What do you do when you have done everything right, but you only get worse?
I’ve been on my fitness journey for a year now. I started from scratch with no idea or inclination of how to workout or weight train. My trainer taught me the basics and I have spent every day teaching myself more. I read, watch videos, experiment with the weights and machines. I take low impact classes and even learned water aerobics.
I have been whole food plant based for three months. Before, my diet had slowly progressed from a processed carbohydrate filled bundle of cheese and ice cream to a semi normal, protein-rich low-fat plan. As for vegetables, legumes and whole grains, they weren’t really part of my regimen, unless they were floating in ranch dressing. I learned and research and only through guidance from great people like Pastor Karl, The Stanczyks and YouTube channels like, Eat, Move, Rest or Raw Vegan Not Gross, or Documentaries such as Forks Over Knives, Eating You Alive and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I read Books like, “Goodbye Lupus,” and “How Not to Die.” There is a wealth of information and loads of resources and encouragement.
I’ve struggled through injury, weakness, sickness. I endure constant ridicule. I pass up greasy food and sweet treats when they are all around me. Still, my stomach inflates and pressure builds.
I go to the gym when I can barely walk. I take my cocktail of prescriptions, even when I know they are dangerous. I listen to my doctors, I follow instructions. I research home therapy or foods that I can incorporate to improve my health. Yet, every day something more goes wrong. With every workout, I get weaker. With every movement, something else aches and swells. I reduce my intensity and the pain is worse. I try different exercises and new muscles stiffen and bones creek. I stretch and do yoga to relieve the aches,but then the pain shoots in new directions.
Sometimes the struggle is too much. Sometimes I am too exhausted to fight. I’m too weak to prep my fruits, vegetables, grains and beans. Many times, I am far to weak to go to the gym or stretch my muscles. There are even days that my eyes are too weak to see to write.
Then I pick myself back up, I find another way, another form of therapy, an alternative to stay with my diet or a lighter form of exercise. I push on and hope for the best, because I know there is a better way to live, there will be relief someday.
None of it is easy. There are no magic potions or pills, no quick fixes, that will truly improve your health permanently. Becoming healthy is the hardest thing you will ever do, but don’t ever tell me you aren’t capable of changing your diet or starting to exercise, because if I can wake up every day and continue, what seems like a hopeless journey, you can make changes for the better.