I just got home from the doctor’s office and he has mentioned *again* that if I would lose some weight, I would feel much better. He insists that the weight is responsible for a majority of the pain. Well, you and I both know that it is more than that. Like me, you may not be so sure that he is right, but you convince yourself to give it a shot anyway. After all, who doesn’t feel a little better after losing some weight anyway?
Most of the same medicines used to help us feel better, like steroids and biologics, can also come with the added side effect of weight gain. Pile on top of that, the fact that often the joint pain and fatigue make it difficult to exercise, and sometimes necessary convenience foods carry a hefty calorie count. It is no wonder that when it comes to winning the weight loss battle, we are at a definite disadvantage. Here are some tips that I hope will help both of us fight the good fight in the weight loss battle royale.
1. Don’t beat yourself up
It can be easy to get discouraged when you don’t make the right choices for weight loss. Feeling defeated and angry at yourself can start a vicious cycle, especially if like me, you are an emotional eater. Recognize that you didn’t make a good choice, but don’t dwell on the negativity. Make a mental note about what may have caused the poor decision and move on with renewed determination.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others
Inevitably, darling hubby and I start the same diet at the same time. 3 days in and he has lost 10 pounds while I pack on an additional 4. It drives me totally nuts! This is when it is good to remind myself that everyone is different. We all gain and lose weight at different rates on top of the fact that oftentimes our many medicines already make losing weight difficult or even cause us to gain. I get frustrated and angry that I am doing all of the same things, or sometimes even more, and it seems like the weight just falls right off of him.
If you are busy comparing yourself and your results to others’ weight loss, you are certainly more likely to feel discouraged and give up on yourself. You can’t compare yourself because there is not an even playing field when you live with psoriatic arthritis.
3. Don’t fall for fad diets
Every time I turn on the television or hop online, there are advertisements for the latest fad or diet craze promising the best results in weight loss. “Buy this equipment! Eat ONLY this! NEVER eat that!” It is all very overwhelming and it can become very hard to know what to do. I have found that for me, the middle ground is always the best place to be. All things in moderation, and you will find success. There is some evidence that some dietary choices can increase or decrease inflammation, but be sure to research these and make sure that you are making dietary changes that you can continue with for the rest of your life and not simple quick fixes that will eventually lead back to poor eating habits.
4. Don’t have unrealistic expectations
I pretty much know for a fact that unless I am gravely ill, I will never be a size 4. That simply isn’t my body type. It took a long time for me to accept that, but it is true nonetheless. Having unrealistic expectations, especially when you have psoriatic arthritis, can be a recipe for disaster. Losing weight with all of the medication that we typically take is hard enough without the added stress of unrealistic expectations. Talk with your doctor and decide what a realistic expectation for a healthy weight should be for you.
Take the time and effort to make the right choices for you and you too will win at losing.