Pattie was diagnosed with Lipedema in 2007. She decided to take her life back and stopped listening to "nothing she could do," and started training with her husband Bob in CrossFit. As a way to reach others like her, Pattie started a Lipedema Fitness website, blog and Facebook support group to help spread awareness and facilitate support to help others keep living with Lipedema. Read how exercise saved her life below and follow her online to stay motivated.
Can you imagine being told to NOT exercise? When I was first diagnosed with Lipedema in 2007, that is exactly the advice I was given.
At the time medical professionals thought exercising would make our condition worse, and I was going to do everything in my power to NOT get worse. So I listened, and I stopped exercising.
Do you know what happens to your body when you stop exercising? In as little as just two weeks your muscle mass, flexibility, aerobic capacity and bone density all decline. Your muscles literally begin to atrophy, or waste away. This also means your strength and endurance decline as well. Not to mention your ability to pump blood and oxygen throughout your body, which affects your sleep and your mood.
For me personally, during the five years of inactivity after my diagnosis, I lost almost all my mobility (I could barely stand for a few seconds, let alone walk), my legs felt heavy and painful all the time, and I was depressed and scared about where my health, my life, was going.
The good news is that you can start to reverse those effects just as quickly when you begin exercising, and it doesn't have to be running a 5K, any movement is better than no movement.
Taking back my fitness was the only solution I could see. Not only did it help me physically, but it gave me something to focus on, something to feel in control of, and within a short period of time I began to see real improvements. Not just in my body, but also in my emotional wellbeing. I felt less like a victim.
I think that is one of the hardest things about living with a chronic illness, the way the illness tries to make you feel like a victim.
Training literally saved my life, and I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I didn’t want anyone else to go through what I had gone through, so I started a blog and a Facebook support group called Lipedema Fitness. If you need support or motivation, follow my group on Facebook or check out my blog to see my workout of the day (here’s an example). We’d love to have you!