Body Battles #ME #WeightLoss #ChronicIllness #ExerciseIntolerance #LoveTheSkinYouAreIn

downloadI’m not about body shaming in any form whatsoever ~ I have spent many long years learning to love the skin I’m in, warts and all. I accept and love my stretch marks on my breasts and stomach because they nurtured my children. I am embracing my white hairs, spending every morning looking for them ~ although I have to admit I am deeply disappointed I don’t have more than a sprinkling, but hope springs eternal and all that ~ one day I may wake up and find a mallen streak of white which would be awesome. I love my big bum surprisingly, it may be big but I can tense it so hard you could bounce a ball off it and wobble it so that it shakes for some time afterwards. My stomach is a great canvas to draw on, my belly button looks a bit like Golum, with a surprised mouth!

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The self love comes after years of angst I’m not sure why though because as a youngster I had absolutely no issues with my body. I was young, healthy and full of energy. I exercised every day and was by no means fat ~ but in my teenage mind I was gross! It was after I married and had children that I started to gain weight. Somehow childbirth changed my body, I became allergic to most metals, leather, latex and some medications. My weight boomed and after my last daughter was born I started the yo~yo dieting cycle. I tried many many diets Lighterlife (which made my hair drop out and me very physically weak ~ although skinny), Rosemary Conley, Slimming World (numerous times), Soup Diet, 5:2 diet, Atkins Diet, Egg and Grapefruit diet and many more, each one more ridiculous than the last. All were effective in losing weight in the short term then weight gain went on a few months after stopping.

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Now though I have some obstacles in my way in the form of ME, Hypermobility Syndrome, Diverticulitis, Chronic Depression and Chronic Pain. I have been guilty the past few years of comfort eating and drinking far too much alcohol on a regular basis. My medication for depression and pain relief has resulted in adding to the weight gain too. I am on paper as healthy as I can be all things considered, my blood pressure and cholesterol are within healthy limits. My doctor isn’t worried about my health as such but between my GP and ME Clinic we feel that losing weight may be beneficial in helping to reduce my pain as I wouldn’t have so much pressure from the weight bearing down on my joints.

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I can’t exercise to any worthwhile degree and I get shaky if I don’t eat regularly. Plus I loathe the word “diet” it means following a set plan and cutting things out ~ if I say I can’t have something then it makes me crave it all the more ~ so a sure fire way to set myself up for failure, I’m a massive foodie to be honest so have to change my mindset.

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I vowed never to weigh myself again ~ I am not defined by how many pounds I show on the scales. However, I also need a real way to see if I am on the right track with shifting some of those excess pounds and have decided to weigh myself intermittently ~ so that I can see what is working for me whilst I experiment eating differently. So this morning I weighed myself for the first time in many moons. I am not ashamed to share my weight, shit happens, life happens. So I stand now at 5 feet and 9 inches, size 16/18 in clothes and a hefty seventeen and a half stone. Not the heaviest I’ve been to be fair, after Tara was born I hit just over 19 stone. I honestly don’t mind being big ~ that isn’t a worry for me but being in pain is ~ so I need to reduce the wobble a little bit and see if it helps reduce my pain.

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My plan is to cut down on everything, but not cut out anything. Less is more, have a taste not a feast kind of thing. I know I need to snack, having a little often because if I don’t I get so that I shake and get blurred vision. It’s a strange energy depletion reaction I get due to my ME, my face goes numb then tingles and I become weak and have visible tremors. So first on the list is to find healthy alternatives to keep my energy levels as high as possible ~ ideas and suggestions always welcome in the comments.

A good BMI checker, if you want to look into that kind of thing, is the Smart Body Mass Index and can be found here what it does is

“This calculator functions on the basis of the newly developed Smart Body Mass Index. The SBMI differs from the BMI in three important aspects.
Firstly, it takes age and sex into account, besides weight and height. Secondly, the SBMI is a purely comparative figure (without any physical units) on a scale of 70 points. And thirdly, the significance of the body weight for your health can easily be derived from the SBMI but not from the BMI: The weight-related health risk levels shown in green, yellow, orange and red (see the SBMI chart on the Results page), are always 10/70 SBMI points wide.
The ideal range of the SBMI is 30/70 to 39/70 or, in words, “between thirty and thirty-nine points out of seventy”.

I’m in the danger zone and classed as Obese so need to shift some pounds in order to improve my health and ultimately hopefully reduce my pain which is a nagging constant in my life at the moment. You never know, I may even be able to ditch the supports I need to wear at the moment too.

I ask if anyone reading this has a chronic illness and has successfully lost weight with reduced energy and little to no ability to exercise ~ please let me know how you coped and  what you found helpful or useful along the way.

As for “exercise” my ME therapist recommends daily activities that use up my spoons, such as shopping, baking a cake, reading a chapter of a book etc. These are activities a “choose” to do but don’t “have” to do. The have to do activities are what I need to do daily, cleaning teeth, washing face, putting on clothes and so on. She also highly recommends as my “exercise” Pilates, it is meant to be especially good for ME sufferers as it incorporates gentle stretches and movements. I have to be careful in how I approach this in order to not crash hard, it is crucial to start slowly just doing a few stretches and build up ever so carefully and cautiously. It will be interesting to see how I get on, I can visualise the dogs being curious and no doubt getting involved too.

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Plus as a chronic illness sufferer I have to account for spoon availability too, so take into consideration what NEEDS to be done that day and whether or not I have enough spoons to safely undertake the exercises.

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I am not expecting any miracles or putting any undue pressure on myself to reach a specific target by a specific date. I reckon allowing myself 2 years to shift 4~5 stone is a realistic goal ~ ideally to be within a “healthy” zone by the time I hit my 50th birthday in May 2019.

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