Post # 1
I’m reaching out to anyone here who might be a self proclaimed fitness guru.
I’m in my early 30s, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in my twenties, I’m 5’5″ and unfortunately chubby. I weigh in at 140lbs, I’ve gained 20lbs within the last year. It may not sound like a whole lot of weight but I have a smaller frame so it doesn’t sit nicely. While I’m happy to have more of an arse than I did before, and I went from a B36 to a C38 bust, I literally look a few months preggers (I’m not, I had a hysterectomy when I was younger). I’ve also got a nasty double chin. My confidence is at zero.
My fitness level in my twenties was zip, unless maybe you count whatever I was getting in between the sheets lol. In the last four months or so I have tried weight training to build up strength and tone my arms. There was a time I couldn’t even lift our heavy frying pans because I was so weak, I’m happy to say there’s some definition in my arms and I’m a bit stronger. In the last two months I’ve been doing low impact cardio, at 20-30 minutes a session (standing exercises) every couple of days, I try to do it five days a week but it’s hard. I’ve yet to see an improvement and it still leaves me feeling weak or sore afterwards, I’m not sure if that’s the fibro.
My diet has consisted of whole foods, primarily eggs, meat, veggie and fruit, no gluten or dairy, and I avoid processed food as much as possible. I’ve been eating like this for a few years now, I might treat myself at the holidays, which inevitably leads to weight gain that I for some reason cannot get rid of? I can’t really afford to do a caloric deficit, I’m eating the minimum requirement at around 1200-1500 a day. There was a time a year ago where I experimented with eating more than that and predictably it lead to further weight gain.
My health checks out, I’ve had all sorts of things tested including the thyroid. I’m asking for my adrenal glands to be tested as well, but after seeing both a gastro and an endocrinologist I’ve come up with no obvious health issues. Just fibro. :/
What can I do to kick start my weight loss? I only want to lose 15-20lbs, why the hell is this so difficult? All the articles I read recommend eating less and doing HIIT but my fibro makes intense workouts next to impossible. 🙁
Post # 2
So I’m a fibro sufferer as well, but I’ll be honest, after I built up to working out regularly, it actually helps. I’d start smaller – walks, biking, easy running, yoga, pilates, barre, etc. and build up to HIIT and more intense workouts. You probably won’t lose much initially, but most weight loss is achieved through diet anyway. I run most days and weightlight a few times a week, but adding in regular yoga and extra stretching has helped keep my fibro under control.
I am 5’3” – I was always 110-115 in high school/college, slowly gained a little with fibro and some other issues and eventually got to 135, but I’m back down to 115-120. I also have to keep my calories on the lower side, even with working out, but it’s very doable.
Post # 3
I was an aerialist prior to being diagnosed with fibro. Because I primarily taught and performed, and I have good weeks and bad weeks, I’m not reliable enough to teach or book events any more. (If I can’t demo and can’t catch people, I can’t run a lesson. And there’s no point if I have to keep cancelling/lose strength and flexibility). The bit you said about lifting the pans could have been written by me, and I have previously thrown my body around in the air for long periods of time!
I need to get back into fitness. I found yoga was great for me, I could dial up or down the intensity of the classes based on how I was feeling, but my preferred studio closed recently. I need to find an alternative. I tried barre, but it wasn’t right for me. Is there places you can try things out? There’s a dance studio near my work that has barre, Pilates, ballet, ballroom etc so lots of options in an easy location.
I’m mostly hoping this thread will help inspire me too. But I believe you can do it! It’s about building it up slowly and finding something you love.
Post # 4
Have you tried keto? I always ate healthy, but I still had a ton of fat. I switched to keto and lost it all! I also felt great for the first time in a LONG time! It would be something to switch up your diet, you can easily do a gluten and dairy free version of it, and a lot of people have had a lot of success! Just something to try!
Post # 5
CBN, thanks for the words of encouragement. I’d like to work up to HIIT if possible. I tried a few years ago and was so winded by the experience I almost passed out and my husband who was running with me had to help me walk home because my legs were too weak. I imagine it’s going to be an issue of time for me, a part of me is probably expecting the results that I saw when I was younger, now that I’m both older and disabled I guess I should have more realistic expectations and work up my strength. My legs are my biggest issue, they get unsteady quiet easily, I’m thinking a few months of leg exercises combined with weight training may prime me for doing HIIT again, but attempting it now will set me up for failure, I’m barely strong enough to do low impact cardio lol.
UKbea, I’m so sorry for the effect your fibro has had on your career. I had to leave work for the same reasons, I wasn’t reliable, although my boss was the most wonderful and understanding woman, she allowed me to come to work whenever I wanted, to leave when I wanted and work for as short a period as I could manage. Even with that support after six months of trying I decided to quit, while I had her compassion it left my co-workers confused and annoyed by my constant absence. I couldn’t take the anxiety that came with either their assumptions or their frustrations, I would cringe every time somebody asked me “when are you coming back?” Like I could tell from one day to the next! I’ve been trying beginners yoga online because it was recommended to me by a physiotherapist. It’s harder without an instructor because I don’t always know if I’m holding the right form, however, the ability to pause when needed and stretch, then resume, is massively helpful, if I were in a class and I needed a sit down I’d probably miss most of what I paid for lol. I think it’s important for us to maintain both our strength and flexibility, no matter how small the exercise is, it’s still better than doing nothing at all! My greatest fears are ending up old with atrophied muscles and unable to walk. I do worry about where fibro will lead me in forty years but by then I’d hope they would have way more medicine and resources for us.
