I want to share something with you … for those that know me you will already know this .. for those that don’t .. maybe I can just give someone a wee bit of hope ..

I have suffered with chronic back pain for years.   I have had numerous trips to physios, clinics and all sorts of things (including a built up insole for my shoes)… I am on a prescription of Co-codamol x 6 per day, Ibroprofen x 3 a day and because of the Ibroprofen I have to take Omeprazole to protect my stomach lining …  basically I rattle ..

3 months ago, quite by accident, after an xray on my hips for “arthritis” .. (which I do have but only moderate) . it was discovered that after 7 years of pain that I have an extra lumbar vertebrae.   That in itself is not a huge problem, about 10% of the population have it .. but with my arthritis it compounded my problems.

I had to lose weight.  Simple as … My target is 4 stone .. and so, just before Christmas I joined Slimming World.    So far I have lost 1 stone 6lbs .. but .. more importantly, after some very simple advice from a friend, who told me that if I walked faster it would take strain off my muscles (it is the muscles because of my gait that give me the most problems).   I tried it .. 1st day I surprised myself, 2nd day even more so … I am now walking about 10 times as far before my back hurts me and I have to rest it.    The weight loss obviously helps this too .. but just simply by walking faster I have managed to give myself a little bit of hope.

I need to build up the muscles in my back again, so I have called in my cousin (a Physical Training Instructor), and, because she is related to me .. and knows me well .. ignores my swearing and pleading and makes me carry on ..  I am using Kettlebells, TRX and she has even had me run (slowly and not very far!) but I ran!! .. I shocked myself.

I am 54 years old … and suddenly I have been handed a fabulous gift of being able to change things .. I had just accepted that arthritis was the cause of my chronic back pain, I didn’t question it .. but now … I KNOW I can do something .. and I will .. I do not intend to run a marathon … I just want to be able to think “I fancy a nice long walk” .. grab my “dug” and head off .. so far 2 miles is my furthest … not far in “normal” terms .. but when I think I couldn’t walk 200 metres before my back made me stop for a wee rest .. or I limped like an auld “limpy thing” … I am very impressed with my progress ..

I am not fooling myself, I will never have a “perfect” back .. and I think my gymnastic days are long gone *smile* … but I have a wee bit of hope of being able to do the simple things that sometimes were too painful for me … it is like finding freedom .. I have a new lease of life.    It is never too late to change things, we just need to want to.

Picture below is me then and now … I am really beginning to see the difference in myself…. and in the end .. that is the most important thing.