Many people have a natural aversion to touting their accomplishments. No one likes a braggart, and I’m no exception. However, this post is going to be entirely about me bragging. I’d apologize, but I’m just so dang proud of the hard work I’ve put into this goal that I can’t. Two years ago, I barely had the energy most days to walk around the block due to osteoarthritis in my lower back and a pain flare that contributed to me developing fibromyalgia where everything hurt all the time.
In many ways, I enjoy my monthly goal posts. I enjoy seeing where I made progress on which tasks and why that progress happened as it did (or didn’t). Sometimes, reviewing my goal posts are depressing, such as writing goal posts for when-my-life-falls-apart or I-don’t-get-a-vacation or where-did-the-time-go-already months. I think that the last few months in particular have been challenging emotionally and physically as a result of the stress and changes, so I was hesitant to share with anyone this goal that I had started toying with in my mind several months ago and began in earnest this month.
The need to exercise to improve fatigue and pain symptoms for fibromyalgia seems counterintuitive, but for me, exercise has made a dramatic difference in my energy and emotional well-being since I began trying to reincorporate exercise into my life. A year ago, I was probably lying on the couch, feeling lethargic and overwhelmed by how much pain I was in. I had been on part-time FMLA leave for a few months and mostly working from home. Going into the office was a draining, exhausting mess. I was struggling to increase my workload back to 32 hours a week and to manage general life demands. I had not yet been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, though I was certainly beginning to suspect it. At the time, I was more worried whether I could endure vacuuming, making dinner, eight hours of work, or sleeping through the night—never mind exercise! At this point last year, I was only just beginning to find some relief with medication. Exercise? Ha! No way!
I’d like to sugarcoat this fact, but I can’t: I’ve gained 10 pounds in the last year. (Perhaps, sugarcoating is the problem). I have many excuses and reasons, some of which are lame and fixable while others represent genuine obstacles. After all, a jaunt to the gym is rather pointless if it results in my inability to walk well for days due to crippling back pain. I do not, however, want to end up where I was years ago: pushing my BMI toward obese and unhappy with how I looked and felt. I didn’t work that hard all those years ago to lose 30 pounds just to gain them all back because I’ve had a rough year.