Fibro didn’t stop me from shakin’ my butt!

It’s official!  I am now a certified Zumba instructor!

Yesterday I completed the 8 hour workshop lead by Lindsey Taylor (totally awesome to meet her…like meeting a Zumba rock star).  The day was so much fun!  We started the day with a Master class that was so full of energy you couldn’t help but put 100 percent into it.  Lindsey has great choreography and hip/ butt shaking skills to die for .

We had a few lectures throughout the day about the history of Zumba, how to choreograph music, teaching our first class, picking music and info about joining the Zumba community.  We spent the majority of the day breaking down the basic Zumba steps.  We broke down the Merengue, Salsa, Cumbia and Raggaeton(my favorite).  We spent the majority of the day dancing and I loved it.  I learned a lot about the steps we have been doing in class.  I found out what I was doing right and some things I thought I was doing right, but was actually doing wrong. 

It was so much fun being in such a large group of people who have a passion for Zumba.  That love for what we were doing made the room so full of energy it could have popped.  Everyone was smiling, laughing and just having a good time. 

The day went so fast and was so busy I didn’t have time to worry about my fibromyalgia.  I didn’t have one fibro pain the whole day and actually felt really great.  The only problem I seemed to have was a little feet swelling, but I don’t think that was fibro because by the final lecture, the majority of the people by me had kicked off their shoes. 

I could say I got through the training with no fibro problems what-so-ever but I wouldn’t be telling the truth.  Today I finally felt it.  Not with pain, but more with fatigue.  I slept in but after being up a few hours and being incredibly grumpy, it was decided it would be best if I took a nap.  After my nap I feel back to normal (which I’m sure my husband is unbelievably happy about since he caught the majority of my grumpiness). 

The fatigue was totally worth having to have the great experience I had yesterday and I won’t let my fibro stop me from any future trainings.  Zumba has changed my life in so many ways I’m glad to become a bigger part of it.  It has helped me lose weight, given me confidence in myself, given me some of the greatest friends, and most importantly…helped me manage my fibro pain. 

Down the road I hope I get to teach a class, but for now I’m totally happy having met my fitness goal to go through the training and my fibro goal to prove I could survive it!

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Apples and Fibromyalgia

Since it seems to be such a hot topic I am going to weigh in (no pun intended) on the announcement that McDonald’s is changing their Happy Meals.  They are adding apple slices to every Happy Meal and adding a smaller french fry order to each box. 

There seem to be many mixed emotions about this change.  I thought a higher percentage of people would embrace the change for healthier options for kids, but from what I’m gathering, a lot of people think the change is taking away a piece of history, taking away a individual’s right to make their own food choices, or when it comes down to it, taking away a piece of their childhood memories. 

Don’t get me wrong…I also have many childhood memories of Happy Meals.  I remember playing with the toys with my sister.  I remember the Disney character toys being my favorite (my second favorite were the pumpkin plastic buckets for Halloween).  I remember when McDonald’s forgot a fry order in one of our two boxes and my sister split her french fry order between the two of us. “One for you…One for me…One for you…One for me…”  But the sad fact is I also don’t remember childhood obesity being such a concern when I was younger. 

For some people McDonald’s is an “every once in awhile” treat, but for others, it’s a multiple time a week trip.  It’s fast, it’s cheap and it tastes good.  I totally understand why people take advantage of that convenience, but I also know how scary it was being 265 pounds from choosing to make the “convenient” choice too many times.  I didn’t become obese until adulthood, but I can imagine it feels just as bad for children as it does adults.

                

As of today I have lost 118 pounds of the 265 pounds.  I have felt much better since losing.  I have more energy, sleep better and am able to be more active which all contribute to helping manage my fibro pain.  After learning more and more about fibromyalgia I was sad to read that there is a strong connection between obesity and fibromyalgia.  Some studies are saying that being obese may increase the possibility of you ending up with fibro.  And if you’re obese with fibromyalgia, your symptoms could become more severe.  There are so many reasons I am disappointed in myself for ever gaining so much weight, but knowing that weight may have helped trigger my fibromyalgia to surface is a terrible thought.

I know being overweight isn’t the only thing that can trigger fibro.  I know many individuals at normal weights that are diagnosed, but being overweight is a common fibromyalgia trait.  You’re depressed, you hurt, the drugs cause weight gain…who can blame us?  That also doesn’t mean we can’t be proactive to fight those things working against us that are causing the weight gain in the first place. As for our children, not one person with fibromyalgia would wish this pain on to their children.  If there is a chance, no matter how small it may be, that keeping obesity away may keep that pain away I say we should do everything we can make healthy food choices. 

A big part of my weight loss was making little changes like trading my fries or chips for fruits and veggies.  I also have fruit as my dessert many times and think having the apples in the Happy Meals may present that as a dessert option instead of a McFlurry or apple pie.

Have I completely given up eating at McDonald’s for the rest of my life?  No way.  Will I only eat there every once in awhile and eat in moderation?  Yes.  I’m no expert in weight loss and I’ve had a lot of help from those who do know their stuff, but I still think making small little changes like McDonald’s has made may have a larger impact in the long run.

