Tag: goals

Goals

Goals

Set ‘Em, and Slam Dunk ‘Em!

No better time than the present!  It doesn’t need to be a Monday or the first of the month or, even worse, January 1st to set and achieve any goal you set for yourself. Now is the time to get started on the path you want and desire for yourself.  What do you want from your life? Do you want to be healthier? Eat better? Quit smoking/drinking? Get moving and exercise daily?  Are you, like me, trying to walk better and more smoothly in your prosthetic or use your running blade for running?

What are you waiting for? Let’s crush your goals….NOW!

 

You can do anything you set your mind to and setting goals is the most powerful way to get there.  To make sure you’re successful in achieving your goals you need to make sure you follow a few steps.

  1. Set a goal you really want to achieve.
  2. Set a DATE to achieve it by.
  3. Tell people who care about you. They will hold you accountable when you struggle to stay the course.
  4. Forgive yourself when you take a step backward, and pick yourself back up and continue forward.
  5. Write it down!!
  6. Celebrate the small victories and be proud of yourself when you achieve your goal.

These simple steps will help you meet your goals and push you forward. When you start achieving your goals you will find that you will feel better about yourself, be physically healthier, and your mental game will be stronger.

A happier and healthier you will be greeting on the other side of your goals.

It’s all up to you and what you really want in life.

This is how I got motivated to move in my prosthetic from the start.

 

I use a little extrinsic reward to stay motivated to move.  For me, after many years of knee surgeries before amputation, I couldn’t get out and move.  Even a small walk to the mailbox was too painful for me.  I gained weight and felt awful about myself.  Once I got my prosthetic I couldn’t wait to be mobile, but it wasn’t that easy.  Learning how to manipulate the knee joint and getting use to wearing a 12 lb leg was more than I bargained for but I was determined, after all I decided to amputate so I could be mobile once again.  The only way I knew how to get use to something was to use it, and use it daily, no matter what.  Enter virtual races, before they became a pandemic thing.

I loved that I could do it on my own time, the way I could do it, and at my pace.  I was hooked after receiving my first medal, and as you can see I have gained a few…. and some aren’t even in this picture!  All of these I completed in the past 2 years, as an amputee!  If I can do this then so can you. You just need to follow those basic steps above, to help you succeed.

 

 

You guessed it!

This week I want you to set a realistic, yet challenging goal for yourself.

What have you been putting off but really want to achieve?

WRITE IT DOWN! Put it somewhere you can see every morning to remind yourself and remember you ARE worth achieving it!

Tell your friend or family member, or join a social group that’ll support you, cheer you on, and pick you up when you fall.

Remember, it’s a journey. You’ll have good days and bad. There will be days you fail, but you must pick yourself back up and press on. Don’t quit!

You will thank yourself when you meet your goal, and then you’ll be wanting to set a new one.

 

Talk to me! Tell me what you’re planning on doing and how you’ll go about achieving it. I’m here and listening.

As always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy, Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

Me, right after amputation. I actually had my surgery right before Christmas.

 

Me now. Happier, healthier, and moving! Just like I wanted, and everything I’d hoped for!

What are YOUR goals?

Fit As A Fiddle-Ha!

Fit As A Fiddle-Ha!

Prosthetics 101-Part 2  Fitting

Getting my fitting checked with Randy. (@limbmaster)

 

No matter how many questions I asked and how many people I talked to prior to amputation, no one can help you understand the things you don’t even know to ask in the first place…. for example, I knew it would take time, about 2 years, for my residual limb to shrink, change, and mature. What I didn’t know was that what I ate the day before may make my socket not fit the next morning, or that losing weight and gaining weight can be detrimental to a good fitting socket!  Oh, I’m learning that now, boy am I ever!! But it’s these moments that I hope my journey will help someone else navigate their own. It’s not something I would have even thought about asking someone before my amputation, but it’s definitely a factor in why so many amputees are struggling to fit well into their sockets.

