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Archive for the ‘rehabilitation’ Category

I just read the following quote:

Someday, everything will all make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.

Yesterday, I spent some time at a clinic specializing in voice disorders, since I’ve spent the past 2 1/2 months unable to speak. These folks are the first to come up with a workable solution, as it’s already started to solve my problem. Apparently between a bad June illness in which I experienced heavy bouts of coughing plus intubation from my February surgery, the musculature in my throat got out of whack… and pulled my larynx out of alignment. Just a minor adjustment made it so that I could produce some (quiet, hoarse) sound. Still isn’t much, but it’s promising! And I’m hoping for more progress soon.

So, what does this have to do with the quote? Prior to this voice problem, I’d been out with a hip surgery… and a second hip surgery to correct what went wrong in the first one. Between the two, I relied heavily on my Pilates and anatomy background to get myself back on my feet again. While it didn’t prove 100% successful the first round–I still had plenty inside the joint that needed fixing–I’m doing great after the second surgery. I’m doing so well, in fact, that I’ve leveraged it into a few jobs doing rehabilitative Pilates work!

Sure, the whole time I studied Pilates, my focus was more rehab. But having spent so much time on my own body, I’m very passionate about using movement to make people feel more comfortable in their daily activities. So, while the two surgeries weren’t the best experience in the world… look what came out of it! (And just think… five years ago, I was teaching rinky-dink Pilates classes at the gym.)

I’m still trying to figure out the “reason” for all of my voice problems (other than forcing me to tap into my creativity a lot more, and appreciating life, and truly learning who and what are the most important to me)–until then, here are some interesting links of the day:

1. Who doesn’t go out now and then to show off their fit body? This is a great tutorial on an easy, casual up-do. I’m wondering if it would work with my almost-shoulder-length hair. I already have the waves, naturally…

2. Fun! Make a bell pepper octopus to put in your veggie dip.

3. If you can still find a few peaches or nectarines where you live, this recipe for cinnamon roasted peaches with yogurt sounds delightfully healthy!

4. Yes, I know. This is a Thanksgiving link. But I think I’d have to start now to set up this Thanksgiving veggie display (you have to scroll down a bit).

5. I’ve got your back!

Have a great week, everyone! We still have a few days of sun left… I’m going to go outside in a bit and appreciate it!

Howdy! What’s up?

So it seems like I’ve been working my way through Mama Pea’s reciPea list recently, trying to find new uses for nutritional yeast (it’s good’n’good for you!). I found another yummy one last night, and I’ll be making another batch to share over the weekend!

This one is Pizza Quinoa Casserole. The base starts simply with quinoa cooked with veggie broth. Then, it gets mixed with a luscious, tomatoey, rich sauce containing my precious nutritional yeast and a few other seasonings. Bake it, top with whatever pizza toppings you prefer (keep it vegan or use real cheese), and… in less than an hour, you’re good to go! Cheesy, high protein, nutritious… best yet, really tasty!

Here’s the recipe, straight from her website:

Pizza Quinoa Casserole

I’m spending this weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) in downtown Seattle at Balanced Body’s Pilates on Tour! While I’m doing this to earn continuing education units to keep my certification current, I’m excited to deepen my understanding to use Pilates in a rehab setting.

Or am I a complete dork for being excited about a professional conference? (I’m sure someone out there is, right?)

Tuesday Tuesday……. so it was just last week that I wrote that “I’m going to save the world despite my current limitations” post. I have been doing a lot of writing toward the Big Goal, true.

But… deep sigh. I’ve been getting conflicting advice on how to deal with my medical issue (and I’m definitely out of time to save my college teaching job for the fall). Adding to that, just a few hours ago, I found out that what I thought was “just an old crown falling off an old root canal” is really a tooth that needs an implant. (I’m not that old, yet!!! And I won’t tell you how much it costs, since I’m still in denial.)

I’m just having so much trouble letting all of this sink in…. productivity, while not a standstill, isn’t too great. Sometimes I just need to be in the backyard and pluck weeds. Don’t we all?

Meanwhile, why not kick back for a few laughs and good things to think about:

1. When I’m in charge of the world, I’m going to paste this sign on doors everywhere.

2. This one’s hilarious!!! Batman!

3. 20 ice cream recipes. One of them is the easy and healthy frozen banana puree–I can vouch that it tastes fantastic!

