In this blog post, I will share my personal history with inexplicable weight gain because my story seems to be a textbook example of Dercums Disease weight gain.
Inexplicable fat indeed
I started gaining weight while my son was little, and I had a significant focus on healthy food. I rode my bike every day, more than 30 km, and I took a 10 km run most weeks. The fat started to develop on my upper arms, and I got some hurting looks from people, who starred disgusted on my arms when I had a short-sleeve T-shirt on. After my upper arms had exploded, I started gaining weight around my waist and thighs.
During one or two years, I gained around 20 kg, despite my very active and healthy lifestyle. I didn’t realize anything was wrong and gave myself all the blame, because I did eat candy and cake sometimes, and underwent extreme stress as a student of architecture, in a very competitive and unhealthy environment.
During that time, my lower legs, lower arms, and head were average looking, and it was not until I had to change my daily bike runs to car rides that I started to look like an average overweight person. I still have disproportionately thin ankles and wrists.
Note: Many people with Dercums Disease also have lipedema and therefore have thick ankles.
Fertility treatment made me fat
I had been overweight before when I was in fertility treatment in my early twenties. I had four strong treatments with hormones and had a miscarriage before my son was born. So it was already normal for me to feel and be overweight, but I did lose almost all the pregnancy pounds before I started to put them on again five years later.
I have talked to other dercums women online, who think that their disease started when they were pregnant and that somehow maybe hormones have something to do with the disease. I haven’t seen any research on this topic, so who knows?
I had been normal weighing
My weight as a child and early youth were normal. I did put on some weight when I moved from my parents, and change my diet from vegetarian and was introduced to junk foods and meat. But that was not more than approx 5 kgs. I changed my diet back to a healthy one when I couldn’t get pregnant, so this was not why I started growing bigger.
I can lose weight
Unlike some other Dercums Patients, I can lose weight. But it is extremely hard, and the minute I eat anything unhealthy, I will put it on again. Eating a pizza cost me one kg, and one day with pancakes will set my weight loss a week back. So my diet comes with a lot of daily effort!
I will write more about my diet in the category What to Eat and I hope that my story can be of an inspiration to you. I combine intermittent fasting with almost vegan keto and a mostly anti-inflammatory diet. This makes me lose weight slowly, but consistently, as long as I stick to it every single day!
I know, I will have to eat like this for the rest of my life, and that it is probably my best insurance against disability in the future. You could probably say, that I do it because of fear. I get claustrophobic when I think about not being able to walk. But my diet does make me feel better, less pain, and a little less fatigue, so I urge you to give it a try.