How I Have Managed Fibromyalgia Symptoms

In this post I’m going to share with how I have managed fibromyalgia symptoms through developing my intuition, working on myself, and by reducing stress in my life. If you want a further explanation about my professional opinion regarding Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, and other similar syndromes, please make sure you watch the YouTube video below.

 

 

Two years ago, I bumped into a possible diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. I was beginning the second year of my PhD, I had a deficient support network, I felt isolated, and totally uninspired by the research work I was doing the environment  I was working in. At that time, however, I didn’t make a link between what was happening in my life and the way I was feeling, both physically and psychologically.

Little is yet known about Fibromyalgia, its origins and right treatment. Some professionals still believe it is something “made up” in the patient’s head and therefore not real – but trust me, it is very R-E-A-L. You feel tired all the time or you get tired from doing almost nothing; your energy level is consistently low; you may experience brain fog; and last, but not least, you do experience overgeneralised physical pain.

I see Fibromyalgia as an aggravated diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue and in which physical pain and lack of energy become very limiting. The pain does not stem from bruises or any sort of physical trauma, and the lack of energy is not a matter of rest. Medical exams will usually show that everything is normal and there is no reason for the patient to complain – but trust me, we do have a lot to complain about.

It took me a long while to understand the root cause of my Fibromyalgia symptoms. Even though I’ve been all about the mind-body connection for the last couple of years, I was not aware of how my past blockages and current unhappiness were fuelling my “invisible” pain. Two things helped me realising that:

  • I started to notice that when I was happy, had something to be happy about, or I was simply taking good care of myself (i.e. eating good food, exercising, doing things I love),  I had no pain and I would have enough energy; and
  • I read a couple of blogs written by fibromyalgia patients and through their posts I realised that the majority of them (myself included!!!) were being negative about life and themselves, would have no hope for the future, and also present signs of depression

From this point on, I started to pay more attention to the link between what was happening in my life, what my lifestyle looked like, and how was I feeling, both physically and psychologically. As soon as I became more aware of these aspects, I developed a greater sense of intuition which led me to also identify what I needed to change in order to have more energy and experience greater flow in life. Below are five of the things I did to manage my symptoms, and which I strongly recommend to anyone who is considering a potential fibromyalgia diagnosis or has been already diagnosed by a sensitive professional.

Go Within

I know this is cliche but it is the only way to find out what will work best for you. One of the biggest sources of help was the identification of my mental and emotional blockages. More often than not we go through life in “automatic pilot” and we are not even aware of what we really feel and how different life’s situations affect us. Moreover, going within is also the best way to know what solutions you actually need: some people may need to reduce their physical activity, while others may need the exact opposite!

Build Up Your Courage and Motivation

Change is hard work. Whoever says otherwise is probably lying. Human beings are naturally resistant to any sort of change; we like to keep things controlled and smooth. To overcome some of the fibromyalgia symptoms, you will need to face things you may not want to face or that you may feel you are not prepared for. However, if you don’t face your shadow, your blockages, your fears, you can’t fully heal. In order to move forward in life and have space to flow, we must release what no longer serves us. It takes courage and motivation. It takes dedication. Please bare this in mind.

Pay Attention to What You Eat

I have a strong emotional relationship with food and my eyes have crossed at least a dozen of different diets – from souping to keto diet, you pick and choose. Each person needs to know and find what works best for them, but there is some basic assumptions that I believe to true and suitable for everyone: you got to eat your greens and you have to go as natural as possible. I strongly recommend that you eat more high vibrational foods such as vegetables, berries, and nuts. To learn more about this, please consider reading this and this blog post.

Relationship Quality

Relationships and how one deals with them seems to be often a common issue among fibromyalgia patients. This means that you may want to have a closer look on whether there are too much toxic relationships in your life or whether you struggle to be assertive (i.e. having to say NO when you actually mean NO) with certain people. Due to the natural complexity of human relationships, these are also frequently a source of stress, so if you can manage them better, the less energy you will have to spend worrying  and ruminating about them.

Self-Empowerment

Last but not least, you may need to also look and work your self-esteem, your self-confidence, and self-worth. Sometimes we think so poorly of ourselves that we get drained by our own negative thoughts and limiting beliefs. Working on aspects such as your shadow self and overall happiness will help you with having more stamina, energy, and motivation in life. Please remember that all is energy – if it is not flowing, it is because something is blocking it and this may well be your self-perception.

And this it my well-being folks, this is all I have learned so far through my own experience, research, and countless mind-body medicine study hours. I hope some of these inputs can be useful to you. If you want more detailed information and tips, please make sure you watch my YouTube video on this, because I shared a few more details in there that might help you too. In there you will also find a FREE exercise to help you manage the symptoms.

