Thursday, May 28, 2015

Travel and plans

This past weekend, we traveled to a big family gathering for my Husband's family.  It was a lot of fun getting to visit with relatives we don't often see, and get our baby fix on with the newer members of our large clan. 

When I posted last, I talked about how I was getting back on track with my exercise.  Well, that was the plan, but last week turned out to be SO BUSY, that I didn't really fit in too many workouts.  I think I squeezed in a PiYO workout in on one evening.  Between my youngest graduating from preschool, my oldest son's birthday, cleaning for a house showing, and prepping and packing for my family of 6 to go out of town, I was swamped with stuff going on.  I was definitely getting in exercise with all of my moving around, but nothing formal. 

The good news is that I have been MOSTLY sticking with my high protein, low carb eating plan.  I say mostly because I have been skipping ALL bread and pasta for the past month!  HOWEVER, I have been enjoying some desserts here and there...and perhaps a few too many over the holiday weekend.  I can really tell my energy levels are down when I add the processed carbs and sugar into my diet.  I tell you, my P90X protein bars have been a saving grace for my sweet tooth.  My doctor suggested that I add protein bars into my diet to get the extra protein in.  I am so glad that I did because I can get my chocolate fix in too!!  I also make sure that I get in plenty of water daily.  As a general rule, you should aim for 1/2 you body weight in oz of water each day.  I have a 36oz water bottle that I carry around all day.  I always have a goal of filling and drinking it at least 3x daily.  I am almost certain to fit in at least 2x, but I always aim high. I also took my Shakeology with me, and had that for breakfast instead of joining in with the more high carb breakfasts that were available.  Over the weekend, I managed to drink about 1 gallon of water daily.  YES, I was hydrated.  Over all, I felt pretty good about my travel and ability to still follow my eating plan.  I am a little bummed that I let my workouts slide, but I am back on track with my Body Beast, and some walking for some light cardio. 

I had another follow up appointment on Tuesday, in regards to my EBV.  I told my doc that I was feeling much better.  I still have my low energy days, but they are becoming fewer and farther between...or after I have a bunch of processed carbs.  I am taking my concoction of supplements that are good for fighting an active EBV infection, and they are really helping too.  My doc told me that it sounded like I was getting it all under control, and to continue doing what I am doing, and call if things get worse.  The truth is that now that I know what I am dealing with, I feel like I can start making some real progress on my fitness goals, and drop the weight that gained because of my slow metabolism from the EBV.  I have already lost 3 pounds since starting with my eating plan.  I am hoping that the scale will start making progress faster as I add back in some exercise.  The truth is that I don't really care what the scale says as long as I FEEL better, and my clothes are fitting like they are supposed to. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Gettin back on track

Hi, my name is Melissa, and I have fallen off the exercise wagon.....again.  That's right, I have NOT been working out regularly.  The truth is that I have been really busy, and trying to take is easy as I work to get my EBV in check.  I haven't been doing my workout DVDs, BUT, I have been taking walks with my hubby in the evenings.  Nothing hardcore,  just enough to get the blood pumping.  I have noticed a definite increase in energy, but when I put in an intense workout, it really depletes my energy quickly.  So, I am going to have to scale back.  My plan to do Body Beast and T25 this month is changing.  I am still going to do a few Body Beast workouts each week, but I am only going to do one intense cardio workout a week, until I am feeling consistently better.  In the meantime, I am going to add in a little bit of PiYo and lower impact cardio (maybe 21 Day Fix or P90).  The exercise is actually good for my recovery, so I can't just cut it out.  In fact, on the days where I am feeling completely depleted, just adding in 10 minutes of light cardio gets my blood flowing.  Of course, that helps me feel more energetic.

