“Skinny is more important than pain”, I heard and looked around to see who said that. I knew I was alone, but I was hoping it wasn’t me that was thinking this way. Unfortunately, it was. How could I feel like this? I spend every waking minute trying to decrease the pain I am in. Why in the world would I risk a fibromyalgia flare-up to lose a few pounds?
The answer may be an overall feeling I have toward my body. I still struggle to accept that fibromyalgia lives in me; we do not have the best relationship. I resent it for all that it has taken from me- my job, my energy, my focus, my ability to enjoy physical activities, and yes, my former body. Most days, I accept my limitations and move on. I have found a new career, I take naps when needed, I’ve learned to enjoy less intense physical movements and if I can’t focus, I save tasks that require that effort for another day. My body apparently is in a different category. This frustrates me because I have spent almost three decades teaching people to accept what they can and change what they can’t. Right now, I am stuck in the accepting what I can because I can’t change the rest.
I have learned to treat my body as if it is a new client every time I work out since it is a different body every day. This means less repetitions, less intensity, beginner exercises, maybe even skipping workouts if I am in too much pain. Mentally, I do not always remember this and I wonder what happened to the woman who would exercise three hours a day and still want more. It was so much a part of my daily thoughts and needs that it feels foreign to avoid it at times.
It’s almost as if I had to break up with someone that I have been with for 30 years. A part of me is in denial and tries to maintain the relationship, but it only causes me pain. It is no longer healthy for me. I can participate in it in moderation, say ‘be friends’, but it cannot be the all-encompassing love it used to be. That saddens me.
For now, I have to change my attitude. NOTHING is worth increasing my pain. I can love my body for the things it still allows me to do and for all those years that we were strong and invincible. If I am a little curvier now entering my fifth decade, I will embrace those curves. It does not mean I am any less sexy or less valuable.
Anyone else feel this way?