Danielle's Blog – Designer Fitness

{January 28, 2010}   Embracing the Small Improvements

I am excited to say that after 28 days of eating for Adrenal Fatigue, removing the foods that I am sensitive to, completing appropriate daily exercises, working with my Dr. on changing my supplements, surround myself with positive support and prayer, I am seeing and feeling the improvements!!  Sure they are small but I am so thankful to see the positive changes.  Today was the first day in many years that I woke up before my alarm and felt rested – sure it was 9am but that is success to me!  I am starting to feel a slight change in my clothes – things don’t feel as tight as they were a few weeks ago.  I try to only weight myself once a month as I find this can be detrimental ( it is only one measurement of change ) and I did saw a change of 5lbs.  The key for me now is consistency.  Let me know about your small successes – I would love to hear them!

{January 25, 2010}   Feeling Loved

It is an amazing feeling knowing that I have so much support out there.  I really enjoy being able to encourage and support others and to have it multiplied and given back to me is an incredible gift.  I was always so afraid to talk about my struggle because I was afraid of judgement.  Instead my openness has allowed for a whole new level of hope and positive communication.  Here is just one example:  I have a number of naturally lean lady friends who have not experienced my condition yet still do there very best to support me.  One such friend, aware of my food restrictions, went out of her way to find and cook a brand new recipe so that I could be included at a dinner party.  In the past I would have been afraid to share my struggle and instead tried to avoid an invite or would eat the food prepared and suffered for it later.  How wonderful to instead appreciate the love and kindness from a friend and be able to be real.

Thank you all for your encouraging words and e-mails. I hope you too feel supported in your own challenges.  “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3&4)

I have been on Thyroid medication for over a year now due to my extreme fatigue and weight gain.  I have worked closely with my Dr. who did explain the flaws of thyroid testing and the “guestimation” of medication.  I have been watching closely for various improvements to let me know if we were indeed on the right path.  It amazes me that such a small gland can have such huge ramifications in the body.  Once again I am reminded about how we are so perfectly and thoughtfully designed.  The last few days have been a mental and physical struggle for me.  I must admit with all my specialized eating and exercising (boy leading Zumba makes me sweat)  I was expecting  to see some results – unfortunately I met with disappointment.  I refused to let my lack of results spiral me into unhealthy behaviors so I e-mailed my Dr.  and today I received a prescription for a new porcine thyroid medication.  Apparently my body is so amazing that it could be using my current thyroid medication against me.   Switching to a more natural medication may be the answer for me.  I guess the moral of this story is that every body is different and I should not be afraid to ask for help in creating change.

{January 14, 2010}   Consistency is the Key

14 days in to my focused plan and I feel pretty good.  I am still dealing with all the adrenal fatigue issues but I am seeing a few positive changes;  I feel relatively satisfied when I eat, I think my skin looks better and I have less mental fog so I consider those things all great responses to my eating and exercise plan.  So far my clothing is not feeling different nor are my measurements changing.  In the past if I had not seen success by this point I would jump back to something I know has worked in the past in regards to weight loss.  However I really believe consistency is the key.  My body is responding different since my condition but I know that the  lifestyle I am living now  is a very healthy one that is going to offer many benefits in the future.  I am proud of myself for not letting numbers derail me and I will still take one day at a time improving my health.

I am so blessed and privileged to have the job that I do.  I get to work with wonderful people who experience similar fears, frustrations and disappointments and I get to see them improve physically and mentally.  The theme that I notice in all of the challenges is acceptance of self.  It is very easy for me to beat myself up for gaining a few pounds, missing a workout or how I look in a tight pair of pants but I don’t recall praising myself for a good class, a good workout or making good food choices.  Why is it so much easier to be hard on myself.  No wonder my body protects itself by “cushioning” the blow.  Throughout this process I have made a conscience decision to address the negative self talk and for every negative thought about my body I will respond with a positive and true statement about my body until I can accept myself the same way my loved ones would accept me.

