“So with your metabolic disorder, you can’t really workout right?” Wrong.

My doctor has told me it is crucial to keep my body toned and in shape and that doing so will actually make it harder for those muscles to break down. It makes complete sense and I truly enjoy a good work out. However, it can be difficult, so soon after experiencing such intense muscle pain to jump back into straining those muscles. Despite my fear, I do try to go back to working out soon after I feel I’m ready. I take it slow at first, something like going for a long walk and then slowly notch up my regiment, getting back to the gym. It is one of my greatest fears that as I age my body will start to grow weak, accelerated by the effects of VLCAD. But instead of succumbing to my fear and letting it passively happen to me, I use the fear to propel me into action. That has been my (attempted) tagline to living with a chronic disorder-“don’t let it beat you, spend every day beating it!” I have found rather than a hindrance many days, it has given my life great purpose.
For most people “feeling the pain” is part of a good workout. For me, “feeling the pain” is not so simple and is usually an indicator of a larger problem. It has taken me many years to draw the line between “VLCAD sore” and “exercise sore.” Sometimes that line is nearly impossible to draw. Some days I just have to stop trying to draw the line and leave it to rest, hydration and a little faith that tomorrow will be a better, pain-free day. In my personal experience, “exercise sore” often feels more like the muscles are stretched and is often concentrated in my legs., arms or abs (depending on what kind of workout I did). “VLCAD sore” feels like an intense pressure on my muscles and includes pain in my neck, shoulders, back, and joints (often pain in my wrists or ankles can be an indicator). (Please note: This is my personal experience. These “symptoms” will not be the same for every person with VLCAD or another FOD. Please consult your doctor.) Separating these two type of pain have allowed me to realized that I can work out and that sometimes the pain I am feeling is “normal.” I feel like there is a misconception that people with VLCAD or other FODs cannot work out, ever. It is actually quite the opposite-we, even more so than others, need to make a conscious effort to keep our bodies in shape. However, it is a delicate balance and like many things in life, is all about moderation.
Just the other day I was at the doctor’s and my nurse asked “So with your metabolic disorder, you can’t really workout right?” A common question. “Oh ya” I respond, “I workout!” It may just be my personality, but when someone tells me I can’t do something I want to do it even more. There is nothing that makes me feel like I am kicking VLCAD’s butt more than exercising! #VLCADprobs

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