Friday, September 2, 2011

Fibromyalgia and Weight Gain

Hello Everyone,

It's been a little while since I've written. Thank you for your emails and comments!

I want to tackle a subject that personally makes me G-R-O-A-N and sigh, and roll my eyes (mainly because it has affected me greatly). It's the matter of weight gain for PWF's, how it effects us, and what we need to do to manage it.

I personally am battling this situation right now. It stares me in the face each time I look in the mirror. The shock, horror, and overwhelming sadness I feel about it is something I've only told a couple of my closest family members about. I find it completely humiliating and consuming. I know there are those of you out there who totally relate to what I'm saying.

I know the right answer is that I should show myself some grace and mercy. The right answer is to realize that between Fibromyalgia, the medications to treat it, and the choice to quit using nicotine a year and a half ago, my body has undergone some radical metabolic changes in the past couple of years. But the truth is...it doesn't matter what the right answer is when I look in the mirror lately. I'm just being honest. I haven't made it to the point where I can see myself and say "Girl.... it's OK. You are more that your outside shell." The truth is.... I don't WANT to get to that point. If I allow myself to, then I know I'll give up and give in to despair that will cause me to binge eat my "comfort foods" and not stop. Anyone out there know what I'm talking about? It's a corner I can't afford to turn.

So after much deliberation, I began to look for a solution to my situation. The good news is that for me the solution is currently working. Each person has to find there own solution, but you HAVE to find one! If you want to fight for your quality of life, then you have to find a way to take back control of your body as much as you can.

I use a specific HCG formula (which I like so much that I became a distributor of it) and rather than the 500 calorie diet, I fluctuate between 500 and 1200 calories per day depending on how hungry I am. I've cut out sugar and substituted Stevia, I eat the foods on the HCG diet protocol, but also added a few veggies of my own ( like peas, green beans etc) and a few more fruits. I use seasonings and very rarely use salt. If I do use salt it's organic sea salt sparingly. I eat only 100-113 grams of protein at a time which consists of chicken, very lean beef, very lean turkey, or talapia. Sometimes I splurge and eat tuna wrapped with tomato inside lettuce leaves. It's soooo good, I love it! I also splurge sometimes and have diet soda or an organic soda made with Stevia. Hubby also found Low Fat Newman's Own Fig Newmans which are a little treat on days I need a little something sweet. Caramel Nut Brownie Luna Bars are also a snack I enjoy that's a great alternative for my chocolate cravings! I decided to let myself have a few splurges now and then in order to keep myself from falling to cravings and feeling too restricted. I'm just not that disciplined in my eating habits .... yet.  : )

Hubby got us a digital scale so we can track our weight loss more accurately. Both of us have lost weight a little at a time. Sometimes .4oz a day and sometimes more. BUT...  a little every day. This week he's down 5 pounds and I'm down 2 pounds. (Women tend to lose slower than men so if you decide to change your eating habits together with a male partner, he will most likely lose a little faster. Don't let that discourage you!)

The other item I HAVE to tell you about is the NuWave Oven! OMGOSH... I LOVE MINE!! Standing for long periods of time is no fun for me (or my pain threshold) so when my husband blessed me with this oven 2 years ago it was so awesome!  I can cook a full meal for my family in MINUTES. I use tin foil to keep the cleaning down to a minimum and presto bango, dinner for us without a lot of hassle!  I can cook fish for Hubby at the same time I'm cooking chicken for myself and the results are the same. Juicy, hot and delicious!
For managing my pain symptoms, the NuWave Oven has been so liberating!! I'm going to have to write the company and let them know!

Now, eating better is not the only ingredient needed to tackle the problem. There is also moving our bodies. I found two great articles to share with you about Fibro and weight gain  and also good exercises that reduce pain and fatigue and keep us from feeling worse. There are a ton of good articles and sites for information if you do a quick web search starting with "Fibromyalgia and Weight Gain".

Personally, I've discovered that the only way out of my mental state regarding my body image is to do something about it as much as I can. I don't want to feel like a victim of yet ANOTHER side effect of this disease. And while I'm at it....... CAN THE ESTABLISHED MEDICAL COMMUNITY PLEASE UNANIMOUSLY AGREE THAT FIBROMYALGIA IS LEGITIMATE AND REAL???????!!!!!  AAAGGGHHHH!!!!! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!!!  (OK.... I had to vent there for a minute. That's a topic for another post)

Friends, in conclusion.... it looks like weight gain is something you and I may have to deal with on top of everything else that comes with Fibro and CFS. Some of us will gain, some of us will lose but either way, gaining control of your eating habits and choosing to help your body rather than hurt it further is a choice each of us has to make.

Remember.... you are NOT alone.

Many blessings to you today,
Sherri