I will tell you that my eating habits have really been in check!  I am trying really hard to focus on lots of protein, fruits and veggies, and only a few complex carbs. And of course, I am drinking my Shakeology daily :).   I have not had any bread or pasta in 3 weeks.  Honestly, that is not a hard move for me because I don't really eat much bread or pasta anyway.  The only exception was pizza this past weekend, at my son's birthday party.  I have had a few sugary treats here and there, but for the most part, my eating has been pretty clean.  I even managed to do 2 evenings out last week with GOOD eating choices.  Thursday was a reception that my husband won.  I didn't have much choice in the dinner option, but it wasn't unhealthy either.  I started with a salad with Italian dressing (no croutons), dinner was green beans, pork medallions with a yummy cream sauce, and new potatoes.  Dessert was pie or cake.  I selected the pie, but only ate the cherry filling (no crust).  Friday evening was my 16th anniversary.  The hubby and I went out for steak.  I ordered a small (6oz) one with a baked sweet potato.  Or course, I ate the salad (no croutons) that came with the meal.  We did splurge on an appetizer - one of those fried onion things.  It was not healthy, but it was delicious!!

My husband, Jeff , and I before the reception for his 40 under 40 awards reception.

I really need to do a write up on the AMAZING supplements that I am taking that are really kicking my EBV in the butt!  That is for another time :).  

All in all, I am feeling good.  My energy is coming back.  Believe it or not, I am actually dropping a few pounds.  I am pretty sure that is a good sign that my metabolism is turning around.  I am going to continue on my progress of slowly getting back into an intense workout routine.  MY overall focus is my health, and as long as I keep that on the front of my mind, I will make good choices....that will also lead to some weight loss.  I am looking forward to getting back to where I was BEFORE my body started to turn on me. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Why I share

So, I have been thinking about this for a few days.  First, I appreciate those of you that take the time to ready my posts, and leave comments or message me.  As I blog about my own fitness and health progress, I am sharing MY story, MY success, MY struggles.  I don't do it because I am looking for sympathy or to be the center of attention.  I do it because I want to inspire, motivate and encourage others.  Take control of YOUR health, and YOUR life.  Maybe after reading my story, you might find the courage to go to the doctor to take care of an issue that has been bothering your for awhile.  Maybe you will find the motivation to jump into a new exercise routing.  Maybe you will learn something new.  Whatever your reason, I appreciate that you continue to follow me and share this story WITH me. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Increased energy

I am happy to report that after a week of beginning my journey to put my EBV in it's place, that I am FINALLY starting to feel more energetic.  In case you missed my post last Monday, Diagnosis = EBV, I was diagnosed with EBV last week.  You can read the post to learn more about EBV.  Anyway, my course of antibiotics is done.  THANK GOODNESS!!  I tell you, it is tough for someone that purposefully eats every 2-3 hours, in order to keep my cortisol levels in check, to have to skip eating for 2-3 hours BEFORE and at least 1 hour after taking a medicine!!!  It was a twice daily sorta thing, so mornings were easy.  It is that darn early evening one that was killing me.  I was pretty run down last Tuesday-Thursday.  Friday was much better, and then I was feeling great over the weekend!  Today I am a little tired, but I still have a pretty good amount of energy.  I went in for a follow up appointment, and the doctor was pleased to hear that my energy is coming back.  I have to go again in a few weeks to make sure I continue on this uptrend.  If things start to regress, it may mean that my EBV may be causing some other (possibly more serious) health issues. 

What am I doing?  First, I am really focusing on my diet.  As a coach, I know that what I am eating will have a HUGE effect on how my body runs.  My doctor suggested that I stick with a high protein, low carb, low fat diet.  I typically follow a similar eating plan anyway, but right now, I am being extremely mindful of all of the foods that I am eating.  I have cut out bread and pasta almost completely.  We did have pizza on Saturday night, but I made sure that I kept my carbs EXTREMELY low early in the day, so that I could indulge with my family.  I am sticking with carbs such as sweet potatoes, organic granola (with my yogurt), and corn tortilla chips (as my junk food treat).  I am still drinking my Shakeology for breakfast, but I am adding in a small glass of carrot juice to boost my Vitamin A and my body's immune system.  Per my doctor, I am also taking 2000mg of Vitamin C, along with my ActiVit multivitamin (my high quality multivitamin), again to boost my immune system.  I was also given another B12 injection at my follow up appointment today.  After much research, I am going to try adding in some other supplements to help my body fight the virus, including olive leaf extract, licorice root, and astragalus root.  I am also increasing my use of coconut oil, raw ginger, and fresh garlic (things I use regularly anyway).  I am still researching and looking to try new ideas.  I have created a Pinterest board for my EBV, for those that want to learn more too. 

