Don’t Give Up

Tried Everything

Let’s be realistic for a minute.  Results take time.  You aren’t going to do one workout or one class or one day of a change in diet and expect to drop down a bunch of sizes.  Life doesn’t work that way.  And like I’ve always said, the weight didn’t come on in a day, it shouldn’t come off in a day.

You have to work for it.

And, something else I’ve said over the years:  If you’re not willing to work for it then you’re not ready to lose the weight.

Life is not easy and losing weight is not easy.  But get in there, dig deeper, work hard, sweat, LOVE YOURSELF, and your hard work will pay off.

Tomorrow is the first day of a new week.

It’s the first day of a new you.

Hang in there.  Don’t give up.  It will seem easier.  You will get stronger.

Don’t give up.

You Got This!

~FB

 

Vitamin E and Your Diet (Guest Post)

The Importance of Vitamin E and how to Incorporate it into Your Diet

Daily vitamins and minerals are one of the most important parts of a healthy diet. We all know how important Vitamin C and B12 are—we hear about them all the time. The market is inundated with B12 vitamins. Vitamin D supplements sell well in the winter because we worry we’re not getting enough sun. What about the other, less popular vitamins? Vitamin E is an equally important part of the diet. Today, we’ll talk about why and how you can work it into your daily meal plan.

Vitamins help the body grow and develop. Each one does this in a unique way. For example, Vitamin E is organically built to protect the body from neurological and mental diseases, diabetes, and ailments of the eyes. There are two main types of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin which means that it is more resilient and the effects can last longer in the body. Water-soluble vitamins like B12 are flushed out of our system whenever excess water is. Comparatively, a person would need more B12 than Vitamin E since Vitamin E stays reserved in fat tissue. Taking too many fat-soluble vitamins can be dangerous for the body. Toxicity is often times more dangerous than a deficiency.
A deficiency of Vitamin E can lead to the destruction of red blood cells, which, if severe enough, can cause anemia. The symptoms of anemia include malaise, fatigue, and abnormal heart-rate. Not enough Vitamin E can lead to more serious complications like Retinopathy, which can render patients partially or completely blind. Since Vitamin E is responsible for protecting the body from eye disorders like this, it is important to make sure that you get your daily amount each day. Skeletal Myopathy can also result from a deficiency. This condition is categorized by weakness in the muscles and skeleton.
Vitamin E can be found in oils. Krill oil is virtually tasteless and it is a bounty of vitamins and minerals. While it is most known for containing Omega 3, a daily serving of krill oil can also get you a portion of your other essentials including Vitamin E. Vitamin E is vegetarian and vegan friendly. It can also be found in a variety of plant-sources. Since the vitamin is fat-soluble, you can cook any of these ingredients without worrying about losing some of the nutrients to the heat. Avocados, leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and wheat all contain Vitamin E. You can also pick up a supplement at the pharmacy to give you a boost!
The benefits of Vitamin E are absolutely free so make sure you’re taking the most advantage of them each and every day. All vitamins are important to understand and consider. By building a vitamin-rich diet, you can be a healthier and stronger person.
Writer’s Bio
Meet Jane Grates.

jane-grates

Jane:  new best friend material.  🙂

Jane is an award-winning web lover and the co-manager of RunnerclickMonica’s Health Mag, and Janes Kitchen Miracles (<– Go check out that site!  So cool!).
Jane is a travel scholar, writer, health enthusiast, and food and health practitioner.

The Cravings Almost Got Me

I’m now 36 days into my Whole 60 and have been doing so well. But this past weekend was tough: surrounded by delicious foods and decadent drinks. I was pissed off at my food.

So last night, while gearing up for snowmageddon in Nova Scotia, I made these complian nut butter cups.

butter-cup

I made only a few and they have been serving their purpose. Cocoa, coconut oil, sunflower seed butter. That’s it. Easy peasy! Completely satisfied ( except for the weather. #snowpocalypse )

 

Directions:

Measurements can be estimated.  I made a half dozen cups and used 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, a teaspoon of cocoa, and a another half teaspoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of sunflower nut butter for the center.

1. Melt coconut oil or butter over a double broiler (you can use a microwave).  Once thoroughly melted, blend in the cocoa until completely smooth as liquid.  Pour half of this into mini muffin tins or ice cube tray and place in the freezer.

2. Melt coconut oil or butter over a double broiler . Once thoroughly melted, blend in the nut butter of choice and stir until completely smooth.  Pour this mixture over the frozen chocolate bottoms and freeze.

