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do you feel like you’re starting over?

Posted by on Jun 14, 2018 in ChronicBabe Basics, coping, featured, Kick-Ass Sick Chick, resilience | 1 comment

The other day, I sent an #AWAPwednesday email (sign up here if you’re not getting them) about “starting over” when we have chronic illness, and I think the piece belongs here, too. Here it is, copied and pasted, for your enjoyment: i’m back in the gym today for the first time in many months, and it’s ROUGH. like, tears started to flow while i was stretching. i didn’t cry from pain after my 10 minutes on the treadmill. i didn’t cry from stiffness while i did 15 minutes of yoga. i started to cry from frustration, as i realized it felt so much like i was starting over. i remember vividly what it felt like 6 months ago to hit the gym 4 or 5 times a week, doing 30 minutes of cardio and another 25 of yoga. it felt AWESOME. i felt like an athlete again, something that was a big part of my identity until i got sick 20 years ago. today, i didn’t feel that way at all. i felt schlumpy; my gym clothes are extra-snug because i put on 15 lbs in recent months. i felt kinda pathetic; my workout was so short. i felt frustrated; why did i have to endure such a long flare-up, when i had been doing so well for a long time? it felt like i was starting over.   the truth is: i’m NOT starting over. as much as it feels like i’m brand-new at being in the gym, that’s not true. and i think talking this through will help YOU get some ideas for how you can reframe the newbie feeling when you’re coming back from a flare-up or a big life change. here are some realities: i’ve been here many times before; i know the machines, how to use them, where they are, which ones aren’t good for me. this is not new. while i was all quivery today, there were times in my life when i was strong, and i can get that way again. my experience has shown me i can come back over and over, as long as my head is in the game. – speaking of my head, it’s okay to have emotions about coming back. no one cared that i was teary-eyed on the floor mat – no one was staring at me, judging me. it was all in my head. so i can tell that self-critical voice to shut up. i’ve learned a lot from flare-ups. i’ve been reminded over and over that no matter how fit i am, nothing is completely in my control; keeping that in mind will help me as i come back. it’s not going to be...

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Noelle Janka: Despite Chronic Illness, She’s Crafted a Career That Helps Others

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in featured, inspiration, Kick-Ass Sick Chick | 0 comments

It’s always great to meet a fellow ChronicBabe who’s managed to craft a career despite serious illness. Noëlle Janka is that kind of woman; she lives with chronic lyme disease and a couple other health challenges, but she’s still managed to find a way to work and help people. We interviewed each other last week about our work and other pursuits. Here’s my interview with her…I hope you’ll find it interesting and perhaps get inspired! One of the things Noëlle offers is group coaching, which I think is a great idea for those of us who have mega-high health care costs and limited money to spend on other things. She also has a thriving yoga practice. Now, before you flinch—yoga kind of gets a bad rap—you should know that we talked a lot about how yoga is more than just the poses. It’s a practice that includes mindfulness, breathing, awareness, grounding…it’s so fully encompassing, and customizable for your needs. And Noëlle also interviewed me! Here’s that interview. A Kick-Ass Woman with Chronic Illness Know another cool woman with chronic illness who I should interview? Let me know – jump in the comments below to share your ideas. Thanks! …and if you want to read another interview with someone super-cool, check out my conversation with Mary England from...

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