Finally Back to Me!

December 20th, 2015. That is the day I first started taking the cholestyramine to help clear the mold from my system. I even remember one of the last days before Christmas, when it was time for my workout with my girls and I felt so crappy, I sat in a chair, wrapped in a blanket with gloves on, and watched THEM workout. It was hard. 🙁

December 2oth, 2016. That is the day that I was finally able to respond to the question, “How are you feeling?” with a, “I FEEL GREAT!”

If you want to catch up on what has been going on with my health, you can read HERE and HERE!

It took just one year, that felt like many years. Moving out of the “moldy environments” both work and home were detrimental to the healing process and that was completed last May. Taking care of myself, taking tons of supplements, getting adequate sleep (when I was able to) and I was just waiting to finally feel like myself again.

The last, and most annoying thing to fix, was my dry, irritated eyes. Everything was still bothering them. Until last week, I thought I was getting sick, so I took some Vitamin C we had in the cupboard. WHAMO! My eyes no longer bothered me! NOW, every last thing that had been “broken” in my body was FIXED! I remember thinking that I would never get here. Thinking how frustrating of a life it would be to live this this forever. But now I am here.

It’s been a long process to say the least. Just ask my husband. Probably just as frustrating for him to have to deal with all that I was going through when he was feeling fine. I am sure there were times when he thought I was just plain crazy!

I am happy. I am healthy. I am full of energy. I am sleeping great. I am ready to tackle 2017 in a way that I was unable to the past few years.

Muscle Builder Workout

As I took a few weeks off from working out, I decided I needed to come back and focus on building some muscle. We normally do circuit type workouts so I felt it was time to change it up and focus on our cardio elsewhere, at least for a while.

Here is what we did yesterday, which after week of no weights, it killed my body. But in a good way! Sure did miss my weight workouts! I hope you enjoy it too!

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We used 45# BB for the squats and lunges. I know we could use a lot more on the squats, but since it was the first time we did the workout, we eased into it. We did decide to add on a 4th round of the legs next time though. So maybe the 45# might be ok! 😉

We used 20# for the presses and did decline instead of incline presses, but it’s your choice.

If you do not have access to the pull up bar or TRX, you can do Bent Over Rows and/or Inverted Rows instead. Renegade Rows would be another good option.

It’s Game ON!

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2 Weeks ago, I decided I need to take a break, just focus on resting my body and letting it heal to see if it would make a difference. I honestly can’t remember the last time I took 2 entire weeks off!! I only did yoga and walked.

During the 2 weeks, I discovered that the reason I was feeling so crappy (with tanked adrenals) was because I had been exposed on our vacation in Breckenridge. We stayed in large family home that we found out had pipes that had burst the year before. Yes, I am still THAT sensitive. How frustrating!! It just means my body is not totally healed from the mold yet. But it will get there. 😉

Taking the 2 weeks off, other than just allowing my body to rest, did nothing else for me. Yes, I did do a LOT more yoga than I would have ever done and I actually didn’t mind it. But I didn’t feel my body “healing” any quicker.

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I am sure I have posted this before, but I believe it is so true! Our minds play such a huge part in not only what we believe but also in how we feel. After I was told I was “sick” I believed I was sick. I felt like crap, I was tired all the time, I had no energy. BUT it was so much worse because I kept telling myself that I was “sick”.

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A perfect example of our minds being in control, is my cousin Sarah who is fighting cancer. She could just tell herself that she is “sick” and lay in bed all day and do nothing. BUT she has refused to give up and has committed to doing 1000 burpees, all during her cancer treatment! That is determination and control over the mind for sure!! I am super impressed with her!!

So no more for me. I am done being “sick”. I am now healthy! I am happy! I am making progress and doing what makes me feel good! Call it determination or stubborness, I’ll claim both!!

I have had goals that I wanted to achieve for years now. I am not going to sit back and wait until I “feel” better to make them happen. I am going to DECIDE NOW IS THE TIME!! I will still listen to my body and if it’s tired, I will rest. But if I feel good, I am going to push through and reach those goals. I will work to find all the answers I need to get back to 100% health. No one will be able to stop me other than myself and I have already made the decision to not let that happen. 🙂

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Taking a Step Back to Heal

ffb2b41b15ab95e693ebfd19a97c7dc8Yes, that is me. Resting? What is that? I just don’t DO that well. Even over the past few years as I have been dealing with this CIRS I have had a hard time listening to the Dr when he told me to slow down and just walk and do yoga. Yea, right? Did he know what I did for a living? He expected me to just do nothing?

