Tag: positivity

Love Is In the Air

Love Is In the Air

Self-Love for the Win

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.”

                                                                                                          -Lucille Ball

 

 

This Valentine’s Day start with YOU!!

To love oneself isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.

It’s necessary for your mental health.

It’s necessary for your productivity.

It’s necessary for you to be able to love others, fully.

Have you ever truly listened to your inner voice? Pay attention, because what you say to yourself is crucial to your love and success in life.

We can be so critical of ourselves and fall into the trap of negativity that we can’t even realize our true potential. We compare ourselves to others, and we begin to doubt our abilities, our size, our beauty, our intentions, our very existence.

We are constantly bombarded with everyone’s successes and filtered pictures, great vacations and good deeds in the snapshots of social media that we lose sight of our own beauty (inside and out) and our worth in this world.

You are unique!

There is only one ‘you’ and you should be celebrated.

You are worthy, beautiful, a warrior, and special.

You must first find, within yourself, the joy of self-love before you can truly find joy in life. However, this does not come easy and can change and challenge you daily.

Are you listening? What are you saying to yourself? Is your self-talk positive or are you speaking negatively?

As an amputee, and being a part of this unique community, I can see first-hand how I could be negative and self-loathing. The world tells me that my body image is suppose to look a certain way, and I no longer conform to what is “acceptable”. Talk about a hard, internal battle. I stand in a grocery line only to see a size 2 woman on the cover of every magazine, looking gorgeous and happy. I don’t look like them, and I never will again.

I must fight the urge to compare myself, and fight to be positive about who I am, inside and out. This takes practice, perseverance, and fearlessness.

This Valentine’s Day I challenge you to love yourself FIRST! Find joy in who you are, how you were made, and believe that you are enough, JUST the way you are.

Valentine’s Day, this year, start with you….for the win!

 

Wake up and feel the breathe in your lungs.

You have a purpose!

Today, and this week, figure out what your purpose is and start by loving yourself. Love the good you can do and the good you can put out into this world.

When you love yourself you will find that you can be a light, bringing happiness and hope to those who are lost.

Listen to your inner voice and decide if you hear positivity being spoken. If not, it’s time to switch that up.

Begin with telling yourself:

“I am beautiful/handsome”

“I am strong”

“I am worthy”

“I have value”

“I am smart”

“I am compassionate”

“I am funny”

“I am kind”

“I am fearless”

“I am a Warrior”

“I am ENOUGH!”

Write these words down. Speak these words out loud when you need to hear them.

Find your strength and self-worth from within and not from the world around you.

You ARE enough! Believe it, and begin this Valentine’s Day by loving yourself first and watch how your life changes for the better.

Rise up, Warrior, and know you are loved!

 

Until next week, and as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

 

 

 

 

Insurance Games

Insurance Games

Playing To Win; Playing For Your Future

 

Dealing with insurance can be tricky and often frustrating. I speak from experience.

It’s unfortunate that insurance companies make it so hard to understand the ins and outs of their policies as well as getting approvals especially since those who are trying to get covered are often going through really tough emotional times.

As I got myself prepared for my amputation I was doing everything to prepare myself, mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially seeing as this would be a forever life changing surgery.

My experience was not smooth, nor was it kind, but I figured out how to handle my situation, found my voice, and fought for what was right and what I needed.

Join me this week as I take you on my journey with the games that insurance companies play, and how you can play and beat them at their own game.

 

This is what I fought to get……

 

So I can do this….

 

…And this

 

….And this

 

…And this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you fighting for? And if you’re not fighting for what you want, then who will???

 

Randy and David at The Limb Center and also Limbs For Humanity

 

 

This week, if you are in the middle of a big decision that takes medical insurance, make sure you do your homework and get confirmation about what is covered.

If you have been told “No” by your insurance company then it’s time to fight for what you want and need.

We must fight for ourselves, because only we know exactly what we need and want to make our lives worth living.

Help yourself by fighting for your future. Don’t give up, and don’t take “No” for an answer!

You are a warrior and you are WORTH IT!!

 

Have a blessed week and as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

 

 

The First 3 Years

The First 3 Years

Finding Hope after Amputation

 

No one really tells you what to expect after amputation, and quite frankly, even if they did, each journey is different.

The reality is that the first couple of years are filled with bumps, bruises, ups and downs. You will have highs and some of your lowest lows. There will be enormous changes, in your life, and in your body. And even when you finally get through the healing process, post-amputation, the challenges are just beginning. But with all that said, you can and will survive.

