Day 1: My Health Journey To Lose Weight and Eliminate Pain

In addition to being at least 20 pounds overweight for my height and frame (I have been unsuccessfully trying to lose the baby weight for 8 years now) I have been dealing with joint pain for the past 5-ish years. It started in my hips. I thought I had an IT-band injury five years ago after I ran a 10 mile race. Unfortunately, the pain has never gone away and exercising has gotten progressively harder.  (Which, of course, does not help the weight loss, either.)

Basically, I cannot run, lunge, row, weight lift, or do yoga without pain.  I mean, I can DO these exercises, but if I do them repetitively, over time I am in so much pain I cannot even sit at my desk without everything hurting. Stretching and yoga sometimes do not help but actually make the pain worse (like it did yesterday).

It’s getting to the point that I know I have to do something about it. I am only 40 years old. I know that I if I do not take proactive steps to correct this, it will only keep getting worse. It’s to the point that I cannot even bend over to do the dishes without it hurting.

I have been given tons of advice by well-meaning friends. I have tried many different things to help my hip joints (where I experience the most pain) — including diet and exercise changes. But nothing seems to work. (Admittedly, I am not always consistent with these things. But it’s hard to stay on a particular regime when it doesn’t seem to be making a difference.)

I suspect that my problem is arthritis, and I suspect that I have a gluten intolerance. I pay the price whenever I eat gluten in many ways. I know that gluten intolerance can cause inflammation, which I know can also only make arthritis worse.

Here are the steps I am taking to help solve my pain problem:

  1. I made an appointment with an integrative medicine doctor. My appointment is on November 15th. I am hoping he can determine what is causing my pain, as well as give me solid advice for managing it, be it in the forms of diet, supplements, physical therapy, and/or new exercises/stretching I can do at home;
  2. I bought new walking shoes yesterday for people who supinate (which I do);
  3. Until my appointment (and this is where you and this blog post come in): I am committing to NOT eating sugar and gluten. Between now and the 15th, that is 21 days.
  4. I am going to check-in on our MOE Facebook page every day and let you know how successful I was at avoiding sugar and gluten, and if it is making a difference. I am doing this publicly in the hopes that the accountability will help me stick to it!

I am committed to living my best life. Our move to the southwest was my first step in that commitment, and it was one of the best (albeit hardest) decisions I have ever made.  But I also want that best life to be at least 20 pounds lighter without hip/back/joint pain so that I can enjoy exercising again and feeling my best!

Thank you for your help!

-Law-Mom

 

Be Careful What You Wish For…

So, now this song is stuck in my head. Because in one day, I did two mini yoga sessions with SC2:

 

and

And then I was voted on to join a Board of Directors (on a volunteer basis) for a Foundation with a mission to support young dancers pursuing dance careers.  So, I guess I am volunteering now, too. It’s not the exact type of volunteering I had in mind (I want to do something to help children at the border) but at least it is meaningful and something I can easily do from home.

Amazing what can change in just two days.

And to our MOE Readers who celebrate: Happy Rosh Hashanah!

What Being on Mountain Time Has Taught Me

Hi MOE Readers! Law-Mom here. I know I’ve been  a bit absentee for awhile, learning the lay of the land in my new state out west. We’ve all been adjusting to a new rhythm out here which, by and large, is a pretty pleasant rhythm, if I must tell you. I am working 7 to 3 from home now. I knew, as an Early Bird, that I’d love the schedule. And I do!

It’s funny, though: you would think working those hours I’d have so much more time during the day to get things done. I do. And I don’t. I do seem to have more time to clean my home (what are lunch breaks for, ‘eh?) and to take care of the kids and the new puppy. (Did I mention we got a puppy, too, in the past month?) What I don’t seem to have much time for still is myself.

I was just saying to The Hub that I’d really like to incorporate yoga into my day. But honest-to-goodness, I cannot tell you when I’d find the time (when I was actually functioning) to do it.

For example, while I was writing this, I just got significantly waylaid to help SC1 with a math homework problem (that she conveniently forgot she was supposed to do until right before bedtime).

I could try to do it in the morning, but even waking up early (between 4 and 5 most days) I can barely find the time to go for walk or bike ride. Could I squeeze in some yoga? Maybe. But I’d have to forego my daily morning talk with my parents; taking the puppy out to go to the bathroom a few times; chasing the puppy around the house to stop him from chewing on things;  brushing the girls’ unbelievably tangled hair; reminding the children 100 times to brush their teeth; picking up shoes and hairbands off the floor to prevent the puppy from chewing on them (am I getting repetitive?); hanging up wet laundry to dry (yay, solar power!), cleaning up the kitchen from the night before (because I don’t do dishes after 7pm)….all before starting work at 7am. Am I making excuses? Maybe.

