how to get on top of your pain with headache journaling

Headaches are right up there with taxes regarding things that happen in life that people can’t avoid.  For some people, if they had to pay taxes as frequently as they suffer from headache pain, they would be bankrupt many times over.

There are many reasons people suffer from headache pain, including chronic headaches and migraines.  One of the most frustrating parts of dealing with headache pain is not knowing their direct (or indirect) cause.  In fact, many people suffer from headaches as a result of unknown food allergies and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

So, here is a proactive tip for how you can better investigate the source of the pain you may be experiencing.

Keep a ‘headache journal’ – I know, that sounds so fun, doesn’t it?

But hear me out.

One of the best ways to communicate your symptoms to a health care practitioner is to keep track of any patterns or changes you encounter.  Keeping track not only gives you the power to make changes on your own but gives your doctor or therapist the best chance of taking control of your symptoms.

To maintain an efficient symptom diary, you’ll need to track the following:

  1. Time of day.  Do you get your headaches first thing in the morning?  At 3 pm?  Jot them down, whenever they happen.
  2. What you’re eating.  Keep track of the foods you are eating.  You might start to notice that after that scoop of peanut butter at breakfast, you start to experience your pain.  If you see a dietary connection, take a few days off from the foods you ate and see if you can start to narrow down any foods that might be triggering your headaches.
  3. Activities you performed up to three hours before a headache began.  Were you writing up a work assignment?  Working out?  Again, this will help you narrow down what activities might be triggering your headache pain.
  4. The time once your headache goes away.  Once your pain has subsided, write down the time to better assess the duration (and intensity) of your pain.

Also, some of the most common food allergies linked to headaches are:

  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Peanuts

 

If you suffer from two or more headaches per week, the first step to getting to the source of your pain is to catch its pattern.

Have you ever started a journal to take control of your chronic pain?

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aerobic endurance indoor cycling workout with playlist

Happy May!  It’s been sunny in Glasgow for the past four days.

After living here for over two years now (I know, I cannot believe it myself), it is evident to me that May is probably the best month weather-wise in Glasgow.  In other words, it rains the least.  Having said that, it will probably rain the rest of the week!

I am still not completely over bitching about the amount of rain and gloom there is living in Scotland.  Obviously.  So, I am always super grateful for indoor cycling/Spinning workouts.  You still end up wet at the end, but it’s just your sweat and not the rain.

Too much?

A friend of mine requested that I post more indoor cycling workouts (with playlists available on Spotify) that she can bring to the gym.  So, because I am such a good friend, I have decided to add a new indoor cycling workout each week for the next 12 weeks!

This week’s ride is an aerobic endurance ride called “hills and valleys” – and it’s really fun.  The ride will take you through a series of challenging climbs and recovery flats that will make you feel like you’ve spent the morning/afternoon riding through a scenic, hilly countryside setting.

This ride can burn up to 700 calories and will build up strength and endurance.

Add this workout to your weekly routine 2-3 days and start to see and feel the results!

Get the Spotify playlist here.

Pin this workout to take to the gym with you!

aerobic endurance indoor cycling workout with playlist

Will you try this workout?  Let me know if you do!

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Express-Upper-Body-HIIT-Workout

Happy Wednesday and April!

I am still battling my illness from the last post, and it has been so bad, that just when I think that I am on the mend and try to exert myself, I end up sick again.

So, I’ve been going, even more, stir crazy than the last time I posted.  In fact, I think that I only left my apartment about two times last week. And what’s more, it was decent and sunny here in Glasgow.

C’est la vie.

Because I’ve been feeling so crummy, I have been spending a lot of time putting together workouts to jump back into once I can get my workout on again!

I am a big fan of HIIT and strength workouts.  I love that they give so many great benefits the heart rate up and also incorporate quick circuits with resistance training and bodyweight movements.  Combining HIIT and strength is a great way to get an excellent workout in anywhere from 10-30 minutes.

Who doesn’t have time for that, right?

This workout includes:

  • 3-minute warmup (treadmill, dynamic movements, etc.)
  • Four 5-minute HIIT circuits
  • 2 moves per circuit
  • 1 minute of rest between circuits
  • 2-minute cool down including static stretching

You will need:

  • A mat
  • Set of dumbbells ranging from 3-15 lbs 
  • Interval Timer

Express Upper Body HIIT Workout

Upper-Body-HIIT-Workout

 Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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Two Free HIIT Workouts I Use with My Clients

Hey, guys!

I probably seem like a distant memory at this stage with this blog.  I hope you are all well and as cliche, as it sounds, I cannot believe that it is nearly April!

I am still working on things and pursuing other projects both personally and professionally.  I have a new coaching site and blog that you can check out and follow on Instagram.  It’s still early days, but it’s one of a couple of projects I am putting time and energy into behind the scenes.

I just spent nearly two weeks sick as a dog with the flu/cold/bronchitis/stomach trauma.  Good times! :/

Every single time I get sick like that, I am reminded how much it depresses me when I can’t exercise and have little energy.

Being forced to rest and take time out always makes me ponder how I used to be so unhappy before I made taking care of my health a top priority.

