Jen Flynn

It's ok to say "this sucks!"

It’s ok to say “this sucks!”

 It’s ok to say this sucks ……… even if your an olympian.Olympic-fall-keeps-Uceny-out-of-next-race-FU230FDI-x-large

Why is it that we feel compelled to hide our emotions and our feelings? I know for me I have been made to feel like no matter what I go through…. It could be worse. You know what ……I don’t buy it.

 

Here’s why, I firmly believe that God puts us through only what we can handle at that moment. We go through it one way or another because we don’t have a choice. But what we can do, is choose how we go through it.

 

What I have been taught to say by society is: “Now I know I haven’t been through as much as you” or “I know mines not as bad as what you are going through”….

Of course I have not been through as much as the next person, we don’t live the same life. I could be talking to a Vietnam vet who has been through the unthinkable, I could be talking with someone who lost all 4 of their children in a car accident, I could be talking with someone battling cancer, I could be talking with someone who is caring for a loved one in the end stages of life, or I could be talking with someone who is sick and doesn’t know why, the bottom line is …….. it’s okay to say what you really feel inside. In fact it’s more then ok, it’s healing to admit that what you are going through right now…. Sucks! You don’t have to feel like it’s not as hard as what the next person is going through.

Who is to judge? Seriously who is to judge your current problem against theirs? If you’re standing next to someone who says… Yeh, that sucks but it could be worse. I say ditch that person in your life. You don’t want someone if your life who is going to judge you. What they are saying is that they think they understand what it is you are going through and you should count your blessings because it could be so much worse.

Not true.

Let me paint you a picture. On the outside people may see that you have lost your job and you may hear “oh yeh Carl just lost his job too so don’t feel so bad” or “don’t worry you’ll get a new one and hey things could be worse!” But what they may not know is…. your over extended on your mortgage and your going to lose your house. You have medical bills that are unpaid from your child’s accident, not to mention your marriage is crumbling and your credit cards are maxed! . (Insert any situation you like into this story.)

My friend, if you’re in this boat I’m sorry for what you are going through and you need to be validated for it.

What’s not okay for us to do is to play the victim. You know the person that keeps complaining and is not doing anything about it. And then tomorrow saying “it sucks” again but you have done NOTHING to change your current situation. That’s playing a victim and when you do that, your not helping anyone, especially yourself.

In the past I have felt really uncomfortable expressing how I feel. I know a lot of women feel the same way, and when it comes to men I believe most men don’t really know how to express their feelings or how to handle other peoples thoughts or emotions. (not all but in my experience most)  My circle of friends knows that I am dealing with a health issue of Lymes, that yep could be totally worse. My inner circle of friends knows that I am facing an upcoming difficult stressful surgery for my child that yep could be worse! And my inner inner circle knows the deeper stressors in my life as well, that YEP COULD BE WORSE.  sorry just had to put that in there of all of you out there that are quietly whispering….. huh! what I am dealing with is so much worse. It’s ok, but learn to change your thought process for others and have compassion. You will feel so much better!

 

So yep, for me right now things kinda suck. But today I feel empowered because I am doing something about it and it feels SO GOOD. Am I able to cure my health? nope. Am I able to know for 100% that my child is going to be fine? nope. Am I sure about the future? NOPE!

What I am sure about is that I have a heavenly Father who loves me. I have an amazing family and most of all best husband in the world who keep me going and a good support system.

I want to share some things that I have learned to make sure I keep things moving forward and I am still a work in progress!

 

  • Talk ~ Say what it is that you really want to say. Don’t be ashamed or fearful of letting someone know what is really wrong. You don’t need to make excuses for how you feel. And if the person is not receptive then find a new person.
  • Take a step ~ Life can feel overwhelming at times! Having a mentor or friend that can help from the outside and maybe pinpoint a great starting point for you. Then take action on that one thing. 
  • Take another step~ If it’s not working, and you have honestly given 100% effort, then you should abandon it and try something else. Do your homework and consult with your mentor or friend you trust.
  • Show kindness and give love freely ~ take what you have learned from your own experiences and use it.

