Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Time of Self-Reflection

It has been a while since I have written a post.  In fact, I have had so much going on within my body and mind that I just don't know where or how to begin.  So, I guess I will start from the top!

I had a flare.  I was miserable and in quite a bit of pain for a couple of weeks.  While in my flare, I engaged in self-reflection. This is what I learned:

I get hurt easily and working out with others at a gym is not an option for me.  I try to keep up with the pace of those in the class and I always, always, always end up in physical therapy and stop exercising. Because of my disease it takes me a very long time to heal.

Yoga works for me.  I have given myself permission to slow down and care for my body gently.  6 days ago I began doing a 30 minute yoga video every single morning.  It's hard.  There is nothing easy about it, but, it gently stretches and strengthens my body.  I already feel a positive difference in this short amount of time.

Weights aren't so bad.  I am also using free weights to work on my biceps, triceps, chest and back.

Crunches, well I still don't like those, but I am doing them every morning.

Cycling is the aerobic exercise for me.  It's fun, gentle, and social.

Walking is also gentle.  Having a small dog who enjoys going for walks keeps me inspired.

From time to time, especially when my joints are visibly swollen and I'm hurting, fatigued and feel sick all over, I question my decisions.  It is in those painful times that my disease becomes very real to me.  I question my choice to trust nutrition rather than pharmaceuticals.  In this recent time of reflection I have realized that for now I am doing the right thing and will trust my decision to heal my body with nutrition. Flares happen even when taking meds, so I won't base my decision on my recent flare.  If there ever comes a time when nutrition alone doesn't help me, I will definitely add a medication to prevent the crippling effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis.  But, for now I'm at peace with where I am on my journey.