Reflections and spinny things

Round 4, 2012/13

We are about to begin week 11 of my fourth round of the 12wbt. Christmas, my birthday, New Years and Australia Day have all fallen in this round. I thought I would do a wrap up, or progress report of how things have been for me. When I think about it on a surface level there isn’t too much to report. I haven’t done any milestones or any crazy physical feats like those I’ve done in previous rounds. In fact, I haven’t done much of anything really, including cooking and training. And the numbers haven’t moved either. At the week 8 mark they showed a 400g increase from week 1 (just a good pee, right?!)

But, when I really think about it, there has been significant changes happening. Round 4 has turned out to be about resetting. It has been about allowing my body to get used to a new way of being. It has also been about allowing my mind to catch up and essentially to block out the impact of “needing” the numbers on the scales to move at a pace other than what my body needed them to. Is that as clear as mud so far?


This might turn out (is very likely) to be a long post, so feel free to go grab a coffee or something to read with 🙂

I have added 2 extra things into my routine this round to help re-balance my body and to shift some of the fluid it likes to hold onto due to the lymphoedema I have. I’ve had this since the mid 1990’s and let me tell you, it has not been pleasant. For the most part, the daily routine I have to do is now just that; a routine. But at times it has been a real pain in the proverbial! And costly too. Wearing compression garments 24 hours a day requires two pairs of garments at a time (one to wear, one to wash), and I need new ones approximately every six months. Each pair costs almost $400. Plus another $200 every few months for adhesive glue to keep them from falling down, as well as aloe vera gel to make sure the skin on my legs is in good condition.

Anyway, I digress! Every year during summer the heat really knocks me around. My legs swell a LOT, as does the pocket of fluid that I have in the bottom of my tummy. It makes it harder to move around, and I get lethargic. Not to mention the copious amounts of sweat my body produces! Just having a shower is hard work for me this time of year. By the time I am dressed I need another shower! Crazy!

So, I decided that I would get some support with 2 types of therapy. Kinesiology and Acupuncture. I decided that I wanted and needed to be a little more proactive with this part of my health. Both therapies have been going really well. I started with the kinesiology first, a few weeks before the beginning of the round (sometime in November). Going in I had the mindset that somehow the fluid would start moving immediately and within a few days I would see a big difference, both on the scales and in the feel of my body. And when that didn’t happen, I really had to come to terms with it. It messed my head up a little. My kinesiologist is one of the loveliest women I know. Compassionate and caring seem to be two of her middle names :). At the end of our third session she said to me “don’t come back until you’ve had 3-4 visits with the acupuncturist”. So I went away and rang the name of the lady she gave me and followed that up with 3 visits to her before going back. I’ve been alternating between the two since the beginning of January.

So, kinesiology is an interesting experience. I’m not sure exactly how it works, to be honest. There seems to be two aspects to it, both of which are about balancing the systems in the body. The first is about the meridian lines and how some of the physical things flow. E.g., the lymph fluid (in my body this is what need most of the work). And of course this complements other systems such as digestion. So in order to balance everything, she needs to work a little on several of the systems, cause they all work in tandem. And of course they take some time to get back to optimum operation, which my mind had difficulty accepting in those first few weeks.

The second aspect is the emotions. Through a series of muscle tests (don’t ask me how that works, it is beyond my brain capacity!) my kinesiologist gets to the heart of where an issue sits. And let me tell you, she gets some doozies out of my head! Stuff that I was completely unaware of. Some of this I have blogged about previously, so I won’t rehash it all here. Suffice it to say, it has collectively sent my head into a definite spin, and me back into some of the old behavioural patterns common in my past (read very unhelpful nutritional and training practices)!

To a lesser degree my acupuncturist has also been working on some of the emotional aspects. Also a very caring, compassionate woman, her main aim is to help balance all the different energy systems in the body. She has particularly been working on the lymphatic system and its complementary systems (don’t ask me what they are though!). Once again I was convinced that I would see immediate results, which didn’t happen, and meant I had to adjust my thinking. She has also been working on the headspins I have been experiencing for the entire round, which I will explain in more detail in a second.

I have come to the realisation that my expectations and the way I think about certain things have been in need of some major adjustment (no big surprise there, isn’t that why I am doing the 12wbt in the first place?)

The first 4 weeks or so of the round were pretty good nutritionally. I did some big cookups and put several weeks worth of food in the freezer, which was very helpful. And then a few things happened and I got complacent. Again, no big surprise. My trainer went on holiday, I got really busy at work, I had all these major realisations (mentioned earlier), I got the flu for a week, I went away for work, and I’ve been dealing with some pretty big headspins since my week 12 milestone from round 3. I know ultimately though, that I allowed my excuses to get in the way and I need to take full responsibility for that.


