Day 1: My Health Journey To Lose Weight and Eliminate Pain

In addition to being at least 20 pounds overweight for my height and frame (I have been unsuccessfully trying to lose the baby weight for 8 years now) I have been dealing with joint pain for the past 5-ish years. It started in my hips. I thought I had an IT-band injury five years ago after I ran a 10 mile race. Unfortunately, the pain has never gone away and exercising has gotten progressively harder.  (Which, of course, does not help the weight loss, either.)

Basically, I cannot run, lunge, row, weight lift, or do yoga without pain.  I mean, I can DO these exercises, but if I do them repetitively, over time I am in so much pain I cannot even sit at my desk without everything hurting. Stretching and yoga sometimes do not help but actually make the pain worse (like it did yesterday).

It’s getting to the point that I know I have to do something about it. I am only 40 years old. I know that I if I do not take proactive steps to correct this, it will only keep getting worse. It’s to the point that I cannot even bend over to do the dishes without it hurting.

I have been given tons of advice by well-meaning friends. I have tried many different things to help my hip joints (where I experience the most pain) — including diet and exercise changes. But nothing seems to work. (Admittedly, I am not always consistent with these things. But it’s hard to stay on a particular regime when it doesn’t seem to be making a difference.)

I suspect that my problem is arthritis, and I suspect that I have a gluten intolerance. I pay the price whenever I eat gluten in many ways. I know that gluten intolerance can cause inflammation, which I know can also only make arthritis worse.

Here are the steps I am taking to help solve my pain problem:

  1. I made an appointment with an integrative medicine doctor. My appointment is on November 15th. I am hoping he can determine what is causing my pain, as well as give me solid advice for managing it, be it in the forms of diet, supplements, physical therapy, and/or new exercises/stretching I can do at home;
  2. I bought new walking shoes yesterday for people who supinate (which I do);
  3. Until my appointment (and this is where you and this blog post come in): I am committing to NOT eating sugar and gluten. Between now and the 15th, that is 21 days.
  4. I am going to check-in on our MOE Facebook page every day and let you know how successful I was at avoiding sugar and gluten, and if it is making a difference. I am doing this publicly in the hopes that the accountability will help me stick to it!

I am committed to living my best life. Our move to the southwest was my first step in that commitment, and it was one of the best (albeit hardest) decisions I have ever made.  But I also want that best life to be at least 20 pounds lighter without hip/back/joint pain so that I can enjoy exercising again and feeling my best!

Thank you for your help!



Trying To Be a Good Role Model

The Hub sent me this article the other day about why teenage girls are struggling with depression. The paragraphs that really struck a chord with me:

“I have been asking adolescent girls to describe what it means to them to be successful. They tell me they are under pressure to be superhuman: ambitious, smart and hardworking, athletic, pretty and sexy, socially active, nice and popular — both online and off.

Psychologists call this ‘role overload’ — to many roles for a single person to play — and ‘role conflict’ — when the roles you play are at odds with one another. The effort required to get a bikini body will cut away at the hours you need to spend in the lab to get into medical school.”

To which I say to these teenage girls: “Welcome to my life!!” (Lol. Just kidding…Sorta.)

But seriously, do we need special psychology terms for this? I call it (as I oft note on here): “There-Are-Not-Enough-Hours-In-The-Day-To-Do-Everything.” End of story.

I realize that I have the advantage of age to be able to laugh at the notion of having a bikini body and not worry about it too much. Of course, I also have the benefit of being happily married to a man who still finds me attractive regardless of how two babies disfigured my body. (Some women snap back. Some women don’t. I am in the “don’t” category.) But I can only imagine what this pressure feels like for young girls who – whether they should or not – cannot help but care about their appearance. And even if I can intellectually know that what my body looks like now does not matter, that does not mean I like it. For years, I struggled with ‘role conflict,’ because the hours it took to become and be a lawyer definitely ruined the dancer’s body I once — many, many, many moons ago – had. And that was before social media!

I am genuinely SCARED TO DEATH of raising daughters in the age of social media. I have no idea how I am going to navigate that terrain. But I know some of what I can do is to project a healthy attitude about self-image and a healthy attitude about how much a well-adjusted human being can accomplish in a single day. I stress the importance of plenty of sleep (I am a monster without it, and so are they); and the importance of eating healthy to keep our bodies healthy. But I am not afraid of eating cookies and ice cream with them, because: (1) I don’t want them to think or feel that they cannot eat or have those things as a woman; and (2) because there are very few ways I get my kicks these days and that’s one of them. (Ha!)

Despite what I discuss (complain about) on this blog, I do try to keep a positive attitude and not try to be “Superwoman” — honestly, for the sake of my own daughters. When I feel myself becoming unglued, I know it means I need to scale it back and “take a chill pill.” I regularly try to do things for myself, because I want to model that for my girls. I want them to know that, someday, they can take time out of their busy schedules (that usually revolves around their children – if they have children; I will not insist that they do) and get their hair done or have lunch with a friend.

So, that’s my strategy: Modeling self-care — as best I can. Beyond that: Say your prayers for us. Thanks!