Where I am right now………

Screen-Shot-2013-11-08-at-8_37_09-AM

Thursday December 5th, 2013 – What has AF meant for me ????

 It has meant and means my lifestyle needs changes, from small to large;

  •  I was told I could no longer train in the way that I had for as long as I could remember. No more runs, wicked weight sessions, HIIT sessions, Super Saturday Sessions – nothing, except breathing exercises and 30min of either cleaning, gardening, walking or dancing around the house (which doc called “crazy dance”). All I was allowed to do was these to a point of “panting” plus a small list of stretches to do daily. MORTIFIED. So as soon as my on again off again training regime came to a stop (about 6 weeks ago) the weight piled on at a rate of about 1kg a week, I’m proud to say it’s down to about half that a week now, but we aren’t quite in a balanced state yet as the body is still storing and I’m not spending enough energy. Last week I started introducing some “proper” gym sessions. It wiped me out completely and I struggled. So that push last week made me crash again this week and it is tonight (so 3 missed days plus the weekend) that I’ve done what I consider to be nothing. I mean mowing lawns to me is a chore not an exercise. So it’s a fine line which I’m still working on. I’m doing much much better than some of the case studies I’ve read where people have suffered for up to 10 years. Screw that !!!!

  • I had to give up all stimulants. Besides the obvious like pre-workouts and energy drinks I also am not to have coffee, black or even green tea, diet soft drinks or chocolate (it contains caffeine). That sucks and I’ll tell you the first week I though I was going to die. I’m much better now but still have chai tea and decaf coffee. Decaf coffee is actually still just as bad as coffee so I have it as a treat. This website explains the pros and cons of decaf nicely >>>http://teeccino.com/building_optimal_health/39183/Decaf-Coffee-And-Health.html
  • No alcohol – OK so this one I’m struggling to behave with as it is the season to be merry and I’ve been rather social. I pay for it dearly and if I have a big Saturday then Sunday I’m a couch spud sipping water.
  • No foods that could potentially cause allergic reactions no matter how minor eg dairy, gluten and wheat. I’ve not had any intolerances to foods but assure you that I do feel better cutting these out. I’m not extreme about it, but I avoid it if I can without causing a scene.
  • I salt my water and food. The body needs salt. Gone are the days (I think it was the 90’s) that salt was the worst thing in the world and will cause massive heart problems. The body needs it, it helps keep fluids in the right concentration, reduces adrenalin spikes, aids blood sugar balance and sleep (well supposedly if you suck some salt before bed it helps you sleep, not proven with me), plus I drink a lot of water and drain my body of it. There is a risk to those with high blood pressure of course, but in general it’s actually good for you. I go for Himalayan Rock Salt as it has trace minerals that help my recovery over processed table salt. Check out this website for 12 reason why salt is beneficial to your body >>>>>>http://empoweredsustenance.com/salt-is-good-for-you/
  • I eat a very caveman like diet as much as possible. If it hasn’t grown or once had a face (had to borrow that from a friend, love it) I don’t eat it. I am not over zealous about this and don’t freak out when I go out to dinner or lunch with friends, but stick to this plan at all opportunities. I feel a lot more balanced and with less mood swings doing this but I’m still gaining weight which is rather irritating.
  • I blend green juices every day and have a minimum of 2 a day as my snacks (with my portion of protein and carbs). It’s a very convenient way to get the minerals and benefits of specific veggies that support adrenal glands and general well being without sitting down to a salad. I add in some “Raw Greenz” to help alkalize the body too. PS regarding Raw Greenz link, This company does some really great scrumptious foods that are gluten, wheat and everything free, be warned not the get the choc granola as you’ll eat a whole bag in the blink of an eye as it is seriously the yummiest thing I’ve come across !!!!
  • I take a lot of supplement vitamins and minerals to support areas that will be lacking due to poor adrenal performance or simply they aid better body function and overall well being which in turn will take pressure of my adrenals trying to balance my body.
  • I meditate up to 5 times a day. It lowers the heart rate (lowering the flight or fight response (sympathetic nerve system)) and helps stimulate the parasympathetic nerve system helping get to a rested state. It’s worked wonders. I thought it was all a load of crap. But seriously, it has brought so many benefits into my life that even when I’ve completely recovered I will always make time to slow down and really feel what’s going on inside and rest my mind. I love an app called “Buddhify”. Can be used at home, travelling and even at the gym. 10 minutes a day would help EVERYONE !!!!!

