Watch “Singer Alice-Ella Opens Up About Illness | First Dates” on YouTube

The struggle IS REAL, every second of every day. CFS/ME does not give you the option to press on and push through.

When you see me teaching, and jumping around, full of energy in class it’s because teaching group fitness is 100% what I love to do. I want to be teaching, to be encouraging and giving everything I have to make your class experience the best ever.

Yet, behind the scenes, every single day, I AM THIS GIRL in the video. this is my life. It breaks my heart to hear her words as they are my words too. 

It doesn’t take much, some days a even just phone call before I leave for class, or an unexpected visitor in the afternoon can be enough to leave me struggling to get the right words out. It’s like my brain cannot function. If your a class regular then you’ve all seen me on those days when I’m not quite on form… I’ve learnt to hide it well so I forgive you if you missed the signs. Some days it really can be a huge effort sometimes for me to show up, but I want to be there. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

Before I leave for a class I have to rest, then when I get home from class again I have to rest. Now when I say rest I don’t mean a quick five minutes on the sofa with a cuppa, I wish! No, I need to have an empty house, no noise and a good half hour or hour of nothing-ness. This is how I roll folks 

Most days, even after a great sleep, I struggle to waken, or I see double for hours after I wake. It’s like having a hangover and flu, every morning, especially after a hard, or double class the day before.

Some days would be lovely to join you and skip class, but I turn up, and will modify my teaching if need be, because and I can’t express this enough, I really do love teaching group fitness. I love my job.

I wish CFS would go away and never return. I wonder “why me?”. I have so much I want to do. I have plans. 

I get so frustrated with myself. I want to get certain tasks done, but then I start and can only do so much before my body tells me to stop, go rest, or my mind just wants to be quiet and switch off. If I ignore and press on I can end up crashing for hours, days sometimes. 

Perhaps one morning I’ll waken and it will just be gone. I think I’m allowed this wish.

I love the honesty of this girl in the video, I find it very difficult to be honest about my health and how I feel as most comments are, “yeh, we all get tired sometimes”, or ” it’s an age thing”. As someone living with a chronic fatigue condition for the past four and a half years these types of comments can hurt me right to my core. These people have no idea how much it hurts when they speak these words. I try be kind, smile and ignore it, but God damn it frustrates me. 

At the end of the day I cannot change what others think. I can only change how I react till it no longer hurts… I’m still working on this! 

Stay positive. Stay balanced. And get to class, if I can – you can too 

Thought for today…

I just love teaching my classes.

The energy everyone brings to the room just lifts me up everytime 🖤

Recovery​ is all about learning to listen to your body and finding balance

After a tough couple of days last weekend, I have rested and reset, and I’m feeling better today than I have in weeks.

My class was cancelled this evening due to low numbers, so after a very quiet weekend recovering from my own deep tissue massage in firday, I decided to do some practice for myself. I did some flexibility warm up movements, a bit core work, and some lovely stretching at the end.

I must admit, my body was just melting into the forward bends today. The pulseroller has definitely done its job!

🖤 Stop for a moment and rest if you must, but don’t ever give up 🖤

You can’t control what goes on the outside, but you can control how you react

 Sometimes things catch up on me when I least expect it – But with a little reset I will rise again.

Somedays still leave me absolutely drained. I can feel so completely washed out that the stairs in my house feel like they’ve become vertical. To hold my head on my shoulders is too much effort and I need to rest.

If I ignore the  I signs I often can’t hold a simple conversation without it seeming like I’m on meds, slurry or forgetting a word. 

Even a fright or shock reaction can bring this on. A constant background noise, or constant creeking door taking my attention away from what I’m focusing on.

It’s usually not the events from today which bring this on, more often than not it’s what has happened a day or two previously, so sometimes I can’t put my finger on the event which caused it. 

I’ve learnt the hard way that when I feel this coming on to listen to it, to remove myself from the situation and “unplug” for a while. 

Pushing through is not an option.

Energy zappers or people who expect me to hang on to​ every word I find very challenging, it really tires my brain. So I step back and let them do thier thing. To be honest, and somewhat amusingly, I’ve noticed that these types of people don’t actually notice when I’ve switched off from the conversation.

