To fast or not to fast

The last week of 2017 I chose to begin a water fast. Having watched a documentary (The Science of Fasting) months ago about it, I was intruiged. I continued to research and talked to people who had completed fasts of various lengths – I decided to go for it.

My total fast length was 6 days, 3 minutes. The only thing I ingested during that time was water.

My goals were to reset my body. I have Multiple Sclerosis (diagnosed in 2001), and have reached a point where I can’t manage it without meds much longer. I had nothing to lose as far as I was concerned.

Day one: This day was fairly easy. We’ve all gone most of a day without food, so I had scheduled regular work activity for the day and went about my day. I found that I would enter the kitchen to graze whenever I was bored – not necessarily hungry. This habit was strongest whenever I would first enter the house. Seems I would beeline for the kitchen automatically. Interesting to note. I began to get a headache as well – likely caffeine withdrawal.20180104_075013.pngDay two: I can sum this day up in one word – hangry. I was grumpy, hungry, and my patience was at a minimum. My headache continued, and again I had a fully scheduled work day. This was rough. I didn’t want to talk to people, I didn’t feel good. I made it through and was grateful when it was time to go to bed.

Day three: Hell. I woke up at about 3am feeling awful. Temperature regulation was a problem – hot then cold, headache, body pains, heartburn – tossing and turning until I got out of bed a few hours later. It was at this point that I reached out to my circle who had completed a fast previously to help pull me through. I was reading when to quit a fast, and I really wasn’t sure I could do it. That morning I didn’t have the strength to stand up and blow dry my hair, so I sat on the floor to dry it just enough so it wouldn’t freeze. Again, I went to work – however I had a difficult time standing and talking at the same time – it took too much energy. This was by far my most difficult day.20180104_075043.pngDay four: After a good night’s sleep I awoke feeling rested and ready. My headache was gone, my energy was higher, my mind clear. I had broken some of my morning habits already – the primary one being sitting for about an hour each day – fiddling on my phone, drinking coffee. My schedule was light, as I wasn’t sure how the end of the week would play out and I found myself knocking things off my long standing to-do lists. I was also building a sense of accomplishment over the fast and excited to see what would happen next.

Day five: Even better than day 4. More energy, more clarity, it was almost a spiritual experience. Focused and determined, I was able to work on my business and home at a level I hadn’t in a long time. Rashes were clearing up, my skin felt amazing. Pain was gone, I felt almost invincible! I began to plan for breaking my fast, as I didn’t want to go through refeeding syndrome and felt like my body was a temple not to be tainted.

Day six: Another amazing day. I was sad that the fast was coming to an end, and I was pumped for the future. Feeling healthy and strong, clear headed and determined, ready to take on the world. That evening, I broke the fast with bone broth.

I am now 4 days post fast. I have been eating quite clean (following a detox diet – although unable to eat all of what is on the menu daily) and the focus and clarity continues. However, not all is well. I have noticed that I lost muscle during the fast – my strength level is low. My rashes have already returned and my pains are back. This leads me to think that there might be some sort of allergic response to the foods I am eating – although my diet is super clean – perhaps something is not syncing with me. This is something I am going to explore much more in the upcoming months, as I am not a fan of a life of medicines and truly believe that if I am nice to my body, it will be nice to me.

I am eating now using the intermittent fasting method. I have an 8 hour window each day in which I eat (12-8) following the theory that this way my body does not run on sugars alone and it is said to limit inflammation. The jury is out, although personally I’m quite disappointed as I sit here having bounded out of bed this morning only to fall to the floor when my right leg gave out unexpectedly(classic MS symptom for me).

As far as weight – I started at 140.0 (literally Christmas day, so this was a somewhat high spot for me) and ended at 130.2 – for a total loss of 9.8 pounds in 6 days. 4 days of food later and I am back to 134.7.

IMG_20180104_074139.jpgOriginially I was certain that this would be something that I would do again – the clarity and energy while I was in ketosis was addictive. However given my weakness from muscle loss and the return of symptoms so quickly, I don’t think I will put that stress on my body again.

I am forever grateful for completing the fast and for all of the support I had going through it. Wouldn’t change a thing. I am still excited for the internal clarity shifts that occurred and look forward to what this 2mm shift will do to my trajectory. I do feel like a bit of a badass for completing it and added it to my overall life experience bucket. C81A4320

 

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What do you really want?

And is what you are doing heading you in that direction?

Do you want a bandaid on a hemmorage or do you want to heal? 

Quick fixes are just that – temporary patches not long term solutions. 

If you are going through hell – I have two words: keep going.

Being kind.

I run a kind gang. I turn the other cheek. I give the benefit of the doubt. I firmly believe an eye for an eye and the world goes blind.

I also make mistakes. I get caught up in my emotions. I lose the ability to see the big picture from time to time. I, like most humans, choose to suffer.

I’m learning that having boundaries isn’t mean or unkind. It is, in fact, the kindest thing you can do. It’s wearing your oxygen mask so that you can share your gifts with others.

