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ANewLeaf's journey

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  • ANewLeaf's journey

    So, I figured it was time to start writing my journey so that I can hopefully look back in several months and see some good progress in health, my rheumatoid arthritis, medication, and weight struggles.

    I am 42, female, Started out at 219 on a 5'5" frame... Yah, that's really hard to see in print. But hopefully it will be much lower in a few months. I have been primal for a month now and I am down to 210. Definitely happy with the loss but wish it was more because I got down to 206 before I had to go onto prednisone two weeks ago for the RA and the tom hit, thus 4lb increase. I know, life throws curve balls and we have to just move on. I am trying to find the lowest dose of prednisone that will work for me.

    So, I guess some medical history is in order, in case anyone is reading... Have had jra (juvenile) sine I was 3 with several periods of remission when I was younger but pretty consistent since age15. It is considered moderate to severe but well controlled with meds. Currently on enbrel, asulfazine and Prednisone. By well controlled, I mean I can do my daily routines with ease but if I push it, I will flare. I can do low impact exercise usually, though lately my ankles have been flaring with walking. Elliptical and stationary bike works better. Have had wrist fusions in mid 20s but otherwise the joints are fairly intact (erosions but stable).

    Had blood work done in September.
    Trig: 103
    Ldl: 63
    Chol: 126
    fasting glucose: 110
    Tsh: 2.46

    From what I have read, all the ratios are good. The glucose is high but I have been monitoring it the past month and it is now down under 100 on Primal plan.

    My rheumatologist does blood work every few months as well.
    Sed rate: 35
    Crp: 2.15

    All the other things he tests are always in the normal range.

    in general, the first month has been relatively easy. I have had very little in the way of craving grains, with the exception of popcorn. I have cheated on that several times and I know I need to stop that, at least while I am in the weight loss phase, which will be for quite some time. I am having some munchies, which is hard to get through. I tend to hit the nuts or fruit at that point because the meats just don't cut it during those times. I have always been an emotional Easter. When my stress level goes up, I reach for food. It has definitely been better on primal but its still there to a point. Homeschooling three kids and running a business adds to the stress.

    One of my biggest obstacles right now with the primal lifestyle is sleep. I know how important it is to weight loss and stress level. But I have always been a night owl. I do my best work at night. I often stay up until after midnight most nights - often until 2am. Most nights I get about 6-7 hours of sleep. Rarely 8+. I know I need to work more on this. It its my biggest goal beyond the weight loss.

    I have been using a body media armband to help me to track of my calories in/out and my activity levels. I'm a numbers/chart girl so this has been very helpful. Also helps track my sleep patterns. I have been averaging 1000-1200 calorie deficit, which is more likely about 800-1000, since I am not super stringent on measuring. This its why I know the pred and the RA are causing retention. I should be losing at least 1lb a week, which has not happened since starting the pred.

    Alright, that's enough for tonight....

  • #2
    Feeling really crappy this morning after overeating last night. Very bloated, gassy, nauseous, dizzy, chills, and hot flashes. How's that for a list of symptoms? Got so bad I actually had to lie down on the bathroom floor for 15 minutes before I felt well enough to make it back to bed. The bloating is pretty bad. belly is very tender and hard. I look about 6 months - of, course, being about 80lbs overweight, I already looked about 4 months in the belly (a large portion of my weight in my legs,hips. Definitely a pear shape). I don't know where the overeating came from either. I have been doing really well keeping my calories in check and my cravings have been non existent in the past month. But last night, I just kept eating. Too much dairy, nuts. Had a spoonful of ice cream (which btw its now way too sweet for me now), some left over red potatoes (I haven't eaten potatoes for the past month. They were from a family meal). edamame, which I haven't had in a month either.

