Monday, 28 September 2015
Weight gain, dieting and Fibromyalgia
Today I shared a picture on facebook and it sparked a conversation regarding weight gain and dieting with Fibromyalgia so I decided to write a blog from the heart on my view of this subject.
Firstly can I just clarify,
I DO NOT look like my profile picture on facebook all the time, that was one moment in time.
I DO NOT look like my picture I use as the "all about me" section, that was one moment in time.
I spend most of my life in my pyjamas.
When I first became ill with Fibromyalgia it was following a nasty case of what I thought to be the flu, this was October-ish 2013. From that date till now I have never returned to my former self. It is almost like you walk into a cave and come out the other side a totally different person. Pre fibro I could walk for miles, lift heavy objects that part of me has now gone. I don't even lift my shopping bags into the boot of the car, my sister does it for me, that is how different I am now!
It came as no shock to me when the weight began to pile on, my life suddenly became VERY sedentary so naturally, my metabolism threw a hissy fit in protest. I felt sore, aching, bloated, spotty, meffy, fat, greasy, itchy, sensitive and raw. The best way I could describe myself was Elvis circ1976 when he was all fat and bloated. I felt like I had totally "let myself go" my prettiness was like sand running through my fingers as I tried to hold on. It obviously had an effect upon my confidence levels, there is no way at 42 years of age it could not have a negative effect.
Imagine feeling ill and lifeless and wanting to wake up and put your makeup on and be "pretty" but you just feel so ill? It was horrible in the acceptance phase.
Fibromyalgia often causes weight gain, I was well aware of this. It is a result of hormonal imbalances, affecting levels of cortisol, thyroid, serotonin and insulin, as well as the production of growth hormones. Because of this hormonal imbalance, metabolism slows down and weight gain often follows. Some medications can make people gain excess weight, but I was not on this medication but still the weight piled on!
I was in so much pain it made me less active so I burnt fewer calories and produced unwanted weight gain. My body was forced into a fat-storing mode where it converts this extra glucose into fatty tissue.
I spent the next eighteen months or so wondering what the heck had happened to me? Then began a new lifestyle plan that was a lot healthier, packed with nutrients, vitamins, and water and I was cured, free of fibromyalgia and lost all my excess weight....
Obviously, I am joking as this kind of bullshit only comes from the mouth of someone trying to sell you something.
Daily I blog regardless of this and I post images on social media with hashtags for health and fibro. I am very open to the healing properties of food, superfoods, nutritional values of a balanced diet. Reducing refined sugar does have improvements on symptoms, some claim a gluten-free diet helps greatly, low GI foods and their slow release of energy is essential. I do not feel that diet caused my illness so I do not feel that diet alone is the answer, it is very helpful in management, though. I follow a sugar-free diet and eat healthily, yet I suffer daily and can not get through a full day without sleeping during the waking hours. Diet alone is not "curing" me or even managing my flares. It has made my skin less puffy and I do feel like I look better aesthetically. Initially on the plan, I lost 5 inches from my waist but that now fluctuates daily as I have IBS.
So in answer to the question
Can I recommend a diet to lose weight when you have Fibromyalgia?
I do not think it is possible at all. But fibro has very wide parameters and we all suffer in varying degrees. Some of us may be able to continue to work, go to the gym and continue with life as normal whilst others are on a different stage with this illness. We are not here to judge each other and point fingers at who is the fattest, society does that to us enough.
THIS IS ME and I have to accept that I am not getting any thinner but is that really the end of the world?
Who said you have to be thin to be beautiful?
According to BMI, I am currently 3 stone plus overweight and yet I eat a healthy diet. So what am I doing wrong?
I refuse to starve myself, skip meals, start on a fad diet or become stressed by trying to be the average BMI when I have spent my life rebelling from the norm. I never asked for this illness so why should I feel less a woman if one of the symptoms is weight gain? That is bloody nuts!
The biggest mistake you can do is compare yourself to anyone on facebook/Instagram or twitter as social media world is the biggest bullshit fake existence there is. So yes I do have a pretty profile picture with my makeup on and my hair done nicely. When people talk to me they must think that is the person they are chatting to but the reality is I am usually in my pyjamas snuggled with a blanket and a cup of tea. I detest wearing makeup in the house and I never wear a bra when I am at home. I am no different a chronic ill person than you are and I will never pretend to be either.
There are seven days in a week if one of them days is a good day and I get a nice selfie and post it then don't be fooled into thinking I am well or beaten this illness and you are a failure. Usually, on that good day I will over do it and be ill for a few days after, and so the cycle continues.
Do I worry I will become more ill, lethargic and become bigger and bigger?
No, not really as I am not a worrier. If it happens, it happens. I will simply embrace all the amazing assets I have instead of focusing on weight gain.
Today I realised that the girl with fibromyalgia I always look at and think "she always looks nice" is looking at me and thinking the same. We laughed as we both compared our love of pyjama and accepting our mingy meff days but still loving our nice pictures when we have a good day.
Don't feel inadequate with fibro and weight gain. We are all the same deep down and you are not alone with your insecurities, we need to love our curves as they are part of who we are now.
ಌ Love and gentle hugs to you all
Find me also on