Inspiration

Liebster Award 2018

Hey guys!

So despite my lack of posting throughout January (being reminded why Fibromyalgia and winter do not mix), I’m delighted to let you know that I have been nominated twice for the Liebster Award 2018, first by Afternoon Tea 4 Two and secondly by Mrs. Ram’s Jams, two great blogs I would thoroughly recommend you pop over to when you have finished reading this post! Thanks for the nominations guys!

leibster award

The purpose of the award, which you have to be nominated for, is to encourage others to discover new blogs that they may find interesting and to congratulate fellow bloggers for their hard work by sharing their blog with your followers in order to boost traffic to their site. This award is especially directed to bloggers with a smaller following than others. So you can imagine I feel very lucky to have been nominated twice.

If you are nominated and you accept you then go on to list 10 random facts about yourself along with answering the 10 questions posed to you by the blogger that nominated you. You then go on to nominate 5-10 bloggers whose blogs you particularly enjoy to continue the chain.

As I received two nominations I am going to choose 5 questions from each blogger, otherwise you may get bored reading 20 answers! Haha!

So here goes!

10 random facts about me

  1. I’ve been qualified as a midwife for 13.5 years and now specialise in pregnancy loss, and love my job.
  2. I spent my last three months of midwifery training in Stockholm, Sweden where I learnt so much and had the most amazing time.
  3. I’ve been published in midwifery journals twice.
  4. I own two cats (used to be three, RIP Poppy) and a hamster, and just today chose a puppy to join our family at Easter time.
  5. I have 7 (nearly 8) year old twin girls, that took nearly five years to come into our world after a long battle with infertility and IVF.
  6. I love to knit, sew and cook (although that last one isn’t a mystery).
  7. We have a large allotment and throughout the summer are pretty much drowning in strawberries.
  8. I’ve completed 4 London Marathons and countless other races prior to being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a year ago.
  9. I can stand on my head despite not being an avid yoga practice.
  10. I currently have an unhealthy obsession with Swizzels Squashies.

Now onto the questions given to me by Afternoon Tea 4 Two and Mrs Ram’s Jams.

1. What prompted you to write a blog?

November 2016 through to last spring saw a difficult winter for me, and after a long time being unwell I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I decided I didn’t want to dive straight into strong medications to treat my fibro yet could only find snippets of information about how to treat naturopathically. I also couldn’t find that many personal accounts of treating fibro with natural therapies. So I decided to bring my own journey and experiences in trying out different remedies and so far it has proved successful (on the most part!).

2. Why do you blog?

I continue to blog in the hope of helping others with chronic illness, whether newly diagnosed or long time warrior, to approach their illness holistically and to consider other roads away from the pharmacological route that they may find useful. While many people need medicine to help them manage their illness, I offer insight into complementary therapies that may also help, particularly nutrition. I know first hand how difficult it can be to cook when you have a chronic illness and how daunting dietary changes can be, so my aim is to make it less scary and super simple.

3. Where was your last holiday?

Our last holiday as a family was to Cornwall, on our traditional summer holiday in August. We stayed in a great place called Mudgeon Vean within our favourite part of Cornwall, the Lizard Peninsula.

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4. Cat or dog?

Very difficult question, given that I’m a long time cat owner and soon to be pup owner! I’m going to have to annoy you all and say I can’t choose!

5. What would your advice be to a new blogger?

I would say not to get too caught up in how much you post, or the traffic to your site. The main aim of blogging should be to share something you enjoy, and if you write from the heart then your enjoyment will speak volumes to your readers. Much preferable to blogging to be fashionable or to get traffic. While it is nice to know that people are reading your blog, for me it is much better to have people reading that you can genuinely reach out to and have a positive effect on their lives.

6. What genre of book would you be and why?

I would be a nature book. There is nothing I love more than losing myself in a book that transports me to a peaceful and beautiful place, so well described that I can smell and feel all of the book enveloping me.

7. What is the one battle you struggle with daily?

No surprises here but it is my Fibromyalgia. More specifically the changing nature of the pain and levels of fatigue. Each day I wake I never know what lies ahead, and I get particularly frustrated when I can’t reach my potential because of heightened pain and fatigue.

8. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

This changes ALL of the time. At the moment I have a real craving to visit Copenhagen, but anywhere Scandinavian is right up my street,

9. What TV show is your guilty pleasure?

Again I go through phases, but generally anything dramatic and/or uplifting. I really enjoyed The Last Post when it was on, and at the moment am particularly enjoying Call the Midwife and The Crown. The husband and I are really big fans of animated comedy too! The sillier the better!

10. What makes you smile?

Always a good one to end on and there are many things in my life that make me smile or laugh everyday. For this blog though I would say anybody who gets in touch to let me know that what I have shared has inspired or helped them in any way really makes my day.

Now for my nominations!

michelleslife2017 – I’m really hoping to start running again soon and Michelle is really helping by being one (or many) step ahead of me, really enjoying her journey into running again!

brainlessblogger – for ever informative informative and advice for dealing with chronic illness.

puddlesplashing – enjoying reading about positivity and beating fibromyalgia!

trippingthroughtreacle – Love reading positive posts about living with chronic illness!

fibromystory – great place to start if you are thinking about using exercise to fight your fibromyalgia!

