Getting fit the fibro way! (Side effects may vary)

One of my ongoing struggles, and I know I’m not alone in this, is losing weight. Finally, I’m, (hopefully), coming to the end of the vicious cycle that the fibro has trapped me in for five years. I’m at the beginning of a long, tough road but as many variables as possible are in my favor at last, so if not now, when?

In my old life I was very athletic, I took dance classes from a very early age and became a part of a company before my hips began dislocating at inopportune moments, forcing me to quit dancing altogether. I was also very involved in tennis, playing on my high school team and taking private lessons for years. To be fair, I left that not due to anything physical but rather a complete lack of competitive interest. I love hitting a ball around and running all over the place, but I don’t care about keeping score or following rules. The only thing I’m really competitive in is Mario Kart, for some strange reason. So, I left that too. (Tennis, not Mario Kart, to be clear. That would be crazy!).

Then, at 26 years old my entire body started systematically breaking down and I was forced to quit every active thing I was involved in and focus on the constant physical therapy. Once they finally diagnosed me I was put on this medication called Lyrica, amazing for killing the pain, horrible for everything else. Most notably, I began to wake up to handfuls of hair on my pillow and I gained about 60 pounds in six months. Pretty good times, clearly.

Anyway, so now I was left overweight, unable to exercise due to the constant pain, and the pain was exacerbated because I was so overweight. When I moved to California the climate did wonders for me and I was able to start going to the gym regularly and working with a personal trainer. By the time I got married I was feeling fantastic, I was toned and fit, in the best shape I’d been both physically and mentally in at least three years, if not longer. Then immediately after the wedding we moved to South Carolina for two years and the climate, (not to mention the swamp smell and bugs), helped me break down all over again. I wasn’t exercising, I was barely leaving the house. I began to put almost all the weight back on, even fighting it off with a personal trainer, to no avail.

So, now that we’ve settled down somewhat permanently, (for the next decade or so at least), in the perfect cIimate, I have a chance to start fresh, to put the effort back into my health and lose the weight again. This time, hopefully, for good. Today I start with my new trainer, it’s the first small step on the road back to feeling like a semi normal functioning person.

Update: First session went well, will be cursing my trainer’s name tomorrow. A very successful session, if I do say so myself.

Now entering the age of acceptance

Lately I’ve been reveling in the epiphany of self acceptance, a very recent development in my life. I think it hits everyone at different times in their lives, but at some point everyone has a period of transition that leaves them finally comfortable in their own skin and in their own soul.
I think it comes when you finally settle into yourself, you’re not a wishy washy teenager, or a struggling to find yourself 20 something. You’re in a place in life where certain things are decided. Your temperament, sense of humor, personality, they’re all set. You are who you are. And if you’re lucky you’ve also found a partner in life who you know as well as you know yourself and so that’s a huge part of life sorted. And maybe, if you’re crazy lucky, you two buy a home and settle down somewhere. And all of a sudden you’re settled down. You look around and you see your roots growing, you see the impact your presence is making on this new space, this new community. And you start to feel grounded in a way that is impossible when you’re 16 and can’t decide if you want to be a cheerleader or a goth or a mathlete, and the slightest influence sends you careening off in another direction, pursuing another random person/fad/hairstyle.
So finally, at 32, I find myself in these beginnings. I’m far from my homes, of which I’ve had quite a few, and I miss people and things, (and food), from all of them. But I’m in a place that without all the people, without all the things, I’m at peace and finally at home in myself and in this place. It’s an amazing feeling, though still disconcerting, to find myself building a life here. I wake up each day and I’m surprised and amazed at my luck. It still feels like a dream I’ll wake up from at any moment. And because I feel accepted in this place, by the people most important to me, I finally have accepted myself. The best part is it’s just going to get better. To think, just five years ago I was in a bad way, getting diagnosed with fibro, losing my job, my apartment, my hair, my figure. But now? The fibro is managed, I have a house in paradise with an incredible husband who is too good to be true, and I’m learning a new set of skills, training to be a scuba instructor. This life is outrageous, beyond anything I could have imagined, but I am beginning to internalize these new facts of my existence, I’m slowly accepting this reality. It’s all real. It’s all mine. And every day I am so grateful for all these twists of fate, that led me here. To a place in my life where I’m finally happy with myself and my situation. Not that everything is perfect, but every day is an opportunity to make things better and I’m taking full advantage of that. Every day is a chance to go to the gym, to work on a project, to create a piece of artwork. Every day is a chance to be a better me, to choose a better life. Because everything in life we view through our own filters, and our attitude affects absolutely everything. If you see the world as bleak and hopeless you’re only hurting yourself. To focus on the positive, even in painful, difficult, or stressful situations, is so important. So every day I strive to be the best version of me that I can be, and those days when it’s 4am and I’m in pain and can’t sleep I’ll write blog posts to remind myself how good life is. So it won’t be a zero day, I’ll have created something, shared something, that makes up for a day stuck in bed. I don’t have to be vertical to be productive. And I’m ok with that, with all the ups and downs, the pros and cons of this life. Of my life. Because it’s mine, it’s what I have. I choose to celebrate it, every day, however I can. And when things are bad I know it’s temporary. And when things are good I appreciate them, they are sweeter for having gone through the rough times before. Life is extraordinary, we are capable of such beauty, kindness, strength…to waste or bemoan our existence is missing out on all the wonder that is our daily reality.
Just having lived, we are lucky.