Check out my TREADMILL DESK!

Hello, Team Squirrel!!!

You may remember from my last post that one of the things I need to do to work on my Adrenal Fatigue issue is exercise.  Oh goodie, I love exercising.  <sarcasm font> 

Actually, I don’t mind exercising *that* much.  But I really struggle to find the time.  In Michigan, I had a weekly Zumba class that I absolutely loved (Hi Carrie! 🙂 )   I haven’t found one in Atlanta yet that I think I would like.  (SQUIRREL – I did drive by one class once recently, but it was in kind of a seedy-looking place and it scared the crap out of me and I wimped out.  Did I mention that with Adrenal Fatigue comes increased nervousness and anxiety?  Good times, eh???)  However, I did pick up a treadmill, stationary bike, weight bench, and weights from Craig’s List during the holidays.  But again, really struggling to find the time not to mention get interested and motivated to use all that stuff.

Well, one day I’m reading a post from one of my favorite bloggers…  yep, you guessed it, The Paleo Mom!  (SQUIRREL – Gosh, I hope I’m not freaking her out. Dr. Sarah – I promise I’m not a stalker.)  She set a goal for herself of 10,000 steps each day.  WOW!  And to try and meet that goal, she purchased a treadmill desk.  Pretty brilliant since her job is researching and writing which can keep you pretty sedentary.

OMG I wanted one of those!  And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that using something like that could really help me.  If I could set up some kind of desk at my treadmill, I could walk or run while I read a book, watched movies, or even while I was working from home!  But there was no way I could afford to buy one any time soon.  Wait a minute!  I could MAKE one!!!  Or at least something that would give me a desktop to use at the treadmill.

SO I DID!!!

I realized that a couple of PVC pipes could slide over the handles of my treadmill and if I could get a board affixed to that, I’d have it.  (SQUIRREL – Most of my ingenious designs start with PVC pipe.  It’s versatility and ability to fix the universe is right up there with duct tape.)  So I started my design, made a list of supplies, and sent my husband to Home Depot (in the beginnings of an ice storm) to pick up my supplies.  Here’s how I did it!

First, I measured everything.  I figured out that I needed a 2 inch internal diameter PVC pipe an I needed two of them at about 6 inches long.  I also needed a board that was between 10-12 inches deep and 32-36 inches wide.  Then I started designing and made a list of what I would need.

Did you know Home Depot will let you use their cutting tools to cut PVC pipe in the store?!?!  So cool.  So I started with the 2 pipes and covered them with fleece so they wouldn’t scratch and could slide on and off easily.  I actually slid that whole piece of fleece inside the pipe and then folded it to the outside.  I wanted it covered both inside and out.

 PVC PipePVC/Fleece Darth Vader

I used spray adhesive to get the fabric to stay on.  Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na CRAFT BOND!  (That was supposed to sound like the Batman song.)

 Craft Bond

Then I got this cool stuff so I could secure the pipes to the board.  So we cut this stuff to length and screwed it in.

 No clue what this is calledStarting assembly

I was a little worried that the desk might slide off if I really started getting nuts on the treadmill, so I got an eyebolt so I could use it to secure the board to the treadmill.

Got my eyebolt on

Then I broke my staple gun… so back to Home Depot to get a new one!  Pretty spiffy, huh?

My NEW staple gun!

Then I covered the board with felt.  (SQUIRREL – I used to be an avid crafter and I still sew so I have tons of stuff like this just laying around.)

 All covered up

All done!  Now to slide it onto the treadmill.  Voila!

 Ta-da!

And just to be safe, I secured it with a teeny, tiny bungee cord.  (SQUIRREL – Yet another universe fixing apparatus.  Note to self:  In the event of a Zombie Apocalypse, send someone out for bungee cords.  Got it.)

 Bungees - they help kill zombies too

And here I am (pretend) typing on my tablet… WHILE WALKING AT MY HOMEMADE TREADMILL DESK!!!!

Check me out!

Boom!  (I especially love how my feet are blurry, giving the impression that I’m really cruising here.)

I have hit my 10,000 steps nearly every day I’ve been on here.  I’ve been running while I watch movies and walking while I’m reading, listening to podcasts, or even doing my java homework!  I even wrote half of this post while I was on it!

Thanks for reading and talk to you again soon!

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The Squirrel Comeback

I'm baaa-aaaack!

I’m baaa-aaaack!

Long time no see, Squirrel Friends!!!!!!!!

I haven’t written in a long time.  Because frankly, I haven’t felt like it.