You spend A LOT of time in your prosthetist’s office the first 2 years

 

My very 1st prosthetic, one of many. Had no idea what was to come. All I knew was that I would be walking again!

 

Yet another socket!

 

Randy at The Limb Center in Phoenix, making my mold, for ( you guessed it) ANOTHER socket!

 

You will learn how your body adjusts, how it heals, what kind of strength (both physically and emotionally) you have, and you will build character…. oh boy, will you build character.

 

These are all the sockets (minus 3) that I have gone through, because of changes to my limb, in just 3 years!!!

 

The process is long and can be stressful if you don’t have patience. You will find yourself doing well one moment, only to feel like you’ve taken a step back in the blink of the eye. But don’t you give up! And don’t you worry. This is all part of the learning process and the changes you are going through, physically. Becoming an amputee and traversing the first 1-3 years is all about adaptability and change. If you can go into it knowing it is a process that could take that long, and that you will have positive moments of moving forward, riddled with backward steps, then you will be ready and able to handle what gets thrown at you.

You are a warrior, built for adversity.

Be strong.

Stay positive and active.

This is the to fight for what you want out of life.

We are in this journey together!

 

 

This week I want you to decide what it is that you really want out of your new life.

You will want to start building your own toolbox for those moments that become hard and emotionally draining.

I have so many hobbies, and things I do to pass the time, and to distract myself on the harder days, the days where phantom pains want to destroy me and my resolve.

What do you do when you get upset? Tired and frustrated? Or when you are hurting?

Most of us have a coping mechanism to help through those moments in life. This time is no different.

Be prepared to redirect your thoughts so you can get through and come out stronger on the other side.

Prepare yourself for battle; the internal battles that seek to bring chaos into y9ur life, making you doubt yourself and trying to destroy every dream you have. You are a WARRIOR! Believe it! You will succeed and be stronger for it.

Be prepared.

 

And as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

 

Life is a Journey

Life is a Journey

Stay the Course and Press On

 

This is the year. Embrace the journey and get your mindset right!

We started our year with a new puppy. I had forgotten how hard potty training was as an amputee. What does that mean, you might ask?  Night time wake up calls are very difficult when you don’t have a leg on, grabbing an energetic puppy, and crutching outside and down a step…all before that puppy has an accident! This week, I am navigating this alone for the first time, tonight I may just leave my leg on.

I tell you all this to show you the reality of being an amputee.

As I sit here and write this up I am working later than usual, because of said puppy, and her boundless amount of energy she’s had all day. She is finally asleep and I have a moment to finish up my post.

THIS is life.

This is part of the journey. The good times, the hard times, the moments that make me smile and the times that exhaust me and make me see my shortcomings as an amputee.

Would I change a thing? Would I do it differently?

NO!

I am a stronger person for what I’ve gone through.

I know myself even better than I ever have.

My faith is stronger than ever before, and the people and experiences I have met and had along this journey I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Mindset matters. I keep saying that. How we see ourselves, and our lives, DOES matter.

When we let go of our past, embrace our situation, learn to ride the ups and downs of life, that is when we can truly live a full and meaningful life. That is when you can find purpose and joy.

Don’t give up when it gets rough. Keep fighting the good fight. You can do it, you are strong enough.

 

 

 

This week, focus on the positive. Find your purpose by setting goals you can achieve, and that challenge you just enough. Create a list of the things you’ve been dreaming of doing, trying, or accomplishing.

Write them down then create timelines of when you want to try or accomplish them. Be specific so they don’t fade away.

Next, figure out what steps you’ll need to take to get to your goal.

Use the next week to get your list together and your mindset right, and go out and kick butt!

You’ve got this, Warrior!

 

And as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,

 

 

 

 

 

The Most Wonderful Time of Year

The Most Wonderful Time of Year

Winter Wonders and Woes for Amputees

 

Wintertime brings colder weather, holidays and family time, ice and snow, along with new outdoor activities. It also brings with it challenges for getting around if you are an amputee (or anyone who struggles with balance).

Crutching on snow and ice should be an Olympic Sport

 

I am fortunate enough to live in Arizona but as a family, we love to get out and ski in the mountains of Colorado and Utah.

My very first goal as I was getting ready for my amputation was to ski again with my family. I had just 3 months from amputation to test myself.

Even though there are different ways to accomplish “skiing” I wanted to be standing and looking like I always did as a skier (minus one leg that is). My stubbornness definitely helped me. That plus my perfectionist attitude and drive.

