So I’ve been intermittent fasting for just under 2 weeks. It’s going well so far. Today I completed my first 18 hour fast. It actually wasn’t that bad. I have done the 16/8 split before (several years ago) and it seemed my body adjusted to that eating window super-fast this time. After a week 17 hour fast were the norm but I was having trouble getting through that last hour. Today I made it! The funny thing is I actually had my lightest meal at the close of my eating window rather than my heaviest meal at the end of my window. So I am excited to see where I am this time next week.
My nutritionist wants me to lose 4 lbs in the next for weeks. It is definitely an achievable goal but it will take some dedication and determination on my part. I’ve been actively trying to lose weight for a little over 4 months. More and more lately I find myself thinking on my old favorite meals. I miss having ranch dip and potato chips for dinner (totally wrong I know). I miss eating more than 2 slices of pizza. I want to have a drink-right now I can’t justify the calories in a mixed drink. I miss my old ways.
But I want my health more. Intermittent fasting is good for me. It makes me make better choices with the foods I chose. The resurgence of my rheumatoid arthritis symptoms has made diet and weight loss an even bigger priority than it was. And you know what? A protein smoothie with spinach and berries isn’t half bad. I actually quite like my anti-inflammatory concoction.
I have a wedding to go to in just 3 short weeks. Flashback-when I brought the dress a little over a month ago I was about 8 lbs heavier. It fit quite nicely. The only complaint I had about it was that my stomach wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be. All in all any issues I had with the dress could be fixed by a spanx slip. A month ago I was sure that all I would need to do this close to the wedding would be to find some shoes to go along with the dress I purchased.
Fast forward to yesterday evening when I decided to try on the dress to see how much “better” it would fit. The dress was looser in the chest, arms, and waist. But somehow I seems that I have lost weight in all the wrong areas. My smaller waist made the dress seem baggy but I still had a bit of a pooch in the stomach area. I’m not even sure how that happened. It’s like the dress looked better with more stomach to fill it out?! Then the dress fell weird on in the thigh area-but my thighs have definitely gotten smaller as per my jeans. I’m at a loss. Either I need to lose another 5 lbs before the event so the dress hangs more like a shift dress or I need to find something else to wear. I can’t figure out how it is possible to lose weight in all the wrong places but I did it.
This is the part of my weight loss journey that is driving me nuts. None of my clothes fit quite right. Everything is baggy in the waist and butt but too tight to go down a size in the thigh/hip area. My tops don’t fit quite right either. I am probably between a sizes and that doesn’t help. Until then I will have to keep making things work I guess.
I’m still having an issue with emotional eating. I am also dealing with the bone numbing fatigue that comes with a RA flare-which means I eat mindlessly for “energy”. I just want to maintain the progress that I’ve worked so hard to achieve. I’ve decided to try intermittent fasting (IF) to control my desire to shove food in my face 24/7.
Since my goal is to prevent over eating rather than rapid weight loss I’ve chosen to place my eating window from 9 am to 5 pm. I will still walk in the morning for about 35 minuets to get my fasting “workout”. Hopefully next week I will see 0 weight gain-which will be a victory for me.
I’m not completely out of control but if I don’t rein it in I will be. As of Saturday I had lost 22 lbs since the beginning of my journey. I haven’t been this “small” in about 3 years. It’s a great feeling to be at a 3 year low but the bad habits and circumstances that caused my weight to balloon out of control threaten to derail me once again.
This blog isn’t about my chronic illness but the chronic illness is apart of my weight gain and weight loss journey. Before rheumatoid arthritis I was barely a size 6-I could probably have fit into some size 5 clothing at that point. I was working out for 1-2 hours every day. I was healthy.
Then one day my hands felt stiff. Then my wrist and elbows. My toes were swollen. My knees didn’t bend quite right. I woke up in pain. I broke down in the bathroom at work because of the pain. And then I had a diagnosis. Enter medications that didn’t work, sort of worked, caused weight gain, caused horrible side effects, and then finally remission.
