7 Days Of Giving

6 Geese-a-Laying
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
AND  a Partridge in a Pear Tree!

The holidays are here AND the spirit of giving is upon on us!

In 7 DAYS… Babe, babe’s parents, and yours truly will be walking in the 2012 Los Angeles Jingle Bell Run/Walk at the Alex Theatre in Glenda CA, supporting and raising awareness about Arthritis!

Come jingle with us banner

When: December 9, 2012

Where: The Alex Theatre – Glendale, CA

Event Schedule: More information via the Jingle Bell Run/Walk website

Donation Drop Off and Late Registration 12/9/2012 6:30 am – 8:00 am
Morning Program & Warm Up 12/9/2012 7:30 am – 8:00 am
Timed Runners Step Off 12/9/2012 8:00 am
Runners/Walkers Step Off 12/9/2012 8:15 am
Program to award medals and prizes 12/9/2012 9:30 am – 10:00 am
Tot Trot 12/9/2012 10:00 am – 10:15 am

Allow me LESS THEN 2 minutes to share how YOU can help………..


If you decide to come out, please look me up! I will be the gal rocking these black ear covers! ahhhh yea…

Rockin ear covers in 64 degree weather

Much Love,

P.S. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Thank you Jenny Craig! Don’t Mind If I Do-5k Walking Training Schedule

“Ready, set, let’s get your booty walking”  It’s time to bust out a 5k walking training schedule!

That sounds like a plan to me!

For those that may not recall, I got the green light from my vestibular rehabilitation therapist to walk in the Jingle Bell Run/Walk supporting arthritis awareness.

I was PUMPED, but quickly realized I needed a plan of attack.

That is where Miss Jenny comes in…

I stumbled across her Run/Walk webpage that prepares their members to walk in the American Heart Association Heart Walk 5k (3.1 miles).

Walking Workouts - Prepare for Heart Association Walk | Jenny Craig

Perfect! It’s neat to see that walking can be just as SEXY and GLAMOROUS as running. Whoop Whoop!

Hope Miss Jenny doesn’t mind if I use her walking training schedule as my guide.

They offer 4 different training programs that will prepare you for a 5k.

Having a training schedule will allow me to achieve the following:

  • Work toward actually reaching the 3.1 miles before walk/run event.
  • Building up the stamina for the run/walk.
  • A workable plan to follow, keeping me focused on my goal.

My current health situation will present days where I may fall off the training program… BUT  I can ADJUST the program to work for me!  THANKS JENNY.

Off to schedule time for booty walking!

Much love,

12-12-12 The Lesson: Positive Change

Change scares MOST of us. WHY?


  • Uncomfortable
  • Scared
  • Out of control
  • Judged


When I got sick, I subscribed to two schools of thought…

1.) I have no control over this illness. It has me. I CAN’T change my situation.
2.) My choices are limited, BUT there are plenty of areas of my life I STILL HAVE control over (what I put in my mouth, my at·ti·tude, my personal values and beliefs). I started focusing on what I could control! I realize access to choices means there is a chance I CAN change my situation.

 A POWERFUL SHIFT happened when I moved from I CAN’T to I CAN!

 When I was in the I CAN’T camp, I felt…

  • Uncomfortable
  • Scared
  • Out of control
  • Judged


Now enrolled in the I CAN camp, I feel…

  • Uncomfortable
  • Scared
  • Out of control
  • Judged


How can this be? I know what your thinking. “Marissa, what are you talking about? You are still in the same place! Nothing has changed for you.”

Does that mean I am not broke, not sick, or not realistic about my situation? NO.

Let’s face it, I am bordering “JUST ANOTHER STATISTIC “ status. There is a HUGE chance I may not be able to reinvent myself and support myself financially or enjoy a career I am passionate about because of these new limitations.


I BELIEVE that I have enough variables in my life that I can control where CHANGE may positively alter my current predicament.

This month’s 12-12-12 lesson has reaffirmed that belief.