My newest socket that’s almost ready for pick up! No more excuses!💪🏼

 

This socket is one of the many I have had made for me and my ever-changing limb. It truly is a journey, and one that you need to embrace and wrap your head around. Once you go through an amputation you won’t be problem or pain free. You will have ups and downs, good days and bad. It’s how you handle them that counts, and understanding your own body is vitally important for you to get the best fit for your socket.  Being able to accurately communicate what is going on with your fit, to your prosthetist, will help him or her make the best socket, and adjustments, for you. Also, if you know where you want your body weight to be, and hold yourself accountable, that will also help eliminate issues with fitting into your leg as well.

I wish I had known that in the beginning, but I’m glad I understand that now. I am more aware of changes to my body and therefore able to comprehend what’s going on with my fit. Sometimes it’s just what it is, and my limb is changing and maturing the further out from surgery I get. Other times, it’s on me and whether I’m eating well, or exercising too much or not enough. Self-awareness is vital to your fit, and your fit is vital to your overall health. If you aren’t fitting well into your socket then you’ll be more apt to give up and not wear it, thus causing you to become more unhealthy and that in turn can really bring you down, emotionally.  See how your fit can effect the other areas of your life?

Check out this podcast as I delve into some issues I’ve been having and how I am correcting them. Also, you can check out my You Tube channel for my video podcasts and other videos on exercise,

Before you go, subscribe to my site so you won’t miss an episode!

 

This week I want you to start making goals and sticking to them.

*Set a specific day AND time to weigh yourself, weekly.

*Decide where you want to be with your weight and start working towards that.

*Baby steps- start making good habits with exercise. Maybe start with simple pushups and do what you can. The next day do the same if not one more, and so on. Also, don’t forget about your core! A strong core will make walking easier and help you avoid other issues like a bad back or sore hip.

*Track what you eat! work on having a calorie deficit, if you want to lose weight, or set a calorie intake for the day and stick to it. It’s ok to have something you love, once in a while. Total restriction isn’t fun nor beneficial. This is NOT a diet but a change in your thinking. Accountability is key to seeing this through. Use an app for calorie counting, it’s so much easier that way. I use the app Lose It! and have for several years now.

*Remember, it’s a journey. It won’t happen over night and give yourself some grace when you fall down. Get back up and continue to move forward. You can do this!!

Reach out to me if you have any questions. I’m happy to help and here for you.

Follow me on Instagram at @BAWarrior360

 

As always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!

 

Much love and happy exercising,

Angie

Rise To The Challenge

Rise To The Challenge

Run The Race Set Before You

 

It’s time to get off that couch and put your leg on. Let’s do this! If not today, then when?

I will tell you that the amputation wasn’t the end of a journey but the very beginning of another. Life is a journey so I don’t know why I thought any different with amputation. Now the real work comes in. You need to heal, and then get your socket fitted and THEN learn to walk all over again!  No one can truly prepare you for what’s to come with amputation but I will tell you that no matter what you are facing with yours, you CAN do anything! You just need to press on and learn to adapt.

For me it was about perseverance, distraction and goal setting. You will have good days and bad days, and knowing this will allow you to “bounce back” when the going gets tough. I didn’t realize this, at first, and when I began to struggle I thought it was going to be down, down, down, with no recovery…. that’s how my last 7 years had gone with surgeries, so why would this be any different? But then over the course of these past two years I realized that my residual limb changes size and shape and that will dictate how my socket fits, which, in turn, dictated some of my struggles and pains. But those bad moments, or struggles, were short lived and then good times would return. NOW that I know this I can take those “bad” days in stride, and not lose sleep over them (although, sometimes I do because of  the phantom pain 😉 Haha! Humor is good medicine, by the way.

Humor helps get through hard days. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself.

