Part 2, Month 4 – Digestion – Persisting Beyond My Goal: My best lesson, yet!

One of my valuable lessons I’ve learned and am now employing: when you have given yourself a difference, a difference in lifestyle, a difference in behaviors, whatever it is, and the time to make that difference, keep it going. Keep making the difference.

Commitment to Running

This past month brought blessings to me in the form of commitment. I found myself successful in two areas – my gut health and my behavioral/emotional health. At the onset of the month, I found myself finishing a run and the number 28 popped in my mind – I will run for 28 days, I thought.

Later on, it occurred to me that 28 days, ending May 1, is ample time to create a new habit. Now that was not my intention at all, but I knew good things would maybe happen in those 28 days if I ran consistently.

I forgot about the aspect of the agreement I made with myself to actually run for 28 consecutive days, but I did exercise the whole time minus 2 or 3 needed breaks for my knees. I’ve found myself doing a day on, a day off, if that is what my knees dictate. I’m glad to be running at all! Gotta take it easy on my sweet knees, though, and I must listen to them.

Positively delighted, I am in such good shape now. My knees and legs feel stronger than they have been in ages. I’m feeling younger with these stronger knees and it feels so good sometimes to run almost like I’m getting a deep tissue massage in them. I am still careful though because my knees feel fragile still at times.

Why am I focusing on running when month 4’s focus was digestion? I have found that…running is excellent for digestive health.

Walking is also good for it. Movement in general, really, and I have found in the process, there is a greater impact on your digestion when you take deep belly breathes while you exercise which assists in getting things moving in the nether regions.  Constipation is an issue for many people simply because they lack the movement they need to help their bowels move.

Take Away #1 -Persisting Beyond the Goal – Take it to the Next Level

My main take-away this month: persist after the goal is accomplished. I’ve stuck to this diet and exercise so well and it’s really paying off. I’m not looking to ban it now because I “no longer have to” run or eat well – eating for my digestion I have found to be the healthiest I’ve eaten, maybe forever, given the length of time I’ve stuck to this. So, I intend to persist beyond the goal. Why?

Decades ago, I had an opportunity to quit a behavior for 30 days, which I did, and, at the end of that 30 days I had another opportunity to go back to it. I did, despite my true desire not to because of a familiar prompting. I wish I hadn’t. I fell from a lifestyle I was just starting to pursue and would have done well at it had I stuck with it and not let that behavior distract me. My choices since then, when I have given myself a goal and reached it, mostly (not always) I have gone back to how I behaved previously, delighted I could do it again, like with sugar, couldn’t wait to binge on it, but this time, I have no interest in going back. I’m almost a little bit skittish, like I want to keep pursuing the healthy life. So, that is my take away – persist in the after-glow of your achievement. Let it take root and become you.

Yesterday my 28 days of exercise ended, and I am pleased to say that, coupled with the diet, mostly consisting of fruit/veg smoothies and brown rice and veggies, I have done it honestly, and found I enjoy this new, healthy lifestyle. So, I will persist!!

                My total exercise units this past month:

                Bike: 50 minutes     Walk: 3.5 hours Run: 35 miles                    

This morning I hit the bridge and ran just over 2 miles. I’m still reluctant to eat sugar, but I do know I will likely get more bread and crackers to eat with my eggs and salads. However, if I maintain my refined sugar abstinence, I will be fine. That is my downfall.

In the absence of crackers or bread…guac, chickpeas and tuna…together! Mmm.

I have learned that there there is no short-cutting health. It’s a simple recipe, but discipline is required, and as I engage, I really enjoy my process. That is what I like most, and what I was hoping for I guess too from my 28 days, was it would impact positively other areas of my life. Not much more has changed, although I have been finding I am “digesting” my behaviors and emotions much for effectively, too, keeping what’s healthy and letting the other pass. Just like digestion!!

I have also learned from this past month that real change takes time. Overnight cures for life-long habits will not be long-lasting.

