Having A Lot On My Plate Right Now

I wanted to write a quick update on things to prevent a massive procrastination event coming where I would delay and delay posting until next Christmas.

I’m stuffed with things to do – and food! I needed to find a new goal for myself as I’m not going to compete in a powerlifting meet – so I started massing, instead 🙂 . I’ve got tons of delicious, healthy food to eat and am hoping to gain some serious muscle during this autumn! My coach Jen from Renaissance Periodization has given me full reins to eat more. Way more. I’ve been indulging myself with copious quantities of peanut butter and my other favorite foods like oatmeal 😉 – not forgetting fruits, berries and veggies, though! I’ve got 360 grams of carbs on lifting days and am too ashamed to even tell the amount of fat on top of this….

I started a new hypertrophy mesocycle with less volume per week as I was having problems to recover from training and all my other responsibilities of work and studies. Today I had my second squat workout with good mornings and leg curls as accessories. I was feeling a bit nauseous and really tired with low motivation to train but managed to grind through. Even my fiancé helped by sending me a meme! I had some serious shakes going on after lifting, though.

Franz is his lovely and mischievous self and keeps me company wherever I may roam. We’ve been sleeping together, going for walks – sometimes accompanied by a friend – and found some great spots for picking blueberries in Hamina (don’t bother, they’re gone now 😀 ).

My coaching group is almost 2 months old now – how time flies! The ladies in it are very different from each other but I’m happy to have the chance to help them with their health and wellness. We are in this for the long run and making lasting changes to their habits regarding diet and nutrition and that’s not an easy task. We had such a great time working out together with my friend who is also in the coaching group ❤ .

I’ve also been tiptoeing on high heels practicing figure poses – but for the benefit of being able to coach my athlete(s) competing in figure better. Some news may be upcoming about my aspirations for a figure coaching career later this year… 😉 But first I have to do some more work, continue with another weekend of personal trainer studies followed by powerlifting coach studies the next weekend, leading up the AFPT Convention in Oslo, Norway. See ya soon!

xoxo,

Veera

This Awesome But Hectic Life Of Mine

Hiya! Right after getting my strength back I’ve been living life to the full last few weeks – maybe even a bit too full… I’ve had so much fun, met and hung out with friends and enjoyed every moment of it ❤ .

I was invited to my friend’s bachelorette party near Tampere a couple of weeks ago. I was pretty exhausted from all the traveling I had had to do in the near past but wouldn’t have missed her day for any price. I guess I was also suffering from a little bit of post-travel depression since returning from Ireland. Spending lots of time just resting and sleeping isn’t something that I like to do. It’s something that’s required of me if I want to stay functional but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I normally love being around people and not being able to really gets to me. Being all alone and weak in the bed makes me moody and sad.

I guess I would have been more energetic if I hadn’t spent the previous evening attending my friend’s singing gig at Helsinki, but I really wanted to hear her Dance Storm band play there – we had such a great time there with my friend Johanna ❤ . The gig was awesome, my leg twitched like crazy as I would’ve wanted to dance but really then I would’ve missed the bachelorette party due to total exhaustion.

The bachelorette party venue was Vaihmalan Hovi, a hotel and a spa near Lempäälä. The weather that day was fantastic; the sun shone brightly and we spend lot of time outdoors. The bride to be got spa treatments and we had planned some outdoor activity and a treasure hunt for her to test her wits 🙂 . I really enjoyed getting to know the other participants as I had never met most of my friend’s other GFs.

Our bachelorette party venue
We all got pretty hair pins to match ❤
Front yard at Vaihmalan Hovi

I would really have liked to go swimming but I forgot my bathing suit…

The day spent in sun and having numerous activities totally drained me and I spent the train ride home shaking and popping extra hydrocortisone. I have no recollection of the evening after I got home…

I haven’t been able to lift as often that I would’ve liked. Well no shit Sherlock. If I’m traveling around Finland and Europe, doing my job and hanging out with friends on this and that occasion I can’t split myself up any further. I have to really start to think about my priorities in the becoming few weeks as I miss lifting and 3 times per week – barely, may I say – just doesn’t cut it for long. I want to get to better, to set PRs, get more muscle. The way I’m living now won’t produce those results. I just need to choose what is most important to me in my life.

