From housebound to a gym junkie: A life update!

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know a bit more about my fitness journey and how I’m currently managing in terms of my chronic illnesses, but I’ve realised that I’ve never truly gone into deep discussion on here about how bad I was and where my health currently stands! 

I’ve mentioned before, and briefly discussed in ‘My Journey’ that I was housebound when I was 17.  At that point, I’d been dealing with the symptoms of M.E and Fibromyalgia for six months, and was only attending college 1/3 of the time. I made the decision to drop one of my A2 subjects and continue studying the other three from home. It was a struggle but my A-Level results were good and I then attended the University of Surrey for four years (including a placement year). I wasn’t well enough to attend the majority of university and there was a definite lack of support from the uni but you can read allll about that here

Over that time, my health fluctuated and my symptoms were hugely aggravated by stress. I had lung infections, heart infections, stomach ulcers, tonsillitis, glandular fever… Basically, I had no immune system!

I stayed in Surrey for eight months after finishing my degree, and it was in that time that I really got a handle on my health. I was more distanced from the university lifestyle and wasn’t pressured to spend my energy on clubbing and drinking rather than self care. I also had weekly counselling sessions which allowed me to deal with my emotions in a constructive way and helped to minimise stress. (Well, attempt to!) 

In February, I moved back to my home town and, wow, I’ve never been better. My mum says to me almost every day that I’m a different girl. I had started going to the gym regularly whilst I was in Surrey but now I go four times a week. Back when I was housebound, I was so weak that I couldn’t lift a glass of water and now I’m lifting weights! I’m also now able to introduce cardio – which is huge for me as I suffered from asthma and a lot of rib pain with my fibro so used to be out of breath walking up a flight of stairs. 

I tend to stay away from free weights as my wrists are still quite weak and sore but I’m a big fan of the cable machines and the TRX suspension straps, which allow you to use your own body weight.

When I was first diagnosed with M.E and Fibromyalgia, I couldn’t relate to any of the stories out there. I’m so appreciative of my health and I love being able to provide hope and inspiration to others who are in the same position as I was six years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I still have M.E and Fibromyalgia: I still wake up in pain every day, I still have to pace myself and plan what I’m doing to avoid flare ups. But I’m living a normal life… Wait, no… I’m living a pretty fab life! 

My messages are always open to others with chronic illness that want to chat / want some advice about starting their fitness journey! 

Also, I’ve been nominated for best fitness and best lifestyle for The Activity People Blogger Awards and would really appreciate your support. You can vote HERE. Thank you! 

Ali Hemsley
Ali Hemsley

Ali is a 24 year old lifestyle blogger. She combines her advocacy and awareness work for chronic illness and mental health with her love for fashion. You can follow Ali on social media @alihemsley

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  1. August 11, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    Such a nice post to hear how far you’ve come! You’ve done amazing and look it!xxx

  2. August 20, 2017 / 5:54 pm

    Well done you! I love reading peoples journeys and you should be so proud of this one! You look fab, keep going strong girl xx

  3. August 23, 2017 / 7:30 am

    This is amazing and you should be so proud to have come so far! also I love your pink sports bra!

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