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To ask for lifestyle advice - I'm desperate and miserable.

(44 Posts)
DreamCloud99 Tue 27-Dec-16 17:36:32

I have ME.
I have 5 year old twins.
I work part time.

It's been a rubbish year with my illness and I feel the debilitating effects of it every single day.

I'm feeling so down and miserable .

I'm overweight . Weak from doing nothing most of the time . I have no hobbies . I don't do anything for myself .

I want to make 2017 a year of achievement ! But I don't know how it will work realistically because my illness means I'm exhausted permanently .

If anyone can help me fathom out a plan I'd be very grateful smile

These are the barriers I find and need some solutions to :

Cooking healthy meals
I'm usually so exhausted so cooking is not a priority - I end up ordering take out blush or eating bits of rubbish .

Would I be better off buying ready made casseroles etc to serve with frozen mash and veg - are these healthy?

This would save me time and most importantly energy .

Exercise
My muscles are weak and painful. I struggle to walk far and I often can't muster the energy to drive somewhere to train / work out (I would be exhausted off the drive itself blush ).

I need a gentle but worthy exercise routine which will condition my muscles - any tips ?

ME Time
When the twins are in bed , I tend to veg out and watch TV. I want to do something meaningful and fun (but also conserve my energy) .

Any ideas ?

With this illness it is very important that I don't overdo it or it ends up with me being completely wiped out, lethargic and snappy as well as all of the other joys ME brings with it .

I'm so miserable though I need to get out of this wallowing!

Help please ! flowers

EstelleRoberts Tue 27-Dec-16 17:40:36

Dream have to make this v quick as I am about to go out, but placemarkibg for when I get back. I have ME also, but am 95% recovered. It's a bastard illness. I'm v happy to share what I have done to recover, and also coping strategies to eg make sure I eat nutritiously but with quick to prepare stuff. If you have time/energy can you say what you have tried so far? Happy for you to pm me if you prefer. Don't want to teach you to suck eggs, as so many ME-ers have already tried everything and more.

flowers It sucks.

timelytess Tue 27-Dec-16 17:41:08

Do you have a slow cooker? Make your own casseroles, then you know exactly what is in them. Buy ready-chopped vegetables if it saves your energy. The key to healthy eating is healthy shopping - planned, bought in advance, no rushing at the last minute and ending up with something unsuitable.

R2G Tue 27-Dec-16 17:44:41

Cooking healthy meals - Tesco do a new range of frozen soups and whole food stir frys. Really nice and healthy.
Iceland do a range of slimming world meals - sauces, sausages, and meals. Really nice and also healthy.
Jacket potatoes, beans and bag of salad. Jackets 10 mins or less in microwave and can finish off in the oven for crispness.
Get a slow cooker, make a massive bolognaise or stew, divide into freezer bags, yes to frozen mash- yum! Yes it's healthy enough, just potato and milk x
Wrap chicken or fish with frozen or fresh vegetables in foil and a bit of honey and soy sauce or herbs if you like, with frozen veg or noodles.

toots111 Tue 27-Dec-16 17:44:53

Why don't you try crocheting or knitting that you can do whilst you're watching TV if you want to feel like you're dojng something? Although I personally think you don't have to justify slobbing out in front of the telly smile

Candlelight123 Tue 27-Dec-16 17:46:17

I don't have ME, but an immune disease, my quick go to foods are omelettes, salmon & rice with frozen veg, slow cooker stews, and pre cooked chicken breasts with salad. All can be prepped with minimum effort in a couple of minutes, but are quite nutritious. These would be preferable to a ready meal.
What about reading, or sewing for a low energy worth while activity? Don't beat your self up if you can't manage it, chronic illness is a bugger flowers

SerialReJoiner Tue 27-Dec-16 17:46:44

Slow cooker or an Instant Pot, which is a pressure cooker that has several functions including slow cooker.

Can you try yoga or pilates?

Can you knit or sew for charity perhaps? I'm thinking something small like knitted blanket squares that can later be made into big quilts.

lovelearning Tue 27-Dec-16 17:51:50

I need a gentle but worthy exercise routine which will condition my muscles

Walk.

And join the Support Group.

Welcome to the MN Weight Loss Support Group

missyB1 Tue 27-Dec-16 17:55:16

Homemade soups are dead easy and quick. Some of the ones I do are; spicy parsnip / butternut and ginger/ minestrone

For excercise how about swimming or Yoga? Both of those were good for me when I was recovering from a big operation and I was very weak.

