Now I am a Health Coach

November 19, 2012

I am excited about my own journey towards greater health and being part of this journey with you.  When I began a new food plan in October of 2012, I had three hopes for myself.  1.  To become a health coach as I love coaching other people.  2. To lose 10-15 pounds, as I carry all excess weight in the middle increasing my rate for heart problems (which run in our family).  3.  To reduce my symptoms from Fibromyalgia – lesser pain and greater energy. 

My particular plan consisted of both vegetarian and gluten-free options.  I have always wondered if certain food items could contribute to my health problems.  Though I am not yet sure whether it is the change in the food choices and/or the nutrition in the products, I am certain that it is changing my life.  My energy has increased drastically, and I am on my way to being drug free because of the reduction in pain.  I can’t wait to edit this section with “I am not on medication”.  I have found hope after years of struggles.  I also have lost 8 pounds so far and have about 5 pounds more to go .

I love the simplicity of this program.  I can take things step by step – making changes and learning as I go.  I have never cared for cooking, so the easy meals work.  I have learned how to cook fish for the first time, and prefer this over chicken any day.  My favorite meal is the cappuccino drink once I learned to use the blender to stir the mix with boiling water.  I also enjoy the puddings, the shakes and the brownies.  I eat the cereal for my “to go” food or emergency food, since the bars have gluten in them.  I always liked cereal. 

I have spent the last month trying to incorporate the program into my life.  I strive for a life of integrity, and desire to live out the words I say in my personal actions.  I have read through the book and utilized the study guide to learn some nutrition fundamentals I thought I knew.  I have also enjoyed listening to numerous support calls to understand some of the challenges we face and ways to work with them. I was surprised how the simple things could make a difference, and how much there is to learn.  Fortunately I can take all these lessons step by step, which is the best way for me to make changes.  Much of my hesitation regarding a program switched to amazement at how much wisdom and support was offered to aid me in becoming healthy. 

My biggest struggle is social situations.  I am still learning how to deal with eating around people and managing the peer pressure I feel, or think I feel.  I miss my skim milk and still crave breads and pizza.  Fortunately, these situations are limited, and most of the time I am grateful for my new health, less pain, more energy, and that my jeans aren’t tight. 

More about the program can be found at http://healthcoachelissa.tsfl.com/.  You can also send me an e-mail at bugzy@aol.com with any questions or if you want me to send information your way.  The idea of this program is to achieve greater health through changing your habits.  This could include losing weight, reducing health problems and medications, being more fit, understanding healthier living, learning about nutrition and more.  I have been greatly impressed by what I have learned so far, and am excited to share it with you. 

On a personal note – I have been married almost 20 years and have 2 middle school daughters.  I have a degree in sociology with a minor in psychology.  I love reading memoirs, blogging, learning, planning and researching.  I enjoy traveling – whether camping, visiting relatives or going to Hawaii.  My favorite fitness activities are coaching soccer, racquetball, weight lifting, yoga, and running. 

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Medication reduction, pain slightly higher

November 15, 2012

My journey continues in trying to reduce my medication.  My new health habits are giving me more energy and seem to have a positive effect on my pain level.  A few months ago I took a break from reducing my medicine because I wasn’t able to function with the increase in pain, and it made it difficult for me to sleep.  Earlier this week, after spending a few weeks on a healthier diet (and losing 8 pounds), I felt my pain reduce, and was able to cut out my mid day medication (I was taking a low dose of opioids 3X a day).

Today I am starting to increase the time between each dose.  So far I have added a couple more hours in between.  I can feel my hands shake some, and a slight increase in pain especially in my knees.  I am hoping that in 3 or 4 days, I will be down to once a day.

I am surprised by how effective this has been for me.  Unfortunately few doctors I saw gave any information on options for pain control that relates to the food we eat.  Part of this is that it isn’t always covered under insurance to see someone who deals with nutrition.  I have been referred to physical therapists, accupuncturist, chiropractor, sports doctors, pain management doctors, psychologist, neurologists, oncologist, rheumatologist, cardiologist and had numerous diagnostic tests and tried 11 or so medications.  My hope has returned for a cure or at least a low amount of pain without medication.  I am feeling better everyday!


Can a speckle of medication really make that much difference?

November 9, 2012

Because I have been doing so well with my nutrition plan, I decided to once again try to cut out my mid-day medication.  Over the summer I have reduced my medication to the point where I am taking really tiny cut up pieces that I take 3 times a day.  The last few days I reduced my middle of the day to almost a dust of medication.  This afternoon I thought I would cut out this dose since it is so small.  In the afternoon it wasn’t too bad, but as the evening progressed I could feel my eyes burning and my body pain increase significantly.  These are similar symptoms I had when reducing my medication over the summer.  I can’t believe the reaction I am having over such a small amount of medication.  It reminds me of how powerful narcotics really are.

I am hoping that tomorrow, my body will continue to adjust during the daytime and my pain will be reduced.  For now I will take a hot shower, and take my evening dose an hour earlier.  I love the idea of going back to two doses each day, as I don’t have to worry about taking medication with me when I am out.  I have two weekends of soccer tournaments, so it would be great to have the lesser pain and the lesser medication.  I would be happy to go off meat and gluten products in order to be medication free.  I trust I can learn to supplement other great food products for my favorites like pizza, barbecued hamburgers, and breads.  Something else to explore…..