Still managed to hit the gym both in Hamina and in Espoo at least a couple of times 🙂
Last set of deadlift drop set left, lunges await…

I have missed spending time with friends and traveling, stuff that I loved to do before I got diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency. This spring and early summer I have been in the best shape ever since diagnosis. I think lots of reasons attribute to it:

  • My body is recovering from the long lack of enough cortisone and DHEA
  • I have learned to recover faster by taking small breaks throughout the day and sleeping wherever and whenever I can
  • I’m in better shape thanks to my powerlifting practice and the rowing sessions I started this spring
  • My nutrition is on point thanks to my nutrition coach, Renaissance Periodization’s Dr. Jen Case 
  • I’ve had a lot of help from my mother ❤ who takes care of Franz while I travel and work
  • Last but not least, I have a wonderful officer and a gentleman in my life who takes care of me when I’m tired or sick, walks beside me and supports all my aspirations in life ❤

Due to all the above, I’ve been able to work part-time since the end of my over 3 month sick leave last winter, begin my studies to become a personal trainer and finish my nutrition coach degree so I can help others.

I now have my first online nutrition coaching group that started in June and I have been so happy and amazed by the people that have trusted me to help them get in better shape and health. We have our own Facebook group and do group training and meet-up sessions at least once a month now. I have had much help from Precision Nutrition‘s ProCoacha nutrition coaching software for their certified coaches that helps me deliver daily educational lessons and workshops to my clients and help us monitor their progress and keep in touch. One month in, and many have already noticed big changes in their mindset about nutrition, fitness and life in general, as well as in their waistlines! 🙂

We had a blast in my coaching group’s outdoor training session!
Just hangin’ my hair out on summery pt course break 😀

My powerlifting coach certificate studies begin in August. Thankfully I only study one or two weekends per month and some evenings. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do my doctor’s work that pays for my “pt hobby” now. Hopefully next year I will be a certified personal trainer as well and can deliver excellent and holistic health services to my clients by combining these two professions.

As always, Franz is being his own cute – and at times annoying – self and keeps me company in my both homes at Espoo and Hamina ❤ .

The summer heat gets to even Franz at times
Franz having a little flamingo action 😀

For an adrenal insufficient individual, I think I’ve done more than well managing my life for the last few extremely busy weeks. But my illnesses are catching up with me at the moment and I really need to slow down soon or I will crash and burn. Right after my annual Utti Krav Maga Summer Camp this weekend, that is 😉 .

I will try to post an update next week about my trip to the European Powerlifting Conference as well as the Utti summer camp. Right after I’ve recovered. Already looking forward to spending time just resting, reading and watching movies, and when I’m up to it, hitting the gym again 🙂 .

xoxo,

Veera

So… Why Am I Even Doing This Powerlifting Thing Anyway?

I returned last week from the European Powerlifting Conference. My trip to Ireland will be covered in a new post – sooner than a month from now, promise! Now I’m in midst of recovery and new cycle of studying and working until exhaustion – tired but at the moment happy. ❤

I have to tell I had big problems with training motivation before leaving to Ireland. I was aiming at competing in Finnish Powerlifting Nationals this year but just recently I found out it wouldn’t be possible and never will be.

I guess part of me had feared this as I had postponed going to a sports medicine specialist doctor to ask about therapeutic use exemption regarding the medicines I am using that are prohibited by WADA. Well…DHEA is a problem. That big a problem I cannot overcome. I need it to help with my menstrual cycle which was haywire before I started using DHEA, as well as for overall wellbeing and mental health. With my normal dose of 1.5-2 tablets of 25mg DHEA my blood levels of the most biggest metabolite DHEAS are just above lower limit of normal values. Not any higher. But WADA’s rules only allow exemption for DHEA use for patients with primary adrenal insufficiency. Well, as a secondary that was it, then. No bother to fight against that. I can’t make myself primary and even with primaries the highest allowed dose is 25mg.

