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Dealing with Arthritis and modified October goals...

Saturday, October 05, 2013

I totally love the Spark trophies! I love all of them, I love the awards, I love Spark points, I just love it all! emoticon From the day that Spark added the additional fitness minutes awards (1500, 2000, etc) I really wanted to push it to get 2000 Fitness Minutes for the first time ever. Unfortunately, my arthritis had another plan in store for me. I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was 5 years old. I have it in my knees, and during a flare up it can be pure disaster. My knee is swollen up, and it is getting uncomfortable. The good news is that in the past, with a flare up this size, I wouldn't even be able to walk it would hurt so badly. I don't know if it's the fact that I don't weigh as much (less pressure on the joints) or if it's because I do my walking and keep it moving, or if it is just taking mercy on me, but I am glad it hasn't gotten to the excruciating pain yet. I am hoping that it will be gone before it gets to that point. I was really on a roll with walking Sparky AND getting in workouts but the arthritis is just kicking my tush!

I am not going to lie, when this first happened a couple of weeks ago I started to feel helpless. If I couldn't do the plan that I set out to do (I even made a workout schedule that I was keeping up with), then what was the point? I think that is part of what made the Binge Monster attack, because he knew I was feeling weak. It's like he can smell the weakness, and that is when he pounces. emoticon

What I have learned from this flare up is that you need to have a back up plan. Instead of using it as an excuse to do nothing more than walking, I could easily bump up the strength training. The hula hooping (standing in place) would also be some great cardio with no impact on the knees. I was also reminded of the most OBVIOUS thing... if your exercise/cardio has to slow down, you really need to focus that much more on your food! Obviously I took the wrong turn and started comforting myself with food, and that is always DISASTER!

So my goals for October are a little bit modified, but I think they are more attainable and realistic. Let's hope this inflammation doesn't stick around too long, because I'm already over it. emoticon

emoticon Walk everyday! This is typically a given for me, but with the arthritis this is the most important thing I can do for myself. emoticon

emoticon Walk Sparky while on vacation in Vegas. Last time we didn't get in any walks because it was 100 degrees all the way past midnight... but this time there are no excuses. emoticon

emoticon Going for 1500 fitness minutes. It's not the 2,000 I have my eye on, but it is something I think I can achieve this month. emoticon

emoticon Focus on strength training because it's important and because it doesn't involve my knee. emoticon

emoticon Beware of the Binge Monster! I feel like he is far enough away, but somehow I feel like he is still lurking! If he does pop up I will do my very best to fight him.

emoticon Be happy! I am generally a pretty happy person, especially lately, but I have a tendency to focus on the negatives and psych myself out, so I'm going to focus on the positives.

emoticon To trust myself! My brother mentioned I am always second guessing myself about EVERYTHING, especially weight loss! I didn't lose 80 pounds on accident, so my goal is to trust myself and trust in my abilities to lose this weight.

emoticon To not compare myself to anyone else! Yes, you'd think after over 18 months I would know not do to this, but I am always wondering if someone else's plan is something I should be doing. I'm done doing that. I have to remember I know what works for me, and my journey is my own and no one else's. I've always known that but I need the reminder this month.

emoticon Bust into the 180's!

October is my favorite month, I love fall, pumpkins, Halloween, I love it all. So let's hope I can report back at the end of the month with a happy report and maybe even some weight lost! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I hope you will join me in having a fabulous October! emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great plan. You are gonna rock October! You already are!
    1708 days ago
    I'm so sorry you have had this flare-up :( But that is great that you learned something from it and devised a backup plan. Hope you are feeling better!

    I definitely tend to let myself linger in the doldrums when life doesn't go as I had hoped, so this is something that I, too, need to implement in my life.
    1708 days ago
  • KLONG8
    You are one formidable woman! You're so right...have a backup plan for those times when a curve ball is thrown your way. Yours sounds strong. Keep up the amazing work!
    1710 days ago
    I loved this blog! I don't have RA, but I do have arthritis in my hips and I too was very disappointed and thrown off a schedule that I had finally figured out when my P.T. said "no more weight bearing activity that will effect my hips" "no more pushing yours to walk". I was so down last week I didn't do anything!

    I have read it all in SP about being on your own journey, but I too am still comparing myself to others. I can't tell you how many other fitness plans that other Spark people post I have copied and pasted into my own documents.

    I am always appreciative when I come across a blog that throws me back into reality so I can focus on my plan. emoticon
    1711 days ago
    My deaar friend I am always amazed by your perseverance every time I read your blogs ! You are an inspiration to us all, and please rest up and enjoy yourself! emoticon emoticon
    1716 days ago
    Great fall back plan. My dad suffers from RA and I know it can be excruciating.
    1716 days ago
    I'm sorry that your knee is swollen up and causing you pain. You have such a great attitude and have set some great goals for October. I will look forward to seeing your results at the end of the month! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1718 days ago
    I have no idea how it feels to have so much pain like you do, but you seem to be able to have a good attitude and plan to help you deal with it! I think being prepared is sooo important as we try and get healthier. I feel like we can't be caught off guard because that's when things start to slip. You seem prepared and ready to deal with whatever is coming your way and I think that's what's been helping you get this far.

