One of the better aspects of fibromyalgia is that it practically forces you to start listening to your body. There is no magical pill that makes the pain go away in all cases, no treatment that works for everyone. Of course this is mainly a bad thing, don’t get me wrong, but it also means that every single patient has to try one thing, see if it helps, then try the next thing, see if it helps … and so on. If you start doing something that makes you feel worse, you have to stop – no matter how many people are telling you that it isn’t supposed to make you feel worse. That’s just the way it is.
If I had to sum up fibromyalgia in a single sentence, it would be “When your body rarely does what one would expect.”
By listening to my body, I suddenly discovered that soda had unpleasant effects on my digestic system, and that I didn’t really like it all that much in the first place. It’s one of those strange things that are extremely hard to explain to people who don’t suffer from a chronic illness and have never heard of Intuitive Eating, either. How can you think you like something when you don’t? Ha. In my case, I started to drink a lot of Coke as soon as I realised that my mother thought I was old enough to take care of myself, and it had moved on from being a “special occasion drink” to something I could have whenever I wanted to. I liked the taste, so why not? Now I know that there are many drinks I would have preferred if I hadn’t been blinded by the “OMG can have this anytime now!” excitement, and if I had realised that it made me feel bad. Intuitive Eating is not as easy as it sounds, really.
Last week or so I noticed something interesting again. You know how people always say that you shouldn’t leave a whole bar of chocolate (or bag of sweets) lying around while you’re watching tv, or else you might accidentally eat all of it although you wanted to save some for later? Been there, done that. However, what I noticed is that this only happens to me when I’m hungry. I eat the chocolate because – shock and horror – I’m actually hungry, and NOT because it’s addictive and evil and I have no self-control. Have you ever felt like eating a whole bar of chocolate right after a satisfying meal? No? See, that’s what I mean.
So here’s some advice for anyone who occasionally ends up feeling nauseous due to an overdose of chocolate: The next time you find yourself grabbing for that bar at curiously small intervals, check if you’re hungry. If so, ask yourself what else you would like to eat. Go and get it, and by all means eat it in front of the tv if you want to. Chances are it’ll taste even better than the chocolate.