As you know, if you have osteoarthritis, one of the big favors you can do for your body is to get the pressure off your joints. For every one pound of weight you remove, you remove four pounds of pressure. Shortly before my arthritis diagnosis, I had decided that I was going to be very live and let live about my weight. After my diagnosis, I decided that if there were ways to hurt less, I was going to take them on.
So, where are we at, then, with weight loss? The lowest amount I managed to reach just before the holidays was 211.6, which was 11.4 pounds lighter than this time last year. Then, the holidays. For a variety of reasons, I wasn't as diligent about diet or exercise, so I am now at 215.8, an obvious gain of around 4.2 pounds. On December 31st, I was at 214.3. That means overall last year, I netted a loss of 8.7 pounds.
Change takes a lot of time and effort.
Right now, the biggest change I am making is spending more time organizing my recipes,organizing my kitchen, and cooking at home. These efforts will pay off in healthier diet, which in and of itself helps. The time it takes seems to eat into my exercise time, so I am trying to find balance there. My hope at the moment is to get half an hour a night, and then as the food intake piece of it gets easier and more organized, there will be more time to exercise. I've tried it the other way around--more exercise and not as much food re-organization, and that means I'm an exercising fat person. While exercise is important, most studies say about 80 percent of weight loss success is controlling what you eat and WHEN you eat.
I am becoming a great believer in an approach that enables you to eat many smaller meals. My "lunch" now begins at around 9, and ends around 2. It consists of veggies, fruit, a couple of breads and a couple of proteins. Keeping that metabolism stoked seems to be our best bet. If I have a particular problem still, it's that my suppers tend to be large on the days we eat out. Even cutting your food in half doesn't always seem to help here.
It goes without saying that I am actively avoiding caffeine, sugar, and additives. I am not always successful, but I am trying hard, and I consume a great deal less. The fibrous lumps as well as the arthritis benefit.
This will take time. My goal is to end next year lighter than I began it. I would like to weigh 200 pounds by the end of next year. That would mean I have removed 23 pounds, or 94 pounds of pressure from my right knee (and the rest of me). I would also like to be regularly engaging in at least one 30 minute walk a day. Modest goals. All of which will be possible if I just take the time to plan and create an environment in which such can happen.
So, we'll see how this goes. I know that walking is an important part of the osteoarthritis routine. Stretching too, but one piece at a time.