Do let me know too about your own experience with fibro, chronic fatigue, or any other similar syndrome as I’m sure we can learn more about it together and eventually help who needs this kind of information.

Much love and healing on your way.

PS: You can also connect with me daily through my Instagram account here, and if you are a Portuguese speaker, you may also want to visit my Portuguese page on Facebook here.

 

5 Important Stages For A Fitter You

SpecialBlog Guest

So, today while looking for my new blog topic, I came across a specific section which will most likely be the mission and vision of any company. It’s like taking a sudden decision to change your lifestyle and then making efforts to stick by it. On a daily basis, I keep receiving multiple queries from people, asking on the kind of workout they should adhere by. They as about CrossFit or 3 sets of 5 reps each, heavy Popeye lifting, HIIT’S, LIIT’S etc. Honestly, I feel happy to know that people are taking matter into their own hands, but somewhere my business is getting doomed. Just kidding!

As I mentioned, that somewhere it takes precisely 21 days to break a habit. If we can stick with our new routine for 21 days, we’ll more likely stay with it in the long term. But before I talk about the habit, I would like to draw your attention to the vision and mission of the subject.  It is very important to keep these 5 things in mind before you draw your plan. It will keep you focused.

  • Identification of goal – Wouldn’t it be easier if you narrow down your needs? Like, I want to lose fat and want to fit in my old jeans or I want to bulk up and scare the people away or I want to build muscle mass and impress pretty ladies. Or it simply can be your want to be healthy, happy and look good naked. It feels sad to people trying to lose weight by jumping from one program to another and getting no results. I know gym can be intimidating but you’ll pull it off once you figure out your goal.
  • Nutrition is 90% percent of the equation – I shit you not. The bravest. The toughest. The hardest of all. When your goal is to lose fat than how you need to keep a check on your food consumption or you’ll be responsible for your failure. You just can’t run away from it. So, tattoo it on your forehead, write it on the sky or do whatever but internalize this concept.
  • Mobility – Fitness is not that difficult as it looks. Do what make you happy. Hiking, swimming, Zumba, taekwondo, parkour etc. But what is important to keep in mind is bringing mobility in your body. Making your body understand that you’re into it now and ready to shed those extra pounds.
  • Defensive Skills and Endurance – The fourth stage is when you start enjoying your workout and it starts to feel little easy as compared to the first day. All thanks to the first week of mobility. This is where you work on your defensive or endurance skills so that you can upgrade your fourth stage to the fifth stage.
  • Strength Training – Anybody in the house, especially ladies who feel they’ll get bulky. Trust me, it doesn’t work that way. When you do strength training, you burn extra calories to rebuild muscles. Half an hour strength training is 1000 times better than your 30 minutes of jogging on treadmill. It will improve your posture and your efficiency in any activity you took as an exercise.

IDENTIFY. IMPROVISE.ADEPT. OVERCOME.HUSTLE UP.

 

This post was brought to you by Surin Sengar, the author of the Fitlete Blog. If you wish to read more articles like this, please visit Surin’s blog on fitleteblog.wordpress.com

3 Important Steps When Meditating at Home

In this blog post you will learn about three important steps to make your meditation at home work for you. 

Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work.

Thich Nhat Hanh

From time to time I get some messages in my inbox about practising meditation and the first steps to integrate meditation as a daily habit. Most of the messages I get are from people who are not sure about whether they are doing the “right” or “wrong” thing so, with that in mind, I recently recorded two Youtube videos in order to provide (hopefully) some answers:

Continue reading “3 Important Steps When Meditating at Home”

FITNESS-FRIDAY: The Benefits of Smoothies

SpecialBlog Guest

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is a famous proverbial phrase used to promote optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. Similarly, in the field of exercise/workout – “when life gives you fruits and vegetables, make smoothies” is a phrase used for happiness and result oriented body. We have certain goals in mind when we step in the gym. Some people desire for a flat stomach while some want 6 pack abs. Again, some people just want to socialize and some to strengthen their bodies. This one is the cure for all these problems. To be honest, getting those bricks or losing a couple of pounds is not as easy as it looks. One needs a certain level of dedication and self-motivation both inside and outside the gym premises.

Today I won’t scribble about the muscle size, posture, or any of the training exercises. But rather will share something which will help you to stay on your toes and help you being positive throughout the day. The solution is not some magic pill or powder but the healthy smoothies which can help you to feel full and eat less than your usual. And, honestly, it can also prevent you from putting on weight.

But that’s not sufficient. Below mentioned are some of the things, I observed while preparing my own healthy smoothies. Not to forget that these smoothies helped me stay full in odd hours of the day. And by odd hours I refer to sleep eating or munching while sitting at the office desk.

