health · life curation

Amping Up The Self Love

I’m feeling so much more rested today: I’m thankful for good sleep, good friends, and good food LOL! Having a little bit of each of these seems to have really done the trick for me. I’m still a little tired, but such is life when you’re living with fibromyalgia. Some days are much better than others, and when you have good days, you learn to relish them!

I’ve been resting more because I’m feeling affected by a lot of things. Yes, fibromyalgia plays a starring role in my exhaustion, but there was another thing that was bothering me. I noticed that I was starting to feel less than stellar, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was causing it. After spending a little time exploring my feelings, I figured out that my tiredness was due to uneasiness.

Upon further reflection, I learned that my uneasiness was rooted in my lacking self love. It’s funny, because I didn’t think about it before, as I usually don’t feel uneasy or unsettled within myself. But I’ve been experiencing these feelings because I’ve occasionally felt frustrated with my progress on my goals, my health, and my changing family dynamics. I didn’t make the connection before, but it’s clear that my frustration with outside circumstances is starting to feel very personal and it started to affect me physically.

My goal recently has been to amp up my self love. This goes beyond manicures and massages: aside from self care, I thought long and hard about how I can affirm my worth and self love. I’ve been doing positive affirmations daily, sleeping with rhodochrosite under my pillow, and asking myself regularly, “How can I make this experience more suitable for me?”, and “What would make my happiest right now?” After asking myself those questions, I take an action that feels better in the moment. Those simple decisions went a long way in affirming that I am an embodiment of love, I radiate peace and love, and I’m deserving of love and all the good things that life has to offer.

I’m still working regularly on my self love, but I’m already seeing a change in my energy levels. Yes, I’m still tired a lot, but the uneasiness has shifted, and I’m feeling more grounded. Things are starting to look up, and I’m thankful for it.

health

Fibro Friday: Recent Research

Happy Fibro Friday! I’m taking a quick break from reviewing different health protocols to share some exciting news that crossed my newsfeed a few days ago.

Several weeks ago, Dr. Ken Berry, a respected internist that focuses on improving health through food, exercise and lifestyle choices, shared the details on a study that was published, then mysterious retracted.

Dr. Berry mentions how this article was published but was soon followed by a retraction. After reviewing the retraction points, I have to agree with Dr. Berry and lead researcher, Dr. Pappolla, who both assert that the reason for retraction is likely due to pressure from influential organizations (think Big Pharma or Big Ag [Big Agriculture]). The reason provided for the retraction doesn’t appear to be valid, but you can read the reason as published on NIH’s website and determine for yourself whether you want to accept the research findings.

The research done by Dr. Pappolla and the other researchers establishes a connection between fibromyalgia and insulin resistance markers. Dr. Berry has recommended something similar in previous videos. However, this research goes a step further, by experimenting with the use of metformin (brand name Glucophage) and observing whether this drug can reduce fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms.

Dr. Pappolla’s research makes a connection between being insulin resistant (also known as pre-diabetic) and fibromyalgia. Reduction of sugar and management of insulin in the body (via metformin) both resulted in lower levels of pain in fibromyalgia patients. If you want more information, watch the video below:

This research exposes a possible (likely) connection between fibro and insulin resistance, and Dr. Berry recommends a ketogenic or other low carbohydrate diet to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms. I won’t go too deep in Dr. Berry’s recommendations this week, since I’ll be featuring his fibromyalgia protocol in a future week. But if you want all of the info on this new research, the video above is a good place to start.

I hope this information helps my fellow fibro warriors! Please let me know how you all are doing in the comments. Have a great rest of your day, and I’ll talk to you all on Monday!

health · life curation · luxury · relaxation

Luxury Is Your Birthright

After spending some time listening to those amazing audiobooks last month (you can see my June book list here), I felt like I was buzzing. It’s been quite some time since I felt limitless and excited about the possibilities that lay before me. Perhaps it’s the thrill of the pandemic easing up and life getting back to some semblance of normal. Or, maybe it’s because my fibromyalgia hasn’t been giving me any major issues recently (yay for being flare-free!). On the other hand, it could be the fact that it’s starting to consistently feel like summertime here in Virginia, and the sunny days and warm temps do wonders for my mood.

