How Bodybuilding Helped My Crohn’s Disease
Having Crohn’s disease may make you feel down, discouraged and leave you in pain when this disease rears its ugly head. And, your friends may not understand what you are going through when you would rather stay at home and miss out on a good time because you don’t feel up to par.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was 15. Due to the awful disease I was always under weight , so I have always wanted to be bigger. At first I was clueless; I had no kind of structure to my diet. Guess what, I didn’t see results.
When I was 17 I decided to get a bit more serious, I began reading magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, reading articles and soaking as much information as I could. I then knew what I had to do to see results. But even though I knew, I was lazy , used my condition as an excuse and never stuck to a strict diet.
On April 24th , 2009 I became serious ill due to my Crohn’s Disease. I was rushed to the emergency room. My condition had become so severe that medication wasn’t working anymore. My specialist gave me two options ,first one we can heavily treated you with more aggressive drugs ,which I knew in my mind drugs don’t work on me anymore and I was tired of being sick all the time. The second option was surgery , liposcopic surgery to cut out the disease portion of my small intestine.
The doctors told me that I would be rid of the disease for a few years and maybe forever. I would feel amazing and healthy again. I agreed to the surgery and from that point on everything changed, I was fighting for my life. Complications arised during the surgery that they had to cut me from my belly button down to eight inches. I had a major infections that they had to remove one foot of my colon and one foot of my small intestine.
I spent 4 weeks in the hospital with various infections and setbacks. I had to learn how to walk again and slowly eat again. I lost 30lbs during my hospital stay. I had a lot of time to reflect how important my family was to me and gave me a wake up call that life can be taken away from you anytime. I made a decision that I will not let this disease beat me down or ever take away my quality of life that I wanted to live.
In August 2009 , At the age of 37 I enter my first body building competition. An opportunity for me to push my body to its limit and see what I could accomplish even though I had Crohns disease, the winner was to be featured in various men’s health/fitness magazines! It was the perfect opportunity, a goal I can aim for. I placed 6th in the Mens Novice Bodybuilding class. I realized at that point there is nothing that this disease can prevent me from achieving.
Doing this will help prevent some of the nutrition deficiencies that many Crohn’s patients are at risk for developing.
Bodybuilding helps boost your spirits:When you are suffering from a disease that many of your friends may not understand, it can certainly take a toll on your overall well-being.
Fortunately, bodybuilding helps you feel good about yourself and it can help you develop the attitude that you can overcome many challenges that life throws your way.
Bodybuilders are attuned and pay close attention to how you feel is vital for someone with Crohn’s disease.
You’ll pick up when you don’t feel up to par and this may help you catch possible complications before they get worse. And, you’ll become attuned to what foods make your symptoms worse.
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease, which can occur anywhere along your intestinal tract, usually develops between the ages of 20 and 40. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal bloating and pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, and sometimes nausea and vomiting accompanied by fever. There’s no cure for Crohn’s disease, although several medications potentially can control it.
Stress can trigger Crohn’s symptoms, and exercise such as bodybuilding can help you to reduce your stress. Bodybuilding may also help you avert another health condition, osteoporosis, that’s common in Crohn’s sufferers.
Dealing with an intestinal disorder can be difficult but bodybuilding can help you cope by giving you the tools you need to stay positive, manage stress and help you eat a healthy diet. Bodybuilding can help you to build muscle, which can be critical for Crohn’s patients, many of whom lose weight due to their conditions.
Do not make up excuses for yourself. Excuses as to why you can’t train or why you may miss a meal. Nobody else cares; you’re doing it for you. You are just lying to yourself! If you find yourself in a situation, such as you’re tempted to order a pizza from the takeaway, or just unmotivated just think, is that pizza or laying on the coach worth my goal? If you give in to those temptations maybe you don’t want that dream body as much as you thought you did.
Keep structure to your training. Keep a log book. Progress! When I go to the gym I can look at my log book, know exactly what exercise I’m doing, what weight I lifted last week and what I’m aiming for this week! It’s great for motivation too, every time I go to the gym I’m aiming to beat myself last week!
As for my medical conditions such as Crohn’s, I was fed up of been told what I can do and what I can’t. What’s possible, and what’s not. Crohn’s is an incurable disease, but with my new active life style with correct nutrition I am symptom free, and I feel great! Don’t let it control you, not the other way around. This is your life, so you live your life, how you want to! You are doing this for you. Nobody else!
“WHAT TYPE OF BODY DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN?” You can decide to control your disease instead of letting it control you. It’s difficult at first but, as with everything, practice makes perfect. Take it from me, you will notice improvements both in the severity of symptoms and your enjoyment of life.
Jack Lima@breakcrohns Twitter
When living with Crohn’s Disease, It just takes GUTS. Join the Community, We can have guts together. Patient Advocate, Activist.