My end of the year health assessment

*I wanted to share my 2020 health assessments with you guys. It has been three years since I have been on this wellness journey and 2020 is the first year where I didn’t have any new injuries or diagnoses!*  

The new year is fast approaching and just about everybody is ready to leave 2020 behind …before I join the fun in kissing 2020 goodbye, I want to share with you guys my 2020 health assessment. This assessment is a review and reflection on how things are going with me mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

When I came to the fitsavvycoach.com I was someone who suffered from chronic physical pain and I also suffered from emotional and mental pain. In essence, I needed to change my lifestyle but I didn’t completely understand what that meant. I didn’t think that changing my lifestyle was going to be a big deal or have a huge impact on me, but it did.

My mantra for this blog has always been was: 

Listen to your body…

Since graduating high school, my body has been telling me something wasn’t right and I needed help. 

I decided to listen and the journey began in 2017. Removing bad habits and establishing new ones was hard! I noticed that it was taking my body a long time to heal. While in college, my diet was terrible! I had forgotten my healthy roots!

After college, I suffered from chronic injuries and physical pain! Meaning I have had nagging and acute injuries for the last decade! These injuries came from stress, trauma, overtraining, and depression to name a few reasons.

Even the smallest improvements prove to me that I’m doing and feeling better, that is what I live for.

My body wasn’t functioning very well so I began to dive deeply into health and wellness and personal growth/mental health. I had to DEAL WITH IT. I wish I could tell you that my journey has been ribbon and rainbows. It has been hard as shit. It is still hard and many days I go through frustrations where I feel like nothing I do is working, but there are these moments that I have where I see the growth and I feel powerful (I would like to pause here and say that this journey wasn’t in one year. This took time)!!! 

Even the smallest improvements prove to me that I’m doing and feeling better, that is what I live for. I wanted to share with you my health assessment for 2020 and I hope this assessment resonates with you and helps you along your journey. In this post, I will be talking about knee and nerve pain, bloating, mental health, flexibility, and vegetarianism. You can scroll to whatever sections you need to help you get through.

Why do a 2020 health assessment?

This year was extremely hard for me. I understand that some people on this planet had fabulous years, but some people did not. In some ways, I too had a great year. I improved and grew in many ways that I thought I hadn’t. The universe really opened up to me and I opened up to myself. We often associate it with the scale as the only way to measure ourselves and our value. When truth be told the true measurement of improvement is our peace and contentment.

I encourage everyone to do a 2020 health assessment. In fact, do one for every year you are on this planet to keep you on track and to hold yourself accountable! This will help you to determine what is working for you and what isn’t.  

Me getting ready for my 1970s inspired group fitness class

My 2020 Health Assessment 

Knee Pain 

In the Summer of 2015, I tore my MCL And fractured my tibia playing basketball. The funny thing about this injury was it was an impact injury. I allowed the injury to heal on it isn’t on and after about 6 months of rehab, I was back to playing basketball. Unfortunately, my knee never healed correctly and in 2018 I developed chondromalacia (the worst nagging knee pain ever). My right knee sounded like bubble wrap whenever I would work out.

After workouts, my knee throbbed. It would wake me up and night and last for hours. Rehab didn’t help me at all. Chondromalacia has been nagging me for years, even after surgery the pain never went away. I had to stop playing basketball, running, and do H.I.T. workouts! I really felt like my exercise life was over. Most people with these conditions heal up pretty quickly, but I had grade 3 chondromalacia!!! 

After going to therapy for a year, I gave up…….but then I found rowing!!!!!!! Becoming a row instructor really restored my knee and gave me the passion to workout again!!! I was just happy that I could work up a sweat. However….in the fall of 2019 I developed goosefoot bursitis….once again my right knee didn’t want to be great. I had to stop teaching for 8 weeks. I did some rehabbing and resting and my chondromalacia came back with a vengeance!!!! But…don’t think this is the end…..developing goosefoot bursitis was a blessing in disguise!!! I ditched my old orthopedic and found a new physical therapist!!!

He has truly been a Godsend!!! He is a hands-on therapist and his method for healing my body has worked! I can now run again, row faster, jump, do H.I.T. workouts. Every month, I check in with my PT. He gives me new stuff to work and he works on my weaknesses while adding to my strengths. I have been doing PT with him for a year now. Never have I met a therapist who exudes optimism and results! He told me that my knee would not get back to normal. It would be better than it was before!!! He changed my running gait and my jump and squat technique. Cheers to stronger glutes!

Tip #1: In order to overcome an injury, you must find the right therapist.

Tip #2: Good knee health is all in the glutes, hips, and calves

Nerve Pain 

Do you know what nerve pain feels like? I wouldn’t wish this type of pain on anybody. Nerve pain is so insidious that it can rob you of movement and activity. Imagine random shooting pains radiating through your body without warning all the freaking time. And now imagine having the worst of it at night…while sleeping. I first developed nerve pain in 2016. Since then I have seen so many doctors and experts that had no rhyme or reason why it was happening.

