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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Yoga is GOOD for the Adrenals!

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Are your adrenals shot?? Well mine are. It’s been a long process of discovering that they are just overworked and the only thing that will bring them back is acupuncture, yoga and meditation. Why only those things? They are the only things that help bring your body to a relaxed state without causing any undo stress on the body.

I have been doing acupuncture for over a year now, but have not been able to get myself to commit to the yoga. We have yoga classes at my Fit Chick Express studio, but none of the times work with my schedule and trying to make them work, would cause more stress, which is what I want to try and avoid. Remember  back when I was going to do 28 days of meditation? I think I made it like 3 days. That is how much I love sitting still or moving slowly. Ugh

Every time I meet with my acupuncturist and she says my adrenals are still not doing well, I make the comment that I don’t feel stressed! But she says its not always the stress on the outside, but what is going on inside that causes stress on them as well.

“What are adrenals and just what do they do?” —

Your adrenal glands are two tiny pyramid-shaped pieces of tissue situated right above each kidney. Their job is to produce and release, when appropriate, certain regulatory hormones and chemical messengers.

Adrenaline is manufactured in the interior of the adrenal gland, called the adrenal medulla. Cortisol, the other chemical from the adrenal gland, is made in the exterior portion of the gland, called the adrenal cortex. The cortex also secretes androgens, estrogens, and progestins. Cortisol, commonly called hydrocortisone, is the most abundant — and one of the most important — of many adrenal cortex hormones. Cortisol helps you handle longer-term stress situations.

In addition to helping you handle stress, these two primary adrenal hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, along with others similarly produced, help control body fluid balance, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other central metabolic functions.

In the heightened nervous state of adrenal burnout, the body overproduces adrenaline, cortisol and other stress hormones. Constant stress and poor nutrition can weaken the adrenal glands. Eventually, this causes the adrenal glands, the front line in the stress reaction, to show wear and tear and become depleted. This frequently leads to impairment in the thyroid gland, which can cause a further decline in energy level and mood and is one of the reasons why many people have thyroid glands that don?t work well.

When stress continues over prolonged periods of time, the adrenal glands can deplete the body’s hormonal and energy reserves, and the glands may either shrink in size or hypertrophy (enlarge). The overproduction of adrenal hormones caused by prolonged stress can weaken the immune system and inhibit the production of white blood cells that protect the body against foreign invaders (in particular lymphocytes and lymph node function). Adrenal dysfunction can disrupt the body’s blood sugar metabolism, causing weakness, fatigue, and a feeling of being run down. It can also interfere with normal sleep rhythms and produce a wakeful, unrelaxing sleep state, making a person feel worn out even after a full night’s sleep.

– See more at: http://www.gaiamtv.com/article/adrenal-fatigue#sthash.SrZYFAQx.dpuf

Here are some signs that your adrenals are stressed: 

  • Excessive sweating or perspiration from little activity
  • Lower back pain and/or knee weakness or pain, especially on the side
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle twitches
  • Low blood sugar
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sensitivity to light, or difficulty seeing at night
  • A craving for salt
  • Low stamina for stress, and easily irritated
  • Excessive mood responses after eating carbohydrates such as pasta, breads and sugar
  • Chronic infections (bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Light-headedness on standing up
  • Tired but wired feeling, poor sleep, difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
  • Cravings for sweets and carbs, intolerance to alcohol
  • Premature aging
  • Dry, unhealthy skin with excess pigmentation
  • Lack of libido
  • Cystic breasts
  • Tendency to startle easily
  • Negative response to thyroid hormone
  • Poor concentration and fuzzy thinking

reference: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4911/How-to-Tell-If-Your-Adrenals-Are-Fatigued-Plus-7-Ways-To-Support-Them.html

So when I look at those, yes I agree, my adrenals are still under a lot of stress. 

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Fixing ones adrenals can be quite difficult for someone like myself who THRIVES off of tough workouts and cardio and who doesn’t like to sit still much. It actually feels more stressful to stop doing those things! So what I did was decide to find an accountability partner, who also is similar to myself and needs to repair her adrenals, that we will commit to at LEAST 2 yoga classes per week, to start. 😉

So today, instead of doing intervals, I did 15 minutes of yoga. Yes, just 15 minutes! I am starting myself off slow. I figure as it becomes more of a habit and I feel more comfortable slowing down, I can add more time to it.

And below is PROOF that I did it!! 🙂

2015-06-09_16.30.07I found an After Work Revitalizer that I did at doyogawithme.com. They have LOTS of free online yoga sessions and you can choose based on what type of yoga you need and how long, which I love!

Do you have a love/hate relationship with yoga? Tell us about it!! 

 

Sometimes Less is Better…

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SLOW DOWN! DO LESS! RELAX! —Yea, those are all things that I just don’t know how to do and unfortunately, its gotten me into trouble.

It has been about 3 years now, that I started to really “feel” like I was getting older. Or at least that is what I was telling myself was the problem. But I since learned it was much more than that.

2 years ago, when I finally hit rock bottom and felt like a complete zombie, I decided it was time to get some help. I went to a Naturopath and we ran some tests. My hormones were a mess and I was peri-menopausal. FABULOUS!! Just what every 40 year old wants to hear, right?! So with natural supplements, we worked on those hormones. I started to feel a little better but still had no energy and was only sleeping on average 4 to 5 hrs almost every night. Even when I was able to sleep longer, I still wasn’t getting much sleep. I had dark circles under my eyes that wouldn’t go away. I had to take a nap every single day to make it all the way to evening. I was gaining weight even with all my workouts and could tell the I was losing muscle. It was awful. But I had to go on, I had a business to run, workouts to get in and things to do! 

