CFS and activity

Sometimes you just need to do all the bad things to realise what the good things are.

With CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) I know that eating healthily is really important for me. I’ve been doing some experiments with protein to see how that affects me (I’ll write about this one soon). One thing I have learned is despite eating lots of protein but not eating healthily and not being active for a few days and the cfs really kicks in. On campus today and I feel so bad I’m contemplating taking a taxi rather than walking from the train station.

In my younger days I would have no sympathy for anyone with a hangover – they drunk too much, so self-inflicted. So I hope this post will not be me wallowing in self-pity. Instead I hope to use my self-inflicted CFS crash as a learning opportunity.

So what did I do to cause such a bad crash? For 4 days I was so inactive I never left the house. It was 2 days working at the computer, then 2 days doing nothing at home. In addition, I was eating junk and lots of it … chocolate, biscuits and lots of high salt, takeout food. What should have been an occasional treat turned into a daily, regular meal. Maybe my system could cope with one item but not this onslaught. No wonder I had such a bad reaction.

I felt so bad at one point I thought I had a bug – I even did a Covid test, but no, just the CFS making it’s presence known.

I am getting better at listening to my body (most of the time) and being kind to myself. There is no point in beating myself up for my ‘bad’ actions but it has really taught me how important it is to look after myself, to be active and to eat properly. Treats and indulgences are fine in moderation.

It seems ironic to me that to live with chronic fatigue and to have the lifestyle I desire, that being active is better than over-resting. I guess, like everything in life, it’s about balance. Making sure I exercise and am active as well as taking time to relax and rest too. Not too much of either.

I know CFS affects everyone differently and what works for me might not help others, but if you are on a similar journey, I’d love to hear of your experiences too.


  1. I don’t know anything (sorry) about CFS but I do know that if I eat chocolate and crisps as a regular diet then I feel extremely indolent, which makes me less likely to get up and go for a walk. I think that’s just the nature of such a diet, nothing more or less. I tend to try to balance it out, like having pizza with a big, healthy salad full of raw, natural goodness, or chocolate at the end of a meal of vegetables cooked in a healthy way or crisps after a long walk in nature. Love to chat. Laters. Going for a walk now before I set down in front of the computer to start work.

  2. You said it right that it is all about bringing that balance. The modern world demands us to be aware of how physical activity is important as many of the tasks at hand can be completed without any physical effort from our end. The lives of our ancestors were different, as at that time one touch of the phone did not pay bills or bring in groceries, etc. Also, the availability of junk food is a factor to make us lose touch with the balance. Nothing but extra efforts towards a healthy active lifestyle can bring us the balanced lifestyle that a few generations back people normally lived.

  3. Thanks for sharing with such candour. And eating all that processed food does sound stressful on the body. What I’ve learned, regardless of what’s happening to me in life, is that my diet needs to be clean, or else it’s just going to be an extra problem I have to deal with. Like you said, the occasional treat is always good. But on the whole, I try to keep my foods whole.

    • Thanks for responding Stuart. The past 2 weeks have continued to be really bad but work should settle down a bit which will be good. Food is one area I can have a lot of control over, so I’ve been boosting healthy protein and eating lots of salads. I believe it’s starting to make a difference

    • I couldn’t do that as they contain whey protein which I’m allergic to, but yes, a higher level of protein in my diet throughout the day seems to make a difference. My go to breakfast is natural Greek yoghurt and fresh berries – usually raspberries and some sunflower and pumpkin seeds

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