My knees hurt. Now, when you have fibromyalgia, you kind of get used to pain. I spend my life either in excruciating pain, or in garden-variety, manageable pain while floating on a codeine-induced cloud. Pain is something I’m used to, it’s something I live with and have managed to, if not ignore, then at least grudgingly accept as part of me. But this, this is something else entirely. Even on the maximum dose of codeine I can take without being a zombie, my kneecaps feel like cheese graters slowly grinding away at my tibiae.
I know why this is. I have chondromalacia patellae – fancy doctor-speak for ‘knee pain’ which my doctor believes is due to a problem with my kneecaps. Now, people who know me will know that in December 2009 I underwent gastric band surgery. As a result I also developed EDNOS, an eating disorder that for me, is a mix between anorexic behaviours like restriction, and bulimic behaviours like purging. Over the next two years I lost seven stone. My knee pain pretty much disappeared, though the reduction in pain everywhere else that I was promised never materialised. Over the past year though, due to being in recovery from the ED and having my gastric band de-filled due to complications, I’ve put nearly four stone of it back on. The knee pain is back with a vengeance.
I don’t believe that every malady that affects a fat person is because of their fat. I agree with the fat acceptance/Health At Every Size movement’s assertion that one can be very fat and very healthy. At my lowest weight, I was very, very much less healthy than my ‘overweight’ best friend. My fibromyalgia symptoms were no better as a thin person than as a fat person – in fact, my condition got worse. But for me personally, I can directly correlate my knee pain with my weight gain. At my ‘ideal’ weight, it is barely noticeable. Put on a few stone, and I’m crawling up the stairs.
So this, along with the fact that I’m damned if I’m buying a whole new wardrobe, has got me wanting to lose a little weight. I’m ‘in recovery’ from my eating disorder; I still have ED-type thinking but most of the time I’m able to utilise what I learned in the intensive programme I took part in, and eat regularly without purging. I am very aware that reverting to my ED behaviours would not be healthy for me, and I absolutely do not want to go back to the terrible relationship I have with food. But for my pain, and for the part of my brain that just can’t reconcile with being fat, I need to lose a few stone.
The problem is, I’m not sure how to go about it. I have a pretty terrible mental and emotional relationship with food. So I need to walk the thin line between paying attention to what I eat and how much, and obsessing over every little thing that goes in my mouth like I used to. I don’t know how weight loss groups would deal with someone who is both a weight loss surgery patient and eating disordered. And I’m not sure I can do it all by myself; I frankly don’t trust myself one little bit when it comes to food.
I wonder, if I have any readers left, if anyone could advise me? Perhaps you’ve experienced weight loss surgery or an eating disorder and have gone on to lose weight successfully in a healthy way? I’m getting fed up and desperate and I’m all ears.