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?