Whatever the reason, I was already feeling pretty good. But these books absolutely upleveled my mood from good to great. In addition to general mood-lifting, the audiobooks I enjoyed reminded me of the power of my conscious and subconscious mind, as well as the fact that I am entitled to live a beautiful life, and that can include luxuries that enhance my experience here on earth.

However, listening to these books also made me think about an incident that occurred earlier this year, which I will regale you with in a moment. To preface, a few months ago, I was thinking about living luxuriously and how to create a more opulent home environment, but I was plagued with a lot of guilt. I love nice things, but in the middle of a global health crisis, it felt silly to desire my normal luxury purchases. And, when I did shop, my purchased amounted to nothing more than retail therapy, because I was under a lot of stress and needed pretty, shiny distractions.

The source of my stress was directly connected to my home environment. Two of my elderly relatives started living in my home during the pandemic, and, despite having adequate space, an abundance of food, and all of the electronics needed to keep us occupied, the environment still felt tense and unhappy. The spirit of discontent was heavy in my home, and it was weighing on me.

My relatives were ready to go back to their home. And they were being unpleasant in my home, in order to communicate their desire to leave. However, their home needed several repairs, as well as fumigation and deep cleaning, before they could moved. I was unsure how long it would take until all of those tasks could be accomplished, so I couldn’t provide them with a definite return date. That uncertainty stressed me out even more than the unpleasant behavior that I was witnessing daily.

Now, on to the incident that the books brought to mind: in the midst of this extremely stressful home situation, my good friend Kalifia mentioned to me that I should get away for a couple of days. But, on short notice, I figured that I couldn’t go very far. This part was true – going far wasn’t really an option – but it was only one side of what she proposed. She emphasized to me that, even if I couldn’t go very far away from home, I could still take a few days to get away.

I couldn’t argue with her logic. I needed a break, and it was within my budget. But I felt bad about taking a mini-break: I could have used the money for something else, I could have stayed at home in order to help take care of my elderly family members, I could have used the time to clean up a bit more and catch up on chores, etc.,. The reasons to say “no” were numerous. But there was only one reason to say “yes”, and, fortunately for me, it was louder than all of the “no”s combined. The “yes” simply said,

You need this.

Despite my guilt and hesitance, I decided to book a room at a lovely hotel about 20 minutes from my home. I checked in a few days later, and I laid around in the room and enjoyed the silence. The following day, I shopped at an upscale mall near the hotel, then I returned back to my room. I ordered food delivery each day, and I ate whatever I wanted. It felt ridiculous, self-indulgent, and positively unnecessary. Except, I needed every moment of it. Those days away from home restored me. It was a luxury, but it was crucial to helping me feel like myself again.

Do you ever feel that you don’t deserve the best that life has to offer? Does it ever feel like you need to EARN the luxurious parts of life? Do you feel foolish whenever you reach out for luxury? If you have, then let me assure you: luxury is your right. Actually, it’s your birthright: when you were born, you came entitled to the best that life has to offer. You are entitled to live a life that feels good to you, leaving you with beautiful, satisfying memories to comfort you as you age and eventually expire.

It took me reaching the end of my rope before I reconnected to my entitlement to happiness, peace, joy, and, yes, luxury. The beautiful thing about luxury is that we get to define it for ourselves. My definition doesn’t have to fit anyone else’s, and that’s fine. What isn’t fine is forgetting that I’m always entitled to feeling luxurious based on my definition.

I’m thankful for remembering who I am and what I deserve. I’m even more thankful that I can use my birthright to inform the decisions that I make, and I am determined to consistently make choices that honor this.

How do you define luxury? I’d love to hear it in the comments below!

health

Fibro Fridays: The Singh Khalsa Protocol

It’s another fabulous Fibro Friday, and I’m excited to bring you another protocol that may offer you (and me too, hopefully) some additional insight into how to best treat and minimize your fibromyalgia symptoms. Last week, I shared the Liptan Protocol, as promoted by Dr. Ginevra Liptan. This week, we’ll examine the protocol of another health expert.

