The Fat Skinny Sickler Complex

Let me first say a MASSIVE sorry for not posting anything in yonks.  It’s been a case of life taking over my writing……. until this morning.

Please note: this post is from a female’s perspective so any male ones out there please let me know if you go through the same. I was idly scrolling through my instagram posts….. as you do and I saw this post that made me stop dead in my tracks.


Now everyone is entitled to an opinion, we wouldn’t be human beings if we didn’t, so everyone with a chronic illness can related to the statements within that post.  Over the years I’ve pretty much hardened my heart against them but the statement “Maybe if you exercise and lose a little weight…” sliced open an old wound that obviously I had ‘moved past’ but not necessarily dealt with.

Let me put some context to this……….. rewind to some years ago, (I daren’t put the number cos……dang I’m getting old), to my first year at university and my first proper relationship let’s call him Douchebag (while forgiven, I still like to think of him in douchebag terms).  He knew about my condition, even picked me up from the hospital a couple of times, but there was always that undercurrent of…….

“you really need to lose some weight” 
“this your pouch (in modern urban terms better know as FUPA…… yeah google it!!) needs to go, I like my woman to have a flat stomach”
I will not tell a lie – that relationship gave me serious body image issues.  What did I not try?  Exercise – with ‘hilarious’ results which I will explain later, to dieting – which made me miserable as fuck!  I went from a healthy UK size 12 to a UK size 6 and I wasn’t happy.  I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons and well to put it plainly even though Douchbag and I weren’t dating anymore I wasn’t doing it for me.
I only took to exercise properly after a consultation brought on by a particularly bad chest crisis episode (it was bad peoples……. I lost and still can’t remember 3 days of my life type bad) where I was advised that my bone density was on the low side which was why my right hip bone was disintegrating.  He recommended a free-weight routine, calcium supplements and other life choices that should help turn it around as I was young.  So since then I’ve been no stranger to exercise and I like to maintain a certain weight/dress-size – but here is the problem, I will NEVER be Supermodel-esq for one primary reason – FEAR!!!!  Confused?  Let me explain.
  1. One of the key rules for exercise or any sport is to always push through the ‘wall’……… so what happens when it’s not your mind that constitutes this wall but also your own body.  Don’t get me wrong when I’m on that treadmill I push through as much as I can, then I calculate what other activities I need to do later on that day and the next which makes me stop
  2. For those body builders out there this is for you.  Building muscle tone is a wonderful thing things fit better and well I live for the day that I can wear anything (boobs permitting) and feel great!!  Now the downside – when one is in a crisis, and I’m sure a few sicklers can relate, it’s like the body part in question is in a vice that keeps on squeezing.  Over the years I have noticed that the more the muscle density the more intense the ‘squeeze’, so now I have an healthy fear of the ever-elusive sixpack.  Infact it’s safe to say that I DON’T WANT IT.

I’ve tried all sort exercise, from Pilates to Yoga and well the experience has pretty much been the same……. FEAR!  There was a time I would have a Yoga session with an instructor once a week, despite her insistence that I needed more than one session a week.  The sessions were going well, I mean my waist was getting smaller and I was more agile than I had been in years.  Till that day……. it was one of those ‘push through the wall’ type of days, so like a mumu I did.  The session ended and I felt good.  Climbed upstairs to have a shower and that is when the fucking Grinch decided to come and play.  While it was going on I imagined the following commentary;

“So you think you can get healthier without my agreement?”
“See your new muscles you have formed, I’m going to give them a firm squeeze”
“You want me to let go?  Nah lie!! I’m going to squeeze tighter”
“I want you to scream Biatch!!!!!”
“Beg Biatch, beg for me to stop”
“You are begging?  Nawh Biatch I’m on a roll, I’m not going to stop”
Long story short it took about 30mg of Morphine, 75mg of Diclofenac Sodium and I think about 100mg of Paracetamol injections (need to check that) to dissipate the pain (also note that that medication is enough to floor a fucking horse), with over a week of recovery all because I wanted to keep fit.  It took me over 6 months to attempt doing yoga again but it hasn’t been the same, the fear keeps me from being consistent with it.
For Sicklers there is a lot to consider before one starts an exercise session
  1. Are you well hydrated before you start exercising – because when you sweat drinking doesn’t replenish fast enough
  2. Did you have enough sleep the night before – it’s amazing how lack of sleep actually has an adverse effect on sicklers
  3. While exercising remember to Breathe!! Oxygen intake is important while you are stressing your muscles
  4. What are your energy levels like before you undertake exercise – if you are on the low side, you might actually be sickling it just hasn’t progressed to full blown crisis, so if you exercise you are putting yourself on a fast-track to the grinch using you as its plaything!!

Back to reason why I started this post……. people will always have their opinions and make requests.  It’s allowed, like I say we are all humans but this is what gets my goat.

To my recollection, most of the men in my life that have made that statement have never taken the time out to join me at the gym, or taken a yoga class with me to ‘help’ me attain the adonis body they sooo want me to achieve.  One guy actually said this to me “I know you are feeble so even though you should lose a little weight I will accept you as you are…..”  *blink blink* Needless to say, that individual does not deserve a derogatory nickname because well he ain’t even worth it.

It’s about finding a balance, you want something you have to work on it, but for the right reasons.  I wish I could workout and have a Kim Kardashian butt with washboard abs but it’s not going to happen.  I workout to keep myself healthy, building up my endurance, increasing my heart rate and increasing my oxygen intake.

I’m happy with that and any Sickler should be happy with that too.  So the next time anyone mentions that phase “Maybe if you exercise and lose a little weight…” to you one of two things should happen;

  1. Educate them on the reality of the situation and see if you both can go on that journey together
  2. OR simply put – tell them to FUCK right off and go suck on an egg 😀