ME / CFS Resolutions Report Card, how am I doing so far?

21 Feb
Snowdrops. Photo by Jess B.

Snowdrops. Photo by Jess B.

So with the snow drops out in force in rural England and even a few daffodils starting to show buds, I thought it was about time I reviewed my ME / CFS resolutions for 2013. How is it nearly March already?! It doesn’t seem two minutes since I wrote up my resolutions and yet it has been nearly 2 months already.

I published my resolutions on this blog to help me keep to them.  We’re much more likely to stick to resolutions (or anything else for that matter) if we’ve told other people about our intention to do so. We don’t want to lose face by admitting that maybe we’ve slipped up, lost our way or entirely abandoned our resolutions in favour of a big gooey chocolate cake (not that I have done this, hand on heart I promise)!

So how am I doing? Well after the slight (ahem, major) slip up with the Crème Brûlée debacle back in early January, I am pleased to report that things have been going pretty well:

REST

On the advice of my specialist my resolution was to rest for (roughly) 10 minutes every hour. With three longer 30 minute rests at my key crash points during the day. I’d give myself a 7/10 for this so far, which isn’t bad is it? In the afternoons the 10 minutes rest every hour tends to slip a bit (to maybe a rest only every 1.5 hours) so my resolution going forward is to tighten that up. I do feel better when I rest regularly. The rest nips the activity ‘stress’ in the bud. Even in just 10 minutes I feel refreshed and better able to carry on. So my motto is KEEEEP RESTING (imagine it said in the way of Tess and Bruce at the end of Strictly Come Dancing)!

YOGA

I’m happy to report that I am maintaining a daily morning practice of 25 minutes or so. This is one of the easiest resolutions for me to keep, as I really do love yoga! I have also been pushing myself a little more with the yoga I practice, trying new postures and sequences, taking myself out of my comfort zone a little. My hope and intention of doing some yoga around bed time has been a bit more hit and miss. But with the help of  Yoga Stretches for Bedtime  and Yoga for Bedtime I hope to do better with this in the coming months.

DIET

Ah diet, food, the light of my life! So I’ve already admitted that I stumbled a little with my dairy resolution early on with the Crème Brûlée debacle. However since then my resolve has strengthened and I haven’t succumbed to dairy. When Mr B and I went out for Valentine’s Day lunch I didn’t have pudding because I didn’t want to feel terrible from eating crème brulee or panacotta which were the gluten free offerings.

Healthy plate. Photo by Jess B.

Healthy plate. Photo by Jess B.

I’ve been enjoying eating super healthy food and have actually lost 4lbs since January 1st! Might seem a rather small accomplishment, but for someone with ME / CFS who can’t exercise properly due to fatigue levels, I’m rather proud of my achievement. It also would have been more if I hadn’t put 2lbs back on over our  anniversary weekend away!

I’m probably still eating more dried fruit than I should, but hey, every girl needs a little treat every so often, and other than I’m not eating a lot of sugar! Especially as to reinforce my resolve on the sugar front I’ve given up chocolate (I used to let myself have 1 or 2 squares of Green & Blacks dark chocolate each evening) for Lent. What have you given up for Lent? Anything? Let me know, we can help each other stick to it!

PACING

This is going reasonably well. I am sticking to the time boundaries I’ve worked out as to what I can do at the moment without suffering an increase in symptoms.

Pacing: red adverse reaction, orange a little reaction, green no reaction

Pacing: red adverse reaction, orange a little reaction, green no reaction

The nifty traffic light system shown in the photo above, that my sister devised for me, is helping me keep track of where I’m at. I’m particularly proud of how I’m doing with my paced walks. Back at the start of January I was walking for 20 minutes a day, and now I’m up to 28 mins. So slow and steadily I’m building up my energy and moving forward.

NLP

My final ME / CFS resolution for 2013 was to do with the neuro-linguistic programming techniques I had learned last year. When I was consistently using these techniques I was so much calmer and had more energy and fewer symptoms.  But with relapses and life taking over through the autumn, I neglected to keep this going. I just wasn’t strong enough to do deal with it. However I’ve been lucky enough to have a second course of training in these techniques  which has taken what I learned to a new level. In the ten days since I did the training Mr B has said how much more positive and bright I seem. My therapist says it usually takes patients 3 -4 months of consistent use of the techniques to see significant changes in symptom levels but that it does happen. So early days, but I’m determined to keep going with it. I’ll keep you posted!

Overall I think I’ve done pretty well with my resolutions so far. I’ve certainly seen positive effects on my energy and symptom levels which spurs me on to keep going. So I’ve laid myself bare to you all, therefore isn’t it only fair for you to tell me how are you doing with any resolutions you may have? I’d love to hear from you, comment below or email me at myjourneythrume@yahoo.com.

P.s. I genuinely haven’t succumbed to a gooey chocolate cake, though how I’ve been tempted! Roll on Easter and the end of Lent and then I think I’ll deserve some chocolate in many forms (i.e. cake, biscuit, ice cream, Green & Blacks, brownies etc etc!) , and by then I will be in Philadelphia, USA!! Much more on that coming soon!

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