Many people don’t really understand fibromyalgia, it’s a bit of a mystery, but the pain and fatigue you feel are VERY real. I know this to be true, as years ago I was diagnosed with it. Here are my “secrets” to getting my life back. 🙂
I’m not here to tell you about the symptoms or the treatment; you can do a Google search yourself and find out all you need to know about that. No, my purpose here is to tell you how I feel like a Rock Star most of the time. 🙂
Keep in mind that good health, and feeling good, is a process. Optimal health is kind of a like a pie: it has several components which make up the whole. When one of these components is missing, you simply won’t feel your best. And the longer it’s missing, the worse you’ll feel.
So anyway, to achieve optimal health, you have to think of it as keeping the Pie That Is Your Life as whole as possible. That helps you feel good as much of the time as possible.
Is it foolproof? Certainly not. Those of us with fibromyalgia know with certainty when it’s going to rain, even when the forecast doesn’t mention it. (My thighs ache. True story!) Dramatic weather changes, such as the change of seasons or those cool-warm-cold-warm-hot periods we have make us miserable.
Once in a while, although they are rare, I still have one of those days when every muscle in my body simply hurts to move. If my schedule allows it, the best thing I can do for myself is to snuggle up under a blanket for a couple of hours and get really warm. That makes a world of difference. The best part is, because I’m healthy, it typically doesn’t last very long, and I go back to feeling like my Rock Star self. 🙂
But first, a Disclaimer: The tips I’m sharing with you are overall generally recognized good health tips; they have worked for me, and done consistently, they may work for you. But I can’t guarantee it. 🙂 Also, please check with your doctor before making any sudden or drastic life changes or starting an exercise program. Now that that’s out of the way….the good stuff.
1. Eat an Energy Diet.
If you eat crap, you will feel like crap. Your body needs quality fuel, filled with nutrients to nourish it.
I’m referring to a balanced whole-foods diet with nutritious foods such as lots of vegetables, a variety of lean proteins, such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey and seafood (or wild game if you prefer it), nuts and seeds (if you aren’t allergic), some fruits and, if you like carbs, choosing the ones which are processed the least. Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. Develop a habit of using good-quality olive oils. Substitute almond or coconut flour for refined white flour in recipes. Reduce or preferably eliminate over-processed foods, preservatives, and sugar as much as possible. Reduce or stop your soda consumption (I consume fewer than 3 sodas per year. True story.) Artificial sweeteners and sugar will make your fibromyalgia pain worse.
I love food. And yes, I love to take pictures of it things I ate. Especially if it was pretty. 😉
If you need to lose weight, watch your fruit and carb consumption, as it will wreak havoc on your blood sugar, and once it wears off you’ll be more tired than ever. Since I began a mostly Paleo diet (one primarily without grains), my blood sugar hovers right around 86-88. I eat beef, eggs and bacon every week, and my cholesterol hovers between 202-208, with no medication. This last time it was 212, but I figure that was the Nachos Bel Grande I ate for lunch the day before. 😀
And, drink lots of water. If you don’t like it, figure out a way to like it without adding sugar. Your body needs it. Without it, you’ll feel tired.
I’m not saying give up the things you like permanently; that’s what makes life worth living. Enjoy it with gusto, then resume an energy diet the rest of the time. Consistently, most of the time.
Don’t diet, make a lifestyle change. I still enjoy the things I have always loved, I just enjoy them less frequently. And you know what? I enjoy them more. That makes them more special.
Like Lobster Mac and Cheese, for instance. This is a wonderful treat I enjoy about once per year. MMMMMMM.
If you’re having a crummy day and really need French fries, eat the fries at one meal, and follow that meal with a healthy one. Often, the quickest way to making myself feel better on a really crummy day is to have a really healthy meal. Start your day with protein, to give your body some long-term energy to get through the day. Day by day, it will make a difference!
So, this post got so long I had to break it into two parts. So stay tuned for Part Two!