Rib Fractures Suck

It’s been 12 days since I’ve done any physical activity apart from (slowly) walking, and I just started doing some squattings.

This is HARD.  I’ve taken training breaks before from injury, but never been THIS incapacitated.  In the past, I’ve been able to do some strength work, but this is HARD.

Yesterday, I met with a strong group of my close friends as a goodbye before I leave on Thursday to live my life out in British Columbia.  It was absolutely incredible.

The sweetest part of viewing the blessings of the family you choose, aka, your friends, is that with whom we surround ourselves, are a direct reflection of us.

So maybs I’m self-horn-tooting, but like, that means we’re all just really damn cool people!

I took a second while we were all sitting together cozy like in a cafe, to look and observe at the scene:Steve-Carell-Smile-Crying.gif

And thought how grateful I was to have all these phenomenal human beings in my life.  I don’t usually do gatherings like this, I don’t often celebrate my birthday with friends.  But I really wanted to have a goodbye to the close people who are always with me wherever I go.

It was incredible.  Thank you all.

We talked the beauty of nature, and they were so supportive and loving of how they felt I belonged in the woods #wherenoonehearsmyfartsbutthetrees

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I cannot wait to be in nature.  I forgot how much I’ve missed and needed it.  It’s been so long since I’ve been humbled by rugged trail and peace.  Toronto is loud and busy.

My rib is healing slow.  In this time, my mental strength is being tested, as well as my intuition.  I’m learning to hear my body, and live presently so that I can honour my needs.  As I’ve not trained in so long, it is a tricky time often to hear the restrictive voice of my mind with my old coping, and tell it to STFU.  Honestly, fuck the weight, fuck the struggle.  I don’t have energy enough to care for restriction and a half ass-life.

Nature, being out there, really puts the present moment in focus.  It takes away the mindgames we play, and puts real life right here and now.  There’s no time or space for restriction.  The body is totally our conduit for the experience, and is must be honoured or else, no experience.  Simple as that!

I’m eating and fuck it, I am getting healthy, in rest, and my body has done this for a reason.  The body always communicates with us.  Right now, it’s telling me to chill.  I’ve actually started watching Netflix for the first time (thank you Corinne).

I miss feeling physically strong, truly.  I feel at loss.  I won’t jeopardize my healing before I leave on Thursday (Nov 30th) to my new life out west.  The mountains are waiting for me, and I’ll climb em soon enough.  But right now, I chill, heal, rest.

Can a “fake brownie” replace a real one?

I don’t know, what do you “feel”?

I’m at a place where I don’t crave sweets anymore.  I lived in a sugar addicted state for a couple of years, and it was tormenting.  I’d binge, and wait for the next high while sitting in utter shame and guilt leading to self-loathing.  The cortisol and insulin spike from the sugar made me feel alive.  It’s wicked that I don’t have these urges anymore….but in blocking out the cravings, I also blocked out my intuitive needs.

I’ve been chronically injured for years, I can track back to 2014 when I first mucked up my rib after riding the IM Whistler bike course, and not recovering enough – overtraining led me to the ER for a rib tweak.

I’ve honestly been injured since then, unable to race, train consistently, and have since endured multiple rib fractures, a stress fracture, evidently bone fragility, and a prevalent case of Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.

So, it’s not to say that I don’t eat good food- I do, and I eat a lot.  I’m currently sitting with a rib fracture, that’s healing, not as fast as I’d like, but it’s better everyday.  I am toying with the idea of tossing out “rules” and foodisms from “the guides” and then what my body asks for.

Like, I know what I eat is healthy, but I feel like the routinized safety lying in the foods I choose to eat, although nutrients dense (like nuts, eggs, fish, meat, leafy greens, lentils, beans, (not a lot), berries, coconut, kefir, squash), aren’t intuitively what my body wants.

Like, I actually feel that my routine meals are so habitual that they leave no room for what my body wants.  I numbed that voice for so long.  I’ve been sitting more with my feels (ummm partially bc I’m forced to…walking is still slow and my body can’t move a lot yet) and letting them come and go (like clouds, right Thich Nhat Hanh?).

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I remember when I was in the sugar addicted cycle and I’d attempt to suffice a craving for cake with some mish-mash of things: a “mug cake”, or a “protein brownie”.  It didn’t work…

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I honestly feel though that nothing would work in that state.  I feel that I had to endure the binge, feel that yuck of a bloated tummy after eating heaps of cake.  I think it stemmed from an inner need to realize the causes of the pain.

