listed as one of the Top 100 Food Blogs by Woman and home!), I had lost confidence and listened to him when he said that I wasn’t eating enough; add another 3lbs.
Then I got my diagnosis with Fibromyalgia (pain all over the body), which meant I could no longer run to lose weight, which was my cheat as I’m a rubbish runner. Plus, I get tired from doing about 1/4 the exercise I used to be able to do. And I’m now on drugs that help brilliantly with the pain and sleep, but have the side effect of weight gain; add the final 8lbs.
*Hangs Head In Shame* after all I’m meant to know how to do it aren’t I?
Or maybe you will like me a little more to know that I’m not perfect *Looks hopeful*?
Anyway, it’s spring (I’m not keen on New Year), which is a great time for a fresh start ready for the summer. So I’ve decided it’s time to kick my own rapidly expanding butt.
I may have Fibromyalgia.
It may be difficult.
But I know that my stuff works.
So I’m going to prove it.
I’m going to lose 1 stone 1lb: get back to a healthy weight and lose the muffin top.
It doesn’t matter that I’m doing it AGAIN.
Just that I do it!
I’d love your help?
I’m going to write a weekly diary of my progress; read my blog posts and keep me going because I may need some encouragement when I get Fibro flares and feel depressed and in pain.
I thought you might like to know how I’m doing with the whole fibromyalgia thing?
Lots of people have asked how I am, but it’s really difficult to say in 1 sentence, and I feel boring if I describe it in full.
I’ve learnt loads more about it and have created a static page which I’ll use to list the things I discover and all my posts about FMS. Please pass it onto anyone you know with FMS, as it’s a tricky syndrome and it helps for us to connect with each other.
And I’ve definitely made progress, but also taken a few steps back as well.
It kind of depends on the day, I’m pretty much two different people at the moment:
Good Day Me:
I’m up, and once I’ve had a shower I’m pretty perky.
Curly Headed Boy thinks that I look healthier and happier than I did before.
Life is much easier now I’m not trying to work as well as look after two young children, plus sort out my health and I know that I can pick up the paying side of my work again when Little Dimples does to school in 1.5yrs.
I’ve cut down my social media usage, and it’s really not so bad; I realise that there was panic about ‘always being around’, which was daft.
I’m just blogging about once a week, and my stats don’t seem to have gone down (stats are mega important to us bloggers).
I’ve started actually reading books again, which is lovely.
I’m getting time to make sure that the most important things are done (i.e. kids) which has reduced my stress levels loads, and I’m getting a chance to take some time out to think about those long questions like ‘who am I now’ etc.
I’m grateful I was diagnosed so early, so it hasn’t become too entrenched, and I’m sure that with some determination, lots of investigations and some trial and error I’m going to atleast manage it, if not sort it out totally.
My right arm doesn’t hurt any more, so just my left arm, back, neck, shoulders, jaw, chest pain, left/right leg and both hips to solve; it’s a step in the right direction. (I reckon this is down to the Amitriptyline).
The Dr increased the drugs, and am hoping that my left arm and chest pains will follow suit really soon, which would mean I can pick up the kids without pain.
I’m really glad the surgeon decided that my TMJ (jaw pain on right hand side) wasn’t worth operating on and that a mouth guard wouldn’t work, plus the drugs have reduced the pain and clicking a lot and I can chew most things now.
The Fibro-fog has improved with a bigger better quality dose of Omega 3, 6 and 9 and I’m finding the alarms work well on the electronic calendar. I have a snazzy small filofax so I can take my To do’s with me everywhere.
I feel stronger with the weekly studio (machine based) pilates classes and better quality vitamins (I wasn’t taking the full recommended dose).
Plus the Pilates guy does something called Osteolates (Mixture between osteopathy, pilates, and acupressure) which is fab for the myofacial pain (basically being in pain in the Fibro trigger points, sets the rest of the muscles off).
I’ve found the meditations using Shamanism (basically meditation to drum music) really helpful to reduce stress and worries and rediscover some of the ‘new age me’ that has taken a bit of a rest.
I think that my sleep is slightly better quality on the Amitriptyline (people with FMS don’t get any level 4 sleep) and I’m less affected by the full moon (I also have loads of ideas for sleep problems here if you suffer too).
The doctor agreed to checking my Vitamin D levels and as I was low (should be 75, was 42), they have given me a 2 month prescription of Vit D3 liquid gell capsules (best type); shame you can’t get a holiday in the Caribean on the NHS!
He also agreed to check my hormone levels as my periods were messing around a bit (very long) and it’s definitely not the perimenopause or PCOS causing the problem, so I don’t have to add anything else to the worry list.
I’ve found out that the FMS is due to the Thalamus gland, so the behavioural kinesiology (Resonance Repatterning) that I’ve been using to tackle the emotional/mental causes has been definitely aiming at the right direction, and I’m less confused by the huge number of symptoms to work through. (The thalamus gland affects the pain signals in the body, so basically we feel more pain and there is more Substance P in our bodies than a normal person).
I’ve also found out that we produce more lactic acid more quickly than most people, so I’ve added Magnesium to my list of supplements in the morning and bottles of deep freeze to my bathroom cabinet for when it’s really bad; this is how come the amount of exercise we do is limited, as we can also injure ourselves more easily and take longer to heal.
I’m really ‘lucky’ that the Big Hairy Northern Ones contract was terminated early, as just by doing the majority of the school runs, I’ve been able to rest a bit more than I would usually have done which is helping me recover.
Ironically having young kids is helpful because the constant picking up of stuff and putting things back in the right place warms up my muscles and makes the rest of the day easier; the problem with Fibro is that you must move even though it hurts, otherwise it hurts more (you just can’t move too much, it’s a tricky balance).