Peachy shared with us a lesson that is both critical and relevant.

“Be the change that you wish to see.”

I’m trying to be the change that I wish to see. I wish there was a change in regards to arthritis. I wish there was a change and a cure for arthritis. I wish there was more people who actually understood about this disease and where people didn’t feel isolated and alone and felt freely to talk about it and not feel like people are going to discriminate against them, and make them feel alone. I’m trying to be the positive change in which I hope people who have arthritis can see.

Peachy listed VERY SPECIFIC areas in her life where she doesn’t have much control over. BUT she is grabbing onto the variables in her life that she has control over and that she BELIEVES she can actively change.

She is positively changing the world around her by being the best version of herself.

Here is a link to this month’s 12-12-12 podcast interview with Peachy.

Peachy! You are a blessing and THANK YOU for reaffirming the power of positive change!

Much love,

P.S. Bust out one of your devices or go old school on me and use paper and pencil. Jot down one area of your life you have control over mentally or physically.

Example: Are you judgmental? Do you see someone walking down the street and you are quick to judge them? “Oh my, what was she thinking wearing that? Oh no she didn’t!”

Well guess what? That is an area of your life you have control over! Whatever you decide, let that be your start to positive growth. You will soon find there are many areas where positive change is possible.  You will start to experience personal growth AND THAT will instill a belief that positive change is possible for you.  It might hurt. You will most likely resist. You may fail. And that is when you know you are on your way to producing positive change. You got this!

Podcast July 12-12-12 Project Member Peachy


HEALTH ADVOCATES…You admire them from a distance and love their tenacity!

Peachy is a passionate and friendly advocate in the world of arthritis, and I believe EVERYONE can learn a thing or TWO from her tenacious spirit.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the Audio

See The Transcipt

Much love,

Update: All I Want For Christmas Is To Walk 5k To Fight Arthritis

The VRT specialist said YES!

I get to walk in the 5k Jingle Bell Run/Walk for arthritis.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk Arthritis logo

Can I get a…. WHOOP… WHOOP!

She expressed two concerns:

1. I have to use BOTH sticks.

– Additional balance support is a smart move.  I am down with that.

2. HOW will I handle the large crowds of people?

– She put her hands on her face worrying how I was going to deal with the  large amounts of people! I jumped in and quickly suggested…” I promise to stay at the back of the pack.” She looked a bit relieved.

– She wants me to look into pre-registration SO I can avoid the large crowds.

Time to drop a little balance education on you!

WHY would large crowds and open spaces be bothersome to a person with a vestibular disorder?

According to VEDA (Vestibular Disorder Association) a POSSIBLE symptom of a vestibular sufferer is…

Difficulty finding stability in crowds or in large open spaces

WHY would I need two walking sticks you may ask? Because there is a…

Tendency to touch or hold onto something when standing, or to touch or hold the head while seated

The sticks provide me a bit of comfort! I need all the comfort I can get.

Much love,

P.S. If you live in the Southern California area AND are living with a vestibular disorder hit me up! Maybe we can walk the race together?  We have a little less than 5 months to get in gear. WE GOT THIS!

Passing Around Some Joint Knowledge

HEY.. let’s keep it clean. I am talking about the joints on the human body.

If you don’t understand what constitutes a joint, HOW can you know “what to watch for“?

For example, one of signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis according to BeJointSmart.org is

Pain, swelling, or stiffness in one or more joints

A joint is where two bones come together.

Did you know that two bones NEVER directly touch each other!

Professor Fink’s Lesson on Arthrology; The Joints Of The Body is a fantastic listen.
Part 1
Part 2

FUN FACT:  The MOST MOVABLE joint in the body is the shoulder.

I will try and break down what I learned in Professor Fink’s lecture series.

What is IN BETWEEN the joints IS what determines the joint type.

Here are 3 Anatomic joint classifications
(classification type focused on in the lecture)

1. Fibrous connective tissue joints
Fibrous connective tissue IS BETWEEN the two bones.
Generally none-to-slight movement between bones.

