Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Gut Biota

In the last several months, I have developed swelling and discomfort in my hands and wrists as well as some swelling in my feet. The swelling later turned to numbness and tingling in my fingers. I have been told I have carpal tunnel syndrome and need to see a hand surgeon to determine if surgery is necessary to relieve the tension in the median nerve in the wrist which innervates movement in the fingers. I am in the process of being worked up by a rheumatologist to determine the cause of the swelling and tingling. She thinks that these symptoms are consistent with mild rheumatoid arthritis, yet wants to do a bit more testing to be sure.

My functioning has been seriously impacted by these new symptoms. Even lifting a glass, making a fist, and brushing my teeth are painful. When I sleep, pulling up the covers and re-adjusting the pillows causes me pain, which awakens me several times each night.

Research from the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic suggest that rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory process and an autoimmune disease, meaning the body stages an attack on itself. In this case, the attack leads to swelling and bone erosion and deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause difficulty with the skin, the lungs, the heart, the eyes, and the blood vessels.

Dr Taneja (2016), an immunologist, has uncovered the link between rheumatoid arthritis and gut bacteria. By treating leaky gut, rheumatoid arthritis can be avoided. Leaky gut is indeed the culprit of many autoimmune diseases. So it all really comes back to what you put in your mouth!

I am rather astounded by the fact that the old sayings are true “we are what we eat”, and “our bodies are our temples.” It is our job to fix ourselves. The sooner we take on that responsibility the sooner we will begin to feel better and live better lives.

Given that I am not only doubly, but likely triply blessed with three autoimmune diseases, namely fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and presumably rheumatoid arthritis, I really need to take care of my micro biota. Dr Mark Hyman told me that those with one autoimmune disease are likely to develop more over time. I am obviously displaying this pattern quite clearly. The only way to reverse the tide is to treat the gut by eating the right foods, avoiding the rest and consuming the supplements that are needed. I truly have my work cut out for me.

What about you? Do you have any autoimmune diseases? Do they run in your family? Are you willing to contact a functional medicine doctor and treat your gut micro biota as a means of disease management or prevention? What holds you back? This seems to be the hottest new tip in medicine and it puts all the control at your finger tips, literally!

What you eat determines the health of your micro biota. The health of your gut micro biota determines how well you feel day in and day out. It’s easy! Eat clean! Avoid processed foods and eat whole foods. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Skip the sugar, or at least consume it in moderation.

Think back to what your grandma ate. It was more than likely much more wholesome than the general fare most Americans eat today. Grandma likely ate better than you eat today. What was on grandma’s plate? Can you duplicate this? Are you willing to get back in the kitchen and prepare more of your own meals just like grandma did? If not why not? Are you really willing to sacrifice your health and your family’s health just because you think you don’t have the time to cook? Make cooking a priority.

How can you clean up your own micro biota? What three changes are you willing to commit to today? Now make sure you don’t short change yourself! What can you do today that you are willing to duplicate tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and so on? Make a positive change today, and then make that change a habit!

Speak Soon!

Lisa

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written In My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

Eating Clean

There are all kinds of regimens designed to help you lose weight or change your relationship with food. The one that grabs me lately is the notion of eating clean. When you eat clean, you try to eat unprocessed foods and leave the rest behind. Simply said, you eat whole foods. You will read labels and try to make sure that you know what every ingredient is. If it has items that you can’t even pronounce, you might want to skip consuming it.

In the process of eating clean, you will attempt to buy organic whenever you can. Organic foods have more vitamins and micro and macro nutrients in them. These elements are simply not duplicated in non-organic foods. Your body knows the difference!

Eating organic may be a struggle at first. Start by introducing one or two organic foods to you grocery basket, your kitchen and your palette weekly. As you adjust, build it up and purchase more organic foods when you can. When you can’t find organic, don’t sweat it. Buy industrially farmed foods, but begin to make buying organic a priority overtime.

While eating clean, it is okay to make certain compromises, but stick to the rules you design about what is okay to eat and what is not okay to eat. Notice the concept of eating clean will vary a bit from person to person or kitchen to kitchen, but many similarities will exist. Deciding to eat clean will become a way of life based on the values you have decided to act on over and over again. These ways of behaving will become habitual, even second nature overtime. What was once a strain to engage in will become completely normal.

