MS does the weirdest things to your mind and body. First and foremost, it had the utter cheek to launch an all-out attack on me (itself?).
Three years ago, my faithful body drew up the battle lines and hunkered down for a long-term offensive, offensive being the operative word. Bits of me started to go wonky, my mind melted into a goo-like mass and my once-trusted-with-my-life body morphed into a despised stranger. I no longer understood what it was doing, or why.
Then there was the terrifying diagnostic process, which in my case was somewhat helped along by a bountiful supply of comfort food. I didn’t care. What was an extra scoop of Mackie’s Indulgent Ice Cream between enemies? Or a special offer bag of M&M’s? Junk was a soothing balm to my battered soul.
And finally, the meds, the steroids. Mind you, one of the courses of steroids meant my Christmas tree was put up in record time a couple of years back. At 3am. And I polished all my lightbulbs and finally got round to painting anti-mould stuff on the bathroom ceiling. They might taste foul, but boy, the energy!
All this has culminated in me just not recognising myself. Who is this large, scowling person staring back at me from shop windows and inappropriately placed mirrors? (a note to all you zeitgeist-y restaurants and wine bars – mirrors may make your place look bigger, but it’s most off-putting when I’m trying to look super-elegant whilst sipping my Martini and carrying on a scintillating conversation, ta).
Anyway, I have reached Crunch(ie) point. I am out of that dark tunnel, blinking into the light of grudging acceptance of this foul illness. And I really don’t like what I see. I used to have cheekbones. I still do, with a bit of Sellotape, but I would like my real ones back please. They’re buried underneath that chubby face, somewhere. I would like to banish the bingo-wings. Tone those thighs. Walk tall again, rather than hunching over and scanning the pavements for tripping hazards.
To that end, yesterday, I met with my brand, shiny, new personal trainer. And I signed up for a year (sits down, takes a moment). He’s the only person alive who knows my true weight. He is inspiring and understanding and won’t put me through gym-bunny crazy intensive workouts. He’s got a lovely holistic approach, perfect for a systemic illness like MS which affects pretty much every single part of your life.
As I write, I have the polish ready to clean up my
doorstop kettlebell. I’ve ordered a dri-fit pair of leggings and t-shirt. I am petrified.