Sunshine, thanks for the suggestion. I’m not seriously considering messing with my diet just now because I’m on a FODMAP diet, it’s meant to help with my colitis. But to be honest, my diet really doesn’t look too much different to the KETO diet. It’s also very similar to Paleo, which my hubby tried for a time with good success, so anyone reading this thread might consider the switch. Higher proteins and good fats really can help with weight loss.
Post # 6
alpaca : I’m almost the exact size as you and I know the frustration of not feeling comfortable in your body, but also looking like you’re within a “normal” weight range. It’s just awkward and annoying. A couple of tips on working out:
– Since your legs are unsteady, running may not be the best cardio option for you; try riding a bike instead. A stationary bike in the gym or garage would be a great option. Its cardio in a controlled, safe setting, and you can stop at any time if you feel weak or faint (and you’re 10 steps from your couch).
– Yoga is also great because you can customize your workout based on how you feel that day. I’ve been practicing for years and there are some nights where I stick to the most basic variation of every pose and focus on my breath.
– If you are uncomfortable around weights, try resistance bands to build up a bit of muscle. Again, this allows you to customize the level of intensity by the minute/rep. HIIT is very intense and does take time to build up to. I do it at home, in our garage gym, with my husband’s supervision. I don’t like strangers watching me when I work out, especially when I’m new at something.
Post # 7
Thank you! I used to have an exercise bike (from the 60’s lol) I would like to get into it again. I used to bike ride all the time when I was little and loved it, it would be good to get that strength back. I’ve also been thinking about swimming in the summer, my nan has a pool. I’m told swimming is a good low impact/gradual kind of way to gain strength in cardio. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten tired of swimming. I have a resistance band that I use intermittently with a low weight set, I go up to about 8lbs I just do fewer reps with the heavy ones and plenty with the low ones. Like you, I don’t like people seeing me workout I would love to go to a gym some day but I’m way self conscious, I think it’s social anxiety. It took me years to even eat in restaurants, I don’t like being seen by people lol.
It is very difficult at this weight/height, people think because my legs are slimmer I must be skinny, I’m just very good at hiding my chub. My mom embarrassed me the other day when we were shopping, I said I needed pants because since the weight gain I have no clothes outside of a pair of leggings and some sweaters. I said I’m a large now, she refused to accept that, she proceeded to tell me that I’m easily an 8 because *she is*, so she started piling size medium pants on me even though I insisted I’m a large. I went to the change room and couldn’t even squeeze my arse into them. I came back, told her she was wrong and she said it’s probably just those brands. It’s been so hard with people telling me I look great this way, or I’m healthy, especially when it’s coming from people who weigh more. I know I’m not as overweight as some friends and family, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am overweight in my own personal way.
Post # 8
I don’t have fibro but I wanted to chime in to say swimming is a great idea. It can be a really great full body workout, but still low impact on joints. It’s also super easy to do intervals of hard and easy intensities. You can also add resistance with flippers and hand paddles, and the latter will definitely help with arm strength and definition! Just be sure that when using equipment that your strokes are correct so that you don’t risk injury.
Post # 9
The only thing that ever worked for me was portion control, portion control, portion control. Then I added push-ups, squats and crunches, working my way up for 1 per day to 25 per day. Occasional elliptical for cardio health (but doesn’t really help with weight loss).
Post # 10
At the end of the day, (with a few exceptions) weight loss comes down to calories you put in to your body vs calories burned. So theoretically, even without exercising (I have some friends who are fibro sufferers and I know it’s challenging to keep up with) most people can lose weight purely by eating at a calorie deficit.
At your current height/weight/age, if you were sedentary, your BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate) would be approximately 1400 calories per day. Of course, even people with sedentary jobs/lifestyles tend to burn another 200 calories throughout the day, putting you at approximately 1600 for the day. Any exercise you do on top of that will add calories to your total daily energy expenditure. (There are “TDEE” calculators out there to help you estimate how many calories your body burns throughout the day.)
There are approximately 3500 calories in 1 lb. So, let’s say your TDEE is 1700 per day (underestimating, since it seems you are exercising regularly), and you eat 1200 calories per day, you should lose 1 lb per week.
Now, if you run your numbers and are eating at a calorie deficit, but the weight isn’t moving, one of two things is happening:
1. You have miscalculated something. Either you are overestimating your exercise, or underestimating/mis-measuring your food (which is a super easy/common mistake).
2.Something more sinister is going on, like a medical problem.