Support for Chronic Pain

Focus On YOU



I love the show: “The Biggest Loser” for many reasons: health and exercise are such a passion for me and I love seeing people lose weight and I am not talking about fat on their body but the emotional weight they have carried most of their lives.  It is a very inspirational show.  Over eating and obesity is solely a factor of an underlying issue as all addictions are.  For me: I drank and ate crap for years to mask chronic pain and the depression/anxiety that came with it.  Once I faced chronic pain head on and made the most difficult choice in my life: to accept chronic pain and manage it naturally, I began to become a new person.   A person that yes, looked better on the outside but more importantly a person who loves herself on the inside.  As I watch this season of the Biggest Loser (NBC) I began to see that the way I live in order to control pain instead of pain controlling me is the same way the trainers on the show are teaching the contestants how to live.

People who are trying to lose weight usually say: I need to work out, eat better, etc etc.  There are more fad diets in our country than ever and it is sad.  As many of us have heard: losing weight is not about diet/exercise: it is a lifestyle change.  It takes a lot of work and dedication to lose weight because like chronic pain there is no magic cure to weight loss.  When I decided to take that leap and stop looking for a cure and manage pain naturally, my entire lifestyle changed.  Here is just an example of how I live each day in order to manage pain naturally.

Each night prior to going to sleep I make a list of the things I need to do the next day: exercise, breathing exercises, food shopping, writing, work: you get the picture.  My days are regimented and I am very okay with that.  I wake up early (sleep in work out gear) work out, stretch, juice/breakfast, write if my daughter allows me to focus, see my holistic therapist once a week so I never slip into old patterns of behavior to numb chronic pain and/or emotional pain.  I try and practice meditation but have been slacking as of late, put dinner in crock pot, shower (at times with my two year old to kill two birds with one stone, plus she is really fun to be with) run errands, nanny, come home, eat the dinner already made sitting in the crock pot, put on pajamas aka work out clothes and chill with a reality show or movie.  I use distractions each day when my mind begins to focus on pain.  Even if that is just putting on music and dancing with Kayci or playing at the playground.  Music is a saving grace to my management of chronic pain as is never allowing myself to sit and ruminate on where my pain is.  I can be flexible with my routine (I am a mom, I have no choice) but the things I make sure to do every day are: exercise/yoga, eat well, juice, and use distractions.

When my readers email me with questions about a certain way to manage their pain, I find it very difficult to answer as just like with weight loss it is an entire lifestyle change.  If someone asked Jillian Michaels: “What diet should I go on to lose weight?”  She would probably chuckle and say: “There is no diet to lose and sustain weight loss: you must make a lifestyle change and start from the inside out.”  That is exactly how I manage chronic pain: lifestyle change.  In order to do so I must: “focus on my own shit.” If we do not do what is right and healthy for us we are no use to anyone. It is not selfish; in fact it is the opposite of selfish.  If you are not happy and in a good place (body, mind and spirit) you will not be able to be the mother, father, friend, child, grandparent, sister, brother that you want to be.

I know there are so many questions and specific answers many of you want to ask me and I will always be supportive, and do my best to help you: whole point of this blog.  However, you may not like my answers or advice and there is no magic answer.  I want you all to know that you are doing the best you can and if you focus on YOU and focus on YOUR own “shit” your life will begin to change.


4 thoughts on “Focus On YOU

  1. Thanks for being so honest in this post Jessica. This is what I’ve learned to do with my chronic fatigue as well. We all suffer in one way or another, and we all have ways of coping with pain that don’t serve us – whether it is emotional or physical or other. Learning how to acknowledge the truth of the underlying pain has been a huge factor in working with my chronic illness. I have made dietary changes (major ones in the past year, including juicing too), do “oxygenation walks” every day (rather than for exercise, which doesn’t work with chronic fatigue), have finally been able to start incorporating meditation (on occasion, can’t do it regularly at this point) … And for me, a particular focus has been on working through the underlying trauma patterns in my nervous system with trauma therapy and working through the early attachment wounds, which I’ve come to think play a big role in the physiology of my disease. It is a journey! often full-time, but actually sweetly rewarding as I come to love myself. I’ll have to watch the Biggest Loser!

  2. I’m so with you. My favorite thing to do while I walk in the morning is watch The Biggest Loser. Nothing is more inspiring. It seems like every episode there is some inspiring comment that I try to remember later so that I can write it down and blog about it. You are right though, I never really thought about how much of the work had to be done on the inside until I started making those changes myself. Some of the inside work happens as the outside changes, but mostly it’s the outside changes because the inside has changed.

  3. Veronique says:

    Hi Julie, Yes, the outside changes for me too following the inside work. It’s such a different perspective than our traditional cultural views. I find this in other reality shows such as What not to Wear and My 600 lb life – it’s about what’s going on inside. BTW thanks for introducing me to Jessica’s blog in your post earlier this month! It’s been great to meet you two.

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