A new beginning

A new beginning

If you have been following my blog or my facebook community Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis in Australia you may be aware that over the many years I have tried numerous forms of exercise to maintain my health and support my joint mobility. Until now everything I have tried has failed after some time. I struggle with managing my fatigue and my lack of energy often lets me down.

What I mean is I have already spent my spoons on getting up, getting dressed, going to work, working, doing housework, looking after my pets and so on. Where am I going to find the energy for effective exercise? I questioned myself repeatedly and often gave up because to be honest life got in the way of exercise. There was always something more important. There was always another priority. My health always came last. Slowly over the last year that I haven’t been writing I gained some weight. About 8kg to be exact. This extra weight was seriously beginning to affect my self esteem, my mood was always low, my back was always having a flare and I was drowning in fatigue and self pity. I was emotionally eating because to be honest food was the only thing that was making me feel good. It is so easy to get into a never ending downward spiral.

I decided last year in November I really needed to get back to a exercise regime and get my life and health back on track. Eating healthy I always found easy once I focused my thoughts but exercise is where I have always struggled. I knew I needed help.

I had seen a couple of trainers who all gave me the one size fits all routine. This never suited me because of mobility issues not all exercise types help me. Some of them have even aggravated my PSA. I used to see a rehabilitation trainer at a gym I went to a few years ago and thought I would see if he could help me to kick start my exercise routine. I called him and I was surprised he remembered me and my issues with Psoriatic arthritis. I went in for a consult in November and haven’t looked back. I am learning many things about my body and myself and building a good relationship with exercise.

Stay tuned for more on my journey.

Advertisements
Week 3 (with week 2 progress)

Week 3 (with week 2 progress)

Week 2

Week 2 unfortunately was not a great week.  I was feeling very dizzy on Monday and Tuesday, and didn’t leave the house, it persisted the whole week and with doctors orders  I stayed home and rested.  I had an increased heart rate and to be honest I am uncertain why this happened, the doctor seems to think I may  have had some sort of virus in my system.  No gym at all for me on Week 2, I  tried to stick to  my  diet as best as I  could considering I couldn’t do any exercise, the only  thing I didn’t do was probably eat as often as I should because I just didn’t feel up to it.

I did feel really disheartened because I just started on this new plan and already I am not having such a smooth run, it made me think if it was really worth struggling so much just to try and get myself to  the gym, and then feeling lousy when I missed a  whole  week of it.  I don’t have an answer for myself as yet, I guess I just have to wait and  see  how the next few weeks go.  I’m not prepared to give up yet.

I also spent some time researching the different body  types and making sure my diet and exercise plans were suited to my  body type, which  evidently is a ‘mesomorph’.  Here is  a link from bodybuilding.com on different  Body types. A lot of  the information was things I already knew, but it really did help me focus again.

Week 3  plan

My  plans for week 3 have not been so ambitious when  it comes  to exercise.  The main reason for this is because this week I have had a fair few work commitments and early starts, as a result I haven’t planned in exercise and I am going to make a decision each day based on how my body  is feeling.  So far it is pretty  fatigued from the work schedule, so I might be able to fit in 2 sessions  over the weekend.

My  diet I am sticking to my previous plans, however as I am not exercising, I am not eating as often  as last.  I have  made sure I am keeping  my  water levels up (at around 3 liters a day).

I wish I had an easy solution, but in the past when I  have forced my body to exercise when it has been fatigued has led me to having months off to recover, and I would rather not end up in the same position again.

The plan is to re evaluate this week if what I am doing is going to work for me long term?

Week 2 (with week 1 progress)

Week 2 (with week 1 progress)

Week 1 Progress

Diet

The week went well, I used Sunday to prepare all of my meals in advance.  As posed on my Week 1 post  https://myautoimmunity.wordpress.com/week-1/ I planned the same diet for the whole week, in the past I hadn’t been able to do that because I get bored of eating the same food and feel sometimes my body craves different things depending on my  energy and body needs.  Last week  was no different.  I followed the diet exactly for the first two days, I found the lentils were aggravating  my stomach a lot, I guess I haven’t consumed such a large amount of lentils for a long time.  I decided from Wednesday this wasn’t going  to work for me.  I had the same breakfast, snacks, and dinner the first half of the week, I incorporated eggs into my lunch Wednesday, and roast chicken for the remainder of the week for lunch.  Wednesday and  Thursday I also had lamb steak for dinner as this is the craving I had, which meant my body  was craving more iron and higher protein source.  Over the long weekend, I also had sushi, and made a chicken stir fry  with vegetables, and gluten free spaghetti.  I had one treat on Sunday as it a hot weekend, I had gelato as my treat.