Then I decided to try acupuncture. I thought, WHY NOT, something has to change and it can’t make things worse, right?! We started working on my hormones along with my sleep–which are actually connected. If your not sleeping, it can mess with your hormones and vice versa, so why not work on them both! Double whammy! FINALLY, about 3 months in, I started to see the light. I was sleeping on average 6 to 7 hrs and sometimes even 8 hrs a night! My energy was improving!!

Then I started with a Digestion ND and learned that not only were my hormones were a mess, but my digestion was a mess as well. How could this be? I was eating almost a paleo diet, drinking all my water, taking all my supplements, etc. This just didn’t make any sense. So we worked on my digestion for about 3 months along with continuing the acupuncture.

My sleep was getting better, I was feeling better, I was dropping weight and gaining back my muscle, so what did I do?? I worked out more, put more work on my plate, pushed on!! 

And here we are to the present…just 3 weeks ago, I started a cardio challenge with my Fit Chicks. I set myself up for getting in over 200 minutes of cardio each week and I did it for 2 weeks straight! On top of adding more to my work plate, putting together a challenge for my Fit Chicks, oh– and just life in general. Guess what happened?

I burnt myself out. I was exhausted. I wanted to sleep all the time. Everything made me want to cry. I didn’t want to wake up in the morning. I was putting on body fat and weight again. I got sick and I felt exactly like I did 2 years ago. 🙁

Back to researching online–what could be wrong with me?? Why was this happening?? I thought maybe it was adrenal fatigue or leaky gut or my hormones again or…. it could be anything. So I talked to my acupuncturist about how I was feeling and what was happening and she proceeded to tell me that I was over doing it. Her exact words were, “Our bodies cannot do both – heal and recover from constant physical exertion -not when you’re as depleted as your tests are showing.”  Of course I knew this to be true, but I didn’t want to hear it! I am stubborn. I didn’t want to slow down! I felt GOOD when I worked out! I felt GOOD after cardio!! BUT I know in the end, it only hurts me and if I don’t learn to listen to my body, I will end up having even larger issues than I have now. I am almost 43 and I refuse to live my life like this! So I have to make some decisions. I need to do less. I have to take care of me and do what my body needs at this time. 

She sent me a link to a great blog post called “The Dao of Exercise” Here are my favorite parts that REALLY stood out to me:

As Americans, and to an even greater degree, as people from the affluent suburbs of NYC, we are what we would call “Excessive Yang” – a more intense, competitive, driven population. Yang is hot. Yang burns energy. Yang consumes. It can be wonderful – inspiration, movement and vitality – but without the balance of Yin, Yang will send us up in a burst of flames. So we are already living in that relative state of imbalance. As a culture, we already could use a little more yin. Whether it be sleep, meditation, yoga, alkalizing, more blood, more fluids, more cooling, more grounding, we need something to offset and balance out the constant stress and movement that most of us experience daily.

–I am so YANG!! I need more YIN!!! —

We have these resources that we use to navigate our lives in whatever way we choose. These resources are what we rely on to live. Everything from sweat and tears, to blood, cerebrospinal fluid, semen, hormones and even bone marrow is considered a precious resource that serves a valuable purpose.   The fluid we lose in perspiration is expended to cool our bodies, to detoxify and to expel pathogens when we are fighting illness. Urine carries unwanted waste out of our bodies. Even tears are part of a cleansing process. Generally speaking, the denser the resource, the more precious and difficult to replace, which is why we shed tears far more readily than we would shed blood. Hormones are part of this continuum as well, which is why symptoms associated with hormone imbalance (hyper/hypothyroidism, hot flashes, menstrual irregularities, night sweats) tend to occur more frequently as we tap into deeper resources. And if you’re tapping into bone marrow, you had better have a very good reason.

–This was exactly what I was doing.. “tapping out” my reserves.– 

True healing takes time and patience, but the benefits of slowing down and making that time tend to be profound and lasting. Many people are amazed by how simple shifts in diet and lifestyle can energize, reverse age-related symptoms, speed healing and promote wellness.

–Well said and I need to print that first sentence out and post where I can see it daily.–

I am learning to listen to my body, which is most important. If it’s telling you to slow down, DO IT! The sooner you listen, the quicker your body will heal and respond. Don’t make the mistakes that I have which will end up taking me probably a year or so for my body to recover fully. 

So what am I going to do about all this? Well here is my current plan. 

  • Slow down– take more time for ME! 
  • Only worry about things that really NEED to be done!
  • Add some YOGA to my schedule, at least 2x per week.
  • Only walk for my cardio, BUT I need to prep for a 5K and Mud Run in May—so some running will be done, but ONLY if my body is feeling like it can. 
  • Start working on healing my gut naturally, again. 
  • Add meditation to my life. Even if it involves just sitting outside, enjoying the sunshine and keeping my brain clear. 
  • Asking for help when I need it and saying NO when I can. 
  • Continue my weight workouts, but again, ONLY if my body is feeling good. 
  • Be grateful for how far I have come with my “issues” and be patient, knowing I will recover fully from all of it if I just let things go and do less. 🙂