Typically, nerve pain happens because of vitamin B deficiency, diabetes, carpal tunnel, or sciatica. I had none of those!!! What was causing experts to be confused was because my nerve pain was throughout my entire body even my fingertips and lips were burning and tingling! I had been prescribed so many different medications and taken many allergies and diabetic testing.

To my and my doctors’ surprise, all the testing I did came up negative, we even retested and I was still negative.I had  In order for me to overcome my nerve pain, I took it into my own hands. Having this nerve pain is what made me start my health journey and started this blog. I still have nerve pain but it is very minimal. 

What I have done to decrease my nerve pain: 

  1. Eat more vegetables (3-5x day) 
  2. Eat more fruit  (3-5x day) 
  3. Limit my gluten and wheat intake (there are certain foods that make my nerve pain worse) 
  4. Meditation 
  5. Dark cherry juice 
  6. Eliminate all candy from diet except chocolate and special desserts 
  7. Limit processed foods 
  8. Stay away from food dyes and artificial preservatives 

Bloating 

I gave up dairy in November!!!!! Sidenote: sometimes I sneak chocolate…but other than that I’m dairy free! My stomach feels so much better and I feel much lighter. Although, I was eating cleaner and healthier before I gave up dairy, cheese and butter still made up a large percentage of my diet.

As a vegetarian, I used cheese and yogurt as crutches! Everything I ate had to include a dairy product or I didn’t feel satisfied. When it comes to being a vegetarian finding where you are going to get your protein from is so important. We know that protein can come from many different plant sources, but it comes down to if we actually like the protein and if the protein can satisfy us.

I decided that dairy was my #1 protein choice and that was a horrible decision! Dairy should never be your first protein choice! There were many consequences with choosing dairy, which is that I was always bloated and had major stomach issues. It got so bad during an important event that I was writing for that I bailed on my interviewee 4 times during dinner! Thank God they were understanding, I didn’t think I was going to be able to do anything but use the bathroom that night. Since I have given up dairy I haven’t felt that way again! 

Mental Health 

Before Quarantine, I went through a mental health crisis. I will expound on it more, but this time last year, my world flipped upside down. For the second time in my life, I didn’t think I was going to make it. Quarantine made working through my mental health more difficult. I have seen counselors before (for various different reasons), but for a short period of time. It took me a while to trust the process and invest in therapy. I was ashamed to seek out a therapist for myself. It took some encouragement from my family and friends. .

Honestly, I didn’t think therapy could help me and I was scared that I was going to have to see a therapist for the rest of my life!!! In all honesty, I might have to see a therapist for a long time and I am honestly realizing that will be okay. Just like we go to a doctor when we are sick and go to a physical therapist when we have injury when our brains are hurt or imbalanced we got to see a therapist. 

The most important thing you need to have stable mental health is support. Support for me also came from online Facebook groups and blogs :). Don’t be afraid to seek help you are not alone

Flexibility 

Never in my life would I ever think I would be flexible! I’m proud to say that I’m more flexible than ever!!!!!! I stretch 3x a week and I try to do yoga at least twice a week. Many people feel that stretching is boring. I’m not going to lie, stretching can be boring, but it doesn’t have to be!!!! Whenever I stretch or do yoga, I create a space that is not only zen by infectious with peaceful energy. I fix myself some hot tea, light candles, and play meditation music on Spotify. That really gets me into the mood I will have future posts on flexibility coming up in 2021!!!!

Leaving Vegetarianism 

On November 15, 2020, I decided I could no longer stick to vegetarianism. I had to nix the dairy, but I couldn’t give up dairy without adding fish back to my diet. 

I know. I’m sorry. I thought I could stick with this for years, but dairy is a real enemy of mine. Last few months I had experienced uncontrollable bloating and unwanted bathroom visits. I had no idea what was going.

On top of all that mess, my acne worsened! My only option was to go vegan or completely ovo vegetarian. Going vegan was out of the question! I work out a bit too much and I don’t consume enough beans or legumes to make that jump!

After doing some research, I found that consuming sustainable (wild-caught) seafood was better for my health and the environment than consuming dairy. I’m not anti-dairy at all; my body does not like it anymore. And when the body tells you something, you must listen.

I’ll have some more posts about vegetarianism in the future and why I left and who knows I might go back or jump to completely vegan, time will tell.

Where I need to improve on

I have so many dreams that I want to accomplish in 2021 especially with this blog! I have faith that this blog is going to grow and become something amazing! Besides this blog, I need to improve on my mental health.

The past years have been dead set on becoming fitter and healthier that I have forgotten that fitness is both mental and physical! Your mind and body need to be on the same accord. My focus on 2021 is to combine my mind, body, and spirit together.

I have never done this in my life by the way! I have always focused on physical stuff and when you only focus on the superficial you never get a chance to go deeper or have deep change!

My word for 2021 is to be open for change!

Now it is your turn to do your 2020 Health assessment

This is what I want you to do!!! I want you to reflect on this past year! Pick 5 things that you have been struggling with and write them down on a piece of paper. Next, write down your improvements (where you think you have grown or have had a breakthrough) and then write down on things that you can do better! Keep this somewhere safe so you can compare your 2020 health assessment to your 2021 health assessment!

Happy New Year,

Fitsavvy

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