Fun ride ! I certainly feel a hell of a lot better over these past  weeks instilling these actions, tips and tasks into my lifestyle and understand it’s not going to be a quick fix transformation back into the energy ball I was but I have learnt (very painfully) to look at this as my latest challenge, and probably my most important. It hasn’t been easy but it has breathed new life into me and I want to help others and am now determined to get my qualifications to legally help others J . The immediate future is a challenge but jeez it looks bright !!!

Advertisements

What is it ????

curious

Tuesday 3rd December – What is Adrenal Fatigue ???

Well where do I start….. Adrenal fatigue is generally not recognised by the medical community, it is thought that the adrenal glands (which are little walnut sized glands located on the top of each of your kidneys) have been exhausted and cannot control the correct amount of hormones in the body. These hormones include pinephrine, cortisol, progesterone, DHEA, estrogen, and testosterone. Changes occur in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and even sex drive. Many other alterations take place at the biochemical and cellular levels in response to and to compensate for the decrease in adrenal hormones that occurs with adrenal fatigue.

 So essentially it is a collection of symptoms being extreme fatigue, the inability to sleep, sugar and salt cravings, sore joints, a “foggy head”, poor immunity and taking a long time to get over minor illnesses, never actually feeling re-charged or refreshed after rest, inability to lose weight and a reliance on stimulants such as coffee to get through a day. Now when I say extreme fatigue I don’t mean feeling a bit tired, I mean that you are incapable of minor thought function like simply getting out of bed and having a shower. You are so so tired you don’t know your own name, you get lost driving to somewhere you go everyday like work, you simply cannot comprehend anything at all, but your body is still wired like you’ve had too much coffee and you cannot sleep. All this can lead to severe depression in some subjects which can certainly delay recovery. Many medical professionals do not understand adrenal fatigue (or simply do not believe in it) as most tests done, for example, blood tests, will only pick up the top and bottom 2.5% extremes of cases. So anyone in the middle that is suffering tend to get overlooked. Imagine if your “normal” hormonal levels were close to the bottom 3% and your hormone levels are now closer to the top 3%, that’s a massive change in your body but it will not come up in standard tests….. Most patients suffering from AF get treated for depression and take far longer to actually recover.

 However, AF can be diagnosed using a saliva swab test which will analyse hormone output, particularly cortisol and DHEA. Fluctuations of these hormones can point to poor adrenal function and any changes to normal adrenal activity. But of course it will depend on your medical provider whether they think to do this or treat your symptoms as something else.

I was incredibly lucky that my medical provider saw the symptoms straight away and put me on the right path to recovery. Very lucky.

My symptoms were very obvious and text book. My energy an all time low. I was able to go great guns for about a 5 days then start to struggle then the following week be wiped out or sick. Waking feeling like I had run a marathon and simply crumpling to the floor with exhaustion getting out of bed with my poor mind exploding with overloads of information exhausting me even more as it was like watching 10 tv shows at once with the radio on and reading a book, so I would simply lay on the tiles and try and filter how to a) get up and get to work b) what the hell to do next c) how the hell to do it. If I made it to the shower to get ready for work I would end up leaning against the wall confused as to the process of the shower because I was so exhausted, staring at soap like it was new to the world….. then start crying because I knew something was very wrong but I didn’t have any physical scars, wounds, outward appearance of a problem and how do I relay that I just can’t make it out the door to people that look at me with make up, hair done, clothes pressed and simply looking a little tired from, hey maybe a big night out? It’s very hard to get across to people that something is wrong but I can’t show you, you have to just believe me.

 And food ??? The bodies reaction to utter exhaustion is that it needs fuelling immediately and it wants the most basic forms of fuel being sugars and simple carbs so I did have them, a lot of them as I had to make it through the day plus a few coffees of course to keep going. Essentially making things worse but I know that now after my saviour Doc pointed me in the right direction. I truly am so very lucky that I can move on with recovery now and be a whole lot nicer to myself because I wasn’t failing, I was simply having a poor start J

 Adrenal fatigue can be both chronic (builds up over time) from situations like regular stresses at work, the environment or poor diet or it can be acute from a singular severe stressful situation like an illness, death, or surgery. It can develop from basically anything that stresses the body either physically or emotionally in some way. Some people are born to handle stresses more efficiently than others and they handle a situation or multiple constant stressful situations for a long time then all of a sudden they are “wiped out” and cannot bounce back and others simply cannot handle stressful situation at all and one “push” sends them into a spiral.

 No one is immune to adrenal fatigue.