When it comes down to it anyway…is it a few extra fries the kids want, or is it the toy?

fibro fix??

 

 

Every once in awhile I google fibromyalgia with various words just to see what will pop up.  Fibromyalgia + art.  Fibromyalgia + Treatment.  Fibromyalgia + Drugs…you get the idea.

Well I decided that today I would google Fibromyalgia + scams and something interesting did pop up.  It gave me a link to a page for “FibroFix.”  The link took me to a web site that was offering teleconferences which will advise fibro patients on how to manage their symptoms and through step by step systems that they guarantee to work.  From what I could dig up on this link, http://www.thefibrofix.com/system.html, is that “FibroFix” seems to be a series of mental life-balancing therapy, diet suggestions, info on your immune system and life style changes.  All for the low-low price of $197.00 for early registration or $247.00 for late (I’ll get to how I feel about them charging for this a little later).

So I wandered off this page and googled reviews on the “FibroFix” program.  That’s when I really got to see the details of this program.  The first thing that pulled up in reviews is that people say that the individuals who run the program are not actual medical professionals.  In fact, I found quite a few people who stated one person in particular is being investigated by the AMA.  I also got to see some of the treatments and diet suggestions people followed while they were on the “Fibrofix” program.

Some testing included testing PH levels in salvia.  From what I could grasp, it had something to do with measuring acidity, which seems to be a HUGE concern for the program.  They have you cut out ANY food they might think has acid, as well as also regularly taking antacids or Tums and following a Guaifenesin Protocol treatment which involved taking a over the counter medication like Mucinex and the procedure does not sound pleasant.  Read about it more through this link, it sounds more like torture than relief:  http://chronicfatigue.about.com/od/treatmentprotocols/a/guaifenesin.htm 

The first obvious concern with all of this is whether the people that run this program are actual doctors.  Who would you turn to if you have an allergic reaction to all the new medicine they want you take (over the counter or not).  How do they monitor your diet if they change it so dramatically and how would they know if you’re having any vitamin deficiencies?  They state you can have (i.e. pay for) one on one phone sessions with the makers of the program and go over any questions or concerns you may have.  Can they order you blood work? Can they talk to the E.R. if you end up there from a violent reaction from taking too many stomach meds at the same time?  How does this all work exactly?

The people that made this program obviously aren’t fibromyalgia advocates.  If they found the “answer” to fibromyalgia pain and symptoms then why are they charging for it?  Real fibromyalgia advocates would be shouting that answer on the rooftops knowing they just helped someone, not for the money, but for a pain free/symptom free life of that fibro patient.  I also noticed as I scanned through links that “Fibrofix” would comment on Fibromyalgia Blogs, Yahoo questions, chat boards, etc. that mention fibromyalgia around the web.  If you’re program is really that great, you don’t need to stalk fibromyalgia patients on the web.

It’s sad to me that there are probably a lot of fibro patients that have paid for this program.  There are so few answers we turn to whatever we think may help, and unfortunately, there are programs out there like “Fibrofix” that are taking advantage of our frustration, exhaustion, and lack of answers.

Getting Away…

My hubby and I are finishing up the last few days of a nice long, much needed, vacation.  We spent a few days at the lake and have spent the last portion at home.  I’m very grateful for having the energy and ability to do everything we have done, even with fibro.  I survived a five mile hike through the trails at Turkey Run.  It was supposed to be three miles, but we got a little mixed up and ended up doing a portion of three different trails.    We also did a six mile canoe trip, which I also thought was supposed to be three miles.  I think my fog had me stuck on three miles when I was planning things to do on our vacation.

I do admit, there was one thing we did that made me sore.  Of all the things we did, fishing killed my arm.  I think I get a little over-excited when I’m casting.  All the working out I do and fishing ends up making me sore…*sheesh*  I did catch the biggest fish (out of the two we caught..hehe) so I suppose it was worth being a little sore.  I’ve also decided true love is when you take your wife fishing, she catches a fish bigger than yours, but you’re still willing to take the wiggly thing off the hook for her.  My hubby also seriously asked me if I was going to clean the fish I caught so we could have it for supper…needless to say, my fish is back happily swimming in Raccoon Lake. 

We spent one evening sitting out on the dock fishing for a few hours and I got a taste of how bad my vertigo has gotten since being diagnosed with fibro.  After sitting on the dock, I jumped in the shower and the whole shower started to rock back and forth, back and forth, up and down, up and down.  I had to grab the shower wall until I could steady my legs.  At least I know now that I will not invest in a cruise for any upcoming vacations.  I’m also not sure that any theme park rides will be in my future.  But, knowing me and me not wanting to be left out of anything, I’ll probably attempt one in the future anyway.  I may fall on my face, but at least I tried.

The fibro gods were looking out for me this week and its behaved pretty well.  The week before we left, I had one of the worst flares I have had in months.  I decided to start my vacation, day one, with a physical therapy session for a treatment.  It was a nice way to kick off the vacation by getting rid of some of the pain so I could enjoy my week.

Back to work on Tuesday…boo.