3.Re-warm an pour remaining chocolate mixture onto the nut butter cups to complete the third layer.  Freeze.   ENJOY!

 

 

Gaga for Lady Gaga’s Tummy

Last night was the Super Bowl – and in case you missed, Lady Gaga was the half time show performer.

Let me first say that I haven’t always been a fan of Ms. Gaga.  She is a supremely talented vocalist and musician, but I really hate antics.  I know it’s a gimmick and about money and fame, but, some the crap she’s pulled has irked me to no end.  I mean, who else can live without her meat dress or the gun bra just weeks after the Sandy Hook shooting (bad, bad, bad taste!!)

But, if you put her in a room with a piano or just her voice, I can listen to her all day.

Anyway, all that aside, last night Lady Gaga gave an outstanding performance during half time.  It really was an incredible spectacle and I would have loved to have been there.  But, it seems that what has been talked about, tweeted, and posted about more than her singing and dancing is her stomach.  Yep.  Her stomach.

gaga

via Google

See that up there?   up-arrow

Internet trolls are calling that woman fat.  ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME????

First of all, let me say this….Lady Gaga is not fat.  Second, even if she were fat, whose effing business is it for anyone to comment on her body. She’s obviously very comfortable with her body (made apparent by her constant crotch shots to the camera – something else I can live without).  Third, she rocked the stage AND those glittery shorts and I suspect she could dance circles around the aforementioned trolls. Let us not forget she is a singer NOT a supermodel!

SOME FANS (<- click that link) have already banded together to address the body-shamers and to praise Gaga for her tummy.

gaga2

FAT?  ARE YOU FRICKIN’ INSANE????

And isn’t it ironic how all this has happened just a few hours after I posted “there will always be someone – that one person – who will do whatever he or she can to keep you down.” in my post yesterday.  It makes one wonder what these folks at home are like…the judgy ones who feel they have the right to comment on everyone else’s body.  I mean, they must be so completely perfect.  *insert sarcasm here*

Let us praise Lady Gaga for her rockin’ concert last night and forget about what her legs, boobs, stomach, ass, nose looks like.  Why don’t we concentrate on her musical talents and goodwill and give her props for that, instead of asserting something that is 100% none of out frickin’ business.

And I’ll say it once more:

Let us not forget she is a singer NOT a supermodel!  And she looked hella good!!

End Rant.

~FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Again

Recently I was encouraged to write a post about what advice I could give to my college-aged self from where I am today.  It took me a long time to finally get here but here I am and here’s what I would tell myself.

First of all, at 18, 19, 20 I had no idea who I really was or what exactly it was that I wanted out of life.  I was a student and I was out to have fun and, to be honest, to just get through each day.

I spent a lot time laying awake at night thinking “My God, what am I going to do when I graduate?”…and then I’d panic.  I had no direction for my life.  So, if I could time-travel back to my 18th year, one thing I would definitely myself is take care of yourself now!  Embrace fitness! Love your body and embrace it.  Treat it like the temple it is because when you’re older, it’s not as easy as it once was to fit in exercise, work those muscles, and lose (or gain!) weight.  Try not to struggle with the things you can’t change about yourself and work on the things you can.  Stay active.  And be sure to have fun!  What’s the point of living if there’s no fun?  Keep your heart healthy and young.

And know that it’s never too late – or too early – to start doing something you love (or you loathe) if it will make you feel better and keep you healthy.  I wish I had embraced fitness at a younger age.  I wish I could turn back the clocks and jump on the bandwagon as a kid.  Especially knowing now that it’s attainable and not necessary to fork over a ton of money in order to stay fit and active.  All you need is  a good attitude and some motivation.  And a good pair of sneakers!

And eating clean doesn’t have to be expensive – although, direction for eating clean is likely a lot simpler when you’re not a young, partying college kid.  Just stay away form the junk!!

Most importantly, have fun.  Take advantage of all the world has to offer.  Get out an literally smell the roses and get a breath of fresh air.  Don’t stress yourself out over the unknown of your future, like how you’re going to pay back your student loans. (P.S. there are people out there who want to help you, like the Happiness Team from Earnest.  They can help you pay back your loans quicker with their refinancing options.)  Get out and literally smell the roses and get a breath of fresh air

~FB

Sleep

A few years ago I wrote a post on Sleep and how it affects your health and weight.  At the time I was still battling insomnia, although not as bad as it had been several months before.  And I had discovered that my lack of shut-eye affected, not only my sanity and ability to function like a normal human being, but also my weight.  As my sleep cycle decreased, I watched my weight increase.  I was frustrated on so many levels, but eventually, sleep came easier to me and I finally got back to a semi-normal amount each night.