The Singh Khalsa Protocol is the recommended routine as taught by Karta Purkh Singh (KP) Khalsa, former president of the American Herbalist Guild. He is a dietitian-nutritionist and herbalist, with over 45 years of experience as an herbalist. Within herbalism, his specialty is ayurveda, and many of his teachings reflect ayurvedic principles, especially when it comes to personal constitution (whether someone is vata, pitta or kapha) and conditions within the body (dampness, dryness, etc.). Singh Khalsa is also a published author, focusing on healing the body and improving overall quality of life.

I first learned about Singh Khalsa through a free webinar as published by the American Herbalist Guild. Since it was designed as instructional material, it is quite a bit longer than the video posted about the Liptan Protocol. Due to the length of the video, I will highlight some key takeaways from the video, as well as share a briefer interview with Singh Khalsa, where he discusses the treatment of neurological disorders (which most experts agree covers fibromyalgia).

As noted by Singh Khalsa, some aspects of his approach to treating fibromyalgia are as follows:

  • Understand that fibromyalgia IS NOT an inflammatory condition in and of itself (though there may be some concurrent inflammation that makes pain symptoms worse).
  • An elimination diet can help reduce food allergies and food sensitivities, which can exacerbate symptoms. He recommends an oligoantigenic diet to start the food elimination journey.
  • Fibromyalgia is considered a “cold” disease per ayurveda.
  • Symptoms can be improved through a variety of herbal preparations, including extracts from meadowsweet, hops, notopterygium root, kava root and others.
  • Effectively managing fibromyalgia requires a total lifestyle change.
  • His approach addresses treating the nervous and endocrine systems, where the actual dysfunction (disorder) is rooted. He remains adamant that treating the syndrome like a musculoskeletal issues ensures a far less effective treatment results.
  • His treatment approach is THRIVE: Touch (massage and bodywork), Herbs and hormones, Rest, rebalance and sleep, Immunity, Vitamins and nutrition, and Exercise. He prioritizes sleep over all other treatments, and recommends that people with fibromyalgia “bank” sleep (sleep more than the amount that the patient feels is needed), because more sleep helps to heal the body.

As you can see, many of the aspects of the Singh Khalsa Protocol are similar to the Liptan Protocol (especially as regards the emphasis on sleep and overhauling the patient’s lifestyle). I love that both protocols complement one another, and there are no points that are in conflict. I’ve taken some notes from Singh Khalsa (as well as Dr. Liptan) and I’m encouraged by the fact that he and Dr. Liptan both seem fairly confident that, by adhering to their protocols, it is possible to restore the body to it’s pre-fibro level of functioning, though, as Singh Khalsa mentions, the person may be a bit more “fragile” after recovery. The overall end goal is to live a full and happy life without pain, and it is possible according to Singh Khalsa.

Here’s the lecture taught by Singh Khalsa at Loyola Marymount University:

Reviewing this protocol has given me much food for thought: it’s a good thing that this is a holiday weekend! I hope you all have a safe and fun Fourth of July (for my USA friends) and a great weekend, no matter where you are. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all on Monday!

fitness · goals · health

Using Law of Attraction for Weight Loss

I was on the fence about discussing this, because I CRINGE whenever someone posts “shortcuts” for weight loss, career success, etc., and, upon reading their advice or listening to their testimony, I find that they don’t actually tell the FULL details of how they accomplished their goal. I also didn’t want it to sound like law of attraction (LOA) is a magic wand that can be waved over our difficulties and *POOF!* the challenges disappear. Don’t get me wrong: LOA can be magical, and yes, sometimes it takes no more than thinking about a particular thing to make it happen. But, this is not always the case.

Sometimes, action is required for law of attraction to work. But for today’s story, the actual “action” was minimal, so I’ll give you the step-by-step story of how I manifested 11 lbs of weight loss in 6 days, with no diet or exercise required. Yes, it’s true: I lost ELEVEN POUNDS using just my mind. Not one moment was spent counting calories or sweating at a gym (or on my personal treadmill!) to make it happen.

This all started with a doctor’s visit. This particular visit was on a Monday. When the nurse weighed me, I was a solid 25 lbs heavier than my goal weight. I’d tried the cabbage soup diet the week before, and, while that helped to flatten my tummy, I didn’t progress beyond day two, because I started experiencing terrible headaches (hence my reason for going to the doctor). Since the beginning of the year, instead of losing 15 pounds (per my 2021 goals list), I’d GAINED an extra 10.

