Graves’ disease is a pretty shit thing to have. There are so many ways it’s effecting my life, but there are some positives I’m getting from it.
Since being diagnosed, I’ve understood why I’ve felt so shit for the last four years, and I’ve decided I’m not prepared to let it beat me. I’ve started taking back control of my life. I’ve made a conscious effort to try and be proactive and do the things I used to enjoy. I’ve given up smoking, and I am making the most of my good days so the bad ones don’t get me as down as much as they were.
Another positive I’ve found is that because of Graves’, I’ve had to accept I can’t always follow my diet and exercise plan perfectly, and that’s ok. With healthy living, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Some days I can’t do what I planned to do, or my mindset is all wrong, and I eat rubbish all day. But over all I’m still making progress. I’m still getting stronger.
When I was younger, I never had to think about my diet and I trained every day because I wanted to. I enjoyed pole and aerial, and I trained to get better at it. If I didn’t feel like training, then I slept on a crash mat in front of the heater between classes instead. I never beat myself up about it. I generally ate pretty well, but I didn’t stop myself having crisps or chocolate if I fancied it, and I always looked the way I wanted to look. I was relaxed about my lifestyle and training was fun.
After I stopped training four years ago, because of the health issues, any time I tried to start again I would give up because I made myself think I had to do it perfectly.
I somehow adopted the mindset that if I can’t do it right all the time then there is no point doing it at all. I’d eat a small chocolate bar and think, I’ve messed up my diet now, I may as well go back to eating rubbish and start again next week, or I’d be to tired to train, or I couldn’t fit it in, and I would decide trying to train at all was pointless.
I think it’s a frame of mind lots of people have over diet and exercise, and it’s wrong!
Since being diagnosed with Graves’, and learning what it does to my body, I have learned to start accepting that I can’t always do what I plan to.
Training and eating well most of the time, or even some of the time, is better than never. I am human, and I want to enjoy my life. I want healthy living to be easy, not a chore. I don’t want to feel like I am sacrificing every single day. I have very clear goals, and I know why I am trying to make healthier choices, but I also know I’m not racing anyone, and if I need a break then I can have one.
Some days I still get a bit irrational about missing a stretch session, or eating a Snickers bar, but over all I can accept that as long as I am choosing the healthy option most of the time, and I’m moving my body as much as I can, then I’m doing ok. I will make progress.
Life will always get in the way, the key is to carry on regardless and not let it stop you achieving your goals long term.
I’m only four months into my journey back to health, but for the first time in a long time it feels how it used to! It feels positive and like I’m improving my lifestyle rather than sacrificing it and I’m staying on track!