111 Pounds Lost: Kathie Manages Her Weight to Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

Name: Kathie N. Lapcevic

Age: 38

Location: Columbia Falls, Montana

Before: 231 lbs.

After: 120 lbs.

What was the “turning point” that prompted you to lose weight?  I was struggling with rheumatoid arthritis, specifically swelling and pain in the toes of my right foot. The doctor told me that every extra pound above my knees was an extra 4 pounds of pressure below.  I wanted the pain to stop or at the very least lessen and knew I had to get serious.

When did you start trying to lose weight?  I’d always been trying though admittedly I wasn’t very motivated, I was healthy overall but definitely obese and didn’t like how I looked.  Once it became a matter of relieving joint pain in January of 2011, I started taking it seriously.

How did you get started?  I walked with my husband every morning before work, we started simply just two miles but eventually increased it.  I weighed myself every single Monday morning (still do) and tried to pay attention to what I was putting into my body.  Eventually I got serious about calorie counting but in the beginning I just tried to pay attention to what I ate and I moved my body.

What was your biggest challenge?  Changing those eating patterns!  I have a sweet tooth the size of Montana and I like to bake. The two combined do not make healthy eating habits. I learned, through calorie counting, how to make better choices and fuel my body more appropriately.

Were there any times when you wanted to quit or give up? How did you stay motivated?  Lots of times, every time the scale went up when I swore I was doing everything right or when it didn’t seem like my pain was getting any better I just wanted to throw in the towel.  I stayed motivated because I was feeling better overall, I had more energy and I never felt like I was lacking in the first place. Things happened slowly and by looking at how far I’d come (I kept track of my weigh-ins and clothes sizes), helped me remember that a slow and steady pace was important.

If you reached a weight loss plateau, how did you break out of the rut?  I accepted that they happened and that they happened to everyone.  I would add an extra walk or two but would mostly continue what I was doing – eating healthfully and moving my body – with the knowledge that it would (and it did) break.

What’s your current exercise routine?  I walk 3 miles a day, 5 days a week with my husband.  After the walk I do short strength training or yoga videos online.  I also run 3 to 4 days a week.  I just finished running in my first 5K race and am currently training to run a 10K in October.

What’s your daily diet look like?  Breakfast is usually a rice cake with peanut butter and jelly.  Coffee with goat milk, too.  I do a mid-morning snack that is usually a smoothie of some sort – bananas, spinach, water.  Cherries, coconut milk, and chard.  Lunch is almost always a giant salad and fruit.  I load that salad up with lots of good stuff and always have some protein in there too, nuts, chicken, etc. Dinner is again some kind of protein either animal or legumes and lots of veggies.  I do dessert a few days a week and let myself have what it is that I’m craving, as long as it’s homemade – homemade cookies or apple crisp, etc.

What’s your favorite healthy snack/meal?  A smoothie with banana, peanut butter, coconut milk, and cocoa powder – it tastes just like a milk shake.

Do you have specific suggestions for avoiding temptations?  Don’t avoid temptations – at least not completely. Find a way to indulge without feeling guilty. In my experience, complete avoidance or denial only leads to overdoing it.

What’s your life like after weight loss?  I have a ton of energy and confidence.  I didn’t think I was lacking in either pre-weight loss but both have gone through the roof.  Because of my weight loss, my RA pain and swelling have decreased as well.  I’ll always have arthritis but it is much, much better.  I’ve found a real love and enjoyment for exercise and running – things I could never have imagined before.

If you have any suggestions to others what would they be?  Find a motivation that is personal to you. That was the key for me – motivation, not will power.  Once you find that motivation, just keep on keeping on.  It’s slow but so worth it and really the time is going to pass one way or another. Stay motivated and pass that time working towards your goal.

Source: Everyday Health


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