First off I want to start off by saying I am not a professional in any way shape or form. My purpose of creating this forum is to allow people to discuss what works for them in terms of people with chronic/non chronic conditions. I am going to use this to tell a little bit of my story to encourage others to share their own. I hope that people will be able to connect, post, and help one another out by using this forum. I’m not going to describe my condition because this forum isn’t aimed to be about me, I just want people with a setback to feel encouraged to share with others and not feel alone.

My story: I am an 18 year old college student with an auto-immune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. When I was diagnosed with this illness the doctor told me that I was to pretty much going to rot in pain and suffer for the rest of my life. To make a long story short, those words pretty much convinced me to join a gym immediately. This all happened almost two years ago. The pain was horrible day by day at this point. So I decided to see my specialist and he was against weightlifting altogether, so I knew I had to do some research before I entered a world I knew nothing about. Starting off my workouts were horribly amateurish and embarrassing to say the least. Yet they got better over time. With the advice of a couple personal trainers and heavy research I started to understand how to work out more efficiently and more properly.

 With my over cocky attitude of being in the gym for 3 months I acted like I owned the place. So of course I felt I needed to buy supplements to go along with my workouts. I knew nothing about any product I saw on the shelves of GNC so like a sucker, I was hooked into buying the first protein the manager showed me. Fortunately It wasn't a bad product. I actually gained about 50 lbs in around 6 months. Obviously a decent portion of that was fat but some of it was muscle. My arms are covered in countless stretch marks and to this day it doesn't bother me. I feel proud to be proactive in fighting my disease every step of the way. After some time I met a personal trainer in NJ. He showed me countless of back-friendly workouts as well as back friendly core workouts. I really owe him a lot because it was the first time someone had reached out and showed interest in me. It felt good to be treated like a normal person and not a broken kid. With his help I started to shed the fat off while maintaining a healthy weight of 180-190. 
 When I started to become more enveloped in weightlifting I started to become more serious about it. I researched my condition, went through countless forums and websites, and discovered things that help me fight what I have. A good example of this is triple strength fish oils. After about 3 weeks of taking them I started to feel a difference in how physically felt. The pain wouldn't be as harsh as it used to be and I was able to focus more in college. That with other medications (prescribed to me of course ) sometimes make me completely forget that I don't have a body like everyone else.  The more I cut out the fat and build muscle my body is able to support itself and fight the condition. The difference in the pain, my posture, my health have significantly changed since a couple years back. The pain slowly gets more manageable and I feel a lot better because of my experience in the gym. This of course all came with a lot of time and hard work in the gym.
 That is why I wanted to tell my story. To show that I'm not scared of the gym and that you shouldn't be either. I simply want to show people with my condition that your not powerless and there is something you can do help. I left out my gains, what I can bench, and what my exercises are on purpose. If any of that matters just simply ask, thats part of the reason I'm starting this forum. 

Feel free to post about your conditions/diseases/injuries or whatever you have worked through or are working through.

I am not a physician nor do I claim to be any medical profession. It is imperative that you consult your specialist/doctor before taking any supplements and/or starting any training regiment. This Forum is aimed at starting conversation, not at convincing people to start anything crazy or do something against their professional physicians advice.

P.S. I am open to all types of comments advice criticism and such, but I will not be convinced to stop weightlifting. If you want to comment on me personally in a negative manner don’t shoot down the forum just send me a message. I don’t know much but I will try and help anyone who needs it.