There may be certain foods you decide you want to avoid and others that you cannot live without. So for example, you may decide to go lactose free, yet may decide grains and gluten are for you. So in the spirit of eating clean, you will not use processed white flour, but instead cook with wholewheat, or buckwheat flour and add almond milk, when you make pancakes. On the other hand, you might nix all salt and animal protein. So you’ll skip meat, fish and fowl, opting for more grains and nut butters or legumes as your plant sources for protein. Just remember you can eat clean with a variety of twists!

Nonetheless if you are eating clean, you will use potatoes from the ground to make potatoe soup, and not rely on soup, which comes from a can by Campbell’s Soup or some of their competitors, or soup that comes in the form of powder in a pouch. You may make your own stock or buy it at the store, but buyer beware! Look at all the ingredients. The less ingredients, the better. You may add raw spices, when possible from the garden, garlic, chives, basil, rosemary oh my! These home grown spices are far preferable to those chemical creations found in small bottles in most stores. The potatoes you purchase will be organic, and not individually wrapped. Individually wrapped potatoes tend to have been sprayed with chemicals, before they are wrapped to reduce sprouting.

You will choose organic carrots, when possible, and always choose long carrots over baby carrots, which are not grown in the ground, but processed and bromated from carrot pieces.

When eating the dirty dozen, you will try to buy organic and take the time to clean your fruits accordingly to remove unwanted residue from pesticides. Food preparation is important.

You will make every attempt to get to know local farmers from whom you source as much food as possible. You will talk to them about how they farm organically. If organic is not their way, you will find another farmer in the area to shop from.

Your diet will not necessarily be raw, but it will be free of chemicals and antibiotics. You will choose organic butter and meats that are lean and antibiotic free. You will opt for eggs from chickens that are not only raised cage free, but also pasture fed. Purchasing a higher quality egg will never lead you astray.

When you purchase organic or chemical, pesticide and antibiotic free, you invest in yourself. If you don’t think you and your family are worth it, no one will!

If you want to eat this way and make it a priority, it will affect what you purchase and how you prepare your food. Priorities like these, pay dividends overtime. You will likely notice health benefits over the long haul.

Are you as intrigued by eating clean as I am? What would be important to you in this journey? Write down four things you would be sure to follow on a regular basis. What is most important to you? Can you write down the gist of what your eating clean regimen would like like? Can you write out a three day or week long food plan which incorporates your new eating clean concepts?

If you are ready to be in conversation on a regular basis about eating clean, contact me to set up an initial health coaching call. I would love to support your movement in that direction.

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching a Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom by Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Hts, OH

Three Ways to Reduce Stress that Might Cause Overeating

Many things cause us to feel stress. It could be that promotion your boss has dangled over your head, contingent on performing well on your next big project. It could be that lingering divorce you are trying to get through. It could be the ninth time your young child belts out M-O-M! It could be fighting between your children. It could be demands from your husband to have the house clean and dinner on the table, when he arrives home. It could be dwindling finances and difficulty making ends meet. It could be that time of the month and it just might be trying to make care arrangements for your aging mother, who now depends on you, like you once depended on her.

As most of you know, stress can cause us to overeat when we least expect it. You might find yourself tiptoeing down to the icebox in the middle of the night, not because you are hungry, but because you are searching for something. Goodness knows you won’t find that special something in the fridge, but you will search away, putting everything in your mouth to determine for sure that it is not the thing that will quell your desire. Stress and over eating are undeniably linked. If you take the time throughout your day and throughout your week and on the weekends as well, to engage in stress reduction activities, you will reduce your need to overeat in response to stress. Self care is really important. If you don’t remember to engage in self care, no one will do it for you.

No matter where the stress comes from, it’s important for you to know how to deal with. Stress leads to high cortisol levels, which if prolonged creates damage your health. You can engage in mini breaks several times daily, you can have daily rituals, which help you decompress and some activities for stress reduction may have to take place over the weekend, when you have more time.

