The Never Ending Battle With MS, My Weight and My Laziness

Written by on June 24th, 2014 – 3 Comments

I bIMG_0051ought a new shirt earlier this month. It says “I’m not lazy – I’m physically conservative.” I tend to be on the lazier side – y’know little things like not wanting to get out of bed to answer a phone, stretching as far off my couch to reach my computer without actually getting up, frequently choosing the escalator over stairs.

But I’ve always been active – when I was younger I was in swimming lessons, and my mom would try to get me involved in basketball and soccer (that didn’t stick.) For 8 years I was enrolled in Karate, and that gave me a chance to exercise and get off my couch. I loved it, and even though it’s taken a back seat to my academics and volunteer work, I 100% intend on returning to it.

And my mom always made sure I was a healthy eater – lots of fresh fruit and veggies, homecooked meals as often as possible, limits on the amount of cookies and pop I could have.

But despite that, I’ve never been the healthiest person. I probably like McDonald’s a little too much, and may have some self control issues when a pizza or chocolate is placed in front of me.

However that all changed when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I realized that I needed to become more aware of my body, my health and really take control of it. This realization was by no means an instant one. I was diagnosed in July 2012, but it wasn’t until May 2013 that I realized how important it was.

Living on campus, and not having my mom looking over my shoulder led to me not being physically active… at all, and making poor choices about my diet. This led to me getting completely out of shape, and gaining a lot of weight.

When I went back home in the summer of 2013, I stepped on a scale, and realizing that I had gained 30 lbs in less than a year. At that moment, I realized that clothes weren’t fitting me as well any more and that I felt tired and fatigued all the time.

It was a shocker – because although I had always been a chubbier kid, this time was different. I realized that I was the unhealthiest, least active and most overweight I had been in my life, all while still coming to terms with having MS. Something had to be done.

So that summer, because I had no job, no courses and was just planning to be at home for 4 months, I decided to make a change. After failing to find a gym that fit the budget of an unemployed student, I decided to start running. Prior to that, I became somewhat known for my mantra of “I don’t run.” I also started cooking a lot more – actually making breakfast and lunch for myself and helping mom with dinner and grocery shopping led to me understanding more about food.

Because of those lifestyle changes, that summer I was able to drop those 30 pounds I had gained but more importantly I felt healthier – more energy, less fatigued all the time and I had even noticed that my small MS symptoms started getting better too. Now going back to school, and starting with my three jobs and full course load meant that I had little time to get active but I stayed relatively healthy with my eating habits… until I got busy with exams.

After one of my morning runs in the beautiful Glendon forest!I started slipping again – but now this summer, despite having two jobs and an intensive summer semester, I’ve decided to take back control of my health. Cooking big batches of healthy meals on weekend, prepping two weeks of smoothie freezer bags at a time and getting up early for runs, and doing lunchtime workouts have led to me not only returning to my focused mind of health and fitness, but also learning how to balance my work and school while still keeping in mind that I need to stay healthy.

It’s a challenge – yes. But it’s one that not only am I now ready to take on, but one I realize I have to take on. I want to be healthy, I want to be active. I want to have my MS as much under control as I can. For myself, my family, my friends and my future, I need to take control of my health.

 

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3 Responses

  1. kirstimarie says:

    I’m all too familiar with the MS weight gain. It’s hard not to sometimes when you’re feeling so fatigued. Good for you for making positive changes though!

  2. Mike says:

    Way to take control of your own health…

  3. Mastronardi says:

    Great story! Glad you are taking control of the food you take in, I really believe this makes a difference!
    Take care