One of my valuable lessons I’ve learned and am now employing: when you have given yourself a difference, a difference in lifestyle, a difference in behaviors, whatever it is, and the time to make that difference, keep it going. Keep making the difference – keep making the positive changes that are leading you to what your desire, to the woman you desire to be – being her is only a matter of time:)

Persist with the change. It will become you at some point. You will become that vision of yourself you desire most when you persist and allow the change to take root.

We become what we give ourselves to.

Take-away #2: Breaking the Food Spell

Last night, I will say, I had an urge to go to the store and get some “goodie-baddies” but I don’t really care to open that door. So I didn’t. I find another result of this month beneficial – it is the first time I have gone without dinner on several occasions in maybe the past ten years or more. I am a feeder! :O)

It is a rare day in the meat-packing plant when I ever don’t feed myself dinner.  I feel this month, I have broken the food-spell over myself. Jesus said of certain spirits that they only come out by prayer and fasting. I have fasted and believe the spirits that have come out: the spirits of gluttony and lust (over food). I have employed the spirit of self-control over and over, and am really letting my body decide when/if I will eat because I need to, more so than because I want to. So that is another beneficial take-away from this month.

Phase 2 – Probiotics

Mid-month, after I found the food and exercise regime were paying off and found that “this house is clean,” I began taking pro-biotics. I felt my digestive situation had become barren enough to where I could start taking supplements that would have a chance to populate my gut because they would be able to find their way to it and not be lost in the mire of intestinal gunk. I am not sure how they are working. Funny thing about that, I was reading the back of the box when I got home and found these benefits on there for the vagina and found out the whole pill box said “vaginal probiotics.” I got a kick out of that because I wasn’t paying attention when I bought them; I was on the phone and noticed how many billion they had and figured those were the one’s for me! Vaginal health, I’m all for it! I had no idea they made pro-biotics for that!

At any rate, there are so many different strains in this. I have only looked up a few studies on them which are included on the links at the bottom, but I put the highlights of two different species of the same genus, below, in case you know nothing of different probiotic benefits. Here, you can get a glimpse – at least what these two studies found.

Month’s past I focused a lot on supplementation, but only this month have I found myself really using food heavily and taking only probiotics (1/2 the month) and some liver detox tea to help my digestive health.

I am going to end there. I hope you got something out of this. I know I did. I’m glad to be persisting beyond the goal and encourage you, A. To get a goal, and B. Make it a lifestyle change – meaning, you’ve used the goal to set you up for a change in lifestyle and you will keep taking it to the next level!

To My Health & Yours!

Thanks for reading!

Holly

Best Sunday Studying. April 26. Happy and Healthy Persisting in My Interests.

Probiotic Studies and Information, as mentioned above.

L. reuteri is able to inhibit the colonization of pathogenic microbes and remodel the commensal microbiota composition in the host.

Second, L. reuteri can benefit the host immune system. For instance, some L. reuteri strains can reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines while promoting regulatory T cell development and function. Third, bearing the ability to strengthen the intestinal barrier, the colonization of L. reuteri may decrease the microbial translocation from the gut lumen to the tissues. 

L. rhamnosus is one of the most widely used probiotic strains. Various health effects are well documented including the prevention and treatment of gastro-intestinal infections and diarrhea, and stimulation of immune responses that promote vaccination or even prevent certain allergic symptoms. However, not all intervention studies could show a clinical benefit and even for the same conditions, the results are not univocal. Clearly, the host phenotype governed by age, genetics and environmental factors such as the endogenous microbiota, plays a role in whether individuals are responders or non-responders. However, we believe that a detailed knowledge of the bacterial physiology and the LGG molecules that play a key role in its host-interaction capacity is crucial for a better understanding of its potential health benefits.

May: A Time To Commit… Commit To Fit

What I realized this a.m. was that it is a good time to get into a good habit, especially feeling a bad one looming.
One thing I have learned, if I’m realistic, I will likely achieve what I set out to do, and often even more. Too much is discouraging. 20 minutes is doable, and totally SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).