PleaseDoNotTagMe Tue 27-Dec-16 17:56:51

People say that a slow cooker is a cliche that is wheeled out but I think Timely is right and I wouldn't be without mine.

I don't often do casserole type meals. I do green curry, sausages and lentils and the infamous ham in coke.

Other easy meals (with only one pan) we have are
Fresh pasta and a sauce
One of those chickens in bag and baked potatoes
Stir fry vegetables and fresh noodles

throwingpebbles Tue 27-Dec-16 17:59:14

Could you batch cook healthy meals? Doesn't take much more time than cooking one meal.

Roast veg/ jacket potatoes etc that you can bung in oven are good as not too tiring to cook

Try a meal plan? Then you don't have to think too much each day.

I am really liking the wii fit for short bursts of gentle exercise

SunshineInTheRain Tue 27-Dec-16 17:59:24

I have hmjs &cfs & chronic pain & slightly older twins who have disabilities. Pilates is the best exercise, but find a proper pilates studio. They can teach you how best to build core strength without exhausting yourself and it's relaxing too. Weight lifting ontop can help and can some cardiovascular or swimming when you've built up to it but pilates is generally what physios recommend.

I'd batch cook soups and things like bean chilli and lentil curry's. The odd ready meals with extra veg isn't the end of the world but things like eggs and mushrooms, beans on toast or avacado and smoked salmon are easy too. Preprepared salads with some chicken or seeds or tuna work fine too. Go for easy changes you can stick too.

Dontwantanicknamethanks Tue 27-Dec-16 18:06:04

Ok, here goes.
Food: buy everything ready chopped, you can get frozen chopped onions and garlic even. Get tins of beans in water. Get different herbs. Chicken stock. Olive oil. Chicken breasts or frozen fish fillets. Literally throw it all into an oven pan and roast. Add tinned tomatoes to it or not. Healthy and tastes good and once you get used to it, you can experiment with different flavours. Cous cous is also super quick and healthy. This is probably the easiest area to improve but only after you have learnt to use the ingredients and got used to the taste.
Exercise: get DVDs. Spend an evening browsing Amazon on their fitness section, they have a huge range. Tai chi? Slow yoga? Have a look and see what tickles your fancy. If it doesn't work for you, give it away and try another one. I reckon YouTube will have lots of videos, try searching there too.
Me time: I would say things to do to relax you that aren't mindlessly vegging in front of the TV are:
Reading! Good books. Get the man Booker prize list and work your way through that. Perhaps start reading around a topic that interests you, child psychology for example.
Ted talks: really interesting talks there on YouTube, just google ted talks.
Box sets! Not the same as vegging out in front of tv. Try the night manager or get into game of thrones. Depends on what you like!
Drawing? How about those adult colouring sets? Or just sketching a piece of fruit? You could get really good with practise.

I've suggested these assuming you can afford them. Box sets are expensive but there are lots of cheaper ones too, especially older series. I don't have ME so I can't relate but I do empathise, it must be hard for you. Good luck.

Kleinzeit Tue 27-Dec-16 18:09:15

Yes, ready-made casseroles are often healthier than take-away. If you have a freezer and want to do things in style then I recommend Cook - not cheap but they do lovely casseroles, pies and lasagnes in various sizes, and ready-made family food and kids' food. All oven-ready from frozen.

For "me" time - do you enjoy tapestry or knitting? Those are both creative things you could pick up in front of the telly because you don't have to look at them all the time, you can glance up and down while doing them. Other things are jigsaw puzzles, sudokus, or maybe buy some artists pencils and one of those lovely colouring books?

I have a friend who recovered (very slowly, over years) from ME and he used a gradual exercise routine at home but I don't know which one. Maybe ask on the Health or Exercise threads? Also when my friend started to recover he went through a long period of depression - something to do with convalescing. So try not to worry about feeling crap and wallowing if you see what I mean, it might be part of the recovery process. Don't feel you have to do things. Be kind to yourself. flowers

EggysMom Tue 27-Dec-16 18:16:04

Batch cooking - once you've done a few different dishes, you've got a choice in your freezer. As others have said, there's nothing wrong with pre-chopped veg in them. I find carbs are quite stodgy and stifling, make me not want to move; so you could try cutting down on the carbs and increasing your protein intake instead.

