When I was "knocked to my knees" several years ago due to health issues, I came to a stark realization that I was not the sum total of all that I could do or accomplish or all that I possessed or acquired. I was of much more value than my "stuff." What an epiphany I had! The issues and challenges I faced became a catalyst for growth as a person and as a writer. I made it my mission to be able to make a difference not "in spite" of the issues, but because of them! Along my journey to better health, my desire is to offer hope - understanding that there is life beyond whatever health challenge you may face. For me personally, it has been a life-changing journey being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, degenerative disk disease and more. I have learned that while my life will never go back to "normal," I have a new normal that has launched me into a phase of life that I would never have dreamed or attempted otherwise. I am most grateful for the new path and new opportunities. If you would like to read more, take a moment to visit the health networks and articles below....
To Your Health!
Change is something that is inevitable throughout life. Sometimes it is by choice, other times it is of necessity, and it is always challenging no matter the circumstance. As a long-term sufferer of fibromyalgia, I’ve learned the importance of making lifestyle changes to better adjust to the health-imposed changes forced on me by this frustrating condition.
A wise person once stated, “no man is an island.” No matter how strong or independent we desire to be as individuals, the truth is we all need each other, and we are much stronger with others than we are on our own.
...there is a new normal that has given me a new life and a new path — one that I am embracing for all it has to offer. Healthy or not, life is filled with change and once we embrace this truth with acceptance and anticipation of all that is ahead, we begin to see that there truly is life beyond any present struggles we might face.
What if you were told that a $3 bottle of liquid could make the difference between a major flare-up and a mild symptom — between a very bad day and a manageable one?
Whether out of necessity or desire, those dealing with the effects of fibromyalgia spend more time in their homes than the average person. It could be due to the pain, flare-ups and fatigue that hinder excursions, running errands and various outdoor activities; or possibly due to the fact that you do not work outside the home or that home has become your safe haven.
Life is an individual journey for each of us. Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia doesn't end that unique journey, but it does change it. The one thing that it must not do, however, is stall you out or stop you dead in your tracks.
There is a consensus among health experts regarding certain foods. In fact, most of the foods that are mentioned are simply a given for every diet, not just those dealing with chronic illness or pain. So what are some of the foods to avoid with fibromyalgia?
...My body started experiencing pains I had never felt and my level of fatigue was worse than when I had been pregnant with my son; life as I knew it began to change.
...I discovered that it was still possible to have fun with those I love. People with chronic pain and fatigue need to get out and experience and explore life despite these annoyances. It takes determination not to allow fibromyalgia steal your joy for living or erode your quality of life.
Six years ago during a low point in my life, I began a journey towards better health. I was at my max weight ever and my fibromyalgia and other health conditions were out of control. I began making lifestyle changes - first emotional ones - ridding my life of drama and negative people as much as possible.
Then I changed my eating habits. I steered away from processed foods, all the "white stuff" (sugars, breads) and began to eat natural foods, organic etc. I reduced fast food indulgences and take-outs and began cooking healthy meals at home more often.
Next, I put one foot in front of the other and began walking. My health was not such that I could run or jog or even do strenuous exercise, but I did light exercises and walked, walked, walked until I was walking about an hour and a half at least four days a week. The result was amazing! I lost 28 pounds (the pictures on the left), my chronic pain became a bit more manageable and my sleep somewhat better.
Now six years later, I have maintained healthy eating and recently started back on an exercise routine that I had not maintained as I should have after my neck/spine surgery. While I have my limits due to my health conditions regarding activity level in exercising, I try to devote three days a week to my exercise routine. Some days I am able to do more than others, but I try to do what I can and not give in to the pain or fatigue.
I actually weigh about ten pounds more than I did in the 2011 pictures, but ironically look healthier! I quit beating myself up over the "numbers" i.e. on the scale, on the measuring tape etc. and focused more on tone, flexibility and health rather than just weight loss. Some days are better than others as I continue to face health challenges due to fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, degenerative disk etc. but I am determined not to give up on better health and not to lose ground.
I want to encourage those of you who struggle with your health. Take care of you, be kind to yourself on the days when your body simply won't allow activity and the pain is severe, but don't give up! Keep pushing towards maintaining your health and make it a lifestyle! You won't be sorry I promise! Love who you are and realize that you are a beautiful treasure regardless of the changes you see in the mirror or feel in your body.
"The Health Journey Continues!"