Bucket List, next up, Victory!

Wow. I have taken a step I never thought I would get to take. With Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Arthritis, Metallosis and bi-lateral hip replacements, I never thought I would get to try something like this ever again.

I have started the USA Fit Marathon Walking class! Yep, 22 weeks of training until I walk the Austin Marathon in February. The class is official, but the marathon itself is not. I will register for it on September 10th if nothing changes by then. I’m using the time between now and then to make sure that this is actually possible.

I had become almost immobile over the past year. Even small amounts of daily exercise resulted in terrible fibro flares, causing pain and fibro fog. Even while dealing with that, I was wrapping my head in ice and taking meds with bad side effects to fight the next migraine. The fibro fog was so bad I was considering quitting work and filing for disability, a severe hardship to my family, but it was so bad that driving, thinking, managing people and designing were becoming impossible. Home wasn’t much better, and my spouse took on more and more responsibility with the household and our teen son, and I faded further away.

Then came the day for the last ditch effort to get better. My search started with a way to improve brain function. I could deal with he pain, I had for years, but the reduced cognitive function was going to destroy me. Unable to think straight, unable to participate in so much, I began to sink into a depressed state as well, almost giving up. I began to search everything about brain function, dementia, Alzheimer, ADD, and anything else I could find. It was hard. Hard to understand the science in my condition, but I started figuring it out.

July 6th, 2017, just a few short weeks ago, I started a strict Ketogenic diet. It was hard at first, seeming to get worse the first week with what they call Keto Flu, but it passed. This diet extols the benefits of improved brain function, and I wanted it to work, bad! So far, I am very happy. I have done other things too to improve my symptoms, and am in the process of writing everything up and calling it Jo’s Fibro Protocol. I’ll post it here soon.

I am pinching myself now, because this is a dream. I am doing the impossible. I am walking 3 miles a day, and doing Yoga and Pilates. I am going out in the evenings with my family. Saturday, I walked three miles and did 20 minutes of fit yoga, an hour and a half of movement, I did chores at home, took an hour long nap, did more chores, made dinner, and then went with friends and family to Dave and Busters. We were out until midnight.

It did not cost me my entire Sunday and Monday from the inevitable fibro flare. I got up Sunday, did more chores, walked 2 miles and was active the rest of they day, only collapsing into be after a very satisfying Game of Thrones! Today is Tuesday, and I still feel fine. Eager to walk my three miles tonight.

Fibro fog is not yet gone, but it is much better. I can think again! I’m getting better quality sleep.

I am in a dream now, and almost scared to say this, but I am getting better! I want you too as well!

Peace, jo



As you will see by my soon to come updates, I have been working on me.

I am now pressing hard to work out daily, and to eat right daily. Yeah, I don’t always make it, but, you gotta try, right?

My spouse has had some major health issues this year, and was recently told that she was “this close to being totally disabled”.

This was a wake up call for me. I realized that I had a choice. I could do all I can to get stronger, to take care of myself so that I can take care of this family, or a could wither, struggling to take care of myself, much less the challenges she will face. My son is only a teen, and I don’t want to put him in the situation to take care of us both, so I had to stand up.

My game plan is to beat the Fibro, the arthritis and hip surgeries. To beat the migraines and the high blood pressure. I need to be strong enough to take care of a sick wife, to spend long hours in the hospital at her bedside, and still have the strength to smile through homework help with the kiddo.

Basically, I need to get my cape out of storage, get it ironed, and learn to wear it, full time!

I know lots of you do this very thing, day after day. You have ill spouses, special needs children, mothers and father who don’t know who you are anymore. You work your asses off every day to bring light.

I read your stories, I cry with you. I also learn from you.

I learn how to be strong from you too. Since I have started working out, I have met lots of strong men and women who’s stories would break your heart, and yet, they lift me up, and I learn how to live grace, and how to be the strength my family needs.

So, this is where you find me today. Let’s move forward together, stronger, smarter and healthier.


How to Crank It Up!

Hi Everyone, time for an update if sorts.

