FIGHT HARD vs FIGHT SMART

We Fibro-Fighters face an uphill battle in our fight against FM so when I read this blog post, by Terry Springer of FibroTrack, I wanted to share. I found it to be very ‘Rocky’-like and motivating…

determinationMany sceptics and members of the “Fibro Ignorant” feel that individuals with fibromyalgia could recover if they would only try harder. They observe that many with fibro do not exercise, are significantly overweight, have terrible diets, live a fundamentally unhealthy lifestyle and appear to be doing very little on their own to get better. They conclude that laziness and apathy are the root cause.  Many believe that individuals with fibromyalgia have brought the condition on themselves and they suffer simply because they refuse to do whatever is required to get in shape and get healthy.

It’s easy to understand why the fibro ignorant come to this type of conclusion. Our society and culture view hard work as naturally leading to positive results. Individuals who put forth massive effort and leverage extreme tenacity are rewarded with big success. This is true in sports, business and many aspects of life in general. Determination and fighting to our utmost ability for things we desire are core values to our culture.

The observation by many that people they know with fibromyalgia do not appear to be fighting hard is both correct and in error. There is no denying that a percentage of individuals with fibromyalgia do not exercise, are obese, eat a horribly unhealthy diet and in fact do little on their own to try to get better. But why is this? There is no one answer. For some, it boils down to the effects of chronic pain and depression plus a lack of education and understanding about what is going on in their bodies and actions they can take to try to correct it.

images (1)For most however, the reality of fibromyalgia is that just living day-to-day with fibro is a monumental effort. Fibromyalgia leaves its victims with a very limited amount of normal “go juice” to distribute on a daily basis. Exceeding the limited amount of energy and focus that patients have available often results in a giant fibro flare-up. Pushing harder and trying to use tenacity frequently backfires bringing on the opposite result from what is desired!

Yet, not fighting hard to do all of the things that make up an effective self-management effort means that the odds of a patient recovering are minimal. Getting better is up to you.

This is a terrible Catch-22! Fighting too hard will make you worse but not fighting hard enough will prevent progress. How do you deal with the reality of not having enough energy and focus to accomplish daily everything you need to be doing? Is it impossible to fight hard enough without pushing too far?

The title of this blog posting is a trick. Fighting hard and fighting smart are not an either/or proposition! With fibromyalgia, the two tactics should be simultaneous and symbiotic. imagesEffectively fighting smart will increase your ability to gain results from your limited capacity to fight hard by ensuring that your hard fighting is targeted in the best direction. You must get everything possible out of your limited ability to fight hard!

Well-structured systems and defined processes form the core operating principles for all successful organisations. They are required to achieve the best results when dealing with any complex ongoing effort. Corporations, government and high-achieving individuals all rely on quality systems to help them best direct their focus and efforts. If you are fighting fibro and you want to recover – you must do the same!

fibrotrack-logoI hope you will check out the ultimate tool and system for fighting smart – FibroTrack.

But regardless, if you wish to make the most of the fighting hard you can do, you need systems and well-defined processes to guide you in fighting smart!

See what I mean? Don’t you just want to start fighting (again/more)?

Pilates Pleasure

Yesterday, I downloaded my FREE 14 day pass to the local gym (which is very local – it’s about 500 metres down the street!) and went to have a chat to a lovely lady about my condition and what her gym could do for me. We talked about the yoga and Pilates sessions; and we talked about what would happen after the 14 days was up. (I had to explain that I was absolutely broke and had to be very careful about where I chose to invest my limited funds.) Firstly, she gave me an extra week on my pass. Then she said that, if I find the classes are working for me, she could work out a special price so I could attend just those classes and not have to pay for the use of the entire gym. WOW! Nice lady!

To today:

Getting out of bed early, so my body will be functioning (not necessarily well), for a 9.20am Pilates class is not easy, but I’m motivated and I promised you guys a report…

So, I just got out of the shower (yes! I had a shower) after cooling down from the session. And I gotta say: Whoo Eee! (that’s a shout of glee!)Am I feeling energised! Already my muscles ache – but it’s a different sensation than the FM pain. It’s the pleasurable awareness that all my muscles are there and have been stretched and manipulated. (For those who don’t have sex very often, it’s sort of like the day after feeling…yeah, you feel tired and achy but hey! It was worth it and let’s do it again!)

Now I didn’t do that kind of stuff!

We did Mat-based Pilates (not so easy to get up off the floor at the end, though) – this is a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your own body weight to provide the resistance. The central aim is to condition the deeper, supporting muscles of the body to improve posture, balance and coordination. By focusing on your core strength, you (supposedly) enhance the little muscles in the body so you’re better able to support the larger ligaments, tendons and joints. Pilates is a very intense stretching class that incorporates workouts for your abdominal, leg, arm and back muscles – I found the stretching remarkable (it was like my poor, exhausted muscles could finally open up and take a breath of fresh air) and it’s nice to know that I still have some flexibility. Strength-wise? I have none! Anything that involved holding up my own body – even standing on my tippy-toes – was challenging. But it’s only the beginning of my learning curve…

Pilates encourages you to think about how you perform everyday movements. It heightens your body awareness; it helps you ensure your body is working at its optimal level all the time. Pilates will give you more of a holistic result than most other exercises regimes. It will make you focus on your breathing which is great for improving circulation and relieving stress. It is alleged to be a fantastic way to balance out your health and wellbeing.

Pilates is actually great for people with injuries, weak muscles and particularly bad posture because it encourages you to strengthen your problem areas in a relaxed and low impact way. (NB: It is advisable that anyone with serious injuries consults their doctor or physio though. Pregnant women should also get the okay from their doctor before proceeding.)

Now, tomorrow (or maybe even later on today) I know I’m going to hurt – I’m hoping it is the spent muscle type of hurt and not the FM hurt (but I may be kidding myself – I’ll let you know then).

Joseph Pilate

But I’ll know exactly who to blame: Joseph Pilates developed the yoga-like moves to rehabilitate Second World War soldiers. He then modified the style for injured dancers and so the modern-day method was born.

I’m looking after the beautiful Z tomorrow too, so I had better not hurt too much – playing with Z involves at least one walk to the park and a lot of kicking (then chasing) a ball around. I then have hydrotherapy so the warm water will soothe my tired, spent, exhausted, weary, drained, fatigued, wiped out body.

From just sitting on the couch last week, I‘ve suddenly got a REALLY busy schedule!