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I succeeded at making a lifestyle change and lost over 40 pounds without exercising regularly or starving myself and I want to share how.

Here I am… about to talk about my most dreaded topic at the moment… my weight. First off, let me say, I’m like 90% of all the other women out there who think they’d look better if they dropped a few (or 50 pounds). 😉 Unfortunately, I have fibromyalgia, so I am very limited on what exercises I can do and how often to help lose the extra weight; my body just can’t handle it. If you have fibromyalgia, you know exactly what I mean. I succeeded at that lifestyle change everyone is talking about and it wasn’t as difficult as you might think.

If you want to lose weight and successfully keep it off,

you have to make it a lifestyle change.

I suppose I should tell you how it was I gained the extra poundage to begin with, right? Well, I had two beautiful little babies back to back; and I mean still nursing Gracelynn while I was 6 months pregnant with Arianna, kind of back to back. My body likes to hang on to the extra insulation until after my babies are at least a year old before it decides to say “Oh, okay, I can go now…” Well, the day I stepped on the scale after Gracie was born and saw the beautiful number that was my pre-pregsters weight was also the day we found out we were going to have another baby! Mix in postpartum depression and a side of a mile-long list of medications I had to start taking, I lost myself entirely.

When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I knew I had to get serious. No way I was going to let this beat me. I tried every fad diet/weight loss thing out there and nothing was working. I couldn’t exercise as hard as I wanted to because of the pain, so I focused on the food part. They say losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise right? Well, I made it a point to change the way I ate, not ONLY because I wanted to lose weight, but mostly because I wanted to lose weight. Who doesn’t though, right?

I woke up this morning and saw a number

on the scale I haven’t seen since I got married.

Needless to say, I was thrilled!

First things first, I focused on portion control. I ate whatever I wanted, when I wanted, I just didn’t overdo it. By overdo it, I mean I didn’t gorge myself, I just ate until I was satisfied. I knew that I would be able to satisfy any cravings that came up, so I wasn’t bummed in the slightest when I set the fork down after the last bite. Eating smaller, more appropriate portions (of whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted) allowed my body to get accustomed to having healthy portion sizes before focusing on more “lifestyle change responsibilities”, like what the food actually was. It always makes me so miserable (and more likely to fail) if I do both of those steps at once, so I didn’t. Using a smaller plate and only helping myself to one serving made this part easier.

When I was comfortable with my portion sizes, I began cutting down on starchy foods, limiting myself to no more than two slices worth of bread or other “simple” carbs. I tried substituting other, more healthy, choices and the more I did this, the more my cravings started to change. After awhile I wasn’t craving a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, aka my kryptonite, or potatoes of any kind, especially in the chip form, am I right? I started substituting things in my diet for healthier choices, and with a lot of them, I found I liked the substitutions better that the “bad for you” original.

 

 

I said I didn’t deprive myself right? But I didn’t say I didn’t have to work at this either. So, don’t be a lazy bones jones and eat only some healthier-ish stuff, mmk? Yeah, plain Greek yogurt was naaaaasty when I first tried it, but I didn’t want the extra sugar that was in all the other yogurt, but I could do a little something, something to the plain stuff to make it more appealing. I found a few different ideas on P and decided that all natural, straight from the hive raw honey (agave works too) was what it needed. Mixing a small amount of honey in there, adding a handful of berries and some toasted coconut sprinkled on top quickly became the breakfast I craved.

I made accessing healthy snack options easier by chopping and making “grab bags” of fresh fruit and veggies. For lunch, I substituted a leaf of romaine or butter lettuce for bread on a sandwich, and for dinner I ate whatever I wanted as long as it was before 7pm and appropriate portion sizes. If I ate after 7 pm it was sugar-free jello, cucumbers, or a sugar-free popsicle. I started to see the weight come off, slowly, yes, but that number on the scale was getting lower everyday. Keep in mind you will lose the weight faster if you try to remain on your feet as much as possible during the day.