I’ve been tired… like crazy tired.  And stressed, and sad, and worried, and overwhelmed by EVERYTHING.  And I’ve gained weight and felt so unhealthy no matter how hard I’ve tried to fix it.  But there’s a reason why.

If you want the short story, that’s it.  You’d better stop reading here.  Thanks for coming.  Buh-bye.

But if you want the long story, then here we go!

Again, I haven’t felt like it, but there’s a reason why.  I have been diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue (… and a major hormonal imbalance… and a mutated MTHFR gene… and some other stuff.)

I’m guessing right about now you are saying “Hey Squirrel, WTH is adrenal fatigue?”  Most people haven’t heard of it, including many typical heath care providers.  Let me try to explain…  When the body gets stressed, it goes into the “fight or flight” mode and your adrenal glands secrete cortisol (and a whole bunch of other crazy science-y stuff happens too – but cortisol is the biggie).  When you calm back down, your cortisol levels try to level out.  However, if you don’t calm back down and you stay in that “fight or flight” mode for too long, you wear those poor little glands out and they give up.  They start malfunctioning.

(SQUIRREL – I’ve been trying to prove my Adrenal Fatigue for over a year.  I knew there was something “not normal” going on.  It made people call me a hypochondriac, but dammit, I knew I was right!)

I thought my move to Atlanta had caused some of these bad and unhealthy feelings.  I mean, that’s pretty stressful, right?  Moving your whole family halfway across the country and starting a new job (for those of you who know where I work and what happened there recently, you know this is also a MAJOR cause of stress) where there’s horrendous traffic and we know almost NO ONE.  (Not to mention while still paying for 2 sets of mortgages and utilities.)  Nah, that’s not stressful at all. <sarcasm font>  OK, sure.  I accepted that this would be hard and might have really thrown me off my game.  But I still knew something wasn’t right.  And, as always, I was TOTALLY RIGHT.  (LOL – Oh I crack myself up!)  Adrenal fatigue can jack up your metabolism, sleep, immunity, hormones, and the body’s ability to handle stressors.  Many people with adrenal fatigue suffer from depression, nervousness, and anxiety in addition to all of that other crappy stuff.  Yep, I have all of those.  Severe all of those.

Luckily, I now live in an area where there are PLENTY of doctors who know what this is and how to diagnose and treat it.  Also luckily, I live near The Paleo Mom who has some very similar issues and wrote about her doctor that is helping her fix her issues and get healthier.  (SQUIRREL – some of you know that I am her quasi-stalker… and have even met her in person, TWICE… so it just makes sense that I should also see her doctor, right?!?!)

SQUIRREL – Dude.  This is cool.  I read the post above by The Paleo Mom on a Sunday morning.  I immediately went to the doctor’s website and filled out an information request (his office is only 10 minutes from where I work).  I got an email from their office around 12:30pm asking if I’d be available for a phone consultation with the doctor the next morning.  Again, this is all on a Sunday.  So I had my first phone call on Monday, my first blood draw that Wednesday, and my first 3-hour appointment with the doctor and then his nutrition/supplement/exercise consultant as soon as my test results were back which was 2 weeks after that.  I freakin’ love that office.

He figured out the Adrenal Fatigue and how it is affecting me on a cellular level.  I’m basically a 70-year-old woman as far as my cells are concerned.  Stupid judgmental cells.  I also have this hormonal imbalance – partially because of my age and partially because of these other issues.  I have somewhat of a testosterone deficiency and a HUGE progesterone deficiency.  I’m one big ol’ ball of estrogen!  And I have this MTHFR gene thingy.  I really don’t know much about it except that it affects the way my body detoxes.  (SQUIRREL – Rest assured that as soon as I finish my research, you’ll hear all about it.  😉  )

I’ve often said that my body is really good at telling me that I’ve pushed too far.  I tend to get sick and end up laid up for like a week then I feel better and get back to the same hectic routine.  These “knock downs” had been coming more and more frequently over the past few years.  I had no idea that this is actually a REALLY BAD THING and that my body was trying to send me a VERY IMPORTANT message.  Things have to change.  Like straight up lifestyle and mindset changes.

So I’ve started taking tons of supplements and super vitamins to regulate my hormones and cortisol.  I’m also following a pretty strict Paleo Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP) diet.  I have a specific number of carbs, protein, and fat I need to hit every day.  I have to exercise.  I have to sleep.  And I have to RELAX.  Not just rest, but find ways to actually relaaaaaax.  The relaxing is the hardest part for me.

Sooooo, I’m about to go on a journey.  A really scary one that I have no idea how to do.  But also one that I’m excited about because there is hope that I will feel better.

Wish me luck!  And I’ll keep you posted!