MS is 100% BS.
But, you can’t dwell on it. You have to move on.
Once I jumped on the Wahls Protocol shortly after my diagnosis I was eating in an entirely new way for my body. I was also in a state of panic, anxiety, and fear. So, within a few months of my diagnosis I was suddenly very thin. I remember seeing a photo of myself and thinking, ‘Geesh, am I doing ok, here?’
I was doing a lot of soul searching, because I had care providers who abandoned me and because I think that’s what a lot of people do when they come to a big crossroad. What route was I going to take through this? What do I know about myself that will help me navigate this new life? And I came to a conclusion that I was strong and resilient. That my body needed to follow my heart and do the same. If I stayed strong, flexible, active, and moving then maybe it would be that much harder for MS to take me down. If my body muscles were building from exercise, then the exercise had to be building something in my brain as well.
‘The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.’ Socrates
So I started. I gained weight by building muscle. The exercise also calmed my mind, which calmed my stress hormones, and that probably helped me gain a little back, too. And come to find out that in listening to myself and following the path that my soul and my searching led me to, I now have research to back me up with the science of it all.
Aarhus University in Denmark came out with a study in August 2017 that states: “Resistance training may slow down the progression of multiple sclerosis. New research shows that resistance training protects the brain in persons with multiple sclerosis, which may delay the development of the disease.”
Dr. Herb Karpatkin is a board certified neurologic clinical specialist through the American Physical Therapy Association, and a certified Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Specialist through the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers. He conducted a small study with weight training and found, “At the end of eight weeks, all subjects showed significant improvements in gait endurance, balance and, lower extremity strength. None of the subjects complained of increases in fatigue as a result of the strength training, and no injuries were reported.”
And lastly, Dr. David Perlmutter a specialist featured on the Broken Brain docuseries by Dr. Mark Hyman stated quite simply that, “Exercise is fundamentally important for growing new brain cells…” Enough said. I’m hooked.
So whether or not you have MS, keeping your body fit and strong is essential to a happy and healthy life. Each person will have their own place to start and I highly suggest, besides consulting your doctor, that you should look into getting a professional to help you get started. When I began my journey I was lucky enough to find a place called BeWELLness in Clear Lake, Iowa that supported me 100%, with food and exercise. Having a community and support kept me feeling strong and connected to my path and purpose. (Shout out to Shea and Ashley Coleman!) Since moving to Minnesota, I worked out on my own for awhile, but recently touched base with an old friend and trainer at Vault Fitness who gave me some new goals and ideas for workouts (Thank you, Chad Henry!) and I continue to feel empowered and strong.
You don’t have to do it all alone. And you don’t have to start out with a workout that is over your head. You just have to start.
She who is brave is free.