With the seasons changing and better weather on the way, people are looking for new workouts.  Or emailing me because for people I know I am the “on-call/go-to” when it comes to looking for a place to start feeling better.

I thought I would share two free HIIT workouts I use with my clients.

I am a big fan of getting in 3-4 HIIT  workouts per week for whatever your fitness and health goals may be.  One of the great things about HIIT is that it is scaleable.

What is an all out effort for you, might not be for the person next to you, but you get out of your workouts what you put into them, and these two workouts give you an opportunity to challenge yourself, have fun, and add some variety to your usual workout schedule?

They also require little to no equipment and space, so if you’ve got 30 minutes, you’re ready to go!

I hope everyone is doing well and keeping their spirits high in these transitional and challenging times in the world.

Believe it or not, despite the negativity out there, the past few months have reminded me that we are all responsible for our hustle and that our voices and actions can make a difference.

Be well and let me know if you try these out (or PIN them for later!).

Two Free HIIT Workouts I Use with My Clients

free-quick-HIIT-workouts

 

free-quick-HIIT-workouts

If you like this workout you should check out my workout programs curated by me through Booya Fitness!  

How is spring going for you so far?

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Is your body positive selfie empowering?

I have become increasingly immersed in the body positivity community over the past year.

I started to get interested in following Instagram and YouTube personalities who promote happiness at any size and self-love — I think it’s utterly fantastic.

I believe we do need to expand the reductive definition of what is beautiful, but having said that, do we, from a feminist perspective, need to stop objectifying our bodies regardless of how proud we are of them?

I stumbled across a fantastic podcast by Lindsay Kite, Ph.D. that covers this topic beautifully.  Kite and her twin sister, Lexie, are the founders of the organization Beauty Redefined and her podcast  “Empowerment in the selfie age – an interview with Lindsay Kite” is a must hear for anybody out there looking for a different perspective on body positivity, sexuality, and feminism.

Photo: www.beautyredefined.org

There’s no doubt that body positive social media posts spark very divided conversations, but nonetheless, they are important conversations to have.

Lindsay Kite explains on her podcast a belief which is that many women who post nude and lingerie selfie photos online may help them ultimately they feel like they “have to show their body to prove that they value their body — to show that other people’s bodies are acceptable.”

Kite also contends that self-objectification –  the obsession with what our bodies look like inside our minds – is the thing that is hurting us.

That self-objectification is, in fact, the thing that is reinforcing our body shame.

She further explains:

We need to be very critical about what is being labeled “empowering.”  This culture that we’re living in will give women “power” for showing their bodies.  It will give them money, followers, likes, magazine photo shoots, and fame — women who have risen to extreme fame because of the way they present their bodies online.  You can see how that feels like empowerment — and a lot of people think that’s true.  However, from a feminist perspective … that “power” can be taken away as quickly as it’s given, because it is being determined by a culture that only values women’s bodies as objects.  

-Lindsay Kite

What exactly does empowering mean?

As defined by Merriam-Webster, to empower means to promote self-actualization or influence.  

Interesting.

Influence is the power to change or affect someone or something.

And the definition of self-actualization is the process of fully developing and using one’s abilities.

So really empowerment is the promotion of the process of using one’s abilities and power to change or affect someone or something.  

I don’t believe that showing bodies in and of itself is a bad thing.

If bodies are a form of our consumption, then, yes,  I think all bodies have a right to be promoted and seen.  

But, this often becomes a ‘chicken and egg’ conversation.

If it’s the obsession of what our bodies look like inside our minds that hurt our self-image, then it is most certainly stemming from the influence of bodies seen day in and day out in the media.

To that effect, are women showcasing these selfies for body diversity the best chance we have at a silver lining of capitalism, patriarchy, and exploitation?

Kite suggests before you post an image as a statement of feminist empowerment that you ask the following important question:

Who determines your power?  If it’s coming from the outside, it’s probably not real.  Showing and sharing bodies online isn’t ever going to get us there.  You’re still pre-occupied with your looks, and you’re still feeding off external validation.

So, the important question:  what does empowerment look like?

Being able to accomplish what you want to achieve and having self-efficacy brings empowerment …most women are not happy with themselves and judging and defining themselves based on what they think other people think about them.”  

The bottom line:  We have to set goals for ourselves that yield actual feelings of accomplishments outside of what other people see when they look at us.

My last question is this:  Is there a way that external validation can encourage internal validation in a healthy manner?

I say there’s nothing wrong with feeling happy and comfortable with yourself nor is there anything wrong with posting photos on social media.

The central questions of this post are strictly these:

1.  Are pictures of nude and semi-nude female bodies at any size just a continuation of the general objectification of women?

2.  How, as women, can we create a shift away from external validation to create lasting feminist empowerment and ultimately reject the notion that what a body looks likes should ever matter in the first place?

Is your body positive selfie empowering?

Please listen to this podcast; it is a 40-minute conversation worth having.

To learn more about Beauty Redefined, you can visit Lindsay and Lexie Kite’s website www.beautyredefined.org to find out more about body image “resilience.”

How do you feel about the body positive selfie movement?  What’s your take on “empowerment”?  What does it mean to you?

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