Unfortunately, having Fibromyalgia is not fun. However, I am so grateful that it has taught me so much about my health. (I say this after consuming lots of noodles, so I’m still not the beacon of healthiness) Fibromyalgia makes me think a lot more about my body, and what it likes and dislikes, than I want to, starting from my stiff shoulders in the morning, to my cranky mid-afternoon, if I don’t eat healthily throughout the day. This isn’t exactly how I had pictured my young-adulthood. I’d still like to be munching on ramen noodles and microwave popcorn in the middle of the night, let’s be honest. But my changed-life with Fibromyalgia has given me a new lease on my body and keeping it at its best. Honestly, we should all be more like this,but it’s just not as fun…
One of the best things that I can do for myself is exercise. Light stretching and movement in general is the best way to combat stiffness and pain, and to get my metabolism going so that I can have energy throughout the day. It’s as important as the lecturers say, but sometimes, sleeping curled up in a ball with my heated blanket on feels like a better cure. It’s not, though! It’s not. But, hey. I’m a fan of anything warm and cozy–especially brownies. Right?
When I first learned that Fibromyalgia might change my diet, I was literally terrified. As a girl who loves her food, I was not all about that gluten free life. One of the specialists that I went to suggested that I stop eating everything that was not meat, vegetables, or fruit. Which, the longer you think about it, is basically everyth:ing that is delicious and exciting about mealtime. So, I took his advice with enough grains of salt for a large order of french fries and moved on.
But let’s rewind to about January of this year. My mom began following a new meal plan and lifestyle called “Trim Healthy Mama.” (Click the link below to learn the details of their advised lifestyle.) I was incredibly skeptical, and thought that her new ideas on food and way of eating were a little crazy, and kept up with my usual meals of macaroni and cheese and fruit snacks. I found it incredibly annoying when she would share positive or startling healthy facts about “THM,” as they call it, and was definitely not as enthused as she was about her latest “diet,” which I assumed would wane after a bit, and we’d all go on as before. I was happy that she was happy, but definitely not convinced, and stayed far away from that bandwagon, with no intentions of jumping on.
She was just learning about her new diet when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and as I tried to get better and focused on my goals, my diet was briefly discussed, as many people who have Fibromyalgia are followers of the paleo diet, or are gluten free. The first thoughts that come to mind when I think about these rigid diets are, “Ew…” and “Refined food is yummy food…” Duh.
Summer rolled around. If you’re like me at all, you know that there is no time like swimsuit season to think about your health and body. I exercise and watch what I eat, and I have a pretty great metabolism, so I usually just casually spot a few less than stellar things when I am glancing in the mirror in my shorts or swimsuit. As my worst critic, this is a bit rough, but since I am nowhere near the status of Kim Kardashian (living near a beach, taking swimsuit selfies, expected to stun in a bikini…) so I typically just move on and have a poolside snack…it’s whatever.
But that day, I got to thinking. I am pretty aware of research and studies about health and science, because I’m a nerd, and I know that the secret to flat abs (what every girl wants in a light cotton sundress, cute little swimsuit, or the classic pair of faded denim jean shorts, are best and most often acheived in the kitchen. After doing a little more research, I asked my mom if she thought that my tummy was caused by the food that I eat, stress and lack of sleep (This Spring was a doozy!) or something else. She thought that it was probably food, and most likely related to too much wheat in my diet. She suggested that I consider trying things her new way.
I began by eating breakfast, and changing my morning meal because that one is the easiest one to control. On Trim Healthy Mama, cooking is definitely something that is encouraged, and all meals have some degree of preparation–you can’t just stuff something in your mouth, typically. Usually my favorites are scrambled eggs and ground beef, or scrambled eggs and bacon, and Greek yogurt and fruit.
I also love eating fruit and lunch meat, and any other on-plan meals that my family will have for dinner, like salmon or steak. I love cheeseburgers in a bowl over some lettuce, like I had for lunch today, and there are tons of other delicious things you can eat! I also eat every 3-4 hours, so my metabolism is running and my energy stays up!
Now, I eat at least two out of four of my meals on THM plan. I’m feeling great, which is a bonus, and my body looks pretty great, if I do say so myself. I’m super proud of myself for eating this way, and I know that it’s teaching me awesome habits.
Lots of people with Fibromyalgia benefit from eating this way, too, so I’m hoping that I’ll continue to see positive results. .
I’m excited to start blogging my health and fitness journey as a young person who still loves food but is working at health and fitness with Fibro and a swimsuit. ♥