4. Have trouble motivating yourself to exercise? Here are 5 ways to exercise even if you don’t like to exercise.

5. A push in the right direction for our educational system?

On a better note, today, I took a Bodypump class for the first time since my second hip surgery. I held up great! The lunges were the only thing that bothered me a tiny bit, and I just eased up. I’m going to try and add this to my weekly routine! This, plus two spin classes, plus swimming once a week, plus a short hike once a week… wait, wasn’t it just a month ago that I could only handle easy cardio and upper body weights? I have made big-time progress in recovering my body!

If you’re a Pilates diehard like me, and you’re on Facebook, search for the event 30 Day Challenge. It’s led by Mo Wolfe of Evolution Pilates on Long Island (in Bruce’s hometown!)–she’s challenging us to do some Pilates every day for the month of August. We’re a little over halfway there–come join us, if you can!

See you Friday with a yummy recipe!

Hi, Friends.

I’m typically not much of a Wednesday poster, but inspiration struck (duck and cover!) and I totally felt the need to get this out to you.

While driving yesterday, I realized how much time I’d lost this past week wallowing over this freak vocal cord nerve injury. And before that, I’d probably done the same over the hip surgery that didn’t go well (in 2010) and had to be redone, plus some.

But why waste time crying over things out of our control? None of us are getting any younger.

It’s fine to feel sorry for ourselves, true. And I’ve found that sometimes, the current path just seems so unbearable that I just can’t find focus and have to chill out. But either to ourselves or others, it just becomes the broken record after a while. And just like a broken record, it continues on the same useless pathway. At some point, we have to pack up and move on as best we can.

Which is what I have done and have continued to do. And you know what? This approach has shown me opportunities I never would’ve imagined, if I’d been left to continue along my same road.

OK, so the Leprechaun of Ideas doesn’t jump onto your shoulder at 2pm every afternoon. (I wish! But then, we’d all be rich.) This takes some brainpower. But think of it this way: you’re developing awesome critical thinking skills!

Case In Point 1: prior to my first hip surgery (April 2010), I was running a fitness business with two corporate clients and a few private clients as well as teaching fitness classes for 4-5 gyms. I wanted to expand my business, but I didn’t have time to think about how to do that, or to do it at all… despite being married to an MBA in marketing. Surgery #1 led to complications and Surgery #2. After the requisite feeling sorry for myself, I got going and put my brain to work. I talked to other instructors. I did some marketing (and learned what does and doesn’t work in this area and field). I hired more contractors. I expanded my business to include other types of classes. I even tried a second business (which… didn’t work, but it was a great learning experience!). I now proudly call myself a small business owner!

When I was getting ready to teach again (that is, working for others), I almost didn’t want to let previous employers know I was available. I preferred having the time to strategize for myself! (Though, gotta say that I do like the steady income stream that I get from bigger companies.)

Case In Point 2: My current struggle. Just when I literally got my feet under me to teach again (and also got a college class to teach in the fall), I have a timeline of potentially three months until I can talk again. This hit me from out of nowhere–I didn’t anticipate this sort of limitation when I was dreaming up projects to take me into the end of the year and going forward.

But life has a way of throwing us curveballs, doesn’t it? And again… we can’t stand still while it blows past us. To me, that just isn’t living!

So, during the next few (loooonnngggg) months, other than non-work-related stuff such as improving my piano playing and cleaning up the jungle that is my backyard, I’ve come up with four work-related projects that don’t require speaking:

1. Getting my body back to the strength that it was before Hip Surgery #1 (which was the best shape of my life other than torn hip cartilage)

2. Make a new trifold brochure for my business, now that I offer Zumba classes, which may get me more corporate business (and plan a guerrilla marketing attack for the beginning of the year!!!)

3. Keep going on the….. (book) that I write in spurts. Since I’m oh-so-experienced in rehab (plus 500-hour Pilates certified), I’ve been working on a… document, in laymans’ terms, to help people recover from injury using Pilates-based exercise. I need to redouble efforts.

4. Lower priority, but script videos. I intend to create a YouTube channel of short videos that, once again, use Pilates-based exercise to help people reduce pain in various parts of their body. Big goal of mine in life is to help the world feel better without pharmaceuticals! (Ironic, given my masters’ degree in pharmaceutical chemistry…)

See? It takes a little bit of the gerbil running in that mental wheel, but you can come up with some fruitful projects that will get you toward your life/career goals, despite current limitations. (Try to make your projects meaningful, rather than, say, learning Swahili. Unless you are absolutely taken by the Swahili language, and by all means, go for it!)

