Health problems, weight loss and exercise 



After a few days of my regular health issues flaring up again, I’ve been contemplating the difficulties of trying to be healthy and get fitter when its the middle of winter, freezing cold and your body doesn’t want to play ball.

I have many friends with health issues ranging from mild all the way to life limiting chronic problems. I have huge admiration for them, I always have, particularly that they never give up and somehow keep themselves motivated.

I myself, have a collection of issues which can, and do slow me down, get me down and have a impact on my daily life. I don’t claim to have a disability in the legal sense, I am far more lucky than others but the culmination of difficulties are absolutely something I have to keep in mind and consider most of the time.

Some of my problems I can blame myself for. I’ve a dreadful back. It’s stiff and immobile, I have sciatic pain down my right side, lumbago lower back pain and a dodgy neck. For many years I’ve worked  in warehouses and essentially, I’ve overdone it. I enjoyed the work but should have quit it years ago. The darn thing ‘goes‘ at random times, without provocation and at this point I’m awaiting appointments with the Dr to try and figure out a plan.

Other things are not my doing, just the way the cookie has crumbled. I became lactose intolerant in the last few years, have IBS symptoms which flare up all the time.  I also have issues with balance because of reoccurring bouts of BPPV (positional vertigo) which makes me lurch towards the floor or fall out of bed when I turn my head. Oh and a vitamin B12 deficiency.

So, I have to be careful with myself.  It’s always on my mind, and it makes exercising and changing my diet pretty scary. What if my head spins at the gym? What if this thing sets my stomach off? What if I trip and screw my back?  That’s another reason I’m doing this blog – helping to keep the momentum going, even when this flesh sack isn’t playing ball!

I have a very mobile job, which is how I manage to achieve a good bit of my weight loss.  I walk around and stand all day, with basically no sitting down.  My phone collects all my activity data giving me a few extra calories to munch on in the evening.  When I took this job I decided to start sorting things out as I would be wasting an opportunity if i didn’t grab it with both hands.  I lost a good deal of weight – several stone –  but then my back issues returned, comfort eating reappeared, onion rings looked better and better and some of the weight came back again.

I’m hoping that by the summer I can be strong enough to get back to using the swimming pool at the local gym.  People tell me that swimming is gentle and supportive for my back. There is always some helpful person with unsolicited advice for me in the pool.  I used to swim like a fish when I was a kid. I know the way I’m supposed to do it!  This all may be great  and easy for some people but for me it’s something I have to work up towards. I can’t lay straight in the water. My neck issue means I can’t get my head up. I can’t flex my back to get my arse up to the bloomin surface so I drag along through the water. So it will be weeks of walking in water and doggy paddling around. I’m up for it though. I just need to be left alone and have a period of stability which I’m hoping I’m in now.

I had a blip the other day. A scary twinge spasm occurred. Now I can’t lean forward again. Hopefully it will perk up quickly.

Regarding my stomach issues, it’s taken a lot of trial and error to figure out what upsets my system and what is OK. Years of ibuprofen for my back means if I have to take them I’ve got acid indigestion for a couple of days and tablets to combat that. So low acid foods are winners. I’ve all but cut out milk and cream. Small amounts of lactose free stuff is OK. Milky chocolate is bad. For some reason Revels are fine, and Terrys chocolate orange which is good news as I love them.  Very weird as pretty much everything else is a disaster. Cola is all but gone – my dentist will rejoice!  It bothers my insides. I’ve been a cola-holic forever so this is a huge change. I’ve never been a hot drink person. Tea and coffee are not my thing so I drank cola instead. Not anymore. I’m water all day and a wee glass of zero calories lemony fizz with my dinner in the evening. That’s my lot. Alcohol its not good. Regular or posh crisps are out – quavers and wotsits are fine?!

It’s a lot of rules and considerations. Coupled with trying to spend less all round that’s a lot to keep in mind. I’m so lucky to have a very chilled out supportive boyfriend who is helping me with all this. Thank you lovely xx. It’s such a help, and he loves cooking. We’re a good kitchen team.

It’s when your body can’t be trusted that it gets really hard to motivate yourself.  When it all happens at once, which inevitably it does from time to time, I get really down. Confidence knocked. I don’t trust my body, I don’t know my limits, where to push where to hold back. It must be the same for so many, and worse.  It’s daunting going to the gym with all the hulking great muscly people and svelte super flexible forms doing their thing there.  I wish there was a gym for malfunctioning people I could go to and hide and not feel weird.

My exercises when I am well enough to do them look bloomin weird, and it takes me ages to do them so I feel like the eyes are on me, it’s harassing.  I am sure a lot of it is just anxiety. Most people are there to focus on their own thing and not bothered what everyone else is up to.  Its the idea of everyone else being irritated by my slowness, or thinking my exercise is strange that’s the fear.  My friend struggles with their weight and I’ve talked to them about this.  They have the same fears at the gym.  Skin tight clothes add to their internal fears. Fitting in, not fitting in. Wanting to look awesome, and wanting just to not stick out.  And open changing rooms.  We have both had home gym equipment but really getting motivated to do that in your house, near the fridge is a flippin nightmare and they just end up as places to drape your clothes.  The gym gives solidarity, but it takes guts to get in there in the midst of it.

Experience tells me that over time I will heal, and get back to it, even if not at the same level. I’ve done it before so I’ll do it again. But I’m in my mid 30’s now, I feel that I need to get into the best shape I can be and fix myself as well as I can before I get older. This stuff isn’t going to get any better on its own.

So there are my pondering’s today.    I am optimistic about things.  I fell like I can get better and get stronger.

I wish anyone trying to get fit while dealing with health issues all the very best. It’s not easy, so all power to you on your quest.  Just having the inclination to go and do it is bloomin awesome so go for it!!


2 thoughts on “Health problems, weight loss and exercise 

  1. Hi Iona, yes it is more difficult in winter and I know you have an active job so that has to help. I wonder if you have small hand weights. They are good when your back is playing up and can be used while sitting. I’m sure you’ve tried this already but just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

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