Also, changes in weather conditions​. The changing spring weather we are experiencing just now I find very challenging. Warm and dry, then windy, cold and damp. It’s difficult for my body to balance itself when the weather is like this. It can show as joint aches, heavy and tight muscles, headaches or just a general malaise that sleep won’t cure. 

Little reminders that although most the time I can keep up the pace of life happening around me, CFS is still lurking in the background waiting to zap my reserves.

Today’s bleugh has come about through my own actions. I’d been struggling through the muscle tensions and joint aches for a couple of months now and decided to give myself a treatment with my new pulseroller. Now don’t get me wrong, this tool is a massive aid, i can give myself a deep massage and get right to the deep held tensions, however the downside is that the huge release from the tensions I had been holding in my body means I can have a bad reaction​.

So today I have no tightness in my muscles, I feel my muscles have let go tonnes, the back of my body in particular, however the malaise effect kicked in. Id forgot​ten and wasn’t expect it. 

I had to remind myself, this is not a time for me to push through, or press on. Doing so can be detrimental for someone with Chronic Fatigue. We need space, time to reset, to completely switch off my thoughts. To rest and recharge. When I say recharge, I don’t mean a cat nap on the sofa or five minutes with a cuppa. I don’t even need to close my eyes. I just need to be left alone. No talking​, no expectations from the family on my time, no thinking. 

I’ve only recently​ started to not feel guilty about taking time out. I used to feel it was selfish and that I was letting others down. When in reality​, I am only letting myself down by not accepting it for what it is.

So take time for yourself. Teach your close friends and family to recognise the symptoms when it coming on. And if they are oblivious to your condition, wall away. Go to your retreat place. Recharge​ your batteries.

Don’t feel guilty of you didn’t get dinner out in time, or if you needed help with the dishes. Ask to be left alone for an hour if this is what you need, your health and healing take first place. 

This is where The Spoon Theory makes sense to those which chronic conditions. It’s all too easy to give away our spoons, but replacing even one spoon is not so simple. Spoon conservation, you need to make a choice. Do you loose all your spoons, or do you learn walk away, to say no, not today thank you. Often our decision can surprise another, but we have to look after number one!

You only have so many spoons each day you waken. Today is one of those days.

Don’t use up all your spoons too soon, always make sure and have two or three in the back of the dresser, you may just need one to get you back home.

Sometimes things catch up on me when I least expect it – But with a little reset I will rise again 

This too shall pass… 

Counting my blessings

Paying it forward

I felt so very blessed after class this morning
A participant from Hydrotherapy came to me at the end of class today and told me that she hadn’t released until recently that she can now walk properly. That her pis are working better when walking, and her toes are now working much better too. This female has kept the dream, and made little weekly goals to come to class to help improve her health while dealing with a chronic condition.

We often don’t realize just how far we’ve actually come on our own healing journey until another shows us where we used to be. How very lucky am I to have my health that I can give my time to help others to improve and maintain theirs.

What did I do first begin my healing journey from CFS

The single most asked question which anyone with a chronic condition has is… What do I need to do to heal my-self? Well, my go-to self-help technique is a great big “Secret” But a mindset that we all can benefit from.

I often notice that when I am feeling happy and content my symptoms of tiredness or pain are very much eased. I’m very aware that happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being, and that we should not allow outside forces to dampen our spirit and get us down. However, there are some of us who really seem to feel the effects of a persons positive and negative energy more than others. Call it what you like, at the end of the day dumping negative emotions upon another is extremely draining.

Boundaries – If you want to begin a recovery process, you need to start taking responsibility and care of your own emotional well-being first. establishing healthy emotional boundaries may be tricky, and often, more so where family are concerned as demands can be difficult to dismiss, but it is possible with a few tricks up your sleeve.

