Autoimmune Fitness Journal / Day 1 Week 1
After I had moved to California and signed up for healthcare I was finally able to meet with the specialist I had researched and found knowing he was the Dr for me (before I had even moved to the state). The doctors I’ve started seeing are some of the best on the west coast and I’m so thankful to be able to have them treating me. Yet early on when they started to think I may have an autoimmune disease tears filled my eyes when they answered my biggest question. I had asked him what I could do to regain my strength and start to get back in shape. He recommended starting easy “walking 15 minutes a day”. WALKING. As an ex NY’er that walked everywhere (and still does in LA) this was hard to hear.
At one point in my life I was an athlete and even after my collage sports career came to an end I still worked out a lot. A solid gym membership was one of my first purchases upon moving to NYC and I’ve practiced yoga on and off for years both in studios and at home. Thing is I haven’t been able to do any of this for a long time without feeling like I was dying during followed by getting sick soon after. My doctor explained to me how the cycle of overworking an already taxed immune system with exercise leads to frequent infections and often total collapse in people with Autoimmune Disease, a story I knew OH too well.
From what I can tell my “flares” started (at least at their strongest) during my pregnancy. I swelled so bad my feet looked like loafs of bread. It was bad, real bad. And the odd thing that happened is I never really felt like I had recovered from my pregnancy fully. For the past four years (five if counting gestation) the fatigue, swelling, frequent sicknesses, and even hair falling out never seemed to go away. I just thought one day I’ll be back to “normal”. Which fast forward obviously never happened.
My doctor reassured me it’s very likely once I get onto the right medication my energy should perk back up and some of these pesky symtoms should calm down, but that’s not enough for me. I don’t want to “walk 15 mins” a day and feel like that’s all I’m capable of doing. I won’t accept that I can’t be better and do better because I have immune issues. Frankly I’m just saying no.
I’m tired of feeling like I’m in someone else’s body and not fitting in my own clothes. I have for sometime now with the weight gain. Not being able to really exercise my body is in a form it’s never previously been in. There’s areas I’m just not happy about and want to change.
I now have the knowledge with my diagnoses and I have more power than ever to take hold of my health again. I know I have (hardcore) limits to what I push my body to do and need to learn the art of extreme balance in order to remain healthy. With the help of the awesome Nike training app, my trusty old yoga moves, and my building’s amazing roof top gym…I’m gonna work it. BUT, I’m going to have to learn how to do it with these new limitations I have to respect with my health. And I know it’s going to be a learning process. I will over work myself before I learn “what is too far”. I will have set backs and that’s ok, I’m prepared.
So here’s the plan:
-12 week Nike training/yoga program + running - it will most likely take me more than 12 weeks to complete since I think I’m capable of about half of it with my current strength
-No scales, distance, or calorie counting - I need to relearn how my body works so I need to start from scratch feeling what and how much is right.
Autoimmune friendly diet - I already removed the gluten and soon also have to remove the sugar *tear* that will be hard and I’m NOT looking forward to it
-Equal parts rest/exertion - Ex: work out for an hour which will be followed up with an hour nap. The biggest thing about autoimmune disorders is the lack of energy, the Spoon Theory explains this perfectly if you’re interested in learning prospective.
Today I took on the first of the workouts in the Nike Trainer app. Mostly involved a bunch of squats, pushups, and the like with light weights. I also ran/walked on the treadmill for my warmup and cool down…..ok honestly I did a little more on the treadmill than the warm ups it just felt SO good to be back! I did only about 20 mins of the half hour work out program reminding myself I don’t know my limits yet.
The hardest thing about the entire workout (besides feeling like an idiot in front of my neighbors jumping around on my yoga mat) was realizing how I have so little strength these days, it’s gone almost all of it. I shake after a few pushups, and my core trembles after a few sit ups. It’s heartbreaking knowing how fit I once was and no longer am. I do think now sitting here a few hours later I may have pushed a little too far but we’ll see if I get sick later in the week or not.
In Review (1-10 for 1 being weakest 10 being strongest)
Strength During - 2
Energy During - 5
Energy After - 1
Soreness After - 4
Now for the scary part. I’ve done a pretty good job of hiding my gradual weight gain for sometime now, as you see less and less photos of myself popping up online but it’s time to come clean: Mama has gained some weight, I would even go as far saying “baby got some back” (and thighs…and belly…and…)
Day One (soon to be the “before”) Photos
yes, that’s a baby belly, and yes my child is four…UGH.
Day one down. Twelve plus weeks to go.