References

Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome – Dr James Wilson

http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/what-is-adrenal-fatigue

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health+az/adrenal+fatigue,11579

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrenal_fatigue

Downhill Racing

downhill race

Wednesday 4th September, 2013 (Day 24)

Now this is going to be a long one……

 I’ve had some really rough last couple of days. Although I started so strong on Monday and had the attitude of “life sometimes sucks but the right decisions can get you through”, I have fallen into a bit of a heap.

 Right now at this present moment in time my nutrition and training is likened to me running as fast as I can downhill. I am running and taking huge leaps and bounding towards my goals then the speed wobbles trip me up for a bit of a face plant and I roll around for a spell then get back up and start running again.

 Exhibit A =

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEk-tGgDEcU

LOL……. Ok a little extreme but you get my drift.

 I keep fluctuating in weight back to my start weight because I cannot keep my consistency up. I have no idea why. I’ve nailed self control and weight loss/fitness development so well in the past but since I competed in May I am truly a different person. Instead of relishing challenges in the gym I find simply turning up a challenge and it’s a chore now because “I have to” instead of “I want to”. I truly feel I’ve burned all my motivation and enthusiasm for training to a crisp. As for food I am turning to it for answers to my change in persona and, surprisingly enough, it’s hindering and not helping…….. how about that….

 How amusing it is that people sometimes turn to me for answers and I put so much time and effort into helping them on their journey or at least pointing them in the right direction and I simply cannot do it for myself at the moment. My internal dialect is exactly as I would talk to someone else, encouraging, understanding, logical, empowering, but talk about falling on my own deaf internal ears. I actually hear myself saying to my “motivator voice”, “I know, I know already, give it a rest”.

 And what worries me. I actually don’t know how to fix this. I adore Michelle’s advice but this time, what is good for 1,000 other people and is sound and incredible advice is not helping me get out of this hole. My advice to someone else would most likely be, “you simply may not be ready to start something like this, do something you love first then transition over in time, take it easy on yourself”. But all I want though is to reach my goals so I don’t want to “take it easy”. Why isn’t my mental drive coming along for the ride this time?

 I’m even struggling with social media at the moment and am pulling away from it (this will be it’s own blog in time) as the perky, happy, hawt motivation posters are annoying the hell out of me. I keep saying to these poster girls “yeah I know, but champ I also know what it takes to look like you do right now and it sucks”. I’m even struggling with others success at the moment. I still relish in it and am still so very excited for everyone to succeed, but now, although I’m still so very happy to see everyone achieve their own goals, I seem to have a side of self deprecating talk each time I see it now too. Why can’t I get my self together and do it too, why am I failing, why can’t I put down the fork, why can’t I find my control ?? I know I can achieve amazing feats and I tell myself such, but far out why is it so difficult this time and such a ridiculous ride ??

 So what is next for this journey ??? Dogged determination to get back up from the downhill face plant and continue on……. I will find my inner fit and fab self again !!!!

WIW !!!

weighing in

Wednesday 14th August, 2013 (Day 3)

Well Wednesday’s are weigh in days and today my dear heart scales informed me I had lost 2kg. It’s not a big thing though as most of that is water that my body would have been holding due to my unhealthy nutritional choices over the weekend, so it’s a bit of a meh weigh in today. ALTHOUGH, it is a good indication that I obviously eating properly and training well !!

A lot of people stress over weighing in. I understand that. Getting your “before” weight when commencing a new lifestyle journey can be very daunting but remember we all start somewhere. I don’t ever jump on the scales with a big smile and fanfare (ok sometimes), but honestly, weighing in is just an accountability action. When I stepped up for my start weight I knew it would hurt to see the number but I have to own it and realise it’s just a starting number not a stamp on my forehead telling everyone I’m being unhealthy and not looking after myself. And seriously, most people would not care anyway !!! You care.

As for weekly weigh ins. If you do the right thing then there should be no stress or tears. I KNOW next week I will have lost weight because I’m following my set training and nutrition plan. There’s no need for me to stress about it at all. It will drop. If you are stressing and crying over weighing in is it because you could have pushed harder in your training or did you sneak cake and lollies or are your portions not quite to size ?? It’s simply a measurement to stay accountable to yourself. Yes I know that muscle building and leaning up is a completely different set of rules as you would want to use measurements such as a tape or body fat callipers to watch your progress. I’m purely talking weight loss here.

So in short. We all start somewhere. Look at your before figure and say “Yup, I have work to do but this figure does not define me” and if you stick to your training and nutrition plan then weigh in day will be just another day and you’re just checking in on yourself.

Oh !!!! If you ARE in fact sticking to your plans and you are not getting results. It may be time to look at your plans more or talk to whomever is giving you your plans. Or maybe enlist help if you are doing them yourself.