Sunday, September 22, 2019

How Do I Begin Moving with Late Stage Lipedema?

Living with Lipedema means we all have, and deal, with pain in various ways. It can be so painful, that to even move a little bit can be a huge challenge.

We know being active is key to staying mobile or getting mobile, so WHERE DO WE BEGIN when things like walking or rebounding are too painful?

We start with where we are currently at physically. 

We don’t focus on what we cannot do, WE FOCUS ON WHAT WE CAN DO RIGHT NOW.

Think about what your body can do physically that doesn’t cause added pain. It doesn’t matter what those movements are, maybe it is ankle pumps, or raising your arms, or making a fist. 

Really think about what your body can do and make a list of those things. Post your list where you can see it, and try to do those movements every day.  Maybe keep track of how often you do them and what you notice changing in your body when you do them, after you do them, at the end of a week, a month, etc.



You might feel like you are so far from where you want to be, but we cannot make positive changes thinking like, so WE START BY THINKING POSITIVE.  I can do X, Y, and Z right now, so I’m going to do them more.

Take a moment right now, and make a fist if you can. Think about the movement, what it feels like to tighten your hand. Notice what it feels like to engage those muscles in your hand, then focus your attention to the muscles in your wrist, your lower arm, your upper arm, then into your chest, and into your abdomen; engaging all those muscles. 

When you release your fist, feel the muscles release and relax; feel your lymph fluid moving, flowing, maybe tingling. That one small hand movement engaged so many muscles. 

Think about that, it is amazing what your body just did, and that was doing it one time, making one fist. Imagine doing it with both hands, and multiple times throughout the day.

Be mindful of each movement, be engaged, see what you notice. Keep track of sensations and changes.

Maybe you can’t make a fist without pain, so what can you do?

Can you rotate your wrist with fingers open? Focus on that sensation, how the muscles work together. Can you raise your arm up a few inches and still do it? How about a few inches more? Do you feel the muscles working in your hand, your wrist, lower arm, upper arm, shoulder, back?  How does the sensation change as you raise the arm up? Does it feel the same as when you do the motion while lowering the arm?

Little movements are like dropping a pebble in a lake, the effects ripple through your body. Then as you add more reps, or more movements, you will see more strength developing, and more flexibility and range of motion.

Even if we are working on arms because our legs are too heavy, too painful, we change our lower body, too. Because that new strength in our upper body assists us in moving our lower body. As you build upper body strength you can use that to help turn your body while laying in bed, or to help you get up out of bed more securely.

Then if you are able to get up more securely, we can begin doing that movement more frequently, which then can help us get stronger in our legs, and then we can start walking more securely, and before you know it that fist you made has you more mobile.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

What Does Progress Look Like with Lipedema?

What does progress look like? Sometimes that is hard to see, and sometimes it is hard to remember where we started from.

For me, I started my current job in July 2012, and I feared being able to keep it, due to the physicality of it.

It is primarily a desk job, but I park up to five blocks away, and have a lot of stairs (inside and outside) before I can reach my desk.


At the time I started, and even though I was doing aqua aerobics twice a week, I was in a lot of pain to walk any distance, just standing was incredibly painful.

When going down stairs I would turn around and take the stairs backwards (facing the steps), because the backs of my lower legs would hit each step if I tried going down the normal way. Let me tell you, it really hurts when you catch your leg on the step, but it also scared me that it might cause me to fall down the flight of stairs because I would try to step differently to avoid hitting my leg.

When I began training in March of 2013 it really helped me get my core stronger, and increased my strength overall, and improved my mobility. AND helped me with my physical responsibilities at work.

So while I look almost exactly the same as I did when I started this job seven years ago, I know how different I truly am. I try to remember the beginning, where I started, and be mindful and generous with myself on those days when the walk back to the car seems extra challenging.

These are my after pictures, and I feel truly blessed.