Here comes a life changer!
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis back in November. Since then it’s turned my life upside down. It’s a horrible auto immune disease which attacks your joints and makes them really painful. Sometimes they flare up without warning. I’m forever feeling like I’ve got a fog in my head that won’t clear. I’ve had to change my life substantially to accommodate for the days I can’t do what I want to do. Most days recently to be fair I’m feeling pretty good. I’m not in pain constantly and my sleeping pattern has improved. Since November I’ve been reading up on different things I can do to help myself on this journey and they seem to revolve around diet and exercise.
Dealing with life in pain
I’m not going to beat around the bush because that’s not my style. Since November I’ve been dealing with the news and pain badly. I’ve been over eating which has caused me to put around three stone on. Yep three stone in eight months. That’s why this has to stop now. I’ve always loved being a Slimming World member. Until November I’d been attending my local group and getting along quite nicely. I’ve lost 12 stone plus with SW previously and I re-joined again when G was 10 months old. Before my holiday to Spain I’d lost 4 stone 10 lbs and felt fantastic.
I’ve always lost really well and been 100% on it when I’m on it. A lot of things happened around that time. We bought a house, and started renovation it so we could move in, we went on an all-inclusive to Spain, and then I got sick. It really put me off trying. And then the worst thing happened, I dealt with my pain the same way I’ve dealt with it my whole life. I ate my way through it.
It’s really weird how most of us know what’s counter productive for our lives, but it was like a switch. I lost my happy. I couldn’t go to group because I was working every single Thursday and needed the money for the house. I was so confident I could do it myself. Then when I couldn’t I tried to find another group but it just wasn’t the same.
Diets for Rheumatoid Arthritis
My RA seems to be reactionary, so I can flare up really badly one week and then not have anything for months. There isn’t a specific diet that will wave a magic wand for the symptoms of RA. But I know at the moment weighing what I weigh can’t be good for any of my joints.
Studies have shown that some foods may make flares worse, these include the obvious junk and fried foods, I am a fan of the odd burger but I can make my own! Red meat. Now I’ve had to have a serious think about this one. I absolutely love meat. I’m sorry vegetarians but I’ll stick to my guns, I will not give it up, but I will cut down. I only buy locally sourced and reared meat. Gluten, now this one I’ve had to think about too. Pasta and rice are staples at ours, but the kids also eat giant cous-cous and quinoa. I am going to however, cut right back on the bread. I have a bread addiction. Especially if it’s fresh. I could eat a whole loaf.
Sugary products. Occasional cake. Ok I can do this. Last but not least. Alcohol. Damn. I can go weeks without and it’s worth it.
Fitting that in with Slimming World
It actually makes sense. Everything on the above list is a lifestyle choice. Love the way that slimming world works because you get so much choice. Some things are free too so you never have to weigh and measure. You can eat the free stuff until you’re full and they include your meat and pulses and mostly everything you would cook a meal with. Thumbs up.
I keep saying life style change. That’s what I have to do. After I had Ellis I was 28 stone and had to make a life style choice. I’ve always been the big girl. And to be fair I’m comfortable in my skin at the moment. I accept myself. I’m doing this to be around a bit longer for my kids. That’s my choice. I want to be healthy. I remember what it’s like to weigh what I weighed before and maybe this weight gain is the wake up call I need, a subtle reminder, of how easy it is for someone like me who has obvious attachment issues with food to get as big as I was before.
I associate food and drink with good times, bad times, comfort, and all the feels. It’s going to take a lot to break that.
This time last year though I was training for a 5K and walking up Snowdon. I hope to get back there, which leads me to…
Exercising with RA
Things like running and high impact are OUT. At least for the time being and I can get my weight back into a reasonable place once more. Running with damaged joints only causes more pain as I found to my detriment a few years ago and I damaged my knee leaving it granular. Yay go me. So the most effective things are going to be low impact but strengthening. Swimming, Yoga, Tai Chi, gentle but core strengthening.
I suffer with anxiety too, and last time I did an outdoor swim (I used to be dead fit me) I panicked and convinced myself I was going to drown. So I’m going to take it slowly and go back to swimming lessons. Going to take the daughter with me with the aim of doing the life saving medals again (I did three levels back in the nineties). I also want to teach G to float. We have Wednesdays together and I think this could be a plan for when the elder two are at school for now.
I’m hoping I can return to full on hiking when I lose my weight too. I use a Fitbit and I know my average steppage has gone down from 20K to 12K ish per day.
I always say I’m going to start tomorrow. I won’t say that. I’m going to toddle over and see what the damage is on Friday. Then, I will take the bull by the horns. I know I’m going to a group which is Uber supportive. And things have to change. Feels like I’m always writing these hard life affirming posts recently! This is just part of my story, I just hope I can do this justice, for a better quality of life.