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Tag Archives: encouragement

Successful Failure

 

 

 

 

 

 

You might have heard the funny saying… “My goal was to lose 10 pounds this year. Only 15 to go!” Well, my goal in 2018 was to lose 65 pounds. 70 to go! So, did I fail? Yes. Sort of. No. Not really! Stay with me here…

The actual goal I put down on paper for 2018 was “continue to work on improving my mental and physical health” because I have come to learn that health encompasses so much more than the number on the scale. I succeeded in improving my health, through various triumphs and failures this year, even though the number on the scale isn’t what I wanted. I had those numbers in my head all year, though, so, yes, I’m disappointed. I miss being strong, physically capable, and agile, so that’s why those numbers will remain a part of my health goals. The shift is the focus and where power is given. The scale and those numbers do not rule over me.

I’ve had a lot of “non-scale victories” in my health journey in the last couple of years. A big one is that I’m still alive. When depression and other mental health struggles make you not want to keep living, that’s worth celebrating. I’m still here, and last year I made a commitment to myself to stay here.

By the way, I did lose a few pounds mid-year when I was doing “keto-ish”/low-carb. However, that way of eating started to have a negative impact on my overall health, and the pounds came back when I stopped. I learned from that experience, and anything that teaches you isn’t a failure. It’s simply learning what doesn’t work for you.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

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Last year, I did all sorts of wonderful things that are good for my health like hiking, going to the ocean many times, and laughing so hard I cried. I strove to do my best in my various roles and be a positive force in the world. I put myself first… often. That’s quite hard for me, but everyone benefits when I do. Huge victory right there!! I pushed through physical and mental obstacles and setbacks in order to accomplish everyday stuff and all the extras. During fall and winter, I set daily and monthly goals for steps and not only hit but also exceeded them. I posted regularly in social media groups all year to support others in their wellness journeys. I did pool workouts regularly in the summer. So many victories all year!

Yes, I failed to achieve weight loss last year. I take responsibility for that while also giving myself grace. I’m choosing to celebrate all my big and small victories from 2018. In so many ways, I truly was healthier at the end of 2018 than I was at the beginning. That’s a big victory for me. I’m carrying this positive energy into 2019 and will continue to work on improving all aspects of my health, including weight loss. I’m a successful failure, and I’m not ashamed about that! I hope you can look back on 2018 with tough love–giving yourself kudos and grace. Happy 2019 to all my fellow “successful failures”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Two Things You Must Know About Planning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you have a chronic illness or not, life requires planning.  Without it all we are doing is sitting on our thumbs waiting for life to happen.  While spontaneity can be fun, it won’t help you succeed.  Speaking of succeeding, did you know that planning can help you succeed in your personal and professional life, even if you have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia or psoriatic arthritis.  To help you succeed, here are two very important things you must know about planning:

Number One: Planning can make you more reliable

This is a biggie for those of us diagnosed with a chronic disease.  Autoimmune diseases and other unpredictable illnesses are monsters that have the capability of turning the most reliable person into a complete flake.  Before becoming chronically ill, I rarely cancelled anything I committed to.  That all changed after my third chronic diagnosis.  One of the reasons I became the cancellation queen was because I was filling my calendar the way I did before becoming sick.  Another reasons is that I just said yes to everything without considering if I would have enough time or energy to actually follow through.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

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I resolved this issue with careful planning.  It took a few years of trial and error, mainly because I still had to come to terms with the fact that living with multiple chronic illnesses would never be the same as the life I had before, but I finally found my groove.  What I mean by that is by following the advice in my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life, I was able to plan with my symptoms and pain in mind.  For example, after living with my illnesses for as long as I had, I knew approximately how much time I needed to recover after a big outing.  I also knew that planning anything to close to that event would not end well.  So to ensure that I could attend, well as much as I could as we all know that most autoimmune diseases, chronic illnesses, and cancers can have a mind of their own, I blocked out a few days (more if I wasn’t feeling as well as I’d prefer) before the event and then anywhere from 2-7 days following the event to recover.  By doing this, I was able to plan smarter and could even explain to someone why I was declining their invite.

 

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Number Two: Plans change!

Yep, that’s right, our health status and pain levels aren’t the only things that can change without warning, our plans can too.  With that in mind, I always makes plans that include backup plans! I began this practice after I started blocking out dates on my calendar, because I became frustrated that my plans went up in smoke after I took the time to rest beforehand.  Sometimes my backup plans are actual plans. For example, if dinner plans with friends didn’t pan out, I have plans to still go out either by myself, with my husband or children, or someone from the original plans if anyone is still available.

