Here I am sharing more in-depth about my fibromyalgia weight loss to share my experiences and tips with you. Whilst I know everyone is different I also hope that my experiences help.
Showing one person’s experiences of how it can be and how it can change over time it may help you.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition causing fatigue and pain all over the body. People with fibromyalgia often report that it feels very similar to when you have flu in the way that your whole body feels stiff and aches.
Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include difficulty sleeping, irregular sleep patterns and memory and concentration difficulties. This is often called fibro-fog. This can happen even with the best mattress.
Extreme tiredness, pain and increased sensitivity to pain is there daily and fibromyalgia can really affect your life.
Often individuals with fibromyalgia also suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), headaches and other issues. SIBO Survivor explains how IBS affects your body.
How is fibromyalgia treated?
There are a number of ways you can treat fibromyalgia including CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), antidepressants, painkillers, physical therapists and relaxation techniques apart from sleeping on the right mattress.
The treatment options you are given will often vary depending on the severity of your symptoms and the specific symptoms you are finding most troublesome.
Exercise is commonly recommended as important to reduce pain. It doesn’t have to be painful to exercise, there are some great exercises that won’t hurt as much, for example, swimming.
Fibromyalgia symptoms, my experience
Back in early 2013 I had been in pain for about 9 months and getting more and more fatigued. It got to the point that it changed my life. I was physically and mentally so exhausted.
After just a trip in the car to get to a small supermarket shop, I would sleep for a few hours. Little did I realise this was fibromyalgia, the pain condition.
Every day I was in pain and nothing the doctor had given me had helped. My whole body hurt from the minute I woke up to the minute I went to bed. All movements hurt and I felt like I was falling apart.
Getting a fibromyalgia diagnosis?
My G.P. referred me to the rheumatologist at the hospital. They did a few tests to rule out some other conditions and then diagnosed me with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
A diagnosis meant I knew what was wrong but it doesn’t make it go away, does it?!
My fibromyalgia and weight gain
Fibromyalgia can really start to have an effect on your mental health. I was depressed and morbidly obese on the body mass index at the same time.
Due to this I really felt like my life was over. I couldn’t do much because of the pain and I felt so useless so it spiralled and my depression deepened.
As I have spoken about before I also was in an abusive relationship and that of course doesn’t help things mentally either. My life was going downhill and I felt like nothing could improve it.
When you gain weight it can be so disheartening and when it feels like your health is causing that it feels even worse.
Remember too when you exercise you can gain weight instead of losing initially, don’t worry this won’t last.
My best fibromyalgia weight loss
In January 2014 I joined Slimming World. I was in the position where just going to my Slimming World group some days would wear me out for the rest of the day. This did not put me off though, I was determined to do it.
I went out on a few walks with others from the group and despite being in agony I was adamant I was going to shift this excess weight.
Luckily, with the weather and other commitments, the walks were few and far between and I had plenty of rest in between.
You can also (in the US) get a service dog for fibromyalgia for added support which sounds like a great idea.
As the weight was dropping off me I started to notice an improvement in the pain, not much but a bit, slowly. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was just a good week.
I hardly did any exercise during my dieting journey partly due to my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and partly due to being idle!
Honestly I just never really liked the idea of exercise or physical activity, even at school!
Does weight loss help fibromyalgia?
With fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, you can have good and bad weeks so I didn’t want to pin my hopes on an improvement too soon but there definitely seemed some improvements.
I was able to go out for longer and the pain seemed more bearable. It hadn’t gone away but it felt like there was some improvement.
If you prefer another weight loss plan like Second Nature there is no reason you can’t find that benefits your fibromyalgia too.
My target story, how it went away for a while
As I got closer and closer to my target weight I noticed there definitely had been an improvement.
Whilst I still had pain and fatigue I felt I could cope with it much more than I had previously.
I felt happier too, my life had improved a lot. In my journey to target I had left the abusive relationship, met my new man, Stuart, and felt happier with my body in general. I definitely had a better quality of life.
What about fibromyalgia weight loss?
At my target, I wouldn’t say my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue had gone by a long shot but it had really become much milder. I could cope with the problems I had with it much better.
I trained for and ran a half marathon (The Great North Run) in a time I was proud of, 2hrs 24 mins! These conditions were in the background now, something I had but that I could manage happily.
An update a few years on
As you know I have gained some weight again. I have noticed the difference in my confidence because of this and have written about that previously. I have also noticed the difference in my Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.
It has got worse again. I am not saying for everyone there is a link but for me gaining weight seems to have made it worse again.
This is one of the many reasons I am determined to lose weight and get back to where I was.
Some people may say was too slim but for me, I was happy and well, both physically and mentally. So, for me, that is where I want to be again.
Recently I have been so tired and sore again, the fatigue gets the better of me and the pain is definitely not where it initially was but is very close at times.
I have done this to myself and I have made my bed so I will have to lie in it.
That said, I am not lying in it for long. I am working on getting back to the place I was well and coped with the symptoms I had. That was a happy place for me so I want to get there again.