I’m decluttering my house even more than I used to, as everything needs a place and the ‘system’ needs to work so easily that even the family understand it when I’m at my worst. So things are looking pretty good around the house. Give me 6 months and even my photos will be sorted; result!
The Dr has referred me for some CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to help with pain management, and my first assessment was with a woman who has FMS, so she was great and reckoned that by teaching me some ‘pacing’, I’ll be able to avoid flares more easily.
I’m overwhelmed and enthusiastic about all the support and ideas I’ve been getting off so many people.
I’m sure that this journey will help me reinvent myself, and reach out to even more Mums with my books than before.
I’m at last remembering to take care of myself much more than I used to; I know I tell you lot to take care of yourselves, but I might not have done it enough myself, you know the old saying ‘Healer, heal thyself’.
I’ve got a plan and I’m working through it slowly, step by step, to a more balanced lifestyle and I’m trying to treat the Fibromyalgia as a guide, rather than an enemy.
Bad Day Me:
Christmas was awful for Fibro-flares, even though I tried to take it easy, get everything prepared beforehand and the Big Hairy Northern one always cooks Christmas dinner. One flare was mainly just pain, but the other was a full on depressive yukky downer.
When I have a flare up God it hurts, apparently Fibro pain is worse than Rheumatoid arthritis (how they know I don’t know); it certainly doesn’t even notice ibuprofen.
My head is fuzzy, and I mourn the previously competent woman who could remember things and not rely totally on an electronic calendar with alarms.
I’m exhausted; I just want to hide under my duvet and not get up.
My hips burn and I wan’t to itch them, but then know I will get bruises the size of a dinner plate.
My knees hurt so bad when I’m getting up and down from the floor that I feel like an 80 year old and find it difficult to play with Little Dimples or use the washing machine and tumble dryer.
I’m meant to be eating healthy food, but that is stuff like nuts and whole foods, which hurt my right jaw like hell to chew.
My eyes are really problematic in the mornings and evenings, which is helped by my new glasses, but worrying as it is probably related.
This and the fact that I’m sometimes a little unsure of my balance and spatial awareness and have to take my drugs early to avoid a hangover, makes night driving and going out socially impossible; I was never a big socialite, but it makes me feel left out.
I’m scared that I’ll get crippled with it and bed ridden like the people I read on the forums; in fact I’ve banned myself from reading them now as they terrify me with stories of stronger and stronger drugs that eventually don’t work.
I’m terrified of getting ill, because that will mean a flare up in the pain, plus the likelihood that the rest of the household will get ill and need taking care of, so I’ll get tired and get more pain.
I’ve realised that although I wouldn’t change the fact that I was a ‘young carer’ it’s not the choice I would have made for my children, and I worry about the affect on them.
I was falling asleep with the children at least 50% of the time, but since doubling the drugs I hardly ever get back down again to see the Big Hairy Northern One; that can’t be good.
One of my friends dumped me the week after my diagnosis because I did something a bit flighty and very fibro.
I feel like a wimp when I keep having to explain that I can’t do something.
Then I feel angry because people haven’t taken the time to understand that I’m limited in what I can do because I ‘look OK’.
Plus sometimes I feel that people expect too much of me because I’m normally so sorted and know all this psychology stuff; I’m not allowed to be grouchy or grumpy or make a mistake.
I miss the freedom of running even though I was rubbish at it, because it was so easy to fit into life and helped me keep my weight in check.
The Pilates is boring, but I know it’s helping, so I keep going. I’d prefer a dance class, but know it would kill me at the moment; even aqua aerobics crucified me for a week and I can’t go in a pool unless it’s warm enough. (Hopefully I can add Tai Chi or Yoga soon)
I’ve put on a stone in weight, I’m not yet at an unhealthy weight, but I’m gutted after all that hard work before losing weight and worried whether I’ll be able to keep it in check with all my limitations.
I wish I had a Mum who could sweep down and pop me in a duvet, play with the kids for the day, whilst making a stew and tidying the house (my actual Mum wouldn’t have been able to do this bless her, even if she was still alive).
I’d like to cry most of the day, but have so far only broken down in front of Little Dimples once, who was so kind I was gobsmacked.
I don’t understand why it’s not possible to do a big declutter/tidy of the house AND walk the dog.
I used a pedometer to try and maintain a steady pace each day and find that whereas I used to be able to easily work up to 10,000 steps in a couple of weeks, my body is now crucified by Lactic Acid over 5000 tiny steps after a month of trying.
I’m irritated by people finishing my sentences for me as I desperately search for the words that have disappeared into the recesses of my head; audition and anaesthetic are not difficult words after all.
I don’t tweet, I don’t Facebook, I don’t phone, I just hibernate.
I’m scared of trying things incase it makes things worse, and depressed about a life limited and controlled by an illness.
My second assessment with the CBT people the doctor referred me to was with someone much less qualified, and I could have basically chewed them up and spat them out; God help them if that’s the kind of person they think can help me. I think that my problem is that physical pain is so tangible, that I’m finding it much harder to deal with that emotional/mental pain.
I have no plan, I just hope that when I wake up tomorrow, this flare will be over and I’ll be back to ‘Good day me’.
They are quite contradictory people aren’t they? They aren’t really agreeing with each other on much!
I reckon I’m just about more ‘Good Days’ than ‘Bad Days’, but only just.
Hopefully in my Spring/summer update it will be a different story.
Remember to pass my blog onto anyone you know with Fibromyalgia please (and if they are close to you, maybe read my FMS page and other posts so that you can understand them more too).