A Doughnut Induced Wake Up Call

The last time I went swimming, the lifeguard actually came down off his seat to check that I was alright. That’s how unfit I am. The poor guy thought I was drowning (though to be fair, I was having an asthma attack and I swim weirdly at the best of times.) I haven’t been able to show my face there since.

The problem is that I’m too fatigued to exercise, but over time that just makes me weaker and fatter, making it even more difficult to exercise. This is further compounded by the fact that I comfort eat to cope with my EUPD and because of the medication-induced food cravings. I also have asthma to boot. All this has meant that I’ve been putting weight, and my BMI is now 27.


Yesterday, I had a wake up call. I had eaten 2 doughnuts, a cereal bar, biscuits, plus a mars bar and then made myself throw up six times. I had never purged before and it was a great, big, clanging, warning bell. I need to get back in control of my actions, even if my chronic illnesses mean I can’t control how my body functions.

I’ve decided that I’m going to go to the gym every weekday. I can spend the rest of the day in bed if needed, to recover, until my exercise tolerance increases. Today I did weight training on my arms and I’m absolutely knackered. Tomorrow, I’m going to the hypermobility gym.

As I’m writing this, I’m searching for advice online about exercising with CFS/ME. Apparently, you’re not supposed to exceed 60% of your maximum heart rate. I’ll work that out below…

60% of (220- your age)

(220-22)x0.6= 118.8


Unless, I’ve lost the ability to use a calculator, that puts me in a tricky situation. Because of CFS/ME, the amount of exertion it takes my body to do normal activities means that simple tasks take me above 119 bpm. My resting heart rate is a healthy 60, but if I braid my hair it jumps to 120! In the past, when I’ve jogged slowly at the gym, my heart rate reached 180 and I had to stop before 10 minutes because I was so dizzy. I spent the rest of the day and the following day bedbound.

I think that rules out cardio for the time being.

Instead, I’m going to try to:

  • build some muscle (slowly),
  • join in with some yoga classes
  • maybe go back to swimming (if I can face it, after the lifeguard incident)

I’ll update you with how I’m getting on. Wish me luck, God knows I’ll need it!

8 thoughts on “A Doughnut Induced Wake Up Call

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  1. If you literally can stand up and watch your heart rate jump from the 60s to the 120s, look up the Active Stand Test. It turned out to be key to me getting a POTS diagnosis. Fibro/CFS are big triggers of secondary POTS symptoms. (It can be a primary or secondary diagnosis.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve done a load of tests to see if there’s anything physically wrong with my heart and they came back clear. It’s just veeeery hypersensitive.

      Even more confusingly, the heart rate jumps seem to be fairy random. One day I could be fine getting changed, but then the next day my heart rate could double. It’s so confusing!


      1. If you have dysautonomia (of which POTS is one kind(, it’s a nervous system thing. The heart itself is fine, but the signals it gets from the nervous system to regulate it are wonky. Testing in a doctor’s office is super quick, but I had to basically make mine do it. Given that CFS is one of the known causes of secondary dysautonomia, it’s definitely worth doing just to know. If it is positive, the doctor will (or should) then schedule a tilt table test. Good luck. I hope you don’t have it, because it’s another chronic illness to add to the CFS, but if you do then managing it as a recognized second chronic illness will help over and above just managing the fibro/CFS symptoms.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. And yeah, what you are describing sounds like mine. It’s definitely linked to posture in that I’m always lower standing than sitting, but it varies a lot day by day. On a really good day, I might only go from a resting 60s to about high 90s standing up. On a bad “can’t lift your arms above your head” day I’ll hit 130s to 140s standing up, or start in the resting 40s or something. I have orthostatic hypotension with it – my BP can plunge 20+ points from standing up and go low enough to make me faint, but that’s another type of dysautonomia – you can have the ❤️ rate without BP drop.

    Liked by 1 person

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