#BEDM Day 5 - Fit and healthy

Hi lovelies!

Today's remit for our Blog Every Day in May is thus:

What do you do to stay fit or be a healthy individual? Share any useful tips and advice. Or tell us about your plans to get healthier.

Right, here I am a fat woman about to talk about health and fitness. Ironic, right? Err, no. If you separate weight from health (it's not hard, there are unhealthy thin people and healthy fat people - you can't guess someone's health or habits by looking at them) it is possible to be fat and fit/healthy, just as it's possible to be thin and unfit/unhealthy. By 'healthy' I mean in possession of good health markers - normal blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. I think it's important to stress that healthy habits go towards making a healthy person, no matter what they weigh. Health judging really sucks - and as a fat person I'm on the receiving end of it all the time.


My diet wasn't great before I got Fibromyalgia and CFS, to be honest. I left home when I was 19 and lived in crappy shared houses with some real shit heads so I never wanted to be home. I was on and off buses and trains all the time going places so I lived off convenience food like sandwiches. I did shitty jobs with long hours and horrible shift patterns plus I had a 'sleep when I'm dead' attitude. I often relied on energy drinks to help me through the long days. I drank like a fish and took a varied assortment of drugs. I also moved house about 10 times in my late teens/20s so I never really bothered to buy cooking equipment or even buy food I needed to cook.

Processed food was my friend - easy to buy, easy to eat on my way to wherever I was going next. I never stopped to look after myself - I was always going somewhere. In some ways getting Fibro & CFS has been a God-send. One of my first symptoms was IBS, so white carbs, sugar and cow's milk got binned. Cow's milk makes me feel like I've been knifed in the gut and white bread has such a horrible effect on me - bloating and instant fatigue - so it's just not worth it. Sugar makes me feel almost as terrible as white carbs.

Then Fibro affected my bladder, so caffeine and alcohol got scaled right back. Drinking them gives me pains in my bladder like the worst periods pains you've ever had x 10. I have been through some really painful things - ectopic pregnancies, open abdominal surgery, serious accidents - but chronic bladder pain tops the lot. Acidic things like wine and cider are the worst possible things I can drink. I can get away with Crabbies - the ginger seems to be soothing - and vodka, but I tend to drink about once a month as I don't want to tempt fate. Just one glass of diet coke can be enough to have me doubled over in pain...but of course I still chance it once in a while!

Soon after I got ill I started to realise that cheap processed food made me feel worse. Now my diet is much better. I love fruit and veg, I have soy milk in my cereals and smoothies, I avoid sugar (I use agave nectar in my tea), love lean protein like fish and chicken, and avoid processed food like the plague. Breakfast is porridge and fruit or a green smoothie, lunch is usually bugger all (my bad) and for tea I usually have grilled fish or oven roasted chicken breast with two big handfuls of boiled veg. Of course I have the occasional chocolate bar or packet of crisps, and once a week we have a takeaway, but my diet is loads better than it used to be. I do yoga occasionally and enjoy walks when pain levels allow. Now the weather is better I look forward to taking more regular walks. Like many an English person, I put on a bit of timber over the loooooooong, cold winter and come back to life somewhat in the warmer months.


I think it's important to talk about mental health too. I'm depressed and have anxiety disorder as a result of Fibromyalgia. I'm on medication for it and ticking along nicely in that respect (most of the time.) I think it's really important to do things which help us stay mentally healthy. In my case I need a creative outlet. I love blogging and taking photos - they both bring me joy - and I also enjoy tinkering about with blog design and other things on the computer. I think it's especially important to look after ourselves when there's a chronic illness involved. In some ways you could argue mental health is more important than physical health as it affects everything. If you're depressed, you're under siege and of course everything is going to suffer. 

It's really important that people find their definition of good mental and physical health. 

To that end, one of my favourite quotes is by the musician Rob Thomas: "Each of us has a short ride on this earth and as long as we stay in our lane, and don't affect someone else's ride, we should be allowed to drive as we see fit."

Amen to that.

What's your kind of healthy? Absolutely no judgment from me...

Thanks for reading!

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