Right now, I am just taking it one day at a time.  I am making changes that will improve my health, and eventually help me tackle my weight loss more effectively.  I am still exercising 5-7 days a week (currently alternating between T25 and Body Beast).  As always, I am still drinking LOTS of water!!! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What is Beachbody on Demand?

I have been so busy lately that I haven't had much time to update my blog.  I promise to have a personal fitness update soon :).  In the meantime, check out my new favorite way to get in my daily workouts!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Diagnosis = EBV

Today was my follow up doctor's appointment to learn my test results. I was fully expecting to go in and find that my thyroid levels were low.  Much to my surprise, ALL of my metabolic function levels were within fantastic ranges.  SCORE!  That just goes to show you healthy eating and regular exercise are GREAT for the body!!  Of course, because of the way I have been feeling, I knew there had to be SOMETHING wrong.  Turns out I get to join the ranks of those with autoimmune diseases (well, sort of).  I have EBV or Epstein Barr-Virus.

What is EBV?  Here is what the CDC says:

"Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), also known as human herpesvirus 4, is a member of the herpes virus family. It is one of the most common human viruses. EBV is found all over the world. Most people get infected with EBV at some point in their lives. EBV spreads most commonly through bodily fluids, primarily saliva. EBV can cause infectious mononucleosis, also called mono, and other illnesses.

Symptoms include:
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • inflamed throat
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • enlarged spleen
  • swollen liver
  • rash
Many people become infected with EBV in childhood. EBV infections in children usually do not cause symptoms, or the symptoms are not distinguishable from other mild, brief childhood illnesses. People who get symptoms from EBV infection, usually teenagers or adults, get better in 2 to 4 weeks. However, some people may feel fatigued for several weeks or even months.
After you get an EBV infection, the virus becomes latent (inactive) in your body. In some cases, the virus may reactivate. This does not always cause symptoms, but people with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop symptoms if EBV reactivates."

Don't worry, I'm NOT contagious.   I am far beyond that stage of the virus.  An average person will carry the EBV virus at a range of 0-18 antigens.  Mine was 600.  Yup, a little high.  I am not crazy after all, I REALLY was tired....all of the time!   The bad news is that I will ALWAYS carry this virus, and it is possible that it can reactivate.  There is no cure. The good news is that I can treat symptoms.

Today, the doc decided to start me on a pretty powerful antibiotic. Although the antibiotic will do nothing for the virus itself, it will kill off stuff that may have resulted from my immune system being compromised for so long.  Which in turn will help my body to be able to focus on the EBV.  I also received a nice B12 shot to help boost my metabolism and energy.  It has definitely helped today😉.

For the long run, I need to make sure I'm
Taking a good quality multivitamin (which I already have with my Activit), and increase my daily vitamin C considerably to keep my immune system up.  Regular exercise is recommended because it increases my circulation, thus increasing oxygen flow throughout my body.  ✔️ on that one!  I also need to stick with a high protein, low carb, low fat eating plan. ✔️ on that one too!  Although, I am going to research high protein autoimmune eating plans to see if I can really dial in my nutrition.

There you have it.  It is not great to be diagnosed with any sort of disease.  However, once you know the problem, you can start working on things that will help to correct the problem.  I am thankful that EBV is not a serious problem.  I am thankful that  I now have a work with.  Here begins the journey....

#MyEBVjourney #journeymelissablair