Monday, January 5, 2015

Getting Healthy After Almost a Year of Pain!

Welp!  Little by little over the past year... I gained some weight. About a turkey's worth of weight. A damned turkey!!

So yeah, lots of my jeans don't fit, but worse than that, I'm not healthy. I've backslid from the good healthy eating habit I had developed while on Weight Watchers several years ago.  In 2010 I lost 21 lbs, felt better than I had in ages, had more energy, and I kept it off for a really long time.  Last winter I sustained two separate long term injuries to my right arm causing me to become much more sedentary.  I ended up with tendonitis in my elbow and then either from misuse or more likely, not enough use of my right arm, I then ended up developing adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) in the same arm.  I was a mess! The constant pain that lasted for months at a time left me feeling a little depressed, sleepless, and I didn't exercise very much and chowed down on lots of comfort food.  I know I'm much healthier if I'm on a lower fat whole grain diet with lots of protein and veggies but the pain clouded good decision making and then I just fell off the wagon.  When I was sticking to my Weight Watchers plan, I had found things that I enjoyed eating and kept me healthy and fit, and about 21 lbs less than I weigh right now.  What a frikking year 2014 was for me.
These are my tried and true yoga DVD's I know what they expect of me, and with my healing injury, I only do what I can manage and I'm in the privacy of my living room. Add my $7.00 yoga mat and a couple yoga blocks, pajama pants and I'm ready to rock.

I've worked very hard to heal my frozen shoulder, For about half of last year my right arm was in constant, and I mean constant pain that was even worse at night.  The pain at night was so bad it disrupted my sleep and there was nothing I could do.  I couldn't raise my arm either.  When I stood with my arms at my side and tried to raise it, I could only move it about a foot away from my body and then it was stuck, just stuck and very painful.  So I applied hot and cold compresses several times throughout the day.  Once I was able to try to unlock the movement I had exercises to do that would help.  Heat, ice, stretches and time are all the medical world can recommend other than surgery or possibly cortisone shots.  The common fact is that it's an injury that can take one to two years to fully heal.  I didn't want to take nsaids for months at a time, so I ended doing a regimen of herbs such as turmeric and ginger to help with the pain and inflammation.

This witchy gal broke out all her tricks!  I used Reiki on the arm constantly, I had a dear couple of friends Blake Octavian Blair and Gwain Nighthawk also do some Shamanic healing sessions and discovered my Power Animal to strengthen my spirit and unlock the lessons surrounding the injury.  I worked magically at the dark moon with the Goddess Hecate to help me find healing and release the darkness hanging over me.  I used Epsom salt and comfrey cream.  I wore a bracelet of amber.  I added a chant to my stretches, "I build strength, I build flexibility, I release pain, I release stiffness." I tried to be as positive as possible, putting a good attitude into the universe.  I even re-trained my brain and left hand and taught myself to use my computer mouse and even draw using my lefty as long as it's not tight detail. Yep, I did that!  I did drown my sorrows in cookies, pizza, and peanut butter sandwiches, but there ya go! Now much of my flexibility is back, in less than a year.  It's not perfect, but it's better that it's been, and I have a plan. 
Egads! Yes, I'm actually sharing this photo. I'm tall, so when you see me you don't think I'm huge or anything, I carry it ok, but this is not a healthy weight for me, time to get back to good habits.

I'm sad about not fitting into my jeans, but the truth is, I want to regain my health, and loosing weight is just a side effect of that.  Sigh, also, I'm going to be 50 in February so I really need to get on the road back to heath.
Yeah, with frozen shoulder I can't fully do this one, but soon I will be. I do try this every time, it's actually a very similar move to one of my frozen shoulder stretches. 

So yoga, that's happening. I'm not an expert, I can't stand on my head and twist like a pretzel, but I was doing a couple of yoga DVD's several times a week at one point and I felt wonderful. I skip or alter any poses that cause pain to my arm, but the stretching at this point is just what I need.

This one is kinda lame looking too when I do it, but I'm getting there. Seriously, when I could fasten my bra in the back after not being able to do it for over 6 months, I was flat out happy!

The stretching feels great, I'm really feeling good about being able to get back to something that makes me so happy.  If I can get the shoulder doing a little bit better, I might even go back to practicing my old Tae Kwon Do forms, but I don't want to rush or strain my right arm too much.

I've discovered that I can play the DVD in my living room and see my reflection in the fireplace to make sure I'm at least getting close to the poses.  See me in there, hi, hi!!  I know, I don't look awful, it's more about health for me.  (yes, and a couple pairs of cute jeans waiting in the wings)

My other plan is to count fat, fiber, and calories.  I know from experience that if I count everything I eat, I tend to eat much healthier.  I can't afford Weight Watchers again I don't even think there's anyplace nearby now that I've moved to the country, but I learned how to do it back when I was a member, the system did work for me, I was seldom hungry, and I lost weight and maintained it. I have some favorites that I remembered, snacks, meals that were healthy and low in points. I also discovered a free app for my phone called iTrackBites that I've been using to keep track of the points every day. Low point foods are low in fat, high in fiber, the foods that tend to make me feel better anyway, so it helps keep me honest with myself. Drink lots of water and tea, healthy oils like olive oil.  I can still have a cookie, but I'm smarter about it and don't eat half a box.
My little healthy post-yoga breakfast, egg beaters on light multi-grain English muffin with a little spread of Laughing Cow cheese and a clementine. Black coffee with a bit of stevia blessed by mighty Hecate.  The art from this mug, over half of it was drawn with my left hand! See it larger here.
Is it all working? I lost a pound since I took that photo of my scale under my cute toenails.  One pound in a week, that's not much, but I'm getting back into the swing of it, and I know I can do it.  The journey of 21 miles begins with a single step...ahem...pound.  Ok, but picture a pound of hamburger, that's gone now, I've gotta think positive! I'll let you know how it's going, I might share a recipe or two along the way. Let's get healthy!!

Blessed Be!


  1. You and me both! I kinda went a little crazy over the holidays and now I'm looking forward to getting back on track. I'm trying to pull my WW recipes out and work more fruit and vegatables into my diet. I'm trying to work whole grains in but not so much wheat. I don't have a problem with wheat per se but I now have two daughter-in-lays that do and I know that I eat way too many carbs left to my own choices so I have to be cognizant of that.

    Good luck and we'll see if we cant both get healthier in 2015!

    1. We can do it Jilly, I know we can! I really love carbs, buuuut they don't love me, I'm left feeling tired after they turn to sugar in my system, whole grain carbs seem to not cause me a problem. You know, I think it's about finding what works for you, since we're all different. We can do it! :)

  2. Mickie, you are amazing! Truly truly amazing! I can't even understand how you trained yourself to draw with your left hand. I am bowing to you, you wonderful Goddess!

    Also...if you feel so inclined or drawn to do so, I share free yoga videos on my website (www.stacymporter) and youtube ( and they range from 5-30 minutes at the moment. So, if you want to include some shorter routines during the day, you can! I even have a vid of stretches you can do right at your desk when you need a break from your work.

    May 2015 bring you good health and good vibes. I am sending you the biggest hug energy. I hope your arm feels better! xoxo

    1. LOL Thanks Stacy! I suffered from dyslexia as a child so it's probably because my brain is wired strangely to begin with. I'm totally going to check out your yoga videos, thanks a million! That's genius, you're a Goddess too!!


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