Slow and Steady

After doing more research about nutritional deficits in those of us with inflammatory conditions I am more convinced than ever that even though I am trying to improve my diet by eating lest processed food and increasing my veggies and fruits I’m not hitting my nutritional mark. According to some internet research I’ve been doing it is quite possible that I may need more than the average “healthy” person for my body to function at its optimum.  I have gone from counting calories, trying the primal diet, clean eating, ect all in an effort to get back to a healthy weight.  Right now I am about 25 lbs down from my heaviest and I still have at least 20 to go.  I’m sure I can go on some quick fix diet and lose the excess weight by summer only to find myself in a constant yo-yo state trying to maintain my target weight.  So I am about to Frankenstein a diet that I think will work for me.  I plan to go back to a vegetable based diet.  I will keep my carb count at 150 or less every day, and I will allow myself 1 fun size piece of candy a day to keep me from feeling too deprived.  I will continue to eat poultry and fish but stay away from red meat.  I have vegetarian leanings and I am hoping to one day completely phase meat out of my diet. Right now I’m afraid to do so because I hardly ever hit my recommended daily allowance of iron without giving up meat.  Until I find and incorporate enough iron rich veggies in my diet to meat at least half my recommended daily allowance I will be keeping some meat in my diet.  In addition to really concentrating on keeping my diet clean and vegetable based I will work out at least 3-4 times a week.

Health is a journey and unfortunately there is no quick fix.  I am going to have to understand there will be no 4 lbs lost in a week.  It will be slow and steady for me but I believe eating healthy and exercising will get me where I need to be.  I believe that the long term commitment needed to lose weight in this manner will become a habit and a way of life.  I want a healthy lifestyle more than to look good in a bathing suit this summer.  And who knows, I may even make it to my bikini body by late summer anyway.

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One More Pill

vitaminsI decided to keep a food diary as part of my overall return to health.  Calorie counting has been an invaluable tool in helping me lose weight.   However, I had a sneaky suspicion that my eating habits, while greatly improved, were not good enough so that all my nutritional requirements were being met by my current “improved” diet.   And thanks to my cell phone’s fitness app, I was able to track both my calories and nutrient uptake for a month and a half.  Doing this confirmed what I had been suspecting all along.  I don’t get enough nutrients in my diet.  Sure, I’ve been staying close to my recommended caloric uptake but after 6 weeks of tracking my daily nutrition I didn’t meet my recommend daily allowance for iron once.  At least a few days a week I don’t get enough protein.  And to make matters worse the only vitamins I consistently reached 100% on were Vitamin C, D, and folic acid.  And that is not acceptable.  It seems that those of us with rheumatoid arthritis are considered to be at nutritional risk according to Johns Hopkins.  And I can see I definitely fall into that category.  Tracking my food has been a great wakeup call for me.  Eating better isn’t good enough.  I have to consistently eat well with the knowledge that even if I don’t feel well and maybe because I don’t I need to make better food choices.  Until I figure out how to meet my nutritional requirements from whole foods while reducing calories I will be adding one more pill to my daily routine-a multivitamin.

Sad

Sometimes the dark clouds come and surround me.  They obliterate the sun and the blue sky making it seem as though darkness is all that I have left.  Every pain seems amplified, every disappointment deeper, and the future feels like a fairytale that is told to small children put them to sleep at night. And finally, the clouds seem to block out all reason and threaten to silence the hope for a better tomorrow.  But I’ve been here before.  No matter what my senses tell me I know this will pass.  Things will get better.  The sun is still shining even if I can’t see it or feel its warmth.  I must not succumb to the feeling of emptiness and despair.  I must not let this season to cause me to tear down the progress I’ve made thus far.  I must live like the bright future is around the corner even if I can’t see it.  I must have faith.  I will prepare for tomorrow.