Friday, June 30, 2023

Fascial Fitness Training: Week 4

I’m smack dab in the middle of an 8 week course for #fascialfitness 

I’m taking the class to learn more ways we can help our fascia, because #lipedema is a loose connective tissue disorder, and connective tissue is #fascia 

Made sense, right?!

I’ve been hoping to understand my body better & look for other ways (outside of lipedema) where we can possibly understand more about what is going on with lipedema, what causes it, and also hopefully new ways of helping to treat it.

This week was all about FOAM ROLLING - and my first thought before I began the coursework, was ouch. 

I know how much foam rolling hurts my body, and over the years I've come up with some modifications to help (softer tools, different positions, etc.) - for this class I was hoping to get some better insight into why we roll, new modification ideas, contraindications, etc.

The first thing mentioned is that aging is the drying out of our fascia. 

We can't stop it, but we can do things to slow it down, and make it more hydrated.

Two of those things are moving, and massage. Fascial fitness and #myofascialrelease 

Both things help to unstick our drying out fascia; we need to squeeze the fascia to get the old fluid out, which lets new healthy fluid in. 

Makes sense - if you had a sponge full of dirty dish water and then didn't move it for a while, it would be dry and stiff. 

The first thing you would do is add water and wring it out so clean water could fill it up and be used again as intended. 

Our fascia is the same, it is between 50-80% water (based on our age).

Moving and massage are what keep it hydrated, keep it supple, which help us experience less pain and stiffness, and that is the goal of all the work we are doing.

Two additional things we need are to get plenty of water and rest. It’s a lot that our bodies are doing, and those are two easy but important things you can do.

#lipedemafitness #lipedema #lipoedema #lipolymphedema #healthyfascia #healing #knowledgeispower 

Thursday, June 29, 2023

The Most Important Relationship is with You

Look up “RELATIONSHIP” in the dictionary, wait, do people still do that? Look things up? I do obviously. 

Anyway, it is a two part answer (even the answer has two parts).

In a nutshell, it is how you regard and behave toward something/someone. AND it is the state of being connected.

How do you treat those you are in a relationship with?

My guess, is that depends on how they treat you. It is a two way street (again with the two’s).

We think about significant others when we think about relationships, but in reality you are in a relationship to everything. Like everything.

Every person, animal, experience, EVERY thing.

But by far the most important relationship you will ever have, is the one have with yourself. 

It starts from the moment you took your first breath & it will end the moment you take your last.

How you regard yourself, behave towards yourself, matters. You matter.

You control the relationship you have. And that relationship with yourself sets up every other relationship you have. Every single one.

If you are not having the relationship you want, look at how you are treating you.

Change how you treat you and every relationship you have will also change. It’s a ripple effect.

Now that second part, the one about feeling connected. You, and how you treat you, also affects that. 

How can we feel connected? What are some things we can do?

  • be authentic
  • respect boundaries 
  • go deeper than what you see 
  • be genuine
  • listen to them, pay attention
  • schedule time for them

Think about those examples (and others that are important to you) and turn them towards yourself. 

Especially when living with a chronic illness, these things are important. Some days we may not have enough in the tank to do what we want, and that is ok. That is respecting our boundaries. 

Feeling connected is easier with like minded people who share similar experiences - support groups are a great way to feel connected. And they can help you improve your relationship with yourself. 

When you catch yourself saying or doing mean things towards you, stop and question if you would say or do the same thing to someone in your support group? You deserve the same kindness.

Friday, June 16, 2023

8th Annual Lipedema Triathlon

June 24 is the Lipedema Fitness 8th Annual #lipedematriathlon and the first part of this international virtual event is a 750M swim.

The reason the swim is first in a triathlon is due to safety.

It seems easier to have it last, especially if you wear as much compression as we do, but trust me, you become tired doing 3 back to back portions of the event, and the last place you want a cramp is in the water.

🏊‍♀️ How many laps is a 750M swim if swimming in a pool? 

That depends on the size of your pool - In the pool at the #srymca (which is a short course Olympic pool) I need to do 30 length of the pool.

🏊‍♀️ How long does it take to complete the swim?

That depends on the swimmer. For me it is around 30 minutes. The kicker is I have to then shower off the chemicals, dry off really well, so I can get into fresh compression, and get all my workout gear on - this takes me longer than the swim itself, and counts in my overall time - if I was being official.

The second part is the Bike…

The reason the bike is second in a triathlon is again due to safety.

Outside of potential injuries, traditional outside racers would be a nightmare to have all starting/ending at the same time for tracking purposes, too. Most of our local participants use stationary bikes, but we do have some that take off for outside rides. Coach plotted a course right from the YMCA. 

🚴🏻‍♀️ How many miles is a 20K? 

It is 12.4 miles.

🚴🏻‍♀️ How long does it take to complete the bike?

That depends on the cyclist. For me it is around an hour. I learned the stationary bikes at the YMCA turn off at 60 minutes. So my goal is always under an hour, as I learned that the hard way when the machine just stopped the first year. 🤦🏼‍♀️ I started bringing my iPad to the event and using the Peloton app, picking 2 30 minute rides seems the best for me. I love the artist series for motivation and been reviewing all our Friday Night rides to find my favorites. Two separate rides also gives me a chance to hop off the bike and stretch a bit, staying in the same position for too long can be extra challenging with Lipedema.

I also learned you can setup the bike for distance instead of time and then you don’t run into that issue. 

The third & final part is the Run/Walk…

The reason the Run/Walk is last in a triathlon is because it is the safest movement.

👟 How many miles is a 5K? 

It is 3.1 miles.

👟 How long does it take to complete the run/walk?

That depends on the participant. For me it is well over an hour now, since my walking took a hit after menopause. 

For me it is the hardest portion, and I use a treadmill so I have something to hold on to, others run outside or on the indoor track. I would rather do the first two portions twice than the walk. I might see about using my standup Walker (Helga) on the i door track or breaking up the walk if too painful this year.

I really wish I could find a pool that had lanes for swimming, an underwater bike for the 20K & an underwater treadmill for the 5K, and do it all at one go in the pool. No shower or changing until I was completely done.

Some participants get friends to help with number of laps/miles, or they take multiple days to build up to the full distances. 

Some MODs (modifications) we have used over the years are:

  • A rowing machine, or stand up erg, for the swim
  • Peloton or stationary bike with Peloton App, or a Cubii under desk elliptical, for the bike
  • Mowing the lawn, or an underwater treadmill (someone is doing that this year), for the run/walk

All modifications count, we are an #allorsomething event!

We created this event to help spread #lipedemaawareness 

Signup for the 2023 event HERE. You can sign up for any part of the triathlon you would like to, you can sign up a team to each take on a portion, or combine your efforts in any way that works for you. The goal is spreading awareness and having fun with the #lipedemacommunity 

These amazing illustrations are by Olivia Kate and you can commission her to creat artwork for you, too! I wanted to express the vibe of the event, and she nailed it.

#lipedema #lipoedema #lipolymphedema #lipedemafitness