The only way out is through.

I think this is why those of us who’ve experienced binge-eating aren’t able to “just follow a mealplan” to rid ourselves of the condition.  It doesn’t work that way.  The way is to go through it, in awareness, and dig deep: look at the why, compassionately, gently.  I think that as we learn to be kind to ourselves, unconditionally, then the resistance is gone and we’re free to do things guiltlessly.  When that “forbidden” barrier is out, then we don’t crave what is maybe not the best for us as much.

Resistance is futile.

#amiright?

Take away the resistance and we can be.  Non-judgementally.  In forgiveness and gentle kindness towards ourselves.

So as I learn this, my body won’t be in a state of resistance anymore, the struggle will end.  No more pain. After all, our bodies and our hearts both want the same thing.

What is “Strength”?

strength.jpgPhysically:

  • 33:35s Grind Time
  • 60 pushups
  • Trail racing
  • A 5km swim
  • Riding the IM Whistler Bike course
  • Holding plank for 8 mins

Mental:

  • Finding beauty in process
  • Sitting with discomfort, mental, physical
  • Trusting the process
  • Having faith that this too shall pass
  • Meditation
  • Observing thoughts
  • Non-distraction and being present
  • Self-care
  • Standing up for yourself
  • Letting go (of ego, of beliefs that don’t serve, of control)
  • Viewing the bigger picture, instead of getting caught up in the microcosms of mind-games
  • Doing less
  • Being more

Fuck

I don’t feel physically strong atm, in fact I feel vulnerable, fragile, injured, weak, permeable, loose.  I am observing my association with the concept of strength and its manifestation in the physical sense.  In my injury rehab for my rib right now, which is leaving me very vulnerable and forcing me to rest, do things slowly etc…I am re-evaluating the term strong because I want to feel strong.

It’s a perspective shift, it’s all in my mind, and by practicing firing these neural pathways, it’s a universal strength.

OM.

Body Language

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Listen to the whispers, or you’ll be forced to abide by the screams.

I (brilliantly 😉 ) came up with this quote one day while hiking Quarry Rock in Vancouver with a friend who’d had a stress fracture and was contemplating running a 50km race on it…It came from a deep place inside of myself of experience.  It’s a lesson I’m still learning:  that of doing less, and stopping when we hear niggles of intuition.  

I’m realizing that “pushing through” doesn’t work: it catches up with us.  I pushed through a lot in the past little while, under the desperation of intending to train and maintain fitness through my body fighting to overcome Hypothalamic Amenorrhea .

I’ve biked though pain, woken up through hunger,
pushed,
endured,
“sucked-it-up”
HTFU (Rule #5)

and my body has been like,

bitch please

With personality types that crave engagement, feeling, intensity: the fine line between pushing though laziness, or actual pain, is pretty distinct.  My mind tries to fool me into saying “you’re lazy” but my body definitely speaks loudly, and I often ignore it.

Well, there’s no ignoring a (most likely) fractured rib (turned down the x-ray to save myself the radiation exposure, from Physician who said it would’t do much for treatment protocol).  Yesterday, after trying to “rest” by speed walking (because it’s the only exercise I was able to do without extreme pain) 12kms a day….my rib had enough and I waved the white flag to go to the Emergency room in the hospital.  Rib treatments are always the same regardless of sprain, strain, fracture, break: rest.  But my intent was to get drugs, something I never do – I didn’t even take Gravol when I had food poisoning and felt like I was being beaten up while on the Cyclone…(fun ride tho, hey?).

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So this pain had me in fetal, cringing, unable to breathe without excruciating pain, and wanting relief.

I ended up taking a CBD tincture which was more ideal than an NSAID anti-inflammatory med, and it helped heaps.   I could actually breathe and crack (no pun intended…) a few jokes to the nurses.

I’m so grateful for my good friend, Corinne who picked me up, and stood by me along with my Dad the whole time in the hospital.  She’s truly a gift, as is my Dad. (thanks for introducing me to Snapchat, so fun!).

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So I am in a state of non-doing (like, literally house-ridden…maybe cafe bc #coffee).  I really want to learn from this, and understand that:

Don’t wait for a storm to rebuild your roof.

Because honestly, you really can’t “trick” your body, “fool” yourself into thinking everything is “fine” (such a bullshit word), that we can “get away” with ___________ this time.  It comes back and bites us in the ass, no?

I want to learn to catch myself in the amber zone before it turns flaming red, and I want to help other do the same by living it.  Because “pushing though” helps no one, and only harms myself, and those who I could potentially help in my life’s purpose.

Feel me?  Let’s tune in, hey?

Walking the Walk

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This is Emelie Forsberg, love her, epic trail runner (currently dating my future husband, Kilian Jornet….just keeping him safenstuff for when I’m ready ;)).  I love her for many reasons, among which this quote:“Eat what you want. But learn a little about nutrition that will make you eat sustainably and healthy!”
In the end, she says it’s about feeding your soul. “Don’t read ‘weight-loss’ or ‘get these abs’ or ‘how you get this skinny’ articles,” she says.
“Love your hips, breasts, butt and belly,” she concludes. “The fat keeps you warm. And healthy.”

Read more at http://running.competitor.com/2015/11/news/emelie-forsberg-a-world-class-athlete-with-a-balanced-approach-about-food-weight-and-her-body_139891#2VyMxXW56vrtA63e.99  

Our bodies are wise.  When we don’t listen to them, the speak loud.

Realization: I had a gnarly cold, and didn’t take a day off working out, through horking (againandagainandagain #thisiswhyimsingle) on my rides and snot rocketing #likeapro on my runs through a migraine and coughing and straight up feeling like shit.  

My body knew, just like the philosophy of karma, and that we don’t ever fool our bodies: now, that stress has manifested in a breaking point, and any breaking point would come – in that of blowing my nose so hard I’ve tweaked my rib.  No core, no training, walking and breathing.

That’s so important though; learning in the now, tuning in momentarily to our bodies in order to avoid the cumulative dump of allthefeels at one time sooner or later.

So I’ve read a lot about how during Hypothalamic Amenorrhea recovery, women find that their bodies feel so drained, that waking up in the morning is a struggle.  I feel like it’s a combination of things;

  • finally allowing feelings (and realizing how badly we’ve ignored them)
  • allostatic stress load dump being all: “You didn’t listen for SO long!”
  • The body taking charge and having enough, and choosing Life over death (literally)

There’s merit in the idea of restorative, replenishing, re-re-re, you know?  I used to eye-roll at those yoga classes that were so damn slow, and how I couldn’t imagine sitting through one.  But honestly, one of my favourite quotes is:

Don’t wait for a storm to rebuild your roof.

This applies to the idea of mindful tuning in so that were not stuck in a pile of shit.  Tuning in even when we don’t feel such a need.  We are a generation of sensationalists: we crave intense feeling in order to justify stimulus.  

We crave: more, bigger, better, stronger, spicier, louder.

I think we’ve (I have anyways) desensitized ourselves so much, numbed ourselves, distracted ourselves so much that it takes a huge BANGBANG stimulus to engage in registration of feelings;

  • newer faster phone
  • louder ring-tone
  • louder alarm clock
  • sriracha on sriracha on franks on tabasco
  • 12/10
  • aerobic zone, like, 8…
  • HTFU Rule #5 Velominati to the power of “n”

And when is it enough?  When can we go back to unconditional sufficiency?
Answer: RN. (not registered nurse….RIGHT MEOW NOW RAWR!)

mindful eating love.pngSo, right now, I’m sitting on my bed, reading about what I’ll be making a workshop on when I go out to BC (or now)…post walk with a tea.  I’m injured, and I’m resting, and for this moment, I’m OK.  I know my mind will come back and kick me, but I’ll bitethatdamnVegan….and then eat Rabbit for dins (lol what?! I have ground rabbit in my fridge that I defrosted from Angela Wood, fam friend Chef guru woman…kinda excited to try…although they’re so cute…but like…*****gottaneat!).

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Stay with me, stay with yourself, even for 5 seconds, that’s a damn good start.

Take a Step Back

Taking a step back from the monkey mind and stepping out of the cycle of struggle brings huge insight.

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This morning had me waking up before my alarm, in parallelled anxiety over my training.  I’ve strained my rib probably hard enough to go to the doctor to get an x-ray, but equally pointless because the treatment for any rib injury (break, strain, fracture, sprain) is the same: rest.

I strained my rib from blowing my nose too enthusiastically, apparently…my cold left me phlegmy, and my inability to sit with the discomfort of feeling like there’s a tiny pug napping while slowly sliding down the back of my throat had me blowing and blowing and blowing my nose.  So my back seized up after a strain I’m self-diagnosing from my over-active diaphragm.

