Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Issue of Weight and ME/CFS

I'm having an awful day after sleeping very little.  I woke up several times because I developed a headache during the night.  (How the hell does one do that while asleep?!!!)  I woke up with such a painful thigh and hip that it took me a while to get up and moving this morning.  So I'm feeling down and not really able to think much and get any writing done.  But it seems my mental paralysis does not cover obsessing about my weight today.

I've never been a skinny girl and before I became ill, I didn't even know how much I weighed.  I was very comfortable in my body; I used to workout when I wanted to and eat what I wanted to.  I was healthy and happy and I had never been on a diet in my life.  Then I became ill and I piled on the pounds and that was when my weight became an issue. If I loved to eat and put on weight because of that I wouldn't have cared; if my weight had changed because of any single thing that I had done, I wouldn't have cared.  But if anything I was eating less and in the first six months of being ill I had stomach bugs and flu symptoms almost continuously.  My ballooning body was just another example of how my body was becoming alien to me.


As I didn't know my weight before I became ill, I'm guessing I put on five or six stones, most of that in the first few years.  It was actually more insulting to be so fat because ill people are usually frail and lose weight, so it seemed like just another reason for people to not believe I was ill.  It seemed so unfair; if I was going to be ill, I could have at least had the added perk of losing weight!

But I didn't constantly worry about my weight; when you have ME/CFS there are plenty of things to think and feel.  It's just on days like to day, the weight seems like an added insult.

When I began to feel better four years ago, the weight dropped off just as quickly.  I lost 50lbs without exercising or dieting, or even increasing my activity.  When I started being able to leave the house and did increase my activity levels, I lost weight even faster.  I lost six and a half stones in one year.  Of course much of that has been creeping back now that I'm ill again.

It is horrible and most of the time I try not to think of it as there's not much I can do.  But it does hurt.  It seems and shallow and stupid, but my weight bothers me.  My body feels alien, like it's not my own.  Plus I met my partner when I was going through a healthy phase; now he's stuck with an ill fat woman.  He never says anything and is so sweet, and normally I am grateful for that, but on days like today I wonder how much more he will take.  It doesn't help when my own father stated clearly that I was ill because I was fat, not fat because I was ill.

As with most ME/CFS worries, I can only hope that tomorrow is a better day.





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