Monday, February 23, 2015

An Interesting Article on Making Exercise A Habit- with Links.

There's a wonderful blog that I follow based on the book "The Happiness Project."  The author, Gretchen Ruben, has published three books on creating habits and what's really holding you back from being "happy".  I have gone back and read her first book several times and I always find something new.  I am very much looking forward to her latest; Better Than Before.

 Today, just as I was tossing around the possibility of joining Planet Fitness for the millionth time, this article from January 2013 popped up in my feed on Facebook so I thought I would share it here:

Want an Exercise Routine You’ll Stick To? Ask Yourself These 11 Questions.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day, or Quiz Day, or List Day.
This Wednesday: Want an exercise routine you’ll stick to? Ask yourself these eleven questions.
When I ask people what they’d like to do for their own happiness projects, they often say something like, “Exercise more regularly.”Exercise is very important for health and mood, and everyone knows this–and yet it’s often tough for people to stick to an exercise routine.
I think that one mistake is to choose a form of exercise based on a) what your friend recommends, b) what kind of change to your body you want to see, or c) what is the fashionable form of exercise. It’s helpful to consider these factors, but in the end, we’re far more likely to stick with an exercise routine that suits our nature and our schedule. If you’re struggling to exercise regularly, this is not the place to fight your nature! If you’ve been a night person all your life, vowing to get up at 5:00 a.m. to run isn’t very realistic.
Ask yourself these questions, and when you’re done, think about what kind of exercise routine would suit you best:
1. Are you a morning person or a night person?
2. Would you like to spend more time in nature?
3. Would you like more time in solitude; or more time with friends; or more time to meet new people?
4. Are you motivated by competition?
5. Do you enjoy loud music?
6. Do you do better with some form of external accountability, or does that just annoy you?
7. Would you like to challenge yourself with exercise (whether by learning a new skill or pushing yourself physically)–or not?
8. Do you like sports and games?
9. Would you like more meditative time, or more time to watch TV, read newspapers, etc?
10. Do you have a lot of control over your time?
11. Are you sensitive to weather?
Your answers should guide your thinking about exercise. Work out with a trainer? Take a class? Be inside or outside? etc.
For instance, if you’re a morning person who craves solitude and time alone with your thoughts, but has little control over  your schedule and hates feeling accountable to anyone, you might enjoy walking in a park every morning before you leave for work.
If you’re a night person who loves music and meeting new people, and is also motivated by accountability, you might like to take a dance-based exercise class after work.
Often, people will say, “Go for a twenty minute walk at lunch? That’s nothing. I really need to get in shape.” Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good! The twenty minute walk you take is so much better for you than the three mile run you never do. You get the biggest health boost going from no exercise to some exercise.
Just a little tweak in a routine sometimes makes a big difference. For instance, to exercise on the weekends, I go for a long walk. Generally, I like to think while I walk, but I do a lot of walking every day, and I found myself getting bored on the long walks–and so finding excuses to skip them.
One of my Twelve Personal Commandments is to Identify the problem. What was the problem? “I’m bored during these walks, so I don’t want to go.” For the first time, I bought myself an audiobook, and for the past few weeks I’ve been listening to The Golden Compass when I walk. It makes me so happy! I haven’t missed a day’s walk since I started.
How about you? What aspects of your nature and your schedule make it easier–or harder–to stick to an exercise routine? What works for you?
**Now, while this doesn't instantly answer my question about joining PF (I decided to wait to talk to the Physical Therapist about my physical limitations before Iplunk down the money) It does give me something to consider when it comes to the question of "Will I actually follow through if I DO join?' I hope that some of you find this helpful too!  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Why We Have Trouble Sleeping

     I have been up since 1:45 am.  I woke up with shooting pain from my hip to my knee.  It almost felt like dual charlie-horses.  I think Arthur was knocking on my lower limbs to remind me that he's still there.  I tried changing positions and stretching before I gave up, got up and literally walked it off.

     This type of thing has been a fairly regular thing through my journey so I didn't think much of it (other than the curse words I muttered till it ended) but when I sat down, I found an article from Arthritis Today in my inbox that addresses just this topic.  I read it and wanted to share it with you.

You can find the article here.  If you are like me, and insomnia is an "old friend" that pops up on a regular basis, I hope it gives you some insight,  Have a lovely day! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

On Being Normal?

