What Exercise Does For Me


I posted this on a thread called "Why do you workout?" This was my reason..... DebbieH encouraged me to post it here...:D

This is hard for me to write because of my quest for normalacy. My wanting to be just like you. I talk about weight loss and lifting weights etc. but the mian reason I work out is...I HAVE to.
the aesthetic benefits is purely a bonus.

It has taken me a long time to come to grips with the fact that I'm not normal. I had been in denial for many years. I remember that awful day at the clinic and my doctor came back with the lab tests. He held my hand and said quite happily, "if we can keep the flares under control, the life expectancey for lupus patients is not UP to 10 years." I was floored to say the least!! This can't be happening to ME!!
At that time, lupus was only found in my knees. It had since gone through my right eye and recently the nerve sheeves (sp. coating around the nerve)in my head, making them exposed and touching one another. By exposing the sheeves (I forget the medical term at present) it made my brain think I was in constant pain.
My neurologist said I had a pain on switch that wouldn't go off. Medical therapy supposedely re-rounted the pain to another jpart of the brain. But my head is extremely sensitive to cold, or just wind in general. I have to stay indoors most of the time. Except in the summer. Oh how I love the summer! Even then I have to watch the wind and when it rains.

Early on, my team of specialists, said it would help to exercise my legs and not to be afraid to work them hard. Since I wanted to do all I could to eliminate this lupus pain, the advice was not a problem. I found though, that if I slacked off, my knees would swell, they would buckle when I would stand up and in a short space of time, I would not be able to walk. Being carried to the car is very humiliating.
During my worst flare up, my knees had to be tapped every two weeks. Ty having this done without numbing the knee first. Been there done that. DH was in the room with me and he had tears in his eyes.

Working out, keeps my legs pain free. While working out doesn't totally elminate my migraines, as weather fronts effect that as well. My brain thinks of every pain as a migraine, so OTC medicines will not work.

So even though my workouts are a necessity for my sanity and survival, they also give me the sense of being normal. When I'm working out to a video, I become part of the class. It becomes 'hey I can do this, just like them.'
The added benefits of looking good, increased stamina, muscle defintion are just a happy bonus and stimulus to keep up my routine. Recently my DH said he always wants me to be with him because I could be his bodyguard. LOL (thanks to Cathe)

I workout around 2 hours a day. Some may have a problem with this high of a schedule. But I figure, I can't go outside and play tennis, golf or ski, or even do shopping that just about everyone else can do. I don't have kids to drive to places and pick them up. I can't drive as it triggers a migraine. So even though my workout may be more compact or concetrated in a particular time frame, I'm probably still doing less that what everyone else does by just doing 'life'.

My doctors are elated at what I've been able to do. They have been a great encouragement to keep up my routines. Outside of my migraines, I have been medicince free for several years now. My lupus screens have come back negative. That is a wonderful feeling to be told 'you are normal'.

Again, this has been hard for me to accept, but this is why I workout.
I might add that this new Intense Series has pushed me up to a new level of endurance. My gratitude and appreciation goes to Cathe for making such great workouts.


Wooo-Hoooo Wanda!

Like I said before....this is one the GREATEST success stories I have heard! You have beaten the odds! If two hours is what it takes for you to feel normal, not to mention the results you received, you go for it girl!!!! I'm so proud. You are AMAZING! Keep up the great work.
Your-Friend-In-Fitness, DebbieH http://www.smilies-world.de/Smilies/Smilies_klein_1/wavey.gif If You Get The Choice To Sit It Out Or Dance...I Hope You DANCE!!!


Active Member
Wanda, congratulations on your success at battling lupus. What a great achievement. Your story is certainly an inspiration. Boy, I will think twice next time I start to complain about a minor muscle ache. Keep up the good work!

Wow Wanda, I had no idea your motivation in regards your exercise had anything to do with a medical condition. I've always been in such awe of your daily dedication and the drive you show in your workouts, and reading your story sure explains why it's been so important to you.

