This week ADOFitness trainers will be addressing their biggest weakness both physically and mentally and how they over came it. Coach Tara shares her story!
As most of you might already know about 4 years ago I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Raynauds Phenomenon. This is by far my biggest weakness both physically and mentally. Lupus or SLE is an autoimmune disorder where your own immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy tissues in many different body parts. Some people have Lupus that only affect their skin known as discoid lupus and some have SLE. Unfortunately for me, I have both. As of now it has affected a lot of areas of my body including some internal organs. If I go in the sun without sun screen I end up with a terrible rash which also causes a flare in my body that can lead to kidney failure, also causing my hair to fall out. It affects my eyes, inside of my mouth, causes terribly itchy skin getting out of a hot shower, kidney damage, rapid heart rate up to 160 BPM at rest, ulcers on my toes and fingers from lack of circulation from the Raynauds, joint paint, muscle twitching, extreme tiredness, nausea, and migraines to name a few. I see a Rheumatologist, a neurologist, a nephrologist, a urologist, a cardiologist, a dermatologist, and of course a primary care doctor. I currently take 9 different medications (was 10 but I just got off of one woo hooo) which is 20 pills a day and get my blood taken at least once a month. Needless to say here I am today trucking away and most people have no idea what I go through on a daily basis.. but the reason for that is, I don’t really care to share my story unless it’s for the sole purpose of motivating or inspiring someone else battling issues of their own.
When I first got sick Im not going to lie and tell you that I was tough and totally ok.. people around me might have thought that I was, but I spent countless days laying in bed feeling terrible, feeling depressed, not understanding why God would do this to me, and fighting the fact I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me. This went on for months until one day I was sick and tired of it.. I told my parents to stop asking me how I was feeling because even on days I felt fine I would second guess myself and think that maybe I was missing something and honestly got caught up in the fear of “what could happen to me” instead of focusing on all the good that was happening in my life and the fact I was alive! I mean at that point I might have just as well been dead since I was not “living” at all.. I was stuck inside my own head, feeling helpless and sorry for things I couldn’t control instead of focusing on what I could control and helping myself!
How I overcome this feeling on a daily basis is practicing gratitude and living with a “half glass full attitude”. At first it was pretty hard. I remember telling myself to think positive and the only thing I could think of at the time was “Well at least I’m not dead?” I guess that’s kind of positive… but it wasn’t really doing the trick. I mean it’s really freaking hard to be positive when you feel like dirt everyday haha Then I remembered this quote a coach told me one time “The body achieves what the mind believes.”.. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give that a shot.. So everyday I wake up and pretend I don’t have lupus..now that doesn’t mean I don’t take all necessary precautions when it comes to my health, it just means I don’t focus on the negative things and just deal with them when they arise. Instead of looking for symptoms or diagnosing myself on web MD thinking I all of a sudden have a brain tumor when really its a head ache haha I just wake up, tell myself I’m full of energy (even when I’m not) and go through the day. When you only focus on the negatives your life will be full of unhappy thoughts and disaster after disaster will happen… But when you focus on the positives, big problems seem minute and little problems don’t exist..Instead of fixating my thoughts on how many workouts I missed last week I focus on how many awesome workouts I had last week..and if they weren’t that great I focus on the fact I was able to workout period!
Now don’t get me wrong.. I still get caught up on the negatives sometimes as I am FAR from perfect.. but I know I have people in my corner that will pull me through even the toughest of days and remind me of how strong I am.. I could NOT have done this without the support of my family, boyfriend, and amazing friends.
It is soooo hard to be grateful for things in your life when everything seems to be going wrong…but maybe things seem to be going wrong because that is what you are focused on instead of all the wonderful things right at your finger tips. Start today by writing down 5 positive things in your life and feeling truly grateful for them, you won’t regret it!