Working Towards Fit

In August I joined a gym. It was my husband’s idea. Heretofore, I’d thought I wouldn’t like a gym unless it had a pool – swimming feels like play, treadmills feel like work. It’s one of those small franchise gyms that have popped up in every town. It’s equipped with everything you need to get your aerobic exercise and body building done in one place. I haven’t tried any of the classes they offer; Zumba, PiYo, Insanity. I’m still intimidated by some of the weight machines. What I have tried, though, is working well for me.

Unfortunately, exercise does increase my headache pain. It’s a challenge to work out knowing I will hurt more afterwards. I’ve handled this in two ways. One, by reminding myself that the pain is a nerve disorder, so it’s not really hurting anything, it just hurts. Two, by working out at night so I can go home and sleep it off. I’m not able to push myself as hard as I’d like, and some nights I just can’t handle exercise at all. Still, any exercise is progress towards being fit.

At my latest primary care check-up my cholesterol had dropped into a healthy range and I’d lost five pounds. My doctor was thrilled that I wouldn’t need meds for the cholesterol, and proud to see that yes, you can get into a healthy range without medicine. I was doing so well, I started thinking not so much about being healthy, but about reaching my ideal weight.

This shift in outlook was a tremendous mistake. I had a rough week, my workout suffered and I starting feeling badly about myself because I wouldn’t reach my weight loss goal. This, only days after setting the goal. I realize once again, that my goal needs to be health, not weight.

So, I encourage you, my readers, to look towards being fit. Embrace your lovely body, with its pain and imperfections. So often, when our bodies betray us we disconnect. We live in our heads and leave the body to its own desires. Reconnect with your body, stretch, open up, move! Even if it’s slow and difficult at first, every movement is progress. Every step gets you one closer to being fit.

It won’t cure you, but it will give you other health benefits and a big boost of self-confidence.


I’ve now been out of work for over a year, while I’ve been living with chronic pain for about five years. I’m still adjusting.

This year I’ve learned a lot about my own limitations. I’ve learned to listen to my pain. It often tells me when to slow down or stop. But I can’t always listen.

Life Demands to be Lived

I have been working on finding a balance. That means not spending too much time focusing on the headache. (Sorry blog world.) For awhile after losing my job I just had to acclimate to being a stay at home mom. How much house work could I do in a day? Could I keep up with planning the girls’ homeschool lessons. Eventually I found a routine that works for me.

At my last neurology appointment my doctor told me I had to stop living in pain and learn to live with it.

I’m managing that pretty well.