Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Let Go of the Blame: Having Lipedema is Not a Personal Failure

I read this over the weekend, let go of the blame.

This statement was two fold for me, a great reminder that our diagnosis is not a personal failure (even though our society might try to shame us into believing our actions are the reason for our shape); but also, that treatments, supplements, etc. that do not work are also NOT a personal failure. 

We are so different and have been learning how we present differently, and respond to treatments, supplements, eating styles, exercise, etc. differently. 

Think about how that can be so damaging emotionally. 

To continually try new things and continually not see results, that not only those without Lipedema see, but even those with Lipedema might see.

It is a constant effort to be compassionate to ourselves. Sharing with each other makes us stronger physically and emotionally.

#wearestrongertogether 

(Original Lipedema Fitness Instagram post date September 2020)

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Lipedema Fitness: How to Modify Workouts

Had an interesting conversation with my coach re. how someone without a trainer could learn how to modify a workout?

It came about, as part of the workout yesterday was a 1/2 mile run (with a minute rest) followed by 1/2 mile run.

Running is not a good movement for me, so right away my first MOD is to walk. 

But how far? What is the equivalent WORK for me vs. my training mates, for whom running is a fine movement?

The easiest MOD I’ve come up with over the years is time - I walk for the same time as my training mates run.

It keeps us doing the movements of the workout at roughly the same time, ensuring we get in all the components of the workout. 

Whereas if I did it “as prescribed” I would take longer, and miss the next movement(s) of the workout.

A lot goes into the WORK Coach plans for his clients who have a wide range of abilities. He really is brilliant.

But what if you don’t have a coach? What if you don’t have mates to time yourself by? How can you modify the WORK?

This came up when I was recently traveling. 


Coach said:

WORK = FORCE x DURATION

If I want to do the same WORK I can simplify this down, as a way for me to calculate it on my own.

When moving our bodies through space (running, walking, etc) is part of the workout, the FORCE would = my body weight (times) the DISTANCE as prescribed. Which would give me the WORK I needed to calculate. Then I could adjust the DISTANCE to get to the same WORK as my training mates…


Example:

100lb athlete x 1 mile = 100 mi lb

200lb athlete x 1 mile = 200 mi lb

300lb athlete x 1 mile = 300 mi lb

400lb athlete x 1 mile = 400 mi lb

Etc.


If the goal is 100 mi lb of WORK, you do the math to calculate the distance

100lb athlete = 1 mile

200lb athlete = 1/2 mile

300lb athlete = 1/3 mile

400lb athlete = 1/4 mile

Etc.


It is not perfect, it doesn’t take your abilities into consideration, but is a starting place.

Once you have a starting place, you can determine how much WORK you can do, and then you work on improving that. Not comparing yourself to your mates, but to yourself as you get stronger, increase mobility, etc. πŸ’•

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Lipedema Fitness: Finding your Flow

 

Flow. Great word, right? 

It has been showing up in my world a lot lately…

As a Lipedema patient Lymph FLOW is a daily thought, how can I make sure I keep my lymph flowing?

It is one of the most important considerations / treatments we do every single day. #movethatlymph 

Lately FLOW has surfaced in my art practice - I’m following daily prompts from the amazing @josielewisart 

The first day was suggested to watch Josie’s #tedtalk - which I did, and learned about the psychological aspects of FLOW, and how it is used in healing.

I’ve always turned to art as a way of emotional healing, so it wasn’t surprising to learn how tapping into creative (or physical) FLOW is therapeutic on many levels.

Have you ever felt so into what you were doing, that the rest of the world faded away? 

For me that happens when making art or writing (even making this graphic, out of artwork I made while in the flow). For others it can happen during a race, playing music, even during work.

The Hungarian-American Psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, recognized and named the psychological concept of flow - describing it as a complete state of total immersion in an activity, one you enjoy so much, that nothing else matters. 

The rest of the world falls away.

I love the idea of getting so into something that it can bring you that level of joy, a flow that elevates you. 

I have been thinking about how we can get to this place of FLOW on a daily basis, as a way to take a break from our worlds when they get overwhelming. 

Things like deep breathing come to mind, meditation, yoga, all things we do as a way to move our lymph, but what if we had a different intension in mind while we did it? 

I get this with reiki during my daily self care. It is an effortless way for me to focus on the FLOW, and take my mind out of the “work” and more into the feel and healing.

Have you felt that flow before? What were you doing, and how can we get into flow on a daily basis?

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Retail Therapy for Lipedema

Happy Self Care Sunday!

Is it a rest day for you? A recovery day?

Do you ease up on all the typical daily self care items Lipedema requires, or do you find Sundays are the only days you can squeeze them all in?

