cPTSD / Stressed biology - restoration through exercise?

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Re: cPTSD / Stressed biology - restoration through exercise?

Post by johnram » Tue May 14, 2019 9:22 am


Sincerly sorry for the delayed response, i have had a hectic week, with looking to restart work after my rest break.

How are you finding your way? and how is your exercising going?

I relate to what you say about being bad at consistency, but i believe we can change that, especially when we remember the benefits. I think we must forgive our past selves and the fact that its not us being inconsistent, but a byproduct of circumstance, it allows us to take some seperate ownership - "this used to be me because of X, i am more consistent, so i can do this....". This is something i am learning, or trying to, is challenge my thoughts as not my own.

It is hard, as other people who have seen those behaviours i dont like, recognise that as me, and i dont want to anymore.

i had a side ask for you though - what is your diet? i ask as that has been a big part for me too, binge eating, takeaways and fast food - more under control now, but a few days of bad eating become a month - its also what i was raised on.

Very impressed by your sugar craving reduction, i know how hard that demon can be - really proud of you.

I hear you regarding people IRL. My emotional dysregulation has been exceptionally stressful, that often times i have removed myself from society. When i started to get depressed (i didnt know that is what was happening - it just took over without any feelings attached [eating, shutting down, lots of tv and other addictions]), taken years to understand and crawl back. its bloody hard, and anyone, like you who is trying i am in honor of, as people dont understand, but when you have been there (i had to stop because i felt a wave of that sadness).

i am glad to connect with you and apologise for my lesser frequency, i hope you are well, and want to hear how you are doing


Re: cPTSD / Stressed biology - restoration through exercise?

Post by ephes » Wed May 15, 2019 2:41 pm

Hello johnram,

Stop apologising already...:) As I said before, you respond at whatever frequency you want to, or you don't respond at all, that's fine. I mean it, you don't know me but most of my life I felt compelled to be extremely sincere even when, and especially when it came at a cost to me. Just... naive. You don't just lose that... even though I want to be more indirect, scheming, calculating, INTELLIGENT when treating with people as a means of protecting myself from harm.
On here, I certainly mean what I say, there's no point in making the effort to be anything else, after all I'm just ones and zeros shipping out from some IP and rerouted to some VPN IP and zipping to some virtual platform on the interwebs (how liberating:)).

It's like to hear from you and how you're doing. I appreciate the connection, but I won't be rattled if the connection ends. It's more like a nice surprise when I read a response from you.

Happy to hear you are restarting work and I hope you find the right balance between work and recovery. I do understand what you're going through, trying to crawl back and change ingrained behaviour that's become toxic. How hard it is to rewire, how hard it is to relapse and restart again. Relapsing is normal, but so disheartening.

Hey, you know in the meantime I found some promising apps and platforms for virtually connecting with workout buddies. Once I looked for it (duh..) obviously I found heaps of stuff:).

I'm at the stage where my knees don't hurt so much anymore and I can find the thigh muscles (if I look for them diligently har har). So that's good. Talked to my father, had a relapse, getting up again now. Relapse was shorter than feared.

Diet: usually lots of protein, fat, fresh vegetables and fruits, little carbohydrates, I like sweets in small quantities. Things start going bad when I start eating lots of sugar, carbohydrates, which I didn't do for most of my life.
I was very lucky in that both my parents were deeply distrustful of processed food and put a lot of importance on eating well and preparing meals. Both were slightly overweight, but not obese (I think the belly on my father was/is just the beer). My father was physically active in his time off work. Also he had lived through food rationing (but not hunger) as a child during WW2 and was somewhat obsessed with at least growing some food himself (house with garden in village). So there where fruit trees, hazelnut bushes, big thickets of blackberry, raspberry, elderberry on the borders towards the neighbours. The biggest part of the garden was planted with rows of vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs. There were 2 piles of compost and when the season for one vegetable was over, he planted the next. He kept chickens and rabbits which he slaughtered himself.
Both parents insisted that a meal contain at least either salad or vegetables and 80 % of the time there were some hastily cut fresh herbs from the garden on whatever the meal was.
After my mother's death what I ate became more my own choice and I gravitated towards the above diet. It's simply what my body needs I think. On return from school I would pass through the garden, pull out some carrots or other and wolf them down with 3 or 4 packs (100g a pack) of dried, smoked bacon or other charcuterie from the fridge. When I started making my own school lunches it was a sandwich with big fat 1 cm layer of butter, 1 cm or more of meat and a bit of fresh and crunchy stuff. Then I started just taking a pack of charcuterie or some cheese and left out the bread. My father let me eat whatever I wanted, he was just glad I took care of the feeding myself.
I ended up loving good food, eating healthy and cooking.
As a child and adolescent I was thin, then slim and mostly athletic during my adult life. Until I started stress eating to take the edge off panic attacks. I'm now about 10 kg above my healthy weight and 15 kg above my comfortable weight.

