I have to be honest. I've always hated working out, especially at a gym. I felt clumsy on the treadmill, worried that all eyes were focused on my inability to run at 6.0. I sometimes had a hard time picking up my feet to merely walk down a sidewalk, and now I was making them do it on a moving object?! But I sucked up my hatred and went anyway, usually for a few months before I decided I much preferred walking outside... or sitting on my couch.
Lyme has changed that. I spent two years on my couch, fatigued. When I did work out, my muscles and mind gave out, unwilling to power through pain. My doctor encouraged me to get back to exercise though when he pulled the PICC. "It strengthens your immune system," he said. We talked about Dr. B's aerobics recommendation, and I was encouraged to do it anyway, "to tolerance." Before Lyme, I would have allowed "tolerance" to be a cop-out, giving up on cardio far before I was truly fatigued.
Not now. I work out with a trainer to rebuild muscle that was lost over the last two years. And then I get on the treadmill, set the incline to 2.5, the speed to 3.5, and I power walk, sometimes I even run (though it's far more difficult to read this way). And I sweat. I never thought I'd crave exercise, but I do. I'm thinking of getting a treadmill for my house (the whole toddler mom thing being my major concern) because I need it.
Before, exercise was a choice. Then my body gave out, and I couldn't do it anymore. Through Lyme disease I've recognized how critical it is to keep my body as strong as possible. I feel guilty eating pizza, not because of the calories, but rather because I know I'm missing out on an opportunity to give my body the nutrients it needs to rebuild (not that I don't indulge every now and then).
I still may not be able to lose weight because of the metabolic disregulation, but working out isn't for weight management anymore. It's respect, for my body, for my mind, both of which need the sweat to function at their best.
4 weeks ago