Never forget to take mini breaks throughout the course of your day. A mini break doesn’t take long, but can clearly shift the overall tone of your day. You might stop to pet your cat for 5 to 10 minutes. You might engage in some deep belly breathing every hour on the hour and you might get up and take a quick walk down the hall or down the street, if you can manage it. The change of scenery will do you a world of good. Taking in some fresh air and focusing on something new can give you the lift you need to move forward and break through that problem solving that you are currently in the midst of. Even though you are looking at something new, another part of your brain might still be working on the problem at hand and a solution might evolve, nearly out of thin air, owing to your new perspective.

If you work at home, you might take a quick utilitarian break. You might break to wash the dishes in the sink, or put a load of laundry in the washing machine. You might buzz up to the bank to pick up some extra cash, or deposit the checks that have collected. You might even take the dogs for a quick spin around the block. If you work out of the home, you can still take a utilitarian break to go to the post office, or make a few quick calls to schedule an appointment with the dentist or hairdresser.

Obviously, there are some more time consuming things you can do to reduce stress, like take a walk every morning, or every evening. You might head for the gym, after work, but before going home for the evening. You might schedule a weekly massage at home or at your masseuse’s location, and you might elect to play tennis with good friends. You might pack a lunch and go swimming on your lunch hour to get you ready for the rest of your work day.

Weekends are special. At least part of your weekend should be devoted to self care. You might hike in the woods or the mountains on the weekends. You might go skiing, or play paddle ball, or squash with a friend. You might go surfing or sailing. You might take in 9 holes of golf. You might stroll through a museum!

If these things aren’t your cup of tea, perhaps you like nothing more than heading to the store, purchasing great foods and going back home and cooking them up. Many people find cooking to be relaxing and fun.

Self care and stress reduction can be physical, but they don’t have to be. You might like to read mysteries or history books, or write poetry or pursue a creative endeavor. You might like jewelry making, pottery, needlepoint, even scrap booking. You might like playing the piano, the violin or the guitar. All of these things engage the mind, help to pass the time and provide pleasure. Some are solitary and others are done in groups. Of course, gathering with friends and family can be a great source of stress reduction. You choose the type of activity that makes the most sense for you. All of these are forms of stress reduction.

Take out a pice of paper or grab your tablet or phone and make a note regarding what type of mini break you engage in regularly and what type you want to commit to doing regularly as of today. Next think of what you do daily now and what you might like to start doing daily starting today. Finally, note how you take care of yourself on the weekends to create a sense of overall wellness. Next write down what types of activities would you like to build into your busy weekend schedule to reduce stress and promote wellness?

If you would like to work through these and have a coach to hold you accountable to your new commitments contact me and we can range a time to meet. Remember you are never to young to begin a self care routine.

I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Best,

Lisa

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights Ohio

Prochaska’s Transtheoretical Model of Change

Some of you may have heard of Prochaska and his model of change somewhere in your travels. What follows is a refresher of his his model or in some cases a fist presentation.

Prochaska contends that change follows a several step model of change that is essentially the same for everyone! He explains that you start at Precontemplation. This is when you are not even aware you have a problem. You are actually in denial that anything is wrong. You are eating away at your favorite buffet and eating everything your heart desires, without a care in the world. In fact you go back for seconds and heaven forbid thirds! Oh my! Your belly is sagging and your back hurts, and you have ongoing gas and bloating after you eat. I wonder why! That’s Precontemplation.

Contemplation is when you are seriously questioning whether or not you would like to make a change. During contemplation you may be weighing the pros and cons related to create the change you are considering. So you are considering the trade offs. What do you have to give up to get what you want and is it worth it in the end. So here you might consider is it worth it to give up sundaes, cupcakes and Chinese almond cookies, along with French fries and chicken wings, not to mention chocolate chip pancakes smothered in maple syrup or eggs Benedict and hash browns, in order to feel better or sport that new figure on the beach, and spare yourself diseases associated with our preferred food regimen such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and auto-immune disorders to name a few.

