An interesting turn of events has happened which made me think quite a lot about my relationship with my body.
I mentioned on my Facebook page that I’d had the idea that I could try skiing again. I started doing some training for it and was doing well increasing my exercises by a few each day. My son, whose very strong and fit kept an eye on my squats and plank explaining how to do them properly.
I was going to say don’t be too impressed because I’m only doing things for seconds or a few repeats, but actually do be impressed because 5 years ago at this time I was lying in bed or on the sofa house-bound most of the time.
All was going well until last week when I started feeling very tired most afternoons and evenings. I was going to bed early sleeping maybe 8-9 hours and still feeling tired and having to have a wee sleep several afternoons in a row.
As someone recovering from ME/CFS this rings alarm bells. I was concerned that maybe I was over doing it, or worse still going in to a relapse. These are legitimate fears when you have been ill for a long time and are now feeling better. Being ill long term is no joke.
Another thought going round in my head was that I might just be wimping out because it’s boring and hard. I don’t really like doing repetitive exercise for the sake of it and could never be a gym type of person. I much prefer to either get outside and walk, to incorporate exercise into my day or to do something like mindful swimming or yoga.
The other possibility was that I was a bit under the weather, perhaps fighting something off. In the past when this has happened it was just a drop down in my degree of un-wellness but now I wasn’t sure.
Whatever the reason the point is that I listened to my body. I went to bed and slept more, I rested and sometimes slept in the daytime, I ate well, made sure I was hydrated, and I EFT tapped on feeling like I was wimping out of exercising and my fears about relapse and I did not make myself do any exercise at all, which meant I did nothing for about 5 days.
The upshot is that this week I feel better. I went for one of my Walking Loch Creran walks on Monday, did yoga on Tuesday and yesterday I started the skiing exercises again. It was hell, sweat was involved, but I did them.
Whatever was going on with my body I know I was not wimping out, I do not seem to be relapsing and maybe I was fighting something off. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, what matters is that I needed to listen to my body.
Although I wobbled, felt worried and questioned myself I have learned something from having ME/CFS, something very important. It is absolutely vital to listen to what our bodies are telling us and then to give them what they need, regardless of what our mind might be telling us.
Our minds are the problem, they will come up with a million reasons why lying down, going to bed early, making a juice, drinking more water, choosing the healthier option is not necessary. They will tell us to push through, to buck up, to stop being so pathetic but we must not listen.
As a wise therapist told me;
“The mind is full of smoke and mirrors, the body tells the truth.”