I’m pissed off and disappointed but understand the reasons behind not allowing DHEA use. It’s still testosterone precursor and I could be getting unfair advantage due to using it, albeit I don’t produce any naturally. And there isn’t a Clinical Practice Guideline considering DHEA use with secondary adrenal insufficiency. Doctors/endocrinologists aren’t unanimous in prescribing it though many or even most secondary hypocortisolism patients lack DHEA. But as long as it’s role is controversial and there’s no consensus I understand and just have to accept WADA’s ruling that it is prohibited to use by me should I choose to compete.

I had a really tough time re-thinking about my motivations about powerlifting. I have always wanted to compete. I’m a competitive person. I wanted to show by competing that even a person with as many illnesses and disabilities like me can with hard and dedicated training and nutrition following evidence based program and training principles can get to lift at a National level. I wanted to set an example. To test my limits. To win. Now I have to rediscover all the other reasons I love my sport.

Of course I could go and compete in some other alliance’s meets. An alliance’s that doesn’t test it’s athletes. But as a doctor and an athlete and a person who stands for fair game and being healthy I cannot see myself to associate with a powerlifting alliance that allows it’s competitors to use doping. I think that it would make me part of the problem. That there is no straight and honest talk about the wide spread use of performance enhancing drugs in strength sports. And I don’t want to silently accept the false status quo that while (almost) everyone knows some lifters are using PEDs, no one admits it and rarely anyone talks about PED use in the sport freely. I want to represent and speak for clean sports. That you can be strong – as a woman, as a lifter, period – without succumbing to doping use. By hard work and perseverance. This is just my opinion and I don’t see a problem with people using PEDs as long as they’re honest about it and don’t try to pass as clean athletes. I hate cheating. Period.

So…I just have to make do. Without competing. Probably ever, if WADA doesn’t change the rules one day ;).

I was for a couple of days really disillusioned. Wondered why the heck am I doing this shit. Sweating. Grinding. Dragging myself to the gym when I was tired and overworked and probably more in need of a whole week just resting and sleeping. Doing all these heavy squats and hip thrusts and deadlifts until my legs burned and ached and shook. I could be doing something else! Something I enjoyed – loved – to do. Something that made me feel good about myself. Where I could have a sense of achievement. Get stronger mentally and physically. Find new friends across the globe. Something like…well, like powerlifting. As I thought about it, a chance of competing was always such a tiny amount of the allure of the sport that now when it’s taken away my love for powerlifting isn’t any smaller.

Once a powerlifter, always a powerlifter. All the wonderful things it has given me can never be taken away. The progress I’ve made as a lifter and a person and the friends I’ve found. The new level of ability to function and how much better I am now coping with my illnesses. This is, and will be, a huge part of my life, no matter what.

xoxo,

Veera

Great Powerlifing Resources – Sigma Powerlifting Podcast

I want to really recommend everyone interested in powerlifting to check out this new podcast concentrating on powerlifting – Sigma Powerlifting Podcast by Danny Lennon from absolutely fantastic Sigma Nutrition (that I’ve talked about so many times 🙂 ). Danny interviews clearly the hottest (or coolest) names in powerlifting, already the cast is starting to look a list of who’s who in the sport. Definitely worth listening to! ❤

Check it out here:  SIGMA POWERLIFTING PODCAST

The above episode is so far my favorite interview, although all the episodes have been great 🙂 . I’m really fascinated in Mike’s approach to powerlifting training, especially the RPE system – check out Reactive Training Systems – RTS to learn more! I also tend to aim for more higher volume and frequency -based training Mike tells he often uses in his programming. As a smaller, less experienced female athlete it’s of course very reasonable to do so – I can recover must faster than, say, a 100 kg advanced male powerlifter.  I’m just not able trash my body so completely with training with my minuscule muscles 😀 . At least when my cortisone dosage is optimal. If I take too little I can easily work myself up to ER condition, though…

I have pretty amazing news – I’ll be attending the European Powerlifting Conference in Ireland this July! The speaker list is awesome – these guys are powerlifting rockstars and the best thing is we attendees get to hang out with them on Saturday at a beer & barbeque party! I’ll be going with my friend and we’re gonna spend one night in Dublin as well. I’m really looking forward to the trip as I’ve never been to Ireland 🙂 .

Learn more about the European Powerlifting Conference 2017 !