Preparation is the stage in which you are actively getting ready to engage in new behaviors to lead to a new result. So you are going to plan on what combination of exercise and diet you will pursue to effect change and build a body that you prefer as compared to what you already have. In this phase, you might be clearing out your pantry and your refrigerator. You might create meal plans for the week and you may be researching several of the numerous dieting options out there, in order to select the one you plan to pursue. You may even go out and purchase a new pair of tennis shoes, a new work out outfit or a new bathing suit. You might even purchase a membership to a new sports club.

Action is the stage in which you actually begin to set the plan in motion. Once in the action stage, daily you are engaging in new behaviors designed to help you reach your ultimate goal over time. In this stage, you may grocery shop in a new way. You might, for example, choose to shop the perimeter of the store and forgo what’s in the middle. You might check over your cart before heading over to the cashier. When you recheck your cart, you can remove those items that are not in line with your new diet plan. You may weigh yourself to get a baseline weight. You may bake your chicken, instead of frying it. You may eat berries, instead of more traditional and fattening desserts. You may serve yourself on smaller plates. You might intentionally push yourself away from the table, before you even feel full, knowing your brain takes time to process your food and send out signals of satiety or fullness.

In the maintenance stage of change, you are cruising along without much difficulty in maintaining the changes. However, you are still at risk for relapse.

Once you hit termination, the changes you have made have become ingrained habits and are truly second nature. You are no longer craving foods you once ate religiously, and might in fact find your new way of eating preferable to your old habits which got you into quite a bit of trouble. At termination, you no longer need a cheerleader at your side urging you to make the best choice. You make the decision effectively without deliberation and are comfortable with your new normal which is really now just becoming old hat. Wouldn’t you just give about anything to be at termination regarding the change that is knocking on your brain right now? I know I would.

Where are you regarding creating positive changes in your life?

Precontemplation
Contemplation
Preparation
Action
Maintenance
Termination

Do you think you could reach goals faster, quicker and with less stress, if you hired a health coach to work with you? Of course, reaching your goal faster, quicker and with less stress can’t be guaranteed, but that is generally the idea behind coaching. Many can reach their goals more efficiently with coaching, than if they go it alone.

Adding a coach to the mix might be the new ingredient that might make this attempt different from the rest. Perhaps by being accountable to someone else, you just might do a better job sticking to your promises and thereby reach that goal you so desire. Do you think it’s worth a try? Only you know for sure! You are the expert on you. If you are one of the ones that feels it’s time to ramp up your efforts and hire a coach, you can reach me to schedule an initial session through Contact Lisa.

Best,

Lisa

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

If You Fail, Do You Throw In The Towel?

I’ve really been through the ringer this last year. I had major back surgery, including three separate procedures at L4 L5 in May 2015, and then total knee replacement in January of 2016.

In December 2015, I had 3 kidney stones in 2 weeks, with 3 more ready to pop. I discovered the diet I was on was causing the kidney stones and clearly not going to work for me, medically speaking. Surely, I could lose weight quickly on it, but it is not even remotely sustainable.

I lost 30 pounds in a few months and was thrilled. Then I had the obstacle of surgery, a hospital stay and a period of time when I couldn’t shop for myself or cook for myself. That was a challenge that I thought I could manage.

Long story short, I was very self indulgent and gained back 20 pounds. I feel heavier and sloppier now, than I did when I started, even though I weigh 10 pounds less! Funny how that works! I did that thing no one wants to do. Therefore, I will be retracing my steps once again, as I prepare to slide down the scale again, yet plan for a different outcome, when I get to where I am going!

This losing and regaining is referred to in the popular culture as yo-yo dieting. It is clearly not something I am proud of. Back in the day, when I lost weight, I kept it off for years. So what the heck is going on? I promise to come clean with the truth, when I figure it out.

What I did learn recently is that successful people are more able to handle or cope with the stress of failure. They seem to be more resilient and doggedly pursue their goal. They won’t accept failure as an end game. Once they get a bee in their bonnet, nothing can deter their determination. What would be failure with a capital F for some, is simply a setback, an obstacle or a road block for those successful types, who tolerate failure well.

I, for one, have decided to be one of those types who won’t take no for an answer. This recently gained weight, will not be my end game. I am going to get back on the horse and ride!