My questions (trying to ask some thought provoking questions to find our more about you!) should you choose to accept are…..

  1. What inspires you to blog about your chosen subject?
  2. How old would you choose be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  3. If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large audience, what would your message be?
  4. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  5. Have you done anything lately worth remembering?
  6. If you could start all over again, would you change anything?
  7. Which activities make you lose track of time?
  8. If you had to teach me one thing, what would you teach?
  9. When was the last time you tried something new?
  10. Time or money?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! I hope you have all had the best weekend!

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Inspiration

Hello 2018!

I’m back, slightly broken but back…..!

I’m looking forward to sharing this next year with you and building on the journey that I started what feels like a very long time ago but is actually only 1 year.

I thought I would start the year by reflecting on where I was last January to where I am today, looking back on the journey of 2017 and sharing with you my hopes for 2018.

Last January I was also broken, but very much more broken than I am today. Today is just a set back, just the Fibromyalgia biting me in the ass and reminding me of its presence. Last January, I hadn’t been diagnosed. I wasn’t sleeping. I was in a tremendous amount of pain. And I was desperate. Desperate for an answer……. a solution.

Towards the end of January I was finally given an answer, but sadly not a solution. At least not a quick solution. Over 2017 I discovered that there is no perfect way to treat Fibromyalgia, but rather many different ways of managing symptoms, that enabled me to get on with and love my new life.

The biggest change I made was to my diet. I cut out dairy and gluten, artificial colourants and sweeteners, and to a large extent, refined sugars. I added in feel good and anti inflammatory foods and never looked back. Yes I’ve slipped on occasion, but not to a point where I’ve completed given it up and gone back to a ‘conventional diet’. Over the next year I am working on eating less meat and eating more veg (if thats possible) and aligning myself more to a vegetarian, dairy free diet. This is beginning with January where I will not be eating any meat, but will be eating fish and eggs.

While this is a new change, and it has come with the new year, it isn’t a resolution as such. More a way of eating to make me feel good. I know that eating a more vegetarian diet definitely helps my symptoms, and so why not do what makes you feel good?! I’m not doing it to lose weight, or get a ‘summer body’, in fact I have stayed away from the scales this new year for fear of disappointment when I see the dreaded number appear on the little digital display. My only goal for 2018 is to feel good, building on the foundations I built during 2017. If my body feels good, and my clothes fit nice, then who cares what the little number on the scales say…. and weighing right after Christmas is a sure fire way to feel guilty about all the delicious homemade treats!

2017 also welcomed mindfulness and to a lesser extent CBT, into my life. what a welcome discovery that was! For anyone who is scared of CBT, please don’t be. CBT is not recommended because the Fibromyalgia is ‘all in your head’, but rather because with the right mind set you can thrive with Fibro. I’ve not had clinical depression or anxiety, yet find the symptoms of Fibromyalgia overwhelming at times, which will inevitably lower mood. CBT helped my to see past my physical symptoms, and how to plan my life and days around my condition, not giving in to it, but working with it and around it. By having CBT I most definitely no longer feel bad about my fibromyalgia (in a way that I don’t feel guilty or embarrassed by it), I don’t let it devour my thoughts, and I certainly do not let it rule my life. It is part of me and who I am, I can either live with it to the best of my ability, or be miserable. I chose the first of those two options. I cannot urge enough, if you have not yet had CBT for a pain condition, please see your doctor and ask about it.

Sleep hygiene came hand in hand with mindfulness for me, and probably had the biggest impact on my sleep. I won’t go on too much about it in this post as last year I wrote a whole series about sleep hygiene (I recommend you start with this post), but it is an area I thoroughly enjoyed exploring and making changes too. Thanks to changing my sleep routine I am reading so much more, devouring books in fact, and it is a new found hobby that I didn’t realise I loved quite so much, plus I’m learning a great deal about many different things. Give it a go!

2017 also saw the use of acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy, physiotherapy, exercise, and general being kind to myself in order to regain control over my life. Blogging become a new hobby, and I thoroughly enjoyed blogging last year and can’t wait to pick up where I left off before my festive break.

So 2018 is here and where am I? Well, I still have Fibromyalgia. I’m still in pain and completely knackered most days. I still love cake and struggle keeping sugar out of my diet. Some nights I don’t sleep. Winter is still a massive problem and the short, cold days are my true nemesis. My legs and back have refused to co-operate for 5 days straight. BUT, I went for a job interview and got a new job (with a team that inspire me so much). I’m working full time and since being back to work in April I’ve only needed just over a week altogether off sick which for a woman with a chronic illness I am pretty darn pleased about (I know it isn’t perfect). Unsurprisingly, these days have mostly been throughout the winter months (hurry up spring). I can cook way better than I could a year ago and have a much wider range of tastes, eating food I never thought I would. I’m far more content. I am reading a whole new genre of books I never thought I would read. I’m knitting again. Oh, and most days I am medication free with the odd paracetamol and anti histamine. So all in all I would say I’m in a damn good place.

Happy New Year, I can’t wait to share my journey and the best things in life with you in 2018.

As ever you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram, Or simply give me a follow on this blog.

Toodle pip!

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