This was discouraging, but I thought, hey, maybe it had something to do with my clothes. I came home, removed my clothing, and found that my home scale only went down two pounds. When the truth stares you in the face, it’s impossible to deny it TWICE. I accepted the weight and vowed to change it without harsh diets or rigorous exercise.

Intuition led me to try using the 55 X 5 method to kick off my weight loss journey. I’d advise anyone else to listen to what their intuition tells them, as it’s often the most reliable internal guidance system that any of us has available at any given time. Intuition doesn’t scream at us, nor is it usually drastic: it’s often a gentle nudge that feels like, “Hmm, why not?” or, “Ooh, that sounds like fun”. In my case, my intuition felt strongly like the former. 55 X 5 felt like an easy way to get my mind on board with weight loss.

If you’ve never tried the 55 X 5 method, I’ll give you a brief explanation of what it is. Simply put, you figure out what you want to experience or create (for me, weight loss) and craft a short, simple phrase that captures what you desire. It helps if the phrase includes gratitude. For me, I came up with, “I’m thankful that I weigh X pounds”. The phrase should be in the present tense, as if you’re experiencing your desire reality RIGHT NOW. Then, you write the phrase 55 times a day, every day for 5 days in the notebook or journal of your choice. At the end of the 5 days, you should have what you want, or see positive traction in the direction of what you desire. (If you want a more detailed explanation, I advise you to look it up on YouTube or check out articles online about it.)

I wrote “I’m thankful that I weigh X pounds” 55 times a day, every day, for 5 days. The weight that I put in my notebook was 15 lbs less than what I saw on my doctor’s scale, but I didn’t care about whether I would drop 15 lbs in 5 days: I just wanted to see SOME results. On day 6, I released my attachment to the outcome. My body didn’t look any different, but I felt better about my weight because I knew my mindset was changing to that of someone that was 15 lbs lighter. On day 7 (exactly one week after my doctor’s appointment), I weighed myself. And I was 11 lbs lighter!

I basked in my success for a few days, then I started reflecting on what else I did, other than writing in my notebook. I think it’s probably easier to say what I didn’t do, as opposed to what I did do. Here’s what I DID NOT do:

  • I didn’t count calories. I ate what wanted without guilt, though I will admit that I was a bit more mindful (I chewed a bit slower and savored the flavors more, so I wouldn’t stuff myself unnecessarily).
  • I did not do any structured exercise AT ALL. I did start keeping a quick count of my steps throughout the day, but my physical activity was at pretty much the same level.
  • I didn’t change my medication or supplement routine. In fact, while I had temporarily stopped my medicine during my cabbage soup “fling” (I was off of my medication and supplements for 3 or 4 days) I decided to get back onto my regimen a day before the doctor weighed me, and I’ve been consistently on them since then.
  • I did not shame my body. I sent my body lots of love and appreciation, and took a little more time to treat myself well (moisturizing my skin thoroughly after bathing, consistently doing my nighttime skin routine, etc.,.).

Now here’s the short list of what I DID do (outside of the things mentioned above):

  • I reminded myself that I am a person that weighs the amount I put in my notebook. I kept that in my mind, and tried to make decisions from that mindset.
  • I recalled Anne Barone’s advice, where she mentioned that any unwanted weight gain could usually be connected to an increase in clutter. I started throwing away some things that didn’t serve me anymore.
  • I started paying closer attention to the signals that my body was sending me. If a certain area felt stiff, I’d stretch until I got some relief. If I felt thirsty, I’d drink water until I felt truly hydrated, without obsessing about whether I was drinking too much or not enough. If I felt hungry, I stopped to pay attention to what my body was actually craving: fruit, vegetable, protein, or carbs, and yes, sometimes sweets or junk food. And, I’d give my body EXACTLY what it wanted, without guilt, but only to the point of satisfaction. Anything more would be me behaving as someone that weighs more than my target weight.
  • I slept without guilt, including, enjoying multiple midday naps. A well-rested body can release excess weight much better than an exhausted, sleep-deprived one.