*Being +100lbs overweight and losing it has taught me what it feels like to carry a burden and work very hard towards a goal and to lift that burden.

*Working in Long term care has taught me to value my youth and my health. And show love and attention to our elders.

*Losing my father in an instant has taught me to appreciate life.

*Having a child with a medical diagnosis and impairment has taught me I have control over nothing.

*Being sick has taught me to fight and believe in myself.

 

My friend, I know how lonely the journey of life can feel at times. I know how overwhelming it can get. I know that just when you feel like you can’t take any more, there is more. I encourage you to dig deep within and Fight for yourself! You are important, you matter. Arm yourself with courage and face challenges head on!

 

You can do it, I believe in you!

 

Jen Flynn

 

 


So that's why I gained weight?!?

So that’s why I gained weight?!?

Last week I let you all know about my diagnosis with Lymes and what a struggle it has been. Wednesday, I saw an infectious disease Dr. (Dr. Curry love him!) Dr Curry helped to clear some things up about Lymes disease.

I discovered I have more then likely had Lymes since last year and recovery can take 6 months to a year.

I mentioned in the last blog some of the symptoms I have been having over the last 6 months:

Fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, restless sleep, hair loss, inflamed feeling all over my body, along with a host of other things that may or may not be related.

The fatigue and pain have been the hardest to deal with but what has really really ranked up there is the 24 lbs I have gained between January and March and have stayed.

So this was of course one of my top 3 questions for Dr. Curry….

There’s not a lot of documentation about gaining weight with Lymes disease …..or at least so I thought until I talked with Dr. Curry and he explained why and then encouraged me to do even more research on it, and even gave me a case study and places to look.

According to the Biotoxin Pathway, biotoxins from Lyme disease produce inflammatory cytokines. These cytokines bind to the leptin receptor in the hypothalamus. This blockage disrupts how leptin is able to regulate weight. Patients with elevated toxins often have difficultly losing weight. However, there are a subset of patients
that have the opposite problem of not being able to gain weight. Meaning you could really go either way,  people with Lymes lose weight or gain weight depending on how the hormones react and your toxin level.

This blockage also interferes with the process of producing alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH). MSH is a master controlling hormone which also becomes depleted. Lower MSH disrupts a whole host of hormones, inflammatory compounds, and chemicals that regulate insulin resistance. When this entire cycle is disrupted, regular weight management strategies don’t work. Hence why, even though I have been eating a diet of whole healthy foods with an appropriate calorie intake and exercise, I can’t lose the weight.

Here is a case study:

Lorna did aerobics and ate a dairy-free, sugar-free, and wheat-free diet. Not matter what exercise or diet she tried, she couldn’t lose any of the extra thirty pounds she gained after getting Lyme disease and a Mycoplasma infection. The toxins from these infections stimulate the production of inflammatory cytokines that can block her leptin receptors, which could result in retaining extra weight.
30 lbs! Thirty pounds is typical weight gain for people who experience Lymes. (again it can go the other way). And Let’s be honest here, I did not spend the last 4 years of my life working my ass of to gain 30 pounds. So you can be sure that I am going to do everything in my power to figure out a way to get these nasty little buggers and toxins out of my system so that my hormones and my body begins to do what it is suppose to do again.

What I have discovered is even though my brain desires a more fit body, my subconscious brain is on board… my physical body screams NO!  Every morning between 3-4am my body wakes me in pain. It hurts to roll over and move to a new somewhat comfortable position. When I do climb out of bed my body screams NO. But I know it’s important to get moving. Gene and I have been walking in the mornings on the weekend. You would think a nice 40 min walk would feel good on my body. Unfortunately it does not. My knees and my back hurt, my leg muscles get tight and all I want to do is sit… but that is wors
e because when I try to get up to move my body stiffens. But I know walking is important and imperative to healing my body.

I’ve had this unique ability since I played sports in high school to mentally block pain. No, not all pain. I could never have surgery without something for pain but what most people consider a good amount of pain I am able to mentally block and go about my day.   I believe I have gotten so good that 99% of the people around me would never know I have pain or if they do how much pain I really am in.  It’s when the pain reaches a point that it’s too hard to block anymore and it consumes me. Then my focus changes and it’s hard to get the pain signal out of my head which then brings in stinkin thinking and a whole snowball effect happens.

