As some of you may already know, I have been under quite a lot of pressure from many medical professionals to lose weight, as there are various theories that weight loss in patients like my self with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) reduces intracranial pressure (ICP), eases headaches, and improves papilledema.
Naturally I would want to improve all of these symptoms, I wouldn’t wish the pain I get in my head on my worst enemy, so of course I want to lose weight.
Before I was diagnosed with IIH, I loved nothing better than going to the gym, working out, lifting weights, sessions with my PT, and cycling. I would cycle miles for charity, my long suffering friend Lucy wholeheartedly would support whatever venture I presented her with, many a route we would take and get lost but always find our way home!
For me excercise was the key to my weightloss, I followed a healthy eating plan and did some form of exercise 5 times a week, it helped me mentally and physically. I loved it, previously I had done every diet you can think of , Slimming world, Atkins diet, Dukan diet, Slim fast, but I had finally found something that worked for me, I was happy.
Being diagnosed changed this for me, I found that any strenuous excercise just exacerbated my symptoms, my head would pound, I would become dizzy and weak. Not an ideal situation to be in, and thus becoming a viscous circle of eating, maybe even at points comfort eating then not burning off what I was eating as I previously had been.
I love food, I love cooking, but best of all I love my Mums cooking, she is known for making amazing cake, cake that I felt made me feel better when I ate it!! When you feel really ill, you don’t think about diets or healthy eating, you think about how dreadful you feel, take your meds to try and get through each day, not about when you can next get to the gym.
So my weight went up, along with that came the various medical professionals advice on losing weight, so off I would go and try to lose weight with no avail, I tried shake diets in desperation of shifting weight before the next Neurology weigh in/appointment, which worked but even losing nearly two stone I had no recognition for my efforts. Though it was a healthy shake diet where I could snack and eat a main meal, it was decided that it was too high in certain ingredients therefore not helping my head pain and I was back to square one.
So as mentioned in my previous blog I unwittingly went to a Dietitian who has put me on a healthy eating plan from the British heart foundation , before this visit I was very much like :-
“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” – Erma Bombeck
Now I am literally sobbing at the cake counter, waving at chocolate like it’s my long lost friend, dreaming that the peppermint tea I’m drinking for the fourteenth time that day is actually a full fat Latte.
However I am eating well every day, healthier, eating plenty, initially feeling guilty at how I could eat all I was eating and seriously lose weight, but two weeks in, today was weigh day AND
I’m 6.5 pounds down…
For someone who really struggles to lose weight I was so pleased, I’m hoping this continues, I KNOW my motivation for this won’t change, I want to see if it helps to alleviate my symptoms. In my research there are mixed stories, some people have lost weight and slightly better, some are significantly better and others have lost half their body weight whom are still the same – really poorly. In idiopathic cases, weight loss can bring about a remission and therefore should be encouraged. But in other idiopathic cases, weight reduction does not make a difference. If I don’t try I will never know!
I am dedicated enough to do this, and #thisgirlcan! I have amazing support from family and friends,
Excercise wise – studies show laughter actually is a form of exercise. Taking a moment to relax and have a laugh about those inevitable slip-ups helps the body release endorphins, or natural opiates. Studies show they both play a role in management of pain and induce a feeling of euphoric calm. So I am going to keep laughing adding in some swimming too maybe!!
Off to find a lovely apple…..
Have a lovely evening
Lots of love ASIBTAF ❤