Why I'm Tired of the 'No Excuses' Fitness Posts on Social Media


“No excuse.”

I see this written all the time in posts, pictured above a physically fit person. And I have no excuses. But I do have reasons.

While I am the last person who would usually complain about judgments being handed down, today I’m just tired. I’m tired of looking like a physically sound person while not being one. And while most of the time that doesn’t bother me, today it’s getting to me.

Every morning I have about 10 or so medications I take just to feel normal. They don’t always work. And because of the stigma of opioids, the one that did work is not available to me. I am always in pain.

My pain level is likely different from yours. I am always at about a four or a five. Always. I take an nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) for that. It doesn’t really work. But my level goes up to seven or eight without it, so I guess a four or five is better than the seven or eight.

My heart likes to randomly decide I’m running a marathon. I’m usually sleeping when this happens, and it wakes me up. I mean, I don’t mind burning calories while I sleep, but it’s both literally and figuratively exhausting when your heart beats over 100 beats per minute while I’m not conscious. It does this sometimes when I’m sitting down, or walking through the mall with my kid, and I have to slow down. It’s super frustrating. Another medicine treats this. I was born with a heart defect and had surgery to correct it in 1994, but this heart issue is new and the doctors don’t really know what is causing it.

My joints (all of them) have had little or no cartilage since I was at least 11. That’s when I was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. I want to wear the pretty shoes, but then I’m like, “Nope.” I am not doing that to my feet. My feet deserve better. I was on my feet all day earlier this year, and even with my medication, my ankles and feet were so swollen I could only wear flip flops for the next two days. My left shoulder constantly makes noises, and three discs are bulging in my neck. My upper back sometimes decides to compete with my neck to see who can be stiffer. Then in 2003, I went and broke my left leg. Ever since then, I’ve had issues with my right hip because of arthritis. Along with my NSAID, I take a medication to make my muscles stop tensing up all the damn time.

When I was in high school I was diagnosed with endometriosis. It’s gotten a lot of attention lately, one of the few things I am grateful to celebrities for. It’s miserable. Menstrual cycles are already the antonym of fun, and now mine have the extra struggle.

Not only do I have endometriosis, but I also have poly cystic ovarian syndrome. This causes excess weight gain, hair growth in places you don’t want, and makes losing weight difficult, among other things. Cue another medication.

Recently I had to change my NSAID because my stomach was having issues with the one I was on. My esophagus was spasming and my stomach was bloating and distending with the tiniest amount of food. I was actually losing weight, but my belly was hurting and getting bigger. This happened again last night. And I don’t know what I ate that caused it.

Another thing that happened when I broke my leg was that I was finally diagnosed with psoriasis. I say finally, because it didn’t present normally until then. I had just started a new job when I broke my leg, and they decided I was ready to go back to work when I was on crutches. I became extremely anxious and my body reacted. I broke out everywhere. But, I did get a diagnosis.

It was several years later when yet another miscarriage put me over the edge and my OBGYN helped me get help for my anxiety and to stop lashing out at my family, who were only trying to help. I had no idea that’s what I was doing. Now, at least I’m a little nicer when I’m in pain.

I’m just trying to get out of bed in the morning and not feel like I got run over by a truck. So, when I see the “no excuses” posts, these are my reasons that I have to remind myself of, my reasons I have absolutely no control over: my heart, my joints, my skin, my muscles, my stomach, my uterus, my spine, my ovaries… none of them work they way they’re supposed to. And when your organs and the rest of your body won’t cooperate, it is extremely frustrating.

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