Gluteywear Ambassador writes story for This is Us Campaign

This is Us: A story by Adrienne Parker

My name is Adrienne I’m 41 and this is my story.

Gluteywear Ambassador writes story on how fitness has helped her overcome personal challenges

As a child I was severely asthmatic. This got better as I got older and I rarely had any symptoms at all, but in to my teens I decided it looked cool to smoke, my mum smoked so did a lot of my friends so I decided too as well, this was a bad idea as I ended up having a severe asthma attack and at age 20 I was hospitalised for over a week because my oxygen levels wouldn’t stabilise. But I walked out of that hospital never to smoke again, I can’t believe I ever thought it was a good idea to look cool instead of looking after my health. Life was good with no real problems for a while after that.

I got to 22 in reasonable health but I still hadn’t had my first spear test and decided it was probably best to have one done. I reluctantly went for my test, which wasn’t actually as bad as the horror stories I had heard. When the test results came back it was abnormal and when further tests revealed that I had pre cancer sells I was gutted. I had a procedure to remove the cells and further regular tests confirmed it was successful and I no longer had abnormal cells. However I had to continue to have yearly smear tests for 11 years to ensure I stayed clear, which I did and have been clear since.

The surgery I had on my cervix had left me with a lot of scar tissue, which wasn’t painful or anything but when I fell pregnant with my beautiful daughter I was told I may go in to early labour due to the cervix not being strong enough. Well it was actually the opposite as I only got to 3cm dilated in 36 hours of labour before by baby girls heart rate got lost 😞 I just couldn’t give birth naturally so she came via an emergency C-Section. It was like slow motion and a complete blur not knowing the outcome,  however she arrived healthy and all was ok.

In 2010 I was extremely overweight and pretty unhealthy, I had a bad relationship with food and hated exercise, I was never one for sport and continued to make excuses as to why I couldn’t do it. I started getting some hip pain and thinking it was probably because I was big and that I better start to lose a bit of weight, so I looked for any quick fix that would take the least amount of effort and I did lose some weight but the hip pain got worse. I went to the doctor and explained everything and he looked me up and down and said you have a groin strain so take ibuprofen until the pain goes. Months later it was worse and some times the pain was crippling, so I returned to the doctor and after various blood tests and X-rays, it was revealed that I had arthritis and there is no cure. I was only 32. I started to look seriously at myself and decided I needed to lose more weight but again didn’t know where to start, so I signed up for a plan that said I’d lose loads in 90 days, and yes I did but did I learn anything? Nope I just did as I was told. Then came pregnancy number and on the verge of gestational diabetes I went in for  C-section number 2 and had a beautiful but huge 10lb baby boy, all was good but the weight was there again and hip was again very painful, but I managed.

Gluteywear ambassador shares her personal struggles with fitness and dieting

One night 3 months after having Oliver I woke up with excruciating stomach pain, worse than labour pains, and the ambulance came and rushed me to hospital where they confirmed that I had a gallstone stuck in my pancreatic duct that had caused an infection called pancreatitis. I was so poorly so I was sent to a high dependency ward where I spent 2 weeks being fed intravenously. I missed my husband and babies so much and was desperate to go home but I was just too ill. My markers would not stabilise and I didn’t know if I’d ever walk out of there but I did and I fought it and 2 months later had my gallbladder removed so it never happened again, all was good for a while.

I started to learn about my body and weight loss and found a love of weight training, but I didn’t have the money for expensive PT sessions, so I went about learning from videos and articles online. I wasn’t doing too badly but my hip was getting worse and worse until I just couldn’t go a night without constant pain. Walking properly or even putting my socks on was a struggle, so back to the doctors I went where they said there is nothing we can do apart from physiotherapy, as I hadn’t tried that yet.  She was gobsmacked as I had pretty much no rotation in my right hip and was fast tracked to a consultant who said my right hip was in a very bad state as I actually had Dysplasia and arthritis in both my hips, the right being the worst one, and that the only relief I would get was to have a replacement when I was 39. I went ahead with the replacement which went well but the recovery wasn’t like I had been told and it was difficult, not necessarily physically, but mentally, and I wasn’t prepared for that and I pretty much fell apart. My daughter had been diagnosed with ADHD 2 years previously and was under assessment for autism ,my husband worked away a lot and my little boy was only 4. By the end of 2018 I felt completely broken and when my husband left us on the 1st of January 2019 my world fell apart completely. He revealed he was in a relationship with a work colleague he had been friends for 6 years but things had changed and he was going to move in with her. My son was now under assessment for dyslexia and learning delays and my mother had been diagnosed with cancer. I struggled to keep myself together for a few months but I knew I had a task, I needed to get better, to be a mother and a role model, to provide, to inspire, and looking at myself the way I was, was so far from that I didn’t recognise the person I had become.

I had to turn my pain in to power, to switch all the negative doubt in to positive faith and to trust that it will get better, to know that everything I saw as a failure, an obstacle or something to use as an excuse was in fact a lesson that I can learn and grow from.

To know that nobody but myself will improve my life, no magic pill will improve my health and weight, and mindset was the key to change my attitude to life and how I live it.

Gluteywear ambassador shares various personal struggles and how a positive mindset can overcome them

I’m learning everyday about

  • Food and how it fuels us but doesn’t rule us;
  • Exercise and what suits me for my motivation and mind set and therapy for my legs;
  • ADHD, autism and dyslexia to better understand my children’s mindset;
  • How I can love myself for who I am and stay true to myself and set healthy boundaries'
  • How to be grateful for all that I have and be proud of my achievements however big or small they are

Never think you are failing see it as a lesson

F = first
A = attempt
I = In
L = learning

Knowledge is power, never assume you know everything because there is a lesson to learn in every day of your life. education is the key to progression and becoming a better person.

Also you only get one body and if you don’t take care of it, it won’t take care of you. your health is the most important thing and should always come first xxx

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