I loved running and being able to go the Great North Run, The Mansfield 10K etc and definitely want to be in a place where I can again!
Can you lose weight with fibromyalgia?
For me, my weight definitely has an impact on my symptoms, whilst it didn’t go away completely even when I was a size 6-8 it was so much more manageable.
I lost weight with fibromyalgia by doing it carefully with a healthy diet, some exercise, and not pushing myself too far.
I know that not everyone will find this but so many people are surprised when I say I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue because I have run a half marathon.
Some people may not be able to achieve this but it sure has to be worth a try!
Everyone with these conditions is different but some women with fibromyalgia do find that the pain is eased by losing weight. I know my weight has a huge impact on my symptoms.
Not only that but my ability to do things on a day-to-day basis and exercise like running!
Fibromyalgia, weight loss and depression are all linked
I will always have these conditions they won’t ever go away. I know for me one way of managing my symptoms is by keeping my weight down.
Another aspect that seems to make a bit of a difference is the more depressed I am the more I struggle with the symptoms too.
Am I saying if you lose weight your symptoms will go? Of course not, I am just sharing my experiences and being as honest and relatable as I can and telling you how mine improved a lot but never went completely.
Does fibromyalgia medication cause weight loss or does fibromyalgia medication cause weight gain?
Everyone is different and reacts differently to different medications but the best thing you can do is to talk to your doctor and ask for their advice. Some medications do have the side effect of making you hungry.
If a medication affects your appetite you can still lose weight by eating the healthier choices when you are feeling hungry.
Believe in yourself and you can achieve it if that is what you want. There is no magic cure unfortunately but you can beat the weight and be as healthy as possible with the right support.
Fibromyalgia and exercise
It is completely possible to exercise with fibromyalgia but it is all about starting slowly and building up.
Whilst you could start a fitness routine and exercise every day for a week it would do you no benefit in the long term.
I have another article full of fibromyalgia exercise tips to help you.
More about me and my journey
Read more about my abusive relationship and how it affected my life.
If you want to read more about my depression and how open I am about it then pop here I have depression but its ok, ditch the stigma and Does losing weight help depression?
If you have found this helpful please do share it with your friends and family.
Meal plans and fibromyalgia diet plans
Any of my meal plans would be great to help you lose weight. Check them all out and do let me know how you get on.
Other success stories you might like
Weightlifting not weight loss – how changing focus can make a huge difference
Matthews 22 stone to 15 stone weight loss story
Ben – pre teen’s weight loss story
Why I think you should ignore your BMI
Emma’s weight loss surgery success
Ten truths of slimming as a couple
Weight loss whilst breastfeeding
My weight loss story size 30 to size 6
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Hi Jen I really can relate to your story as I my lost 14 stone on Slimming World the year before Stuart and and felt completely amazing the healthiest I had ever been as an adult then I had to hernia operations within 6-months of being a target for over 2 years and my weight continued 2 pylon in January I was 30 stone 6 and I have suffered from fibro myalgia for the past 5-years with chronic fatigue and sleep apnea so I really really do feel your pain I’ve been back in class since January and I’ve lost 2 stone 3 and 1/2 pounds and it’s a real struggle from date the day I still work full time somehow I’ve managed to keep doing it that my wife left me in march after 20 years together so I must get this weight off to have any chance of turning my life back around my shining light is my 10-year old son, I love your article is uplifting also has Sadness good luck in the future I hope you and Stuart have a long and happy life
I was with Jen when she tried on her first smaller sized outfit. It was a wonderful moment for us both. Jen you are a wonderful motivator. Looking forward to following you x
Hi Jen, great to hear your story, I have lost over 5 stone and then gained a bit and has taken year. Mainly because trying to diet and manage Fibromyalgia, working part-time, IBS and then getting ill constantly was wearing me down. I get how you may think losing the weight helped the Fibromyalgia but have you considered you were in a break period where it eased. And now it is a bit harder the weight is coming back on. I find with sleep issues and pain your body craves carbs so dont feel bad. I know reading your story you will not give up, like me Im no where near a size 6/8 more like 8/10 on top 12 on bottom but going from a size 18 being 5ft 2in to where I am now I am still proud even if I gain a little. I am still working and being a parent my blessing is the love of my life my hubby who gives me the courage to do anything.
Well Jen this is definitely an eye opener. Thanks hun u have made me realise I can do this. Lizzie xx
Wow this post was amazing to read.. I have fibromyalgia and have left domestic abuse recently. I have gained a ton of weight and am regularly sleeping in the daytime. I also have CFS RLS and sleep apnea so am going through the mill a bit. I'm keeping positivity going and hope that I will too loose the weight gained. Thank you for this post
Thank you for this, I have just got diagnosed with fibromyalgia and awaiting to see my consultant in February next year as I have been suffering for over 1 year now. I have noticed my fatigue is getting bad, but with working full time I’m trying to keep myself awake during the day at work.
My main pain is always bottom of my back and in my hips, I hate it and I am still young only 32! I just hope there’s something they can help me with the pain.