Fighting Fat, Chasing Chips …

I was ‘large’ before MS, but comfortably so, I thought.

I’m tall, and carried my weight well.

I could still browse normal stores, pick out a top or two to try on in a changing room without feeling too … fat.

Then came the nerve meds, steroids, comfort eating. MS, basically.

My weight crept up and up and up. And up some more. And then it leapt considerably and it just wasn’t funny any more.

Most of my clothes were bagged and put away in a cupboard. I shunned mirrors and didn’t recognise myself in photos. I had a teeny-tiny head on an enormous body. It wasn’t me. And if it wasn’t me, who was it?

I read all the ‘we can cure MS through diet’ books. I looked through the miracle websites; I should cut out carbs, ban sugar.

That’s all well and good, but perhaps finding the reasons for my food choices could be more important than following a trending diet plan without digging more deeply?

Unpicking those choices with a therapist over the last two years has been invaluable for me.

I’m in the middle of being diagnosed with a fairly serious mental health illness. But the incredible thing is, I’ll be diagnosed officially with it when I’m almost through the worst and heading towards needing little, if no intervention.

I’ve thought long and hard about writing this post, but it is important to me and hopefully to many other people with MS, who are also struggling with their mental health.

It’s very easy to concentrate solely on our physical symptoms, frightening enough in themselves – the nerve pain, the balance issues, the complete and utter dysfunction of our once ‘working’ bodies.

But what about our minds? Our mental health? I had so many emotional issues I didn’t feel able to discuss seven years ago when MS first started. Now, after unpicking them with my counsellor, I am able to work out patterns, understand trigger points and hopefully – fingers crossed – have a plan of action to be able to deal with the ups and downs of living with MS.

So now, I have started to cut out carbs, my go-to comfort. And sugar, my absolute go-to comfort.

I won’t lie, it’s tough, cutting my daily intake of sweetness and soothing comfort, But, by facing up to my latent demons and the ever-lurking shadows of the past, I hope to shed my carb-fest weight and reveal the real me.

Can I do it?

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6 thoughts on “Fighting Fat, Chasing Chips …

  1. Val says:

    You can do it! You have done and shared so much since you were diagnosed and have inspired us all with your achievements.

  2. Yes, you can do it. You’ve accomplished so many difficult things. This is a worthwhile, achievable challenge. Eventually, the food that nourishes you will become your comfort food. And the stuff you consider comfort food now will be exposed as the false friends they are. You’ll find that even a little bit of sugar or alcohol can actually have deleterious effects on your mood, and that will make it easier to avoid consuming them. Your mental health will improve, right along with your physical health.
    As someone who has gone down this road before you, I’d recommend you avoid the Wahls cookbooks—they are all chemistry and no palate. Instead, try this website, which always has yummy, easy recipes: There’s also a very handy free app called Real Plans that helps you plan your meals and shopping, while hewing to your goals. Real Plans is run by real people: I know because a real person emailed me when they saw I’d kind of forgotten to start using the app, and nudged me along. Don’t we all need a little helpful nudge sometimes?
    You wil start feeling better as you develop your new habits. And soon you’ll be able to wear your old favorite clothing again. And until then, don’t forget you are beautiful at any size.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      What a fantastic comment, thank you so much 🙂
      I’ve had a good look round the website and it seems brilliant with some great ideas. I’m feeling pretty rough at the moment and The Teenager has advised me to have a few more carbs than I’m currently having. Think I may have cut them back to much, too soon.

      • I agree it’s best to start slow. It’s important to never feel deprived. To do that, you have to do a lot of planning in advance, so that when you are hungry, there is nutritious food within reach.

        • stumbling in flats says:

          Thank you! I’m trying to work my way through my kitchen cupboards and bulk buy some ingredients. I take a box of almonds to work every day, which helps 🙂 I am enjoying it, but I think you’re absolutely right, slow and steady! X

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