Lupus Changes Everything!

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Before my diagnosis with Lupus I considered myself an athlete.  I played soccer on two different teams, I did cycling classes, Boot Camps, ran on the treadmill, competed in a half marathon and 5K races etc. I enjoyed working out and although I did get tired and always felt like I should be in better shape, I enjoyed being fit.  Lupus changed all that.  First, I began to drop weight very quickly (which I must say was very nice).  Now, I had to watch how much I worked out because I was already thin and working out made me look sickly thin.  Second, I wasn’t on medication yet which meant when I overexerted myself my body hurt all over.  In addition, I was tired so I just could not keep up with working out and working. Lupus is crazy because you look healthy, but internally you know you have to make adjustments…so I knew I needed to make adjustments in my workout.

After giving in to the fact that I could not go hard core like I used to and wanted to, I also accepted I’m not dead and can still do quite a bit.  I chose to continue playing soccer, but now for only one team and it is indoor only.  It hurt so bad to tell my outdoor team that I could not play anymore, but I knew I needed to stay out of the sun and indoor was the only way I could do that safely.  In addition, to playing soccer I still had my gym membership and I needed to use it, so, I’ve started taking Zumba classes and today I began YOGA!  Crazy how a year changes everything.

Last year, Zumba was the class I took on my “off” day.  The class that helped me stay toned, a fun break from the treadmill, but I didn’t overexert myself.  To me, you could lose way more calories running, so Zumba was not my ideal workout.  Now, it is the workout I look forward to because I know I can finish it, it works my core and I enjoy it.  Depending on the instructor, it can be a very good form of cardio and it will sculpt your legs and stomach quite nicely.  In addition, you can make it as high or low impact as you want.  You should see me in there shaking my booty and making my dance faces while jamming to Latin Hip Hop.  I’m part Hispanic so I feel like I am much better at salsa than I really am…but, it is in my blood so I own it!  When I am in the groove, I feel like I look so hot until I look in the mirror and realize I just look clumsy and awkward, but who cares I’m doing it!  I leave feeling sweaty and sculpted and I like it.  A perfect Lupus workout.

Today, I tried Yoga for the first time.  I heard Yoga was a great workout for the mind and helped you to handle stress well.  Lupus can be stressful, so this seemed like a good workout to handle my anxiety.  Amazing how Lupus changes everything!  I went from cycling classes and Boot Camp classes where instructors are yelling “Push yourself!….Work!!!!”  In today’s Yoga class (with sounds of chirping birds and falling rain) she told us, “It is all about your balance and go at your own pace.”  Whoa!  I went from LMFAO blaring “I’m Sexy and I Know It” while a lady was shouting, “No pain no gain!” to the ocean waves crashing and her whispering, “Listen to your body.”  I look around and just see some amazing men and women that are choosing to be healthy even if it is dancing with a beaded skirt on or contorting their bodies into some unnatural positions.  Never would I have taken either of these classes seriously, but now I look forward to them.  My, my, my things are not the same.

I have to say the better calorie burning workout is still the cycling, the soccer and the Boot Camp..for sure.  The amount of cardio and heart pumping exercises you do guarantees that you will lose weight if you combine it with eating right. However, these two new classes are a welcome addition to staying fit and still feeling like I am working out.  I have to remember to listen to my body and slow down when I get overworked because it is not worth it to come home and be laid out all day or worse in a dreaded flare where I feel like I have the flu, but I like this difference that Lupus has brought to my workout.  Lupus changes everything and, today, it’s a good thing!!

The good news is: no one has a video (that I know) of my Zumba or Yoga workouts because they are quite hilarious.  Half the time I am looking around the room trying to figure out what to do and the other half I am trying to look like I am having fun and not just really confused.  Sometimes I look up to see my face perplexed and concentrating way too hard on something that seems to be fairly simple.  My poor husband knows when I have been to Zumba because I come home and want to just give him a bunch of lap dances while puckering up my lips to look sexy.  Today, my husband surprised me with the opportunity to paint the bedroom, but the surprise was on him because I could barely move my arms due to crouching too long in the Updog position.  Throughout the day I reminded him in my Yoga whisper, “Others will know you have been here by all the positive energy you are giving off…they will thank you.”  No one has thanked me…yet.

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