March 5


Sue’s Big Health (and Fibromyalgia) WHY

By Sue Ingebretson

March 5, 2013

cancer, FibroWHYalgia, Healing, health, journaling, lupus, ME/CFS, MS, RA, WHY, writing


WHY Fibromyalgia

When I work with clients, I often have them create a writing exercise that I call their “Big WHY.” I want them to completely visualize, express, and understand their own motivation behind their desires. I want them to really get (on a visceral level) WHY they want to heal and WHY they want to move away from where they are and toward where they want to go. This is all part of looking at the bigger picture.

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I’m all about the WHY of things. I want to know WHY the body goes out of whack. I want to know WHY chronic conditions (i.e. fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, various cancers, etc.) then follow.

I want to know WHY the body can trip through life, taking stress in stride, and then all of a sudden (or not-so all of a sudden) it just falls apart. I want to know WHY what we think translates into how we feel.

I bet you think that I was probably the type of kid to drive my parents nuts by asking WHY all the time. Not so. It’s a crying shame, but I didn’t develop this deeply inquisitive nature (about my health) until I lost it. My health, that is.

More than a decade ago, I lost it all. I lost every ounce of health I had. I couldn’t walk without assistance. I needed a cane just to get across a simple parking lot. I couldn’t digest foods normally and was tethered to my bathroom. I couldn’t see properly. I couldn’t concentrate on or evaluate conversations. But, believe it or not, these issues weren’t my greatest concerns. Sadly, these symptoms seemed almost inconsequential when compared to the all-encompassing, widespread, “raw nerve” pain that held my body hostage 24/7.

Sound familiar?

I hope not. But if so, you have my both my sympathy and understanding.

Thankfully, I no longer live this experience. I’ve been able to navigate my way out of the deep, dark uncharted forest of chronic illness. How did I do it?

To simplify — I fell down a lot, got back up a lot, scraped my knees a lot, and kept pressing forward. I tried a plethora of treatments that didn’t work. I tried many that did. I formulated my own process of healing and I rebuilt my body on the small victories I experienced. I learned that small successes turn into very big successes.

I’m a researcher at heart and I began to track my progress and search for ways to support my body’s natural instinct to heal (through nutrition, fitness, and stress management etc.). I kept journals, notebooks, and detailed spreadsheets of what I was learning. I ended up compiling my notes into lectures to share at local hospitals and support groups. Those notes turned into massive volumes that I later whittled down into a book.

Not surprisingly, I entitled it – FibroWHYalgia.

I’m so grateful that I get to share my health and healing passion with others each and every day. I love to share the good news of healing from the inside out – in other words, Rebuilding Wellness.

Several years ago, I received an email from a reader who referred to me as a Seed Planter. She said that my book planted the seeds of hope and encouragement for her. When she finished, she felt nurtured and reassured about beginning her own health journey. I couldn’t have heard sweeter words.

These days, I still ask WHY about the health news I hear. I still do tons of research and I’m always open to learning more. The only thing I don’t question, however, is why I continue to write. That’s easy.

It’s because of you.


Do you have a “Big WHY” that you’d like to share? Please do below!

  1. Great article Sue! And, having a strong background in market research, I too always question WHY. WHY is the “nugget”, the essence, the core; from it we can learn how to craft solutions and ways to improve something.

    You also mentioned celebrating small victories. Nothing happens overnight, and every step along the way is a reason to cheer!

  2. I too was in horrible pain disabled at one point but with medication i am improving able to do yoga and bike therapy so good to share emotions ,hate weight gain use to be avid walker 3 tom4 miles a day

  3. Does anyone have weight gain issues does metabolism chane with fibro or use of cymbalta?

    1. Julie — yes, many of those with fibromyalgia have weight gain issues. The reasons are many — medications, pain (causing lack of exercise), food allergies/intolerances, hormone/thyroid issues, etc. These causes can all have an impact on the metabolism as well, so when it comes to resolving these issues – it takes a whole body approach.

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"True Healing requires a combination of healthy nutrition, healthy body movements, and emotional wellness. This is what I call the Restoration Trio" ~ Sue Ingebretson