I’m already so excited, only a month to go! ❤ ❤ I will certainly give a detailed report from the conference (if I manage my cortisone dose to stay up and functioning from all the excitement…)

xoxo,

Veera

Practice What You Preach (And Take Photos While Doing It)

I had an absolutely fantastic weekend and I feel so much better now both mentally and physically! 🙂 I managed to hit most of the goals I set to myself on my last post Anxious And Overworked, But Hopeful and it made such a big impact to get a whole 3 days off work and finally I got to spend time with my beloved ❤ ❤

Last Friday started great already when I got to try real Olympic rowing for the first time in my life. My friend competes in the sport and she was supposed to give me some pointers in my indoor rowing technique but when we got to the Rowing Stadium (it was built for the 1940 Summer Olympics in Helsinki), the weather was so nice she asked if I’d dare to go to the sea on her double scull. It was great! The sun was shining and I tried to get the hang of rowing technique which is, I can tell you, a lot harder than using a rowing machine 😀 … I absolutely want to try that again!

Töölö Olympic Rowing Stadium, Helsinki – photo source

The weather was perfect for my first Olympic rowing experience!

Afterwards I just made time to my 90 minute sports massage aka the torture 😀 and then we headed toward Hamina with Franz ❤ . I had missed my boyfriend so so much and getting to spend a whole weekend with him was such a treat ❤ .

Franz instantly reclaimed one of his favorite sleeping places in Hamina 😀

The weekend was quite busy as we spend most the time with our favorite hobbies, working out and shooting 🙂 . I’m not much of a shooter yet but promising, perhaps? At least I have a really professional private tutor ❤ . The only negative thing was I overdid my practice by shooting way too much with rifles and shotgun that had that much of a recoil my right shoulder got irritated. By Sunday it was bruised and swollen and I was unable to do my benching workout which was a bummer 😦 . But I got a lot of practice (that makes perfect) and lots of sun – the weather stayed fantastic the whole weekend with nearly cloudless sky and above 20 degrees Celcius – enough for my very Finnish taste 🙂 .

And, I have forgot to write, I had SMILE laser surgery done to correct my vision at Eiran sairaala – I had both myopia and mild astigmatism and had to use glasses from time to time. Now I saw clearly and it felt so good to be able to aim and shoot straight without glasses when shooting from longer ranges without scope.

Only 50 meters here – on Sunday got farther to 100 m
Handgun practice is fun, too!
I guess not bad for a beginner learning how to shoot a revolver? 🙂

I’m getting used to shooting and only took some extra hydrocortisone due to the heat – we were at the range about 3 hours on both days on midday. At least I got some tan besides my bruises 🙂 . I have a lot of work to do to improve my technique but I guess that is why I like shooting so much – every little detail matters. I need to focus more on squeezing the trigger the right way and to the right direction, and holding the squeeze long enough after the shot is fired, for one. And I need to stabilize my position better, now my muscles aren’t used to static work and get tired holding a gun. I also use them too much and the wrong way to support myself. But it’s so fun and rewarding to learn!

Last set of deadlifts always feel heavy whether you are in Espoo or Hamina…

I’ve still been doing RP’s powerlifting hypertrophy template and next and fourth week will be the hardest before deload. I don’t feel extremely tired still but I know I need the extra recovery especially for my left glute which is still irritated. My sports physio now gave me new rehab+strength exercises so I’m now doing one legged hip thrusts and nordic curls twice a week before squatting and deadlifting and cable hip abduction+adduction once a week as my adductors were a bit lazy as well.

Last Sunday I did:

Hip flexor stretches

One legged hip thrust with weight 2 x 8 kg 9, 8

Nordic curl 2 x 10 reps

Block pull sumo 5 x 90 kg 9, 8, 7, 7, 7 reps

Leg extension 30 kg 11 reps, 35 kg 13 reps, 40 kg 10, 8, 9 reps

One arm DB row 5 x 22.5 kg 11, 9, 7, 7, 7

DB lateral raise 4 x 10 kg 10, 9, 9, 7, 7 reps

Full contact twist 3 x 25 kg 8, 11, 10 reps

All sets were left approximately 3 reps short of failure this week.

