Our #HAWMC prompt today is:
“Tell us about your how you maintain a healthy lifestyle. What is your favorite type of exercise? How do you manage fitness with a chronic illness?”
This could be a really be a short blog.
The answer is I don’t know how to manage my fitness with my chronic illness.
Before my illness took hold of me, I was able to run 3 to 5 miles with ease – uphill, in the middle of the day, in summer, in Texas, and I was invigorated, not fatigued or tired at all. For the first five years of my marriage, I was up at 5 a.m. two or three days a week running up to 10 miles before work.
What I know is that for most of my 30s, I was able to go outside and garden for several hours, in 100 degree weather, and feel rejuvenated afterwards – ready for a night out on the town with my husband even.
What I know is that I’ve trained for two marathons; finished one; and I’ve run many half marathons and 15Ks on Saturday mornings before a day of running errands, or Sunday mornings before church and a day spent with family cooking and playing with the kids. Sure, there were injuries along the way – pulled muscles, a twisted ankle here and there, and overuse injuries, but defeating these injuries was what drove me to recover.
Now, I plead with my doctor. . . “Can I get back to jogging yet?”
His response, “If you do that right now, it’ll put you right back in the bed.”
Sigh, grrrrr, defeated, deflated.
My exercise now includes taking the dogs for a short walk, and that feels like I’ve run several miles. A fully-active day feels like I’ve been intentionally exercising all day. It’s “a good day,” when I’m able to get up early, get out, do some shopping, research for a writing assignment and/or write a blog, and possibly a very low-key dinner out with friends.
I guess what I’ve learned about fitness with a chronic illness is to be patient with my body. I don’t know if I’ll ever run another marathon (actually, I think I just decided I don’t WANT to run another marathon) but I do know that exercise WILL feel good again, and that my body has a miraculous ability to heal itself as I support it with good nutrition and self care. I am committed to my healing, and as one Hashimoto’s Warrior puts it, I’m committed to #DIG-AT-IT (find the root cause).
D – Depletions, Digestion
I – Iodine, Inflammation, Infection, Immune Imbalance
G – Gut, Gluten
A – Adrenal, Alkaline Phosphotase
T – Triggers
I – Intolerances
T – Toxins
Here is a video that inspires me; tears at 1:13.
I’m so grateful for the pharmacists, nutritionists, physicians, nurses and other caregivers who are committed to digging at it with me. Dr. Izabella Wentz, thyroid pharmacist, has written a great Hashimoto’s reference book, centered around finding the root cause of Hashimoto’s with the understanding that not everyone has the same root cause. I’m looking forward to many more Color Runs, Taco Runs and rejuvenating sessions of yoga. I’ve never taken exercise for granted, and now I know I never will.