SPORTS, FITNESS & DANCE

How Fitness Changed My Life

Other

Anthony Andrews

My story will show you that this disease will not govern your future

I want to help people with Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) be aware that everything is possible. Fitness is very mainstream right now, but that doesn't mean you have to become a gym junkie or meat head in the gym. Going to the gym or, moreover exercising, should be part of everyone's life style. You need to exercise to keep healthy. There are so many benefits to exercising that I've tried to show anyone who suffers with IBD that you can still exercise and live a healthy life style.

I've created a simple IBD fitness plan for people who want to get into fitness after a long lay off through illness. Go on my Instagram and click the link in my bio. Or go on www.aflete.com/anthony-andrews to download the plan. It's a simple 4 week plan that you can do to get you back to fitness. Repeat each week and add more weight/resistance to suit your needs. If you're going to head down the gym, you'll need to eat well. That's why if you download this plan you'll get my IBD fitness meal guide I've created several different delicious recipes that are all focused on giving you the nutrients you need to be healthy and to show you that this disease will not restrict how you eat. Yes you won't be able to have some things, but it doesnt mean food will be boring. Remember things I've suggested in this plan are for you to try and see if it works for your stomach. If it doesn't, just wap ingredients if need be. All the ingredients are aimed to reduce inflammation and help you live well :) and the best bit is.... IT'S COMPLETELY FREE!! SO DOWNLOAD IT 💙💪😍😘

Please download it and let me know what you think. I need to see what works for people so I can make my next regime's and recipe plans even better.

You can cure yourself!

What I want to achieve here is for someone, somewhere to read this and think "YES! I don't have to be stuck in my ways with this terrible disease." I can go and take on the world! Every week I will try and add a new post and to make the world of IBD better known. Not just IBD, but all the other mental and physical health effects that come with it. If you read this and feel inspired, follow me on Instagram, snap chat, twitter, whatever and tell me what you thought of this! It doesn't have to be all positive news, constructive criticism goes a long way! …

Let’s start from the Beginning...

In 2009, I was diagnosed with IBD and when the picture on the left was taken, I had just started university and I had just started getting into a good social group.  I started to have symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis. Now, I won’t beat around the bush, it was aggressive symptoms that were horrible! Constantly having to go to the toilet, I would wake up at 5am to go to the loo and this would continue for the next few hours. I would then get ready for lectures and make it out of the house. I was always in tremendous pain and was so wary about where I would have to go next and if it was near a toilet. As I am sure you can all imagine the symptoms were terrible: Diarrhoea, nausea, blood, cramps, joint pain, you name it and I had it. I suffered for months and months. Initially I thought it had been because I had been drinking too much. Obviously being at university, this is just your existence: poor diet, alcohol, and parties. I decided after nothing had changed to go to the GP.

Now GP's are usually helpful, but mine just didn’t have a clue. He said take Imodium. I had self-medicated to try and stop the symptoms, so this did nothing. Eventually he asked me to come in one day, after months of tests etc. only for him to say; "There is nothing wrong with you. I don’t know what we can do next, perhaps you should see a specialist?" I’m sure lots of you have heard this and I know exactly how that feels. Deflation, confusion, frustration, anger, a sense of being lost, how can nothing be wrong with me? Hello, have you not been listening to me?!

Eventually I was referred and again more tests, colonoscopies etc. and eventually I was told I had Ulcerative Colitis. I was given steroids (prednisolone) and Mezavant. This began my slow journey into recovery.

IBD Awareness

Finally, a year later everything began to go back to normal. I stayed on Mezavant for 8 years and over time its effects wore off. Following a flair-up, I now take azathioprine and personally, this is the best medication I have been on. I haven’t had any flare ups, I have to take one tiny tablet a day and finally I feel like I can achieve what I want in life. That’s me now, on the right of the first photo! I don’t have to worry so much about the food or drink I have or how much exercise I do. Again I know this might only be for a short while and eventually I might have to have a bag or a stoma or an operation, but I haven’t gotten to that stage yet. But with this disease, it is something that no-one else could see. I hated having to go to the toilet and praying nobody could hear me, the embarrassment I would feel going in and out of the loo all the time. It became hard to do anything normal, to play rugby, go to a friend’s house, university, work. But this is the point. Nobody knew because I didn’t want to talk about it and that had to stop. So many people have it worse off than myself and suffer a variety of illnesses that affect them physically and mentally. But this is why we need to start talking about this, start making people aware that we are not ok inside, because the more awareness we raise the better our world will be 💪💙💜

EMPOWER OTHERS!

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