At the end of this experiment, I think it’s safe to say that the most influential factor in the weight loss was the mindset shift. Writing my desired outcome 55 times in a row was a great way to program my mind toward being a healthier weight. The more than I insisted that I was 15 lbs less, the more my body conformed with that version of my reality. While I didn’t shed the full 15 lbs, I’m thrilled with the 11 lbs that I loss, and staying happy and grateful for success is another way to keep the weight off FOR GOOD.

I’ll be doing this again in the next few days, to blast through my next weight loss mental barrier. I can’t wait to tell you all how that works out for me!

I hope that you enjoyed today’s post. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

goals · health · life curation

June Goal Updates

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I accidentally posted this last week (before I finished collecting my thoughts), so I had to pull the post and reschedule it. It was one of those weeks, folks . . . Anyhoo, here’s my June goal update post.

As a quick recap, here are the goals I have for 2021:

  • Publish 5 books
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses
  • Read 100+ books
  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

The Wednesday and Thursday posts will cover the first two points (weight loss discussion on Thursday, and publishing post on Writers’ Wednesdays, as normal). I’m really excited to discuss the (unorthodox) way I utilized to lose weight. I may even do a video on it (I’m still undecided about whether I’ll publish and attach a video related to the topic). Along with that, my Wednesday post will cover how I published 3 books in the past 6 months, and how I intend to publish 3 more before the end of the summer.

Onto the next point. . . While I very much desire to take 3 international trips (and I also intend to manifest the money to make those trips happen!), I haven’t been putting a lot of my energy toward that goal. To be honest, I have only decided on one international trip for sure, to happen at the end of December. I haven’t the faintest where else I want to go, or when I want to go there. I have a couple of ideas of how that can unfold for me, but for now, a lot of this is still undecided. I’m okay with the uncertainty: I don’t have to micromanage the details. So long as the perfect trips for ME come my way, I’m pleased.

So, I’m nowhere near my 6-figure business income goal. However, I’ve completely withdrawn my energy from my businesses in the past few months, so that doesn’t surprise me. Now, if I want to reach that goal, I’ll have to amp up the activity during this second half of the year. This actually works perfect for me, as I’ve built quite a bit of momentum over the past few months (by publishing my books at a comfortable pace, learning more about herbs and oils, nurturing my body so that I have more energy, etc.,). With the energy I’ve conserved, I have a lot more time available to pour into my businesses, so that I can see a drastic increase in my sales and so that I can knock out my goal of 6 figures in 2021!

I had to put my book-reading goals on hold during the month of May, since I was completing my Cornell University program. However, I resumed the reading challenge this month, and I’m excited to share which books I read during the month of June (also, I finally hit my monthly goal of 10+ books, which puts me on target for reaching 100+ before the end of the year!) The reading goal post will be available sometime next week.

I haven’t made any more luxury purchases in the past few months. I look forward to adding more goodies from luxury retailers sometime during August (my birthday month). I’m sure I’ll be eager to give myself a “treat” by then.

Finally, I’m still working on reversing my fibromyalgia. I think I’m getting close to a permanent solution, but I’m still testing a few things. Of course, you can simply peruse any of my Fibro Friday posts to see what I’m learning and trying on this journey.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing an amazing tool that I think will help tremendously with accomplishing my remaining goals. I can’t wait to share it with you! Until then, take care, and I’ll talk to you all soon!

health

Fibro Friday – The Liptan Protocol

Happy Fibro Friday! In the coming weeks, I’d like to explore some of the varying treatment plans as proposed by various health experts. I’m hoping to glean some tips from each of these experts – ranging from medical doctors to herbalists and naturopaths to people that have documented their trials and errors on their fibro journeys – and see which treatments will work best for my specific symptoms.

I’ll be starting this series off with a review of Dr. Ginevra Liptan. Dr. Liptan is the founder of The Frida Center for Fibromyalgia and the author of three landmark books discussing fibromyalgia and possible paths to wellness. I became familiar with Dr. Liptan several years ago, and I even purchased the Frida Botanical Magnesium Cream (which I briefly reviewed here). I enjoyed her story because she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia while studying medicine, and she still successfully finished her medical degree, and turned her medical focus onto understanding and treating fibromyalgia.

