You guys! Today, I went for the first walk of what I hope will be many! I’m starting slow and let me tell you why…
Several months ago my doctor diagnosed me with lipedema. She showed me photos and spoke very briefly about getting liposuction if I wanted.
If you don’t know what it is (I didn’t!) … Lipedema is a chronic medical condition characterized by a symmetric buildup of adipose tissue (fat) in the legs and arms. A common but under recognized disorder, lipedema may cause pain, swelling, and easy bruising. <<< Taken from lipedema.org
For years, she has made it VERY clear that most of my health problems are brought on by obesity and that the only way I will get rid of any of them is to lose weight. To that end, she has suggested weight-loss surgery more than once. As you can see she is a big proponent of surgery, along with medication for anything that she would rather not deal with, like depression and anxiety. Don’t get me wrong… she’s not a bad doctor… but I’d rather she not fall back on surgery and prescription medication for *everything* without working with me to find healthier alternatives.
So yes, I have had a love-hate relationship with my doctor. Part of it is her fault… (see above)… and part of it is mine (also, see above). PS: Most of it is my fault.
Sometimes she makes things sound so “nothing” that I kind of ignore her. Such was the case for lipedema.
After my last bout with depression following Dad‘s death, it occurred to me that I had been sitting in bed for three months straight and that my legs felt heavier than normal. In fact, all of me did, though I hadn’t gained weight (I was still obese, however).
I did something I don’t normally do because I have health anxiety and can be a hypochondriac… but I’ve also decided I need to somehow push past the fear… and it felt VERY IMPORTANT to do so *right now*. I looked up “legs feeling heavy”… and what do ya know? Lipedema came up.
At the same time, because I was in bed so much, I was watching lots of YouTube. I ran across a woman I used to watch religiously but had stopped. She is a plus-sized woman who tries on clothes and talks about clothes, dating, health and life as a larger-than-life person. She is (actually!) an influencer for large-sized women. I have a love-hate relationship with her, too.
Well!! One of her videos talked about having just been diagnosed with lipedema. That was about four months ago.
Synchronicity would tell me that I need to pay attention.
First thing I found out is that there is no cure. As in none. It is mostly seen in women… who are overweight… and even losing weight won’t get rid of it entirely…
BUT IT HELPS.
My friend on YouTube is young… twenty-five years younger than me, at least, and she was having trouble walking because her legs felt heavy – and were (just like mine!) She knew she had start slow and said the first two weeks of walking even short distances were hell. But she kept thinking about her goal – to go hiking! She had loved it as a kid. It gave her joy!
After a few months, she literally ended up in Sedona *all by herself* (well, with her dog) and hiked a trail that almost killed her. But she did it! Good for her! Yes, she’s lost some weight… but guess what? Remember that post I did on body positivity? Listen to this! She was attacked by HUNDREDS of body positivity people for trying to get healthy! It’s a head-shaker.
As for me…
My mom and sister started counting steps a while back. They have apps on their phones. I downloaded the app on mine, too, and was horrified to find that it’s been counting all along. Since lockdown, I have averaged… no shit… under 100 steps. I’ve talked about that, too… somewhere around here. Not gonna go find it… cuz… why?
Anyhow, I determined that my first goal would begin today and I would walk 1000 steps. I know, it’s nothing. But it’s NOT nothing, too. As you can see by my face… it was most certainly *something*… I was hotter-than-holy-hell when I got home! But the point is… I did it!
I’ve decided that I’ll give myself one month to reach 10,000 steps a day. Think I can do it? Me, too!! (Addendum, three weeks later: I am not going to make 10,000 in a month. That was waaaaay overly-enthusiastic! I am taking a more measured view now and hope to be up to 10,000 by Fall. Much wiser and safer!)
How about you? Do you need to get out there? I wish we could walk together! In a way, we can… if you’d like to come along… let’s share our journeys together! We can keep each other accountable. 🙂
Oh, and… hey! I also got some pretty pictures out there! Win/win!