Tag Archive | pacing

Breakfast for supper

Breakfast Like A King copy

I need to lose weight. That’s a fact and after a year of almost total physical sloth I have gained more unwelcome padding. Doc Fraser is concerned about the weight gain because the more I weigh, the harder I have to work to lug myself around and this inevitably adds to the fatigue. You only have to try to carry a few kilos of potatoes across the car-park to know that carrying extra weight is hard work. The blubber has to go.

The problem with chronic fatigue syndrome is that you need to pace yourself carefully and to start with any exercise has to be gentle and low-impact.

“Delayed post-exertion malaise” is a common feature of chronic fatigue and is something I have suffered from for many years. When I feel good, I go into denial and exercise as “normal” but I am clearly a very slow learner or I am missing the Pavlov-Dog gene as I overlook the connection of overdoing activity with my crashes. This leads to prolonged periods when I am unable to do any form of exercise as I am exhausted, tearful, often bed-bound and severely depressed.

My new approach therefore is to lose weight primarily through healthy eating, moderating portion size and gentle exercise to help shift those stubborn pounds. Patience has never been my strongest feature but I am determined to be patient and not get disheartened if the weight comes off in pounds and halves. I will keep going, slowly but surely so that I develop a different lifestyle rather than adopt a short-term approach for a particular event. They say it takes about 66 days to form a habit so I will return to this post on 7 March to give you an update!

lose half a pound a week

In the meantime, my working and travel schedule is not conducive to a 3-meal-a-day regime and I am adapting my eating habits to fit in with healthy eating guidance and my long days. This week I am trying to follow the adage, “Breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dinner like a pauper” so that instead of eating fruit for breakfast, I swap my meals around so that I have “breakfast” for dinner and eat my fruit on the train home. This serves two purposes as it means I eat only a snack in the evening, and furthermore, I am eating much earlier than if I wait until I get home at 8pm.

This will also help me with my insomnia as eating a large meal late at night can cause a sugar-surge a few hours later closely followed by a sugar-drop, which will not only wake me up, but also keep me awake.

Today, trying to swap some carbs for extra protein I stuck to scrambled eggs for breakfast, baked potato, baked beans and salad for lunch and fruit for my evening snack. I have to say that I don’t feel hungry so maybe this will work for me. it looks like this will work for me!

Mmmmmmm…..

garfield

I have been feeling much better today after a good nights sleep. Sleep makes a lot of difference and I only wish that I could guarantee 8 hours quality  shut-eye every night as this would make my life so much easier. My GP has told me that the last thing that returns to normal after a depressive episode is sleep, so in the meantime I just need to be grateful for what I get.

What worries me about today however is that I have done much more than I have done for many months. This is dangerous territory for anyone suffering from ME/CFS as it usually means that we will pay the price tomorrow, next week, next month when our bodies realise that we have expended far more energy than we have stockpiled and we are running “on empty”. I am therefore determined to rest tomorrow to try and recover some of the excess energy I have used today. It may work, it may not and I have only myself to blame if I have overdone things to the extent that it exhausts me. Pacing is absolutely the key to managing this illness and if I don’t have the discipline to do that I can expect a relapse.

Harsh but true. Unfortunately. I am sure that there are many more people out there who experience the same challenge. Those who like me are normally high energy, high achieving individuals who now find that we have to be more measured and conservative in our approach to life. Sadly our energy and enthusiasm are our enemy and it is difficult to manage the reality of our performance against our expectations.

Grrrrrrr…it is very frustrating and I doubt whether I will ever come to terms with having to rein myself in but I can only do my best. Every day I am working against the high tide of my personality type. I am not measured and controlled. I am emotional not objective. I feel things deeply and I never, ever stop doing things. From the moment I get out of bed to when I eventually close my eyes at night, I am doing something constructive. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.

Living in both sides of a parallel universe would be a perfect solution but I guess that’s too much to expect!

In the meantime I have to conserve my energy as best I can and move forward. I have hope and support from friends, family and colleagues. I will not let this illness stop me from doing what I do best.