Dr. Liptan has a YouTube channel where she has posted several videos about fibromyalgia, natural recovery options, and treating frequent comorbidities. I especially enjoyed this succinct description of the four pillars of fibromyalgia recovery – the “Four Rs of Fibro”. The video is less than 5 minutes long, and completely worth the watch.

I have noticed a drastic improvement in my symptoms when I can fully embrace “the Four Rs”. I love that she concentrates on the main pillars for wellness when treating fibromyalgia, and, by focusing on these four things, it is possible to isolate and treat any remaining symptoms. Along with applying the Liptan protocol regarding “the Four Rs”, I will be purchasing all of Dr. Liptan’s books, and seeing if I can craft a wellness plan that addresses all of my symptoms. Here are her books (Figuring Out Fibromyalgia, The Fibro Manual, and The Fibro Food Formula):

That’s all for today! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday. Take care!

*This post contains affiliate links.

**The information in this post and on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. 

health

Fibro Fridays – All About Fatigue

It’s Fibro Friday, kids! I hope that you’ve had a great week, and a wonderful weekend ahead of you.

Today, I’m going to be discussing the one symptom that is my absolute favorite. And, by absolute favorite, I actually mean my most despised symptom. Fatigue has been the most bothersome symptom of them all during my fibro journey. Well, to be fair, pain is pretty high on my list, too. But overall, even when my pain is minimal, fatigue has been a constant companion.

This symptom has been one of the hardest to manage since being exhausted makes it difficult to do many of the things I enjoy. Before fibro became a part of my life, I regularly took long walks around my favorite city in the world – Washington DC – and I could easily work out in the gym and feel invigorated once I was finished. But in the months leading up to my diagnosis, I found it harder to do all of the things that I enjoyed without feeling completely drained.

The biggest clue that my fatigue was something beyond normal exhaustion was when I went on a cruise in 2018. I slept 10-12 hours every night, and I would sleep longer if my family didn’t wake me up. I literally spent more time in the bed than I did exploring the ship (this is completely unlike me: I usually love exploring!) It didn’t matter if I drank 3-4 cups of coffee each day while onboard: I’d still be exhausted at the end of the day, even if it was a day when I didn’t do much.

I’ve been experimenting with a few things and, even though I still can’t get a good handle on my fatigue, I’ve noticed a few things that really work for me.

For starters, taking ashwaganda and melatonin supplements help me get a deeper sleep, which makes me feel more refreshed the following day. It won’t eliminate the fatigue, but it will certainly help me with getting through the first half of the day without needing a nap. And that’s the other thing: I nap, almost religiously. If my body needs it, I carve out a little time to get a quick snooze. Unfortunately, I will occasionally oversleep. But it’s better than trying to push through the fatigue, since being so tired can literally make me achy. Another thing I do is avoid heavy meals unless I know that I’ll be able to go to sleep not long after. I am pretty catatonic whenever I eat really rich or heavy foods for dinner, so I reserve those meals for days when I know I don’t have to be up late.

The true key to managing fatigue is having excellent sleep hygiene, which is wonderful in theory but not always easy to implement. However, I’ve been attempting to make small changes that I hope will lead to major changes in my energy levels. I’ve started by creating a bit of a nighttime routine and trying my best to avoid doing anything at night that will make it harder for me to go to sleep.

Do you have any tips for dealing with fatigue? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

food · health

Implementing the Barone Diet

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the books that I read in the month of March. In that post, I mentioned that I read two books written by Anne Barone: Chic and Slim and Chic and Slim Encore. Naturally, the title reveals a little bit about the content: the book gives different ways to achieve slimness. But other than that, you may not be sure exactly what the books discuss.

In short, the books explain how the French lifestyle – from food to fashion to relationships – contribute to the ability to remain slim. After a particularly stressful year (most of us have been under tremendous stress this year), I noticed I’d put on a little more weight than I cared to have. So I pulled out Barone’s book and started to remind myself of the techniques I used to slim down a few years ago.

You see, back in 2015, I wanted to slim down, but I wasn’t sure how I could do it without feeling hungry or unsatisfied. I initially got a copy of Chic and Slim Encore for free on Amazon (there was a Kindle special) and, after reading it, I decided to purchase the original “Chic and Slim” ebook. So I started eating like the French and, wouldn’t you know it, I lost weight.