Also, after reading this, I think you’ll be convinced that inculcating the habit of preparing healthy smoothies on a regular basis is an excellent investment of your time and money.

  1. Quick and Easy – It’s not a herculean task to make a smoothie. All you have to do is to get your weekly or daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, a blender and The milk can be soy milk, rice milk or almond milk. It doesn’t take as long as making your other meals. Just a matter of 3-4 minutes.
  2. Fat burner – It might be surprising but smoothies are an effortless way to burn fat. With the little tweaks like the addition of berries (fat burning fruit) and plain nonfat yoghurt, you can make a tasty and nutrient-rich protein. This is because of flavonoids, which has been shown in studies to be one of the keys for not putting on weight. It is even believed that blueberries can actually stop fat cells from developing.

What are flavonoids?

Flavonoids are naturally occurring bioactive compounds that represent a                  constituent of fruits and vegetables, beyond calorie and macronutrient                        content, that could potentially influence body weight.

  1. Better Digestion – Nobody wants to experience constipation or indigestion. Let your blender “chew” your food and ease the burden on your digestive system while you simultaneously consume plenty of dietary fibre to ensure excellent digestion.
  2. Stay hydrated – I took a poll in which I observed that 73% of people do not drink more than 6-8 glasses of water every day, a reason they feel dull and tired. Stay hydrated and full of smoothies because lots of fruits and vegetables are quite rich in water.
  3. Reduces Cravings and energy empowerment – Smoothies supplies your body with the right amount of nutrients and vitamins. It helps you stay fuller for a longer time. As a result, you don’t crave for munchies.
  4. Boosts your immunity system and helps you in getting a better sleep – Fruits and vegetables are a great source of antioxidants, which scale up your immune system and results in better sleep at night.

This is just the tip of the benefits you can reap out of smoothies. Personally, this habit has exceedingly helped me on my own journey to better health. To know more on this or to clarify your doubts, drop me a line in the comment section. Feel free to even tell me about your suggestions. Hustle up!

 

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6 Ways To Keep Hydrated This Summer

SpecialBlog Guest

Looking for ways to stay fit but not able to distance yourself from your favourite pizza/ chocolate or ice-cream? Struggling with your diet-chart or your fitness regime because of the tedious work schedule? You thought you will lose 2 kilos in a month but you still weigh the same after a month? Maybe, it’s time to throw all the anger and shift focus on these drinks that will enhance your weight check goal.

These are six drinks that you should incorporate into your diet wherever possible:

  1. Water – This is the most important drink for a healthy lifestyle. On an average, an adult should drink 2 litres of water daily and drink water before your meal. Most of the times, when we feel hungry, it is not because of food but thirst. So, water helps as an appetite suppressant.
  2. Black Coffee – This drink has many health benefits as it is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. It minimizes the number of diseases (diabetes or heart diseases) and boosts your memory, decontaminate your stomach, improves your performance and helps in weight loss. Voila…! Black is such a positive colour. Isn’t it?
  3. Hot or Cold coffee – In my opinion, cold coffee is less acidic. Otherwise, they both contain the same nutrients.
  4. Green Tea – Don’t believe the advertisement when it says that green tea makes you lose weight. Had that been the case then, there wouldn’t have been any obesity. But this drink has many valued advantages and digestion tops the chart.
  5. Milk – Remember how Popeye used to get strong by eating spinach? Similarly, milk makes your bones denser and stronger. But, if you’re keeping a check on your calories then use skimmed milk. Also, if you’re lactose intolerant then you can opt for soy milk.
  6. Orange Juice – Your body needs fibre and a glass of orange juice provides all the required fibres. Also, eating a good quantity keeps your hunger in check and an adequate amount of nutrients shoots up your immunity power and helps in detoxification. Like I said, do not underestimate the health advantages of an orange.

I hope I was able to encourage you, to start moving towards your fitness goals. Hustle up.

 

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How To Put Your Life Together

I’m in the aftermath of some terrible months which have essentially been marked by overwhelming feelings and a deep frustration because most things in my life seem to be stuck and unchangeable. And even though this seems very familiar when thinking about the past few years (to the point that it even became the ‘new normal’), it is certainly not the best way to live for me. So last week I sat down with my laptop and I started typing in a blank page under the title:

“Put Your Life Together”

Even though I’m no longer finishing my PhD in September (had a review meeting last week…), I decided that I can’t keep delaying the changes that I need for myself right now. I have been trying to focus on getting things done as much as I humanly can but the pressure has been so much that I found myself sacrificing my wellbeing again. That in turn makes me feel incredibly miserable and unhappy.

If you follow me on instagram, you might know that I that I have a tattoo on my back which says:

Love yourself. Love your day. Love your life.

