Monday, December 14, 2015


There are several different WOD (workout of the day) recovery experiences I have noticed as someone with Lipedema who does CrossFit.

  1. WOD requires a nap because I am totally drained
  2. WOD leaves my arms and legs feeling like rubber bands, but no nap required
  3. WOD leaves me feeling amazing and strong, then the next day I feel sore
  4. WOD leaves me feeling amazing and strong, and then 2 days later I feel sore
What the What? Yep, that last one is always such a shocker, but just a quick google search, and would you look at that, it even has a name...DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) or I guess it can even be called "muscle fever" according to good old wikipedia. Ultimately it is the pain and stiffness felt 24-72 hours post WOD.

The good news, the reason muscle soreness is a good thing, is that it lets you know you have muscles, and that what you did the day or two prior was working those muscles. It lets you know you have some control over your body. You may be sore today, but you will be stronger tomorrow!

I will never admit this to my coach, but I actually like the muscle soreness. Shh, you did NOT hear that from me. The reason I like it, is because with Lipedema it is so hard to see the results of the work. Our muscles are hidden under Lipedema fat. Abnormal fat (sometimes very painful fat) that does not respond to diet and exercise. But the soreness I feel, makes me notice all my muscles, even those hidden from the world, and even more detrimental, hidden from myself.

Our emotional health is just as important as our physical health, and feeling in control of our bodies is HUGE. This condition sure tries to take a lot of control away, so anything that can make us feel in control of some aspect of our lives is very important. Fighting to stay fit is an ongoing battle, and for me the fight helps to make me feel strong, the muscles go a long way, too. But the fight keeps me sane, I am taking action against the thing trying to slow me down.

The scary part with Lipedema, is making sure you can tell the difference between muscle soreness from a good workout, and lipedema pain.

Only you can know the pain you are feeling, and only you are the best judge of what you should or should not be doing. CrossFit trainers are amazing people, have incredible training and abilities to make MODs (modifications) to workouts for all different reasons, but Lipedema is a pretty unheard of condition in the medical field and one can imagine even more so in the workout field. So please make sure you tell any coach/trainer, etc. about your condition, the symptoms, and the fears you have.

Unfortunately I have learned over the years that we have to try something, and then notice the results. We have to become our own best resource on ourselves, because even our Lipedema friends/families may respond differently than we do to whatever efforts we are trying to battle Lipedema. From the effectiveness of supplements, to WODs, to compression, etc.

Keep fighting, you are worth it! We are making changes, even we cannot see!

To quote one of my favorite movies, Galaxy Quest...