Indeed, I will need to chose an alternate path to success, but that is part of the fun of it! Remember, necessity is the mother of invention. As the prior eating regimen did not suffice, I will choose an alternate route. Once I have another clearly defined roadmap, I will share that with you in another post.

With this new knowledge under my cap, regarding successful people and their ease with failure, I am ready to leap toward the task before me, and save myself from any further damage. Let’s see how I do. Today, was the day I became completely aware of what had happened. That occurred simply by summoning up the courage to jump on the scale. That was the moment of reckoning.

I am three months out after my knee replacement and ready to walk through the neighborhood or the woods with the dogs, as a delightful form of exercise. I am no longer in the throws of recovery. I am largely beyond that now! Yippee! Time to let it rip and get back on track. No excuses.

So where have you been messing up? What responsibilities toward your body and yourself have you been shirking? Is it time to address those issues, or do you need to get further on down the pike with some other projects, before you can get back to brass tacks, and down to the business of taking care of you and your body?

Can you really afford to put it off? What might creep up that you would regret, if you continue to look in the other direction? Are you really willing to take that risk? Are you a gambling guy or gal? Do you really want to gamble here? Are you sure? Hold it right there. Take a minute right now. Take a few deep breaths and ask yourself again, are you willing to put it off, and continue to gamble with your health? A few of you may have just realized how valuable your health really is. You may be in the process at this very moment of formulating new plans, regarding how you can get back on track.

If you plan to put it off for awhile, what’s the time frame for getting back on track? What makes sense? Can you make a promise to yourself and keep it? Are you high enough up on your list of priorities to tackle your issue in the time frame you set forth today?

Okay, get out paper and pen or your phone or tablet and put in writing what you’ve been avoiding and when you will pick up the pieces in earnest. Make sure to date your writing. Put this somewhere where you will run into it again. Mark your calendar clearly when the kickoff of this new project will be. Be tactical. Develop a strategy or two to tip the scales toward success. Write those strategies down. Will you enlist a friend to join you in your quest or do you do better when you go it alone? If you are tackling it alone, can you monitor your progress, in writing, in order to keep your eyes on the prize?

What techniques have you used in the past when you’ve worked on similar projects that have put you in good stead? Are they applicable here? Any new and brainy ideas that you want to try this time around that you’ve never used before? What are they? Can you put those methods down here, so as not to lose sight of them?

Though your journey may be long, know that I am out here urging you along through the cosmos. Reach out through contact Lisa, if that feels too far away. Then we can talk through all the nitty gritty, to get you on your feet and moving. I look forward to hearing from those who want to reach out.

All my best,

Lisa

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks!
A Single Mom By Choice of Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Hts, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

Physical Therapy After Total Knee Replacement

Physical therapy is really what it’s all about after total knee replacement. You really have to trust yourself and keep up with your exercises after total knee replacement. You want to get that flexion and extension to where it needs to be and it will only happen with hard work.

After my total knee replacement surgery, I had physical therapy the day of the surgery. I was up and walking the day of surgery. The surgery was in the morning and I was walking that afternoon around 4:00 PM. Heck, no rest for the weary! The next, day I was walking up and down stairs. That was fantastic! I was not going to be limited to one floor post op. On the fourth day, I went home to begin my long recuperation. For the first three weeks, I had a physical therapis come to my home to work with me. Then I had a driver escort me back and forth from treatment and by the fifth week, I was driving myself back and forth from physical therapy.

I am now about three months out and doing fairly well. I am having trouble with a suture reaction, but that will resolve itself overtime. It is seen frequently and is not much to worry about.

So the flexion and extension that is measured at every visit with the physical therapist as a marker of progress has to be achieved before your body shuts down and change can no longer occur. You see you have a certain window during which the exercises can affect your ultimate outcome from the total knee replacement. The more you work it, the greater your flexibility will be for the life of your replacement unit! So don’t forget to work it.

For extension, my primary tool is a rolled up yoga mat with the plastic wrap still on it. I lay in bed with the mat at the end of the bed with my ankle resting on the mat. I flex my quads and hold for five seconds, then release. I do this over and over while watching TV and taking care that my foot does not roll outward, like a duck. If anything, you want the knee to roll in toward the other knee. Then you press downward and try to get that knee as flat as possible. Having a leg that straightens out fully is important for walking.

