person trying to lift a giant dumbbell

An Unrealistic Outlook on Exercise

In the past year, I have gained unwanted weight. This is due to a lack of mobility and medication. I was pretty much bed-bound for three months, while on steroids for 5 months.

A new year, a new me

This January, like everyone else, I went along with the saying "a new year, a new me." I wanted to lose weight fast.

I searched for online personal trainers via Instagram, messaging them all asking if they knew about my condition. Most people I asked said they would have an idea and would be able to work with me. I felt skeptical. I decided to choose the trainer who seemed to know the most about my condition...while looking back, they probably just Googled it.

First, they sent me a meal plan. This meal plan never changed. This person expected me to eat the same food every day for 6 weeks, that was not happening. So, I used the meal plan more as a guide rather than sticking to the plan. Besides the meal plan never changing, it also had many foods that cause inflammation in it. This was a big red flag for me...But I had already paid the woman.

Don't make the same mistake I did

The trainer clearly had no idea about my condition. And had no idea about fatigue! I had explained to the woman that I was bed-bound for months, just back walking so low-intensity short workouts is what I needed. I explained that I suffer badly from chronic fatigue.  She reassured me that she would make a plan suitable for me. I paid €200 for this plan, which was instantly a huge regret of mine.

She sent me my exercise plan. It included 10,000 steps daily, two 5k runs a week and 4 days of workouts. The workouts were an hour and a half long, using 3kg weights. I know 3kg is not heavy, but I had explained that my physical therapist had told me to work with 1kg weights and work myself up. No way could I do any of this. I don’t think I would have even been able to do this before I was sick.

I messaged the trainer telling her that the exercise plan was too intense for me. There was no way that I could do it. I explained to her that if I pushed myself to try it, I would end up bed-bound and sick for days. She replied saying that I should push myself and do what I can if I wanted to see results.

So, I did half the workout. I ended up injuring my shoulder because 3kg was too heavy for me and my weak arms.

I felt disappointed in myself

Disappointed that I couldn’t exercise, that I couldn’t lose weight.

Throughout the past few months, I have been searching for a personal trainer who has AS, or a similar condition. I want to find a trainer who understands the unpredictability of my illness. I found one, I was super excited to start a plan with her but was quickly let down by her expensive prices.

So, I have decided to make plans for myself, with help from my friend Amy. Amy is a qualified personal trainer who often comes to the gym to me and shows me how to exercise correctly. I am enjoying being back exercising and I will keep you updated on my progress.

There needs to be more personal trainers out there that understand and can help us with our condition.

This has gotten me thinking that maybe in the future I could be a personal trainer for people with AS. But for now, I need to work on me and exercising safely and correctly.

My goal now is to have a healthy routine with exercise listening to my body. Weight loss is not my main goal. I want exercise to be part of my lifestyle.

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