Friday, January 24, 2020

Learning to Love Your Lipedema Body

Emotional fitness is a big part of living with Lipedema, some days it can really be a challenge, so today I posted the following in our Facebook support group about learning to love your Lipedema body. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, some days you might feel on top of the world, and the next you are in tears, the support of others just like you helps a lot, and seeking out a support group that meshes with you is the first step. Here is a look at how I personally worked towards loving my body ...

I love British television, no drama, and everyone is nice to each other, The Great British Baking Show started it, but then I found others, like The Great Pottery Throw Down

Fat Art changes our world for the better, seek it out, create it, share it, what a better world it would be if all bodies were represented.
I recently found it on YouTube, and blew through both seasons, but was excited to learn another season was currently ongoing; episode three just aired on YouTube last night.

I loved the illustration one of the artists did for Episode One (create a breakfast set with coffee press, two coffee cups and saucers and toast holder)... her name is Sampada Gurung, she is an illustrator (she has a series of these lovely illustrations, I want copies of them all), seeing our bodies represented in art lifts my soul so much.

What do you do for an emotional lift?

Being seen as inspiration for Art is life changing; seeing yourself through an artist's eyes.
I found following fashion ladies with bodies that look like mine on Instagram (like Tess Holliday and Mustang Sally Two), and joining body positive fitness groups on Facebook (like Fit Fatties and Big Fit Girl), a huge help in starting to change how I felt about my body. One day the change exploded when a lovely woman in one of the bopo fitness groups commented on a video I had shared, with this super cute illustration of me. It brought me to tears, someone saw me lifting a heavy bag as inspiration to create art. I LOVE ART! And now I WAS ART! She goes by krissyrini on Instagram, and does super cute pet artwork, too. 

Then Kathryn Lynn Hack (an amazing artist friend who also has Lipedema) created art from my image, just about burst my heart with so much love. I ended up purchasing a piece she made as my 50th birthday present to myself, and it hangs on the wall in front of my vibration machine, so I see it every day and it reminds me that we are all beautiful. She is pure joy if you have not had the opportunity to see her work or hear her speak, seek it out. She was a presenter at FDRS a couple years ago, on their YouTube channel.
Art of fat bodies is life changing, we are acceptable, worthy and loved.

That was the tipping point, when my Instagram feed was full of bodies that looked like me, rocking great fashion, and I was actually art inspiration, and loved looking at the creations these gifted artists made, it changed my life in that very moment. It is when I stopped being angry at my body, and started loving it. 

I guess you could say watching kinder, more gentle, television shows helped me to be kinder, and more gentle, with my body. And seeing all sizes be represented in fashion and fitness helped me to see my body as fashionable and fit! What we watch matters. What we allow into our lives matters. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Top Fitness Items of 2019

My favorite fitness items purchased, gifted, borrowed, and found last year... and the good news is, I’m still using them all!
Best purchased, gifts, borrowed and found fitness objects of 2019 to help stay active with Lipedema

BEST PURCHASE = ASICS Sonoma GTX (gortex) winter running sneakers. I tried these in place of boots, since boots are so hard to find when you have Lipedema; they keep my feet dry, no slipping/falling, AND they don’t hurt my ankles!

BEST GIFT = Gonex Sport Dry Wet Separation (aka pool) Bag. Super lightweight, and has one side for wet clothes, suit, flip flops, and one side for anything you want to keep dry (compression, underclothes, makeup bag, etc.). It fits perfectly in the top section of the gym locker, too.

BEST BORROW = TRX Suspension Trainer. Great training tool for all levels of fitness. I like it for standing pull-ups and pushups, and excited to try more ways of strengthening my entire body with it.

BEST FOUND (IN MY OWN CLOSET) = Gaiam Resistance Cord. I won a gym bag full of fitness items at a conference years ago, I had been using the bag as my pool bag up until my gifted one from Coach this year, and one of the items inside the bag was a Gaiam resistance cord (also called resistance tubing) with handles. I can’t tell you how long it sat on the shelf in my closet, but I use it now to help strengthen my hip abductor and adductor muscles in an effort to improve my gait. It can also be used for upper body work.

What are some of your favorite fitness items that you use all the time?
FYI: not sponsored, just my personal POV.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Are Moisturizers Safe to Use with Compression?

Finding quality compression that can withstand the lotions and oils we need to keep moisturized.
I get asked about compression garments all the time, and one of the questions I get asked is...

"Do body lotions & creams
break down compression?"

Well, that depends on your garment.

My compression garments are 100% safe to use with body lotions & creams, because I wear Juzo garments and ALL JUZO GARMENTS ARE LATEX FREE!

Garments made with elastic (rubber) can be damaged by wearing lotions & creams, so you will have to check with the manufacturer of the garments you wear to see they are latex free.

Some say to be safe just do not use lotions or creams when wearing compression. But as someone with Lipolymphedema (primary Lipedema with secondary Lymphedema) that is not an option.

Compression is used to help with edema, and moisturizers are used to keep the skin as healthy as possible, because it gets stretched and becomes fragile, so dry skin is not an option, even the smallest break in the skin can make you more prone to skin infections like cellulitis.

My daily routine includes moisturizing my legs and wearing my compression garments.

There are many moisturizer options, some of the ones members in the Lipedema Fitness Facebook group like are:
  • Aveeno
  • Coconut Oil
  • Eucerin
  • Lubriderm
  • Lymphoderm
  • Medi Comfort Cream
Comment below with your favorite and why.