So, over the long course of my illness, I’ve had periods where I haven’t been able to exercise regularly. This is not unexpected with chronic illness. You’re too tired, too sick, or just don’t feel able. I think I’ve had enough of that. I’m ready to rejoin the world of exercise.
Let me take a step back and explain what passes for exercise for me, so you have some context.
When I was in my mid teens, I started practicing yoga. While not a strenuous exercise, it fulfills one of the key parts of a well rounded exercise approach – stretching. While in college, I started weight lifting and using a stationary cycle and rowing machine (I hated the rowing machine – we’ll leave that in the past!). For the most part, I’ve been doing some combination of weight lifting, cycling and yoga for most of my adult life.
When I first started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) in May 2016, the calories were limited. I lost a lot of weight and didn’t have much energy left over to burn in exercise. However, I ramped my calories back up and resumed full exercise as soon as I was able. This lasted until about January 2017, when I discovered I really was having reactions to anything containing fructose. Removing all the fruit from my diet caused a huge calorie deficit again. Back off on the exercise again.
Now, the proponents of SCD are very conservative when it comes to exercise as they believe you should direct all of your limited energy toward healing your guts. I think there’s more of a balance to be obtained and some SCD advocates recommend very limited compound weight lifting in order to avoid muscle loss.
Since January 2017, I have given up cycling almost entirely, and limited my weight lifting to a few compound exercises. I’ve also been watching my heart rate variability plummet (I check it every morning) and the monitor tell me that maybe I should not work out today because my body is not doing well.
Personally, I’m going to start ignoring the heart rate variability app and exercise whenever I feel like it. I think my heart rate variability has dropped so low partly because I’ve fallen out of regular training. My weight has been stable for months. My diet has been stable for months and I may be able to add a few extra calories in if I need them.
I really am feeling better and want to get back to some more serious exercise. I’m tired of not doing very much. I’m going to ramp it up gradually and see how things go. Rest assured, I’ll let you know if it doesn’t turn out well.