WHO wants that? Not me! So that’s why I am focusing on the
things that I am doing and can do.

I currently still can work, a lot of people end up not being able to work. I currently am tolerating my medication and will be on it for another 14 days for a total of about 6 weeks. A lot of people have reactions and have to change medications after a few weeks. I currently workout and exercise as often as I can when the pain does not overwhelm me. I eat whole foods and focus on foods to decrease inflammation, improve my gut health, keep my immunity up and give me energy. I go to bed on time and get as much sleep as I can along with a nap when my body tells me I require it and drink lots and lots of water!

I find it interesting how many people don’t say a whole lot about what they are facing until much later. Like singer Averil Lavigne    who was bedridden for 6 months with Lymes disease or actor Kris Kristofferson being diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer only to discover it was Lymes. And then I have people that have sa
id that they were diagnosed had a rash, felt like the flu, took the medication and feel fine. There is such a wide range of symptoms and recovery when it comes to Lymes disease, the most important thing to note is that it’s really important to be an advocate for yourself and get treated right away.

I want to say how grateful I am to have such
a wonderful husband who has been my rock, a handful of really wonderful friends and family who support me. So many friends at the gym who have stopped to cheer me on, thank me for coming out about what I have been facing and even meeting with those who are not necessarily going through Lymes but a health Crisis.

thank-you

“you’ve got one life, one chance at it. And what you do with it is up to you”

 

 


The climb back to the top!

The climb back to the top!

Jay and Kelly wanted me to share a bit of my recent journey.  I have been hesitant mostly because when I go through something,  I like to wait to have all the facts and learn how to overcome before I share anything.

Well, I’m in the process of learning so bear with me. 

Over the last 6 months I just have not felt myself. If you were to ask me exactly what was wrong I would probably tell you a bunch of little things that would come and go.

Anything from:

Sleep issues, weight gain, hair loss, resting head tremors, brain fog, extreme fatigue like the kind where you just have to take a nap or the feeling when you wake up you just need to go back to bed.  Joint pain, muscle pain, poor thinking like things you would not necessarily think or a way I might act, depression: mostly I attribute this to not knowing what was going on. Bouts of anxiety, light headed, back pain and just in general pain that would creep in different places. I felt inflamed all over my body.

I started noticing more of the physical issues the end of January. I would say things like: I’m just so tired, I don’t feel like workout today but I’m going to anyway. I remember sitting in a movie with Riley and during the previews I started having a sever panic attack for no reason. Never had this happen before. 

I eat really very well. The only change I made starting in January was to add in more healthy fats. (I eat fairly low fats due to not having a gall bladder, so when I eat fat…. it runs right through me. Yes, I could take a supplement to help but I chose not to) I eat whole foods, I eat organic for my staple foods, I changed my work load and stress load to a manageable level, I go to bed and sleep 8+ hours a night unfortunately they have become interrupted sleep. Bottom line is I live what I teach. So why the heck do I fell so awful???

Do you know how hard it is to walk into a gym where your picture is displayed very large of how much weight you lost and know that you weigh 20lbs more?

Do you know how hard it is to teach a class and feel really awful.

Do you know how hard it is to sit with someone and lead them on a fat loss journey when you yourself cannot get the weight off.

Do you know how hard it is to be in the fitness industry, face your employers while gaining weight, having a difficult time with exercise, the right mindset and not be able to give them an answer as to “WHY”

Do you know how hard it is to hear your Dr. tell you all your blood work is normal. Maybe it’s your hormones?

Or to feel ” like you are the only one in the world that can lead a healthy life style and still gain weight”   and that I “fit no clinical profile of anyone.” 

Insert the feeling of Am I really going crazy? Because I think some people around me are thinking I am a bit crazy!

Let me  clear things up….

I’m not Crazy. 🙂

I have been diagnosed with Lymes Disease. Not only Lymes but I also have been diagnosed with another tick born illness called  anaplasomosis.