At one point, I did slow down, quite a bit. It’s only because I didn’t have the energy to do anything, so that made it easy.

But now, as I have been healing for about 8 months (can’t believe its been that long already!!) and my energy has increased and I am feeling so much better, I want to push myself. I want to work off this inflammation weight that I am carrying around. I want to do everything again! I am an endorphin junkie and working out makes me feel better!!!

Well, as I have done that the past month or so, my body is finally telling me to stop again. My adrenals are not holding up. I wish I could just go to the store and buy new ones. They seem to be so hard to build back up! I have been taking adrenal support for years, but with all the stuff my body has been going through, they are being over worked.

Not sure what your adrenal glands are? 

The adrenal glands, located at the top of each kidney, produce hormones that help the body control blood sugar, burn protein and fat, react to stressors like a major illness or injury, and regulate blood pressure. Two of the most important adrenal hormones are cortisol and aldosterone. The adrenal glands also produce adrenaline and small amounts of sex hormones called androgens, among other hormones.

How do I know its my adrenals and not something else? 

*Low energy

*Not waking up rested after good nights sleep

*Weight Gain with more exercise and clean eating

*Cravings for salty foods and chocolate!

*Lots of joint and muscle pain and not recovering well from exercise

*Light headedness/low blood pressure

*Frequent urination

Yup, all of that. Brings me back to last year, when I had all the same things happening. 🙁

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So I am making the decision that I do NOT want to go back there again. I need to let my body completely heal from all that has been going on the past few years before I decide to go crazy with workouts!

My husband is even on board with me and said he will hold me accountable by making sure I do NOT over do it!

I have a plan for the next 30 days and what better day to start than on the 1st day of August! (And its my 2nd Wedding Anniversary!)

Over the past few months, I have tried many different nutrition plans. But as I am learning (and sometimes the hard way) the best way to eat to help with adrenal fatigue is to eat every 3-4 hrs to keep you insulin levels up. Going for long periods of time without eating or fasting is the WORST thing you can do for them! It just makes them have to work even harder.

Nutrition Plan Goals –Eat 5x per day, 3 meals and 2 snacks. Paleo style foods, eating a variety of foods at each and every meal. Limit carbs to fruits and veggies.

I love working out with weights. Not so much a cardio person, unless it’s a circuit with body weight. Both have not helped me heal lately.

Workout Plan Goals –1st 2 Weeks — ONLY walking and Yoga and PIYO (I have to teach it!) Last 2 Weeks — Add in some Body Weight Workouts to help me maintain my muscle.

At this point, this is not even a “want to do” it is a “MUST DO”!! 

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But again, being honest, it’s going to be super hard for me these first 2 weeks to do nothing but yoga and walking. I will need to be held accountable from YOU!! I can guarantee, I will say, “I feel good today, I think I will join the workout!” or “I feel like I could do some intervals!”  BUT DO NOT LET ME!! I need your support through this!! 

In the long run, I know this is the best decision I can make right now, but that doesn’t mean its an easy decision. I know that healing will not happen overnight, which is why I am committing to 30 days. I KNOW I can do this. I KNOW this will be the best thing I can do for my body! So here is to HAPPY HEALING! 🙂

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Making the Choice…

ghZV18W It’s true. You have the choice to throw in the towel when any obstacle comes your way. To lay down and refuse to do anything about it. You ALWAYS have a choice and that choice is only yours to make. 

It’s been a rough 3 years. My health, well it’s been pretty rough. Here is a timeline just to show you where I have been…

October 2013 – Moved into “moldy” house. Only we didn’t know it was mold.

Jan/Feb 2014 –Started having lots of hormonal issues, sleep problems, sensitivities to foods and chemicals (makeup, lotion, shampoo), workouts started to get harder, recovery time longer, weight started to creep up.

-Started seeing Naturopath to work on hormones. Then went to Acupuncture to work on hormones, run tests, etc.

 March 2014-May 2015-Continued seeing acupuncturist to try and level out hormones, etc. They did improve but not a lot. Continued testing and working on them, but felt worse. Lots of other issues started to come up. Issues with my eyes – dry, burning all the time, lack of sex drive, adrenals were tanked, never had any extra energy, brain fog, swelling of the tongue (affected my speech), handwriting was awful, no focus, wanted to sleep all the time. Lacked the energy to teach my classes that I loved so much!! That was really difficult for me. 🙁

May 2015-  My chiropractor suggested I test for mold, as she had been dealing with mold issues as well. We put out simple mold testing kits just to see what showed up. This was our Master Bedroom and our Living Room. We didn’t even test the basement at that time! This was enough for us to pursue more about the possibility of mold issues.