 

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By allowing enough time to prepare my body for an outing and to recover from one, I also free myself to be a bit more flexible.  If something comes up I still have room in my schedule to shift the day that I was going to go out forward or backwards a day or two.

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The best part of seeing my schedule on paper is that afterwards I am able to see how much I was able to do in the past month.  This helps with future planning.  Then of course there is that exciting moment when you discover that all the time you spent planning and listening to your body results in being able to do more than you expected!

Don’t skate through 2019 hoping everything will work out.  Instead get planning and make this your best year yet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quit or Modify? The Choice is Yours!

 

 

 

 

 

When something becomes difficult to do, do you quit or modify how you do it?

I struggled to accept that I needed to change how I did things for the first 13 years of living with fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, endometriosis, and coccydynia.  All I wanted to do was to go on with my life the way I had and not have to figure out a new way to live.  Let’s get real, even life without a painful chronic illness can be difficult, but throw in an incurable injury or illness and it can be enough to make anyone want to throw in the towel.  My first instinct when I would discover that I was unable to do something the way I did it before becoming chronically ill was to give up.  The sad part is that if I had prepared myself to embrace change, I wouldn’t have missed out on so much during those years.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

 

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Quitter

I hear so many people say that they can’t do this or they had to give up that just because they couldn’t do it like they did before their illness or injury.  But when asked if they tried doing it differently, they became defensive.  They shut down by saying that we have no right to suggest anything because we don’t understand what they are going through.  My favorite excuse is that doing something differently isn’t the same.  Well, duh!!  Sorry, but seriously, I have done and said both.  How dare anyone suggest that I hadn’t given it my all before giving up, but if I were to tell the truth, they would be right.  I didn’t try hard enough and I am willing to bet that many others haven’t either.

I was a quitter.  Chronic pain had made doing everything so difficult that I couldn’t see alternative options.  Even when set in front of me, I hesitated to try them.  My illnesses had won control over my life.  Does that sound familiar? Are you instinctively saying no or dismissing new ideas because you are tired of having everything you do increase your pain level?  I refused to accept that doing things differently could be as satisfying, even though the end result would be the same.  What I didn’t realize is that by doing things differently, I would still have the same outcome in regards to the task, but I wouldn’t have had the extra pain that doing it the way I used to caused. But I was so terrified of increasing my pain, that I refused to even consider trying.

Like the gazillion posts I see daily on social media, I too was bitter and angry about having to give up doing things that I loved.  I was furious that I couldn’t exercise, go out, travel, care for my family, or work like I used to.  To avoid listening to other’s suggestions, I stopped taking their calls, answering the door, and even began taking extended social media breaks.  Yet, if I had just put my anger, resentment,  jealousy (yep, that is something many of us in the chronic community don’t want to admit, but many are or were jealous of those who can do what we used to do), and had opened my mind and ears, I might have began to realize that life can be good and be different at the same time.

Life modified

In the past 7 years I have learned that it is okay to do things differently. These lessons have made my life one that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  My hope is that it won’t take you reaching the point that I did (ready to commit suicide) to realize that change is okay.  I am not saying that you should be jumping for joy because now your chronic illnesses and pain are making you overhaul your entire life, but to not allow it to become a darkness that takes possession of your mind.

Here is a quick and far from full list of modifications that have made living with my chronic diseases easier and less painful:

  1. I began asking for help
  2. I found ways to work from home
  3. I have groceries delivered when unable to go shopping
  4. I used the mobile carts in stores when walking was painful
  5. To this day I utilize mobility aids FYI: Disneyland is just as much fun in a wheelchair or with a rollator as it is without!
  6. Do most of my shopping online (why waste energy that could be better spent at the beach or Disneyland?)
  7. Accept that my exercise goals and the form I participate in need to be flexible.
  8. Accept that exercise is not optional, but necessary!
  9. Allow my body to dictate my schedule for most days.
  10. Tried alternative and natural pain relief treatments
  11. I stopped fighting my body and began treating it like someone I loved.

There was and is nothing easy about anything I have done or currently do.  Living with one or multiple chronic illnesses is hard, but the hard work pays off!  Without modifications, I would be back where I was before, at home, alone, and in excruciating pain.  Although I would have argued this point 7 years ago, not changing how you live is the easy way. It is more painful, depressing, and aggravating, but it doesn’t require any work.  Making modifications to make living with your chronic illness and/or pain easier requires patience, persistence, and positive attitude.  Most of the modifications I made have decreased my daily pain levels as well as decreased the frequency and severity of my flares. The rest have made my life easier, which has resulted in less stress, which doesn’t increase my pain.