If there is something else I know and like about myself, it is that once I commit to something, I’m in. So, that is my commitment for starters – to make myself do some form of exercise for 20 minutes, 4x/week.

Fit – something I enjoy being. Mostly, I’m pretty fit. But, there’s more to be done. Thighs and hips here we go!

This morning it came to me that it is May 1st. A new month. Commitment is what came to mind. To what must I commit? To fitness.

I came home last night and it was beautiful, and though I was not hungry, I decided to make food instead of going out in the beautiful weather and taking in the evening sun before it parted ways for the day. It would have been a good night for a stroll or a run. Anything, but I opted to go onto my balcony instead. That was a pivotal moment, I felt.

It felt pivotal in the wrong direction! Now, I have been crazy busy over the past many months, and literally have had no time to make for anything, but today, yesterday, and for the next many months, I will have down time finally in the evenings most nights, and with no looming commitments to big time responsibilities at work, I will easily be able to commit to being fit.

What I realized this a.m. was that it is a good time to get into a good habit, especially feeling a bad one looming. A new month, and a new goal. Any goals at this time would be good! I have been out of goals lately.

Being in my new place now for 2 ½ months, I have still had only a little time to enjoy it, and I have not yet begun to establish any routines because my schedule has dictated and dominated most of my week nights.

I have realized how much having enough food in me to keep me going is crucial to not being laid-out once I arrive home. I am prone to feeding my face despite my hunger though because I love to eat! Last night I had plenty to sustain me through my two tutoring sessions after school, and did not arrive home until close to 7. Despite not being hungry, and it being beautiful, I opted for a sluggard’s behavior, instead :(. I felt that was a bad decision, and felt it a bit too coming home tonight, but remembered my commitment idea.

Commit to be Fit

Tonight, I was plenty fueled up on fuel too, but an 11 hour day did not sit well with me running out the door immediately to run or walk or do whatever I was going to do to meet my commitment goal which I was not even concrete on yet. 5 minutes came to mind. No! Too short. Be serious.

I begrudgingly got ready and went out figuring I would be done with it and would be able to relax the rest of the evening.

I walked for a while and then ran for a minute and was sick to my stomach immediately. Not sure why, but I pushed through while also feeling like my joints may come undone. My body feels weak and limp! It was the biggest strain. My mental state likely made it worse! I walked again, eventually, and turned around soon. I got back and had been out for 20 minutes. Perfect! I worked out exactly what I have decided to do. I will likely do more other days as I feel like it, but all I need commit to for now is 20 minutes a day. If that’s all I want to do, great, but I need to get in shape, and I need to strengthen, for sure. So, I just realized I need to go to the gym for that, maybe. Glad its going to be summer break soon – that will make all this easier and more palatable! I have to remember too that once I’m into a routine, it’s easier and more enjoyable!

May is my month to Commitment. My commitment is to 20 minutes a day for 4 days at least, a week. That’s it.  Whatever I can do – walk, ride, run, strength train. 20 minutes. One thing I have learned, if I’m realistic, I will likely achieve what I set out to do, and often even more. Too much is discouraging. 20 minutes is doable, and totally SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).

If there is something else I know and like about myself, it is that once I commit to something, I’m in. So, that is my commitment for starters – to make myself do some form of exercise for 20 minutes, 4x/week. Getting ready for Summer!! Easy! Also, there’s another thing I’ve learned about myself. When I make 1 positive change in my life, it often has a domino effect. So, more into being fit –> more into healthy –> more into life –> more into fun.

Here’s to being fit, and more so, to commitment 🙂

#CommittoBeingFit

Podcast: My Healing Journey

The recovery process has had its literal and figurative ups and downs. I heeded the verse that instructed me to strengthen my feeble knees, and the result of me getting up off my bum, of the keeping of persevering despite every physical set-back I had, of the continually holding fast to the truth of what I know scripturally, and by continuing to speak healing over my knees as they ached while running or otherwise, I have been made well.