When you don’t eat enough, your body goes into “starvation mode”

and your metabolism slooooows way down, halting weight loss.

At this point, any time my weight loss stalled, it was because I wasn’t eating enough! Sounds backwards, yeah? I didn’t stand on the scale over a weekend and hardly ate anything. I gained a pound and a half! Fail! Over the next few days, I jumped back on the bandwagon and it fell right back off. If you bounce from diet to diet (especially when you focus on counting calories), you are teaching your body to prepare for those “starvation” times. In turn, your body stores anything extra you give it, which is why the weight comes back when your “diet is over”. I lost the most weight when I spent my days snacking on healthier options throughout the day, never letting myself get hungry, than I did sticking to a strict meal plan.



Now to the cravings… Like I mentioned before, my cravings adjusted themselves as I adjusted my eating habits, but there will be a time when you walk by a Cinnabon at the mall and you’ve gotta have it! I kept a list of all my cravings and then waited for the day to reward myself! After losing 10-15 pounds by adapting to these new eating habits, you can go all out. When I had a day pop up where I felt like it would be a fantastic day and I could go on a long walk (to ease the cheater’s guilt), I pulled out my list of cravings, picked out a few of them and indulged.

I was soon shocked to discover that a lot of my

cravings were not as good as I remember.

It was way too sweet; and after not liking it was the last memory I have of it, I know that I, personally, won’t crave it again. If I am going to spend the calories, I might as well do it on things that make me say “oooh myyy gaahhhh” when I eat them. After awhile my cravings list started to shrink because I began craving healthier options. After I lost another ten pounds, I made sure that the only days I would eat whatever and whenever I wanted fell on days when I was up and about and on my feet a lot. I am limited with regards to what I can do, so when a good day comes around I can’t bring myself to sit down!

Up until now, I have lost all my weight without doing any sort of formal exercise. I can’t say I didn’t exercise at all, it’s amazing what a few games of tag with your children will do for your soul (and your waistline!). It has taken me longer than I wanted, but that’s okay, because I know this time, the weight will stay off. I succeeded because I focused on myself, my body. I stopped trying to force a cookie cutter diet to work for me because they don’t work, not long-term anyway. Make a lifestyle change, it’s not as hard as you think, just make sure you do it for you. Focus on what YOU need, not what everyone else tells you you need. I hope that sharing how I have managed to lose 40 pounds by making a lifestyle change helps you pursue your own lifestyle change, let me know in the comments below! If you’d like to what what it is I actually eat now that I have dropped so much weight and found what works for me, you can check that out here.



 

 

I succeeded at making a lifestyle change and lost over 40 pounds without exercising regularly or starving myself and I want to share how.

I succeeded at making a lifestyle change and lost over 40 pounds without exercising regularly or starving myself and I want to share how.

I succeeded at making a lifestyle change and lost over 40 pounds without exercising regularly or starving myself and I want to share how.

I succeeded at making a lifestyle change and lost over 40 pounds without exercising regularly or starving myself and I want to share how.

I succeeded at making a lifestyle change and lost over 40 pounds without exercising regularly or starving myself and I want to share how.

I succeeded at making a lifestyle change and lost over 40 pounds without exercising regularly or starving myself and I want to share how.

I succeeded at making a lifestyle change and lost over 40 pounds without exercising regularly or starving myself and I want to share how.

I succeeded at making a lifestyle change and lost over 40 pounds without exercising regularly or starving myself and I want to share how.

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28 Comments on How I Lost 40 Pounds While Battling Fibromyalgia

  1. inspirational post, thanks for sharing. I too have fibromyalgia and sjrogrens syndrome and am in a lot of pain. However I am now going to take your advice and make small changes and vet off the sofa more when I feel ok
    Thankyou

    • Hi Linda! Chronic illnesses are the absolute worst, but when I have a good day, I ask myself why I am sitting down whenever I find myself doing so. If it’s not because I REALLY need a little break to recollect, then I get back up and find something to do that will keep me moving! I hope your little changes snowball into big, life changing ones! Hang in there and have a fabulous week!!

