Making it into the gym everyday is a challenge for anyone but when you are dealing with chronic illness it is even more difficult yet so rewarding and crucial to our health.
I got tired of being in pain, tired of wishing I could do more and extremely tired of feeling guilty that I wasn't doing enough to fight against my diseases. I got tired of being tired. I said no more excuses, let's do this, for myself and for my son.
I never was a big gym person. I was always afraid I didn't know what I was doing and would make myself look like an idiot but we all start from somewhere. I was really insecure about my body and my weight while being afraid I would trigger my rheumatoid arthritis with either pain or fatigue.
I've played around with my diet, eliminating this and that, been on three biologics and the basics to treat RA. It's obvious I need something more than just the medication and diet to combat my disease. Exercise is also medicine. Medication, diet, exercise and rest are the most crucial for living with this disease.
Once my son was back in school I hit up the gym again. I found it difficult to go during the summer when I had him mostly all day. Childcare hours I struggled with because they are only available 9-12 and sometimes the gym isn't available then. I struggled to get going before 11 am.
September 15th 2018 I Hopped Back On The Elliptical: This Is What I Noticed After 8 Weeks
It takes about a month to form a habit, so the first few weeks of exercising are difficult but the stronger my body gets I start noticing the benefits of exercising when living with a chronic illness. After two weeks it started to become easier. After 4 weeks others noticed I started to look different, I'm starting to really get into it. After 6 weeks I was able to increase my time from 30 minutes to 40-60 at 5-6 times a week. 8 weeks and I am addicted and crave more.
When I exercise I can literally feel myself breaking away at my fatigue and pain when I exercise. This has become one of my favorite feelings now. Oh dopamine response I love you.
I have been able to lower my Cymbalta dosage because my pain has significantly reduce as has my mood. I really want to be on less pharmaceuticals as possible while combating my ra. If exercise is one of those ways, it's crucial treatment for the disease. I also asked to lower my cymbalta because of the night sweats it gives me. I noticed on the days I exercised and went to the sauna I would have less night sweats.
I can handle stress a bit better. My moods have improved. I am less bored because exercise does take up time.
I experience less cravings. I am more motivated to eat healthier. I have motivated my son to eat healthier and exercise. Win win!
Pain has significantly reduced in some joints. Not always, I still have bad days or bad times but there is less pain when I exercise and it can help diminish some pain. I am having less bad days a week.
I can make the gym early, my fatigue in the morning has reduced. I struggled so much to make the gym before 11 am but after about the sixth week going at 9 am after I drop my son off isn't an issue.
I can make it later than my kids bed time when before I struggled with that. I can handle more in a day.
I am able to pass through colds easier and quicker which is important with a compromised immune system! I have noticed that when I am regularly exercising and my kid gets some bug from school I've been able to fight it off quicker and easier as to when I am not exercising as much. I did get my flu shot.
I sleep better at night... that was until I decided to get a kitten a few weeks ago. He enjoys licking my face and attacking my feet which can't always stay still with arthritis! I can get back to sleep easier and there has been less painsomnia to keep me awake.
My breathing has improved.
My balance has improved.
Sex is easier and better.
I even poop better.
My skin looks radiant. I have oily skin which can be a hassle to take care of. However with regular sauna and gym visits I've noticed my oil production to go down and my skin is more radiant, smooth. The sauna also makes clearing out my pores easier. I notice the skin on my body becoming more firm and also looking more radiant with a nice overall tone.
The scale has gone down. My clothes fit better or I am going to need to do some shopping soon. Leggings no longer roll down on my tummy and are staying in place. I noticed a change in my face shape and jawline first. One reason I am so die hard on the cardio is I also want to loose the mom pouch I developed after having my son. Getting rid of belly fat isn't easy but I know it would do my health wonders. Don't care to be perfect, just comfortable with myself.
I feel better about myself. I feel like I am truly giving it my all and fighting my disease. I have felt good enough about myself to do what I need to do for myself. I am feeling more confident. I am feeling better.
The worst part of exercising has been that I have to do laundry more often.
Also Read How Exercise Is The Best Medicine For My Chronic Illness