The last time I went swimming, the lifeguard actually came down off his seat to check that I was alright. That’s how unfit I am. The poor guy thought I was drowning (though to be fair, I was having an asthma attack and I swim weirdly at the best of times.) I haven’t been able to show my face there since.
The problem is that I’m too fatigued to exercise, but over time that just makes me weaker and fatter, making it even more difficult to exercise. This is further compounded by the fact that I comfort eat to cope with my EUPD and because of the medication-induced food cravings. I also have asthma to boot. All this has meant that I’ve been putting weight, and my BMI is now 27.
Yesterday, I had a wake up call. I had eaten 2 doughnuts, a cereal bar, biscuits, plus a mars bar and then made myself throw up six times. I had never purged before and it was a great, big, clanging, warning bell. I need to get back in control of my actions, even if my chronic illnesses mean I can’t control how my body functions.
I’ve decided that I’m going to go to the gym every weekday. I can spend the rest of the day in bed if needed, to recover, until my exercise tolerance increases. Today I did weight training on my arms and I’m absolutely knackered. Tomorrow, I’m going to the hypermobility gym.
As I’m writing this, I’m searching for advice online about exercising with CFS/ME. Apparently, you’re not supposed to exceed 60% of your maximum heart rate. I’ll work that out below…
60% of (220- your age)
Unless, I’ve lost the ability to use a calculator, that puts me in a tricky situation. Because of CFS/ME, the amount of exertion it takes my body to do normal activities means that simple tasks take me above 119 bpm. My resting heart rate is a healthy 60, but if I braid my hair it jumps to 120! In the past, when I’ve jogged slowly at the gym, my heart rate reached 180 and I had to stop before 10 minutes because I was so dizzy. I spent the rest of the day and the following day bedbound.
I think that rules out cardio for the time being.
Instead, I’m going to try to:
- build some muscle (slowly),
- join in with some yoga classes
- maybe go back to swimming (if I can face it, after the lifeguard incident)
I’ll update you with how I’m getting on. Wish me luck, God knows I’ll need it!