    So, guess I won't be doing that for a long time again! I forgot to post it on my first entry but I have suffered from digestive issues for a long time. I am sure its a mixture of food sensitivities, the ra, and the meds. It wouldn't surprise me if I actually have chrons or uc but the meds I take for the ra are the same for those so I have never sought a diagnosis. I have learned to stay away from particular foods at times. Certain meds affect me differently. For instance, if i consistently take Motrin, I can't have any dairy (even yogurt). The past month, I have done so much better digestive wise. Haven't had many problems at all. Even with adding dairy to my diet. I now think the combination of dairy and gluten is what used to set me off. So without the gluten, I can tolerate the dairy. I probably should eliminate that to but I really like dairy - well, cheese and yogurt. I'm not a milk drinker especially since I can't get raw milk here. When we lived up north I was able to get it from a local farm. Very expensive but so good.

    Pain and bloating are still there but I am feeling a little better. I think its going to be a liquid diet day today. Some broth to start, but not just yet. The thought of any food it turning my stomach again...


    • #3
      I am feeling so much better now. Still not sure what that was a couple days ago but I'm glad it's gone now. I am feeling better arthritis wise too. So, good all around. my energy is coming back and I have been able to go without the prednisone for a few days, which has helped move the scale downward a little bit again.

      I am also excited that I have been able to do a set of 50 lunges for LHT just one set at the moment but the are the true lunges so its an improvement. Still having trouble finding a good way today the planks due to my wrist fusions. But found a good way to do the wall pushups without hurting my hands much. Still no chin-UPS. I know I'm not strong enough yet. I have been doing bicep and triceps machines at the gym a couple times a week though. One area I am having some trouble is in the cardio. I have trouble staying on the low end of the range. Before I know it, I am up at/past the 75% mark. I don't even really feel like I am working too hard. I think its more than I'm out of shape and way overweight so my heart rate spikes . Hopefully this corrects itself with time. I have to walk on an incline to keep my feet from hurting but that increases the load, so to stay in the low range, I literally have to walk around 1.5 mph, which is nearly impossible. So, I am just trying to stay below 75 for now. And with time, and better fitness, the heart rate will naturally go down.
      Last edited by ANewLeaf; 02-22-2013, 10:49 PM.


      • #4
        Ok, so I went down 3lbs this week to 207. Very happy with that. I am aiming for 2lbs a week, but will take more! :-) I am really looking forward to getting down to under 200. Hoping to see it by mid march. But what is more exciting is that I am beginning to see the difference in the mirror and my clothes are looser, but not ready for a down size just yet because these were tight when I started.

        I typically get my exercise in the gym but I had a few extra minutes in the middle off the day yesterday and decided to take a quick walk. Wow, I felt so good after. It was only 20 min at a slower pace but it really boosted my energy for the rest of the day. I really need to fit more of these little walks into my week.


        • #5
          Hooray, NewLeaf. You are grokking it.
          Annie Ups the Ante


          • #6
            I decided to check my blood pressure and fasting glucose today.

            Bp: 113/79 previously was hovering around 130/85. So looking better. We will see how it it's over the next few weeks.

            Glucose: 95. Had been hovering around 115. So definite improvement. In the past, I have had what they call Dawn Phenomenon, where the body releases a large amount of glucose in response to a spike in insulin in the early morning. I would go to bed with glucose in the 90s, and wake up with 120.

            I don't check these often. I usually get blood work done every 2-3 months due to the RA. Same with the bp. But it will be another month before I go back so I wanted to check.


            • #7
              Hey, that's good progress already. Way to go!
              Annie Ups the Ante


              • #8
                Well, another week has past. I somehow managed to gain 3lbs. Up to 210 again. I haven't changed number of calories or macro percentages so I am not sure what is going on. I have bodymedia and log food and check the info daily so I know I am on target in terms of calories in/out (looking for 1000 calorie deficit. I have been off the prednisone for more than a week so I know it's not that. My arthritis inflammation is in check so it's not that either. Not close to my tom where I tend to gain. I know weight loss is not linear and exact but I have so much weight to lose and it's frustrating when I not only don't see a loss but actually see a gain instead.

                I have delved deeper into some if the info that bodymedia presents, specifically the METs and I realized that my resting/sleeping METs average hovers around 0.8. I don't quite get this because from what I have read, the bodymedia sets the resting MET at 1.0 and then bases everything else on that. Maybe someone can shred some light on this.....
                Last edited by ANewLeaf; 03-02-2013, 02:45 PM.


