Tag Archives: easter

Not Working It Out

A multiple sclerosis “get fit” plan update

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God does work in mysterious ways. Don’t worry friends. I am not turning my regular MS humor blog into a religious blog. I say this because in spite of my accidentally fasting on exercise and nutrition during Lent, a miracle truly did happen. My scale informed me that I lost 3.5 lbs!

How could that happen without my even trying? Especially during the 40 day time period where my ‘no longer able to multi-task’ brain focused only on taking care of my spiritual health, not my physical health.

True, I did do the “no meat on Fridays” thing but that is not really a big deal, meat is not my problem. Salty snacks, sweets, processed food and carbs are my problem.

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My friend and I handled “no meat Fridays” by consuming white pizza. White pizza is a pie without tomato sauce and loaded with extra cheese, extra olive oil, and a little bit of spinach. Was the spinach responsible for the weight loss?

I did get some exercise during the month shoveling the seven inches of snow that showed up on the second day of spring. Even though the sun was out when I started shoveling, it was still pretty cold. Within an hour, the sun heated up and by three, all the snow had melted. What a shame. I could have exchanged 20 minutes of hard labor shoveling light fluffy snow for a nap and some sofa time.

And I did walk several miles around my grocery store when the managers decided to change the layout and not provide signs to help you negotiate the changes. Did all this exercise help me lose the 3.5 lbs?

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About all I did that was physically healthy these last several weeks was find flaxseeds somewhere in the mess that was the confusion of my brain and the new grocery store layout. In February, I heard a really cool neurologist speak on a better MS diet. She was so cool that I wished she could be my doctor but, unfortunately, she lives too far away. It is ok, my current neurologist is cool too AND, he is cute so I guess I am still in good hands. Not literally, of course but what can you do?

Anyway, this cool doctor recommended consuming flaxseeds and I went on a search for them. I brought a bag home, opened it and tasted some while watching hundreds of tiny flaxseeds drop to the floor. They weren’t horrible, and they must help to make you smart because my exhausted brain came up with the idea to pour what was left of the bag into a Tupperware container to make it easier to grab more seeds without creating a flaxseed lawn.

I had tuned out when the doctor said why the seeds were good for you, but good for you is good for you and so I became addicted to flaxseeds. I ate them with everything. I put flaxseeds on my cereal, in my yogurt, on my salad, in my soup, on my macaroni and cheese, in my rice pudding, on top of my ice cream, everywhere…. Are flaxseeds responsible for losing 3.5 lbs?

Now I hear that like mixing up veggies, you should mix up your seeds. Chia seeds are also good for people with MS. Seriously? The only thing I know about Chia seeds are that they are what you use to grow those funny looking pets in the shape of animals, Bart Simpson and the US President. I have nightmares of waking up one morning after consuming Chia seeds and having ugly green plants sprouting from my ears.

 

Just what I need, another weird symptom stemming from MS or trying to help myself get healthy despite MS.

I know that technically, 3.5 lbs is not a big deal. But since I wasn’t even trying, I am pretty excited! Imagine how much I could lose if I went back to trying, like I was before Lent started.

And I know that the ultimate goal should be less about weight loss, and more about being healthy. BL (before Lent) I had gotten into the habit of having salad and a piece of fruit for lunch. Ironically, once I got used to that, it became an easy habit to incorporate into my day.

And, I remember being proud of myself for passing a group of girl scouts selling cookies and not stopping. Oh, the guilt was there; I know the young scouts need my support and my not buying their delicious cookies hurt them greatly. But after several days, I forgot all about the cookies- amazing!

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That same day, I went into my local Dunkin Donuts to buy a cup of tea to drink on a short road trip. Dunkins featured an incredible looking, completely unhealthy donut. After much debate with my inner self and worry about the future of Dunkins stock if I didn’t purchase this donut, I walked out without it.

Again, I felt super proud. But the desire for the donut didn’t go away. A couple of weeks later I went back and purchased the delicacy. And it really wasn’t as good as expected. Frankly, it wasn’t that good at all.

I have gotten better about drinking more water. But on Easter, when I went on a long road trip to visit family, I figured I needed caffeine to keep me alert for the drive. Since it was hot, I chose my beloved diet coke with lots of ice. Thing was, that wasn’t as good as I expected either.