The good news it that yesterday I only thought about cheese 4 times so I  know I am getting better each day!  Every time I crave it I remind myself that it is not forever – once my body has overcome the food sensitivity  I will be able to enjoy cheese again in moderation.  I did have sometime to focus on the changes to my exercise routine.  As many of you know and have experience I enjoy challenging my body through various type of exercise however with Adrenal exhaustion I have to be very specific in what I do.  I have started to split up my workouts, cardio at one time and resistance training at another.  Each workout takes be about 30-40min and I try to maintain a heart rate that is about a 6/10 RPE.  I have to be careful not to over do it as my adrenals can not handle much stress (even the good kind).   In doing so I have noticed a change in my attitude – instead of focusing on how hard or how far I am going I enjoy the sun on my face as I walk/run, I listen to my breath as I breathe in and out at a steady pace and there is something freeing in that…Don’t get me wrong I will enjoy getting back to the “challenging” workouts but there is value in the consistency and self reflection in the light workouts.  Our bodies are designed to move and I am enjoying just that.

{January 4, 2010}   The Obsession with Weight

It is an interesting phenomenon – the constant focus on our weight.  The more we think about it the more we beat ourselves up and the more we think about food.  I certainly fall into this trap from time to time and it can be very destructive.  As I feel worse about myself the less I want to do, the more isolated I become and the more I desire food.  I live in sweats and I avoid mirrors slowly losing myself.  To combat this destructive behavior I remind myself that I am choosing exercises and foods that are healthy because I love my body – not because I need to lose weight but because I will feel better, stronger and more like the person I know I am.  I believe the weight will come off IF let it.  I will no longer need the “shell” I have created if I am happy with myself.  This positive behavior spills over into the foods that I eat.  I will ask myself  “am I hungry?” My body will tell me if I am eating because of a physical need or an emotional need.  Eating to fill a emotional need is not respecting my body – it is demanding that it work when it should rest.  I will also ask myself  “Is this food good for my body?”  If I know it will benefit me then I should enjoy it until I am satisfied.  If it is not a good choice then I should find another food that would be more beneficial – recognizing that I made a choice and did not let the food control me.

I have chosen to spend the next month listening and respecting my body. I am doing that through eliminating foods that I know my body is sensitive to and instead giving it foods that I know will benefit me.  I have removed all sugar, wheat, soy, dairy, beef and corn because I know my body has a hard time with these foods.  I will then  slowly begin to reintroduce them then my body is ready.  If you listen to your body you will recognize what foods your body is sensitive to.  Looks for signs of fatigue after eating, emotional changes, the need to eat again soon after, digestive disturbances and any food addictions you have, these are all signs of your body trying to tell you something.

I have decided to do something a little different this year. In light of my own struggles with weight loss I want to share with you all and inspire you to join me in a healthier lifestyle for 2010. As many of you know I have struggled with my weight since I was a child. Through my education, experience and active lifestyle I have seen many positives changes in myself and my clients. Many times I have been able to look at this journey as a blessing to help me be a better fitness trainer and woman, setting me apart from other fitness professionals. 2009 has offered me a new opportunity to learn. In our desire to start a family I became even more interested in the role of hormones and the endocrine system in my own life. After a series of in depth testing I was diagnosed with a condition and hormone imbalance that has left me very tired and susceptible to weight gain in fact it has taken me into unknown territory. While I struggled it was aways a blessing to share in the successes of the bootcamps and my clients and I was determined to research how I could develop a program for people like myself who have to deal with hormone, endocrine and adrenal issues. I have created a plan and I am beginning to document my personal journey this 2010 and I invite you to come along. I will be posting different food choices, behaviors and fitness conditioning I will be doing daily and I encourage you to take a look and offer support, ask questions and comment to me or other member of our groups. All the best to you in 2010 and I look forward to using my knowledge , experience and gifts to help all of you achieve your best you!

et cetera