THREE TYPES of fibrous connective tissues joints:

  • Suture joint- Two bones come together and a thin layer of fibrous connective tissue. There is no movement.
    WHERE is it found? Between the bones of the skull.
  • Syndesmosis joint- A membrane. A broad sheet of connective tissue.
    WHERE is it found? A fibroid sheet is found between the radius and ulna bones.
  • Gomphosis joint- Periodontal ligament.
    WHERE is it found? A joint between a tooth and the socket


FUN FACT: Professor Fink says there is NO SUCH THING as double jointed! WHAT? You don’t have EXTRA joints!

2. Cartilaginous joints
Cartilage IS BETWEEN the two bones.
Generally none or slight movement.

TWO TYPES of Cartilaginous joints

  • Synchondrosis joint- Hyaline cartilage between the two bones.
    WHERE is it found? Between the end of the bone and the shaft there is a epiphyseal plate or hyaline cartilage. AND it is found in the Sternocostal joint (The joints between the ribs and the sternum is hyaline cartilage)
  • Symphysis joint- Fibrocartilage between bones.
    WHERE is this fibrocartilage found? Between the vertebral joints (intervertebral discs) AND the pubic symphysis (between where the two pubic bones come together there is fibrocartilage)


FUN FACT: There IS NO evidence that cracking your joints makes you more prone to arthritis. When you are cracking your knuckles, you are causing a rapid change in pressure in the synovial fluid creating a SNAP, CRACKLE  and  POP sound.

3. Synovial joints (Most common classifications of joints)
Synovial fluid IS BETWEEN the two bones.
Generally there is a lot of movement.
* IF all you have between two bones is fluid, IT MAY slam together leading to bleeding, therefore, hyaline cartilage protects and prevents bleeding. Bones are held together by ligaments called the “fibrous capsule”. The ligaments circle the joint forming a “fibrous capsule” around the synovial joint.
* The synovial fluid itself is clear and Professor Fink says the consistency is similar to raw egg whites.

FOUR TYPES of synovial joints

  • Limited movement synovial joints – Not a lot of movement permitted between two bones.
    Where: Between carpal bones of the wrist and between talus bones of the ankle.
  • Uniaxial movement synovial joints- hinge joints which allow flexion and extension. Pivot joints- medical and lateral rotation
    Where- elbow, knee, fingers and toes.
  •  Biaxial movement synovial joints- movement in 2 planes
    Where: wrist (radial-carpal)
  • Multiaxial movement synovial joint- permit circumduction movement. Ball- and socket joints
    Where: Shoulder and hip joints (most moveable joints in the body)


FUN FACT: The knee joint is the largest, most complex, and the most commonly injured joint in the body.

I found this NICE visual break down of synovial joints over at Teachpe.com

Types of Joints

Types of Joints-2

THREE types of arthritis covered in lecture:

 1. Rheumatoid arthritis:  Auto-immune condition. The person’s immune system attacks the joints. Most common in women.

Treatment options- corticoid steroid options. WHY? They are immunosuppressant drugs.

2. Gout arthritis: Metabolic (biochemical) disorder. High levels of uric acid develops in the body. This is known as hyperuricemia. Uric acid is a waste product. Old nucleic acids are converted in the body to uric acid which is secreted in your urine. In people with gout they have high level of uric acid which then accumulates in the joints. It is mainly accumulated in the big toe.

Treatment option- Allopurinol.  Which is a drug that works to reduce the production of uric acid in the body.

3. Osteoarthritis: Caused by repeated injury or trauma to the joint. Common in athletes. Joint breaks down from repeated injury

Treatment option-NSAIDs.

Much love,


P.S. Be kind to your joints and and read this article on the Top 10 ways to protect your joints.


Raise Your Hand If You Have More Than 3 Exercise DVD’s On The Shelf Collecting Dust


Remember the Winsor Pilates informercial that seemed to run on loop in 2004ish?

