One Patient's Positive Perspectives

Posts tagged ‘weight’

Lupus, the inertia effect, and my valentine

thEGJELUGJAlthough true for everyone, every lupus patient personally understands this truth: a body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion.  The physical science behind the laws of inertia may not be exactly simple, but they are clearly understood by lupus patients.  A sedentary lifestyle is effortlessly easy to maintain, while changing from a body in at rest to one in motion can be an incredible challenge.  Looking back at the past two years of concerted effort keeping college studies moving with great inertia, it seems other areas of life hopelessly succumbed to a lack of motion!

bathroom scaleWith the accelerated rate of scholarly efforts came an equal and opposite effect on physical exercise and healthy home-cooked meals.  Weighing a full twenty pounds more than two years ago, the lack of inertia impacts several rooms in the house: the bathroom scale registers twenty pounds more, clothes in the closet are two sizes larger, and food in the kitchen lasts only half as long on the shelf.  Too much fast food in too much of a hurry did not help this high calorie, nearly exercise-less existence.  Alas, exercise and healthy meal planning take time.  More time than there was to spend while attending college.

Energy-conserving dinner prep for lupus patients!In efforts to reclaim a healthier lifestyle, a newly restored relationship with the kitchen has been growing again.  The smell of real food in the house, heavy on light, fresh, whole foods and light on the oil, sugar, salt and other forbidden non-fruits of the grocery store processed food isles.  We are also rediscovering the purpose of the dining room table, and the fine art of dinner conversation.  This certainly is a vast improvement to fast food distractingly munched under gaze of a watching computer screen’s light.

As we look at tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day, it was a pleasure to have the time this year to thoughtfully contemplate and purchase a card and small gift bag full of my sweetheart’s favorite surprises, without simultaneously feeling a frantic pressure from struggling with a choice between study and shopping.  Over these two years, he has been an amazing encourager and support, as he single-handedly held down the home front by shopping, cooking, cleaning, and (yes!) doing laundry. College would have been impossible without him!

valentines-day-love-heart-romantic-heart-butterflyA gift bag awaits the morning in the fridge, positioned right in front of the coffee creamer on the shelf.  When he gets the cream to pour into my cup of coffee, there it will be for him waiting to greet him with a, “Happy Valentine’s Day” for me, while I am still struggling in bed with the fog of morning lupus brain.  Every morning he wakes me with a cup of coffee in bed.  This man deserves some very special love and appreciation!

 

Lupus and getting back into exercise

One in a string of mornings

This morning was one in a string of mornings when I have renewed my exercise routine in earnest.  It is so easy to forget how refreshing exercise can be when I wake up feeling stiff, aching and sore.  It is just simply counter intuitive to exercise when I hurt!  Once again, my poor memory recalls how much better I feel after just a few minutes of workout.

At the moment, I am slightly sweaty and headed for the shower.  But, I feel better than when I got up!  My breathing is deeper, my pain levels and stiffness are less, joint inflammation is down, and my endorphins are on the rise, pulling up my mood after them.

Increasing exercise to 30 minutes daily

Just a few weeks ago, my rheumatologist asked me how much exercise I was getting, and in honesty I had to admit it was not enough.  I have slipped lately and skipped exercise go too many mornings, and cut my workout time short on most of the days when I do exercise.  Letting myself get caught up in the hurry of last-minute morning preparations, lately my time planning and prioritizing to leave time for this important health priority has been poor.

As we spoke in more detail, my doctor concluded that the 15 to 20 minutes I have spent on my stationary bike a couple of times each week, with only 5 to 10 minutes of gentle yoga some of the other days, was insufficient.  He challenged (or perhaps ordered) me to slowly increase exercise to 30 minutes every day

My response as an obedient soldier in the battle against my lupus? “Yes, Sir!”

My exercise goal due date!

So, the plan is to build my daily exercise time back up by a couple of minutes more each week over three months, and kick up my exercise program a notch or two.  So, that is what I have been up to each morning.

Okay, I have missed a few days since my last appointment, but I am definitely increasing my compliance and doing exercise most days now.  I am up to about 22 minutes and hope reach 25 minutes soon — by the end of October.

In due time the weight will come off, too

My next milestone will be 30 minutes daily by the time of my next doctor visit at the end of November. Working back up slowly is joint and tendon friendly, and helps prevent injury or flare of my lupus arthritis from over exertion.

I haven’t lost much weight yet, my secondary goal, but I have faith that in due time that will come, too (or would that be “go?”)

They say its takes 21 days to make a new habit, and I now am well on my way back to habitual exercise.

%d bloggers like this: