A Calorie on Stress

I’ve been doing a lot of research on stress.  I understand my purpose in helping heal through targeting stress, and more deeply; our addiction to it.  I believe that somewhere along the way, a stressor in life caused a coping mechanism to arise out of survival, and this coping mechanism somehow became a crutch.  Maybe the stressor changed, and the dependency on the coping mechanism stuck.  Then, life became this unsafe place where the level of dependency on the coping mechanism necessitated a certain amount of life stress.  And so, the cyclical addiction to the process of coping, and living life in a fight-or-flight state.

And now my story; I’m watching my body as I get stronger.  The fascinating thing to me is that as I let go of stress, my body is getting stronger from my really low weight, and I believe that my digestion is better absorbing food. When under stress, the body under fight-or-flight doesn’t allocate energy to digestion- instead preparing the body for battle.  This being said, there’s merit to the idea of malabsorption regarding nutrients.

Point blank: I’m not eating much differently from what I feel, yet I’m gaining strength, weight, whatever.

It’s an amazing thing to experience…ok it’s also scary.  But I’m trusting my body, and I’m enjoying the capability to do more things like swim in a pool that isn’t 91 degrees (I still get very cold, but I can actually do it without getting hypothermia…).

The other thing I’m learning about is how the body works under stress and how physiologically we actually lessen the blood flow and so, nutrients and oxygen carried to areas of our bodies.  The main culprits are tension-migraine headache, stomach, eczema, heartburn, hiatus hernia, spastic colon, ulcer, colitis, IBS, hay fever asthma, and there’s been incredible research about the causes of these being mainly emotionally-based.  This talk was profound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjG-8GE2Wf4https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjG-8GE2Wf4

Tension myositis syndrome (TMS), also known as tension myoneural syndrome or mindbody syndrome is a name given by John E. Sarno to a condition he describes as characterized by psychogenic musculoskeletal and nerve symptoms, most notably back pain.[1][2][3] Sarno, a Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University School of Medicine and Attending Physician at The Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University Medical Center, has described TMS in four books,[4][5][6][7] and has stated that the condition may be involved in other pain disorders as well.[2] The treatment protocol for TMS includes education, writing about emotional issues, resumption of a normal lifestyle and, for some patients, support meetings and/or psychotherapy.[1][8] In 2007, David Schechter (a medical doctor and former student and research assistant of Sarno’s) published a peer-reviewed study of TMS treatment showing a 54% success rate for chronic back pain. In terms of statistical significance and success rate, the study outperformed similar studies of other psychological interventions for chronic back pain.[1]

Another resource on this if you’d like to read more is here: http://www.mindbodymedicine.com

I’m also reading a book called Mind over Medicine, by Dr. Lissa Rankin.  The concept of the book is how the mind’s subjective perception of events is what leads us to our current state of health.  Basically, as humans, we have different realms of our beings that we need to nourish and nurture, and these are the predicates of our mind states.  These factors, listed below, are the single most important aspects that shape how we view the world, the lens through which our lives are painted.  A warm and positive lens, brought on by things like;

  • a healthy sex life
  • a meaningful relationship with a partner
  • a good relationship with a health care practitioner, and so being, social support
  • community involvement and feeling of belonging
  • being of purpose in our careers

These factors are critical for our beings to feel at peace.  A peaceful human environment will let our bodies function in a relaxed state, where we can know how to heal ourselves, allow rest and repair of our tissues, and decrease overall inflammation.  We thrive here.

It’s fascinating to me to learn about how physiologically we tend to manifest body and mind factors.  Check this out; the metaphysical manifestation of disease.

I find this so interesting, and the initial talk I posted about the concept Dr. John Sarno talks about how different body areas are shut down from emotional stressors.  So, I believe that based on the stress, and the link above from the Spiritual Causes of Disease, there’s a correlation with the stress source and the area of the body in which it manifests.  For example, I’ve had some ankle pains, and ankles are said to be:

Ankle: Inflexibility and  guilt. Ankles represent the ability to receive pleasure.

And so it is.

Another article from a wicked trail runner, Dakota Jones, talks about how he solves some unresolved injuries from healing spiritually;

I decided that my body was rebelling against me spending all my time and energy on self-aggrandizement. And this was a decision, because I never had some kind of epiphany about it. There was no moment of enlightenment. I simply decided I didn’t want to be unhappy any more and I needed to change something. To that end I have lately taken steps to become more involved with my community, to create projects for kids, and to repeatedly berate iRunFar readers about environmental stewardship. This doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice being a competitive runner. In fact, quite the opposite: I find that I can have a unique impact as a runner that isn’t available to everyone. The more I have reached out in these ways, the more I’ve realized how much I don’t know. I spend a lot of time trying to learn things lately.

http://www.irunfar.com/2018/01/recovery-2.html

The concept isn’t new.  But it’s fascinating. I’m self experimenting with exploring other aspects of my life and seeing how my body responds. The aspects listed here, from that book I mentioned:

Take The Whole Health Quiz

  1. Do you feel well supported with loving community and intimate relationships with friends and family who allow you to express your authentic self?
  2. Do you feel in touch with your life’s purpose?
  3. Are you able to stay in alignment with your integrity in your professional life?
  4. Do you feel financially secure?
  5. Are you in a nurturing relationship with a romantic partner who allows you to express your authentic self?
  6. Do you feel satisfied sexually, either with or without a partner?
  7. Are you able to set healthy boundaries with the people who stress you out?
  8. Are you comfortable saying no?
  9. Do you feel spiritually connected to a Higher Power that you trust has your best interests at heart?
  10. Do you have a healthy way to address negative emotions, such as anger, resentment, grief, anxiety, and depressed mood?
  11. Are you an optimist?
  12. Do you practice gratitude?
  13. Do you engage in generous activities that serve others?
  14. Is your life enriched with scientifically-proven relaxation response activators, such as meditation, prayer, laughter, hugs, playing with animals, orgasms, yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, massage, EFT (tapping), and alternative healing methodologies, such as acupuncture and energy medicine?
  15. Do you live in an environment that is conducive to relaxation responses?
  16. Do you feel well equipped and appropriately supported to manage the details of day-to-day life?
  17. Do you express yourself creatively in ways you enjoy?
  18. Do you let yourself nap if you need to?
  19. Are you mindful of the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and activities that trigger avoidable stress responses in your body?
  20. Are you committed to doing whatever it takes to reduce stress responses and activate relaxation responses in your body?

And I look forward to being my own success story.

Namasthe xo

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

Screen shot 2017-11-26 at 8.31.10 AM

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.

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?).

grandma rollercoaster.gif

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?

Separate Food from Exercise

My holistic health philosophy I’m realizing for myself:

Separate eating from exercise: related but intuitive not controlled: “so that/because”. Injury and overtraining related to allostatic stress load, and rest is separate from earning or deserving food. Food comes with body cues and fluctuates outside of our control. We only need to listen.

What’s the fear?

tupac.jpgYesterday my roommate and I sat, chatted, deep, and sipped some wine.  She said some things that’ll stick with me to my grave.  My relentless resilience is powerful beyond measure. (if I were secure in this knowledge, I wouldn’t have to write this in my post though, hey?)

Straight up, she asked me, “What are you afraid of?”

My mind goes vague with that answer.

I have no words to explain my answer, but I have these feelings and observations in my space:

Angela Quick is inspiring,
My body is tiring,
My mind’s got ego-firing,
I choose myself for hiring. (making a website and it’s going live soon, catering privately, as I eat chickpeas I’ll cook chickpeas and make myself healthy and you too, wha eva you liiiii I cook pho yew!)

I deserve to feel fresh,
We all need some rest,
Take in nourishment to digest,
And thank “God” were blessed.

Happiness isn’t “in” BC,
But wild, my soul-plea’s,
I’m strengthening my knees,
And like good coffee(s).

Here’s a recipe:

Waking up grateful + Trusting + Self-compassion = grounded shit
What’s this?
Lady
Don’t you know we love ya? Sweet lady
Place no one above ya, sweet lady
You are appreciated
Don’t ya know we love ya? (say this to [my]yourself)

Thirsty? Sip champagne.
Hungry? Maybs I’m insane
In my membrane?
What do you mean?
Is it too late now to say sorry?
Naw, B, you too bootylicious,
Stick to the rivers and the lakes,
But don’t use somebody,
We all need somebody to love,
See no changes?
Wake up in the morning and I aks (accidental typo but great so leaving) myself,

Why not me?
Why not now?

Sitting at Starbucks right now and some guy sits down and he’s like “Oh shit” (the sbucks at Dundas W and Bloor….sketchy but whatevs) and I sayz to him “What?”

Him: “oh the news”

Me: “Ya…I get the news I need on the weather report….and also just heard about Irma yesterday…” (ignorance or naivety?)

Isn’t it funny that we look at the shits in life?  I think it’s a survival tactic – like, we observe if there’s danger about us as a survival tactic that just stuck.  But the good feels so much nicer to observe.

“Kind”‘s a sweeter word,
Another rad woman is Emelie Forsberg,
(Her name has both “Mel” in it, and “Berg—Burg….sorryvegans – it’s a win for therestivus)
Funday Festivas,
This post is fuelled on coffee and makes little sense but lots too.

Namasthe

Need a laugh?

This made my night, he is single handedly (along with Lauren, Laura, Ange, Marta, Shannon) helping me cope with my swollen and sprained ankles, and not training, resting, nourishment and eating, the constant construction on Howard Park Avenue…)

ThankyouJoeWong
#lifegoals


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNmYIjflfvM&feature=share

I am not ok

My indoor bike trainer is on its last limbs, and today she broke.

I knew I shouldn’t have…but I am hungry for trails, for it so I ran. I regret it:


I’m tired of whining. But this sucks and I want to punch a hole through a wall.