 

 

My first day I was so nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I tell you this because even though I had been skiing since I was 17 years old there was so much relearning to be done and a lot of newness to skiing with only one ski. For instance, turning one way versus another was so much harder not having the downslope ski to aid in control.

As time went by, I began to understand what was needed to succeed. Every chance we got I went on the slopes. And every time I was on the slopes I got butterflies and had to suppress fears of getting hit from behind, falling and trying to get back up (not as easy with one ski and on a slope of snow), or heading downhill and catching icy patches.

There are other ways to ski, like on a mono ski (sitting in a bucket sled, leg(s) strapped down), or using a ski bike.

This past trip we decided to take a day off from skiing, but I wanted to be outdoors and breathing in the cold mountain air and enjoying the snow all around us, so we went for a hike into the mountains.

It was beautiful!

Backwoods hiking

 

Beautiful views, challenging terrain for an amputee

 

Winter life for an amputee is quite challenging. Just as changing our shoes, or going over different types of flooring or terrain, challenges us for a few minutes before we feel comfortable moving about with the change, winter challenges us and our feeling of confidence and trust in each of our steps. We must be more cautious, and meticulous with each step. I am always looking down at where my feet are landing and what type of surface I will be hitting with the net few steps. For me to enjoy the beautiful mountains w were hiking in I had to stop and set myself then look all around. Once I got my fill I would begin to march on once again.

All in all, I am excited for my next winter trip and plan to try snow shoeing and see how it feels to have larger foot on my prosthetic.

Even though there are a lot of new things to adjust to as winter weather approaches, know that you are capable, you just need to learn your perimeters. It takes time, but with focus and determination you can conquer winter without any falls or injury. Always know to protect your good/sound leg and take your time. Don’t allow anyone to push you faster than you are ready to go.

Stay positive and create positive verbal cues for your brain to latch onto and you’ll find yourself maneuvering snowy conditions like a pro!

 

 

FIERCE AND ON FIRE Challenge!

Don’t forget that we are still charging forward on 100 miles before Jan 1!

Are you in?

Check the past couple of podcasts for the link to join and to register for the challenge at Run Motivators if you want to order a medal for your trophy case!!

 

Let’s keep moving and end 2023 active and healthy!

 

May your hot;liday season be filled with family, fun, joy, and blessings of all kinds.

 

And as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

 

The Age of Prosthetics

The Age of Prosthetics

Change Is in the Air

 

 

I had the distinct honor of being a part of a gait study at MIT in their Media Lab in Boston. It was the final project of a PhD student’s program and it was amazing!

To see what the future of prosthetics is heading toward and being able to test something that is still a ways out from being on the commercial market was such a blast and a lot of work. Testing the product through different scenarios and also using my own leg to show my baseline capabilities for comparison was so interesting and enlightening.

I would never have picture myself, in a million years, being able to be a part of this, nor did I ever picture myself without a leg.. oh the places I have been, the people I have met and the experiences I have enjoyed, all because of my decision to amputate almost 5 years ago.

 

MIT Media Lab lobby

 

Getting geared up for my baseline study with my own leg

 

Gathering data

 

Making adjustments

 

Such an honor to meet the man who created his own prosthetics after losing his own legs, Dr Hugh Herr.

 

Would I do it all again? Yes!

 

First off, I am not a person that looks back and says, “if only I had…” or ” I would have done this differently”. Instead I focus at what’s happening now and what’s in front of me. This makes me a happier person.

Second, I wouldn’t trade all the problems I have had (phantom pains/sensations, fitting issues, rashes and burns from sockets) because everything I have been blessed to experience has also been met with amazing people, experiences and seeing and doing new things.

I am a better person, a more well-rounded person, for having this life altering surgery.  I am happy that my life changed direction.

I have been able to test my will power, my integrity, my character much more by going through something so big. I have been tested and been able to rise up and become a stronger individual, both physically and emotionally.

I wished I could share with you so much more about my time at MIT, but until this student’s study is published it needs to be hush hush. Someday next year I will talk about it in more detail, but until then, I suggest that if you ever get a chance to take part in a study, one that helps make progress in our prosthetics, take it. Not only are you helping the future, you will also get to learn more about yourself.

 

 

As the past couple of weeks I have pushed you all to get active during this busy time of year. Taking care of yourself is so important for your mental and physical well-being but we tend to put it off for other things. Don’t wait! Join me on my Fierce and On Fire challenge.

It’s a virtual challenge by RunMotivators and if you’d like to join you can register and receive a medal for accomplishing this virtual challenge.

The goal? 100 miles, your way.

What does that mean?