One of the best things about the French method of maintaining a slender physique is that it does not require deprivation. While on this eating and lifestyle plan, I am able to enjoy 4- and 5-course meals. I don’t have to exercise strenuously, and self-care is a priority. This eating plan allows me to lose weight without starving myself or sweating my life away in the gym. It’s perfect for me, because it allows my dining experiences to feel more elegant (and we all know how much I love elegant living!), as well as more intentional. My meals can’t be rushed, so I have a chance to really pace myself and avoid overeating.

So, if you’re interested in this particular diet, check out Anne Barone’s books. You won’t be disappointed!

health · life curation

Fibro Fridays – My Current Favorite Fibro Vloggers

Happy Fibro Friday! We made it to the end of another week, and what a week it’s been! I’m looking forward to a quiet and restful weekend with my family, because I need a little downtime.

But anyhoo, back to Fibro Friday. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite fibro vloggers. These lovely souls have generously shared their fibromyalgia journeys on YouTube, and I’m thankful for the knowledge, encouragement, and inspiration they’ve provided. A few of them have fibromyalgia-centered channels, while others discuss fibro occasionally, while vlogging about the rest of their lives.

If you’ve watched any of these vloggers, then you know that they have great content and are joys to watch. I hope this list of vloggers gives you some great ideas on how to manage your fibromyalgia symptoms and a heaping dose of encouragement.

In no particular order:

Grace at Home – she doesn’t post frequently, but she shares some really sound information on her fibro experience. The symptoms she mentioned are almost identical to mine. She was one of the first Black women fibro vloggers that I found on YouTube. That actually speaks to another issue when it comes to chronic illness (gross underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis of WOC, especially Black women), which I’ll discuss in a future Fibro Friday post. This video describes, in detail, how fibro feels. It’s great information for anyone that doesn’t understand the pain that fibromyalgia patients experience.

Marla Robinson – Marla’s channel has all sorts of lifestyle goodies, and I love the fact that she’s a mature YouTuber. Aside from that, she gives wonderful information on her fibromyalgia and other chronic illness journey, as well as the treatments that have worked for her, as well as what has been ineffective. She does a fabulous job explaining her journey, so for anyone that wants a very thorough explanation, this is a great channel to view.

Chronically Emily – While fibromyalgia is a devastating condition at any age, it’s especially disheartening to see younger people with the condition. There is a particular sadness that I feel when I see young people that are impacted so significantly by chronic illness, because I know that they won’t get to experience a pain-free young adulthood. However, dear Emily seems to take it all in stride and is living a wonderful, full life in spite of her pain. I enjoy hearing how she’s doing (she has multiple chronic conditions) and seeing her embrace new chapters and experiences in her life.

Olga Chronics – This charming channel centers around Olga’s chronic illnesses (mainly, fibromyalgia and IBS) but she also shares her other interests, such as reading books and spending time with her adorable pup. She goes into some of the ways that she is personally impacted by fibro, and she goes to great lengths to offer possible solutions to her subscribers. I also love that she gives her viewers a peek into how Portugal and its health system treats fibromyalgia patients.

Adventures with Fibro – Deena embodies living an active life while still taking care of herself and managing her fibromyalgia. She is an avid hiker and gives wonderful tips based on her 17(!) years of fibor experience. Deena does a great job of discussing some of the mental health aspects that can be affected by fibro (many people diagnosed with this condition also have to deal with anxiety and depression).

Lord and Lordettes – Nicola splits her channel between fibromyalgia-related content and family/lifestyle vlogging. She has a fibro-related post every Wednesday, and she takes her time to discuss a singular specific symptom in these videos. I also appreciate hearing how fibromyalgia is treated in the UK (as a US-based fibro patient, I’m always curious about which countries have better/more innovative care for invisible illnesses. US treatment approaches are mediocre in many ways, and absolutely nonexistent in other ways.)

A Life I Choose – This channel focuses on overall wellness, but the hostess, Emma, also discusses how she mitigated her fibromyalgia. I think that one key advantage that Emma has is a background as a psychotherapist, so she has extensive knowledge on how to condition the brain in a way that promotes healing and (possibly) minimizes pain. She has (if I recall correctly) successfully transitioned herself off of fibromyalgia medications and lives a normal life with minimal pain.