Thankfully my Dr. agreed to do the full panel tick tests on me, and they came back 100% Lymes and further indicators,
she is sending me to a disease specialist whom I see later this week.

There are some people that still don’t understand Lymes disease because not many physicians believe in the testing process, they go only by a bullseye rash as an indicator. The reality is in 30-40% of the cases people don’t have the rash, my case in point. This disease can Wreak havoc on your body. I was just with one of my very best friends this week who’s brother in law had Lymes. He nearly died. Thankfully now he is on a regimen and is slowly repairing his health and his life. Years he went without a diagnosis and knew inside he was not going to make it.

I have spoken with 2 others who have had Lymes. This is a bad disease that really can destroy your life if not discovered. It has been helpful for me to learn that the feelings I have had, the physical issues I have had, the abnormal anxiety, depression and that feeling of being crazy is what lots of other people feel and there is reason behind it.

So here I am.

I am going through a regime of antibiotic treatment. I have good days and bad days. But I know what’s wrong and following my current path is going to give me the best chance at getting rid of these nasty bugs.  I’m not 100% sure how long it’s going to take to fix it. But I am confident in this…. I WILL.

I will be able to find that place again where I am: confident, strong spiritually, mentally and physically, happy, healthy, able to LIVE without fear of being a fake, being able to live and not hide what I am facing.

This whole process has really taught me a lot. It’s taught me to not give up on myself. Even when everyone else has… don’t give up! You know yourself best, keep searching if you think something is really wrong then keep going and don’t let anyone  or anything stand in your way.
bigstock-Man-on-top-of-mountain-Concep-47176237

I Can and I Will!

Jen Flynn

 


Ambitious

I’m glad your all excited about the 12 crockpot meals that are coming out this week!  Last night I brought my mom the Sesame chicken one and she …… well lets just say you can see from the picture her plate was clean 🙂

IMG_0402 IMG_0409

I wanted to share a little bit with you how these meals came about.  School is coming and I know how busy it is so I wanted to get prepared! I also know there are a lot of people that just struggle with “what to make” for dinner.  DeeAnn and I were discussing this at the office the other day. I had brought in some meals and she said “your so good at this stuff” I said what do you mean “good at this stuff, it’s some meals in a bag”  she said “but you think of these things, I don’t”

What I said to her  “You know, I have a lot of ambition. If I see something that could be of help to others and I grow in the process…. then I put a lot of attention to it”. DeeAnn and I have been talking about this cooking thing for the last 2 months. She struggles because she doesn’t know what to make and sometimes how to make it. I know that feeling, I had the same feeling a while back.

Pastor Rob Ketterling said the other day “If your going to remain wise, then you must remain teachable.”  I LOVE IT!!!! Which is why I put together this video. I want to make sure that anyone, I mean ANYONE that really wants to learn how to eat healthy… Can!

 

I want you to know you’re not alone. Everyone has a budget. Everyone leads a busy life. Everyone has picky eaters. Most of us are not really sure what to cook or how to cook and feel stuck! Well, hopefully it starts here with a little help from us at Altman Fitness.

Can I take a minute to share with you the philosophy behind Altman Fitness….. It’s not about memberships it’s about members. It’s not about failure, it’s about results. It’s not about taking a class, it’s about showing up, hard work and learning how to take care of this absolute gift of a life.

I know for me I want to go through this life feeling good.

Headaches are not normal. Feeling tired and sluggish is not normal. Chronic diarrhea or constipation is not normal. Achy joints, abdominal pain, loss of hair, snoring, poor sleep, mood swings, depression, anxiety is NOT normal!  Don’t kid yourself. Don’t except it. Realize what it is and then decide if you want to change it. If you do…. we are about educating you so please ask us: office@altmanfitness.com

This Wednesday I am going to post how I made these 12 meals. How much I spent and you all know how much time…. just 90 min! Your also going to have the opportunity to get these recipes and the grocery list that you can take with you and yep all for FREE, Why? because we LOVE YOU!

Stay tuned!