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Author Topic: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017  (Read 4734 times)

Jenett

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Hi there! The Winter fitness challenge thread Altair set up is a great idea, but like a lot of people with a complicated health history, there are some things about a fitness (and especially a number-centric) approach that don't work well for me. So here's an alternative thread.

Exertion or weight loss goals expressed as numbers can be difficult to read for people who have a history of disordered eating or exercise patterns (or who used to be able to be more active than their bodies currently allow and find not being able to do things frustrating). I'd like this to be a space where people that's true for can participate, so I hope people can frame their goals here in other ways. I also hope it can be a space for health-related goals that aren't necessarily about fitness, but are about having a better embodied life.

In other discussions like this I've had, that's usually meant that goals expressed as frequency (every day, X times a week), relative intensity (improve over my current / do X% more over the next three months) or in other ways (improve flexibility, try out new kinds of activity, figure out better eating habits) work better and allow more people to join in and get support.  

With that in mind:
1) Name your goal!
2) Post it on this thread.
3) Check in (once a week is good)
4) Mutual support, encouragement and (if requested, helping with ideas) are great.
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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2017, 11:55:51 am »
Quote from: Jenett;200874


 
Hi! I'm Jenett, and I have multiple chronic things (I think I'm officially up to 7, now) several of which mean that I have to balance exertion against being able to get anything done. (I have a pedometer app on my phone not for 'I should walk more steps' but for 'I have walked a lot, I need to rest or I will be useless for days' reasons.) Plus a bunch of factors that make many kinds of exercise some kinds of logistically or functionally complicated.

Fortunately, I found a solution to that this past year that is logistically complicated but that I can actually do! Namely, swimming laps. (I swim while listening to podcasts. It's awesome.)

Exercise goal:
My deal with my nutritionist is that I swim 3 days a week (M/W/F) which I do before work, or I swap out a day if I am going to be unusually active another day that week.  I also skip a day if I am unwell enough I would not leave the house, which happens about once every four to six weeks.

My goal for the next three months is to keep that up reliably, and see if I can improve my functional exertion.

I've been slowly increasing my proportion of kickboard and back/breast/sidestroke to front crawl (I'm now at a 1:1 ratio. That took 6 months. Crawl is really hard on my lung issues) and I'd like to see if I can build up enough lung capacity to start doing the 0 to 1650 workouts in crawl (plus more swimming, of course. I normally do about 35-40 minutes in the morning, which is probably never going to be enough for a full mile in the water before work at the speed I go, but it's nice to have goals.

Food goal:
Work out a combination of food things that are easy to cook, easy to keep on hand, and that continue to look like food to me, that are also good for me. (I need more functional vegetable solutions I'll actually make than I currently have.)

Suggestions are probably not useful from others (the medical issues mean that there's a somewhat weird set of foods I don't eat, and a lot of times when I need to eat things but what looks like food this week is different than last week.)

Other
Like a lot of people in their 40s, I am stiff a lot. I'd like to build in a low-key low-exertion dance meditation practice to see if it helps, though I'm still trying to figure out where to put it in my day. (At this point, 'go into the library stacks for 5 minutes with headphones' is maybe the most practical solution for complex timing reasons.)
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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2017, 04:03:48 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;200874

Exertion or weight loss goals expressed as numbers can be difficult to read for people who have a history of disordered eating or exercise patterns (or who used to be able to be more active than their bodies currently allow and find not being able to do things frustrating). I'd like this to be a space where people that's true for can participate, so I hope people can frame their goals here in other ways. I also hope it can be a space for health-related goals that aren't necessarily about fitness, but are about having a better embodied life.

 
I just want to say thank you so much for starting this thread. I really want to focus on health/better embodied living this year but can't do it in traditional fitness-focused spaces. (which doesn't mean those spaces aren't valuable; they are, I just can't do them.)

Quote from: Jenett;200874
With that in mind:
1) Name your goal!
2) Post it on this thread.
3) Check in (once a week is good)
4) Mutual support, encouragement and (if requested, helping with ideas) are great.


Hello, I'm a Morag. I've got some chronic illness type stuff (tired all the time, even with CPAP machine; mental illnesses; other things that affect my ability to function) and some more acute type stuff that is basically chronic because even though it is injury-related, it is not going away (spinal injury is the big one, and the other one is my leg, which has not been the same since I broke it 2.5 years ago).

(Also, I'm putting the food-related goals into a spoiler tag so that if anyone wants to skip it they can.)