 


Pain is decreasing….

November 7, 2012

I have been experimenting with my food a bit, trying to eat more healthy and focus on a vegetarian and gluten-free diet.  I am filling up a water jug each morning of 64 ounces of water, and most days I drink all of this.  I decided to try this for a couple of reasons.  One was that I am planning on becoming a health coach in December to help others in their health and wanted to try out the food, and second I wanted to see if my food might make a difference in my health.  Hearing I would lose some weight didn’t hurt either.

I was skeptical.  Actually I am still skeptical.  Years and years of trying different things to reduce my pain level, and give me more energy.  Many things help – such as exercise, ice and heat, yoga and reducing stress.  I even was able to reduce my medication this summer to about 10% of the dose I was given.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to cut it off completely, and any reduction caused too much pain.

So far the past week and a half I am feeling more energized.  My body is still tired, yet I am so much more alert.  I feel like I have an extra hour or two each day.  I am still stuffed up, which is probably due to dairy which I haven’t cut out.  My pain has also been reduced some, so I am reducing my medication a little more for the first time in months.  I can feel more discomfort in my knees when I walk, and sensitivity in my hands (the tingling sensations are greater).  The pain in my body and back are less, and I am still able to sleep at night.  I have also lost about 6 pounds, so my clothes aren’t so tight – always a good thing.

I am learning a lot.  I feel like I am understanding more what my body needs.  I don’t expect a miracle, yet it is great to see some hope and improvement.


veggie and gluten free experiment continued…

November 2, 2012

I have been trying a veggie and gluten-free plan this week to see if I have any allergies related to gluten and if certain foods might reduce my symptoms.  So far I am feeling a little less pain, but more fatigued (probably because I am eating less).  I don’t have the stomach-ache I was having earlier, and do feel healthier overall.  Because I still feel somewhat stuffed up in the morning, I doubt I have allergies to gluten, so grateful for that.  I have also lost about 3 pounds, so my jeans don’t feel so snug.

I will continue with what I am eating for the next week, and then start adding back some gluten products.  I don’t care that much for most meat, so will wait on adding meat.  I also might try reducing my dairy intake.


New food plan experiment

October 26, 2012

Next week, I am planning on trying a vegetarian and gluten free plan to see if it affects my symptoms in any way.  I have heard various people share of miraculous recoveries because of a particular diet plan, yet have been skeptical.  Even though I don’t expect drastic results, I believe I will feel better if I make some improvements in my food choices.   Anything that has the potential of helping me, especially with little cost, is worth trying.  I have most of my food ready to go!

I have been continuing with the 15M plan most days.  I have been able to do some form of exercise each day for at least 15 minutes.  Most days I do more than this.  On the days that I have really struggled, I utilize Netflix to watch something of interest.  I do best being consistent when I schedule something with a friend, other days I have to result to more procrastination tactics on my part.

I am also trying to make my top 5-8 items I need to accomplish each day.  I find it is really important for me to feel a sense of progress, especially when life feels more routine.  The check-off sheets remind me that I am doing well, making progress, even if I can’t do everything.


Plan 15M – A life of adaptation

October 1, 2012

Last week I was really sick with some stomach bug.  I am hoping it is just the flu and not some new chronic condition.  Fibromyalgia has a way of stealing my innocence.  I am aware that many chronic conditions seem to take place after regular illnesses and stress.  This was the case for me with fibromyalgia.  I initially had a cold virus and was dealing with some stressful situations in my life.  The antibiotics might have also contributed to my body shutting down.  Unfortunately now when I have an illness that lingers, I go back down memory lane (somewhat like pstd) and feel fear.  Though I have recovered somewhat (meaning I can leave the couch), I still am struggling to eat.

Often when I start some exercise routine, I seem to get sick.  Though if I probe closer, I generally fight infections regularly anyway, and have many allergies that can bring me down.  A regular cold may hit me a bit harder than before fibromyalgia.  I could pretty much function ok, but scaled down some.  Because my life is already scaled down, and my body running with less energy, a cold can knock me out.  I decided my body needed some rest, and limited my exercise last week.

Fortunately life always has many plan Bs to choose from.  This week I will go with plan 15M.  My goal is 15 minutes a day of some exercise even though I still feel sick.  My neighbor needs her dog walked as she is recovering from surgery.  This is a great place to start.  I will also continue the P90X plan.  As I anticipate more illnesses in the future, whatever time I miss for illness, I will extend to my plan.  The P90X plan is geared for making changes every 3 weeks.  So if I miss a week for illness, I will spend 4 weeks in that particular area.  I might add a few sprints into my dog walking, but will take it easier on the running for now.

The good news about having stomach aches is I am forced to eat better.  It seems I do better with healthier food – who knew?  I even cooked up some tofu that didn’t taste too bad.  Next time I will google how to cook tofu before cooking it.  I don’t know why there isn’t instructions on the package like every other food you buy.

There is a good possibility the stomach pains are partly because of my medication reduction.  Though I haven’t reduced my medication in weeks, it feels similar to what I experienced when going off other narcotics.  For now I will continue to maintain my current level of medication.

Well off to call my neighbor about the dog walk.  Wish you all a great week…..


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