For flexion, you start with knee slides. You will sit in a chair with a rag under your foot. On a wooden, or tiled floor you will slide your foot out and back. You can do this same movement while laying on the floor with your butt a foot or so away from the wall. Again with a rag or pillow case under your foot, you will slide your foot up and down the wall. If need be, you will use your other foot as a weight to help the operative leg to slide further down and then hold while you count to five. Then release and move leg and foot back up the wall. You can also do knee slides in bed, while lying down. Don’t forget you can use the non operative foot to press Your other ankle back, to give your operative knee a better stretch!

I also like to use my bar chair for flexion. I have noticed that with my non operative leg I can flip my foot around the back of the bar down below. So I feel like I should ultimately be able to do this same maneuver with my foot on the operative side. At first, it was quite a feat just to get my foot on the bar and hold it to stetch out the knee while watching TV. Later the job was to push my foot farther and farther backward; first to heel, then to mid foot, later to toes. The thing about this chair is the bar lets me know exactly where I am at with moving the process forward. I am sure you will find your own favorite techniques, as you approach your own quest toward greater mobility post total knee replacement.

Have you ever been through a round of physical therapy? What tips or tricks did you use? What advice do you have for others who are just beginning physical therapy?

If you think you would benefit from enlisting someone to talk you through the process and hold you accountable, contact me and we can schedule a time to talk.

All my best to you,

Lisa

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach from Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

What Emotions Emerge For You During A Relapse?

Relapse is difficult. It causes you to watch your gains slip away, like sand sifting through your fingers at the beach. Sometimes it feels like you just can’t stop the repercussions. It’s as though all the good that came before can’t be maintained. Stopping the damage may be nowhere in sight. The big fear that is lurking in the background is: what if I end up fatter than I was before? It’s confusing too, because it seems like you’ve lost all control. And how can that be when you were eating so clean for so long? The juxtaposition of the two, train wreck versus clean eating is stunning. You had been so virtuous for so long, and now the converse is true. You eat whatever appeals, no holds bar.

So what emotions appear as you stumble, no fall into the abyss? Of course as mentioned above there is fear, but there is also mounting shame with each pound gained. Disrespect for yourself emerges as you pull out pants you thought you’d never need again. Thank goodness you never got around to tossing them. Then there’s the sorrow of the dream lost or fallen from your grasp. There is also regret. Regret that you couldn’t just maintain the gains you’d achieved. Couldn’t you have simply stopped losing and just remained on a grand plateau. That would have been nice. At least nicer than the glacial slide that’s been occurring. So just to review some of the emotions that accompany relapse include fear, shame, regret, sorrow. Sounds pretty miserable.

Have you experienced some of these emotions? Do you have lack of regard for yourself or suffer from low self esteem as your weight loss achievement eludes you and slips away? Think of five adjectives that ring true for you to describe what you have been experiencing during your relapse?

What caused your relaps? When did you chuck it all and really let go? When did you really dig in and start dishing up your favorites, despite promises to yourself to refrain? Why did you let yourself go for so long? Did it seem like it happened while you weren’t looking? When did you notice things where slipping? Did you experience self revulsion or self hate? Did those feelings cause you to eat even more? Did you experience despair as you began your ascent up the scale? Did you feel out of control? How did you feel as your body morphed back to where it had been?

What is the best thing you can do to catch yourself and stop the damage? Can you set a date when you will commence eating in a self respecting manner again? Can you clean out your pantry once again. Can you shop with control on your side? Perhaps go through the store with restraint, and then before entering the check out line, review what is in your cart, and then remove any items that don’t measure up to your standards of healthy eating. When you go home develop some healthy menus for the next few days, and then cook and eat with care. You could concentrate on no seconds and serving your food on slightly smaller plates. Did you know that your plate and bowl size severely impacts the amount of food you dish out? If you don’t have any smaller dishes you might want to consider investing in some.