When it comes to diet, it has to be things that work for you and your lifestyle, it is important to try and make as many meals as you can as you know exactly what goes into each meal.  I do struggle with having to eat the same thing, specially  for lunch and dinner, and also because I like to listen to what my body is telling me it needs to run better and what it needs to recover.

Exercise

I went to the gym Monday as per my Week 1 plan and found this really drained me, I had to really recover from this, I also unfortunately did something to aggravate my  back, so I needed to let my body recover from this.  Thursday  I went back to gym and did back and chest, and I went back again and did legs on Saturday.  Overall I managed 3 out of 4 exercise sessions.  Normally I would be disappointed, but from my past  experience, I learned to let my body recover and listened to what it was able to do and as a result I feel pretty good.

Measurements

It has only been one week, so there have been no changes in any of my measurements from last week, I would be in shock if it did change.


Week 2 diet

Week 2, I will stick with the same breakfast and snacks as last week.  Lunch  and  dinners will be different depending on what my body needs, but this is what I am proposing for this week.

Breakfast

  • Chia pudding

Mid morning

  • 1 cup raw carrots
  • 10 almonds

Lunch

  • Chicken stir-fry with basmati rice, substituting with;
  • Roast chicken with steamed vegetables

Afternoon

  • Yoghurt with maple syrup

Pre and post workout

  • BCAA, and protein shake

Dinner

  • Tuna salad, substituting with;
  • Lamb and salad

(will make changes based on body requirements)


Week 2 exercise (all exercise is alternating/done in pairs as last week )

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – Back and Shoulders

Lat pulls – 4 sets, alternating with;

Shoulder  press – 4 sets

Seated row – 4 sets, alternating with;

Lat raises – 4  sets

Face pulls – 4 sets, alternating with;

Face down shoulder raises – 4 sets

Wednesday- Legs

Squats – 4 sets,

Deadlifts – 4 sets

Kettlebell squats – 4 sets

Glute raises – 4 sets

Leg press – 4 sets

Calve raises – 4 sets

Thursday – rest

Friday – Chest and arms

Dumbbell chest press – 4 sets

Pull downs with bar – 4 sets

Dumbbell flys – 4 sets

Pull downs with rope – 4 sets

Saturday – Legs, same as Wednesday

Sunday – rest


Another day, another dollar: my morning narrative. 

Another day, another dollar: my morning narrative. 

 

What is that blaring noise? 

My eyes they can barely open, they are so puffy and sore it’s hard to see anything. I look over to my phone by my bed and the alarm is going off.  It’s 7am, time to get up, time to get ready, time to go to work for another day. As I reach over to the phone my arm feels so heavy, my head feels so heavy, my body it refuses to move.  “Come on”, I tell myself. “If you don’t get up now you will be late for work, again”. But my body refuses. I tell myself 10 more minutes and I’ll be ok. 

My eyes open again, I feel exhausted.  My body aches, my legs are sore. It is so hard to move the blanket, it just feels so heavy. I tell myself “one leg at a time, you just have to sit up”.  It takes some time but finally I’m sitting on my bed, my feet are touching the floor. I just don’t know where I’m going to find the energy to get dressed, look normal, get to the train station and make it through 8 hours of work. I think to myself maybe I should stay at home, but I can’t say I’m working from home again, I can’t call in sick again, I don’t want to keep disappointing people who are counting on me. I force myself to the bathroom, I tell myself “I am stronger than this” and just put one foot in front of the other. 

It’s takes some effort and some time, but I get my body moving, I feel my joints loosen a bit, I don’t have the energy to even put on my makeup or do my hair, but I have to, for me. I tell myself “If I look like nothing is wrong, I can bluff through the day, people won’t ask me what’s wrong”. By this time I’m already running late. Still feeling exhausted, I get my things and get into the car to drive myself to work. It’s so cold outside.  I drive to the train station, the car park is full.  I have to park about a 5 minute walk away from the station. I have to motivate myself,  “you are almost there you just have to make it into the train and you’ll be fine”.  Standing on the platform waiting for the train, it is so cold, I think about the longer I stand here the more energy I waste trying to stay warm.  The train finally arrives and it’s packed. I see so many sick people who I have to be so close to “what if I get a virus”.  No one offers their seat, I feel angry because I’m struggling. I tell myself why should they, I don’t have a physical disability. The train ride is only 15 minutes, but for 15 minutes I concentrate on my breathing, as I start to feel dizzy I stress about fainting on the train. I think about the time I fainted on the train on the way to work last year and hit my head and fear that it will happen again. The whole 15 minutes I feel so tense. 

The announcement comes on that we are arriving at Flagstaff station and I feel relieved that I made it. Now to get through the crowd and walk to work. Only a 5 minute walk, but I have already wasted half of my energy and I haven’t even made it to work.   I get to work it’s a little past 9am, I’m late, I know I’m late. I walk in, I smile, I say Goodmorning. 

The charade begins