Weekly Digest 19 11/23 – 11/29
Last year, in the fall, I dealt with a persistent gout attack that would not let up. For some reason, I appear to have undergone the same thing this year. As I look back, over the last 6 weeks I have dealt with three separate instances of a flare up. Essentially, with healing time, that takes me out of circulation for 2 months.
I find it VERY frustrating to deal with gout. Here’s why:
- The attack itself is debilitating. I get it in my foot, therefore, I am pretty inactive for those days when it is at the peak.
- The injury (usually) forces the body into protective mode where it retains weight and resists change and weight loss.
- The remedy that works best for me seems to be Prednisone –a steroid. That makes me retain water and has several potential side effects such as weight gain, increased apatite, acne, etc.
- I have been on and off Prednisone dealing with this most recent set of flare-ups for weeks, through the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. This means the inevitable holiday meals combined with Prednisone are a no win situation.
- In the course of all this , I managed to pull muscles in my back – so that meant no upper body work for several days – so stacking more injury issues on top of the gout.
At one point I put on a pair of jump boots, and couldn’t zip the zippers because of the fluid retention in my legs. I am going to look at that as a positive as it indicates to me there is weight to be lost here that is simply fluid. Once healed, that should move off and I should be able to return to normal. But I’m not gonna lie – after two months of this, it is damn tough to stay positive.
Bottom line, there are a LOT of things working against me during a gout flare-up at this time of year. And it shows. As I look back over the last two months, I have ricocheted up and down over the same 5 pounds. I still remain between 10 and 17 pounds from my next mini goal of having lost 200 pounds. This most recent week I am back on the steroid again as of Monday. The weekend after Thanksgiving a flare-up was somehow triggered. Despite that, I managed to lose two pounds this week.
I find this particular situation the MOST difficult to deal with because I can do everything right on my end as far as diet goes, and it still makes no difference. I am a cause-and-effect kind of guy. If “X” happens, then there is a reason “Y”. In the case of dealing with your body when it is undergoing this kind of medical stress, that’s not the case. There’s a new set of rules that are mostly unknown and how it impacts you is usually brand new territory.
But as I write this update, I am feeling better, and improving. I am hoping it is a portent of things to come and I can get back to losing weight, and being healthy for the rest of the holiday season. I don’t have much time left, but I still want to hit 2019 having lost 200 pounds. We’ll see if I can pull that off. If so, then great – if not? It will come. No worries.
Intake this week was really, really, good. Knowing I was going to be sedentary with the injuries, I focused on eating super clean, and I am happy with the results. Most days were just under 1400 calories, no alcohol, very little bread, mostly all proteins and vegetables.
Curiously I ended up eating more cheese than I anticipated. I think that was likely a crime of opportunity as we has some gjestost cheese in the house, and I ended up snacking on that here and there throughout the week. It’s the closest thing to fudge in a cheese! However, it also has more calories than deep fat fried sugar balls! Actually, I don’t even know if those are a thing. But…if they are, they may be the unhealthiest thing ever.
Exercise was minimal. Two elliptical sessions and two free weight sessions. That’s all I managed to pull off given the injuries. It’s not enough. I was climbing the walls wanting to be more active. But in retrospect it is more exercise than I thought I had put in this week. I think that really says something about how my expectations have changed and what I have become used to over the last year or two years. It’s much more difficult to be so sedentary for me. I take that as a nice little non-scale victory. I’m more active! And I love that about this journey.
This week my take-away is pretty simple. My diet was good. I did a nice job resisting temptation and cravings and focused on being healthy. I’m certain that’s why I managed to drop two pounds despite dealing with health issues. The bottom line is next week needs to be about sticking to the system and focusing on being as active as I can. Gout does take time to heal, so I just need to take what my body will give me and run with it.
The Last Word:
The holidays are a difficult time to try to be making progress on a diet. Damn difficult if you are a cookie baker like me. I love baking cookie brittle and sharing it with everyone over the Christmas holidays. But to add the hurdle of this ridiculous, yet common, malady on top of everything else – it can really put a damper on the festivities of the holiday season.
Being positive and staying focused can sometimes mean having the serenity to accept the things we can’t change and being ok with that. For myself, that’s maybe the toughest obstacle to overcome. I am reminded of my friend Wahbon who once gave me the sage advice: “Just keep moving.”
Let’s just keep moving, folks.