4 Tips to Winning the Weight Loss Battle: Fighting the Good Fight

4 Tips to Winning the Weight Loss Battle: Fighting the Good Fight

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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

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  • Beth V
    1 year ago

    I have the added issue that I was living on the streets for quite a while when I was a teen. I learned to get by eating once or twice a week. I completely messed up my metabolism. Now I honestly forget to eat. I don’t get hungry. Then add in the pain, which can make me nauseous, and many days I only eat dinner because I have to cook it for the family and they insist that I eat. I am currently about 250 lbs. I have tracked every bite I put in my mouth, and I am eating between 800 and 1200 calories a day. I wish I could find a endocrinologist or bariatric specialist that could help me figure out how to get my metabolism back on a normal function. Add in all the pain and arthritis, there aren’t many excersizes I can do. I admit to just sitting here with my laptop a lot, but this is my connection to the world. My primary care physician says that my blood pressure, cholesterol, and A1c are within normal range and that I shouldn’t worry too much about my weight, then I recently saw a surgeon to see if there was anything I could do about my back and was told I should consider gastric bypass. I am frustrated tired of never having a little treat every now and then, tired of the stares, looks, and comments, tired of never finding pretty clothes in my size, and tired of constantly failing at losing, no matter what I try.

  • Leanne Donaldson author
    1 year ago

    Hello Beth V, So nice to run across you again 🙂 For years, literally, I tried to live on 800-1200 calorie diets, struggling with every single half a pound. It was so defeating knowing that one simple treat could do in my weight loss for the whole week. Not to mention the weight swings as the result of steroids, other medications, and my favorite monthly visitor.
    The only thing I have ever found to work for me for weight loss has been low carb diets. It took me a little while to get my head around looking at food differently because of the sheer amount of food involved that you can eat when you begin to count carbs instead of calories. I also have very recently started simple yoga, basic stretches to try and move my body a little more, even on flare days. It feels like it is much easier for me to tackle than say, a marathon (that idea is hilarious).
    Have you ever tried low carb instead of low calorie?
    I am sorry that you have had such a hard road in life. It seems so unfair that some people seem to have such a heavier burden to carry than others. I hope that you aren’t doing too bad today and you are able to find a bit of comfort. I know this is just my opinion, but I think that gastric bypass should be the last thing on your mind, get your mind and heart feeling better first, then your body might just come along for the ride too, without surgery. I hear you, it is super frustrating, especially when you see cute outfits and clothes that used to look so good.
    But keep trying, you will find something that works for you and your lifestyle. Maybe talk with your primary care doc too, they might have some insights that you may find helpful too. I know after speaking with mine that some of my weight comes from the fact that I was struggling with anxiety which led me to eat much more than I needed because every time I felt anxiety I grabbed food first. Once I treated the anxiety, I began to be able to look at my weight loss with fresh eyes.
    Best of luck and come back often and let me know how you are doing!
    -Leanne, Community Moderator/Contributor

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