As I noted in that post, our sleep norm is down to an average of 6 hours per night from the norm compared of 7 hours per night 10 years ago, and 9 hours per night compared to the norm at the turn of the century.  (I’m not an expert, but I can almost guarantee that with the increase of social media, the average rate of sleep in North Americans has decreased from 6 hours per night since I wrote that post three years ago.)

Sleep deprivation has shown to 1. affect the release of cortisol (a hormone that regulates appetite), which can leave one feeling continuously hungry, and 2. increase fat storage (your sleep loss can affect the way your body metabolizes carbohydrate, leading to excess blood sugar, promoting the overproduction of insulin, leading to fat storage).

Fortunately, as indicated in my original post, there are many great ways to ensure you get a good night’s sleep and well rested (stay away from caffeine, don’t exercise right before bed, etc.).  This time around, my very first suggestion is likely, in this day and age, the most important:

  1. UNPLUG!  Social media is terrific for catching up with friends and staying in touch, but honestly, I think it’s killing us slowly.  So many people are worried about what they might miss if they disconnect from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.  Even for just a few hours.  And therefore, are online all.night.long. If you want truly want to get a decent sleep, I suggest logging off your accounts and shutting down at least a good hour before hitting the sack.  Seriously, if you are that much of a social media junkie, then you likely need a detox anyway. Log off computer, turn off the TV, shut down your phone (or at least put it on media silent) so that your brain can unwind from all that garbage.

    plugged-in-sleep

    Turn it off!  Snapchatting your “fake” sleep look is not as important as getting the real Zzzzs.

  2. RELAX.  Have a warm bath, read a book (one of my favorite ways to wind down), meditate, have some conversation. AND FINALLY:
  3. CHECK YOUR MATTRESS Often we become so accustomed to our beds that we don’t realize how really terrible our mattresses are, and that they could verily be the reason our sleep pattern is so poor.  We wake up with aching backs, stiff necks, and zonked out, yet we continue to sleep on the same old mattress each night.

LEESA has some pretty terrific mattresses and other products out there that they call “a Universal Adaptive Feel™ that adapts to all body shapes and sizes and all sleeping styles. This is particularly useful for couples, as each side adapts differently to each partner.”  This is pretty perfect.  Think about how many times you wake up in the night because your partner is dipping the bed.

You can also check out The Sweet Home’s review on why Leesa is the best foam mattress around!

If you’ve noticed your rate or quality of sleep is suffering and your weight is changing (and not for the better), it is worth it to evaluate your sleep pattern.  If you feel you are getting enough sleep but you still wake feeling groggy and tired, perhaps it is the time to check out a new mattress or pillow.  Or, you can even look at how you are sleeping: are you facing the right direction, etc.?  I know not everyone believes in Feng shui (a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment), but it may be worth checking out.  If you’re used to your head facing north, flip yourself around so that you’re facing south.  Seriously: don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!

In the meantime, you can also check out Leesa’s the tips below on how to become a morning person.  And may you have sweet dreams.

sleep-graphic

~Fit Bitch

Results May Vary

Happy New Year Fitness Peeps!

The other night, while rockin’ it at the gym, I had an epiphany.  And I decided that 2017 is going to be another spectacular year.

I’ve been working really hard this past year on my strength training and in this upcoming year, I am going to make defining my muscle tone an attainable goal.  In fact, in helping me do so, my brother and sister-in-law got me a freestanding boxing bag…. just like this one:

boxingbag

Fitness wishes do come true!

So, now I can box my sweet heart out without having to leave the house (although, I still do love to attend a class), in addition to teaching my classes, hitting the gym, running, and attending my ritual Thursday night Zumba class.

Now, all that being said, I know that I do need to set attainable goals.  I’m getting older and my body and metabolism and hormones change.  It’s not as easy to lose weight as it once was.  So, my goals really need to be realistic.  But there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to hit them….or to strive for them.

And you can too.  You can make 2017 your best year ever.

Set yourself some goals.  Make notes on how you will change your lifestyle so that you can, indeed, change your life.  Will your “resolutions” include working out more, eating less, strength training, finding your spirituality or mental clarity, becoming more social?

Just remember that no matter what you decide and what you aim for – your results will not be the same as your best friend’s or your running buddy’s or your partner’s.

results-may-vary

You will likely not end up with the same fit bod as your favorite celebrity (although, you never know – maybe it will be better!).  Whatever you do, make sure you’re making changes for you.  For better health and for longevity.

