About Me

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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Losing Weight: Part 2, The Tips

A Macy's Christmas in NYC
Yesterday I wrote about some of the reasons why we with CFIDS/ME/CFS and fibromyalgia tend to put on too much weight.  Today I'm finishing this mini-series with a few of the ways I go about trying to fight the good fight, the one with the scales.

Once I can get my head into being serious about losing weight, I often put up signs around the areas of the house I'm found in that remind me that I'm trying to get back to "good eating.  (Fibro-brain here has the memory abilities of a gnat!)  The reasons are often written down on post-its, one reason or saying per each post-it.  Then if I'm really desperate, I even put all the reasons for losing weight on a larger piece of paper with as many reasons for losing weight as I can come up with.  I think my record list was once about six sheets long, each taped at the bottom of one sheet of paper to the top of the next sheet of paper, with about 70 reasons one year! (HONESTLY!)  I taped it to the back of my closet door so that hubs couldn't see them: no reason for him to see how truly nutty his wife is.  Who says I don't lead an exciting life?

I tell myself all sorts of corny sayings and often make up the wildest reasons if I think they will inspire.  Oh this is really, really embarrassing!  But since it's for the good of all, I'm willing to go there!

  • "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step."  This I actually had in a frame next to my bed for a few years during a particularly bad period and it helped me with not just the weight issue but with many things I was trying to juggle in my life at the time.
  • Knowing that it takes me only three days to really get solidly on my way goes a long way to getting me into the right frame of mind.  I understand and accept that Christmas will be a hang-up, a snag, but I give myself a pass and tell myself that a lot can be accomplished between now and Christmas and that I don't need to keep eating all the wrong foods each day during the "insanity" of the holidays.
  • I make sure that I am off all sugar: this happens to be my personal downfall, be it with fruit, honey or the really bad kind, the white stuff.  I feel so much worse when I allow sugar of any kind but it's just so easy to fall into the sugar habit, especially around holidays and birthdays.  Normally, no sugar at all for me and that helps with the cravings and out-of-control appetite I experience all too often.
  • I've seen for fifteen years that my body is not satisfied without animal protein and it also needs fats.  Without these, I will eat and eat until my body finally gets what it is lacking.  What a waste of calories before I finally hit what I should have eaten in the first place!  I personally feel that it's best to just accept what your body needs and deal with it that way.  So, for fats, often just a small piece of Brie without crackers is just the thing for me.  
  • Once I get rid of a few pounds I make sure I weigh myself each day and write down the weight in my calendar (in code so no one knows the real numbers but me!).  I have trained myself not to get upset if the weight goes up and if I know that the previous day I'd eaten only "good foods" because I do have a huge bloating problem, no matter what my "diet."  (When I write "diet," I mean "way of eating" and not necessarily losing weight.  The right way of eating for me will lead to losing weight the safe and healthy way.)  
  • Know what your body fluctuations are and don't allow them to sabotage.  Before I recognized "the bloating factor" that alone could make me think the effort isn't worth it and I'd go grab some horrible food and, all too often, start to "binge."  If you can identify how your body works weight-wise and make allowances, this can be a huge ally in the fight against extra poundage.
  • A weight recording trick: sometimes I don't record the weight every day.  If I'm at the same weight as the day before or (heaven forbid) weigh more than the previous day, I don't add the weight to the record and just add the weight in when there has been a shift downward.  Goofy, I know, but it works for me!  
  • Drink water if you're hungry.  Often our brains interpret hunger when we're simply dehydrated.  (And we all know how dehydrated those of us with CFIDS/ME/CFS and fibro can get!  Other illnesses also have dehydration problems, including hypothyroidism.)
  • Eat a soup instead of a stew.  It fills you up faster and adds liquid to the whole dehydration problems.
  • If I can handle it, I try to brush my teeth after I eat.  This gets all the taste of the food I ate out of my mouth and for some reason I find that once my mouth is completely fresh, it often stops me craving anything.  (Or perhaps it's the thought that I'll have to brush my teeth again that stops me from eating more: who knows why our kooky brains work the way they do?)
I hope this helps us all get through the holidays and delivers us to the New Year in better shape than we ever expected: THEN with the new year we can work on getting real progress going.  But we'll be psychologically ready and that is more than half the battle if there are no other medical conditions going on. 

Do you have any weight loss tips that can work for those of us who can't exercise and who have to deal with trying to lose weight while taking medications that have a tendency to put weight on?  Let us know.  We could all use any (healthy) advice out there!

As always, I hope everyone's feeling their best, only better!  Ciao and paka! 

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