When remission came I had developed a bad habit of letting food be my comfort. I refused to deny myself any tasty treat that I might want in the moment despite the fact the that my clothes didn’t fit and the scale reached heights I wasn’t comfortable with. As I tried to climb out of the whole I had dug for myself. I found (still find) it hard to regain the self-control and self-denial necessary to become healthy again. But I did. I began exercising again. My fast food diet was replaced by green smoothies and vegetables. And 3 years ago I was in the same place health wise as I am today.
But just as I was getting my stride 3 years I got a rude wake up call. Chronic means something never goes away. The unrelenting fatigue returned. Once again my joints began to swell. And I once again found myself struggling to make it through everyday life. And once again food was there to comfort me.
My medications were once again changed. I had more energy, less swelling, and less pain. I went to see a nutritionist. I began making health choices that would help me regain my health. But about 3 weeks ago something changed. Random swelling is back. I am stiff again. When I sit for prolonged periods of time I limp when I walk. As I type this my hands hurt. And today I went over my calorie count. Not because I was hungry but because I feel bad. My meds aren’t working. And I used food to cope.
I’ve worked too hard to let this tumble-down around me. But my options far as a medicine for a flare-prednisone- causes weight gain. I’m not at a point where I can’t function. It’s just harder than I want it to be. Harder than it should be. But that’s just life. Everyone is struggling with something that is harder than it should be. It’s just my cross to carry-but this time I will not buckle under its weight.
I am trying to drink more water. I have jumped onto the drink half your weight in water train and I am riding it for all it’s worth. Positives-my skin is more hydrated and I have noticed an increase in my energy levels. The down side-having to pee 20 times throughout the night.
Last night I was determined not to wake up for the 18th time to trudge to the bathroom. I was trying to remain “sleep” despite having to get out of bed. That strategy worked well until I walked into the doorframe of the bathroom.
So I’ve been sporting a lovely bruise right between my eyes. It’s still sore to touch and I’ve had a slight headache all day. But I still did my 30 minute walk this morning before work and I’m still drinking my water today. So I guess I won ?
I know that weight loss is 80% of what you eat. I also know that good health relies heavily how you fuel your body. But over and over again I plan to grab something “healthy” on the run. Even though 9 out of 10 times that doesn’t happen. The sad thing is I don’t intend to make poor choices. More and more I am finding that I eat unhealthily because there are no healthy choices available to me.
My cafeteria at work will advertise vegetables but then season them with bacon or ham. So the one thing a non-meat eater can always count on instantly becomes uneatable. Then I look at the entrees: meat, meat, or mac’n cheese. All poor choices for me. So I am left grabbing a bag of chips, crackers, or a KIND bar. Great! The poor breakfast and lunch choices lead to ravenous hunger after work and me opting for something quick rather than something nutritious.
I need to get it through my head that this is insanity. Everyday I go to the company cafeteria expecting choices and most days I am disappointed. I need to start bringing my breakfast and lunch. I need to start meal prepping on the weekend. Because it doesn’t matter if I wake up early every morning before work and walk. It doesn’t matter if I track my calories religiously. I cannot get healthy if I don’t take control of my diet. So this weekend I will plan out a menu. I will prep my meals. I will making the same choice over and over again and expecting a different result.
After last nights weight loss meeting I was feeling reinvigorated. I had my goal for the week, I had learned some nutrition tips, and I was more determined than ever to do the hard work necessary to change my lifestyle. Then morning happened.
I woke up with a horrible sinus headache. I also discovered that the stomach bug that had been circling around my department at work had decided it was my turn for the nauseous fun everyone else had been experiencing. My healthy eating plans went out the window. Instead of the barbecue tofu and vegetables I had planned to make for dinner tonight I opted for soup. On top of all of this my RA decided to join the party! If any day was to be a complete wash out today should have been the day. My own body seemed to be conspiring against me to derail my healthy journey today.
I had decided to make an early night of it. I had already put on my PJs. The bed was turned down. The new plan was to mindlessly watch tv until I fell asleep. But I paused, dropped to the floor, and did 10 push ups. No it wasn’t a calorie blasting workout. However it was SOMETHING. It was me saying to life’s inevitable downs that my health is a priority. When I can do more I will. But sometimes it will just be something-and I am fine with that.