Glimpse into body image with chronic conditions (i.e. wanting to look and feel great!) Wellness Wednesday week 15

Something that I do not see written about much in relation to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and other chronic illnesses, is body image and getting fit. Obviously, it is not the highest priority when you are struggling to gain a good quality of life, so it doesn’t feature so much in articles or forums. However, I feel that it is an important factor to consider. When you lose control over your body and it is not functioning well, it adds to the frustration and sadness when you realise that you can not even work towards making it do and look like you want.

I have never been a big person, and though I have never had a super fit or athletic body, I always maintained a certain amount of fitness, and had always taken part in some form of regular sporting or physical activity before I got too sick to. Apart from a few months here and there in my early 20s when I gained a few extra kilos while backpacking and enjoying the glorious traditional foods of various counties, I always managed to balance my calorie input and output pretty well, and always enjoyed physical activities. So now that I can not go to the gym, or do strength exercises and can only do short walks, I find myself jealous of the runners going past, or the gym junkie posts on Facebook, and miss the feeling of working out.
One thing that worries me is weight gain caused by medications which can not be controlled by diet or exercise. So far I have avoided this, and really hope it never is an issue!

I also try to do some yoga when I can. I have a mat, and a program to watch so that I can do it at home, at my own speed. I don’t get to do it very often though, because I am too dizzy or tired, but I really do benefit from it when I can, because it stretches and loosens my tight, sore muscles and joints. I try to do hydrotherapy too, but am having the same problem with doing it regularly.

I am going to start tracking some of my attempts and experiences with physical activity and body image on my Instagram account (my Instagram name is: laughinthefaceofchronicillness) to try and provide a place where people with chronic illness can get ideas and motivation, and vent their fitness frustrations!
We need to take one day at a time, learn our limits, not expect too much of ourselves, and be thankful for what our body does allow us to do.