 

I started my journey, back to walking, by deciding to give virtual races a try. I am highly competitive with myself so when I set a goal, I will succeed. My 1st race was 175 miles in 3 months. I started this one just a couple months after getting my prosthetic! I figured, what’s the best way to get use to your new leg- use it, and use it A LOT! I would need to put in 2 miles everyday to catch up since I registered a little late. You know what? It was hard! But I stuck with it, logged all my miles and made the goal of 175 miles! And the pure joy of receiving my finisher’s medal stuck with me…so I registered for the next one, which was 150 miles! and then the next one- 150 miles! I finished all of those and then began smaller more condensed goals of completing 5k walks/runs, virtually.  The idea of doing a race within a day put more pressure on me to compete at my highest level. I had to complete 3.1 miles all at once and some days that was really hard. Some of them I raced for better and faster times, other times I had to be content with just finishing.  You need to know your body well enough not to do harm but also to know when and how hard to push.

My first medal as an amputee! I’m very proud of this one!

 

 

These are all that I have completed since July 2019!! Each one of them I picked with purpose.

 

I have enjoyed all the races I’ve completed. There’s a sense of pride and accomplishment seeing all of my medals I’ve earned over the past 2 years as an amputee. These races have given me a purpose, goals, and independence as an amputee. I look and feel better then I have in a long time, and my mental health is at its peak. Listen  in to my podcast to hear more about how to get moving and what hurdles I overcame to finish all those medals these past 2 years.

Now it’s YOUR turn!

 

Check out these virtual races and register for one of them. Take baby steps to get there but get there! Challenge yourself to do and be something more. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish when you set a goal and get moving. I guarantee you will feel better about yourself, and you’ll start making strides in your physical, mental and emotional state, plus you and your prosthetic will become friends! 😉

Check these out:

Virtual Strides

Virtual Pace Series

Gone For A Run

Will Run For Bling and Charity

This last one is where I met some amazing people and did my first 3 BIG long distance races (175, 150, and 150 mile races over a few months) If you want a challenge, check this site out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each one of these holds meaning to me and I love every single one of my medals! They show me, when times get hard, that I can do it, I can succeed, and that my amputation doesn’t define or inhibit me!

 

Your Call to Action is to register to do a virtual race and do it by the end of June or if you need to, register now and build up to finishing by the end of July. Just don’t open that package until you’ve earned it. That’s how I did it because then I had something pushing me to finish. You’ve got this!!

You know I’m here for you! Send me a message, let me know how it’s going.

And as always:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Cheers,

Angie

 

The Nerve of Some People

The Nerve of Some People

Plastic Surgeons and TMR Surgery:
Tackling Phantom Limb Pain

 

Everyone deals with pain at some point in their life, but when you have an amputation you know that there is a possibility of living with a pain you can’t even touch! When the missing limb is burning, itching, throbbing, or sending sharp pains with every movement it can be unnerving -pun intended- and hard to get past.

I, like so many other amputees, have dealt with phantom limb pain since day one. Most of the time I can handle it, sometimes in the quiet of night it can be hard to fall asleep, but I have been able to deal with it.  The point when I could no longer take the pain was when I couldn’t even walk into my kitchen without the pain being so sharp and unpredictable that I stopped moving!  It takes A LOT to stop me! I have a high tolerance for pain, and this was just too much for me. I have to say, this freaked me out and made me worry that maybe this was going to be like this for the rest of my life…. and then I stepped back and gave myself a pep talk. I cannot allow myself to participate in defeatist talk. Negativity cannot reside in me, I won’t allow it. So, what did I do? I had an appointment with my prosthetist and my surgeon who performed my amputation.

I was scheduled for an MRI to see if there was a neuroma, sure enough, there was one, exactly where I felt the pain. Symptomatic, great!

Next step? My orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Judd Cummings, told me that I needed to see a plastic surgeon, and the one he suggested, who knows how to perform a surgery called TMR (Targeted Muscle Reinnervation), Dr. Roni Prucz.  He put his confidence, and my future, into this doctor’s hands… and I believed in him, so I went.

Dr. Roni Prucz
Phoenix Plastic Surgery

 

Now, I didn’t have ANY desire for yet another surgery, but I promised I’d go talk to him.  What harm could that do?

….And before I knew it, I was scheduled for surgery! Dang it!

Dr. Prucz seemed confident that he could successfully help me with the pain on the back of my residual limb, where the neuroma was, but the sharp pain that I felt ripping down my non-existent shin, he couldn’t promise that. I couldn’t pinpoint where the pain was originating from and so he would just have to do exploratory surgery in that area, and hope for the best.

