Brahm and I take walks in the morning when I'm home and off a tour schedule. I was remarking a couple days ago at how easy it felt to hike through the Silver Lake hills. Only a year ago, it was still really difficult. I had to time the walks just right after eating, or make sure the walk wasn't too long or hot, or it would shut me down. TO WALK. I don't think that (even) my immediate circle even really understands how taxing daily tasks were that recently.
Brahm asked for an example of when I last remembered not being tired, before now, and I said I could literally not remember a time in my life that I wasn't tired all the time. I know that kids are tired, stay up too late etc. but I really can't remember a time that I wasn't exhausted during first and second period, needed a nap after lunch (especially after lunch! #lunchables), being exhausted at the end of a school day, struggling through practice or rehearsal, sleeping half the day away on the weekends. I'm learning now that is not normal; common, yes, but not a sign of a healthy body, especially a young, strong one. (Side note: food is supposed to energize the body not put us to sleep!)
Exercising a year ago was virtually impossible and it's been three years since I've prioritized fitness. I've only this past year started doing walks more regularly and making it to yoga. Very recently I've started adding in what I like to call "micro workouts" I can't always rally myself mentally to attend a class but I want to get stronger now that I'm feeling up to it. When I'm home (or at sound check, or getting gas for the vans) I'll do body weight exercises like walking lunges or squats or jumping jacks. It may seem like too little to make a difference but you'd be surprised! Two months ago I could do one military push-up (arms beside your body, not out like a "T"), now I can do 10. I've been focusing on core strength. Two months ago I could hold plank for 60 seconds, now I can to ab roll-outs. At home, with access to weights, I'll do walking lunges with a kettle bell or use our pull-up bar while i'm just watching TV or hanging out. Throughout the day, it adds up.
I've followed the advice of other Autoimmune wellness experts and taken things as I can handle them. I'm slowly getting stronger and am able to do more than I was before. I now feel like I'm operating in a 3 steps forward (rather than 2) - one step back, motion. This past month I was home a lot and definitely pushed my abilities to the limits in terms of socializing, alcohol, sleep and food, but I'm OK. I use tour to really cut back (livin' on a budget) and nourish myself, focus on sleep and what my body really needs. At home I try to do that but the temptation of seeing friends and having access to tastier food than what I travel with is challenging to resist.
I'm grateful to have my fatigue level as poignant point of reference. A lot of the other health progress I've had has been slow and almost imperceptible at times in improvement. My fatigue level has been a strong indication of my wellness level. Even though its terrible to be tired, I'm grateful that I'm sensitive enough to have symptoms indicate to me when something is off.
SIDE NOTE: my skin has (finally) improved dramatically. Here are some pics to compare to when I was doing the AIP diet.