Here’s a video of my last set of deadlifts, I was already really wiped out:

And we did do other stuff besides lifting weights and shooting, too. The last time I got to go sightseeing in Hamina was actually two years ago, the time I had just started writing this blog. The weather was perfect and warm and sun shone so it was about time we packed ourselves and Franz into the car and drove around the town to see and visit a couple of harbors and some beaches 🙂 .

This week has still been busy, busy, busy with work and working out since I got back this Monday, but after getting some quality time with my boyfriend I feel a lot more relaxed and happy so bring it on! 🙂

xoxo,

Veera

Anxious And Overworked, But Hopeful

I seem to be able to write really seldom these days. The matter is I’ve been absolutely overworked and tired. I’ve done my usual consulting physician’s work and started my personal trainer studies, and on top of that had to start renovating an apartment I own and have been renting after a tenant left it in a bad shape… And of course I’ve tried to work out as usual. I had to end my diet last month as I was so tired with all my responsibilities I didn’t see a point in continuing a diet which would be an extra stressor.

I have also been anxious, probably due to all the stress and hurry. I worry about a dozen little things every day and chastise myself for not being efficient enough, smart enough, good enough doctor/athlete/friend/human/etc. I wanted to write about this as I know I’m not by far the only person in the world who feels this way in a modern society where people are valued based on what they do, how they look, how they perform… I’m sorry I don’t have an easy answer how to get rid of these feelings of worthlessness. If I did I wouldn’t see a therapist. My resting heart rate has gone up from 65 to 72 bpm and I wake up frequently in the middle of the night and my sleep seems to be much lighter than normally.

I’ve found some comfort by talking to my friends and other people who also suffer from same problems and by thinking about my core values – what is important to me in life and how can I incorporate things that make me happy into everyday living?

So here’s an impromptu list what I’ll try to add more of to my days:

  • Seeing my friends, making new ones and having fun
After a great, sweaty crosstraining session with my fellow pt course students 🙂
  • Reading more fiction

  • Taking long walks with Franz ❤

  • Remember to incorporate light, recovery exercise I also enjoy
    Relaxing in the pool after our gym instructor course training session
  • Managing my sleep better by getting to bed early enough, taking melatonin and meditating

  • Lifting hard and heavy but not too seriously 😉

  • Last, but not least – spending time with my man ❤ ❤ (who I see way too rarely)

This is just a phase in my life and right now the amount of stress is huge, but I know things will get better in the long run – in the meantime I have to be more mindful and forgiving to myself. I know I take too much responsibilities and try to manage every aspect of my life and often others’ as well. I have to remind myself I’m only one person and a disabled one on the top of that. If I want to be able to help others I have to start with myself.

xoxo (to myself as well),

Veera

Cruising Forward

Image source

Truly Happy and Joyous Easter to all my readers ❤ !

I had a wonderful Easter on a cruise to Estonia with some old and new lifting friends aboard Silja Europa ❤ . I was really happy I got invited to the cruise with coach Anni and her fellow weightlifters and friends 🙂 .

Me and Anni ❤

I don’t have that much friends who lift seriously or at all so I’m happy whenever I get to meet like-minded people who also don’t wonder when I contemplate already on cruise when will my next workout be or roll their eyes at the quantity of food I eat even when dieting – or start lecturing me that I shouldn’t even diet in the first place as I’m already lean and blah, blah. I want to be an athlete and I may have different goals than regular people. That doesn’t mean that I can’t eat anything or don’t know how to relax and party.

Our merry crew 🙂 ❤

I had decided to play safe and took a HUGE amount of cortisone – 30 mg prednisolone during the 23 hour cruise, that is 4 times my normal dose – to be able to stay up late and do what normal people do. We danced in the ship’s disco until I called it quits ad 3:30 AM ❤ .

I also got to eat a lot at the ship’s buffet as I had decided I’ll have free 24 hour period to eat whatever I want to and sure I hit the dessert table 😉 I have such a big sweet tooth 😀 … Luckily, or unluckily depending on viewpoint, my 7 weeks of dieting had shrunk my stomach so that I couldn’t eat that much as I would’ve liked… I did buy a chocolate bar and one bag of candy but in the end didn’t even eat those as I just wasn’t hungry after a good sized dinner and breakfast buffet’s.