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We had someone come out to do further testing of the home, which determined that our crawl space, which was dirt, was all moldy. This was the air that was being distributed all through our HVAC system into the entire home.

October 2015- Went to see Naturopath in Boulder who specialized in patients who had been exposed to mold. He ran a TON of tests to determine what exactly what was going on with my body. Sure enough, we discovered I had CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) caused by mold.

December 20, 2015– Started on Cholestyramine.  This was to bind the mold/toxins in my body and remove them. I had to take this 4x a day away from food and supplements. I usually got in around 3x a day, which was better than nothing! It was a nasty powder that had to be mixed with orange juice to even be able to swallow it! YUCK!

*Keep in mind, that over the course of discovering the mold in the home, we were communicating all this to our landlord, who really didn’t see it as being a big deal. They tried to “remediate” the issue, but he was cheap and didn’t do it correctly. Resulting in us breaking our lease to get out early and get away from the mold. We found a rental just a few blocks away and had it tested for mold before moving into it as a precaution. It came back clean.

February 2016 – Moved into new “mold free” rental. Being on the cholestyramine and moving to a clean environment, I could already tell I was feeling better! Still not 100% but about 65 to 70% which was a HUGE jump from feeling like total crap!

Ran tests again to see how body was responding. Numbers were going down, which was as good thing, but there were still a few numbers that needed to drop before I could go off the CSM and start the next level of healing. It also made me wonder if maybe my business was keeping my numbers from lowering. There was water damage on the outside wall and I noticed when I was there, I felt more tired, my eyes were more irritated. So I made the decision to get out of there as well. Best decision ever.

May 2016 – Moved into new “mold” free building for my business! Within a few weeks I could definitely tell so much difference!! I was feeling about 80% better! My energy levels were back to about 90%! I was working out more regularly, and able to push myself to do more. I was running, and I hate running, but being able to do it again.. YIPEE!  My body was recovering at a much better rate. I was sleeping tons better! My hormone levels were leveling out. To feel this way…. it almost makes me emotional. I never thought I was going to get here again!

June 7, 2016 – Went in for Blood tests again

June 30 2016 – Got call from Dr about test results. Some numbers were still high, but based on how I was feeling, he suggested we move to the next level. I am SO ready!! I will begin taking VIP (how ironic the name.. lol)

Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) is a neuroregulatory hormone with receptors in the hypothalamus. This hormone/cytokine regulates peripheral cytokine responses, pulmonary artery pressures, and inflammatory responses throughout the body. Low VIP levels are present in mold illness patients.

The VIP should lower my inflammation levels, which I do still feel a lot of in my body, make a lot of my sensitivities go away and in general make me feel like WONDERWOMAN!! HA!!

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This all comes back to choices. I do think that for some time, as I was told I was “sick” from mold, it became a mind thing. I decided I was sick, so I felt sick. It was just in the last few months, as I started to feel somewhat better that I actually made the CHOICE to say, SCREW IT! I am deciding to be HEALTHY! I am deciding to PUSH HARDER!!  Accept no limits! And I cannot tell you how much of a difference that made in my daily life. Amazing what the mind can do!!

I have an entire new set of goals. I have been focusing so much on trying to lose weight over the past few years, it’s become and obsession. Not to mention, nothing I tried to work. I eventually learned that someone fighting CIRS will most likely not lose weight no matter what, until they are healed. I have had to go through a lot of self image issues in the past few years. Not to say that I never have before, but they have been really difficult lately. On a positive note, it has helped me to relate to my clients who struggle as well. Learning to love my body for what it CAN DO instead of what it looks like has been a good lesson for me.

My new goals are to focus on being strong and building muscle– running as a way to de-stress and not to lose weight, be healthy and just love me for who I am. 🙂

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Belly Fat Blaster

I had some suggestions for Weights and Abs, so here is a combo workout with some weights. If you are unsure about an exercise, you can youtube it or ask me and I will video it for you!

Enjoy!! Blast that Belly Fat! Belly Fat Blaster

Total Body Butt Kicker

We did something similar to this last week and it literally kicked my butt!! If you push yourself and go hard, it will do the same for you! It shouldn’t take too long, but instead its a short and sweaty perfect workout for you!

Total Body Butt Kicker

What would you like to see more of? More weight workouts? Ab workouts? Cardio?? Post below and I will see what I can put together!

Booty Blaster

I truly apologize for lack of workouts lately. If you have been keeping up with my blog, you know that I have been dealing with some health issues and just haven’t had the extra energy or brain space to even put something together.

