Weight and Body Transformations and Even Macdonalds!

The upside of putting in the effort against all the odds is now paying off in huge ways this last year.

My body has been through the ringer as you may have read from my other posts, and when having experienced crippling exhaustion from: ME/CFS, POTS, Fibro, and EDS (Hypermobility Syndrome) rebuilding the body and exercising has been at times like hiking a mountain. At first it wasn’t possible, all I could ask for was some basic movement.

Unless you’ve encountered these bodily experiences, it’s hard to imagine how impossible cardio vascular exercise is. But keep the faith!

Luckily I never beat myself up when I went from a size 8 to a size 14. At the outset of my nose dive, I lost huge amounts of weight, likely because of sky high cortisol levels. Then I had the opposite experience and added a whole layer of blub around me, but in a way I was glad that I could move into this stage.

Food became very important, because it was one of the easiest things to focus on, and to bring some slight joy into my eventless, barren life, that largely existed of getting washed, dressed, and down to the garden and up again for the day, with some other things thrown in, like TV time, doing some stretches and some computer time.

Luckily I had more important things on my mind instead of worrying about my weight. For example, being able to get around more, get to work and generally back to functioning which did take around two years!

However, right from the outset, I have kept up my own tailor made movement / exercise programme for six years. Even when it was simple floor movements and light Pilates in the garden, then moving onto more complex routines, longer walks, and now I am happy to say that as a bonus I’m a size 10 again, and I think I’m rocking these jeans Yipee!

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Exercising After A Health Crisis – Body Adventures

In the last two years, I’ve slowly integrated more exercise than I did before my physical crash. I do around 50,000 steps a week, pilates at home once a week, exercise biking a couple of times a week and now swimming every two weeks. The art of rebuilding something as precious as one’s body, and healing the self, reminds me that we must be patient with ourselves, yet never give up. I’m far away from the wheelchair times, and I’m thankful for each phase of the journey.

I recently took a fun, yet challenging trip out to a local shipwreck, “The Mulberry” in Southend on Sea. I hadn’t walked out to this area for years before my crash, and it was on my goal list to see if I could do it.

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These Feet are Made for Walking

I’ve surpassed my walking dream 🚶🏼‍♀️!!

I used to struggle to stand up, and now I realise things have drastically changed.

On a recent holiday, my husband and I walked a total of 81,802 steps in 6 days, including travelling days! When I worked out the distance, I was shocked that I walked a total of 35 miles across the six days I spent in Spain. If you averaged this out, it meant that I was walking over 5.5miles a day.

Now this coming from someone who couldn’t walk more than 50metres a few years back is impressive.

I can now also walk very quickly up the three flights of seafront steps that I used to see as an impossibility for my future. In fact I’ve even run up them a couple of times. What can I say I wanted to feel like Rocky 🤣 I still have a little high tachycardia on reaching the top, but so do most people, so I’m not sweating the norm, which also continues to shift for me.

Moving toward more and more exercise after being POTS tastic is a great feeling. Everything in our stride. Along with pacing, rest, and a sensible regime you too could transcend your boundaries, and manoeuvre through fatigue.

You wouldn’t even care if you were symptomatic still if you could do the things you love, so keep striving for them!

Here’s to you walking, or swimming, dancing, doing whatever you enjoy again…

I’m so happy I can swim again.

I want to inspire you to believe you can do the things you once did, before the time you crashed, before your body had a fall, and your life changed, perhaps somewhat, or more drastically.

Please be motivated by this post, because I wish that I could have spoke to my suffering and frightened self a few years ago, to reassure myself that things would change.

Recently I completed a massive goal that had been seemingly impossible for a long time, and this in turn branched off into more goal progress in other areas, which I’m now going to talk about, as those little branches, and roots are what keeps the journey evolving and spreading out like a positive, healing wildfire.

I went on my first holiday abroad in a very long time, see another post about the adventures with this big triumph, and during this big achievement I solidified something I had been trying to do for a while, which was to extend to my next exercise level.

I love to swim and a beach holiday was a prime opportunity for more playing around with this deep desire.

The sea, and the holiday pools I had fun in recently, helped me to strengthen a goal that had got somewhat waylaid in 2017. Swimming!

During the recovering stages it’s trial and error for a long time, or so I found out. Swimming has always been a big love for me to get back to. My husband would often say, oh you’ll get back to swimming at some point, and despite my strong desire to achieve, if I’m honest, my mind would automatically chirp up with, “I don’t think that’s ever going to happen.”

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The Art of Pacing

Slowing down for me, is a continual process. I have a super speed mind and I’ve had to train myself, that just because I think quick doesn’t mean I should act so speedily. In fact, thinking less has been most rewarding. Feeling more and simply being has been at the heart of not only my health recovery, but in the foundations of my revised life.

It takes a great deal of discipline to pace, for some it may be easier than others. The inner critic has a lot to do with why we push beyond our boundaries rather than work within our limits, but that’s another blog.

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Physical Re-building through Indoor Exercise

IMG_2885If you’ve had an experience, due to ill health, where you have been out of action for a long time period, then the body becomes unconditioned. This had never happened to me before I became ill, and so I didn’t know how challenging it would be to move around, on top of feeling so sick, exhausted and full of pain.

I was unable to do exercise for over a year and was using a wheelchair for another eight months after this period. Therefore when it came to a time that I could do more than just about get down my apartment steps to the garden, I was in for a real journey of physical re-building.

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Longest walk so far…

Today I’ve reached a new place on my extended walks!

Graded Exercise Therapy has been part of the assistance I’ve been getting from the Essex Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Service at Southend Hospital. By body wasn’t at all ready for exercise in the beginning and so this programme initially made things worse, especially because I’m quite a disciplined and overly achieving type of person. This in combination with being given some instruction means I can easily follow a rule like gospel and over-ride my body or my own feelings, (see the Graded Exercise Therapy post for more detailed info).

However, I like to believe you can take some good out of everything, so despite GET having it’s own public health warnings and short comings, it’s been useful for me to use in my “own”way, not as outlined in the NHS subscribed booklet way!

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