Go With What Works

11 days in to the new year and I am feeling better than I have felt in a long time... months, if not for over a year! I have done a LOT of experimenting with my daily activities, food, exercise, and any else I could think of that would influence my general well-being over the past nearly 2 years (as many of you know!) leading me to a lot of answers. The problem has been being consistent with those changes. I have to say that some of them have been tough to incorporate. New habits take time. Quite frankly, I have been too consumed with self-pity to want to do anything too drastic. However, I had a "come to Jesus" moment when I was considering some of my future life plans, like becoming a mom at some point. I have to be my best self in order to take care of another human, and that has led to a shift in my thinking which has helped get me out of my funk.

So what works for me?

1. Moving every day, specifically yoga and a walk. I have been aiming to do yoga first thing to help wake up my joints. It's been working really well and the pain starts to improve while I go through the low key poses. It's nothing strenuous. I follow Yoga with Adrienne, as I have mentioned before, and her pace is perfect. I have also been walking the dogs after work. I aim for at least 10 min, but have been getting closer to 30 minutes in on most days. The cold makes it a pain (haha pun-intended!) but that's what electric gloves are for! Also, I have started some really slow triathlon training again! I have actually had such an increase in my energy that this has not been a challenge for me yet. I plan to sign up for the YMCA Spring Sprint Tri, the same one I did 3 years ago, in February. So far the training is going great.

2. Eating GBOMBS. Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a plant-based physician who wrote "Eat to Live". I read his book last year and he mentions eating GBOMBS daily to improve overall immunity and decrease inflammation, GBOMBS stands for "Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds". So every day I have been eating these foods.

3. Not eating too much. In addition to eating the right foods, I am trying to limit the portions. I have been logging my meals into my fitness pal daily, trying to stick to 1200 calories. I am eating hearty, healthy foods to make sure I am getting enough nutrients. I want to be sure I am not putting too much weight on my joints so I want to get back down to a more optimal weight. I have maintained my 10 lbs weight gain over the last year and I want to take off that excess weight.

4. Intermittent Fasting. In addition to not eating too much, I am being strategic about when I eat. The theory is that when the body fasts for 16 hours it has a chance to digest fat cells. I have also read about fasting being beneficial for autoimmune disorders. Not eating so frequently allows the body to not focus so much on digesting and instead, focus on repairing the body. So I eat from 11am-7pm approximately, allowing my body time to heal instead of constantly digest food. 

5. No alcohol. I figured that no alcohol is better than the "right" alcohol. All of it leads me to not feel well so why try to play games with it? If the occasion is ever so special, sure, I will indulge. But a random Tuesday? Nah, I will take feeling good instead.

And that's it. My knuckles had been swollen for 3 months and they are finally normal size again. For the middle of winter, I will take any small improvements! I will keep you posted on how it's working but as of now, I am really excited about the progress thus far! 

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