Stamina/getting the body in better functioning mode-type goals

-chiropractor for spine adjustments once a month. (Would do more often, but insurance only covers so much.)
-walk up and down stairs (one rep) 3x a week to build strength back up in legs and lungs.
-continue knitting and crochet to keep building strength up in both arms/wrists (had tendinitis for a while in both hands)
-start taking my iron again
-investigate swimming and other exercise options more fully at the community center. Once investigated, choose an option and stick to it. (Will update here when option chosen.)
-figure out some way to start working on being able to sit cross-legged again. Maybe yoga at the center. Something, idk.
-find an exercise to strengthen abdomen muscles that does not strain the back, as cannot do traditional crunches anymore.
-improve my sleep: stop skipping nights with CPAP; go to bed earlier and do before-bed routine again; get up before noon and do morning routine. Make Ogre watch Prometheus with me until it no longer invades my nightmares.  

Changing food habits

Spoiler:  
January: continue researching specific thing* husband and I want to try and make a plan to put it into action in February.

February: write out meal plans for next two months; clean out pantry to only what is part of specific thing. Start thing; try not to murder each other while going through initial phase of carb deprivation.

March: ????/Profit!

* Husband and I have decided to try keto this year. It's not for weight loss so much as we feel we eat way too much sugar and carbs, and want to cut down but have so far been unsuccessful. So we are trying this, which is a cold turkey cut, but will still allow us to have lots of protein and fats. I think it will work better than other attempts to lower carb and sugar intake.

It's going to be hard because I have a history of disordered eating and am seriously addicted to my carbs and sugar, but I really want to do this because I am tired of my current eating habits.


Specific things to get sorted out in the next few months in order to support overall health goals

-talk to doc about getting prescription for compression socks so can have more than one pair and get covered by insurance.
-push very hard for psychiatrist appt because I'm sorry, 6 months wait is ridiculous
-get a new swimsuit so can actually swim (current suits = good for hot-tubbing, not so much for actual movement in water)
-get back into the swing of things with bullet journalling and keep track of stuff in it.
-schedule follow-up appt with sleep clinic and go.
-get bike fixed (early March)
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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2017, 09:24:16 am »
Quote from: Morag;200883
I just want to say thank you so much for starting this thread. I really want to focus on health/better embodied living this year but can't do it in traditional fitness-focused spaces. (which doesn't mean those spaces aren't valuable; they are, I just can't do them.)


Welcome! I hope we get more people to join us!

I really really love water-based exercise. (Well, I'd sort of have to, to get up at 5:30 for it. I am not a morning person.) And I love watching people at the pool, who range from the fast lane doing laps at speed, to my lane (the slow one) and the water walking and exercise lane next to me.


There's the guy who walks up and back (who is, um, tall enough that works. It's a 4.5 foot pool depth, so 5' me can't quite do that, bouncing is required). There's the woman who uses a water belt and water aerobics tools and does all sorts of interesting positions. There's the nice woman whose name I actually know who I see all the time who does the belt and water jogging, moving up and down slowly across the pool, occasionally mixing it up with something else.  

I prefer swimming, but I like the way water walking / water jogging / water aerobics make you use your core to stay upright, but if you get it wrong, you just sort of wobble over in the water rather than hurt yourself.

And in general, I love water exercise for 'I just have to get to the edge of the pool if I am unexpectedly exhausted' which is the thing that gets me with walking. (Where I am stuck either walking very close to home which is boring and partly not a great walk, or risk getting stuck somewhere and not being able to get home safely. I'd love it if my stamina ever got to the point where I had more than a couple of minutes between 'you are at the edge' and 'you are over the edge, fall over now or else.')

For suits: my go to is the Land's End Tugless (not the cheapest, but they last well and I keep an eye out for sales). I've also had decent luck with Swim Outlet, and they have a not horrible plus size selection, and periodic sales, including on basic suits that stay put.

I went to the pool this morning! (for the first time since last Wednesday, since I was off work Friday and Monday, and also was doing a bunch of house cleaning and organising and can't stamina enough to do both on the same day usefully). The pool was surprisingly not full of people with New Year's resolutions: it was a subset of the same people I see regularly.
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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2017, 04:49:21 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;200940
Welcome! I hope we get more people to join us!

 
Hallo, I'm up for joining at some point but have a splitting headache so now is prob not the best time, but in brief: got fibro and some other stuff, currently semi-housebound (wishing I had the option of a wheelchair). Have to be hyper cautious because too much exertion = Bad Flare and too much focus on food habits etc = Brain Wrong. But also, have been eating more things that don't really agree with me than is really ideal and would like to change that and maybe try and rebuild some amount of fitness or whatever.