Protect yourself from other peoples stuff and reacting to others energies  – Do you find your body tenses up, or your breathing becomes shallow. do you feel trapped. Find yourself a safe space to retreat, somewhere that you can take a break from the negative energy. Practicing mindfulness and meditation, or visualize a protective shield around yourself are methods that can help restore your balance. If you’ve not used mindfulness or meditation techniques before there are tonnes of sites online or YouTube which you can try, or try find a local group. Remember that what one person enjoys may not appeal to you, try a few until you find the one which speaks to you best. When your feeling overwhelmed remember to breathe. don’t try force the breath or change it, just focus on your breathing with your ind and allow it to “settle”. You may begin to notice your breath is high in your chest – aim to move your breath lower in your body, to under your belly is a good analogy, allowing for a gently rise and fall as you breath, rising on the inhalation and falling back on the exhalation.  Focusing on your breath helps centers you and you can practice this anywhere at anytime. Sit quietly, use this time to focus your attention on where you want to be. Imagine yourself healed, see yourself doing the things you love to do. Really feel yourself doing these wonderful things. Dream yourself there. What you dream now can once again become your reality. Do this simple exercise over and over – again and again. “Set a goal so BIG that if you ever achieved it it would BLOW your mind” 

I have wonderfully long list of simple ideas you can begin implementing to help raise your energy for better healing. Along with these i’ll share my hints and tips you can use yourself and begin strengthening your body and mind from the inside out. After-all, Health and Happiness is an inside job! I’ll follow up with these in future blogs, all of which have worked extremely well for me.

So have you guessed it yet – What is this “Secret” she mentioned earlier?                    The very first thing I did to begin my own healing journey was to watch “The Secret“. I’ve been a fan of this movie since 1996 and I knew that if anything was going to help me to focus on my dream and get my life back it was this!  You can find “The Secret”, on YouTube or grab yourself the DVD Amazon. Or have you a friend who keeps telling you to watch The Secret? Ask them for a borrow – You won’t regret it. I keep two copies of The Secret at home, if one copy is out on lend, or I didn’t get one back, I still want to be able to go to it when I feel the need for a mood-boost. Watch the movie a couple of times at first, every time I watch The Secret i’m amazed to see something I missed before.

Here’s a link I found for The Secret on YouTube;                                                                  314b500373f46d0013bb9862b6fc5a29

Warriors Healing Together 

My Story

I became ill with CFS New Years Eve 2012.  CFS (Chronic fatigue Syndrome) often also referred to as ME, Yuppie Flu or Post Viral Fatigue. CFS today, for some is still thought of as an “In your head” condition by many, and was even dismissed six months down the line as “Are you sure you don’t just have the flu?” by one doctor I spoke with. Well… I can assure you, if you are struggling with this horrendous condition, CFS is not in your head. The many differentiation symptoms of this condition can baffle the best of us, but to be dismissed by the very people we crawl to for help has to be the biggest blow. These cruel words were the slap in the face I needed to do my own recovery research. My CFS recovery has been a hard learning curve for me. I used to enjoy pushing by body to it’s edge where exercise and training were concerned. Ha – I certainly managed that! I also felt that I needed to look the part and so I justified my calorie deficit with exercise, constantly trying to balance one out with the other. Long runs followed later by kettlebells, resistance training followed by Spinning. My own fitness training goals and teaching classes with little or no rest between each other, coupled with what I felt was just enough calories to fuel my energy requirements was eventually taking it’s toll on my body. Yep, OK, so I looked great on the outside, but on the inside I couldn’t see the long term damage. My long runs were getting harder, my recovery was taking longer. My hair was thinning and my nails brittle. The signs were there yet my goal to be fit, strong and lean were blinding me from the obvious, my health was suffering. This coupled with one or two stresses on my mind that troubled me deeply were overloading my adrenal system, my cortisol levels must have been all over the place. Then follow these with the flu I couldn’t get over, The flu was eventually the straw which broke the camels back and BOOM. My whole system had broken. It felt like my body was a car where the signals weren’t firing correctly and it couldn’t find how to restart itself again. Pain like you couldn’t imagine, weakness where even my eyelids were too much to hold open. I had no idea what was going on. I absolutely was terrified, but I didn’t have the energy to cry.

My recovery journey from CFS took hours of research. Trial and error. Success and setbacks. Tears of frustration and tears of joy. And in the end, sheer bloody-minded determination to make the positive changes I needed to heal myself. Healing my-self inside and out from the crippling effects of Chronic Fatigue eventually paid off. I am back. I’m back where I love being – Living a positive life with family and friends. And back to my love of teaching fitness, helping others achieve success.

I want to share my positive recovery story with you. If you are struggling I want you to know, you are not alone. I am a CFS Warrior – I have walked the path and I have recovered. I have experienced the highs and lows. I have learned a lot from my own recovery, and I am ready to share it with you so you can heal too