Today in the morning I stepped on the scale. 315 lbs it said, and I quietly stepped off. I knew the number wouldn’t be pretty, had expected nothing less.
I have RA and I am talking steroids since almost three years. I have gained 85 pounds during this time. Weight gain is a normal side effect, when you take steroids, however, it doesn’t make it any easier on my already damaged joints.
I went from obese to morbidly obese in a swift. Yeah me!
I am tired of being FAT. I am tired of hurting all the time. I am tired of feeling tired.
I quit my RA medication (400 mg Plaquenil) in September 2018, because I had to. We lost our health insurance, and I can’t afford to go to the doctor right now. Normal doctors won’t touch me and Rheumatologists are not willing to see the uninsured. Quite a pickle – perhaps just what I needed?
I started researching RA a while back and I started listening to my beaten up body. I am hurting 24/7 but the pain levels are different and the inflammation seems to move. Some days I feel well enough to work hard, on other days I hardly make it down the stairs.
My fingers look like swollen little sausages and my hands feel broken. On a scale between 0 to 10, I would give my pain level a 6 today. It had been snowing last night, the cold might be to blame a bit.
This is NOT how I want to live. I want to lose weight, at least 100 pounds, and in the future, I want to control my autoimmune disorder with my lifestyle.
I have read a lot. I have watched numerous documentaries about RA, have listened to podcasts and YouTube videos. It all points to food. The way I eat -and what I eat- hurts me. While there seem to be different approaches, they all seem to agree, that dairy and gluten needs to be eliminated. So does wine, sugar, and caffeine. Mercy my little soul. What does that leave me with?
There is the Paddison diet, but one has to spend $80 to get an e-book. There is Amy Myers, who has written numerous books on autoimmune disorders. In Germany, there are the Ernaehungs Docs, a group of doctors who cure all kind of sicknesses and diseases with a healthy, and sometimes rather unusual diet. Joe Cross, the Australian, who decided to juice for 60 days, when he was determined to heal himself from his autoimmune disorder.
Books like “Eat Dirt” or “How not to die” are very interesting so are the movies. I saw “Superjuice me” and watched patients with different diseases getting better, when they all stayed at a retreat in Portugal. They too juiced for 28 days, and all of them improved dramatically. Luckily they didn’t have to work -I do!
It’s all very confusing, to say the least, but also very informative.
While one says you can’t eat meat but you are allowed to enjoy gluten-free products, the others say you can eat meat -if grass fed- but therefore not even gluten-free products are allowed. One blames the oils, while the doctors in Europe add healthy oils to normals meals -like Flaxseed or Wheatgerm oil. It makes my head spin!
I suppose I have to find my own way and I will have to find out what works for me. We are all alike and oh, so different. Perhaps I should write down what I eat and how I feel afterward. An hour after eating sugar or dairy I normally feel the attack in my body. Sounds weird, doesn’t it?
I am scared! What if I cannot do it? What if I won’t have the willpower to start a very strict diet regime. I have been binge eating for so long. Food seems to be my best friend and all the things I love so much, are the ones I will have to let go.
A break up with cheese, a final goodbye to chocolate and cakes, the last farewell to bread and pasta.
Doubt lives deep within me and I can hear the whisper. There is no way you can do this. I try not to listen. This little voice has controlled me for too long.
I had a “last meal” and I enjoyed the heck out of it. Ham-Noodles, my favorite dish since I was a little girl. Egg noodles with diced ham and lots of cheese. A childhood memory, one of the good ones I have -and there are not too many.
I need to face the ghosts of my past. My Mother and my Father and the abuse that happened behind closed doors. I have never talked about it with anybody. Not with my husband, not with my best friends or teachers. I have kept all of it bottled up for 50+ years.
I know that my emotional eating and my childhood are connected. I have to make peace with my past to enjoy the present -and of course the future.
Let the games begin.