Summer blues

One of the most difficult things for me since being diagnosed with MS has been the loss of complete and unencumbered mobility. There was a time, as recently as several months ago, that I got out of bed every morning, put on my workout clothes and headed to the gym. I loved my time on the cross training elliptical machine–music pumping into my ears as I got lost in the workout. After thirty minutes there I made my rounds to a few favorite weight machines. I would finish my morning routine with a mile or so walk around the indoor track. I found that when I started my day at the gym, I was more mindful throughout the day of went into my mouth. I found myself eating more fruit than brownies and drinking more water than diet Pepsi. I also found that I had more energy and that the jeans that sat in my dresser drawer were fitting a bit looser–loose enough that I was able to buy one size down. I was thrilled! Now, most mornings I have to force myself to get out of bed; in fact, I usually lie there for a bit trying to talk my body into connecting with my brain in order to start the “getting out of bed” process. The cane in my right hand is a constant reminder that I can no longer power walk an indoor walking track. The dizziness that is a constant companion makes thirty minutes on an elliptical machine virtually impossible if not dangerous. And, while I haven’t had to go back to the higher size of jeans, I do notice that my lower size ones seem to be fitting a bit tighter. It is frustrating to want to be able to do something but not be able to follow through with it.

This time of year seems to be the most difficult so far. The day after Christmas, as all the holiday and winter stuff is being marked down, the summer clothing is taking over that space. It has always been disheartening for me to see swimsuits and tank tops–I’m not a fan of summer nor do I like the skimpiness of summer clothing. This year, that disheartening has turned to an almost deep depression as I think ahead to a summer of not being able to be in the shape I want to be and to not be able to look like I wish I could. It also seems that the new year brings a host of people changing how they eat and exercise. A quick sign on to Twitter and Facebook leaves me bombarded with updates about weight loss and better health. I know how exciting it is to finally feel like one is making progress in the area of weight loss and better health. I now also know the other side–the side where one desperately wants to exercise but physical issues stand in the way of doing so, or at the least, doing so effectively enough to lose weight. It causes a snowball effect of thoughts and feelings, especially as summer clothing overtakes the bulk of sweatshirts that can hide some of what embarrasses me.

The thing is, I know there is more to a person than how much she weighs or what size jeans she wears. I know my husband loves me and would never say anything about the fact that I have gained a few pounds. But, there is such a loud voice in my head that screams that he really does mind and I am convinced that the revealing clothes worn by others is so much more satisfying to his eyes than an old lady who can’t exercise to lose the weight. These thoughts are just reinforced by television ads for summer clothing and beach vacations (not to mention the ads for Weight Watchers and the like), the barrage of tank tops and bikinis that sit at the front of Target stores, and the Facebook and Twitter selfies that are posted showing lean and trim bodies that have been freed from extra weight. I dream of the days when I was younger and could eat whatever I wanted with no thought of extra pounds. I think about just a year ago and how exercising made such a difference in my life. And again it is just a hard hitting reality that there is so much that MS has taken from me. I want to hike again with my husband. I want to snowshoe, take a morning walk, ride my bike, play basketball, rollerblade…all the things I used to do without a second thought. I find myself growing resentful and angry that I am unable to do what I used to do. That has bothered me because I know that God doesn’t want me to be bitter, jealous, or angry. What do I do? How do I just accept that this is how it is? Just a tough day I guess. If history holds true, I may feel differently tomorrow…


About becmom45

Wife of one, mom of four, mom-in-law to two, grammy to one precious little boy; lover of snow, autumn, pumpkins, cats, books, baking, Charles Wysocki puzzles, Christmas; honest, raw author who hopes what is written here enlightens and educates those fortunate enough to not understand the demons chronicled.
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