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Exercising & staying positive whilst battling a chronic condition.

As a personal trainer, I get hit with a lot of unrealistic expectations, day in – day out.

“Do you go for runs every morning before work?”

…at 4am? I don’t think so.

“I bet you exercise every day and hate junk food!”

I wish I hated junk food. I dont like what it does to my body, or my mental wellbeing but, do I like a good donut or bag of sour patch kids every now and again? ABSOLUTELY.

Now, the answer to the statement of “I’ll bet you exercise every day” is a more complex one.

I adore exercising. It makes my body feel good, and my state of mind too. It relaxes me and takes away negative thoughts and thought processes.

But, sometimes I’m just not in the physical state to exercise. Sometimes I’m hardly in the physical state to get out of bed.

I suffer with a chronic condition that millions of women suffer with worldwide- its just not a widely known or talked about one.

At the age of 19 I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. I went to the Doctors because I’ve always had really painful period pains and over the years they seem to have gotten slowly worse- to the point I was having to take time off from work every month as the pain was so bad it would often make me vomit, and occasionally pass out.

Being a condition that isn’t spoken of too often, its a condition therefore that isn’t traditionally recognised as being severe nor worthy of such things as time off work.

During what I refer to as an endo flare up- my stomach swells to the size of a balloon and I’m usually in so much pain that I don’t leave my bed.

A handful of endo sufferers also get lumped with chronic fatigue too, and unfortunately I am one of those unfortunate souls.

So, during these times, no, I don’t exercise.

Most people will tell you that exercising helps period pains, which is true- it does. Unless you have endo. Then it just makes them worse.

Staying positive & on track during the flare ups/around the time of my period is something I definitely struggle with. My body doesn’t want to eat as its in so much pain, and its so fatigued that the thought of even going for a walk makes me want to nap all afternoon.

I used to beat myself up around this time because I always felt like I was letting myself down & setting myself back, but its important to think POSITIVELY and not think like that.

YOU ARE ALLOWED TO TAKE TIME OUT. No matter how regularly you need that time out- take it.

If your body needs rest, rest. If your body needs sleep, sleep.

Trust me- I spent way too long trying to be perfect and I always burnt out. It’s exhausting!

As long as you try and remain positive, and keep a healthy mind- your body will follow.

If you are a fellow endo sufferer or have a chronic condition which also prevents you from staying on track as much as you’d like- I highly recommend smoothies, they’re easy to make up and easy to just sip over an hour or so which then stops that horrible bloated feeling.

I also try and bulk make up some healthy meals before I get my period and freeze them so I can just grab them and go instead of having to cook.

And yoga and meditation are 2 things I often try and practice during a flare up as they’re easy on the body and they’re designed to relax the muscles and mind.

Remember- we all battle our own demons. And we are all on our own journeys. Sometimes- when I’m having a flare up, I get such bad bloating that I put my gym leggings on to go to work and I start crying because they hardly fit me. What a great image hey! 🤣

Take care everyone,

Until next time 😙

Nicole Bartlett


4 U Body Fitness Mobile Personal Training Specialist

If you want to get the latest in Nicole’s Blog posts you can also check them out here ==>

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