When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I was in the best shape of my life. I had lost over twenty pounds, and had managed to keep it off for several years. I had healthy eating habits, low blood pressure, and even my chronically high cholesterol numbers had dropped into the good range.
Then fibromyalgia came along, with its pain and fatigue. Suddenly it hurt too much to exercise as much as I was accustomed to. The constant fatigue made sugar and caffeine more of a temptation since I needed the energy just to function. The increase in joint pain and stiffness while seated inspired me to try a standing desk at work. After only two weeks of using a standing desk, I developed plantar fasciitis. Talk about frustration!
With plantar fasciitis came even more restrictions on my activity. Load-bearing activities aggravated the inflamed fascia. I began doing non-load-bearing exercises, including stretches, to help restore my left foot to functional. Even with all of the extra care, my foot took a full year to return to “normal.”
Not surprisingly, the change in exercise behavior and diet resulted in quite a bit of weight gain. The medications I am currently taking list weight gain as a side effect, but it’s hard to tell how much they contributed to the issue.
Gaining weight after working so hard to lose it and keep it off was both disheartening and expensive! Suddenly nothing fit except for my shoes, and most of my shoes hurt my feet due to the plantar fasciitis. Fortunately, I love bargain hunting, and my affinity for discount stores and their clearance racks allowed me to slowly replace my clothing with things that actually fit.
Last week I did something that was simultaneously freeing and sad. I boxed up my too small clothes and put them in the basement, so that I wouldn’t constantly be trying things on and having to take them off in disgust. Now my closet is a lot cleaner, and the probability of grabbing something that fits is much higher. I didn’t purge all the smaller sizes, because now that my foot is healed, I may lose some of that weight again. But the fibro pain and fatigue aren’t going anywhere, so in boxing the clothes, I was giving myself permission to stay my current size. I am not “giving up on myself”; however, I need to acknowledge that being as healthy as I can might look different post-fibromyalgia. Especially since the pain and fatigue keep getting worse.
I suppose I also need to acknowledge that my undying affection for chocolate-covered almonds may be partly to blame for the extra pounds…