Weightloss Challenge with a Disability



Since the end of January 2016, I decided it was time to try and get my weight under control. It’s crept up and up and to be honest I’ve not had the motivation to do so. It’s seemed like an impossible task. In 2010-11 I lost 3 stone (42 lbs/92.4kg), motivated by a weightloss buddy, and desire to get my cholesterol down and come off some long term medications. I was more able back then to increase my exercise levels by dog walking further, playing casual tennis, swimming  and walking more. All this was achieved despite having long term medical conditions including fibromyalgia (FM) and arthritis.

However the impact of these hidden disabilities, is the ongoing daily  struggle with chronic pain and fatigue which is progressively more debilitating and incapacitating. It is easy to flare up my  symptoms by overdoing activities, that can poleaxe me, so there is always a payback which can put me on extended rest in bed for hours or days to recover, (See article by Dr. Mark Pellegrino on Exercising with FM Fibromyalgia Action UK ).  My exercise tolerance has dropped significantly, I can no longerplay tennis, or walk as far as I could 5 years ago. Swimming is not possible at the moment because most public pool are heated to approximately 28*C, which is fine if you are able to swim fast and hard to keep warm and fit. But conditions like FM and CFS/ME ( Chronic fatigue syndrome, Myalgic Encephalitis), your muscles seize up in cooler temperatures, and respond better in warmer water 30*- 34.5*C, which are generally found in specialist hydrotherapy units, not in normal pools. Certainly here in Bath, there is a dirth of such pools. Hey Ho, c’est la vie.

The key to managing FM is a four letter word which to most of us is like a dirty word, ie to P-A-C-E, which is far easier to talk about than to do! Despite being a rheumatology expert patient volunteer at my local hospital, assisting to educate newly diagnosed FM patients on a Fibromyalgia Self management course, I still finding pacing  very difficult to do! I’m frequently held to account by my physiotherapists and occupational therapists to look after myself better and try to pace more! More a case of practice what I preach!

For more information about the conditions and how to manage  FM  check out:

FMA UK (Fibromyalgia Association) Fibromyalgia Action UK and for Fibromyalgia or arthritis Arthritis Research UK  Arthritis Research UK 

Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network (USA) 



That said, I’ve restarted using a free iPhone/ Android app myfitnesspal   which is a useful weightloss tool, monitoring my food intake and exercise/ activity levels etc. I know there are others out there, but this is one that works for me and is free, another four letter word I like.

My weight on 28th January was 81.6kg and cur

rently about 79.4kgs. Not a lot of weightloss I know. It has fluctuated a bit because  I keep falling off the wagon and giving in to chocolate,  carbohydrates and sugar cravings especially when my fatigue is bad. But at least it’s going in the right direction…downward trend!

The tips I’ve learned from other people that help are to vary my breakfasts by sometimes having porridge with fruit and on other days, having less carbs and more protein e.g. Poached egg with steamed spinach, grilled tomato and bacon, which leaves me feeling surprisingly fuller longer. Also, we are encouraged to drink more water. This is not always easy or enjoyable to do.  But I’ve I found this brilliant fruit infuser water bottle  really helpful, check out my post  Summit Aqua Infuser.

So I’ll keep you updated on my progress…watch this space!






Update: 16/05/2016

My weightloss has been a bit irratic! It went down on 22/03/16 to 78.4kg, but then went up and plateaued around 79.4Kg. I got a bit disheartened and did not try for  a while. But today I decided to face the music and lo and behold it has come back down to 78.7Kg! So it has spurred me to keep trying.  I’ve had to cut back again on my walking, because it’s fatigued me too much, so have had to use the mobility scooter more. Hey Ho! Hopefully with the sunny, warmer weather and eating less stodgy foods I will lose some more. Watch my hopefully…diminishing space! 🙂


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