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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 10:20:29 am »
Quote from: Jenett;200874



I am checking in, because Monday.

I (despite snow over the weekend and it being decidedly chilly out this morning) got myself up and to the pool this morning, where virtue was promptly rewarded by the pool being more empty than usual (for most of the time I was swimming there were 4 people in 7 lanes, which is lovely!)

That particular reward is one of the ways I get myself out of bed to go do the thing.  

Last week was a fairly average week, both food and exercisewise.
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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 01:43:41 am »
Quote from: Jenett;200940
For suits: my go to is the Land's End Tugless (not the cheapest, but they last well and I keep an eye out for sales). I've also had decent luck with Swim Outlet, and they have a not horrible plus size selection, and periodic sales, including on basic suits that stay put.

 
Thank you for the links! :)

I am frustratingly very picky when it comes to my swimsuits these days; I want something more modest than what is normally available, but with a lower neckline than what is considered "modest" by sellers of swimwear (I can't handle things too close to my throat; can't even stand crew neck shirts). It is pretty difficult to find something that occupies that sweet spot.

Ogre and I have been looking around, though, and will hopefully find something soon. I would really love to go swimming as soon as possible.
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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2017, 07:11:39 am »
Quote from: Morag;201347
Thank you for the links! :)

I am frustratingly very picky when it comes to my swimsuits these days; I want something more modest than what is normally available,

 
I feel this way about swimming costumes too. I deal with it by wearing board shorts over my costume.
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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 02:02:32 pm »
Quote from: Morag;200883
Hello, I'm a Morag.


Checking in.

Since my initial post, have made progress on following:

Stamina/getting the body in better functioning mode-type goals

-continue knitting and crochet
-start taking my iron again
-improve my sleep: stop skipping nights with CPAP; go to bed earlier

Changing food habits

Spoiler:  
Have consulted with doctor about starting keto in February and made appt for both of us so we can get blood tests and such so he can monitor our health and make sure we're not screwing ourselves over.


Specific things to get sorted out in the next few months in order to support overall health goals

-talk to doc about getting prescription for compression socks so can have more than one pair and get covered by insurance. - done, except it got messed up so need to do again.
-push very hard for psychiatrist appt because I'm sorry, 6 months wait is ridiculous - also done, got number for psych and need to try calling them again (first time was out of office hours as their hours are wonky for this month)
-get back into the swing of things with bullet journalling and keep track of stuff in it. -- have made some progress on this, not as much as I'd like, but some.

In the next week(ish) I need to:

-call chiro for appt.
-journal
-research swim/exercise options at community centre
-keep taking my iron
Spoiler:  
-write out lists for keto, divide up pantry so we know what we need to eat down before we start
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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 02:05:46 pm »
Quote from: Sarah;201350
I feel this way about swimming costumes too. I deal with it by wearing board shorts over my costume.

 
I've considered this. Ogre also suggested I just cut the lining out of his old shorts and wear those over my swimsuit, which would mean getting him a new swimsuit as well, but overall might be cheaper than me holding out for the perfect one for me.
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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 03:17:05 pm »
Quote from: Morag;201358
I've considered this. Ogre also suggested I just cut the lining out of his old shorts and wear those over my swimsuit, which would mean getting him a new swimsuit as well, but overall might be cheaper than me holding out for the perfect one for me.


Yay, Morag, doing things!

Other option!

Decent Exposures is not a cheap option, but has the advantage you can get very specific about what you want and they will make it for you (within the line of what they make). They make everything custom, usual wait time is about 3 weeks, they won't bill you until it ships unless you ask otherwise.

I haven't gotten their swimsuits yet (probably will the next replacement I do), but I do get almost all my underwear and bras from them, and most of my skirts (because they will hem to exactly the length I want, have pockets, and are sturdy, comfortable, and look sufficiently professional for my purposes.).

They will definitely do things like adjust strap width, how low or high it's cut under the arms, etc. easily: they also do shorts and tanktops (with optional built in bra)

(Their stuff lasts well. The 'let me get enough underwear to go 2 weeks without laundry' binge I got about 3 years ago has not shown signs of wearing out, and while the pocket edges eventually wear through on my skirts, it takes about 2.5 years for stuff I wear a couple of times a week.)

They have really awesome individual customer service (of the kind that when I ordered a different fabric in the last batch of underwear, they had looked at my file said "Your last order was X, we wanted to check you meant Y this time?" and checked a couple of other things.)

