Exercise is a panacea. We all know this, and we all want to do more of it. And yet, making exercise a consistent part of our lives is something many of us struggle with. A few years ago, I made exercise a priority, and then I made it a routine, and eventually, it became a part of my lifestyle. After about six months, the hard work started to pay off, and I looked and felt great.
Then my illness and fatigue worsened, and exercise was put on hold. That was over three years ago, and I still haven’t gotten back to it. I still have chronic illness, but it’s better than it was, and I believe that exercise will help in the long-term even if it worsens my symptoms in the short-term. But I can’t seem to get started. Every day I feel so tired, and I decide that I’ll wait until tomorrow to work out. Tomorrow comes along, and I still feel exhausted, not surprisingly since my illness is chronic. This is a reality I need to accept.
I may never feel energized and ready for exercise, but I have to do it anyway. Obviously, I am under the supervision of a doctor, so I know I’m not taking huge risks in doing a little weightlifting. There really is no excuse other than I feel shitty, which is not dissimilar from other people’s excuses like I’m too fat, embarrassed, busy, worn out, sad, or lazy. We don’t become out of shape because we feel great, so we’re not going to feel great until we try to make exercise a routine. If I let my illness be an excuse, then I may never exercise again since my illness is likely lifelong. That is not an option. So yes, I feel crummy, but I’m going to try to change my body anyway.
- I have a chronic illness with significant fatigue on a daily basis.
- Exercise tends to make me feel drained instead of refreshed.
- It’s hard for me to eat enough calories to fuel my muscles and prevent more weight loss.
- I haven’t exercised consistently in three years, so I’m really out of shape.
- I’m experienced in weightlifting, so I don’t need much guidance.
- I spend most of my time around an extremely fit person (my husband), which is a great predictor of success.
- I have a flexible schedule.
- I have cute workout clothes
- I will lose weight (especially in my breasts).
- I will feel even more fatigued.
I will faint in public(this used to happen to me, so I’m building a home gym).
- I will realize that my chronic illness prevents me from changing my body (something my husband says I may need to accept, but I don’t want to accept)
- I will gain muscle mass, strength, and look toned.
- I will have improved mood, energy, and appetite.
- I will improve my cardiovascular health.
- I will have less cellulite.
Month 1 Workout Plan
For my goal of making exercise a routine without losing weight or getting too drained, I’m going to do short weight training sessions 5 to 6 days a week. No cardio.
I want to get in the habit of showing up at the gym regardless of how crappy I feel that day, so I’m less concerned about whether or not I can get through my intended workout.
Month 1 Meal Plan
Since I’m trying to bulk and overeating is not a problem, I’m simply going to focus on eating as much protein as possible. The ideal amount for me would be about 96 grams a day.
I will be tracking my progress with photos and a daily log, which I will share with you, so stay tuned.