How are you going to handle the set of emotions on your plate? You will have to find a way to soothe or baby yourself without incorporating food in that plan. It is as if the relapse has made you sick or depressed, and you must first deal with those emotions, before you can truly get better. The actions of beginning to retrace your steps and start losing again will help, but you will have to forgive yourself for the damage that’s been done, as you frittered away your gains. You will have to see your losses on the scale in a more sacred manner in the future, and covet them. You will have to see them worthy of protection and sacrifice.

How will you start to forgive yourself? Forgiveness is truly key here. Perhaps you can remember you are only human! This weight loss thing and letting go of sugar and carbs (or whatever it is for you, dairy and gluten or is it meat), is all gargantuan! It’s a tough road, but a worthy journey. Those who avoid certain cravings often live longer, as a result of their reduced size. Those who avoid foods they have sensitivities to, often live better. So don’t be afraid to re-double your efforts and strike out once again to slay that dragon. I say go for it. Do what you can. This just might be your lucky attempt. The one that brings you the joys that you seek. So make a plan and stick to it. And don’t forget to work on those emotions too. They lurk in the background and likely will affect you in a negative manner, if you don’t tend to them.

Best to you,

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach form Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

When Should You Go Off Pain Medication after TKR?

I’ve had quite a few surgeries to date. Generally, when I go home, I go off all pain medications straight away. I did the same with the total knee replacement (TKR) I had in January. But turns out, that’s not the way they do it! Shortly after being free and clear of the pain medication, I was told by the physical therapists that I needed to stay on the medication for the therapy to work. I was like, “Huh? You’ve got to be kidding me!”

I got with the program and went back on my medication as suggested. I then went off it a few more times just to be told it was premature and that I needed to go back on the medication. They had put me on oxycodone and hydrocodone and that stuff is just not to be played with! It’s highly addictive and just the type of opioid medication that has lead many to become addicts, even though that clearly was not their intention, at the outset. I was leery! But I got through it! I wish someone had explained this part of the process to me, in advance.

Clearly my modus operandi, of getting off pain medications ASAP, did not work in this arena. I too had to learn to be more patient. I had to go against what I thought was the best practice. In essence, I had to learn a new trick, and learn I did.

I hope you too are not too rigid to learn new things, when life necessitates it. I hope I remember this lesson, when I face total knee replacement 2 head on!

All my best!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach form Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

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Total Knee Replacement – What a Trip!

It’s been 9 weeks since my surgery and I am beginning to sense that my new knee is my good knee! It used to be that my left knee was my good knee and my right was my bad knee, so don’t you know it that I replaced the right knee. Just after 2 months out, my new knee is becoming my “good knee” and my formerly good knee is becoming my “bad knee.” Crazy huh? Well that is rapid recovery after total knee replacement (TKR). They call TKR a super surgery! I had physical therapy the day of my surgery. You heard that right! The same day I had surgery, they had me up and walking and the next day they had me walking up and down stairs! It was truly remarkable.

There was plenty of icing too! The swelling was just what you’d imagine! The fact that he swelling takes 3 – 6 months to resolve itself was the true surprise! Consequently, the icing continued well after the 4 days in the hospital. Indeed the icing continued for weeks with concomitant nose of above toes 3 times a day for 20 minutes a pop! Having someone to drag the ice to me and prop me up was key in my recovery!

I had a few weeks of in home physical therapy and then had someone drive me to therapy for a few weeks, until I could drive on my own.

All of the therapy basically hurts. They hurt you to help you along. Trust me it’s not for the faint of heart! But it is doable! The more you push the flexion and extension, the greater the range of movement you’ll have in the end. At first, it doesn’t feel like anything is going to budge. You are just stuck at a plateau and seems like you’ve ruined yourself! Then all of a sudden your efforts pay off and you get movement! You move forward a little, and then a little more, and then even a little more! Altogether it makes a big difference. I will never forget when I could finally bend my leg in bed with my knee up and my foot flat. That was a moment. Never felt quite so satisfied with a simple positional difference in bed.

I’ll tell you I really didn’t sleep well until around the 8th week. I just couldn’t figure out what to do with my legs. It was rough! But I got through it!