    I'm so excited to see how you do this month! October is definitely my favorite month as well, so let's make it better by accomplishing our goals!
    1718 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Goals are great setting and meeting. Doing sometimes is hard and no fun!
    1718 days ago
    Great Goals for October. I love fall, not too hot, not too cold. My favorite time of year. I find the more I can move when my arthritis flairs the less it hurts. Even walking is better than nothing. When I was younger I had a mini trampoline that I used for aerobics and jogging in place. It was kinder to my joints than the hard floor and I was able to stick to exercising even when my arthritis was killing my hips. (I have had arthritis since I was 11, but in my hips instead of my knees). Also the mini trampoline wasn't very expensive to get and I could lean it up against the wall in my bedroom when I wasn't using it. They can be found at most sporting goods stores. Because I am short, 5'2" I could even do jumping jacks on it. See if you can find a store that has them on display so you can see if it will work for you. I had an aerobics video tape and could do the entire workout on the trampoline with only having to modify a few of the exercises.
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    1719 days ago
    emoticon o emoticon emoticon

    You can do anything you set your mind to!!
    1719 days ago
    wow sorry you having trouble with the knees but glad you figured out a back up plan ! !

    I know that.......... emoticon

    Hang tough and you will be there before you know it !
    1719 days ago
    Steph, so sorry your knee is continuing to be such a pain (literally). Keep focusing on what you CAN do, as you've posted . emoticon emoticon Denise
    1719 days ago
    Sounds like you have yourself a realistic, do-able plan to me! You know where the problems are, you know what your strengths are, all you need to do is put your plan in action. And you can do this - you've already lost 80 pounds! You can do it!
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    1719 days ago
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    1719 days ago
    Steph- Knee - you never cease to amaze me! emoticon I always enjoy reading your blog, and this was yet another that I can relate to easily. My arthritis has been flaring too, but I can still recognize that the flare isn't as near as bad as when I was heavier, not moving much, and eating a less than healthy diet! I believe the changes in all those things have had to helped in our mobility as well as our body's ability to cope with the arthritis.

    Keep up the good work of treating yourself & Sparky well! emoticon
    1719 days ago
    Oh how your blog spoke to me. I have been thinking about increasing my exercise minutes to get to 2000 and although I felt excited about the possibility, part of me just wanted to sit on the couch reading trashy novels and drinking coffee. Also the Binge Monster emoticon has been visiting me too. So I am taking your advice and planning to continue on my regular path and maybe try to increase a little this month. November is going to be harder because of the family and holiday events and I don't even want to think about December. So staying with the current plan is comfortable.

    I am so sorry about your arthritis. My husband has had problems all his life but as he hit his 60's it really roared to life. The mental part is very willing but the physical pain just stops him. Your blog talks about the strategies you use to keep moving and I really understand how important that is. I hope that you have a great weekend and thank you for sharing
    1719 days ago
    Way to be and find some positives even through the rough patch. Sorry to hear your arthritis is literally causing a pain. Modifying goals are ok, just means you can work past them and in the direction of the original without overdoing yourself.

    Keep up up! You're doing amazing!
    1719 days ago
    1720 days ago
  • ADF1981
    Sorry about the Arthritis flare up. Sounds like you have a plan! You have some great goals for this month. I would take KATESQUEST suggestion on foods related to inflammation. Maybe try walking slower or less on bad days. Remember something is better than nothing!
    1720 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon , just remember take one day at a time and do what you can.
    1720 days ago
    Good positive thinking! Better to have achievable goals that you can be proud of of, than lofty goals that discourage you.
    1720 days ago
    I hope it gets better for you.
    1720 days ago
    I'm sorry you are hurting! Unfortunately, when we start comforting ourselves with food, there can be a vicious circle begin. Many of the foods we eat as "comfort foods" have inflammatory properties which can make the pain worse, then we need more comfort, etc. I've been reading more lately about anti-inflammatory foods, because chronic inflammation is being implicated in more and more health issues--not only arthritis, but cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many other chronic diseases. I think I may write a blog post about what I've learned so far. I hope you find what helps soon and congrats on finding ways to achieve those fitness minutes!
    1720 days ago
    1720 days ago
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    1720 days ago
    emoticon for finding good workarounds during this flare-up. I'm glad I read this today...have been battling plantar fasciitis for several months now, but am resisting the temptation to make it an excuse. It is what it is and I want to find creative ways to deal with it while I heal.

    Have a super weekend...and vacation!
    1720 days ago
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