I think every body is different, my sister is now slimmer than I am and she eats lots of carbohydrates. She never was physically active though and her body is very different from mine.

I am truly grateful to both my mother and father for teaching me the love of good food, the cooking, the importance of eating healthy. It is one of the few things they did well as parents. Memories revolving around food are the only happy memories I have of my mother. There must have been other happy moments, I really want to believe that, and maybe I just can't remember them. Ah well.

You know what helps me? I have no sweets at my place, no pasta (pasta is cooked real fast), no chips or other. I do have conserves of tuna and tomato, frozen vegetables (just as healthy as fresh) and meat, some frozen portions of slow cooked stew and curries. Currently in the fridge there's butter, milk, cheese, onions, garlic, eggs, dried meat, fresh fish and asparagus. A melon, lemons and avocados lying around. There's lentils, raw peanuts, beans, risotto rice, polenta cornmeal, coconut milk, flour, sugar, oat grains, olives in the pantry. I do have sugar, honey and pure cocoa powder.
The biggest danger is making porridge or a sweet crêpe type omelettes. Baking a cake already takes more time and provides opportunity to talk myself out of it. Risotto and polenta take a while - I'll convince myself otherwise before I make that usually.
There's lots of spices and herbs to make a quick, delicious, healthy meal out of the rest that I have.
I could get food delivered or take a short walk to a supermarket or fast food chain. But I'd have to interact with people:).

For me, it helps to not buy food when hungry as a firm rule. Generally not buying sweets or unhealthy stuff, just not having that stuff around - I can't be trusted with it at the moment. Every now and then make large amounts of slow cooked, meat based dishes, freeze them in portions.
That's the strategy.. Today I did get 2 butter croissants at the supermarket though... So it's not a foolproof strategy:|

I would like to hear how it's going with work and otherwise, but don't you feel obliged, ok:)?


Re: cPTSD / Stressed biology - restoration through exercise?

Post by ephes » Wed May 15, 2019 3:00 pm

Ah yes, since I want to lose weight I keep a journal of what I eat each day, trying to hold myself accountable for that. I think it helps.

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Re: cPTSD / Stressed biology - restoration through exercise?

Post by johnram » Mon May 20, 2019 10:35 am

Hi Ephes,

i really liked your post here, even if for selfish reasons of seeing myself in it too, and not feeling so alone in these battles.

I have the same thing with sweets and eating badly, it plays into a vicious cycle, where when i eat bad, i act out in other ways, hurt my mood, and then keep going. Hard part for me here, is my wife likes to have some sweets but in moderation, but i want, as you say, none in the house. still finding the balance there.

its good your parents ate well - i have a mixed experience, some family members doing so, but my father was take aways and processed food, which i did for many years also at my worst

Really happy you found the apps - mind me asking which ones? curious now

Work - i am returning in 2 weeks, its not what i want to do, as i feel healing is priority and my boss is a certain triggering way, however i need the funds, and i need to keep paying for therapy etc, and realising my healing will take longer - so many times that has been my big frustration, but i understand my context, so it all makes sense. I recall reading you may return also? how is that going, if you mind me asking?

i have been using the forum recently to openly speak of some of my issues, and thinking that is becoming a bit liberating also.

How is your food journey, general healing journey going?

I like these chats and appreciate your wisdom, thank you


Re: cPTSD / Stressed biology - restoration through exercise?

