Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lupus and weight gain

I was just interviewed for a magazine for an article on lupus and weight issues.

1)Are you generally happy with your weight?

of course not~! i'm a woman!!
there was a point where i was too thin which i didn't
mind except for i had no butt and i could not sit
compfortably anywhere.

2) How do you manage your weight? Are you able to exercise/pursue physical activity?

right now i can. i have been to weak to do so before.
but i have to be careful about not pushing too hard.
it is a delicate balance. if i work out too hard, then
i end up exhuasted for several days, and unable to
work out at all, or even do my normal routine. in
fact, a vigorous exercise routine was part of the
stress that led to my last flare, which includes
kidney failure. so i am trying to be sensible, which
is not easy when you want to lose weight, and
carefully work my way up to sustaining 30 minutes of
activity at a pace that breaks a sweat and improves my
cardio system. lupies are very vulnerable to heart
disease. i also lift very light weights. i do lots of
repetitions of very low weights. then i get the
benefits without major stress on my system, the kind
that sets of fibromyalgia. and i always stretch!

you have to start where you are. when i had a stroke
in 2002, i had no balance and was very thin and my
legs were sdwollen from kidney and congestive heart
failure. i could nto leave the house for a month
because i could not get up and down the one stair to
go outside. i used a cane. i started regaining ym
strength in the pool. i'm a very good swimmer, and it
made me feel better to be able to swim like a fish
even though i could barely walk on land. when i
started walking, i set very small goals: walk 3
minutes today. then 4, 5, 6, et.c

3) Is there a particular weight at which you notice
more flare-ups?

for me, it'sthe other way around. i know i'm starting to flare
up because i'm either losing weight without trrying,
or i'm suddenly holding water in my legs and can't see
my ankles, so i know my kidneys are failing again,.

4) How does your doctor help with weight management?

my rhuem is too busy trying to quell the disease to
worry about my weight. since i'm not obese, an extra
15 pounds is considered a vanity issue by most docs.
however when i had a lot of fluid in my legs, the
compression hose helped push it out, and i had a DO
who prescribed diuretics.

i have gone to various alternative practitioners over
16 years- the DO, several acupuncturists, some chi
gong practitioners, and an MD who also does
nutritional advice, and they all tell em to go gluten
free. it is not easy and i fall off the wagon, but
when i am gluten free i ahve mroe energy, fewer
symptoms, and lower weight. avoiding binging on salt
and sugar and quitting soda also helps.

5) Do you have any self-discovered tips for people with
lupus that might help them feel better psychically
or psychologically regarding their weight?

the serenity prayer

remember "i am not my body"

know there are things we can do to improve the situation

don't wear tight clothes or ugly seats or PJs all the
time. if you've gained a size and can't do anything
about it right now because you have to take
prednisone, or whatever, then don't punish yourself
for it. accept that you are where you are right now
and get yourself somthing comfortable and flattering
to wear.

do some self-care, a facial, paint your toes, get your
hair done. don't let yourself go completely. show yourself some love.

smile. the fastest face lift there is.

surround yourself with people who accpet you for who
you are, no matter how you look. even if those people
are the furry variety (cats and dogs).
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