Also worth mentioning: for people who can't tolerate latex or elastic, they also have a ribbing option for bras. There was about a year after my health crashed when I couldn't tolerate anything that was restrictive in a band, and it was awesome to be able to get an option.
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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 04:28:47 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;201363
Decent Exposures is not a cheap option, but has the advantage you can get very specific about what you want and they will make it for you (within the line of what they make). They make everything custom, usual wait time is about 3 weeks, they won't bill you until it ships unless you ask otherwise.

 
Oh hey, that looks really cool! Thanks! :)

Bonus: they are local to me. Well, in the US and still local to me; Seattle is a 3 hour drive.
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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2017, 03:04:55 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;200874

1) Name your goal!
2) Post it on this thread.
3) Check in (once a week is good)
4) Mutual support, encouragement and (if requested, helping with ideas) are great.

Good idea, Jennet!

I'm belatedly joining because it's the first time I'm sitting down on my laptop for a while, trying to write lengthy stuff on my phone is just tedious.  Also, I was struggling to think of a specific-ish goal, beyond eat healthier and live healthier lifestyle...

In a couple of weeks I'm going to get the chance to start doing Weight Watchers for 12 weeks for free through work, so that largely takes care of the former eating related goal.

As for the healthier lifestyle, it's lots of things which I've been trying to do/doing on & off for a while but not always keeping up with, and I really want to improve on all of it:-
  • keep up the water-drinking (I've managed to switch from diet fizzy drinks, which is already a positive step - relapsed over the Christmas period, as treated myself to a large box of 24 cans of diet cola but they're all gone now and I haven't had withdrawal symptoms so yay!)
  • resist the biscuit-round morning and afternoon & all the birthday cakes etc at work (why aren't all of my colleagues obese too?!)
  • remember to take a packed lunch, as that way I've more choice of healthier options
  • try and take a lunch break & spend some of it reading, or something (relaxation during my working day)
  • more fruit & veg
  • remembering to use my daylight simulation lamp
  • remembering to take my various vitamins & food supplements regularly
  • do something about my insomnia...

That's all I can think of right now.

I need to introduce more exercise too, but that for me is the hard part as my health condition leaves me tired all the time, and exercise wipes me out so that I can barely drag my carcass in to work the following day (or several days) so it's something I will keep thinking about but not necessarily tackle right now.  Maybe if some of the above works & the Weight Watchers gets results I will have more energy and it'll be easier...

Halfway through January, and I've already made a little progress - we're doing more home cooked meals, and less junk food.  And my husband's on board too, which makes a difference, as trying to get him to eat fruit & veg normally is not easy

(Sorry, some of mine are food related, I don't know how to do the spoiler thingy.)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 03:10:55 pm by Pickle »

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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2017, 06:54:06 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;200874
Hi there! The Winter fitness challenge thread Altair set up is a great idea, but like a lot of people with a complicated health history, there are some things about a fitness (and especially a number-centric) approach that don't work well for me. So here's an alternative thread.


Hello, all!

I'm popping in from your sister thread to lend ENCOURAGEMENT! ENCOURAGEMENT! ENCOURAGEMENT!

It's fantabulous that we're doing this, in whichever thread suits us best, and I'm sending only positive energy that we all make significant progress towards whatever goals we set.

(Imagine me in a cheerleader outfit, complete with blonde wig, pom poms, and insanely short mini-skirt, to complete the picture. There. Get busy, people, or I'll have to come back and plant that image anew.)
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Re: Health and fitness challenge, chronic illness edition, winter 2017
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2017, 10:44:58 am »
Quote from: Jenett;200874


 
It is Monday, so a good time to check in!

Last week was weird for me, because I ended up doing a lot of standing at my desk for a transcription project, and found it exceedingly exhausting

(Also messed up my knee one day. Dear my body, the joints are not usually our problem, please stop that. I like having one or two body systems that mostly work right.)

Activity numbers:
Spoiler:  
I counted this at roughly 1 minute of activity for every 3 minutes of standing, and came out with more than an hour more than my usual activity average, and almost 100 more than the last couple of weeks (I usually manage between 360 and 400 minutes, and last week was 463) Which might explain why I was tired.


I didn't go swimming last Friday, because I was exhausted, and I didn't even consider attempting going to the Boston march (my stamina, entirely too unreliable, and talking to my assistant at work, it's a good thing I didn't: it was apparently a great time, but a lot of not being able to move for extended periods.)

I'm volunteering tonight (which involves about three quarters of a mile walking as part of the transit) so didn't swim this morning either, but I'm looking forward to getting back in the pool on Wednesday. (And while I have more transcription to do this week, I can sit down for today's and maybe some of tomorrow's.)
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

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