Dressed for success

I’ve decided it’s time to get my health on track. At least the part of my health that I can do something about and control on my own. I’m sick of having to eat my daily cortisone pills and as soon as I try to lower the dosage my joints react immediately.  I need to get stronger, in particularly in my knees and feet. I want to be able to vacuum under the bed. I want to be able to wear my favorite shoes (at least to parties) again. I want to be able to go geocaching in places without having to think about how my knees or feet will react.

My illness is mostly under control. I have a few bumps on the road every now and then but for the most part nothing major. I’m able to live almost as I did before I got this illness 4 years ago. I’ve learned to accept the fact that some days I might wake up feeling crappy. I’ve still not learned that those crappy days affect my mood and I can turn into a nasty little devil, but I guess I will learn to control the bad beast some day too. 😉

So, what to do? I figure that in order to get rid of the cortisone I need my body to be stronger and healthier. To be able to achieve this means two things… 1) I need to start exercise regularly and 2) eat better so I can loose weight. Weight loss will definitely help my knees and feet as the pressure on the joints will not be as heavy as now.

I thought I had a perfect plan as far as exercising goes. I got a yearly pass to Fitness 24 Seven, and I contacted, and met, a PT that would help me get going. Suddenly my eye problem started and before I even had my first training session I had to cancel. Now my eye need to heal first and when that is done my PT is on vacation so I won’t be able to start until mid September. Bummer… and I can’t go swimming either as I can’t wear my lenses yet (only 2,5 more weeks with my cortisone drops). Double bummer… Instead I decided to start a training plan through RunKeeper (fabulous app!) and exercise by walking regularly. My goal for the end of the year is to exercise at the gym or swim once a week and then do my walking sessions 2-3 times a week.

As far as weight loss goes I’m already working hard. Previously I’ve tried by counting calories. It worked wonders for a few weeks but every time I got sick after a while (either a cold, flu or joint issues) and I lost all motivation whatsoever. This time I’m not going to count calories instead I’m trying the Paleo diet. With a paleo diet grain, processed food and dairy products are forbidden, instead it’s lean meat, fish, egg, vegetables, fruit and nuts that matters. I’m not going Paleo “all the way”. I’m going to continue to eat dairy, and on special occasion bread or pasta. I’m also considering going gluten free those times I do eat bread. I’ve read a few places that claims Paleo can help RA patients so I’m gonna give it a go.

A few weeks ago I started eating lactose-free and no red meat to see how my RA would react. I’m going to continue with lactose free dairy (I’ve noticed my stomach is much calmer nowadays) but I will add some red meat back into my diet again. I will continue to eat “normal” on those occasions when I’m going to places where I can’t control the menu. So, dear friends, do not panic to invite me over for dinner parties. 😉 The rules of Paleo only applies when I’m cooking.

Right at the end of today’s walk a song started playing… “Dressed for success” with Roxette. Not only did it have a great beat for my walking pace but it also turned into my new mojo: Dressed for Success… in exercise and weight loss. I’m ready for a healthier me!

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