      So I am on my second bout of Bronchitis in less than a month. As I was told- I will never have a "normal" cold again.   It's my own fault.  At the tail end of the first one I jumped right back in to life (a little too soon) and when hubby got sick, I didn't "quarentine" myself by sleeping on the couch.  Add in my RLD and I basically did myself in.   I wanted to go to see my parents this weekend but that's not going to happen.  I am not subjecting them to my germs (Mama's been sick- I am not contributing to her getting sick again) and I am not goign to ruin their Valentine's Day by keeping them up all night hacking.

     What we did do though was go out and buy two new Vicks Humidfiers.  One for the bedroom and one for downstairs.  Hubby slept upstairs last night and before he went to bed he put in one of the Vicks Vapo Pads for the humidifer.  He seems to be feeling better today so perhaps it helped.  I napped for 5 hours yesterday so I couldn't get to sleep last night and ended up falling asleep on the couch.  I will try it out tonight.  Since I can't take anything that contains Tylenol any longer (due to the liver damage from the MTX- insert sad face here) I will keep taking my Alka-Selzer Cough and Cold with Bayer Asprin and drink lots of tea and water.

     So that's my abnormal cold situation that led to this contemplation.  Another lovely effect from the off-shoot RLD from the RA.  If I have learned one lesson in my almost 10 years with RA is that even my "New Normal" will change far more often than I will be comfortable with.  Each time there is a new diagnosis, each time there is a new limitation or restriction there is a new, new, "New Normal".  I find, running through my head fairly often "What IS normal?"

     I don't think I have EVER been normal.  I had a very un-traditional upbringing.  Being a military brat, while forcing you to be highly adaptive, is not normal.  Even though there are thousands upon thousands of kids like us- we each have our own situations.  You could line up a thousand of us and I doubt you would find two who were not sibs that had been in the same bases, in the same order.  It's about as different from someone who lives in one place their entire life as you can get.  I am also so blessed that I have a wonderful, loving family who actually enjoys spending time together but even that's not "normal".  How many people do you know who have good relationships with their parents, siblings, In-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles?  My only relationship that is "not great" is with my grandmother.  Most people I know from all different age groups are not as fortunate as I am with their family situations.  I give thanks for mine every single day.  

     Even within my own family, I was always the "weird" one.  My interests were and still are all over the map.  I am not the "brave one"- that would be Heather.  I am not the "sweet one"- that would be Lisa.  I am the..."curious one."  I want to see everything and try everything. I am the one who loves to try new food from all over the world- Seaweed is a tasty snack.  I am the one who read all about and researched all different faiths until I realized that it's okay to be "spiritual" with out an organized religion.  I am the one who loves all things Halloween, who loves a good scary movie, who loves to write and read and can fall down a rabbit hole on Google.  I am the one who read everything I could about Salem (and the Witch Trials) and spent many, many years heading down there for Halloween.  I always thought I would write something set there until I realized that most of what I write is non-fiction.  I am the one who has been known to change my hair color with my mood (I have been from Platinum Blonde to Jet Black) and my style on a whim.  I am the one who enjoys acting- from Arsenic and Old Lace in High School to my Haunted Houses and even consider customer service a bit of a show but I have not one ounce of artistic ability. I am the one who loves movies and tv shows based on comic books and crime dramas and Game of Thrones and horror and good comedies and has to have IMDB up so I can see who is playing what character and check out all of the trivia.  I am the one who is crazy about the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox. I am the one who is even more crazy about all things Harry Potter.  I am the one who lives for "Jammie time" and would be happy if yoga gear became the new "business casual" and siesta became the norm.   I am the one who loves every bit of music from classical to jazz to country, to metal to hip-hop to pop.  I am the one who treats my puppies like they are kids because I miss my kid like crazy. I am the one who is excited to be an instant grandma when Josh gets married next year because I don't believe in "steps".  I am the one who still wishes I had a pony- even though I know I couldn't take care of it myself any longer.  Speaking of which- thankfully, I am the only one who ended up with the autoimmune illnesses and in doing so I am the one who is learning to be grateful while I learn to live with the pain. I am the one who can live with pain FAR more easily than with exhaustion.  Exhaustion is my kryptonite.   The weird one- yep, that's me.

I saw the most true Meme today and posted it to my Facebook page.  It's me in a nutshell.

I have decided to just say "To Hell with Normal!"  I have decided that it's okay to be the weird one- because some of the best people are.