Dinner 6/15

Wow! This was tasty, and the colors made it even better!

Before this journey, I was as close to a vegetarian as one could come, without actually declaring myself “vegetarian”. I would swerve away from the meat section when I was in the grocery store, and the thought of touching raw meat sent shivers down my spine. It was never an active thought to avoid meat, I just didn’t like it.

But…when you work out and strength train, you need protein. I was only getting 900 calories a day – that’s not enough to bulk up!

When I made this meal, I came home from work around 6:30, and we decided to head out to the gym around 8:30pm (which is now our usual gym time). So I had 2 hours to spare. Rather than my easy-cheat-meal, I opted to begin cooking up some of the meat we had in our fridge.

The result? One of the most delicious meals I’ve made in a LONG time. Roasted potatoes and asparagus, pan steaks, and pan-seared chopped onions.

I haven’t used butter in any meals for about 5 years, so it was pretty easy to make this meal with only olive oil, some salt, and seasoning. My go-to seasonings are garlic/onion powder, lemon-pepper, turmeric (for the joints!), and some lemon juice. Usually, those seasonings bring out the natural flavors of the foods very well.

Confidence Change

Well, last night marked the “habit forming” time period. I was scared I wouldn’t make it through the past three weeks. But I made it 21 days, and I haven’t missed a workout. When I walk into the gym, I feel confident. I feel like I’m at home. Compared to the first day I went…that’s a HUGE change.

I’m more willing to try out exercises, and I LOVE the free weights. It took me about a week to build up the courage to even step foot into the free weight section (and even then, I made sure to go at 11pm, so the gym was empty), before that I was only working on machines. Now, the majority of my workout is built around free weights.

I look back on all the times I have joined a gym in the past, and I wonder, “What made me fail?”. I think my failures in the past were due to 2 things:

  • I was only in the gym to lose weight.
  • I was not confident, nor willing to build confidence.

The gym is intimidating. But it shouldn’t be. Once you get over the initial intimidation, it’s a very friendly environment. The first step to getting into a routine is to build confidence. Everyone in the gym that you look at with envy…they all started out where you are.

I’m still getting over the idea of rest days, as well. It’s hard to go from 100% to 0% and then start back over again. I chose a routine that has my rest days on Sunday and Wednesday. To me, it’s the perfect balance. I don’t care to go out on weekends very much, and usually I would spend my days indoors. But now, I’ve been out and about, ready to jump into the gym.

When I wake up in the morning, I can’t wait to go work out. When I get home from work, I quickly eat and make my protein shake, then head to the gym. It’s so natural now, that I can’t believe I never did it before.

I’m feeling confident today, and it’s also “progress picture day”. I’m excited to see the changes I’ve made! I already feel stronger, and I can open the pickle jar all on my own now!

Today is week 3

I’ll begin with an introduction:

My name is Megan, and I suffer from 7 autoimmune diseases, 5 of which are chronic pain disorders. Of those 7, the 5 that cause chronic pain are: Idiopathic Arthritis (in every joint on my body, but the most severe are my knees and elbows), Iritis, Chronic Migraine Syndrome, Endometriosis, and Orthostatic Hypotension (which makes heart palpitations a near daily occurrence). So, I would consider myself an self-proclaimed expert on experiencing chronic pain.

Now, here’s the kicker: I’m 20 years old. I was diagnosed with arthritis (which I commonly refer to JIA or RA) when I was only 13 months old. I have lived with chronic pain my entire life. I don’t really know anything different, or what my life would be like without pain.

Being as young as I am, there are not a lot of helpful resources out there to help someone like me. Every “Exercise for Arthritis” journal or article I have read (and I have read a lot), assumes that the reader is in their late 50’s, and they recommend the reader to do “light exercise, like swimming or low impact running”.

That’s not good enough for me. I do not want to manage my pain, I want to conquer my pain. 

It’s been 3 weeks since I began my journey. I’ll preface this by saying… this is not a weight loss journey. This is a weight gaining, strength training, muscle-building, ass-kicking journey. I do not just want to be able to open the pickle jar, I want to be able to lift up a crate of pickles without breaking a sweat!

I hope you find some inspiration on here, and if no one else does, I hope I can look back and feel inspired.