Without the neuroma, my gait has become so much better, there was no more pain there. However, the sharp pain, in the other area of my limb, returned about 6 weeks after surgery, not as often and not as intense, but it reared its ugly head and my fears of life-long pain returned.

No matter what, I will rise!

 

This is where I needed to advocate for myself and not just say, “Oh well, we tried.” That wasn’t good enough for me. I needed answers and I needed this to be fixed, or at least feel better. I saw my prosthetist, then Dr. Prucz, and then over to Dr. Cummings, just trying to figure this out, gain perspective, and to see if anyone had any ideas. I would NOT rest until I had direction.

Yesterday I took my next step in helping myself, I tried a sympathetic nerve block in my L3 and….. so far, so good!!!

I needed something that didn’t require another surgery and this was a good next step, and quick. If it works then I may be looking at having that nerve bundle ablated. I’ve been moving around for 24 hours now and not feeling that pain. This is a good sign, but I hesitate to get too excited, too soon. I will do my thing, I will beat on my leg through my high level of activities, like hiking, and really push the limits of my leg and socket. For me that’s the best way to really test out what I’ve had done.

I really test my leg and socket whenever something new has been done to either of them

 

I hope this podcast gives you some insight to TMR surgery, if you’re a candidate, and how to go about finding the right person to perform this on you. As always, I’m here for you! Send me an email or leave a comment. I’d love to chat and answer any questions you might have about what I went through. Talking to people who’ve been through something will help give you perspective and  maybe even curb fears you might have.

 

 

This week I want you to let go of the past, start looking to future. We cannot move forward if all we are doing is wishing we had back what we use to have. If you’ve lost a limb, it’s gone, there’s nothing you can do about it. The choice is up to you how you’ll view this difference. The choice is yours on how you will pursue your future. You can have a pity party, or you can decide to set new goals, change direction from the course you use to be on BEFORE losing your limb, and rise up!

The time is now! Dream big! Set new goals.  Adapt and move on with your life. I know there will be setbacks, I know there will be moments of pain, but they do not define you. Your attitude and what you do with your circumstance DOES!  What are you going to do? I want to see you thrive! I want to see you challenge yourself! I want you to rise up and conquer, because YOU are a warrior!  Now go out and crush it!

 

Until next time:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie

 

Being Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

Being Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

Using Fear to Grow and Overcome Obstacles

What holds you back from accomplishing your goals, your dreams?

What stops you from moving forward, creating anxiety within you?

If you are crippled by fear and can’t seem to move forward in pursuing your goals just know you are not alone.  Everyone has some sort of fear: fear of failure, fear of acceptance, fear of being alone or in pain. The issue is never about whether you have a fear or not, it’s about how much it controls your life.

I use to tell my sons, when they were little, that it was ok to have fears, as long as it doesn’t control you or stop you from being healthy, happy and living your life.  Fear is defined by Merriam-Webster as an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger; anxious concern. Fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually a loss of courage.  Sometimes fear is defined as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger or pain, whether the threat is real or imagined.

For most of us, we experience fear based on past, unpleasant experiences. It makes sense. If I went rock climbing a year ago and my foot slipped and I went sliding down the face of the rock, scrapping up my body, I might instantly feel anxiety well up inside of me when a friend suggests we go rock climbing today. As adults, we tend to hold onto past experiences, good and bad, and file those moments away, only to have them resurface when we perceive that we are walking into a similar situation.

However, this only becomes a problem when it creates a roadblock in our living. If we allow that fear, that anxiety, to stop us from experiencing life, then we’ve allowed it to define us.

Once we realize that fear is just a part of human nature then we can learn from it, and dare I say, use it as a tool to help us grow and actually enjoy new experiences. We don’t grow in our comfort zones, we grow when we get pushed  into uncomfortable situations. It forces us to improvise, it heightens our alertness and makes us aware of our limits, helping us to push our minds and bodies into new, unchartered territories.

