The Mental Impact of Gaining Weight With Lupus


Anorexia and Lupus: A Crazy Combination

But now, cue lupus and long periods of inactivity. This last year, my body has felt more out of control than it has ever felt. I have had a mystery pain in my lower right abdomen on and off since last August. I’ve been hospitalized four times, had two operations, and had a lot of doctors suggest I just live on tramodol for the rest of my life because they don’t really have much of an interest in finding out the cause.

It has been depressing, tiring, and has lead to a 7-8lb weight gain over the past year. I have been unable to exercise at all, as physical exertion brings on the pain. As someone who actually enjoys the mind-clearing ritual of the gym, this has been very difficult for me.

To many people, especially those who have lost a lot of weight in the past, 7-8lbs of extra weight is really not much. But to me, it is devastating. I am always counting calories in my head, so part of me wonders how this happened. But when you have lupus, your body isn’t always in your control, a fact that is really hard for a former anorexic to accept.

Yes, my diet hasn’t been the most fantastic and I am working on that. But I am learning to accept my new body and trying to healthily change it. This time, although I have negative self-talk continually whenever I look in the mirror, I am trying to look at this situation with a bit more of a rational perspective than an eating disordered perspective.

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This means trying to keep the negative self-talk in check and not engaging in disordered behaviors. The disordered behaviors that I have engaged in since my recovery have been few and far between, but they are always sitting there as an incorrect coping mechanism.

I am now technically in the realm of “overweight.”

So what do I do about it? I take a deep breath. I open my eyes. And I try to eat a healthy, balanced, diet.

Lupus and Weight Gain: Why Do We Pack on the Pounds When We’re Flaring?

There are lots of reasons people with lupus or similar disorders gain weight during a flare.

Next page: reasons we’re gaining weight and how to control it.

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