Part 2: A Heavy Burden: My Life Long Weight Battle & Effects of CFS

This post is continued from the other day, so if you missed Part 1, make sure you read the beginning of the story to catch up!

Up until the birth of my son, my CFS had not affected my weight and I had not noticed any problems during those years with my weight due to the CFS.  After the birth of my son, and after my six-week check up, I was hoping to get my figure back and to lose all of the extra pounds I had gained but this is when the CFS decided to take over every aspect of my body and hormones. 

After I had my son, I was working full-time and also working extremely hard building a direct sales business and I was burning the candle at both ends.  I had really pushed things too far – I was a new mom, I was working full-time, and I was trying to build another career so that I could quit my full-time job – all at the same time.  Everything from that time period in my life when I look back now is nothing but a big blur, as I don’t remember much of it because I was just going full speed ahead, ignoring all of the signals my body was giving me. 

I had been trying to lose the excess baby weight and I was dieting but I was noticing that my clothes kept getting tighter and tighter – my face kept looking fuller and fuller.  I was sweating profusely and was having other hormonal issues and knew I needed to see the doctor.  When I went into see my doctor for an appointment, I had gained back most of the weight I had lost after I had my son – and I was dieting.  I told the doctor I knew that something was wrong besides the CFS – please run some blood tests.  Blood tests were run and I was scheduled for a follow-up appointment the following two weeks.  When I went back for my follow-up appointment two weeks later, I HAD GAINED 10 POUNDS!  I WAS DEVESTATED!  Something was really wrong – I was watching everything I was eating and there is no reason why I should be gaining weight like this.  I found out then that I had hypothyroidism, which is common in CFS patients.  Once I got my thyroid under control, I started losing some weight – a little of it – slowly.  At least I quit gaining and I was grateful for that. 

My next diet plan I tried to lose this excess weight was LA Weight Loss.  I won’t even tell you how much money I spent on that whole mess but it was VERY expensive – the program, the bars, etc.  When I started LA Weight Loss, I weighed in at 230 pounds – now my highest weight ever in my life.  I started losing weight on their program but after a short while, my body got used to the diet and I quit losing weight.  I have found that with CFS, our bodies are very stubborn and because our hormone levels are always all over the place, the dieting process is brutal for us.  I would follow the program religiously, journal my food, do everything just so – but the weight stopped coming off.  I tried talking to the manager at the center and she would tell me that I was doing something wrong.  I couldn’t get her to understand that with the medical issues I have, my body had just quit responding.  I was soon to find out that this was going to be a continued problem with every other program I tried. 

I completely lost faith in the program and company when the manager told me that my illness was basically in my head and that once I lost the weight I wouldn’t be sick anymore.  I told her I became sick with CFS when I was thin so I didn’t see how becoming thin again would change things.  I quit the program when my weight was still 217 lbs.

After this, I started going to the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers in Philadelphia, PA and they were working hard to get my thyroid, cortisol levels and other hormones even further under control.  Through the blood testing they did, they discovered that I had a lot of severe hormone deficiency probems from the CFS and the doctor said all of this was definitely responsible for my body becoming resistant to weight loss.  Throughout the next couple of years I struggled on my own continuously trying to lose weight but did not have any success.  I would try to watch what I ate, watch my portion sizes, make better food choices, but I could not lose any weight.  I was slowly starting to gain weight again. 

Then I would have spells where I would barely eat at all because of how sick I had become from the CFS, Fibromyalgia and IC Disease.  By this point, I had been disabled and unemployed for quite a while and I was also depressed because I missed life.  I missed working, I missed being out and around people.  I next decided to try another diet program and this one was NutriSystem.  I only lost about 15 pounds on NutriSystem and then my body refused to budge anymore.  After about 8 months on this program, I couldn’t see spending the money anymore and I quit that one also.  I was starting to think I was not meant to get this weight off.  I was really discouraged.  It’s one thing to be on a diet and to cheat all of the time and to not lose weight.  But when you are religiously following a program, and still not seeing results, it is even more discouraging. 

The next diet was Alli and that was another crash and burn. Again – I lost about 15 pounds and that was it.  My body stopped responding and I quit losing weight.   Now – I was losing the same 15 pounds over and over again because with each diet, I had gained the weight back so I was yo-yoing back and forth but could never get past losing that 215 pound mark – it’s humiliating to always be on a diet.

Then last June, I started using Medifast through the TSFL company via my niece who is a health coach for them.  I was skeptical, of course, as I had not had any success over the past few years with any of the other programs I had tried.  I wouldn’t let myself get too excited at first because I thought maybe I would lose 10 – 15 pounds and then that would be it.  But this time things were different.   Right around the same time I started Medifast, I went to see a new doctor for my hypothyroidism and he put me on a new medication.  I started feeling so much better and the weight was coming off.  From June through November, I lost 42 pounds.  Finally!  I was getting somewhere!  Then the plateau hit – and I quit losing weight altogether and didn’t lose anything from December through April.  I actually started to gain a few pounds back – my body had went into starvation mode because the diet is very restrictive in calories and I discovered that for short-term it’s great, but for long-term, not so great. 

I decided to give up the Medifast diet and I went back to Weight Watchers and I am now only 15 pounds from my goal weight.  I want this battle with weight to end but I am someone who is going to have to follow a program in order to eat right because I’m not able to do it on my own.  I have a problem when it comes to food – I’m addicted to it but yet I’m afraid of it at the same time.  My whole life has been focused on every bite that has been put in my mouth or every bite that hasn’t been put in my mouth.  I just want to get through the day and not think about food all of the time.  I want to get to that place where I can sit down to a meal and not look at food as the enemy.  I need it, but I hate it, but I love it too.  It’s like a bad relationship with the guy you can’t seem to get out of your life. 

The constant battle with my weight has to have an effect on my CFS and CFS has an effect on my weight because of all of the hormone deficiencies, times with lack of exercise, and other problems it causes. 

When people read this, I hope they don’t just see a “serial dieter”.  I hope they see someone who has been willing to do whatever is necessary to try and lose the weight and who has refused to give up.  I am a fighter and just have to find what works for me.  I hope I have finally made it.

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  1. i found this very interesting, as a fellow sufferer i have had great problems with weight gain followed by weightloss, i too struggled to lose weight on any diet for long, it worked for a few months then i started gaining back. i find it interesting that now i am calorie shifting the weght keeps coming off, i think my bosy doesnt know what the hells coming. sometimes i eat healthy, sometimes not, some days i eat hardly anything others i eat more than my share of calories. its probably bad for my body but hell, so was weighing 277lbs! i am 50 down and counting.

    good luck to you, i know its a battle but its nice to be winning one 🙂

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