And as always, remember:  You’re Worth It!

~FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Fitness

It’s December 1st!  Which means it’s Christmas and holiday month.  Which means it’s tons of food month!!

I was planning to write something today anyway, and then this little gem made its way across my desk and I thought “Hm, fitting”.  A fun little 25 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge.

christmas-fitness

This plan is fun and pretty darn simple.  So, you can do it alone just to ensure you get some exercise in, or you can add it in as a compliment to your regular workout regime.

For me, December is bonkers – there are dinners with friends, and family get-togethers, and parties (I have one tonight!), and shopping (which, often entails snacking), and Christmas movie-watching (again, which often entails snacking) – which all lead to overindulging – in everything from sugary sweets to delicious turkey to spiced wine.

During the holidays it’s definitely important to have a workout program you can stick to.  Christmas is a celebration!  We shouldn’t have to worry about “falling off the wagon” when it comes attending the parties and dinners and enjoying all the wonderful offerings of the holidays.

The 25 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge is a pretty basic plan.  You can get a great little workout done in just a few minutes and carry on with the rest of your holiday to-dos.

**You can also check out the 12 Exercises of Christmas from my post a few years ago, as well as my tips on Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain.  So simple, so easy.

Also, If you have a game plan for the month (or the week) and prepare for what’s upcoming, you’ll survive the holidays without freaking out too much about weight gain and sugar consumption.  For many, planning ahead is key.

For instance: tonight is Thursday.  Normally, Thursday nights I would be at the gym for a few hours then I would finish the night with a Zumba class.  This has been my ritual for a few years and it is my favorite night of the week.  But, Zumba was cancelled for this evening AND I knew there was a party planned for tonight.  So, I made sure to get to the gym last night, and I went for a run as soon as I got home tonight.  I’m also going to eat dinner here shortly so that I won’t eat/overeat this evening.  I had a game plan and I utilized it.

In fact, I have a game plan for the remainder of the weekend because I’ll be out town, there is shopping, and there is another Christmas party on Sunday (where there will be tons.of.food!!)  A GAME PLAN CAN BE A GAME CHANGER!

Remember that December is just one month.  And then it’s over.  Allow yourself to have fun and indulge a little.  Don’t stress out on whether or not you should have a little extra gravy on your turkey, or what will happen if you have another chocolate truffle.  Go ahead!  Just….maybe don’t eat all the truffles!  But if you do, know that it’s just as easy to get back on track as it is to go off.

Enjoy!

~Fit Bitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Strong

Getting Strong

I saw this meme the other day and instantly thought “YES!”

I can attest to its truth.

You see, for years, I wanted to get fit, healthy, strong.  But I wasn’t ready.  Yes, I wanted it, but, I was embarrassed and ashamed of who I was – on the outside.  I had struggled with my weight my entire life and my insecurities prevented me from really going for the gold with my weight loss.

Instead, I succumbed to eating disorders of many variations, to extreme diets, to weight loss supplements of all forms.  When I exercised it was in secret and privacy and for vanity, not for my health.

For several years now I have carried the mantra “If you’re not willing to do the work, you’re not ready to lose the weight“, and I cling to that.

When I finally joined a gym more than 10 years ago I would get up at the butt-crack of dawn, before the sun was up, and would sneak off for my workout while the rest of the world was still sleeping.  Even then, I was exercising for the wrong reasons.  It was still about vanity.  And I didn’t lose any weight.

It wasn’t until at least a year later when I decided to change my life.  That’s when the changes came.  That’s when I decided to put the work in.  Wrapping my head around that in this moment is so easy, but way back then, I just didn’t get it.

When I started to exercise and changed my eating habits, it was for my health.  And I was putting the work in.  And you know what?  The changes came so quickly.  My health improved and my insecurities subsided (to a point) and I finally felt good.  I fell in love with my life.  And with exercise.  I got over my fears of what people would think of me if they saw me on the treadmill or lifting weights or on the rowing machine.  I got over myself, essentially.  I didn’t look to anyone else for inspiration; I looked at myself.  I inspired me.  My life was worth more than how I had treated it before hand.

Sometimes it can be scary venturing into new or unknown territory.  But your health is more important than being afraid to ask someone for guidance.  Or fearing what others might think of you.  In all honesty, when I’m at the gym I’m not worried about what others are doing there (unless they’re hogging equipment).  I’m there to improve myself.  I’m not there to judge anyone.  And more than likely, the people at your gym aren’t concerned with what you’re doing.