Here is a special booty blaster for you to try out today! I hope you enjoy!! I promise to post more often as I am feeling better!

Booty Blaster Workout

Healing Feels Good…

every-day-in-every-way-i-am-getting-better-and-betterIt has been a whirlwind since I last posted about my health! If you want to catch up, you can go to read this, “Finally Got Some Answers“.

That post was way back in December, and so much has happened since then!!

After the diagnosis, I was put on Cholestyramine (CSM) and told to take it 4x a day. 2 hours after food and 30 minutes before food. What a task! Trying to do that and eat 3-5x a day! Most days I got in about 3 servings. I eventually had to put a timer on my phone to remind me to take it. The first few times, I just mixed it with water and it tasted like sandy water. Got stuck in my throat and was hard to swallow. I thought to myself, “there is no way I can take this 4x a day for months!!” But I did. 🙂 I eventually learned you could add it to some form of juice, so I opted for OJ. It helped TONS! BUT I was supposed to stay away from sugar, so it was about 3 TBSP of OJ that I used every serving, just enough to mix it and allow me to swallow it.

I started the CSM back in December, before Christmas. I am still taking it, 6 months later. 🙁 I was retested in February and the tests came back that I was still being exposed. We thought that with all that we had done in the home we lived in that was “Moldy” that it was safe for me to live in now. We were wrong. So we found a place a few blocks away and moved into a clean environment. We did testing before we moved and found it was safe to move into. I tell you the move was insane! We had to clean EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING with ammonia before it was allowed in the house. It was a hard process for everyone, but in the end it was so worth it to KNOW that my environment would be safe for me to heal in. We got rid of so much stuff that was unable to be cleaned. We had to wash every article of clothing and anything that could be washed in the washing machine with special soap. I was still washing stuff a month after we moved into the new space and things had to sit in the garage until we were able to wash it. THEN spray the laundry room with ammonia in case any mold spores spread when we brought them in. I kind of started feeling like a crazy, paranoid person!! I even convinced my husband to fog the entire house, just in case we didn’t get something cleaned well enough.

In the end though, it was all worth it, as the house came up safe, as we had it retested again after the move. Phew!! In April, I went back to get tested again. All my numbers had gone way down, except for the exposure number. It had gone WAY UP!! What?? How could this be? My only answer was the place where I ran my business. It had concrete walls and the outside walls were bubbling, which indicated some form of water damage. It was enough to continue making me sick. Bummer….

So I had to find a way to get out of there and soon! I was TIRED of not getting better! I found a space, with NO mold and we moved in before May. Again, it was a long, hard process, as I had to explain to my clients and instructors who helped me move, how everything had to be cleaned before we could move it. But of course, they have all been so understanding in this whole process, they were all about doing what the could to ensure the cleanliness of the new studio.

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Now, 4 months out of the “moldy” house and almost 2 months out of the water damaged studio, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! My energy has improved, my sleep has improved, my life is improving!! When I look back at pictures of me when I was in that house, it makes me sad. To see how sick I actually looked. Even my mom mentioned to me recently how she was worried about me last summer because I looked so sick. The circles under my eyes were awful! Even in my wedding pictures, they looked bad.

Recently I have had a few clients mention to me that they were a little worried about me as well, especially the last few months. They said I just didn’t have my “spunk” and energy like I normally did. All the moving and the exposure of moving really tanked my body. I tried hard to push through it as best I could, but running a business on top of everything else, really made it hard. I remember a few days when I was teaching and I was just standing there in the middle of a class and zoned out. Felt like I could honestly have fallen asleep standing up. Thank GOODNESS I am out of that funk!!

Last week I went in for another blood draw. They are running the 3 mold marker tests again to see where I am at. I am hoping to move on to the next phase of healing when I get those results back. I am ready to get back to being ME and feeling amazing!

I hope that from sharing my experiences, it will help someone else to discover that maybe what is going on with them, could be mold exposure. It’s the last thing I would have thought was making my body all messed up.

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In Vegas last October. My eyes look awful!

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This was in Omaha after it rained. Moldy bodies do not like humid and rainy weather. 😉

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The morning of my wedding when I was getting ready, I remember being sad because of how dark the circles were under my eyes. Glad my hubby decided to marry me anyhow! 😉

 

Post Valentine’s Day Workout

Were you bad on Valentine’s Day? Did you splurge a little? It’s LIFE! We all do it from time to time. Here is a great workout for you to do to burn off those valentine goodies!!  Enjoy!Sweaty Valentines Workout