You decide how you accomplish 100 miles. I set the goal timeline for December 31st but you can always set your own timeline since this started 3 weeks ago for me.

How can you reach 100 miles?

Whatever is comfortable and easiest for you and your circumstances. If you are wheelchair bound them maybe do some upper body workouts.

15 minutes=1 mile

You can swim, walk, hike, ski, surf, run, bike…the sky is the limit and you decide what challenges you, where you are at.

The idea is to get moving for YOU!

Making yourself a priority during this time of year, when we tend to ditch the things we do for ourselves to doing things for others.

Are you in??

Join me TODAY and get a jumpstart on your own health and fitness goals.

 

I hope you have a blessed week ahead and as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

 

 

 

 

Are You Listening?

Are You Listening?

Learning To Listen To Your Gut

When you are going through something have you noticed how many people have advice?

The questions of: Have you tried this? Did you see Dr. So and So? This is the only prosthetic that works…. etc, etc.

I have had the opportunity to see many doctors throughout my injury, been to an amazing plastic surgeon, and have great prosthetists. I tell new amputees all about them but I try to stay conscious of pushy. My personal experience is MY personal experience, and I am always hopeful that it can be somebody else’s experience too, but it may not be. This just recently happened and it was heartbreaking to see. Without going into detail, because that’s what this podcast talks about, I had a couple of friends, amputees, use one of my doctors to help with revisions and their experiences were not like my positive experience.

I also watch social media posts and peruse the comments and am taken aback by the many people who believe their way is the only way, their doctor is the best doctor, their prosthetic brand is the best out there. Do you see where I’m going with this?

“Always”, “Never”, “The Best”, and “The Worst”, are red flags in my book, and should be avoided at all costs.

So why do we fall victim to adhering to these types of comments and following this type of advice? When we are in pain, scared, anxious, and in doubt we want ANYTHING that will get us out of that situation, and the faster the better. When we ask a large group of people (social media groups) how they handle this situation, or ask for help when we are experiencing phantom pain so extreme we are beside ourselves, we will take any advice if the person comes across unwavering and confident in their advice.

The problem? We are all DIFFERENT!

The love I have for my prosthetic. I am empowered to live my best life, with my new lease on life.

 

We have different reasons for our injury, different backgrounds, different personalities, different pain threshold levels, and completely different reasons for what we are feeling.

Just last week I experienced phantom pain, like my foot had been set on fire. It was non-stop, day and night. I haven’t had that in a long time. This time it was caused by my situation, not my fit. I was very upset and stressed about something (listen to last week’s podcast), and this was how my body dealt with it. However, if I had told any Facebook groups that I was dealing with this major burning, without giving the situational background, like so many people do, I would’ve been told that pain meds work, or gummies were the way to go, or try sleeping it off, etc. But what I needed to do was get outdoors for fresh air and allow myself to grieve. The fresh air and exercise helped me cope with my issue, which allowed my phantom pains to subside.

Fresh air and exercise! Just what I needed.

 

I knew what I needed. I trusted my gut on why I was experiencing what was happening to me.

We sometimes forget, in the midst of hard times, that if we just listen to our bodies, that we know what’s best and what is right for us.

When we schedule an appointment with a doctor but feel unsettled when in the office, we need to listen.

When we struggle with pain, we must quiet ourselves enough to listen to what our body is telling us.

Yes, it’s good to get some opinions, but take all advice with a grain of salt. We know ourselves better than a doctor with a PhD. We understand what we’ve been going through more than a random keyboard warrior who loves to put their two cents into everyone’s problems.

Aren’t we worth that?

Don’t we deserve the best care possible?

 

It’s time to advocate for yourself.

When you have an appointment, make sure you take questions you want answered so you don’t forget them if your train of thought gets derailed (mine did as soon as one doctor brought up amputation for the first time-I was stunned and my mind went blank. Luckily my husband was with me).

Bring someone you trust with you to the appointment (see comment above).

Listen to what your body is telling you. You know YOU best! DOn’t doubt yourself.

Remember, advice is great for optionality, but there is no “One size fits all” answer to your situation.

You are a warrior! Don’t you forget that! Fight for yourself! Fight for the life you’ve envisioned for yourself. You deserve the BEST!!!

I’m praying for you. Rise up and be heard, Warrior!

 

Until next week, as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

 

 

 

 

 

Check Your Ego At the Door

Check Your Ego At the Door

For Growth and Overall Happiness

 

Take it from me when I say that it can be really difficult to drop the ego and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

I have always prided myself in being a high achiever, a perfectionist, a go-getter, and so highly competitive that I have built up walls and a tough exterior when I am trying new things or in a competitive environment. The very last thing I would ever do is ask for help or, worse yet, show any weaknesses in front of anyone.

