We all have obstacles in our paths that hinder progress toward our goals. I am a Certified Personal Trainer through The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and an Elite Trainer on Sharecare. Like many women, I was aboard the weight rollercoaster. After my son was born I decided it was time for a change, a permanent one. Shortly after undergoing a tremendous transformation, a loss of more than 75 pounds, my friends, family, and others around my community started seeking my advice.
That is when I made the decision to become a health and fitness professional. What most don’t realize when they hear my story is that I also have fibromyalgia (FMS) and the pain that comes with it
. Although I had some fibromyalgia-like symptoms when I was young, probably starting at around the same age as puberty, I was not diagnosed with it until I was 19 after being injured in a car accident
For me the fibromyalgia diagnosis was not a shock for I have several family members, on both sides, who also suffer from fibromyalgia, making me a second generation fibromyalgia sufferer
. I was already overweight and inactive, and then was put on medication known for causing weight gain.
As I got bigger and bigger, I hurt more and more. I tried numerous medications, which ultimately left me swollen and groggy. I became sick and tired of being sick and tired! I wanted to learn more about the disease and what, if anything, I could do to ease the symptoms. I searched the web and the library to learn all I could. I learned of environmental triggers so I slowly started making adjustment to my daily routine: I stopped using chemical cleaning agents, stopped polishing my nails. I also stopped eating anything with MSG and started eating more whole foods.
I lost a little weight then was able to move a little more so I joined the YMCA. In the beginning I found the pool to be the best place for me, due to the fact that I also suffer from Raynaunds so I found the warm water pool to be more comfortable.
Then I learned of alternative therapies
like acupuncture, myofacial release, and meditation. The acupuncture relived my pain temporarily but I found that meditation and myofacial release to be the most helpful for me in managing my symptoms.
So how do I manage my fibromyalgia symptoms?
I learned early on that Fibromyalgia can have many chemical triggers that come from a variety of sources. They can be in anything from food preservatives
, like MSG, to housecleaners and even cosmetics like perfumes and nail lacquer.
Watch your diet. I cook and prepare much of my own food
, eat lots of fresh fruit, veggies and whole grains, and try to avoid package processed foods which contain chemical preservatives. Also make sure to wash your fresh fruits and veggies in a vinegar solution to remove chemical residues.
Try physical therapy (PT) and regular exercise.
I am fortunate to have health insurance that will pay for 6 weeks of physical therapy a year. Check with your insurance to see if PT is covered. As far as exercise goes find what works for you
, something that you find enjoyable that is within your ability level.
Tina Whitlock is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Sharecare Fitness Expert with a unique perspective from her experience with fibromyalgia. View her profile on Sharecare.com to learn more about her story.