The weather in Tallinn was amazing:

Our ship, the Silja Europa was under major refurbishment last year when it returned to Finland from Australia to begin cruising the Helsinki-Tallinn route. Some pictures of the ship:

Silja Europa – image source

Image source

After I got home things haven’t been quite as nice, which should’ve been expected. I tried to return to my normal cortisone dose immediately after the cruise even though I was still recovering from lack of sleep and lots and lots of activity – idiot me… On Saturday alone I walked almost 17,000 steps in Tallinn doing some shopping.

Now I’ve updosed and hope my tiredness, vertigo and nausea will pass soon. It’s not nice when you can feel your heart thump so hard you think it will jump out your chest any minute and try to not take notice that you feel like you’re going to puke but then again can’t. Even if I try to rest it doesn’t help, I simply lie on the bed with my eyes closed but can’t sleep as I feel so horrible. Normal people at least get the hangover straight after cruise, not delayed and lasting for days and days… 😦

If I start to feel better I’ll try to make it to the gym to do my deload workout. Next week I’ll be starting a new training cycle and am already thinking about what exercises I’ll select. Now I’ve gone 5 weeks without barbell squatting as I did belt and hack squats to try to work on my quads more and get them to grow without my stronger back getting in the way of quad gains. I guess now it’s time for regular back squats and leg press, then. I’m still doing longer sets, approximately 6-15 reps and lots of sets. With bench I think I’m going for regular and close grip bench in the new cycle.

Though I’m still dieting I feel like I’ve recovered well enough for the most part. My sleep is always a bit of an issue, I sleep very restlessly and fidget a lot. It’s usual that I wake up several times a night as well. I guess that is one of the reasons I need 9-10 hours of sleep; I just don’t sleep deep enough. I used melatonin for about 2 years but recently have tried to go without, just to reduce the amount of pills I take, and don’t really see any difference in my sleeping patterns if I compare how I slept with the drug to how I sleep now. Though I only have my Fitbit tracker’s sleep data to analyze.

The only nagging thing regarding recovery is still my left glute, namely the small, annoying quadratus femoris muscle that has again mildly aggravated from high volume training. It’s tight and sometimes a bit achy, especially when it’s stretched like when doing stiff legged deadlifts and good mornings. I’ll try to get it massaged well, take some NSAID painkillers and let it rest properly during my deload. I’ll have to select exercises that won’t aggravate the condition more for my new training mesocycle and hope the situation will improve with time. I’ve still been training my glutes with direct work like bands, cable etc. and at least my medial glute tendinitis is completely healed.

More about quadratus femoris rehabilitation here: http://www.eastwestmassageboston.com/quadratus-femoris-muscle-treatment.html

Next week I’ll also start my personal trainer studies. I’m excited and happy, not at all nervous as we’re now having some basic studies about good nutrition, recovery and fundamentals of resistance and endurance exercise. Maybe I’ll find new friends interested in lifting from the course! 🙂

Nice and relaxing Easter Monday for everyone,

xoxo,

Veera

Image source

New Career Path Ahead

I have wonderful news! I’m since this week a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified nutrition coach 🙂 !!

I finished my studies after two weeks of intense reading and doing online exams. I’m really excited and anxious to get new clients I can use my skills and all the knowledge I’ve gathered about dieting, mass gaining, healthy nutrition, change psychology and making permanent life changes 🙂 . This is all the stuff I’ve wanted to do with my patients as a doctor but haven’t had time as usually appointments are very short and we aren’t allocated time to talk about lifestyle interventions, which is so sad. I’m planning to open an online consulting business so I can help people no matter their location as I’m still living half the time in Espoo and other half in Hamina.

