Working In & Around Chronic IllnessWhen I received my diagnosis of chronic migraines and vertigo, I had to deal with three different types of shattered pieces that defined who I was as a person – physical, mental, and spiritual. My biggest piece at this time, and the one that hurt the most, was the absolute hindrance of my fitness and physical level.

As most chronic illness sufferers know, making the first step is often the hardest one towards success in any physical realm. Every block you think will pop up will undoubtedly pop up. Murphy’s Law.

Walking a menial two blocks was too much for me to handle. My vertigo made me feel as if I was being tossed back and forth on a ship, like a light piece of cargo. Three days before my first migraine, I ran my very first (and last) half-marathon. 13.1 to .1 in 3 days.

Every step was more daunting, however; it led me towards a place of success and a step towards healing. The same still applies present day, and the catalyst for my movement has pushed me to become a personal trainer. I’ve also had to cycle through what is best for my body and its restrictions – 17 different types of exercise and/or fitness later – I never would’ve thought I’d be a powerlifter and weights lover come 2016.

Although I speak from heart-center as a chronic illness sufferer, I’ve made a list we can takeaway with fitness & wellness tips to serve us in 2016.

  1. There are days where you will need to listen to your body. If it is crying in pain, or you are too dizzy to do the jumping jacks, don’t force it. It needs rest for a reason.
  2. On the other end of this, you still NEED to push yourself. Get the extra rep in, do the extra set of pull-ups, and make yourself go to sleep. Your highest & most important priority is you – if you cannot take care of yourself properly, then your care for others will be half-assed.
  3. Listen to your doctors. Take in what they say. Don’t let ignorant doctors be ignorant. If you think you have the slightest inclination of what is wrong with you, and someone isn’t listening (knee pain, odd mole, or chronic stomach pains – doesn’t matter) GO get a second opinion.
  4. Make sure to decide on a workout program that will not hinder you or leave you in the dust – there are always modifications, however, sometimes you will simply not be on a trainer or instructors level yet. And that is completely ok.
  5. Do not let someone push you past your limits physically. Call a personal TO.
  6. Get your nutrition straightened out – you will not believe the difference a wholesome meal makes.
  7. I cannot preach this enough – ease into a workout, workout plan, new gym equipment, etc. just as you would a new job, new house, or anything of the like. IF something suggests the addition of weights, simply use your body weight. See how that feels. Then, go on to up leveling your exercise level.
  8. An accountability partner is the most inexpensive and valuable thing you can invest your time in. It can be family, friends, husband, sister-in-law’s friend, the dog you walk everyday – whomever.

I’m sending massive love to each and every one of you, and a happy new year, as well! If you feel you do not have a proper accountability partner – I’d love to hear from you and bring you into my circle of fitness and self-care.




Sydney Pendleton
Sydney Pendleton

“First and foremost, I am a proud supporter of our troops and a person who loves her family endlessly. Those two things are always first in my heart, no matter what. In my spare time, I enjoy looking at puppies, attempting to pet all the dogs I see on the side of the road, spending time with my husband, powerlifting/weightlifting, hiking and practicing yoga. As of November 2015, I am an ISSA certified personal trainer. I am a strong advocate for veteran’s rights, PTSD research and knowledge, as well as serving our service members. Sydney Pendleton Consulting was born shortly after I attained my college degree from the College of Charleston in May of 2015 where I graduated cum laude with a degree in Historic Preservation & Community Planning. I felt called to create a business where, unlike many others, I could see the light in helping others succeed. I love working with heart-centered entrepreneurs who are serious about their love of business and their clients.”