This is how I have felt since becoming an amputee. Each day I feel that there is something that makes me become more alert, anxious, or even fearful. When I first learned to walk in my prosthetic I worried about falling and hurting myself, or making myself look foolish in public. Then as I got better at walking I tried to run. I’d put on my running blade, but would only go out at night so no one could see me stumble, look awkward, or stare at me. Fear of not being good enough stopped me from getting out in daylight, when it was safer and easier to see the road. I eventually got past that enough to go out earlier, but I still felt uncomfortable. Each day would bring it’s own set of issues, anxiety and discomfort. I tried a lot of new things like sled hockey and surfing, for the first time as an amputee. And each one of these was a test of my fortitude on pushing past my own insecurities. I am a perfectionist and very competitive with myself and others.

If you can do it, so can I.

If you tell me I can’t because I’m missing a leg, I’ll show you that I can. (That might actually be the stubbornness in me).

Skiing in Colorado March 2021

 

In today’s podcast I share with you my journey at getting back to skiing and how fear of falling takes away from the experience. I want to enjoy skiing again. To be outside, breathing in the fresh air, getting exercise and making a connection with my family.

So what do you do when fear takes hold? How do you push past discomfort and really start living your life?  It’s a mindset. It’s positive self-talk, your own personal pep-talks.  It’s about goal setting.

This goes back to the vision boards I talked about in the last episode. If you didn’t hear that podcast you can take a listen here

My vision board

A vision board is a place to put your dreams, goals, positive messages. Once you’ve created it you will have a place to go to keep yourself motivated. When you start to worry or doubt yourself or your capabilities, look to your vision board. You also need to remember that goals take time, and the bigger the goal the more grace you need to have with yourself and the setbacks that may occur. I remind myself, daily, that baby steps are still steps.

When we went skiing this past week, my first day on the slopes wasn’t my best. I just wasn’t feeling it, my movements were tense and unsure. We didn’t ski again until the end of the week, and quite frankly I couldn’t help but worry that I was going to feel the same way as before. Part of me would have been content with not skiing again….but I decided to push myself into uncomfortableness and try again, and you know what? I had a great day of skiing! I relaxed, worked on breathing, remembered some techniques I had been taught by my adaptive ski instructors from the previous year and enjoyed my day (and yes, I even talked to myself, affirming my skills and capabilities as a skier). When all was said and done, I was grateful I pushed myself out of my comfort zone that day. I wiped away the negative memories of the first day of skiing and replaced them with healthy, positive ones. The funny thing about that, I am the only one who saw my progress, because it was internal. It was the way I felt out there and how I moved from being uncomfortable to comfortable. This was MY victory. I conquered my fears and came out on top.

You need to remember that you CAN do anything. You set your goals, you speak and write affirming words to motivate and push yourself forward, you surround yourself with a tribe of people who can support you-mentally, emotionally, physically.

It may not be easy, but you can accomplish your goals, and when you do, when you learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, it’ll be then that you will truly be living your best life. And nothing will be able to stop you.

Call to Action:

This week, write down a fear you have. Something you want to conquer. Decide on the goal and the steps you’ll need to take to get to that goal. Add the desired outcome to your vision board or tape it on the mirror in your bathroom, somewhere you can see it everyday, someplace that will be a constant reminder of what you want to accomplish. Now go for it!! Reminder: some days will be better than others (remember my first day of skiing was the pits) but don’t give up. I challenge you to enjoy the journey, with its ups and downs. Get after it, have grace with yourself. If you take a step backward, don’t GIVE up- GET up, and attack it again. You can do this!!

Finally, lean on someone. Ask for accountability and support from someone you trust. If you struggle with that, reach out to me, let me help you.

Make sure you let me know how you’re doing.

Tell me what your goals and dreams are in the comments below, or email me. I’d love to hear about your journey. I’m here.

Best wishes on conquering your fear(s).

Speaking of conquering fears, next week I have a special guest. My friend, Mike Coots, joins me from Kauai, HI. He is an amazing photographer, shark advocate, surfer, and an amputee who lost his leg in a shark attack! Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!

Until next time:

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!