And being fuelled by several cups of coffee during the day, working non-stop in front of a computer, and having no sort of positive human interactions are totally incompatible with those three sentences whose purpose was in the first place to remind me of how I should actually live! Instead I have been leading such a terrible lifestyle that I am even ashamed of saying out loud my blog’s URL.

I miss my yoga in the morning, my warm water with lemon, my smoothies and juices, my healthy food, and most of all I miss the overall feeling of being fit (I haven’t done any workout besides walking… and I’m now three sizes bigger because I keep eating to numb my feelings and thoughts!). And it’s because I miss all these good things that I decided it is time to stop letting my current situation (being stuck in this PhD process) overdrive my mood and my wellbeing goals. So while listening to one of D. Carnegie’s audiobooks (“How To Stop Worrying and Start Living”), I decided to put a four-step approach to change in practise on my Google Drive’s blank page:

  1. What needs to change?
  2. What can I do about it?
  3. What is my decision?
  4. What is the next action?

It wasn’t long until I a list of 12 items emerged. From finding a new house and applying for a different job in the local area to buying a gym membership and creating a saving account, the list revealed itself to be quite diverse. Under each item I then started to write a couple of actions that could contribute to the achievement of my overarching goals. I’m not going to share my detailed list, but here are my 12 items:

Put Your Life Together: #TheList

  1. Move house
  2. Change job
  3. Complete PhD thesis
  4. Buy a gym membership
  5. Book a massage
  6. Get a proper bike
  7. Invite JJ, W. and wife to have dinner in the new house
  8. Build-up a nice romantic relationship (forget this item!)
  9. Revamp my blog
  10. Work on my social business plan
  11. Create a saving account
  12. Visit family on a weekend asap

I can tell you that I already started to take action on some of these items. I showed interest in a house back in town, I applied for two jobs that I would sincerely love having, I have been writing up a lot in the last few days, and I also decided to only enjoy my friend’s love-life stories and stop thinking about mine. And… I also got a Thai massage taster today from my friend: actually I spent most of the time laughing because I realised that I’m really in a big physical trouble!

FITNESS-FRIDAY: Posture makes muscles prosper

SpecialBlog Guest

A few days ago, while doing my resistance training, I came across this dedicated dude. He was trying to make the most out of his workouts and putting in every bit of strength left in him to achieve what he desires. After observing him for a good week, I saw something which I couldn’t ignore. So, I went up to him and suggested – your posture and breathing technique is not good and it could lead to injuries.

During exercise, proper posture and breathing may sound like simple things to remember. But often, injuries like muscle strains and off balance can occur when you fail to maintain good posture or inadvertently hold your breath during exertion. It is very important to maintain a good breathing cycle and a proper posture to attain the maximum benefit out of your workout.

Good posture supports the body to function effectively and will minimize muscle strain and injury. During exercise, whether you are sitting or standing, your body will potentially be in several different positions. If you add weights, such as dumbbells used for strength training, or increase your exercise intensity to an energetic level remember to maintain proper form and posture. If you are negligent on your posture or form, you can easily sustain an injury and be sidelined. Take time to learn proper body alignment and be mindful about how your body is feeling. Pain could be a warning of incorrect form or posture.

While doing resistance training, it is very important to maintain your breathing cycle. Holding your breath during a workout can have significant consequences. Breathing provides you that extra energy or oxygen to your body to perform that vital exercise or repetition of squats or deadlifts. When you minimize the number of breathes you take you are unknowingly reducing the oxygen supply into your body and that can result into depletion of your ability to be efficient. Unconsciously holding your breath can be due to the level of concentration needed when learning a new task or technique. Understand that deep consistent breathing helps to provide your body the oxygen it craves. Be aware of your breathing, notice if you are prone to holding your breath and try to make necessary adjustments to lift that extra rep.

Developing and maintaining optimal posture and proper exercise mechanics is of utmost importance to ensure health, safety and fitness. Working out with any dysfunction in your body can lead to pain, frustration, injuries, and inefficient use of energy for fitness training. Posture defines our performance in any activity we perform on daily basis. Whether it’s running, walking or sitting, it’s very important to maintain a good posture. Good stance will reduce the wear and tear of joints resulting into no joint pain or other conditions. It also minimizes the stress on ligaments which reduces the probability of injury.

While doing any resistance training, keep these vital points in mind regarding correct posture:

  • Keep your neck in line with your spine
  • Keep your back straight
  • Keep your knees relaxed and don not lock them
  • Keep your shoulders back, relaxed and down.

So, irrespective of whether you are an avid fitness enthusiast or just getting started with your fitness journey, don’t forget to maintain a proper posture and breathing cycle to maximize the results and also to prevent yourself from any injuries.

 

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