Arthritis, Body Image, and that Health Thing

I am sorry for being Spammy McSpamerston today. Last one. Promise.


When I was a girl, I had a friend at school whose grandfather was dying because he was diabetic and he couldn’t change his eating habits. He would do okay for a bit, but the family always had to ride him hard, and he would decide to go off his diet. By the time he died, he was wheel chair bound and had seriously impaired vision.

I remember thinking that I would never jeopardize my health like that.


About my 45th birthday, I had a talk with my doctor about how I wasn’t losing weight, and how she was okay if I was eating well and exercising. At that time, I began to pursue vintage clothing and try to enjoy my body as I thought it would be. I freely admit that I am not comfortable wearing this much weight. It slows me up when I travel, and I can’t do the things I used to, but I figured that this was the way it was going to be, because I hadn’t been having success.


And now I have osteoarthritis. A good friend of mine sent me some very good information about arthritis. It is all about joints. My swelling is in my right ankle and right knee, both of which I injured when I was younger. I am to lay off exercise for two weeks, keep liberally applying ice, and ease back into physical activities.

Another thing that helps people with arthritis is losing weight.


So, here I am again. You may know that I’ve been part of Weight Watchers, more or less maintaining my weight while eating better. But at this point, I’m willing to do something that isn’t easy because I’m in a great deal of pain right now.

So, it’s going to come down to the big three again: 1. Drink your water. 2. Eat your veggies. 3. Avoid sweets. While I eat healthy, I need to now think about doing things to take this weight off my defective joints.

The other thing I have to do is keep moving. Tonight Bryon and I will play some Wii kayak. You sit, you row. As long as it doesn’t use the legs, I can do it. And then, gradually and slowly, I will work my walking back up to snuff.

So, now it’s not just about body image. It’s about health. And yeah, logically, weighing about 70 pounds less would be less pressure on my knee and ankle.

Feh. I wish this were easy.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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