She's a character, she has opinions.

Exercising despite fatigue, and fearing the backlash.

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Sandy at FightingFatigue.org talks about exercise and the shades of grey of ME/CFIDS & Fibro.

I knew the other day when I posted about my weight loss update and the fact that I “workout” and have “built muscle” that I would receive some backlash from people.  I normally do whenever I talk about exercise and how I try to do so in spite of having ME/CFS & Fibromyalgia. The emails I get after I write about going to the gym and “working out” are just so unfair to me because my version of “working out” is not what everyone else at the gym is doing, and it shouldn’t matter.  …People will see that I exercise so therefore, I’m not really sick and everything I say is a lie.  

Wow, do I ever relate to this. I have a gym membership and I “work out” as often as I can. I can tell that when I talk about it, people wonder if I’m better now or if I’m really as sick as I say I am.

My body is different from your body. My reasons for working out are different from your reasons. My workout is different from your workout.

My body is sick. I have chronic pain, CFIDS, and some sort of auto-immune disorder. I have other things we’re still trying to put a name to. I’m extremely fatigued, I’m often ill or fighting infection, and I experience post-exertional malaise.

I first began working out because lying still and sleeping for as often and as long as I do makes my body hurt, over and above the chronic pain I experience, and stretching eases that pain. I worried that without some exercise I’d start to lose strength and become even less healthy. I thought if I could make my body as healthy as possible then I’d stand a better chance of battling whatever is wrong with me. I know I’ll pay for my workout by having to rest for a day after, but I think it’s worth it.

I work out in the pool. I don’t lift weights, I don’t run or walk on the treadmill, I don’t take exercise classes. I swim a few laps, do a tiny bit of deep water jogging, and stretch with water weights. Oh do I stretch. I do all this in the water because it allows me to isolate only one area of my body at a time and not get as fatigued as I would working out on land.

I work out because I am sick, not despite it, and I do it in the hopes of making my body better able to deal with being sick.

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Written by tldegray

November 17, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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