      Danielle

  2. This is the first article I have read that makes sense, I have fibromyalgia and lupus so I have a double whammy. I am an LPN and work 12 hour shifts in a nursing home so exercising is really hard, I get home and I’m exhausted, my days off I spend trying to catch up on things around the house and I’m not 20 anymore. I think I will try your tips and hope for the best that I can drop some pounds and start feeling like the old me before the sudden weight gain. Thanks

    • Oh Colleen! I am so sorry you have to suffer and then work like a maniac on top of that! I wouldn’t focus on your exercising right now, doing everything all at once is overwhelming and you’ll be more likely to fall into old habits. Focus on your eating, even at work. It’s so easy to reach for easy snacks prepackaged “healthy food” but if you take a couple hours one day a week to wash, cut, and “package” you’re own snacks into their own smaller, grab and go containers, you’ll be able to stay on track with your eating without getting out the door any later or having to get up earlier to prep.

      Good luck!!

  3. I would love for you to share a sample week menu of exactly what you eat. I am struggling with fibro and have put on 30 pounds.

  4. I would also love to see a sample weekly menu as I suffer from fibromyalgia and mental health problems and have put on a lot of weight

  5. Great post w several good tips. I have fibro and chronic pain in the lower back and hips and it’s sometimes very difficult for me to walk esp if I’ve spent a day on my feet. Today was a very bad day yesterday was better. For some reason weekends are almost always more painful.

    Once kids go back to school I will be looking for a good stretching video and hopefully that will help with some of this awful stiffness that’s been so bad this year.

    Thanks again 🙂

    • Hi Tina! You’re speaking my language lady. I had to break down and get a walker for the really bad days. I started spending more time stretching and using my muscle roller (almost) every day and then soaking in an epsom salt bath after and that’s helped me get through the really tough days. If I come up with any other remedies or helpful tips, you can bet I will post about that! Feel better!

      -Danielle

      • What is a muscle roller? I have a ball with spikes that I’ve used but I’m to worried about the paint on the walls getting messed up by using it very often. ibdobuse a chiro whose specialty is trigger point and myofascile release and that helps a lot. Maybe I should consider getting a walker for the weekends or bad days. I’ll talk to the chiro and check garage sales for one.

        I just started taking CBD oil and have high hopes it will help. So far it’s eased some of the pain and a lot of my stiffness.

        • Hi Tina!
          Here is the one I have but in black. You see these rollers with textured sides like the one I linked, but also just a foam tube with smooth sides. While the smooth one is less painful, it’s also less effective. It took me a couple uses to get the hang of it. I only ever use the spike balls on my feet. I have these solid massage balls that I use for my lower back and upper chest. I was going to a chiro regularly too, twice a week for a long time, but since I moved, I haven’t established a new one. I can definitely feel it too! I have this walker and love it because it has a built in seat. Even with the walker, I sometimes am not strong enough to move across a room, so being able to sit and rest or try to move with my feet really helps a lot. As far as CBD oil, you’ve got the right idea. It’s worked wonders for me when it comes to making it easier to sleep at night. I hope you start to feel better soon!

          -Danielle

  6. Thank you for the information. Very inspiring. I am in my late 50’s and have fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, bone spurs on my entire spine, degenerative disc disease, CRPS. My knees are bad as well so a lot of exercises I am no longer able to do but therapy has shown me different ways to adapt. I do what I can in the bed before getting up and I mainly do stretching and yoga stretches that I can do. I do know decrease in sugar helps with the pain and decrease in carbs. Low carb High fat diet is really not healthy and its for short term. Usually these low carbers eventually gain all their weight back. I like your version of weight loss, its simple and more choices of healthy foods. Do you have a support page on facebook where everyone can join and share foods/recipes? I am disabled now and use to do a lot of walking as exercise (which is the best for you) however no longer able to do that. A lifestyle change of eating and exercise would make a good support group for fibromyalgia suffers as well as chronic pain illness. Again thank you.