Post by ephes » Thu May 23, 2019 4:30 pm

Just popping in quickly:
Apps: google The Best Fitness Apps That’ll Help You Find A Workout Buddy at besthealthmag.ca for some inspiration. What I ended up being interested in, even though not signed up (yet?) is workoutbuddies.com

Food journey ok, apart from a cheat day. Still same weight as last time I wrote here but now a small part of what was formerly fat is muscle, though I'd probably still qualify for mild muscle atrophy. My knees, back and left achilles were angry at me so I needed to take a break from working out. Then unpleasant interaction with my father. Left me hanging low so I needed something, ANYTHING to stop feeling like a complete waste of oxygen, so I donated blood (rare blood type). Was calm during the thing but had smallish panic attack later on (luckily there were only female nurses and all very kind). Left me way more tired than expected (last time I did was 9 years ago) so I extended the physical exercise pause to 3 days.
Then visit of my one and only friend left in the world, stressed me out while inspiring me at the same time as it always is (seeing this person every 2 or so months for up to one day). Today 100 min uphill walk and now my back is sending smallish but annoying pain jolts down my leg. Stressful human interaction today and now trying to not spin off into panic attack. But achilles good, knees ok, will try to jog-and-lake tomorrow morning.

Can't handle job talk right now, would have to explain some, will in due time.

Alright, I urgently need to cuddle a cat.
Speak later

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Re: cPTSD / Stressed biology - restoration through exercise?

Post by johnram » Sun May 26, 2019 7:06 am

(quick reply)

Very proud of you Ephes

sounds like you are managing through the challenging circumstances well, and keeping up the exercise and maintaining balance.

I am impressed, and need to follow suit as my regime has died for a few weeks bar some long walks. This injury has been dragging on for near 3 months now and i am tired by the bad advice i received that made it worse. Need to stay on it, as i need the boost it gives me.

Curious about your job situation, i am about to go back to a difficult / narcissistic boss, and will need to try and develop a strategy to manage it. Dont feel the need to share any details, but any advice would be useful

take care and stay moving


Re: cPTSD / Stressed biology - restoration through exercise?

Post by ephes » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:25 am

Hello johnram

Sorry to hear about your injury. There's stuff like f.ex. tennis elbows that shouldn't be worked too much and can drag on forever which is terribly frustrating. I've had and still have mostly minor injuries all over (knees, ankles, shoulders, wrist, elbows, and back which isn't minor) and what I've found is that moderate, careful exercise is usually the fastest way to recovery or at least decrease of pain for most of them. What I found for f.ex. tennis elbow is that it really should be worked very carefully, not overdoing it and working it "indirectly", f.ex. working the wrist and/or shoulder to activate tendons/muscles going to/through elbow.
What you want is to stimulate blood circulation which promotes healing without increasing the inflammation.
Or the displaced knee cap needed a short resting period, but then got better when doing moderate, low impact exercise (walking slowly uphill, biking). Partially ruptured ankle tendons/ligaments: short resting period while immobile, but after 2 - 3 weeks starting to use that stuff again sloooowly, carefully. Had the same thing on the other ankle with the treatment of immobilising it in a cast for much longer, walking on crutches for over a month and it took way longer to heal that way.
Generally doing at least some exercise while working around/leaving out the affected area seems to stimulate the system into healing quicker while also helping to keep mental/emotional balance.
Though these are just personal observations, I have absolutely no medical qualification whatsoever.

Yeah, can't give you advice on the job situation, I'm so, so horribly unqualified for that:). Seeking advice myself, currently don't even feel like talking about it at all.

Diet wise I have sinned. I was away a few days and ate ok considering the exercise I did at the same time (loads of seafood, fruit, ice cream, all the ice cream, a little bit of pastries because they just had to be honored they were so good and lots of coffee). Buuuut I left with the suitcase half empty and when I came back a lot of that empty space was filled with pasta. I've been cooking metric tons of delicious pasta since and while the sauce is what I should be eating, the pasta part is not what my body needs. Eating too much carbohydrates just seems to crank up the inflammation in my joints. Pastaaaaa. Pasta is my downfall. I still have 3 packs left, oh boy.
Anyway, had a 15 min slow jog and 30 min walk this morning, so at least working to get back on track. And I got a season pass for the lake facilities so now I can have a locked cabin to change clothes and a shower for the lake dip. It's getting hot fast here and the lake won't be cool for much longer so I'll have to face up to the cold shower soon if I want to keep on doing the cold thing.

Take care, hope your injury heals fast

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