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Your internal personal trainer

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Once again, the word exercise rears its ugly head. The Christmas indulgences hang on the hips. I can't speak for you, but I had so much to do over the holidays, I really slacked off on the old stretch routine. My treadmill is dusty, which is always a bad sign, try as I might to ignore it. I was just enormously grateful to get through the holidays intact, without some body part falling off or losing what little mind I have left. Now the time has come. It's time to listen to my internal personal trainer.

That is that little voice inside my head that provides motivation to do what I know I should be doing. I guess it's my conscience. It's the same with dieting. It's something one person cannot do for another. The motivation has to come from within. The problem with having chronic illness and pain such a long time is that I have trouble lying to myself. I came to realize many years ago that I must keep strong that which I have left. It's of vital importance to keep the range of motion I currently possess, as well as the muscle tone. I know if I just sit around or lie down and do just the necessary daily routine, it is not enough. Disease, pain and gravity have all become my enemies. Unfortunately, it falls to me to be sure function doesn't go away. Once that happens, life becomes a vicious cycle, and the chance for more pain, accidents and more spasms becomes more likely.

Even though every book on exercise you read tells you not to exercise late at night, I often do. I think it has something to do with denial as well as procrastination on my part. Sometimes while I am lying in bed late at night, trying to convince my body to stop aching and relax for sleep, that little voice speaks to me and says, “Hey, Sue, you didn't stretch or exercise at all today. Another lazy day down. Another day with you being on the losing end of your body's maintenance. If you don't care, who do you think is going to?” I'm afraid that conscience of mine doesn't think much of me sometimes.

Therefore…I have often been known to do about 20 sit-ups at midnight. I try to always lift a small weight to keep my arms strong while lying down watching TV in the evening. I have to be able to lift grandchildren, haul groceries into the house and meet all the other demands of life. If I don't lift those little weights, I have spasms in the neck just from vacuuming the floor. Unfortunately, the fat drag on the upper arms is still there, so vanity flies out the window and I won't be waving in any parades anytime soon. The important thing is function. I repeat to myself, the important thing is function. I'm a real fanatic about maintaining my independence. Function equals independent living. It's the price one pays.

Sometimes it helps to write notes to oneself. It's more difficult to ignore my own instructions when they are in writing. A daily routine is also good, but I just can't seem to get with it enough to set aside time each day. I think I would rather clean something, write a piece or cook something, which gives me immediate gratification.

Quite honestly, another reason for my procrastination is the pain. I'm only human, and it doesn't seem like a natural act to move something that hurts. I do it much better after a pain pill and a muscle relaxant as well as timing exercise when my prednisone is at its peak. Mondays are my “bad day” because I inject methotrexate on Tuesdays. Methotrexate has been a good drug for my peculiar condition.


When I hear myself complaining or I am tempted to but don't actually speak about it, I have to drag out my internal personal trainer and find out if I am doing all that I know in my heart needs to be done. This life of mine, this imperfect problem riddled body is still my responsibility to manage, and mine alone. It's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it.

Last Updated:1/18/2007
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Date: 11.12.2018, 16:07 / Views: 93385