    • Hi Pam! I am so glad we found each other! I am so sorry that you’ve been suffering for so long… And bone spurs throughout your whole back?? OUCH! It sounds like you are on the right track with your morning stretches and exercises. Low Carb – High Fat is definitely something that doesn’t work well for me. My husband though, sw3aers by it! He’s succeeded with his weight loss journey doing Keto but was only able to keep the weight off by slowly reincorporating “normal foods” into his diet. Anyone who switches back to “regular eating” after dropping the weight will definitely gain it back. I am not a fan of yo-yo dieting which is why slowly adjusting my eating habits allowed me to not only drop the weight, but keep it off too! It’s been the simplest (and sometimes hardest) way for me to make the lifestyle change that was needed to succeed in my weight loss. I have a Facebook page, you can find it here, however, it’s still relatively new/small so I haven’t switched over to a group yet, but it’s in the works! Per your suggestion, I will start sharing the yummy recipes I find and try (or come up with myself) there and I welcome you to do so too (and invite your friends)! I try to walk everyday, but there are some days that my legs and back just can’t keep me upright. On those days, I pull out my walker and do as many laps around my first floor as I can. Sometimes it’s only one, sometimes it’s a few, but I try to force myself to do it because I know it will benefit me in the long run. I hope adjusting your eating habits helps you as much as it helps me.

      Talk soon!
      -Danielle

  7. Hi, I have fibro and gained weight and used to be fit and energetic. I didn’t see your meal plan. I would love to check it out.

    • Hi Sky! I know the feeling you get when you go from fit and energetic to barely being able to move some days…. The struggle is real! That said, I do better when I don’t follow a strict meal plan. I have a list of foods in this post that I pick and choose from depending on what I’m craving. As long as I keep myself surrounded with those foods, I’m good to go. Keep in mind, the food that works for me, might not work for you. It’s best to use this post as a guideline to redirect your current eating habits before adjusting the actual foods you eat. I’ve discovered that doing that first has allowed me to maintain my weightless and not gain anything back if I “fall off the wagon” and eat whatever, whenever, however much I want (or think I want). When that happens, I always feel HORRIBLE, not mentally being down on myself for having gone a little crazy (eating “bad foods” is okay in moderation), but physically I suffer. I feel like it’s worse with fibromyalgia because you feel every little thing in your body. I hope that helps!

      Have a great weekend!
      -Danielle

  8. I also lost weight while battling Fibro. I stopped Gluten,Sugar, artificial color and sweetner,and soft drinks, diet and regular. Lots of water…no exercise…I lost over 40 lbs in approximately 3 mos. Doctors thought it was to much to quick and started running all kinds of test.i believe it was dietary, but doctors aren’t convinced! I have three more tests and maybe they will leave me alone !!

  9. Hey,
    I got diagnosed with fibromyalgia around 4 years back and since then it has been a constant struggle. I work in an MNC and have 9 to 10hr shifts. The pain on my shoulders feel so bad that it feels like somebody is cutting it with a chainsaw, add to that the difficulty i experience in following verbal instructions or remembering what step i was on. The constant tiredness is killing;its like all i want to do is sleep and even that does not help. It makes me feel so bad when i see myself sometimes because i used to have something of a figure but since getting diagnosed its like i cannot atop craving carbs and that affects my weight. And working in an office oviously makes you feel that you want to look your best and drop some weight n not experience those sensitivities to temperature and to light and not experience the fogginess. Your information was very helpful, i’ll try to incorporate them. Thank you so much 😊

    • Hey there Glory!

