It’s time again for the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge hosted by Long and Short Reviews.
Today’s topic is: How I Take Care of My Health
First off, not as well as I should…
Here’s the thing: I suffer from chronic pain. As in, severe pain, all day, every day. It’s fun. Mostly my hips, legs and knees. Sometimes other things will chime in because being left out sucks, but mostly it’s the hips, legs and knees. I have arthritis. I also have sciatica. I probably have other things, but I loathe doctors, so who the heck knows. Now, that being said, here’s what I do to try to make my days more bearable, and my life long and healthy…
First off: KEEP MY WEIGHT DOWN.
Seriously folks, and I’m not body shaming here, because I care not one iota about how you look. What I do know is that excess weight, ANY excess weight (even just a few pounds matters here) is one of the worst things you can do for your overall health. It wears on your joints and on your heart and lungs. Yanno, important things.
Seriously, check out this article, which says in part: “…for every 1 lb. of weight loss that occurred, there was a resulting 4-lb. reduction in knee joint load or knee pressure. Furthermore, it was suggested that individuals who lost 10 lbs. would be subject to a total of 48,000 less pounds of pressure for every mile walked.”
And check out this article about how even a little excess weight can affect your heart.
And if you want to calculate your BMI, go here. My BMI is 25.2 currently, which is considered overweight.
For me, even 5 pounds makes a MASSIVE difference to my pain level. The problem is, I’m actually a food addict. Yes, I know we all have to eat but I have a bevy of psychological issues regarding food. I am a horrible emotional eater. I struggle with depression. One year ago, pre-lockdown, I had nearly hit my goal weight on Weight Watchers. I was feeling good, emotionally and physically, my back and hip and knee pain were pretty well under control and life was great. I’d conquered my food addiction and was living a permanent, healthy lifestyle.
Yeah, right. All it took was a measly little pandemic to toss all that health in the toilet. I gained 20 lbs. in a matter of a few weeks.
In late fall of 2020, when it became clear that “two weeks to flatten the curve” had become “until further notice”, I decided I needed to figure out how to live in a crappy time, stop using it as an excuse and stop feeding my feelings and killing my body.
So … I went back on Weight Watchers, even though they didn’t have weigh ins (I NEED that accountability) and have been struggling ever since. I’m down about 14 pounds from my highest last year, but it’s 2 steps forward 1.5 steps back most weeks.
And I will say, this time weight loss isn’t helping as much with my pain, so … I need to take other steps. Here’s the rest of what I (should) do for my health:
Yoga and/or stretching. This is a freaking miracle for arthritic joints and sciatica. I’ve gotten away from it and I can tell the difference.
Cardio exercise. I walk every morning about two miles, snail slow because I’m walking with a neighbor and her older dog who has to sniff everything. So, this really doesn’t do much for me. It’s a gift to my dogs, and it’s my “people” connection for the day. It’s honestly one of the only things that’s stayed normal this past year. So, lately, I’m trying to not feel guilty for taking time to hit the treadmill for some 4.0 – 4.5 mph walking or jogging every day.
Weight training. Not a lot, and not heavy (I have 3, 5 and 10 lb weights). But thanks to a certain person (you know who you are *G*) I am able to use Peloton for some easy but effective weight workouts. I haven’t done it in a while, but I’m trying to get back on that bandwagon.
More veggies, less sugar. I am a carb addict. When I feed those doggone feelings, it’s always bread or potatoes or ice cream. Since your body treats all simple carbs (like non-whole grain bread and potatoes) like sugar, basically I spent months on a sugar diet.
So, in a nutshell, how I maintain my health: more exercise, more healthy foods, less sitting on my fanny and eating garbage. 🙂