We are only capable of change within ourselves. We are blessed to be the change we want to see in the world. We can lead others to knowledge, however we cannot make them think.

Being kind does not mean accepting bullshit. It does not mean allowing negativity and poor decisions in your orbit. It means having the integrity to stand up for what you believe in and say goodbye to things that hurt your soul. It’s not mean, it’s not unkind, it is love.

Love for your values and priorities. Love for your spirit and your soul. Love for others – allowing them to be who they are without condoning it or excusing it. Choose the right path – every moment is a choice. Every single second we get to determine which way we are going and what steps we will take to get there. We can choose to lie to pacify or to stand in our truth and hold our head high.

Stand with me. Hold the line. Stay true to the greater good.

We can do this together. And if you’re not ready, that’s OK – the door is always open should you change your mind.

Namaste my friends.

Truth

I’ve started a bazillion blogs lately. And finished exactly zero.

That says a lot.

I process out loud. I share my thoughts as they come to me and this how I walk through them. When I get quiet, that’s when trouble is a brewing. I’m sitting in it. I literally plop down, halt all action, and remain stuck. All the while looking around and wondering why things suck. So I get moving and think I am on the right the path – when in reality I am now attempting to go around it. I will volunteer for a thousand things, I will start a new project, I will change something – anything to avoid the massive elephant in the room.

Some of these are good things, don’t get me wrong. They are also avoidance techniques.

It occurred to me this morning – as I feel anxiety over what to do next (side note, I hardly ever get anxious – I’m more of a buckle down boot strap kinda gal, so the what if’s don’t stress me out) – that it’s time. Time to take a good hard look at me. Time to climb that next personal mountain. Time to feel some feelings I would prefer to avoid.

In the last 5 years I have changed literally everything – husbands, houses, companies, cars, hair, habits – you name it, I’ve adjusted it. Yet I feel stuck. I see that very little forward progress has been made. I’m sitting and spinning – stalled in front of a pile of feelings.

And yet I’m in the middle of another big move.

Maybe it’s not my address, maybe it’s not my relationship, maybe it’s not my marketing, maybe it’s not my addiction to plants vs zombies, maybe it’s not my clothes – maybe it’s me.

I’m the constant.

How’s that for a duh moment?

Maybe y’all figured this out already. Maybe you know the way to save yourself before you go running around keeping busy saving everyone and everything else.

Seems like I need to stop and put my oxygen mask on first. Whatever I’m inhaling right now is not serving me.

So I start small, I make a list of things to do today based on where I want to go and what I want to do. And I stop myself when I go off track. I am finishing what I’ve started – I am focusing on my big why – my babies. To be the absolute best human I can possibly be and provide them with the tools, teachings, experiences, emotions, and attention they deserve to use their gifts and blossom further into the amazing blessings that they are. Lead by example.

How do I do this?

With a focus on integrity, truth, values, and authenticity. With an open mind and spirit. With the energy and guidance of the universe supporting me. With love and forgiveness.

One breath at a time.

 

 

 

Frustrated. 

This is a repost from my Facebook page. That’s where I seem to pour it all out…

I’m frustrated. This is going to be one of those long, full of too much truth for some, posts.

I started flaring in the spring. Always a possibility, I pretty much know how to handle them to keep them from stopping me. This one was a doozie. Wound up in the hospital in early June. Turned to medication to help, bounced around between different doctors to determine just what was the cause. In my head, it doesn’t matter – it’s all the same. Auto-immune. I have a list of diagnoses, in addition to MS that y’all know about, and I tend to lump them all together because the bottom line is the same – my body is attacking my body. 

It’s a helpless feeling knowing I am doing this to myself. Meditating, searching my body for the cause, the triggers that sent me down this path again. I eat better, read more, listen to the cues my body sends and drink more water, juice daily, buy flats, alter my household to accommodate my abilities, etc. Sometimes I cry for hours, other times I get really angry and determined. 

The “cure” for this one was the same as always – massive steroids. I despise this route. My bones are already showing major signs of osteoporosis from years of treatment. Is the cure worse than the cause? I was desperate though, so off we went. After about two weeks I was pain free, my body seemed to be healing. 

Religious with physical therapy, amping up my nutrition, I was on the way out….and then it happened.

I was changing into my pj’s on Friday and felt the all too familiar pain shoot through my leg. F*CK! I froze, afraid to move a muscle, fearful of the future, wishing I could just pretend it never happened.

Except that it did.

One by one my symptoms started to creep back. The steroids were wearing off, and my body was determined to “win” by returning to it’s self destructive mode.

On Monday I was released from Physical Therapy and joined the gym again. On Wednesday my doctor told me I was released “until next time”. We talked about my options going forward, as I’ve had my lifetime supply of NSAIDs, and am likely over the steroid limit too. It’s time to go back to experimental drugs he said, regular infusions, for life. There is ZERO I like about this. My doc knows how I feel and urged me to at least research and set up the needed appointments so I could roll when and if it was needed. I agreed. Thursday night I couldn’t lay on my side anymore, the pain was too much. This morning I felt beat down, scared, frustrated, and angry. I am jealous of every single person that can move freely. I want to scream for them to get off the couch while they can – to go do the things they want to do – simply because they are possible.