      Let me just say, you are one tough cookie! There’s no way I could work a regular 8 hour shift daily, let alone one as long as yours. I completely understand the pain in your shoulders, that’s one of my bad spots too. I wrote this post about fighting fibro fog that you might find useful. As far as the constant tiredness, I found surprising help (mind you the tiredness is unfortunately something people like us have to learn to live with) when Gracelynn started kindergarten full time. I need to be up at 6 am every day to help get her ready and to the bus. When I come home, sometimes if I move around and drink some water, I realize that my brain starts to wake up and my pain is under control because of my overnight meds. If I stick to my morning routine then it’s much easier for me to make it through the day. If I give into the exhaustion and go back to sleep for a couple hours, then when I wake up my entire body can’t do anything and it’s really hard to make it through the day. Trust me when I say that it still takes a lot for me to resist the urge to lay back down and fall asleep. It’s tough, but worth it.

      Hope that helps!

      Talk soon-
      Danielle

  10. Wonderful journey and what an inspiration. I am 62 yrs old and have suffered with autoimmune issues since I was 29 when I found out I had Hashimoto’s disease and pretty much lost most of the function of my thyroid. Some years later I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and most recently, Sjogrens. I get severe muscle spasms if I stretch my muscles the least little bit beyond what they normally will go. It happens hours later or the next day. The spasms last for about 20 minutes and they drop me to my knees it hurst so bad. Needless to say, exercise is not my friend. I am encouraged that weight loss can be achieved without the excercise. My body and spirit cannot handle the stressors that dieting causes which is why I have not been successful at weight loss at all. Your approach seems so simple and I am still scratching my head in disbelief that it works! I am so anxious to give it a try. I never really considered just cutting back and slowly weed out the bad food and replace it with the good. I guess I’m an all or nothing girl and thought I needed a plan to follow. Which I always have failed at. My question to you is this: how long did it take you to lose 50 pounds doing it in this manner and did you ever count calories? Honestly, I don’t really know what a cut back amount would look like, I would be able to stack a small plate pretty high with food! Anyway, I will tread forward with what feels right, thanks for your food guidelines, they look very doable. Will keep in touch, thanks! Following 🙂

    • Hello Lonna!

      I am so glad we’ve been able to connect! I am so sorry that you’ve suffered for so long, but bit by bit you can change things to help start making you feel better. I completely understand your feelings towards exercise. I have POTS and have never gotten the energy everyone talks about after doing it regularly. Been there, done that. I used to follow people with bods like I always dreamed of having and paying for workouts plans and meal plans that I thought would get me there but they never did. I was following plans that worked for OTHER PEOPLE. But they don’t have the same health problems I do. I was taking someone else’s plans and trying to force them to become my own. Can you say ‘square peg into a round hole’?? Adjusting things the way I just broke down in the post is applicable to many more people and easier to stick to. I never counted calories, they were busy in my closet making small adjustments to how my clothes fit me 😉. I focus on portion sizes. I thought about how much I put on my plate knowing that if I wasn’t satiated, I could always go back from more. I ate very slowly and focused on making conversation with my family at the table instead of turning on the tv and eating blindly and typically over eating. I paid attention to how my body felt and when I was no longer hungry, I stopped eating. Whether or not I had one bite left, or 15 bites left; when I was satiated I stopped. I have also adopted the habit of planning my meals and make an adjustment that allows the meal to be just a teeny bit healthier. For instance, swapping out the bun of your burger for large leaf lettuce and use that to hold everything together. It took me a little over a year to lose my weight and I think that doing it that slow is what’s helped me stick to it. It also wasn’t something I focused all of my efforts and attention on. Once I got into the habit of making swaps and adjusting my portions it became second nature. Don’t do it all at once; you’re setting yourself up for failure a lot of the time. All you need to focus on is helping yourself feel better and paying close attention to how hungry you really are and not letting yourself think about food all the time; find something to entertain yourself. Bit by bit you will get there in a way that’s best suited for YOUR body.

      I hope that helps!

      Talk soon-
      Danielle

  11. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want?HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

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