Have you been putting off a surgery? What stops you dead in your tracks every time you think of the surgery? Is there anyone you need to consult? Remember the decision is yours! Just be sure it’s an informed decision! Do you have a trusted partner or friend who you might be able to confide in to discuss this topic and help you move forward in your process? If not, maybe you can discuss it with someone who had the surgery who might be able to share some insights that you might not be privie to. Just remember try not to be an island! Bouncing ideas off others often helps you to make good decisions!

All my best!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach form Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

How Do You Climb Back On After Falling Of the Wagon?

I had total knee replacement 9 weeks ago, and engaged in numerous indulgences during the last 10 weeks. I realized there was no way around staying on my restrictive diet while in the hospital, but had no intention in doing what I’ve done. It’s been an all out free fall. I have been eating whatever I want without a care in the world and have gained back a significant amount of the 30 pounds I had lost during the last 5 months.

So here I go again. I need to pick up the pieces and begin to eat with dignity once again. I guess I have been horribly disappointed being someone who can’t be on the detox diet owing to kidney stones. Did I mention I had three over the Christmas holiday? So I’ve come to grips with having to supplement fruits, vegetables, protein and fats with grains and legumes. In short, although I can and probably should be on a dairy free diet, Testing shows I have no gluten sensitivity and therefore likely do not need to follow a gluten free diet. Due to my history of kidney stones, I need to eat less animal protein and probably need to consume legumes and grains as an alternate source of a complete protein.

What I need to concentrate on is reducing empty calories and processed foods. The question is how can this be accomplished? I have to go back to Joshua Rosenthal’s concept of “crowding out.” It seems old favorites, like a small handful of nuts, baked beets or baked brussel sprouts with ghee or coconut oil, salads with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, get seemingly forgotten amidst lasagne, submarine sandwiches, BBQ wings, pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs, chips and dip, cakes, cookies, candy and ice cream. Crowding out with more fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains causes you to have less space for foods that are devoid of micro and macro nutrients.

Today I had a salad at lunch along with a fake pizza made with a pice of pita bread, pizza sauce, cheese and salami. The fake pizza was only moderately good. The salad was delicious! Maybe tomorrow I can skip the fake stuff and concentrate on a satisfying salad! I could easily compliment that with a lovely bowl of Madras lentils and end of feeling nourished and full. I think that’s a great plan for tomorrow!

So how about you? How has your eating regimen been going lately? Are you on track? Do you need to straighten up your house a bit? Where will you start? What can you add in that is nutritious and satisfying? Can you think of one meal that would fill that bill that could become a go to meal? How about a menu for a whole day that sticks to your pre-determined standards as to what qualifies as eating well in your eyes.

Did you know that most people stick to about 8 different dinners and then repeat those over and over again. If you could think of 8 lunches and 8 dinners that are healthy according to you and then rotate those you just might be in good stead. Some breakfast seems to be a bit more formulaic for most folks, but you don’t have to be limited. Seems eating well could just come down to developing some basic good habits and several good recipes and then sticking to those. Certainly feel free to being more diverse than these 16 meals. You know what they say. Variety is the spice of life. When it comes to getting all your nutrients a diverse palette is king, so let your creativity take you away. Rely on those 16 menus as old standbys, but feel free to switch it up and try to eat clean while you’re at it!

Why not interview 3 freinds and see what meals they rely on. This might give you a few new ideas. If you aren’t quite that social, check out some cook books or recipes online and see what appeals. Why not attempt to incorporate two new meals this week?

So simple actions like returning to eating old favorites from a clean eating phase of your life will help you to get back to basics and begin your new journey of eating in a manner you find acceptable! Clearing out your pantry of foods that don’t belong there to begin with, may be another activity that will help you get back on track. Doing a bit of research to develop some new menus that are approved by you might also prove helpful. Can you think of any other activities that might help you get back in your own good graces?

You might choose a few weekly activities to pair with your eating regimen that might support developing a healthier lifestyle. Maybe a walk in the woods, or a swim in the lake or a bike ride or perhaps a walk around the block with a friend or loved one. It might be a game of hoops, or a bit of yoga alone or in a group. Lots of people are wearing fitbits these days to track their daily steps. Whatever form of movement compels you the most is the one to go with!

I look forward to connecting with you again in the future!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach form Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!