SPECIAL GUEST POST
We’re excited to partner with Pattie Cornute this week! Pattie will share her story of returning from her lowest point to a place of centeredness and grounding. How she regained her emotional and physical strength through exercise. Pattie is the founder of Lipedema Fitness. A website that specializes in using fitness to manage lipedema. I hope you enjoy this special guest blog post and that you gain inspiration and courage through Pattie’s story. I know I did!
MY LOWEST POINT
Ten years ago, I was at the lowest point of my life. Physically I lived in constant pain. Being diagnosed with Lipedema in 2007, I followed all the advice given for self-care. Sadly this also included the warning that exercise could make our symptoms worse.
Listening to that advice and stopping my regular exercise routine (out of fear of worsening my symptoms) not only worsened my condition, but I lost nearly all my mobility. I could barely stand, let alone walk, and I felt like I was watching my life disappear. Living in constant pain and anxiety, unable to participate in my life, my husband’s life, or my daughter’s life.
I became depressed and started working on my emotional fitness to hold on to whatever sanity I had left while living with my diagnosis and progressing with physical challenges. Writing classes, drumming circles, prayer, journaling, practicing meditation, and even becoming a reiki master to try to heal my body. I figured if I struggled physically and couldn’t take action in that way, I would become stronger emotionally.
WHAT’S THE DAY’S WORKOUT?
Over the next couple of years, I built up my emotional health. My life took a significant emotional hit, and I knew I couldn’t survive the physical and emotional challenges at the levels they were. So, in March 2013, I asked my husband (and CrossFit instructor) what the “workout of the day” was. I knew I needed to get stronger physically while the emotional side took a hit. He asked me why I wanted to know, and I said I was tired of listening to nothing physically we could do, and I wanted to get off the ground if I fell.
So many Lipedema friends had been posting about falling and needing to call 911 to get help getting up when they fell. I knew it was my future if I didn’t change something. That was when my hubby became my CrossFit coach. We began strength training to help my body get stronger so I could eventually get down to the ground safely and work on getting back up on my own.
GETTING GROUNDED SAVED MY LIFE
The exciting and life-saving realization was that the strength training made me stronger physically, but it also made me stronger emotionally because I was taking action. I was doing something, and by doing something, I felt less helpless on my path in the fight against Lipedema.
When we look at the traditional meaning of “getting grounded,” we know it is more emotionally based and typically means to get centered within yourself and figure out what is important to you. A grounded person is said to be mentally and emotionally stable.
When you live with a chronic illness, like lipedema or lymphedema, finding ways of staying grounded is crucial to your survival. The emotional side of chronic disease is equally as important but less talked about.
Typical ways of working on our emotional health are things like staying connected with others (joining a support group), breaking big tasks (like all the self-care we need daily) into smaller doable steps so you don’t get overwhelmed, focusing on one task at a time, practicing gratitude, meditation, deep breathing, etc.
I found it fascinating that physically getting on the ground grounded me emotionally.
FITNESS TO MANAGE LIPEDEMA
It was one of the reasons I started Lipedema Fitness – to share that realization. Furthermore, I wanted to spread awareness of Lipedema and the importance of staying active with it. Finally, I wanted to support other patients on a similar journey, as I didn’t want anyone to feel as alone as I had.
2023 will be the tenth anniversary of this blog and the Facebook support group. This community of patients is changing how we are seen and treated, and exercise is no longer advised against it; it is now considered a big part of self-care. That is a huge step forward; we went from being advised against exercise to doctors recommending exercise as part of self-care.
We must try things, see how they work, and how our bodies respond. Keep a journal if it helps, so we can remember what didn’t work and what did. And please continue to share and spread awareness. By doing so, you touch the lives of the patients and change the minds of the medical community. We have come so far in the last ten years; think how far we can go in the next 10!
WANT TO LEARN MORE
I hope you enjoyed Pattie’s story, and if you’d like to learn more about Pattie and how to use fitness to manage lipedema, please check out her website: Lipedema Fitness. You can also find Pattie on Instagram @lipedemafitness and on Facebook at Lipedema Fitness. Furthermore, she is an anchor on the monthly Lipedema Patient Roundtable, which Lympha Press sponsors.
Disclaimer – This blog is for general information purposes only. Furthermore, the information contained in this blog is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a licensed healthcare professional for advice on your specific condition.