Mozzarella

Osteoporosis and me

In June 2023 after a metatarsal stress fracture I was diagnosed with osteoporosis, at age 49.

I’ve never felt as alone as I did when I was first diagnosed. Everything I read on the internet seemed to be for 80-year-olds who never move their bodies. I wasn’t even 50, was working on a home-based business, planned to train for Hyrox, and was kicking ass in the gym.

Fitness? Lifting? The lifestyle that made me feel I was truly living, for the first time of my life? Would I have to give it all up? Would I have to sit in an armchair for the rest of my life?

Most of the information online about this condition is very unhelpful. It made me feel my life was over, but after weeks in misery, I decided I had to regain control over my life, and started to read proper research and learn what I could do to help myself.

My physiotherapist and my personal trainer were my best support people, each of them in their own way – and I needed both. My mental health would be long gone if it wasn’t for them. They helped me normalise life with osteoporosis and to see it doesn’t have to mean living in fear.

Today I’m 100% determined to keep living a good life. Everything isn’t in my control, but I’m going to focus on what is. Here are some important things to remember:

  • I can control how much and how I move and load my body
  • I can control how I fuel my body
  • I can control my attitude

I keep lifting weights to build strong muscles, and I work on balance and stability. Lifting heavy in the gym works on the bone cells too, and getting stronger improves balance (plus balance exercises are strengthening!) and generally protects against injury. BUT – I also still train for the overall benefits – general health benefits and to feel good, look good, for improved self-confidence, for the sense of achievement, and simply because I ENJOY IT.

If you’re in the same situation as I was the summer of 2023, please know that you are not alone. The level of support for people who are newly diagnosed with osteoporosis seems to be mostly very miserable, but there are good people out there. I found some very inspiring people on social media too!

Do not accept everything you read online. Much of it doesn’t come from reputable sources and is often outdated. Find proper scientific research, ask medical professionals and other people who know what they are talking about. Find supportive people.

PLEASE NOTE

This is my story. When I was diagnosed, I was already in somewhat decent shape when it comes to muscle strength, and used to lifting weights, so I could just continue where I was and build from that (with some minor modifications). This is not everyone’s situation but you need to start somewhere.

To find what is safe for you and how to get started with exercise, talk to your doctor and get in touch with a competent physiotherapist and/or personal trainer/other fitness professional who can guide you.