I know, from personal experience, that when I feel like I look better, I actually feel better about myself (back to that vanity thing).  If that means swiping on some lipstick or revving up in cute (although durable) new workout gear, like Adore me, then so be it.  Do what you’ve gotta do to motivate yourself; to encourage yourself; to love yourself.

Don’t be afraid to go for that jog or kick the soccer ball around or try a Zumba class.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Get out of your head.  Give yourself a break.  And just do it already.  Your life is worth it.

Fit Bitch

 

What Yoga Looks Like (Guest post)

Today I am welcoming my aunt, Donna, as a guest-poster for the blog.

She is only a handful of years older than me, being my mom’s baby sister, and has often been more like a big sister than an aunt.

Many years ago, Donna was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  And just a few years ago she was hospitalized and was honestly near death.  Since her hospital visit she has had spinal surgery and is now awaiting another spinal surgery.  She’s had a long, hard road, but she has committed herself to her yoga practice and it has helped her through her struggles.  A few weeks ago one of her practice photos was so beautiful and inspiring that I asked her if she’d like to share her story.  She agreed.  I’ll let Donna tell you the rest.

What Yoga Looks Like

Donna Yoga 2

Donna is truly a #yogainspirer.  Follow her on Instagram @curvymomma_doingyoga

Greetings and Salutations!  I’d like to thank my niece – and best friend – Fit Bitch, for inviting me to share my Yoga Journey with her – and subsequently, with all of you.  o, Fit Bitch, thank you for always supporting me and believing in me; for being my “as-often-as-possible” yoga buddy; and in the spirit of full disclosure, for forcing me to pick up a (pink, of course!) pen, and (fresh, clean, untouched) paper (word of the day: papyrophilia = a lover of paper).

But, as much as I’d lover to tell you about my stationery obsessions, that’s not what I was asked to do.

My Yoga Obsession:  The Early Years

My whole life I avoided things that were meant for “skinny girls” – gymnastics, figure skating, ballet…yoga.

it seemed everywhere I looked I was being put down and left out.  The one and only yoga class I went to in those decades was a prenatal class.  That didn’t go so well; and I decided “Yoga is for skinny girls!”  Yoga would be added to the “Reward List” for when I finally got skinny.

The Intern

Over the years I’ve tried to get my Fibromyalgia body into shape.  My favorite activities were Aquacize, running, and hiking – the latter being the only one I am still able to do.

I “Got Sick”

A couple of years ago I became very, very sick.  In an attempt to treat my aforementioned Fibromyalgia, my family physician essentially poisoned me with too many dangerous medications, prescribed all at the same time.

My official diagnosis was Medication Induced Encephalopathy due to Polypharmacy.  I also had Serotonin Syndrome and Cymbalta Poisoning – followed swiftly by Cymbalta Withdrawal Syndrome 

I nearly died.

My husband was not able to get me to wake up and stay awake.  I couldn’t pronounce words properly.  My heart even stopped at one point!  I saw a vision of my late father walking down the hall toward me.  i was very, very sick.

After a couple of weeks of being hospitalized I was finally released from the Close Observation Unit of the Neuroscience ward, but with permanent damage to my thyroid, liver, kidneys, and the memory, balance, and speech pathways of my brain.  (I now have brain damage.)

While I was in the hospital, I had many tests done, as they tried to figure out what was wrong with me.  They did a CT scan and made the discovery we were not prepared for – I needed Cervical Spinal Surgery, and as soon as possible.  I was having significant spinal cord compression, which could, very suddenly and unexpectedly, cause paralysis.  I finally had the surgery in December 2014.

The Wait

After I got out of the hospital, I knew the fight for my life was beginning.  I knew I had to work hard if I was ever going to be that strong, independent woman I’ve always been.  It was not going to happen on its own.

My Wellness Plan was made up of 3 parts:  1) Get me a therapy kitten, as I would have to get up and care for her, and to give me something else to focus my energies on; 2) Walking – every day we took our little kitty for a walk, which got me out in the fresh air, and exercise my heart and lungs; and 3) Yoga: for improved balance, stability, and strength.  I was ready to hit the road to wellness running (well, hobbling) until I met with the Neurosurgeon:  NO YOGA until after  the Spinal Fusion surgery, due to the high risk of paralysis.  I was absolutely crushed!  It would be another whole year before I was finally given the green light to go ahead and finally begin my yoga practice.