Maybe by the end of allllll of this… I won’t need or want to go back to working for the man at all. Now, wouldn’t that be a hoot? Having had illnesses and injuries that supposedly take me out of work for a combined few years, but during that time, I end up generating a successful income stream. That would be amazing, and it’s my goal.

I encourage all of you to share this with anyone who’s going through a rough time in life! Any rough patch can be turned around… and can lead you into more exciting territory!!

Well! I’m returning to you a year older (funny how it happens all in one day……) and full of fantastic food! If you’re ever passing through Portland, OR, do try East India Co (downtown, with fantastic decor), Sweet Basil (Thai, in NE Portland), and Pix (a dessert cafe in NE Portland). Then, you can drive east into the Columbia River Gorge and hike off your calories!

Meanwhile, I’m struggling with a body that apparently doesn’t want me to return to teaching Pilates and fitness classes. Shortly after I’d recovered enough from my two hip surgeries, I got very sick, and then totally lost my voice… which still only exists as occasional faint words, a month later. It’s being attributed to having injured the nerve which supplies my vocal cords… somehow? and may take months to heal. !!! What else can I do but continue to get back into the best shape ever, and believe that I will teach again someday… just not next week.

Freak nerve injuries aside, here are some fun things I’ve found online today!

1. Make your own lip balm!

2. I could’ve used this stamp many places I’ve worked….

3. Use chalkboard paint on pots to create chalkboard planting pots!

4. I like big Bundts and I cannot lie…

5. Using old pallets to make modern Adirondack chairs. What a great recycling project!

OK, off for more Pilates! Be well, and I’ll be back here Friday (if not sooner) with a recipe for you!

Long time, no see! It’s been almost a week since I’ve seen you last–sorry! All of those writing prompts totally burned me out…

But I really want to share with you my progress over the past month! Remember a month ago, when I set that big goal to lose 10 pounds and tighten up overall? (I’d just finished 3 months on crutches after a major hip surgery, so I was feeling really out of shape…)

I took some follow-up pictures yesterday to compare with those I took a month ago. I can’t believe I’m posting swimsuit pics on the internet… scary… but here goes:

This was me on May 21, 2011:
me in may 2011

Compare that with me on June 24, 2011:
me in june '11

(Apologies for the wet, just-out-of-shower hair!!)

So, a little slimmer, maybe? I’m down the 3 pounds that I gained after the surgery–some days, the scale registers 4.

In any case, things are moving in the right direction! I’ll continue towards my goal of 10 pounds down total (meaning, 6-7 more pounds lost) and firming myself up in general by following the same plan:

  • Cardio daily, at least 30 min. I’m restricted in terms of what I can do, but as my strength builds, I can (and have been!!) increase intensity.
  • 3 upper body weight sessions per week
  • Daily Pilates, at least 30 min
  • I’ll add in some walking as it feels OK–it’s functional exercise!
  • Cut back on, but not eliminate, fats and simple carbs
  • 5+ servings fruits and veggies daily.

I’ll revisit this a month from now with more photos! It’s a great non-scale way to measure your progress (in addition to seeing how clothes fit and taking measurements).

How are you all doing with your health and nutrition plans?

After yesterday’s drive-by post, I’m slowing things down a bit today.

Especially since… TOMORROW is the first birthday of the blog! (No, I don’t like that “blogiversary” word. Birthdays are more fun!)

happy birthday!

I love giving gifts to others… so as my treat to you, the readers, here’s a collection of some of my favorite YCGF posts from the past year!

First off, check out my first post. It’s not as embarrassing as I thought it would be! I talk about the importance of a food diary in weight loss.

Here’s a fruit dessert that I just discovered last summer: sauteed nectarines. It’s become a hit with friends (and with me!!!), and it’s so easy to make!

What is your motivation for eating healthy and/or losing weight? Make sure that you are doing it for you.

This one isn’t fitness-specific, but I sure think it’s important to make every day count.

We all have this day on our calendar that doesn’t exist.

Discover more about an interesting self-discovery writing challenge–and learn a whole lot more about me!

And, finally… the story that started my fitness journey, and keeps me in this industry motivating others.

Thanks to those who’ve stuck with me, reading for the past year! There will be many more interesting days to come, especially since I’m getting stronger. I no longer look despairingly at old issues of Runner’s World–the little voice in my head is saying, “Yes, I might!” What a journey I’ve gone through this year!

Keep strong, and enjoy the rest of the weekend!


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