A man rolling a large boulder with a happy face on it up a steep hill.

Creating a Positive Polly

One of the most difficult things for me to commit to is exercise. Actually, diet too.

Exercise and diet

Why exercise, you may wonder. Exercise can help to slow the progression of this disease. Some of the greatest exercise testimonials come from those who are waiting to be put on the lung transplant list. These people work hard to get to this place. Exercise is vital to their health and well being.

The anticipation of the upcoming tests looms for these people as they go in for transplant pre-testing. They look back on their diet. Was the required number of pounds lost in their diets? Did they get enough exercise in on their treadmills, exercise bikes, weights, etc.? These might be done in their homes or in pulmonary rehabilitation.

The past few times that a friend of mine went in for her testing, the results came back that her lungs were too healthy to be considered for a transplant. Too healthy? Yes, her lung volume had increased again. She knows and feels the struggle and is waiting for her upcoming tests. Will this be the time she is called?

Excuses I've made

Even knowing about the wonders of exercise, why is it so difficult for me to do it and commit to it? Let’s see how many excuses I have come up with and which might be reasonable:

  • I’ve never been good at it.
  • When I exercise my back, my hip hurts. Exercising my upper torso can cause my back to hurt. Seriously, I do have osteoarthritis, bursitis, and fibromyalgia. Pain is usually felt from head to toe.
  • I am scheduled to have more surgery. These are on my knee, neck, and feet. I'm not scheduling the surgeries for now anyway, thinking that with diet and exercise I can maybe improve these body parts. There have been so many surgeries already.
  • When doing physical therapy, the scents others had was overpowering. These scents triggered reactions and caused me to go SOB (short of breath).
  • Since my treadmill and redundant exercise bike are in the lower level of my house, I will wait until my husband is home in case I get dizzy and fall.
  • There is no room for equipment upstairs.
  • It makes me tired to think about it.

Okay, I think I talk myself out of it a lot.

Positive Polly

I think it’s time to create a Positive Polly. How do I redirect my mind to want to exercise, to work toward slowing the progression of my disease?

  • Accept the fact that I have a disease and that I am the main player in my life.
  • My husband would help out.
  • In 2003 I quit smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of COPD. If I could quit smoking and give that up, I should be able to give up some of my sweet treats and comfort foods.
  • There should be no problems with dedicating 45 minutes or an hour a day for “me” time. This happens by exercising on a treadmill and a recumbent exercise bike.
  • Upper body strengthening is important. I use light weights and bands for the whole body.
  • My doctors approve and agree that this would be very good for me. Physical therapy recommended some of the exercises.
  • Self-motivation is very possible and I know that there will be outside motivation as well.

If you see it, you can achieve it, you can be it.

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