Mine included Retail Therapy today. Which actually started last night (and for the past couple weeks, if I’m honest, not the buying, but the mental shopping), when my world got quiet, and the stress began melting away, I began the actual buying…

Funky new sneakers by @converse an incredibly fun purse by @studiocult.co (yea, it is a binder clip design 🀯with a cool school paper print lining), and artwork by one of my favorite artists @josielewisart 

I LOVE CREATIVE PEOPLE

I use art as therapy, something I found lots of people with chronic illnesses do, it is a way to cope,  heal, and remember that we are more than our condition.

I think retail therapy is similar. Seeking out items that attract you, and bring you joy to see, that can take your mind off stressful situations, or vulnerability you feel.

Buying funky shoes and a purse for fashion sake, is not something I have done in a while, I’m usually looking for items to make living with Lipedema easier. 

But fashion is a big part of me, it is what I went to school for, and Art is a big part of me. 

Not letting go of those parts of me is healing, and what Self Care Sunday means to me today.

Monday, July 5, 2021

6th Annual Lipedema Triathlon Followup


Bravo to all!!!  The annual event took place on June 26 at 9am, and was once again an international event, with participants from the US, UK, Australia, Isle of Man, Isle of Skye, etc.

It was a sprint distance event:
- 750M swim
- 20K bike
- 5K run/walk

I created this event as a way to help spread awareness for Lipedema, and as a reminder of the importance of staying active with the condition.

Thank you all for riding my crazy train! XO  πŸŠ‍♀️ 🚴🏻‍♀️ πŸƒ‍♀️

One of the best things to come out of this annual event is the growing number of participants. All dealing with Lipedema at various stages and abilities. 

Some do just the 5K, it is always the most signed up for leg of the event, over 50 registered to participate this year. Followed by the swim with over 40 signed up, and finally the bike with 38 signed up.

Many participants this year got hooked! The post tri feeling had them feeling super proud and eager for next year’s event, many who spaced out the legs over the month were talking about wanting to work towards doing all three events back to back next year.

But completing all three events back to back is not mandatory, it is an All Or Something event, you do what you can, when you can. Seeing that lead to progressed abilities is icing on the proverbial cake.

We want everyone to be able to join us. We come up with great MODs when needed/wanted, as an example, some use their Cubii for the bike portion, in the comfort of their own home. It is all inclusive ♥️

I was traveling, so no pool access, but had an awesome peloton bike I could use, and I did (2) 30 minute rides back to back; first up was a 30 Min. Lizzo ride with instructor Robin Arzon, and the second was a 30 Min. Hip Hop ride with Alex Toussaint.

I have been using my stationary bike at home with the peloton app this year training for our event, and went from doing the 20K last year (in 5 minute intervals), to this year doing the (2) 30 minute rides! I was excited by that progress. But man, I was not use to the peloton seat, and woof my πŸ‘ was feeling it (a lot). I’ve heard they take a good week to break in, something I have not had to experience with my at home bike. But thankful I was.

Post race selfie…

I’m already planning next year’s event! #lipedematriathlon 

Thank you to @srymca for hosting us locally and to @juzocompression for our participant T-shirts!

#wearestrongertogether #allorsomething 


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

June is Lipedema Awareness: Strength Training

JUNE IS LIPEDEMA AWARENESS MONTH - as someone with late stage Lipolymphedema, strength training has been really key for me. 

It obviously improves our physical strength, our muscles, balance, etc., but by taking action, it can improve our emotional strength, too.

Lipedema can be viscous, and try on the daily to strip away our mobility, so every minute we can invest into stopping that is so important. 

Having self care routines to help our skin, or movements to pump our lymphatics is huge also, but one of the biggest improvements to my quality of life has been strength training. 

It got my core strong, and gave me back my mobility. It is what keeps me moving, even when menopause has brought on more mobility challenges recently.

And it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, even ten minutes is good, or five, or whatever you are capable of. #allorsomething - a little more today than yesterday.

Keep fighting for your strength, and mobility. Seek out whatever helps you get there. There is not just one right way of living with Lipedema.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

June is Lipedema Awareness: Aqua Fitness

JUNE IS LIPEDEMA AWARENESS MONTH - one of the best things you can do is to be as active as possible, and one of the best ways is AQUA FITNESS!

We know aqua fitness provides low impact, resistance type training, it improves mobility, range of motion, and agility, and it helps pump our lymphatics!!! 

The water acts like graduated compression (which many of us with Lipedema must wear) and it is amazing for mental health, too!

It is my happy place!

I wrote a post about the depth of the water in comparison to level of compression, did you know walking in only 3 feet of water is equivalent to 67.22 mmHg (as an example, I wear 30-40 mmHg compression).

The pool is the only place I can be without compression, and get a great workout!

In review of my earlier files in the Lipedema Fitness support group, I came across a file about ALT (Aqua Lymphatic Therapy), and the Dorit Tidhar method, here is a good link: http://www.aqua-lymphatic-therapy.com/about.html to see more, it is a combined aqua fitness with self MLD (manual lymphatic drainage), and what a great combination it is!  

And here is a wonderful video showing more… 

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B9Y4YDtlNjC/?utm_medium=copy_link