                • #9
                  I figured I would put my stats on here

                  Chest: 44
                  Waist: 37
                  Thighs: 31, 30
                  Upper arm: 15

                  Went up another lb. But I'm expecting it will be even more in the next couple of days because I totally blew it yesterday. The first time in6 weeks that I ate grains. 2 cookies to be exact. But unfortunately it didn't stop there. I just couldn't stop even though I really wasn't hungry. I think the stress of work and family is getting to me. In the end, my calorie count was about 2500. When I am usually around 1500, that's a lot!

                  But it's behind me. I was back on plan today and felt good. I really need to get a handle on my stress though and I need to do a better job with sleeping.


                  • #10
                    Yes! this plan is really easy to go back to after a lapse. If you do it straight away then the cookies probably fall under your 20% anyway. Sleep well.
                    Annie Ups the Ante


                    • #11
                      It has been a couple weeks since I last posted. I'm a little discouraged because I really haven't lost any more weight. I'm yo yoing 3 pounds. I am not seeing any measurement loss either. Its frustrating. I am doing all the right things, except getting enough sleep some nights, which I know is very important. I am staying around 1200-1500 calories. And exercising. I have been of the pred for a few weeks so is not that.

                      I will say that I am still feeling great arthritis wise so the grain free is working there and that is huge for me but still, I feel that I have given enough time for my body to adjust so why am I not losing.


                      • #12
                        Good news on the arthritis front.

                        What have you been eating? How much exercise?
                        Annie Ups the Ante


                        • #13
                          Another 2 weeks or so and still no changes in weight and size. much of it is my fault. I haven't been moving as much as I need to. My stress level is super high and I am still not sleeping as much as I need to. Eating is going mainly ok. Having a little more trouble keeping sugar in check but I have not gone bonkers with it. In another week or so, my life will slow down a bit and I am planning on revamping my day/week/diet at that point. I think I am going to try an elimination diet as well because I have been getting more gastro problems. arthritis had been doing better but now its back again. We have been Having really funky weather though so that might be it. Anyway, I will post in another couple weeks to update on the elimination diet.


                          • #14
                            six wks since I posted last. Some ups and some downs. For the positives: I am yo-yoing between 202-205. Not nearly as good as I want in terms of weight loss but it is at least going down and frankly, I have not been "trying" so I'll take it. My previously tight clothes are now loose and my loose clothes are too big. Still not ready to buy/switch to a completely smaller size, but very close to it. Other positives: arthritis is in check and I am off another medication for it. The only one I have now is my Enbrel (injectable), which I have been able to spread from 1x/wk to now every 9-10 days. One last positive, I have had no slips for wheat and the only time I get a craving is with the smell of warm bread. Pretty much have stayed away from oats, doing much better with corn. Haven't had popcorn in weeks. Health wise, I feel good. Energy is better, digestive is better, monthly cycle is MUCH better -that alone is worth this lifestyle. I have no idea what the connection is between grains and my cycle, but I'm not going to question it - I'm just enjoy it...

                            The downs continue to be too much sugar in my diet (though a lot of this is fruit, I know it is still too much), stress (it didn't get better like I thought it would. my business is just really stressing me out right now and honestly, it is not going to getter easier any time soon), sleep, and exercise. I know I have control over all of these and I really just need to take one on at a time and really work it because it is not working with me trying to attack all at the same time.
                            Last edited by ANewLeaf; 05-16-2013, 04:30 PM.


                            • #15
                              I am feeling very good about tackling one goal at a time. I decided to work with movement first. I have been walking and using eliptical at least 4 times a week for the past 2 weeks. Doing more of the LHT too, and a little bit of interval training. very little, but it's a start. I definitely have more energy. Have been walking with the kids, which gives us more together time too. Consistently weighing between 200-202. Looking forward to being consistently in the 190s. I know it will come. Just wish it would be sooner than later. almost ready for my smaller set of pants. already switched to smaller set of shirts. yay! (darn hips.thighs) I have also noticed a lot less desire to snack on nuts, fruits, cheese, etc. Not sure why but I am grateful for it.