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Are you ready to give up or are you ready to embrace the challenge of finding a new way to live?  I have some good news for you! You are not alone! While not always easy to find, especially in the chronic community, there are others who aren’t wallowing in self-pity. I invite you to join my Facebook groups that are filled with members who like you want to thrive and not just survive.  Another resource is my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.  It won’t cure you, but it will help you recognize areas of your life that require modification and challenge you to make those changes.  Click here to order your copy today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Say Goodbye to 2018

 

 

 

 

 

It is time to say goodbye to 2018!

As we bid this year farewell, I want to share a little exercise to help you enter the new year with a can do attitude!  I want you to create a list to help you see the past year for what it was.  So grab a pencil and paper or open a spreadsheet and get busy!

Step one

Your list will consist of two columns. In the first one I want you to list all that went wrong in 2018.  This could be in regards to anything.  Loss of a loved one or job, increased issues with health, etc… In the second column I want you to list all that went right, such as a decrease in pain, improvements in health or other part of your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook groups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step two

Look at column one and ask yourself if there was something that you could have done differently to have avoided that outcome? If so jot those thoughts down on another sheet of paper. Now look at column two. What did you do or what occurred to make those good things possible? Add those actions to your other sheet.

Step three

Put an X or blackout column one. It is done, you can’t go back and change it, but the lessons you wrote on the second sheet can help you make 2019 a better year. Hang on to column two. This column will help you remember that 2018 wasn’t full of disappointment. Use what you learned from accomplishing them to continue those good habits in the new year.

Not every moment of 2018 was sunshine and unicorns in my world, but overall the good outweighed the bad. I know that 2019 will be a great year! No, I don’t have a crystal ball. But I do have the lessons I have learned from 2018 to help me avoid a few pitfalls.

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If you absolutely cannot find anything positive to remember or take away from 2018, do yourself a favor and let it go!!!! Carrying ill feelings about the year and the experiences into the new year will only set it off on the wrong course. Need help letting go? While there are many options, I suggest seeking counseling and downloading my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resolutions without plans are just words

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you make New Years resolutions?

How many do you keep?

If the number of resolutions you make is zero or very few, the problem may not be with the resolutions you are making, but instead with how you expect them to happen.

Do any of these resolutions sound familiar?

  1. I am going to lose weight
  2. I am going to exercise
  3. I am going to make more money

While there is nothing particularly wrong with any of these statements, it is the lack of planning that dooms them to failure.  Not one of those goals will happen without a plan.  No one is going to lose the weight for you.  Nobody can make you exercise.  You control what goes in your mouth.  Unless you’re hoping that someone leaves you in their will or is just going to hand you more money, you will need to figure out a way to make more money.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in my Facebook Groups.

        Save 20% when you register with                      Online-Therapy.com via my link!              Click here to check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t dream about a better year, create it! Make an action plan to start making those dreams come true.  Find a diet plan that you can stick with.  Make exercise a part of your daily life, not just something you do when you want to lose a few pounds.  A plan and hard work will make you more money, not hoping or wishing.

No matter what your resolutions are for 2019, do NOT make them until you have created a plan.  With that said, that plan doesn’t have to be perfect, it will take time to figure out what really works best for you, but have a plan to start with.  Hoping, praying, or wishing for a better outcome will only lead to disappointment.  The only way your resolutions have a chance to come true is if you are willing to change.  Bad or destructive behavior isn’t wished away or magically changed just because you want it to be.

This drug-free pain-relief device has taken my pain management plan to a new level of awesomeness! Click here to check it out and don’t forget that my discount code DIVA will save you $55.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I prefer NOT making resolutions, but to instead make new life habits.  Last year I vowed to make exercise a part of my daily life and it is.  Not because I wished, hoped, or prayed for it to happen, but because I made an effort to move my body every day.  I was also realistic and didn’t expect my body to be able to walk for miles until it was able to conquer minutes…  This year I resolve to love myself.  Not just when my body cooperates and I am losing weight, but when I am injured or flaring from fibromyalgia or psoriatic arthritis too.  I plan to do this by making the healthier food choices I make when I am feeling my best also when I am feeling my worst.

What is your New Year resolution and what is your plan to make it happen?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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