The inability to sit with discomfort is a never ending cycle – until I choose to end it.  I challenged the phlegm, and I’m not challenging this rib pain now.  I ran and biked through it yesterday, and suffered.  Breathing hurts.  So this morning, I didn’t push through a swim, that wouldn’t be enjoyed, for zero training gains.

Allostatic Load of Stress:  This means that the cortisol I’d produce by stressing over the pain, paired with attempting to swim in a way to avoid the pain, would negate any training benefits I would gain from actually doing my training session in the pool.

So in taking a step back, in breaking the cycle of my mind’s compulsion of unhealthy habits with stress addiction, I was able to see the wisdom I had all along.  The wisdom inside myself got clouded by my mind games of:

  • not good enough
  • only good when ______
  • badge of honour with stress
  • stress addiction

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Breathing helped (shallow…bc #ribpaintingz), by honestly putting my hand on my heart and feeling what my body needed, not what habits I’d accustomed myself to through years of body dishonouring.

And where has that body dishonouring got me?

Injured.
Sick.
Miserable.
Stuck in a pattern.
NOT helping others because I WASN’T living “my truth” or the truth that I condone.

So, I ate breakfast, showered, went for a walk, visited my grampa.

Now, I’m sharing this insight, of the power in taking a step back to view the situation.  I’m meeting with a friend who’s helping me with my move out to British Columbia, and I’m speaking with a mentor from my Holistic Nutrition school in New Zealand, a fellow Canadian, and wicked smart woman Michelle Yandle of Michelle Yandle Nutrition for guidance as I continue on my journey as a Wellness Practitioner.  I’m so keen to help others through the insight I’ve gained with my own struggles, and what I’ve trained in.  I’m also looking for tools from other successful practitioners like Michelle, who’s helped many people not so much through the actual food aspect of Holistic Health, but the encompassing triggers and emotional baggage and meaning behind the food.  THAT is The Shit.

Have a sweet day,  I’m going to be present as fuck, because the monkey mind comes back with thought suggestions, but I’m going to watch them and choose from a space of wisdom with big picture intention tingz.

Also….I love this song:

A “Human” Professional

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Hi, my name is Melanie, and I’m a recovered Bulimic, and recovering Anorexia Nervosa monkey-minded human being.
I’ve sat with crippling depression, anxiety, and taken laxatives while scared shitless of the idea of imperfection.
I’ve run trails in a healthy state, and I’ve also gone to morning swim practice in Uni while probs still drunk from the bar having come home a couple hours before.
I’ve aced papers, and I’ve also retaken courses.
I’ve googled ways to purge, tried many, and I’ve searched the shit out of the internet about how to heal.
I’ve gone to India to become a certified Yoga instructor, and I’ve pranayama’d the shit out of datstuff.
I’ve traveled across the world to New Zealand and am now a certified Holistic Nutritionist.
I’ve been a vegetarian, I’ve done Paleo, I’ve hashtagged #lchf like it’s going out of style, and I’ve been a devout “I Quit Sugar” spokesperson.
I’ve gone from eating full tubs of sugar-free/fat-free yogurts with 8 packets of TwinSugar in one sitting, to beef jerky.
I’ve found that food isn’t as important as the emotions behind it, and that sugar is OK.
My beliefs have changed more times than pugs fart (and they fart a lot….#teamantipugs).
I’ve learned that you can’t hate yourself into a version of yourself you can love, and that you can’t find yourself in New Zealand, or anywhere other than inside yourself, for that matter.
I’ve learned that happiness has no correlation to your pants size, bra size, or bathing suit size.
I’ve learned that being present is the most important part of life, and that awareness brings solace in darkest of times.
I’ve observed myself self-numbing, escaping, and also sitting right with pain; a bloated belly post-binge, an emotional smack in the face after a sexual abuse, a stress fracture from literally running away from myself.
I’ve honoured and dishonoured myself, and I’ve fluxed the shit out of life.
And through it all, I am exactly where I am today, flawed as ever, and loving myself anyways and always.

No one is perfect, and no one will ever be a “certified perfect professional”, in my humble opinion.

I’m certainly not, and this by no means takes away from the ability for someone to have a gift to help, myself, or anyone else.  In fact, the warriors with battle wounds, healed and healing are the ones I connect with and trust the most.

I’ve been afraid of sharing my story lately, uncensored, because of the stigma of mental health shame, and the thought of being unhirable in flaw.

Fuck.
That.
Shit.

This is me, there’s you, let’s do this shift.