I’ll preface this by saying… this is not a weight loss journey. This is a weight gaining, strength training, muscle-building, ass-kicking journey. I do not just want to be able to open the pickle jar, I want to be able to lift up a crate of pickles without breaking a sweat!
My name is Megan Shellman. I’m a data analyst with a B.S. in Computer Science. Most days of my life are spent in an office, with occasional coffee breaks. At the beginning of this journey, I weighed 115lbs. I’m hoping to gain about 15-20lbs of muscle in the next 5 years.
I suffer from 7 autoimmune diseases, 5 of which are chronic pain disorders. Of those 7, the 5 that cause chronic pain are: Idiopathic Arthritis (in every joint on my body, but the most severe are my knees and elbows), Iritis, Chronic Migraine Syndrome, Endometriosis, and Orthostatic Hypotension (which makes heart palpitations a near daily occurrence). So, I would consider myself an self-proclaimed expert on experiencing chronic pain.
Now, here’s the kicker: I’m 20 years old. I was diagnosed with arthritis (which I commonly refer to JIA or RA) when I was only 13 months old. I have lived with chronic pain my entire life. I don’t really know anything different, or what my life would be like without pain.
Being as young as I am, there are not a lot of helpful resources out there to help someone like me. Every “Exercise for Arthritis” journal or article I have read (and I have read a lot), assumes that the reader is in their late 50’s, and they recommend the reader to do “light exercise, like swimming or low impact running”.
That’s not good enough for me. I do not want to manage my pain, I want toconquer my pain.
I hope you find some inspiration on here, and if no one else does, I hope I can look back and feel inspired.