About 4 weeks ago, I started to have significant lower back pain. This isn’t something that I am unfamiliar with, I have suffered with chronic pain for years due to having Fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, the pain became significantly worse and I couldn’t sit, walk and I started to lose the use of my right leg in the mornings when I got up. I went to see my Orthopedic surgeon and he felt that I had herniated a disc in my lower back – just what I needed. I was started on cortisone and advised to rest. Although I started to improve quickly I still had a heavy leg and pins and needles in my foot. He advised that an MRI was necessary. The beauty of private care here in Cyprus meant that I was able to book an MRI within 24 hours and have the results within hours of the scan being completed. The results showed that I had herniated 2 discs and had 2 other anomalies that are being monitored for 6 months before I have a repeat MRI and a consultation with a neurosurgeon.
When I discussed the results with my doctor on Wednesday, he advised that I didn’t need surgery (right now) but that I was at risk of this happening again and I needed to return to exercising as I had completely stopped as a result of the aftermath of an accident I had in August. I was running and swimming 4 or 5 times a week up until mid November and since then I have been lucky to walk 100 meters. I need to improve my core strength to protect my back and also reduce pain I have in other areas.
Thankfully, I am in a significantly better place than I was 5 months ago and I now feel that I am ready to get back out there. Unfortunately, during the period of time since I have stopped running, I have gained nearly 9 kgs. This is an excessive amount of weight – there are no excuses. But please bear in mind that I have been through a pretty shitty fibromyalgia flare up that left me feeling depressed and despondent and I also have Hashimoto’s disease which is an autoimmune condition that causes my thyroid to be under active. As if my body didn’t cause me enough trouble, I have bilateral trochanteric burisitis, which is particularly bad in my right hip. The combination of all these issues means that I find it very difficult to exercise. Today I may be able to run for 3 miles, but tomorrow running for 30 seconds may cause me to limp and be in excruciating pain for a week.
I am a huge lover of food and portion control is not one of my finer points. Over the last month, standing has been really difficult and therefore cooking meals has been at the very bottom of my list of things to do. I have fallen into the trap of stopping at the bakery to pick up some food, but I end up picking up crisps and chocolate instead! I cannot continue like this and to be honest, I don’t want to either. I am the heaviest I have ever been and the summer is coming. I know that I will feel uncomfortable in the heat and in my own skin if I don’t do something about this now. We spend a lot of time at the beach and I want to enjoy playing with A&E and not worry about my belly.
So I am going to commit to getting healthy and stronger. I don’t want to be a size 10, but I do want my health to be better. I want to be stronger and I want to avoid getting diabetes. But most of all, I want Alex and Emma to live healthy lives and not fall into the same traps that I have.
I have gone down this road a million times and get so far and then give up. I feel limited by my body and it’s inability to do what the body of a 30-year-old should do. I get down when I am in pain 24/7. And I get frustrated when people look at me and think I look fine. But I have got to find a way to adapt to what I am able to do on any given day and take it from there. I have done slimming world before, so I will loosely be following the plan this time but right now it’s all about eating healthily and getting rid of the bad things.
My goals for the next 6 weeks include:
- Cutting out chocolate and crisps from my diet
- Having one treat in the evening (this will stop me falling off the wagon completely)
- Attending physio 2-3 times a week
- Cardio 3 times a week (this will be either walking or running depending on pain and stiffness levels)
- Strength training
- Drinking more water
- Meal prep and cooking more often so that I don’t rely on takeaways and the (aforementioned chocolate!)
You can follow along here and on my Facebook and instagram where I will be showing you the exercises that I am doing, the meals I am cooking and all the chocolate that I am not eating! If you suffer from a chronic illness or just want to live a healthier life, please come and join me, I would love if we could support each other.