pain and gain

If you were to go back and read this blog from the beginning,(1) you’d find one major theme: I am fat and seemingly powerless to be anything but.

Yet, I’m convinced this isn’t true. My dad, around the age of 60, decided he was tired of being overweight and, well, now he’s not. He says he feels better than he has in his whole life. Who says that at sixty, right? So part of me in convinced that I can do it, too. Now. I’m nearly 40, yes, but still 20 years younger than when my dad shed his extra pounds.(2)

I have something working against me though that Dad doesn’t: this stupid, diabolical fibromyalgia. I don’t mean that as an excuse. Honestly. But there are two challenges to trying to lose weight when you have fibromyalgia.

1. Pain

Basically, I hurt all the time. The degree of pain varies, but it’s as constant a companion as my glasses or Rene Zellweger’s penchant for mediocre acting. Also, it’s a roll of the dice as to which body part will hurt on a given day, and for how long. There are times when everything’s just fine, and then I stand up and try to walk only to discover that my hip or my knee or my foot feels like so many unoiled gears. It’s impossible to predict and impossible to work around. Exercise of almost any variety might focus on particular parts of the body, but they generally require all of the other parts to get involved too. So just because my torso hurts doesn’t mean I’ll be okay going for a jog.

Sometimes, the pain is motivation. On good days I think to myself that I’d rather hurt from doing something of my choosing – i.e.: exercise – than simply because there’s thunderstorm brewing three states away.(3) Other days, the pain will take a perfectly good jog and make it a rather slow trod. This is always frustrating, but I try to remember that I have to take it a little easy on myself.

2. Gain

To paraphrase Fat Bastard:

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I eat because I don’t feel good, and I don’t feel good because I eat. It’s been a habit so long now, to eat when I don’t feel well, that I don’t notice when I’m doing it. And fibromyalgia makes me not feel well quite a bit. I need to divorce the feeling from the association, but that’s not unlike tell a cat not to sit in a box.

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It’s gonna take a lot of training…

Nevertheless, I’m convinced that I’d feel a lot better if I lost some weight. It’s just going to take as much mental work as it does physical.

Sigh. Or I could go ahead and have a second helping of ice cream.


  1. Which, I mean, good luck. Even I can’t take that much of myself.
  2. However, though I’ve inherited every ounce of my dad’s stubbornness – and then quite a bit more from my mom as well – I don’t have his willpower. Dad could win a staring contest with wooden owls if he put his mind to it. He could make steel feel weak.
  3. Seriously, this has happened. Sometimes I can’t figure out why I feel like Judge Doom after his encounter with the cement truck until I see the satellite imagery over Illinois. We joke at work that I’m a mutant who’s the opposite of Storm: rather than me controlling the weather, the weather controls me. My X-Men name is Mr. Ots, which is Storm backwards.(4)
  4. We’re clever like that.
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