Round 3, Week 12 milestone

Ok, I’ve been building up these headspins to the point where you’re all probably thinking “get on with it” lol. As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve been having them since the day I did my week 12 milestone for round 3 (the day before round 4 started). Myself and 3 friends walked up a pretty big hill and down again. Several times. Well, 2.5 times to be exact. Here is a picture as a reminder. A total of 5km all up, which has been the longest distance I think I have ever walked. For me, a very big deal! Despite the fact that we started at 6am, it was pretty warm that day. I think my fluid levels started playing up. Near the end of the first lap I had a sudden dizzy spell and felt like I might fall over. I had to grab onto one of my friends in a hurry! We stopped and let it settle before we kept going. I was fine for a while, and almost at the 2.5 lap mark it happened again. Wasn’t quite as bad, but bad enough for me to sit up and take note! We had planned on doing 3 laps, but given the spins, decided that I needed to listen to my body and pull it up short. Still, I broke the record for my longest ever walk, which was great 🙂

I went home, had some eggs on toast for breakfast (thanks to my friend), and then set myself up to recover for the remainder of the day. And throughout the day, just sitting in my chair, the headspins got worse. They were just a tad scary, let me tell you! I tried to go back to work but found they interfered, so went home again. My GP checked blood pressure and bloods, both of which came back normal, and he said he couldn’t find an explanation for them. They did ease a little and were accompanied by a headache for several days straight. Saw my bowen therapist, who worked on making sure my spine was ok and getting rid of the headache. Saw my kinesiologist, who checked me out for structural integrity. And several days after that I saw my acupuncturist, who impaled me with needles in just the right spots! 24 hours after seeing her both the headache and the spins disappeared.

I went back to training with my PT and they started again during our sessions. We didn’t quit, but we did pull things up significantly and adjust what we were doing. They seemed to occur whenever I moved my head and/or eyes too quickly from one place to the next. Something as simple as doing the dishes set them going. But if I kept my eyes still they seemed to be ok. I then ran a 3 day retreat for work in some pretty extreme heat and emotional conditions (see previous blog post about that one). I came home from that with the flu and the headspins back in a major way. Once again I went to my acupuncturist to settle them down, and again they took almost 2 weeks to disappear.

I’ve been having them on and off the entire round. The best way I can describe the sensation is that it feels

like I am a tree. I feel like I am rooted to the ground, and my branches are swaying in the breeze.

So, this entire round, the last 11 weeks, I have been asking my body to make some huge adjustments. The kinesiology and acupuncture have likely set some things moving and sloshing around in there and the headspins are a byproduct of that (I hope). I have had some pretty big emotions crop up as well, and when I combine the two, my training and nutrition have clearly been impacted. During my last couple of sessions with Emazon (again, see previous blog posts for details), we discussed how I need to allow myself to “settle” into a new way of thinking and being. When I reflect on the past 11 weeks, I feel like this is what I have been doing. Allowing my brain and body to get used to the new stuff. I have no way knowing how long this state will last, but for the moment I am ok to allow myself to simply “be”. At least for the rest of the summer while the temperatures continue to soar. After that, I’ll see how things are.

I need to note here that my legs have been substantially smaller than what they would normally be in summer, even at the end of the day. So from that perspective, I am very happy with how things are going.

Coming back to the headspins for a second, when I get them I know I’m not moving, and yet I feel like I am about to fall over. And there are no other symptoms. My GP asked me all kinds of strange things in an effort to figure it out. Since they weren’t subsiding permanently and were definitely impacting on my life (and my training), I went back to him last week and he sent me for a head CT scan to check for a benign tumour on one of the nerves in my ears somewhere (he tells me it COULD be a possibility if there are no simpler solutions). I don’t have the results yet but I’m not expecting anything of concern to show up. I don’t get the feeling (instinct) that it’s anything serious. And given how much I have been asking my body to adjust with all the kinesiology and acupuncture, I am more inclined to think it is simply my body’s way of making those adjustments and figuring out what it needs to do. And in the meantime, I need to be patient (as annoying and inconvenient as it can be). The spins are my body’s way of getting me to slow down enough so it can do its thing.

All that said, the last week or so I have been feeling like I need something different. Some changes if you like. To my training, to my goals. I’m not sure what that entails just yet, but you will be the first to know when I know! 🙂

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