Managing the Pain..and the Pounds (My Weight Loss Journey Continues)
So here I sit. As I continue on my weight loss journey I am realizing that losing the weight is only a small piece of the journey. This arthritis thing is really kicking my butt. There are days that my knee hurts so bad I feel like curling up in my bed and crying. The constant throbbing is a reminder that the arthritis is there and that I need to work toward getting myself healthier; which brings me back to the weight loss. I catch myself feeling defeated which triggers the desire to stuff myself with food which is a direct result of my food addiction. It is a vicious cycle that I am caught up in and to be quite honest, I hate it and want to get out of it in the worst way. So I plod on hoping to find light at the end of the proverbial tunnel…Oh God help me!
My goal in August was to lose four pounds. I lost three. Do I feel as if I failed? No, not really. I wish I had lost that other pound, but hey, three pounds is better than nothing. My water intake has increased so much that I find myself gravitating toward it more than my beloved sweet tea at dinner. My lunch box is much lighter in the food department. I am to the point now where I enjoy the raw fruit or vegetables every day along with the yogurt, wheat crackers and cheese. I am learning that I do not have to have meat at every meal and that lunch does not have to consist of normal “lunch” stuff. Some days I decide to take a bowl of cereal and 2% milk for lunch. I got that idea from a few of my preschoolers who bring breakfast for lunch quite often. I guess I am learning to make my own mealtime rules and ignore what the “world” says is appropriate for certain meals.
Learning to cope and deal with the constant pain and discomfort of arthritis is an ongoing process. I have been to a physical therapist several times to learn certain exercises to help strengthen the muscles surrounding my knee and have found that to be very helpful. I struggle keeping up with the exercises like I should, but I am getting better. My physical therapist instructed me to ice my knee as often as possible and to rest. At first I laughed because I do not usually allow myself a regular time of rest every day. Insisting that I attempt to do so, I have found that setting aside as little as thirty minutes every afternoon to sit with my leg elevated a little with an icepack has become quite beneficial. Not only does the ice help alleviate some of the pain and swelling, but it allows the rest of my body and mind to relax as well. While the ice soothes my knee, the downtime soothes my soul. It’s my own little bit of “me time” every afternoon that gives me a boost to get through the evening. Whether I listen to music, read a book or simply close my eyes and take in the peace and quiet of my home, my entire self benefits from a brief break from my day. Another benefit of my afternoon rest is that the pain is much less severe at bed time which means I fall asleep much easier and quicker.
Whether you have arthritis or not, taking a brief rest at some point in your day is important. Allowing yourself to unwind so that you can renew will not only benefit you but those around you. Ever hear the old saying “If momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy”? Just think how much happier you will be after resting which means your family will benefit from a happier momma (or whomever you share your life with). My goal for this month is to drop another three pounds and continue my healthier eating habits. As my knee continues to strengthen I hope to be able to walk a bit more outside and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. With my 45th birthday on the horizon, my desire is to be at least ten pounds lighter and be able to walk at least one mile without intense pain. Wish me luck!