Because when that option is removed, regret is a beast. 

I struggle this morning with keeping a positive attitude, with loving myself as my body rebels. I have plans dammit, I don’t want to be stopped, or even slowed down. I want to play with my kids, go to work, take care of myself and my home. I want to be pain free and mobile. 

Yet, I am forced again, to accept. 

My relatively pain free month was simply amazing and all too short. It took about 2 weeks for me to mentally wake up and stop being scared of moving, scared of the pain. I realized I was conditioned to not do things even when they didn’t hurt any more. 

Just as I was breaking free, it’s back.

There has to be something bigger causing this BS. We, as a society, must look at the poisons we have readily available and feed our children with. Fast food is awful, we know this, yet we use pizza and ice cream as a treat. Exercise is good, yet the average adult spends 5 hours a day in front of the television. We are always looking to do what is easy, not what is right. I stoutly believe that the rise in autoimmune issues is a direct cause/effect from our lifestyles. While not intentional, you cannot deny the numbers.

Why isn’t salad cool? Why are Frosties 50 cents and a cold pressed juice 10 dollars? Why do people talk about binging on a TV series more than upping their exercise routines? The general vibe is one of instant gratification with no thought to the long term outcomes. 

It’s tough to fight this on a daily basis. I know my tribe is out there – people who eat well, move their muscles, feed their minds and bodies positive things. I don’t want to be in the minority any more.

I started a massive facebook friend delete campaign through this last flare. And it is freeing. If we don’t vibe, it doesn’t make it in my circle any more. I don’t have the extra energy to fight the bullshit, I don’t need help making poor choices. 

Not sure where I’m going with this, other than to simply release these thoughts from my mind and share with y’all a little piece of what has been going on in my world.

I know that I am not alone, so I am raising  my hand. 

Who wants to join my #levelup #kindgang? Where we push ourselves to be better, not blitzed – where we support instead of compete with one another – where salad is cool.

One thing I have learned over the years – that still holds super true today – if we are nice to our bodies, they will be nice to us. This applies to everything – food, movement, books, music, mindfulness. Have your actions in alignment with your goals. Hell, have goals. Be purposeful with a plan. Save your pennies, feed your mind and body, hug your babies, and love your people.

Everything else is just noise. 

xo

Cape wearing 101

I like to think of myself as a superhero – capable of anything I set my mind to, limitless – because of this, I get to experience so many amazing things! Every once in a while though, I encounter kryptonite. At these times I have to listen to my body and do what’s best for the long haul, think big picture. Pain has been creeping in lately and I’ve largely ignored it. Last night my body said “basta!” I tried every trick in the book and it wasn’t working and I was left with a decision: take traditional medicine and be wiped out for the better part of a day or continue to endure and likely end up worse losing more time as I push beyond my breaking point.
 
Now y’all know I shun modern medicine, not wanting to get caught in the doctor trap where side effect after side effect add up and you don’t even know what the original problem was. I am pretty adamant about letting my body heal itself by taking better care of it – treating it like the miracle that it is….at the same time I am totally grateful for having access to amazing health care and the people who dedicate their lives to the cause.
 
So at around midnight last night I had a sit down with myself and decided that the best course of action was to take medicine to allow my body to chill the f*ck out and get to work healing. I knew it would knock me out for at least 12 hours – however I am no good to anyone if I can’t stop crying or lose mobility completely. So I emailed my morning appointments to let them know I might not be available and swallowed a pill and a little pride at the same time.
 
T tried to wake me up in the morning. Poor guy only wanted me to feel better and was completely helpless – he left a cookie and a cup of tea on my nightstand, turned the ringer up on my phone so he could check on me and kissed my forehead on his way out.
 
I woke up around 11am. Pain level dropped significantly and my body was full of gratitude for the rest. It took me about an hour to fully wake up – and during that time my amazing team had my back. I decided full disclosure was best rather than hiding my weakness and we shared with all who tried to connect with me what really happened.
 
Sometimes when you have the label of a chronic disease you want to hide it, thinking it’s a weakness, when in reality it is just another piece of who you are. I truly believe if we all shared our realities – that everyone has their “thing” – and we’d find strength in coming together – solutions based on our experiences – and in the end be stronger together.
 
I look at the pictures from last night and I can see the pain in my eyes, my posture looks awkward as I navigated all movements while doing my best to avoid causing my nerves to jump, stab, and burn each time. I get a little sad when I can see my suffering. I know I am not alone though, and I know there is a blessing in everything if we just look for it.
 
I’m not 100% today, I am a lot better than yesterday. My mind is clearer and my body is no longer screaming. I know I did the right thing at the time.
So today I want to shout out praise for the medical community, give strength and high fives to all who walk through life carrying an invisible cross, and continue on my path with heart and eyes wide open.
 
Now it’s time to dust off my cape, straighten my tiara, and get back to life. ❤
 
Much love kids, thank you for being a part of my journey. xo
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