Five year olds are big enough to help, start them with washing the kitchen floor or gathering up clothes for washing. Little tasks, make them fun, reward them with a dvd of their choice later on for pyjama/movie wind-down time.

Mindfulness for yourself - there are some good free apps.

throwingpebbles Tue 27-Dec-16 18:21:43

Me time: I sometimes like colouring books; or dot-to-dot.
I am re-teaching myself the piano

There are online apps to learn a language

Entering competitions / things like yougov where you build up money

Making a lovely photo book for your kids? Or a scrapbook?

There are often ways of doing "online volunteering" for a charity or campaign group.

You could research your family tree?

Get involved in a local campaign for somethjing you care about?

Simply writing letters/ postcards to friends and family, especially any who might be feeling isolated.

throwingpebbles Tue 27-Dec-16 18:22:58

You could set yourself a plan to write a letter/card a week?
To try a new (simple) recipe each week?

throwingpebbles Tue 27-Dec-16 18:23:59

Also how is your financial situation? Could you afford a cleaner to ease the burden of housework and enable you to spend more energy on the kids/cooking/yourself? Xx

Feefeefs Tue 27-Dec-16 18:27:33

Slow cooker with pre chopped veg and meat. Microwave vegetable and rice bags with chicken grills. Omelettes. Fresh soups. Salmon wrapped in tin foil and flung in oven with cous cous and microwave veg. Healthier take aways? Sushi, ramen soups?

Excercise- YouTube videos at home? Walking? Set a challenge or sign up to 5k? Couch to 5k app very good and could be adapted to walking rather than running.

You time-meditation? Adult colouring? I like knitting and it gives me a sense of achievement. How about a blog of your efforts? May help to keep you on track also?

KatharinaRosalie Tue 27-Dec-16 18:28:07

I have no experience with ME so tell me if I'm talking total bollocks, but what about Bodypump for your muscles? Can you do squats and lunges with body weight, for example? Biceps curls with 0.5 kilos? You can make this class as easy or as tough as you want - use just your body weight, empty bar, 1 kilo weights etc. And it is a dedicated muscle workout class - requires no jumping or fast moves, so being overweight is not an issue.

CocoLoco87 Tue 27-Dec-16 18:28:11

DM has ME and fibromyalgia. Yoga once a week does wonders for her! You'll be better off boiling veg rather than steaming. Something to do with oxidising... I'm not entirely sure. Try and avoid lots of sugar as that will make the fatigue worse.

All the best for 2017! The changes you make will be SO worth it flowers

Kleinzeit Tue 27-Dec-16 18:30:35

Oh and by the way - if are raising twins then you are already achieving a heck of a lot. And especially if you have ME. I admire you.

TheABC Tue 27-Dec-16 18:31:33

YY to frozen chopped veg. You can buy ready chopped stirfry veg from sainsburys for example - I chuck it straight to the wok, add some precooked prawns and a sachet of Chinese sauce. Add some noodles or microwave rice and you have a healthy meal in 10 minutes.

I know very little about MS, but I agree with the above posters that walking (perhaps aim for a circuit whilst dropping the kids at school?) or fitness DVDs are a good call. You can rent them from the MS society if you are looking for a workout to specifically target your condition. Swimming is another option, but changing is a pita when wet and may require more energy than you want to spend.

Easy hobbies to pick up and put down: crochet, knitting, paper crafts (including decoupage), colouring books and cross stitch. TV can also be a hobby - trial the history or geographic channels. Alternatively, treat yourself to a magazine subscription such as new scientist, lonely traveler, the economist etc. The longer publication cycle allows them to commission a better breadth of writing than the newspapers.

user1471537877 Tue 27-Dec-16 18:37:14

As someone who recovered from close to death in a wheelchair ME and fibro after 10+ years

Give up gluten, take the best quality multi vit you can afford and take jarrow b12 plus folate

Nothing to loose and everything to gain, I've been in recovery for 5 years

I now walk like anyone else and have the energy to keep up with my now 13 and 14 year old

MyPeriodFeatures Tue 27-Dec-16 19:06:14

Massive respect to you for finding the courage and focus to make positive changes despite your illness......

Have you heard of the five Tibetans? You can start these very gently and they will definately improve your energy levels and wellbeing.

Happy new year 💐

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