A Healthier Life

For the past few months I’ve been slowly working on improving my health. Living with ten chronic conditions plus a few non-chronic can make for a very unhealthy lifestyle. I’m looking to improve that as much as possible.

First, I worked on my water intake. Second, my sleep habits. Third, doing my neck stretching more frequently. Tuesday I started a new step. A friend started Whole30. I’m not ready for such a drastic change and my health is too fragile to attempt it without speaking to my primary physician who is currently on vacation. But, in solidarity, I started tracking all my food again on My Fitness Pal.

I started with water first because I know it is such an important aspect of our health and I was not drinking as much as I used to. I am now up to at least 1800 ml and most days over 2L [64 oz]. I no longer feel thirsty near as often as before I started working on this.

Sleep is another component of good health. Both Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome impact sleep causing fatique, disturbed or restless sleeping and insomnia. I was and still am having all those symptoms. I was also needing to nap daily regardless of the previous night’s sleep amount. My Fitbit tracks my sleep, not well-anytime you lie still with sleep mode on is considered sleep-so I tried figuring out my optimal amount of sleep. I thought it was eight hours but soon realized I was still napping daily with eight hours. It turns out that right now I need ten hours of sleep to not NEED a nap later but dependent on how restless I was in getting that sleep I may still be fatigued enough to nap. Anything over nine hours causes increased pain upon waking unless I was restless enough to have changed sleep positions frequently. This is a very tough component to control.

A few weeks ago I added in restarting to consistently do my neck stretches. Because a few of my health issues affect my neck it is very easy for me to lose neck mobility. But when I’m in a lot of pain this is something I often drop. My aim is to do the stretches daily but at least three times a week. I have to consciously remind myself to do this; it is no longer the habit it once was. But, most weeks I am doing them at least every other day.

And now, I’ve added tracking all food and drinks. I used to do this faithfully just a few years ago but when my life became so complicated and my health decreased tracking was dropped. I have committed to tracking for 30 days. I do not plan on making any food changes the first week but hope to  be back to eating properly for my Diabetes by the end of the 30 days. When I was first diagnosed I saw dietitians who were also Certified Diabetes Educators. Their recommendation was 30 g net carbohydrates for meals and 15 g net carbohydrates for snacks. Skipping meals was not allowed and snacking was only to occur if there was more than four hours between meals. I was also taught the Plate Method. This has you virtually divide your plate into quarters; one for carbohydrates, one for protein and the other two for vegetables [preferably different vegetables]. I slowly stopped following this advice as things became more complicated and because my Diabetes was under great control. I want to see just how much I’ve deviated from the plan and a great bonus would be losing the weight I’ve gained since moving back in with Mum.

Who Am I? What is Bridgwater Crafts?

Who am I?
I’m Kimberley!

I’m an Introvert.
I’m a creative.
I’m a reader.
I’m a writer.
I’m a maker.
I’m a crocheter.
I’m a knitter.
I’m a designer.
I’m a daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, an aunt and a great aunt.

I’m a thyroid cancer survivor (maybe). They think it may be back. But it’s to small to biopsy. I live with chronic diseases and syndromes. I have arthritic cervical vertebrae degeneration with bulging discs and possibly nerve irritation, carpal tunnel syndrome, Diabetes Mellitis Type 2, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain disorder. I am in constant pain. I am on twenty different medications, vitamins and supplements.

I work full time outside the home.

What is Bridgwater Crafts?
Bridgwater Crafts is my creative business. It is the home base of all my creative endeavours.

What is this blog’s goal?
Designing
I’m blogging publicly to create a record of my design life that is accessible to my pattern buyers and other new designers. I want a place I can make announcements; share upcoming designs; a place that can be an online home base for my pattern line.

I’m a new designer. I started this June. I plan to write about things I learn as I grow as a crochet and knit designer. I’ll post about new techniques; give peeks into new designs; announce sales and new releases. I’ll host crochet/knit alongs. I’ll host contests. I’ll write about inspirations and about my life inside and outside the fibre arts.

Writing
I used to write all the time. Then I stopped. I’m starting again.

I really enjoyed writing daily last month in the blog. And I’ve really missed it since the challenge ended Nov. 30. It cemented the decision that I need to start writing again.

Some of what I write will appear here. Some is going to be a book about my life with chronic conditions and how the fibre arts impact my life. Some, I hope, will appear on other blogs and in articles.

I would love to connect with other bloggers. I want to connect with people in and out of the fibre community. I would love to connect with others with chronic diseases and other writers.

Starting Jan. 1st, we will have a newsletter. Please join the list here.