I’m about 10 pounds down, with 10 more to go on my original goal of a 20 pound loss.  I’m not 20 anymore (or 30, or 40) so it doesn’t fall off, it have to be pushed, pull, beaten and cajoled off my bones!

I have a good rhythm on food. Four days camping meant a not-so-strict adherence to the diet, but no regrets, and I am back on track today!

After reviewing my FitBit tracker history, I have upped my daily step goal from 5k to 6k, minimum 3 miles a day. I think I can maintain 6k with a bit more effort! The chart shows my progress since January!


Although I really don’t feel particularly stronger, my endurance level has improved. I was able to ride my motorcycle for a 3 hour stretch yesterday. I haven’t been able to do that in a long while (and missed many club rides because of it), so I felt really good when it dawned on me that I hadn’t had a break in a while!

I also felt less anxiety about riding this trip. I love to ride, but as my health declined, so did my confidence.

My Fibromyalgia doctor changed my sleep medications last week in an effort for me to get more rest. I think it has helped both physically and mentally!

I need to continue with what I am doing now of course, but I am also looking for a very beginner way to start lifting a little weight. I think the added muscle will help me “crank-up” the metabolism, and improve balance. I do not think I am strong enough to restart T25, although it beckons me daily! Soon Shaun T, soon!

As a final note, I’ll add my Quit Meter;

2 years, 10 months, 30 days nicotine free!!!!!

Have a wonderful week!


Orthorexia. Am I aspiring to another disorder?

Staying in the right mindset, I was reading a fitness magazine this morning and came across this. Yeah, I know, too much of a good thing is not a good thing, or so they say.

However, in a world where Ramen Noodles, Hostess Cakes and Pepsi are often a shopping cart staples, I think more of us could aspire to this problem.

Orthorexia: The New Eating Disorder?

You decide. I’m not there yet, but I’ll let you know if it crops up!


Sitting, too long!

This is a quick post, mostly so I remember to look at these.

Work EZ Standing Desk

If you have an opinion, please, please share. I think I need one that can be quickly converted from sitting to standing, so that I can get used to it. Always up might not work for me, and always down isn’t.

Tell me, it standing really better for us? What about production workers, ticket takers, and all the others that stand all day long? Don’t they suffer foot, leg, hip and back problems?

These “desk raisers” costs anywhere from $120 to $400 dollars, and my budget is very limited, so let me know your experiencing with these!


p.s. Just found this article, Sitting at work is bad, but is standing actually better? I don’t know what to think yet, but it’s focus is not on either, but on movement!


The Nutritional Value of Egg Whites Versus Egg Yolks: What Do You Use?

I guess its the fact that Easter is just around the corner, as I can’t get my brain off the egg!

As I sat at my desk eating my breakfast of one hard boiled egg, with one banana, I decided to find out exactly what it is I am eating! In my search, I found this very helpful article by Grace Derocha.

The Nutritional Value of Egg Whites Versus Egg Yolks: What Do You Use?.

Good info on that little egg, and what you are getting out of each little package.

I have looked at the info, and so far, I think the egg, the whole egg, stays as the foundation to my food intake for the day!

I still have 3 questions:

  1. I’m ignorant about digestible proteins. What are digestible proteins, and are the eggs proteins digestible?
  2. Inflammatory response. Do eggs cause an inflammatory response in the body?
  3. Eggs and their effects on IBS, good bad or ugly?

That’s it. I’ll leaving you with this riddle from The Hobbit.

Bilbo asks;

A box without hinges, key or lid,
Yet golden treasure inside is hid.

Answer: Egg

Have a great day friends!


Fresh eggs vs store bought? Here is a video on store bought,  and here is a video on farm fresh eggs. I have never done a taste test, but I buy fresh when I can!


Not giving up!

