ex·treme [ik-streem]  adjective, ex·trem·er, ex·trem·est, noun adjective

1. of a character or kind farthest removed from the ordinary or average: extreme measures.

2. utmost or exceedingly great in degree: extreme joy.

3. farthest from the center or middle; outermost; endmost: the extreme limits of a town.

4. farthest, utmost, or very far in any direction: an object at the extreme point of vision.

5. exceeding the bounds of moderation: extreme fashions.

What does “going extreme” mean to you? Is it the traditional idea of jumping off cliffs, or skiing the steepest and deepest run on the mountain? Or is it just anything, regardless of what someone else thinks, that gets your heart rate up? Personally, I believe dictionary.com has it right: it’s anything that exceeds the bounds of moderation.

Now, I wish this post was going to be about my body working like a champ so I could tell you about my latest skiing triumph. As us warriors against Arthur know, my chances of having an epic ski adventure that ends up in the movies are pretty slim. This post is still about exceeding the bounds of moderation, but in a way one might not think of.

As chronic pain patients know, it is easy to find a routine that provides some level of comfort and stability. We learn that certain things cause pain and certain things help. Since pain is a SOB, we don’t always take that next step and analyze whether or not our stable and comforting routine is really good for us. Getting through the day is sometimes hard enough; why would we want to do a post game wrap up after a long pain day, right???

Turns out we (warriors and fighters of arthritis) should! Thanks to people like Little Wurmie inspiring/educating me on the difference of a routine and a positive routine, I now believe I have discovered a new way of exceeding my personal bounds of moderation.

For those of you who have had the honor of knowing me know that I’m no fan of vegetables (I do like carrots/celery with some ranching dressing for dipping, just to be honest). As my parents and brother will attest, I CAN’T STAND cooked veggies especially. There is just something about the taste and smell that is not appealing! If my doctor is reading this, I do suck down at least one V8 full of vegetables and fruit a day (I do love fruit, I would be perfectly happy eating my weight in pears, apples, and oranges if that was a healthy way of eating).

After skiing last Sunday, we stopped by Wendy’s to get lunch (that has been our tradition for years now so please no yelling about eating there!!!). I decided to get the grilled chicken sandwich with fries, and of course of small frosty J Usually, I would have ordered it with just lettuce, cheese, and onions but for some reason I did something that exceeded my normal bounds of moderation…yes, you are correct, I left all the vegetables on it.

I’m not sure what exactly made me change up my usual routine. It could have been Joanne talking, educating, yelling about the importance of vegetables for people with arthritis. Or it could have been the fact that the body had done well on the hill that day, which put me in a great mood. I guess, in the interest on honesty, it could have been me continuing my journey to crazy town, who knows. The thing that matters most is that I ate vegetables on PURPOSE!

To my surprise, I didn’t die or have any other side effects from eating the vegetables on purpose…I know, shocking, right??!! What’s even more shocking is that I didn’t stop there!

That Monday, work was more painful than usual! I was a good arthritic patient and didn’t do anything crazy on my skis the day before, I promise! That meant it was just one of those days we all hate but know we have to suffer through.

I did make it to the gym after work on Monday. For those of you keeping score, that means I skied Sunday and went to the gym on Monday–pretty active for me. The workout went all right, I got my back to loosen up some, but the neck became angrier. Since the lower back was the worst when I walked into the gym I like to think I won the battle with Arthur that day. To celebrate, and because I was beat, I went to Subway (right across the street from the gym) for dinner.

Guess what? I ordered even more vegetables for my sandwich than were on Sunday’s sandwich. I know, what is wrong with me, right? To my surprise, it actually tasted good. They were out of my ranch so I tried the Southwest chipotle, which wasn’t that great, but the point was I was eating vegetables on purpose.

I went on to eat vegetables on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m guessing that is the most vegetables I’ve eaten in that short of span in years. To date, I have still not experienced any side effects and I’m still breathing. Maybe doctors are right; maybe those horrible tasting plants are actually good for me.

At this point in my post you might be asking yourself, why am I reading about this dork eating vegetables? Big deal, right? Most kids know they should eat a balanced diet so why doesn’t this “adult” know that?

The reason I am writing about my adventures with vegetables is pretty simple. It pushed me to exceed my normal bounds of moderation, which brought some surprising results. I ended up going to the gym on Wednesday, rode my road bike for about 40 minutes on Thursday which was the first time I had been on it for a year, and I skied harder than I have all season today. I haven’t been that active in several years now!!!  J

I’m not going to lie; I hurt right now…pretty bad, too. The odd thing is I don’t care. I’m pretty proud of myself for eating the vegetables and fully believe that because I went outside my personal bounds of moderation by changing my diet just a little, I was able to be more active than I have been for a long time!

Routines can provide comfort and safety while dealing with pain. The trouble is they don’t always help us to get better. I need to work on not having a fear of failing because when I don’t, and try new things, I seem to get very positive results! Hopefully you can take my simple story about eating vegetables and look for simple ways to change your usual routine in the hopes of make your life easier and that much more fun to experience!!!

 

I’m Trying Them At Least!!! 🙂

Plate of Veggies


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