Is it true? Can baby steps and a “get fit” plan really change long ingrained, bad habits?

Am I super slowly taking steps to take better care of myself that may be actually turning into some weight loss and a healthier diet?

Is the old myth that once you start losing weight you get motivated to continue really true?

I don’t know, but onward and upward. Today is a new a day and I want to feel good. No more fasting on exercise. Back to the Wii.

Does anyone have any leftover jelly beans I can give it to keep it from yelling at me????

 

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When Multiple Sclerosis and Lent Collide

Adding God to the MS balance beam

 

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Due to Holy Week Services (and, let’s be honest, the WEGO Health awards ceremony- yea!) I am posting this week’s blog a day early. Also due to Holy Week, this blog has a spiritual tint to it. I hope though, that even my non-believing friends will enjoy it from the aspect of how it incorporates another one of the elements of living with multiple sclerosis.

And really, how can you not believe in a higher power? I mean, God is freaking awesome! The sun, the moon, the Earth, the oceans and on the eighth day he created the Rolling Stones! How can you not love the creator of all that!! For me, Jesus is my God. Only someone that cool would be capable of creating Keith Richards and keeping him around past his over ten lives thus far. But no matter what you believe dear readers, I wish you great health and many, many laughs always….

 

I think I messed up the Lent thing. As a Christian, I was excited about the approach of this time of year. We use this time to grow closer to God with prayer, almsgiving (does trying to make people laugh count as almsgiving?) and fasting.

My goal was to take advantage of this opportunity. I saved change to put into the little cardboard box that was our church’s mission project to support Catholic Relief Services. I even put in quarters. When it was time to turn the box in on Palm Sunday and it seemed a little light, I even took some change out of another jar where I had been saving for my Lions Club.

 

Speaking of my Lion’s Club, I also fed the crew of a local Habitat for Humanity project in our club’s name. I didn’t have time to get fellow Lion’s to help me but that was ok as it was supposed to be a small crew.

The numbers increased however and thus it was that my fatigued MS self was slapping together ham and cheese on a windy morning for hungry construction workers. And unfortunately, as far as I could tell, not a one of them was single! (Not that that had anything to do with why I was there of course, it was about almsgiving.)

When two fellow Lions asked me to help them clean the God given beach, I did put a stop to that. Really, how much almsgiving can you do???

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For the prayer portion of Lent, I obtained many books about Jesus and set to grow in my relationship with Him. It worked; I have enjoyed a lot of what I read.

But here is where MS screwed me up. My brain takes much longer to process information. So, while I was reading all of these great spiritual works, I was taking up a ton of time in my already pretty crowded with exhaustion, day. That left no time for the things I should be doing for my general health.

Suffice to say, what I wound up unintentionally giving up for Lent, was working out with my Wii Fit. Officially, I gave up casual reading for Lent in favor of more involved spiritual material and was planning on curbing my sweet tooth. But before I realized it, I was fasting on getting exercise and I am not sure that counts.

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With MS there is so much you should do and so little energy to do it in. With Lent, there was so much I wanted to do and only forty days to do it in. Ok, technically, you don’t have to stop the prayer, almsgiving, fasting routine just because Easter arrives, but having a time table sure helps to keep you focused.

That is when I figured out where I went wrong. Focus is the key word.

There are always going to be more things I want to do and more things I have to do and I will always have to walk this MS balance beam of energy supply. Some days I may do it well, other days not so much.

But if I put God first, maybe I won’t have to balance Him with other things. Not even with MS. Maybe Jesus is the balance beam of energy. With Him first in my world, everything else will fall into place, even my Wii Fit, after it gets over being mad at me. Perhaps I will bring it an Easter basket….

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Here is the other thing I learned, as it says in scripture, “it’s never to late to start all over again.” Wait, maybe that isn’t scripture, maybe that is Steppenwolf. I will have to check my notes. I have also really been into 70’s music lately.

 

The point is, everyday you just have to give life your best shot. Wait, shot is not the right word. Jesus is all about peace and love, not violence-no shooting…

Ok, let me try a third way. We are humans and as humans we are total screw ups. But screwing up isn’t always bad if we can learn from our mistakes and keep our focus on what is right and what is good for us.

And, no matter how hard you try, you can’t use Lent as an excuse for not exercising!

 

(Check back in April for a “get fit” plan progress report!)

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