So, I went to educate myself during lunch, after the whole egg on my face thing, and found this:

“That means, you find a healthy, clean diet that works for you and you follow it religiously and every day. What sinks most Americans is their belief that they are “entitled” to dietary exceptions. As we get older, our body is much less forgiving of these excursions. Your body has become intolerant to modern foodstuffs and most particularly to sugars, starches and grains. If you knew that your knee were very damaged and would need surgery if you ran on it, would you feel “entitled” to go out for a five mile jog? You are over 50 years old so time to stop being controlled by a cookie. Been there, done that with cake, cookies, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, sugar, junk food. You can grow up and eat clean. But once you do it…..DO IT. Don’t stop doing it just because it’s your dog’s birthday.”

See more here!

I’m going to be spending a lot of time on this site! She may be the kick in the pants I need! 😉 I especially liked this part, let’s read it again!

“You are over 50 years old so time to stop being controlled by a cookie. Been there, done that with cake, cookies, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, sugar, junk food. You can grow up and eat clean. But once you do it…..DO IT. Don’t stop doing it just because it’s your dog’s birthday.”


A place to relax

Relaxing is not a strong point with me. I have to keep moving, to get it all done. That said, My family and I planted a place where we could come home and garden a bit in the evenings. It will serve 3 purposes, it will keep me outside “doing”, relax us, cause gardening does that, and provide tomatoes, peppers and pretty flowers!

This year, we installed a small (50 gallon) rainwater collection tank close by, so getting water to the garden will be much easier.

Our 2015 garden
Our 2015 garden

We added the cute little truck this year. The wheels spin, and the noise is supposed to keep the birds away. Last year, we lost almost all of our tomatoes to birds and the intense summer heat. This year, I am going to build a net with PVC and solar screening. I’ll post it once I get it sketched!

Have a great Monday, feel free to relax in my garden!



Consistency, that is what I am striving for.

With Wednesday’s little health hiccup, I am reminded again that I have Fibromyalgia. Doesn’t matter what I think about this “condition”, there are real symptoms and real consequences to not being consistent in my health practices.

After speaking to the doctor on Wednesday, I learned that I had a “reaction” to the antibiotics I am taking for last weeks sinus infection, which has caused a bit of fluid to gather in my lungs. This makes me short of breath, and is painful. Add to that a “Fibro Flare” and I was wiped out.

Did not get my 5K steps in, did not eat well, did not get my fluids.

That left me holding the bag on Thursday. For you who don’t have any experience with Fibro, it’s like this. If you want to have a normal day, you have to be very consistant with what you eat, drink and how you exercise every single day, otherwise, you suffer with exhaustion and pain and a host of other things that go with it.
On the occasions you wake pain free, you want to run faster and climb higher, you want to hike and play and be the person that can and does everything! You want to throw open the windows and clean the house till it shines. But, if you don’t reign yourself in, you will pay for all your exuberance! You.will.hurt.
Wednesday, I was in a great deal of pain. I spent hours deciding, do I take half of a pain pill and get some relief now, and suffer the dreaded IBS symptoms for a week? Or, just tough it out, again.

After a time of living with this, you enter the cycle I am currently trying to get out of. Feel good=Do everything! = pay for it = 😦

This is how I am trying to break the cycle;

-Minimum 5K steps per day. I have been checking my FitBit at about 7 each night, and then if nothing else, I get on the elliptical to meet my goal, then often crawl into bed from there.

-Healthy, high fiber, high protein, clean food every day (often IBS is a complication of Fibro)

-Lots of water 64oz. per day. min.

-Supplement Vitamin D, and get outside more every day. I always have low vitamin D levels, and am tested twice a year. Who knows whether it’s the Arthritis or the Fibromyalgia that causes that deficiency.

Everyone should practice my routine, I know, but these simple things can be very challenging for me. When I feel bad, I want comfort food, not another helping of brussel sprouts (yeah, I love brussel sprouts, but they are not as much comfort as a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich followed by ice cream). When I feel bad, I do NOT want to go walk another 1600 steps because I haven’t moved much today, and I do not want 64 oz. of water if I’m not doing anything physically.

So, consistency. I have to do these minimum things every single day so that I do not continue to decline.

Have a consistent day my friends!


My happy place