You HAD TO HAVE those tapes because your best-friend’s sister-in-law bought the tapes after she had her 3rd baby and looked Dy-no-mite (What? This scenario could have EASILY happened).

Here is a photo of the DVD if you need a refresher. 

This image is property of Amazon and I am using it for educational and awareness  purposes

I NOW SEE the importance of DUSTING OFF those exercise DVD’s and seeing what modifications can be made to fit your current fitness level and health state.

Arthritis education has  impressed upon me the importance of maintaining a fitness routine.

Reducing pain and increasing strength and flexibility according to “Arthritis Foundation,” HAS BEEN PROVEN to relieve arthritis pain and improve joint function.

The evidence is overwhelming: A body needs physical activity to stay healthy.

Walking, Tai Chi, Exercise and Aquatics are program suggestions that CAN HELP restore flexibility, stability and reduce pain.

If you are living with arthritis and want to attend group classes lead by Arthritis foundation instructors CLICK IN THE IMAGE BELOW.

Arthritis Foundation Life Improvement Series Programs Poster


HOW COOL IS IT that the certified instructors can modify the exercise program for you!

If you DON’T HAVE ARTHRITIS, should I repeat the evidence quote for ya?….

The evidence is overwhelming: A body needs physical activity to stay healthy.

It may be time to dig through all those DVD exercise tapes, and get your move on!

Much love,

P.S. Before you jump into a NEW or OLD exercise program, talk it over with your doctor first.


All I Want For Christmas Is To Walk 5k To Fight Arthritis

Jingle Bells Batman…I HOPE I have not lost my marbles.

I have decided to attempt to walk the Jingle Bells Run/Walk 5k for Arthritis this December in Glendale, CA.



Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States.

CHECK OUT the event info:

2012 Jingle Bell Run_Walk - Los Angeles, CA - Event Information


Fifty million Americans (1 in 5 adults) have been diagnosed with arthritis by a doctor.


Help me FIND A WAY to get around some foreseeable obstacles.

1. Visual stimulus can be OVERWHELMING with a vestibular condition. Crowded restaurants, malls, and  grocery stores produce  sensory overload. Walking solo is one thing; walking alongside hundreds of people is another ballgame.

Question: Would it be smarter to start at the back of the race/walk  pack?

2. I have become quickly accustomed to using one walking stick. I prefer it.

Question:  Should I start using both sticks with the added stimulus of an event like this?

3. Registration begins from 6:30-8:00am. I expect a ton of people and long lines (Maybe i’m wrong. I have never done something like this before). I don’t need to be sidelined before I even get to participate!

Question: Do you think they would consider allowing me to pre-register so I don’t have to deal with the crowds?

4. It has taken me 7 years to be able to walk 2.1 miles.

Question: Do I have enough time to prepare for a  5k?  How many days a week of walking would I have to log in to achieve the goal? (Note: I walked a total of  3.5 miles today, BUT I had to stop at the 1/2 point  resting 20-25 minutes before I could make it back home.) I want to have enough stamina to make it through!

I will speak with my Vestibular Rehab Therapist (she is gonna love this) on Thursday to see if I can get the green light! FINGERS CROSSED!

Much love,

P.S. FIRST THINGS FIRST… Getting permission.

Arthritis Foundation App Encourages Community Interaction

THANK YOU App Culture.

Within seconds of downloading the Arthritis Foundation Tip Share App, I HAD ACCESS into a microcosm of the arthritis community.

FANTASTIC idea. A peer-to-peer app that allows community members to share tips helping each other manage arthritis.

An AWESOME feature is the ability to filter questions based on arthritis types.

I saw posts ranging from supplementation questions to alerting members of the Arthritis Foundation aquatics program.

Congrats Arthritis Foundation for using the latest technologies to connect your community!

I took a few screenshots for ya…

Arthritis Foundation App Screenshot 1


Arthritis Foundation App Screenshot 2

Much love,