Lately I have been thinking about life. Ha, when am I not, truly! A thinker by nature, I am constantly pondering things. But there are times in life where things just come together, like a puzzle piece. Up until not so long ago I was in survival mode, coping with what life was throwing at me. Not sure how to describe this in words (perhaps it will come to me in words and I can write about it later?), but my world and life have changed so much this past year. Despite the challenge I face now, this has been the happiest, most consistent year of my life. It has been relaxing and fulfilling in many ways, a reprieve from the things that faced me. When starting this blog my intent was to have it be about my journey of health. I’m still not certain what it will look like, but the important thing is I have my goal in mind.
Today I swam for 20 minutes. Now, to some of you that may seem meager, but it was a huge accomplishment for me today, a celebration for sure! I am celebrating the small steps 🙂 Let me share with you why (in part) this was so great for me today.
Nearly a year ago I found out I had adrenal challenges. Losing my hair in large quantities, hot flashes, low energy, and a slew of other symptoms. Blood work was taken at this time and a saliva test revealed my cortisol levels were not ideal. Was told that exercise was something that could impede my adrenals from healing. This left me with tears, as running was my outlet. Having just moved to a beautiful state, I wanted to get out and enjoy biking, hiking, running, etc.
For the first time in my life I was scared to exercise, knowing I could be doing more harm than good. That feeling is one of the worst feelings I have experienced. I knew that at one point my body was very capable, capable enough to complete a marathon and ROTC training. How I arrived at this point I am not entirely certain. There are some factors I know have played into it, am still trying to understand and wrap my head around it all. During this time I walked and kept up with my two charges, this was the extent of my exercise for much of this past year.
There is so much information out there and weeding through it is challenging. I can say that exercising prior to diagnosis had me so lethargically tired that I could hardly keep my eyes open (I would sleep a solid 2 hours in the middle of the day (after a workout) and wake up feeling awful.). It made sense to me that my body was not able to exercise intensely, but what to do?
Without going into great detail, the support that was initially guiding me with all of this, suddenly changed communication and cooperation. To be frank, there it seemed like there was a cookie cutter solution to my issue even though I was communicating things weren’t working for me. With much time and and money invested, I initially was upset with the lack of help/support. But I realized two things, I could be upset and do nothing, or choose to find something that would work for me. I chose the latter. Looking at the positive things that had come from this experience; I learned gluten was not doing me a great service, that I had adrenal issues, and that exercise must be approached with caution. While it took much research and time, there are some options for me!
I continued on the diet that was suggested, took SOME of the supplements that were recommended, changed how I thought about things and how I processed stress (as exercise was a big stress outlet for me in the past). ‘Changing things from the inside’ out has been my motto. I believe that true changes come first from thoughts. I also removed several stressors from my life….and things slowly began to improve.
Well, I’m happy to say that this past week I enrolled at a gym here. The gym is minutes from my house and it is fantastic! Its big and open and has a great vibe. People there are accepting of one another, friendly, and not cliques. Each time I am there, I walk away with a smile. Over the past two weeks I have been swimming slowly and paying attention to how my body is reacting to the intensity and times I choose to swim. On days I work late I go to enjoy the hot tub, sauna, and steam room and take in the wonderful vibe of life and vitality the people have to offer.
There is a journey yet ahead that I am not certain what some of the steps will look like. I will continue practicing patience with myself and take each day as it comes. Certain my goal is attainable; I have every confidence that I will reach my goal. . Heck, I ran a marathon years ago and have come through some great challenges, so whats a small health challenge?!
Thankful, blessed, motivated,