The problem with that is that I cannot grow, evolve and improve in this state.

We need to get outside of our comfort zones to challenge ourselves.

And when we find ourselves challenged we need to ask for help and we need to have times of failing. That is what helps us learn and improve ourselves, our craft, or our hobby.

 

In this podcast, I take you on my journey when last week I finally put down my ego and reaped the benefits! It was humbling, exhilarating, and challenged me. In a short time I also made a new friend with similar interests who inspires me to keeping working hard. What a blessing getting out of my own way has been in just a short time. Imagine what I can accomplish now that I have this nugget of information, this new skill or letting go of my ego so that I can better myself and my life!

Won’t you join me on this new and exciting journey?

 

 

 

Has your pride, or ego, stopped you from accomplishing some of your goals (big or small)?

Then this week it’s time to bloom where you’re at and shine!

Set yourself up for success, enjoy the breathe of fresh air as you swallow that ego, show your vulnerable underbelly, and challenge yourself to something new.

You will be amazed at how happy you’ll feel about your new found freedoms from your own prison.

So get out of your own way, Warrior, and rise (and fall) in the new challenges you choose to take on.

Through failures and weaknesses we find our strengths, and build character.

Time to define your life!

So rise up, Warrior, rise up!

 

And as always,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!

 

Much love,.

Angie

Overcoming Fear Part 2

Overcoming Fear Part 2

Fear of Failure

 

A big fear of mine has always been failing, especially in front of a lot of people. How about you?

After becoming an amputee this became the daily fear that would well up inside of me. Every day I put on my leg I had to deal with idea that, as I was learning to walk in it, I just my wipe out.  Then after I got good at walking, I added in the fear of falling with a running blade on, which would make for a more epic fall.

It feels like the normal, everyday, things were now causing my anxiety.

I realized right away that I would have 2 choices:

Stay home, pout, and not get out and work on my new life

or

Get out, try everything, fail, pick myself back up and try again.

On the edge of the Grand Canyon!

 

Me and my bees

 

My new Swell Surf foot, ready for the waves of Kauai

 

My 1st time wadding in a rushing stream, keeping balance, and trying fly fishing! A whole lotta new!

 

As you probably guessed, I opted for the second choice! Get out and LIVE!

This took time, patience, humility, and drive.

It wasn’t easy going into a grocery store with a new leg, knowing people were watching, almost waiting for me to stumble. At least that’s how it felt at first. But I had a family to feed and a husband at work all day. I was not going to be a burden and I was going to learn this new lifestyle, no matter what it took.

As a teacher, I told my students all the time that it’s ok to fail. That’s the only way to learn. It was time for me to take my own advice.

It’s a long road, a hard journey, when learning to walk again. It’s difficult to take an old. easy, everyday task, and start over.

Have grace and forgiveness with yourself. Be patient, like you’d be with your own kids learning something new.

What advice would you give your baby who was just learning to walk? Would you be mad at them for trying their first steps and falling over? Of course not, so why would you be mad, upset, impatient with yourself?

Why is it that we are so hard on ourselves, yet so forgiving with others that we seeing trying and failing?

Remember, it is more rewarding to try, try, try again and get something, than to just be able to do something simple that you get on your first try.

When you are forced to subject yourself to uncertainty, and yet certain failures at first, you are building your experience, you are building your character, and you are building a warrior mentality.  These are the characteristics that will help you succeed at your next task.

Don’t be afraid to get out there and try something new. You never know what will come of your efforts. What I have learned is that with every trial, I became stronger, met new people, inspired others, and found a deep joy for my new life that I wouldn’t change for the world!

 

Deep inside of you lies a warrior waiting to be unleashed! You’ve got this. Face your fears head on and watch how you will transform your life!!!

You are a warrior!!

 

 

This week begin to change your mindset. Speak positively to yourself and then think of 1 thing you have been wanting to do but have been too afraid to try it.

Now make a plan on how to get from point A to point B. Remember to break it down into baby steps. You cvan do this. I believe in you!

Work at it every day, even for 5-10 minutes. Realize that learning to do something new takes failure. Embrace the failures. Even laugh at yourself from time to time. We all fail at first.

Pick yourself back up and start again!

Don’t give up!

You’ve got this!!

 

Until next time,

Be Healthy,

Be Happy,

Be YOU!!!

 

Much love,

Angie