Coco

Coco Chanel – the therapy cat.  It is my belief that this little girly helped save Donna’s life.  ❤

My Yoga Practice: #whosaysfatchickscantdoyoga

It was the end of May, 2015.  We were packing up the car for our trip to the Annapolis Valley (Nova Scotia) for the annual Apple Blossom Festival.  My husband asked me “what’s with the yoga mat?”

I very excitedly answered “If I do yoga tonight, I’ll be able to say ‘I’ve done yoga every day for a week’!”  I kept up that daily practice (I even participated in Yoga Fest with Fit Bitch) until November, when the FFF (Fall Fibro Flare) too me out of commission. Then my practice got demoted to every other day, focusing solely on Restorative and Yin practices (oh how I love my bolster!)

I love my home yoga practice!  I very rarely get to an actual live class, for various reasons.  The main reason being my actual reason for doing yoga in the first place…

My Intention:  Yoga is Making Me Feel Better

If  you look at a group of yogis in a studio class, heavy on Vinyasa, most of the people there will tell you the reason they are there is for a work out, for exercise, for weight loss.  And that’s great!  For them, and for most people, really.  But not for me.  The reason I show up on my mat is for healing.  My yoga practice is wholly therapeutic.  I am in it to get my body into the pose correctly, and painlessly, and I need to rest in that pose for a little longer than a flow class allows.  That’s why I love Yin classes!  Especially at night.  Letting gravity help clean every last drop of goodness out of each pose.

Donna Yoga

This beautiful photo is what inspired me to ask Donna to share her story.  

As previously mentioned, I have a home yoga practice.  I rarely go to a live class, but I follow some fabulous teachers on YouTube.  I have learned most of what I know about yoga from practicing along with videos.

Being in a body that hurts on levels of 7, 8, 9 out of 10 on the pain scale on a daily basis, being able to choose exactly what kind of class my body needs is extremely important.  There’s nothing worse than finally getting yourself to an actual class only to find out that you are not physically capable of doing that particular class.

The best reason to bring your practice into the solitude of your own home would have to be “pajama yoga”!  Or, maybe the pause button?

How I’ve Benefited from Yoga

One of the first things I noticed, as far as benefits go, was my sleep.  For the first time in my life, I fell right to sleep!  Truly amazing.  Another huge benefit I’ve noticed is that I now know how to use my entire body!  I am reaching with my whole side body, not just with my arm.  I can get down and back up from the floor now.  My balance has improved a great deal.  My ability to relax and calm myself; everything has come from my yoga.

I am learning how to use my body in the way in which it was intended and that has taken a lot of stress off the areas that usually “made up the difference”.  I am much more relaxed, overall, and that translates into lower pain levels.  All because of yoga.

The Wait 2.0

Sometime last Fall, I learned I have some significant lower back problems, causing referred pain down my left leg.  I was told to take it easy with the yoga until I got in to see the surgeon.  After a year of tests, switching doctors, and waiting, I finally got to see the back surgeon’s Triage Physiotherapist.  I was overjoyed when she reassured me my back problems had nothing to do with yoga, as I’d secretly thought to be the case.  Yoga and I, once again, got the green light.  I would be able to get ready for Yoga Fest again.  I was elated!  Until….

I passed the triage and was granted an audience with the good doctor himself.  Hoping to hear good things, like “We will fix you right up!”, only to be told, instead, “Be very careful”, left me, once again, in a pit of despair.

It turns out I have Spinal Cord Compression, which could very easily, and very suddenly, cause paralysis.  Sound familiar?  Here we go again.

So now I have the possibility of not one, but two spinal surgeries in my near future.  one in my lumbar spine, which is not being put on the back-burner, and one on my cervical spine (another one, that is), which takes presidence.  And once again, my yoga practice will have to be re-evaluated and checked for neck safety.  But mostly, we just wait.

At least I know that yoga will always be there for me, when I finally get the go-ahead from the doctors again.

Namaste.

Donna

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I really want to add that Donna’s journey has been tumultuous.  And it has been hard on all of her family.  We have seen her down and out and suffering.

Last year, Donna and I were out shopping for a bit and I said something about living forever when she replied with “I don’t want to live forever.  I don’t want to live in this body for much longer.”  That was heart-wrenching for me to hear.  And it has made me sad ever since.  But, through all of this, she has maintained she is a yoga warrior.

I hope and pray that, if permitted, she is able to continue with her practice.  And that she will heal a little more each day and that the pain she endures daily will subside so that she will want to stick around with us a little longer.

Fit Bitch