Weight a Minute!

As I was closing up the studio after teaching a yoga class yesterday, the man whose accounting office is across the hall and with whom I am friendly popped in to chat a minute. He commented that it looked as though I had lost some weight.

I hadn’t been making any special effort to slim down. I explained that I always seem to drop a few pounds in the summertime because I’m so active when the weather is warm. I swim and bike and walk the dog a lot, soaking up the sunshine (wearing sunscreen, of course!). I also substitute for other yoga teachers while they’re on vacation, so I even do more yoga than usual.

The opposite is true in the wintertime. Though I am a regular at the gym, physical activity isn’t as central to my winter way of life as it is to my summer fun. As my jeans get a bit snugger, every few added ounces make it just that much harder to maintain the energy and stamina to keep moving around as much as usual. Of course, that situation snowballs, so come late spring, I generally have a few extra pounds just begging to be shed.

I do try hard, though, to stay as active as I need to be to keep my weight within a healthy range, in large part because I know that it’s much easier to manage my multiple sclerosis when my body is fit. Just a few extra pounds make a big difference in how hard it is to lift my legs to run, for instance.

Ever since I was diagnosed, I’ve been aware that I might someday, sooner or later, lose my mobility. Should that happen, I hope that having built up my strength ahead of time might help me weather that change a bit better. But who knows if it will work out that way? As all of us with MS are all too well aware, this condition of ours is nothing if not unpredictable.

How about you? Do you make an effort to stay as fit as possible, despite any physical limitations MS has imposed? What challenges do you face in that effort, and how do you work around them?
 

Tags Healthy Living      2 Appreciate this
| Reply
Jennifer

Jennifer LaRue Huget, Blogger

Jennifer LaRue Huget was diagnosed with MS in 2001. A freelance writer and children's book author, she lives in Connecticut with her husband, two teenage kids, and two brown dogs. Her website is www.jenniferlaruehuget.com.

Leave a Comment

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the MSconnection.org community. Please note comments are moderated.

    10 Comments

  • Veronique   Aug 19, 2014 3:13 PM
    Hi Jennifer. We have a few things in common: i was diagnosed in 2001 too and also became a yoga teacher;-) and I also try to stay active because i have always loved that and also because I also think that "hey why wait? You can do it now and it's the best time ever!" (I also have two dogs!) Wishing you all the best and keep active!
  • Sarah   Aug 19, 2014 3:18 PM
    Hi Jennifer I was diagnosed 22 years ago and I too am a yoga teacher! Do you teach adaptive classes? Tell me about your yoga experience. My blog is MSYogaandmylife.com. The link to yours didn't work for me, :(
  • Robert   Aug 19, 2014 5:36 PM
    Diagnosed 22 years ago...was competitive runner (5k 10k). Kept running until I couldn't anymore about 7 years ago....stopped everything....slowly even lost walking....5 years ago, starting swimming....up to 3 days a week, walking, riding bike, moving again....will never stop moving again.
  • Andy   Aug 19, 2014 6:46 PM
    Diagnosed 2010, weighed 220, and was a smoker. My MS symptoms were bad until I started losing weight and excising. Move forward 4 years and I am in the best shape of my life, just did Ironman Canada, and feeling better than I did even at my best before my symptoms. Like you wrote, it can go at any time, and it is so important to do what you can to keep moving and staying fit. Great bolg post.
  • Michelle   Aug 19, 2014 7:03 PM
    I try and do the elliptical, yoga and or balance exercises just about everyday. It does make a difference. I keep that in mind especially when I don't feel like working out.
  • Jim   Aug 19, 2014 7:22 PM
    Dxed 2007. 210 lbs. couldn't do a push-up. I got lucky and met a personal trainer who's brother had had MS. He motivated me and 7 years later I weigh 182 lbs, routinely do 100 plus push ups during a workout and am in the best shape of my life, MS included! I do have to work around my progression (like switching to a hand bike because my legs won't pedal) but I feel exercise is doing more for me than meds!
  • Tiffani   Aug 19, 2014 10:21 PM
    Hi my names Tiffani I'm 28 I was diagnosed with MS two years ago I've been loyal to going to the gym n I juice take plenty of vitamins n try n eat right I love food I can eat more then a grown man can ha but I don't gain weight.. Any way my goal would be to gain weight any good ideas out there for that? N even tho I go to the gym my muscles are tight I stretch doing a little yoga any ideas would be much appreciated thank you look forward to hearing from others
  • bahareh   Aug 20, 2014 10:05 AM
    Well I am not as smart as you. I try to move when I have power so when I have it just I do not want to lose time and it is not fun to be with out energy and just wishing for a bit of strong . but it is hard for me to schedule my day activities
  • Avatar
    amyfred  Aug 20, 2014 10:23 AM
    Diagnosed in Aug 2012 and actively go to the gym to keep up my strength. The way my doc puts it is if person A (the exerciser at a healthy weight) and person B (the non-exerciser who is on the heavy side) have the same MS attack - which one do you think will recover sooner? Exercising helps me to stay confident and mentally strong, not just physically. I've completed the 5 mile MS Muck Fest and 5K Warrior Dash with my husband over the past 2 years. And like you Tiffani I am trying to gain some weight too. Some advice - make sure you refuel with the correct ratio of protein to carbs within a half hour to 45 minutes after your workouts. This should help replenish the calories you burn while exercising too. :)
  • Avatar
    bellabueno77  Sep 12, 2014 10:13 AM
    I would love become a yoga instructor. I cannot do the workouts i used to because i tend to overheat but i want to stay active and quite frankly, employed as well. Spasticity is a becoming an issue for me, getting out, being around people, just a myriad of things that im sure, learning and teaching yoga would benefit me. Was that worded funny. Well you know what i mean right? Teehee. I'm just thinking out loud. I had somewhat of a lightbulb moment because I'm tired of feeling like I'm locked inside a cage. Like a prisoner in this body that i don't know how to live in anymore. They say when God closes a door He opens a window... idk, maybe doing and showing others what I've learned is my window. Hope=Light in the Dark