[I just had to tell my child to stop doing her homework on the floor, where the puppy was trying to chew her pencil and paper, and to move to a desk. Because. Problem-solving. Is. Hard.]

The afternoons/evenings are also quickly filled with the girls’ activities, picking up the house (it is always a mess now that we only have a great room — everything pretty much collects there), taking care of the puppy, helping with homework, making dinner (I have time to cook now, so I have been actually cooking and grilling!), and…our nightly pool swim. I gotta tell you: I love our nightly pool swim.

But, when to do yoga?

“You could be doing it now!” you say. But, if you bother listening to Conan Tanner’s podcast, you will understand that after 8pm, this body does very little other than read. After 4am wake ups, I’m pretty sure, you’d say the same. That’s like doing yoga at 10pm, after waking up at 6. Maybe there are some MOEs out there who enjoy working out at 10pm after a 15 or 16 hour day. More power to you! (And, what are you taking, by the way? Can I have the name of that supplement?)

Anyway — I might sound like I am complaining. I’m not. I’m just sharing that even when working what are, quite frankly, ideal work hours from home, there is still not  a lot of time to do everything that I want to do. This may sound like common sense. I guess I’m always mildly surprised by how little time there is in the day.

I’m also not volunteering right now. I feel a bit (okay, a lot) guilty about this. (The Hub tells me I’d make an excellent Catholic.) But, much like doing yoga: I cannot force myself to jam anything more into my already full schedule. I’m enjoying my down time (nightly family pool swim) just too much to change anything.

[SC2 is asking me how many minutes she should put in her reading log, because she spent some of the time looking at the pictures.]

[Now I have to sign the homework, to indicate that she completed it.]

I cannot

[That sentence was interrupted by the puppy vomiting and my needing to call the vet to make sure he was not having a bad reaction to his vaccine today. Yes, really.]

I was going to say, I cannot tell you how many times per day my thoughts are completely interrupted. I have oft said that parenting is quite a bit like that short story, “Harrison Bergeron” that I remember reading in 8th grade. It’s so bad that now my speech patterns frequently imitate my thought patterns: I will begin a sentence, only to then repeat “um, um, um” quite a few times before I am finally able to complete my train of thought.  I think Econ-Mom can attest to this from the last time we spoke on the phone.

Anyway, should I feel badly about not doing yoga and not volunteering and enjoying my relaxing family swim time? I am thinking no.

I am thinking that it is really okay to just be a “Mom on 9” for a change. I feel the shift in the time zone has also slightly adjusted my feelings about “doing everything” all the time. For now, not doing yoga and not volunteering is fine. Because someday, I WILL have time for those things again. My kids will be grown, and I will miss them like crazy. But I will have the time. For now, I think I will just swim with them.

Econ-Mom: First of all, LOL to your Hub’s comment about making a good Catholic.  I was raised Catholic and decided to go back to the church a couple years ago, and there really is a decent amount of guilt messaging.  Even some of the songs are like “we’re all sinners, etc.”  One time I was filling out a questionnaire and it was asking if I had experienced different moods/etc, and one of them was “excessive guilt.” I was like… I’m sorry, is that a thing? How could any amount of guilt possibly be excessive?

But seriously, yes, of course, just enjoy your swim time!  And also be more like me and just don’t clean your house!  I should honestly take a picture of our ‘great’ room right now. The floor is literally covered with dinosaurs and coloring books. That being said,** I do totally feel this post.  I really like to go to jazzercise twice a week, but between jury duty and DH being out of town, I haven’t been able to go in weeks.  (So now I get to feel guilty about not exercising AND about paying the monthly jazzercise fee!) I do feel compelled to share one tiny “life hack” I have recently figured out: I have noticed that I am super inflexible and it ends up causing lower back pain for me, so I’ve gotten into the habit of stretching on the floor next to Peanut’s bed as I sing lullabies to him. We have a routine where I sing him 5 songs, and usually during the first 4 I am lying next to him on his bed, but for the last song I’ll move to the floor and stretch. I feel semi-ridiculous sharing this because it sounds like one of those satirical ManWhoHasItAll tweets about how working men need to squeeze more into their day, but hey.

P.S. Thank you for reminding me why getting a dog is NOT on the table in my life right now.  Luckily we’re renting so I have a built-in excuse!

P.P.S. Volunteering?!?!? Thanks for mentioning that, because now I feel guilty for not feeling guilty about not volunteering!  (That is, except for not volunteering at my son’s school.  Of course I feel guilty about that!)

 

**Note the perfectly correct use of the phrase “that being said.” This little aside will only make sense to those who listen to the podcast. LOL.  -L.M.