And this isn’t the only change in my life – next week I’ll be starting personal trainer studies!  I’m enrolled to graduate as a Trainer4You personal trainer this December 🙂 . I’m really psyched up about this and extremely happy that all my beloved ones and friends have been really supportive about my new career path. I’ll be also starting studies this autumn to become a certified fitness coach. The course is meant for people interested in coaching fitness competitors in fitness, body fitness (figure), bikini fitness, men’s physique, women’s physique and classic bodybuilding. The Finnish Fitness Alliance is Finnish Olympic Committee member and under IFBB umbrella, and is committed to drug-free sports and competitors are subject to WADA testing. I’ve been a fitness enthusiast since the 90’s and it will be so fun to connect with my old love again ❤ .

I’ll be continuing working as geriatric consult as usual but I hope I can start my side business with lifestyle medicine and getting people in shape and encouraging them to adopt healthy eating habits and maybe even help someone to step on stage in high heels one day 🙂 .

xoxo,

Veera

 

Dieting Fundamentals

Here’s a great new podcast where David O’Connor from Doc Fitness interviews Sigma Nutrition‘s Danny Lennon, who I’m a great fan of and have written about several times.

If you’re interested in losing weight the right way, and finding out what the right way for YOU is, give this a listen!

Listen the podcast here (sorry couldn’t get the player to work directly on this page).

My diet is progressing well. No cravings and good energy for a change 🙂 . Last week I reduced calories by cutting my fat intake as my weight loss has now stalled and my weight actually bumped up almost a kilo. This was the first time I had to decrease calories so as I’m now in week 5 of my diet things are going well. When looking at the mirror I appear to have lost weight – my face is more gaunt, and I seem to have more muscle definition allover. The weight increase is probably due to water weight.

Even the masochistic RP powerlifting hypertrophy workouts have been fun – so far 😉 … I have one more workout left from week 2 and the next two weeks will be considerably more challenging. But hell, bring it on! Progress is inevitable 🙂 . I love to train so lots of volume and sets is a nice change.

Losing size from waist, preferably not from my tiny quads…

Last Saturday I did:

Hack squat 8 x 65 kg 12, 11, 10, 10, 10, 8, 8, 7

Incline DB press 6 x 15 kg 7, 7, 8, 7, 5, 7

Parallel pullups assisted on machine 5 x (-17.5 kg) 8, 7, 6, 5, 5

Cable upright row 4 x 40 kg 8, 9, 9, 8

Cable donkey kicks 2 x 15 kg 15, 13 – I’m doing these to rehab my glutes after my tendinitis problems. Doing direct glute work with bands etc has helped tremendously and I’m completely pain free at the moment 🙂

Sit ups with twist 3 x 5 kg 12, 8, 8

Rest is also very important and I’ve been focusing on getting enough quality sleep, 8-9 hours per night. It means getting ready for bed early enough and shutting off all the distractions like TV and putting out the smartphone – ouch! Luckily we all value sleep very highly in my household 🙂 ❤ .
Franz knows the essence of recovery!

Another important method of winding down and getting my parasympathetic nervous system on the groove is doing stuff I enjoy on rest days, like reading and watching movies. Last weekend we watched The Accountant – it was great! Highly recommended, I’d give it 4.5 stars out of 5. If you have a great plot, action, Ben Affleck and sniper rifles in a movie, you can’t go wrong ❤ .

Exciting new week folks,

xoxo,

Veera

Who’s Afraid Of The Big, Bad Endo vol. 2

Cortisone is a miracle drug. It keeps me and other people with adrenal insufficiency alive. It’s not your enemy, it’s your savior. It’s the thing that keeps you pushing forward when going gets tough.

The instinctual drive to survive and stay alive is strong. It’s ingrained to all living creatures, including humans. Medicine is supposed to heal the sick and wounded and alleviate pain and suffering. It’s what you expect your doctor to do when you visit her / him.

So, considering those above facts, how is it that when our endocrinologist suggests that we lower our cortisone dose dramatically, or even with secondary adrenal insufficiency patients, wean off altogether, we are called emotional, hysterical, overdramatic, mental?

How would you react if you went to the doctor and your doctor started to contemplate aloud whether to cut off your legs, lobotomize you or simply put you off your misery by execution? In my opinion, we adrenal insufficiency patients are way too well-mannered and proper when we simply sit and listen to those threats year after year without yelling, throwing things and surging out of the doctor’s office screaming after restraining order.

But hey, that’s just me.

Starbuck said it.

xoxo,

Veera