When you have any long term illness or disability you soon find there are limits to what you can do. This can be so incredibly frustrating, especially if you used to be healthy and were used to a busy life!
I’ve spent years feeling like I need to work three times as hard to achieve a normal person’s results due to my being disabled. I so often feel like people think me lazy because I can’t always leave the house or awkward and antisocial because I can’t make plans two weekend in the row as I know I’ll get worn out and ill. I work from home full time because solo travel is incredibly difficult for me and I physically can’t get into London daily. Thank goodness for my cats for being my office buddies!
Appreciating your Limits
I’ve learnt these limits and I have to respect them or I end up so unwell. Mentally though, feeling I’m capped makes me feel even worse! What helps me, is understanding my limits and trying to gently push at them rather than going crazy and determinedly break them and burn out, ultimately ending up worse off.
I’m not going to lie and tell you I’ve found the perfect solution because I haven’t, done days are easier than others. Some days I achieve loads- working, getting to the gym, sewing, cleaning the house and cooking. Other days I only manage the work part and then I’m exhausted. On the worst days I have to call in sick and always feel so guilty. This grey area of disability is so common for those who suffer with chronic illnesses and it’s important to appreciate a person’s good and bad days.
Pushing my limits
Last year I decided to make some health changes in my life. I was so sick of feeling so stationery all the time and I felt like my illnesses were ruling me.
I started eating lower carbs and more protein and doing some home exercise and yoga again. I tried the Keto(high protein and fat/very low carb) diet and whilst I will openly admit the weight fell off with it, I also felt constantly faint, had more seizures and felt restricted so I went back to a more normal low carb diet after a few months.
In January this year I decided to rejoin the gym. I also took pole dancing back up properly- just training at home as full sessions are a bit much for me. Currently I try to gym twice a week too to get some cardio in! Being disabled or chronically ill doesn’t have to mean you can’t exercise, it’s just finding the right exercise for you, be it yoga, gentle cycling or even just walking more.
I was happy to be part of the #IFeelBetterWhenI campaign with Ingawellbeing where I mentioned how my pole dancing has helped me (See Here). I’ve definitely improved my fitness and whilst I can’t say the weight loss or activity has cured anything, it has helped me feel more functional and given me a new hobby.
Within the pole dancing and gyming, i’ve had to find a balance else I end up doing more harm than good! I’m learning that I can’t keep up with able-bodied people and that’s okay. I’m also slowly learning when i’m having a bad day and to not push myself so much on those ones, it’s just not worth it and no-one should feel ashamed about that.
I’m going to keep trying to slowly improve and if nothing else, I feel like I have a little more control over my life than I did last year, which as anyone with chronic health problems know, is no small thing 🙂