I am so glad you did indeed beat the odds. Lupus is a horrible disease, my mother-in-law was unfortunately not as lucky as you and died several years ago in 1992.

Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. And I too will think about you the next time I'm about to complain about some minor muscle ache!


Fitness~ It's a journey, not a race!


You guys! You are making me embarrassed.:D I feel this is just what I do.

Donna, I'm so very sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. Lupus is awful especially when it goes into the organs like the lungs or kidneys. I remember when I was diagnosed, NSAID nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs, had just recently been introduced on the market. My lupus specialist was so excited that this could be THE cure. He was so sad later, when he told me that the drugs didn't pan out liked they had hoped.
The key he told me, is the flares. If somehow one can keep them under control, the less damage will be done, as lupus travels when in a flare. Since so many things causes flares, controlling them, of course is the big IF.

Lupus eats or attacks connective tissue. Since the body is composed of so much of this tissue, it can literally travel anywhere when under a flare. I had a horrible reaction to hormones after surgery. The New England medical journal was to write a year later, that lupians cannot take hormones, even natural ones. Tried them all. But the doctors didn't listen until after many knee taps and the article was written that this was a problem.
Handling mid-life is much safer for me to do without the medical help, Hot flashes and all. LOL

Exercise, the kind that releases all the wonderful chemicals to deal with pain, the kind that gives you the runner's high, this is what keeps me going. It is my air.
Yet, even though I work out harder than the majority, I still get plenty of rest. I may be crazy, but I'm not insane. :D :D

Thank you so very much for your kind words, I shall always treasure them. All of you girls on this forum are my heroes. I get so much encouragement from reading your posts. Each one of you, in your own way, have beaten the odds.
Just by getting in your workout clothes, double knotting your shoe laces and putting in your video, you are a success. How many other people are doing it? You know it can improve your health.
The rest is the icing. The fitness goals you achieve, whether weight loss, building the muscle that looks so cool, the doing more reps and lifting heavier weights; these are the things that gives us the confidence. It gives us the pride in ourselves because we conquered something. This something, is worthwhile and each of you are doing it.
Tell me, when you finish Boot Camp or anyone of the workouts on the Terminator, or for that goes, anything that Cathe dishes out, don't you feel like Rocky? LOL


What a great story! Exercise can do miraculous things, but this really tops anything I've heard about the benefits. You should be very proud of yourself!


Wanda, you go girl!!!

Wanda, I have to tell you that I think you're right - you're not normal at all... You are SUPERWOMAN!!! Your courage, your attitude, your accomplishments -- all of it is just amazing to me. I am SO glad you're a part of this group and that you felt comfortable in sharing your story with all of us. What an inspiration you are!

It would be a huge pleasure to meet you and exercise with you one day real soon on a Cathe field trip -- when we get one up and rolling you've GOT to come!!!

http://www.clicksmilie.de/sammlung/sport/sport003.gif Kathy S.


RE: Wanda, you go girl!!!

A dream come true would be meeting you girls and....to actually workout out with you. Wow! That would be a thrill. Sadly, I don't travel well as I get headaches so very easily. Yet this could be something to shoot for. I live in Indiana. :D
I have a question that perhaps I may should post on Other Discusions.??
A friend took my picture when the Weights First from FitPrime was just released. I was going to post it to Anna as a before picture. I decided very quickly, that I loved Cathe more. :D Anyways, my friend who took the picture has since lost the film and all I have is the picture on print out from the computer.
I was thinking of taking a picture of me 'now', after 12 weeks of Intense Series workouts.
At the very least, you can see I'm a real person and not a phantom ghost writer or something. LOL

Do you need a special camera? In other words, do I have to bribe my friend to take my picture again? (I had to treat her to Applebees last time..ha ha ) I saw where you girls take your pictures to Picture trails or something like that. ? And can my 'before' picture be used as a comparison somehow?

Again, I appreciate all you girls on this site. You'll never know what a great source of encouragement you have been to me.

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