Following is a 27 minute audio podcast. I have put a couple of excerpts below, but take the journey with me. This is a fun audio podcast of my experience being injured while running, and how healing took place through other mechanisms of exercise. This is rife with scripture, major lessons learned, fun and joy in my process of recovery God took me through.

What God did was to help me out anyway. As I was readying myself to read the bible one night, I opened to this passage “accidentally” which listed my instruction for my knee. It is found in Hebrews 12:12-13 “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down and the feeble knees and make straight the paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.” Amen to that.

God’s way may prove hard, but He will always give us the grace to accomplish whatever we need to do, as well. God may be working other things, too, necessary for our growth about which we have no knowledge. I like to say, as I have experienced, when teaching, God has used this profession to work things in me and to work things out of me. But, He is always working to perfect us, to help us. That is what we are called to be, “Perfect, as He is perfect.” But the good thing is that he helps us accomplish this through His son, Jesus Christ, through accepting Him, then God sends His Holy Spirit to aid us in all we need to do.

God always tries to help us, to divert us from disaster, but we have to choose down which path we are going to follow. He even tells us, choose the path of life. God could have touched my knee and made it perfect, but he chose to take me through the long route for which I am grateful. Otherwise, I would have missed out on so much. I would have missed out on the growth process of healing. I love that. I love God showing up for me. That’s the neatest. That is truly awesome. Growing is part of this journey, if we so choose, life. The journey can be fun too. The journey is great. The progress is cool to witness too. I like that. The ups and down are all a part of it. The destination, then, is the celebration. Then, there’s another journey.

The four plus years I have endured of this leg pain has found me at the end of these four plus months in a pleasant place. I am healing. It is working. I’m strengthening. I am keeping working out with weights, running and biking. I continue to heal. I can now successfully run on the beach too which I like a lot – watch out Jason Bourne. I like the treadmill too. My healing has enabled me to do what most take to naturally and without any thought or pain: bending, walking, stretching or sitting. One of the greatest achievements is that I can actually cross my legs now without any pain. That was amazing when it happened the first time. I didn’t even realize it until it happened. I just naturally tried to cross my legs without thinking about it, and then voila, there I am all cross-legged excited for my recovery. That was so huge when I realized that. That continues to this day. Kneeling was a similar feeling of achievement. I love progress.

I can walk down stairs with only minor pain, I can put on my pants, shorts, etc. without the need to kick out my leg, and I can run on concrete, but that causes the most pain maintaining its first place position for the #1 worst exercise for me. I can, however, also run over the bridge, a favorite exercise of mine, without being out of commission for three weeks which is incredible! I am healing, continually. I’m learning to control my desires to run more even when I want too to slowly build and not to destroy the progress I have made. Moderation and not overdoing it is how I am progressing well.

I will say I love the transformation of my body. I’ve never had to worry about weight in my life, but having hit 40 and beyond, gravity was winning the skin’s losing reality. However, I have found that what’s headed south is seeing its way back up north again which makes me very happy. Another triumphant moment in my life transformed.

The recovery process has had its literal and figurative ups and downs and it’s been a good ride. It’s been a good run as they say. I doubt, however, if I did not have this condition that I would have ever been diligent enough or persevering enough to have stuck with it. I like that it’s shaping me up. It’s helped me to disciple myself too which is so crucial in life for success and I have needed that desperately – peace has come as a result too which was promised in the scripture – less pain, less worry about the pain, less fatigue because of the pain, and therefore less overall stress is what I’ve gained with all of this. Follow-through on the short term makes the long-term a whole lot better. I feel better, I look better, I am better.

I am grateful for lent, a period of 40 days in the Catholic Church of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.  I’m grateful because part of what I did for that was to commit to working out at least 3x/week (I fasted slothfulness/lack of discipline), every other day with the exception of Sunday. I don’t know if I would have stuck with this if it weren’t for that. Diligence is a man’s precious possession.