It’s April, finally!! Spring has arrived and it’s time to start shedding the big coats and bulky sweaters. The leaves of my lilac bushes are budding and the ground is beginning to look green. I love this time of year.
However, I haven’t always loved moving into the clothing which leaves you more exposed. For the past few years, I had developed a blanket or cocoon of cushion (ie fat) which insulated me from the physical and emotional changes going on within my body. See, it’s only been three years since I was diagnosed with RA and barely five since MS made itself a permanent resident.
But some things have been changing for the better in the past year or so and one of them comes from the support I’ve received in this and other communities of patients online. That support and acceptance is what has led me to share my weightloss journey in public with anybody who might follow it at MyObesityConnection.com.
Here in April, we are focusing on Diet and Exercise and how they effect your health conditions. Well, I’ve already been focusing on that every month this year. And the result is that I’ve successfully managed to lose at least 18 pounds so far. Just another nine pounds and I will have achieved a 10 percent weight reduction since January. A realistic goal for me would be to achieve a 20 to 30 percent reduction, perhaps by the end of the year.
In the past month or so, I’ve been making the doctor rounds, seeing each of the folks which whom I manage my various health conditions. This was the first time I looked forward to measuring my weight on the doctor’s scale. While at my primary care doctor’s office I even asked, “could you tell me what I weighed last year?” That’s when I learned that I’ve actually lost 30 pounds since February 2009. Cool!
So this time when I saw my rheumatologist, I wasn’t fearful of the severe warnings to lose weight. She has been on me for the past two years with that recommendation. I even missed or postponed some appointments last year because I didn’t want to face her yet again without any progress made. This year was different!!
After we discuss how I’ve been faring since the Rituxan infusions (which is pretty good) and that I’m ready to deplete some more B-cells on schedule in May, I break the news. “By the way, turns out I’ve lost 30 pounds since last year,” I smile.
“I thought you looked like you had lost some weight. Good for you. You know that losing weight will lower the amount of tumor necrosis factor and inflammation in your body and that will positively impact your RA.”
Side note: Tumor necrosis factor is the substance which the majority of RA biologic drugs are designed to inhibit. It is produced in abundance in visceral (abdominal) fat along with Interleukin-6 and other inflammatory proteins.