First Steps

3 weeks ago I decided to make a change.

For the last 3 years I have been living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Newsflash- it sucks. Imagine you have an energy scale with 1 being a regular person after a good night’s sleep and 10 is being about to pass out: the most energetic I ever feel is a 4 and that’s on a very good day (and also often not for long periods of time.)

With an illness like this, you know any commitment you make is 70% truthful at best. You have no idea if that time you have agreed to meet your partner for coffee, or if the day of your best friend’s birthday party is the moment your body decides to go nah not about that life and hits you with a dip.

I like to think I’m relatively a relatively positive person! I try to keep my head up and push on. I made it through university, keeping my grades up. I’ve been putting myself out there, and have been hired to work remotely on social media jobs. So you know what, I’m not doing too bad! But I live my life with a leaky battery, never feeling free to go about and enjoy life to fullest like my friends around me.

And so 3 weeks ago I decided enough was enough.

My first workout at home

I started doing a few workouts at home, mainly beginners yoga so nothing too strenuous.

I’m super lucky because we have a family friend who is a god-tier PT and is used to helping people with illnesses like me. I rang her up and we started doing some (socially distant) sessions. Together we went through my diet, which was appalling I’m not going to lie, and decided that it was time to switch to a much more healthy lifestyle.

I love cooking so thankfully it hasn’t been too hard to incorporate some new healthy meals into my diet. I am eating; way more vegetables; less meat; brown/wholewheat carbs over white ones; less artificial sweeteners/chemicals and better, healthier snacks.

Vegan/ Gluten Free Oat Cookies

I got myself a Deliciously Ella book on her recommendation and got at it! The best bits are the baking. Over lockdown, baking has been bringing me so much joy, so when my PT and I decided on a diet change, I was so sad I couldn’t bake anymore- until I learned that I could!

I’ve been making healthy recipes such as vegan/gluten free oat cookies, sweet potato brownies and beetroot chocolate cake and get the same happiness from going the healthy route than I was before.

Keeping a food and symptom diary has been really helpful to see if there is a correlation between what I’m eating and how bad my CFS gets.

Trying out a Swan Pilates Pose for the first time

As well as eating well, I’ve also been exercising. I know, gross right? I’m joking now but to be honest I wasn’t a keen exerciser before and with my chronic fatigue, a lot of exercise would just make me feel awful.

Things like yoga and pilates are brilliant for people with conditions like me because they help you to focus on your body and breath without tiring you out too much (although some cardio is still essential). You still get a great workout and it’s actually really fun.

Feeling good

Guess what.

There have been results!

Since I started my new lifestyle, I have found that overall I do have more energy than beforehand. I still have dips- some of which are really bad- but my base energy level is higher than it was before.

Not just that but I’ve lost 3lbs/ 1.4Kilos, an inch and a half off my waist and an inch off both my chest and hips which I’m super happy with!

Thank you for reading my first blog post on my new website, it means a lot that you want to read my story. I hope that I can help others with the things that I learn/share.

Keep well ❤

Charlotte x

4 thoughts on “First Steps

  1. Good luck with your new venture. I’m sure it will help many young people who suffer with this condition. Hope you continue to improve your health and enjoy your life to the full.

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  2. Hi Charlotte, I suffer with ME too! I find yoga & Pilates great (I swim also – or I did before lockdown). Did you know there is a book specifically for people with ME. Some of the poses you can do from bed! It got me through some very dark days when I was first poorly!
    Keep going, I’d love to see your progress.

    Like

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