I’m grateful

Ya humkshiy and that’s supposed to say bullshit fucking autocorrect you oi de of shut

I hobbled to a physio around the corner and the “Ottawa” somethingsomething test said no X-ray needed (thank you “God”? Or whatever). But I am so sad.

Life’s like “take a break”!

I feel like I needed to affirm, ok “I” here is huge “Ego”: needed to affirm my strength in running before I gave myself rest. Like, I’ve been watching all the runners in BC winning things and climbing mountains like this: (dloaded StumbleUpon on my phone to self-explore things that interest me- other than mindlessly scrolling on IG, or playing on Bumble…but: 

Should have cropped this but dontcareatm

Here’s the love I’m searching for (thanks StumbleUpon ❤️):


Goddamn it I gotta eat, man.

I am resting now. I am a strong runner, today showed that in my stride, bitchgotit. I don’t need to prove myself anymore. I just am, I am that I am ok Wayne dyer!?

May he rest peacefully with louise hay

Help help me help I can help myself.

Such a post. That is mknkey mind. But hey, no break in bone, soft tissue sprain, saystheottawasomethingsomethingtest

That’s ok

I guess I’ll work on my catering website now

I have a dietitian appointment check in soon and feel very much like not doing it but isn’t it the most important exactly now? My coping is totally food related- so anti healing – in this injury, ED voice is like “don’t eat as much”, but fuck that right? The cycle gotta end somewhere. Why not here and now? I’m going to have blood sausage for dinner still bc that shits good and I feel good after eating it. Too many salads is what my tum is saying.

Anyone want to drink some wine with me? Do some pranayama? I cookforyou

Rawr.

If anyone has any jokes, good videos to watch, toilet humour…dodge memes….I’m acceptingdonationsinformofcomedicrelief.

No Worries

Today, I swam for the first time in bout 8 months. It was in a warm water pool dubbed “therapeutic” and shit man at 89 degrees it was balmy AS. First time I think I can say it was a pool that was TOO hot. But it felt so good to move in the water.  My ass hurts my legs hurt I am so anxious in my mind that I’m craving the physical release from exercise and it’s hard. I swam easy, I still need to move.

It brought me back to Vancouver and I miss it so much.

I went to a horse therapy farm on Tuesday round Caledon and it was also really cool. Animals have such an intuition for healing.  The horses read my energy incredibly; one horse was even reiki-gifted and honestly, wonky yogi tingz aside- when I put my hands on his strong coat, I feltthatshithard thatswhatshesaid.

There’s such merit in things we can’t put into words but can feel. Like the water silencing the world and moving weightlessly through it. 

Like stepping meditatively one foot at a time up a mountain.  Nature giving mind a rest from pitter patter of constant thoughts. 

Like connecting with people and laughing about farts, Mitch Hedberg jokes, and cats that have been shaved like a lion post-vet named Rhombus from math-loving owners.  

Like the hashtag #my4wordobituary



Like the feeling after a run, a trail run where you hop over tree trunks and boulders. Like really “getting” what someone is telling you about their experiences, just like, totally vining with their expression. 

Like making a beautiful meal out of backyard veggies, or foraged goods from the forest.  Like feeling the powerful magestic brilliance of a horse under my small palm, stroking its shiny coat. So powerful but gentle.  

My heart is aching for nature and I feel so pulled to Vancouver Island. I know that wherever I go, I take myself with me. I know I’m not healed yet. But I also know that Toronto noise and culture is not for me and I’m sick from it.

Universe, show me a sigh plzandthankyou.

2014 wishiwasoutwest

This is “plantain tea” the plant grows everywhere and it’s good for tummy issues. Mami likes👌🏻

Herrow

First blog post, more of a blog to write to myself than anything else.  Thoughts tend to get disorganized in my mind, so here’s a way for me to try to express myself systematically, and remember things I don’t want to forget.

Currently, my life is being consumed by an athletic injury.  Being plagued by impatience and frustrated beyond words sparks a vicious cycle of anger-hoplelessness-and spiralling depression.  Frankly, I feel robbed of my identity.  Like, if you’ve ever had your house broken into, you know that feeling where you don’t feel safe in your room or whatever, and your personal space is tainted and not yours, I feel that way with myself.  I get occasional sparks of recognition, especially brought on when I’m around others who reflect me, but that one-on-one interaction of me and nature, flying freely and effortlessly (yeah that’s a sick joke) down a trail is lost.  Lost is a good word for describing my place right now. That and fuck. I say fuck a lot these days.  Dirty mouth, frustrated.

This is kinda cool, I’m digging it.  Blogs piss me off sometimes, apart from my good friend Cheryl’s at http://happyisthenewhealthy.com/ (who is really a wicked role model for anyone who wants to live a good life, yeah I’ll say that boldly and broadly-she’s rad).  But I figured this will be a good way for me to think things out and deal with my injury.  I am eagerly anticipating the healed day when I will be able to train and become a strong, self-driven and self-competitive athlete so I can realize my potential and push my body, see just how far I can go and be fucking free.

 

More to come….that’s what she said.

“Every wall is a door” – Ralph Waldo Emerson