Today, I went for my monthly visit to the chiropractor.
Today, I was desperately in need of an adjustment.
Today, I was confronted, head on, with the fact that I might need to drop a few pounds.
Let's back up a bit. Weight was never an issue for me until college (can we say Chick-fil-A 3 times a day??). But even by graduation, I had only gained between 10 and 15 pounds and held right there for a while. About 3 years ago, I had reached my highest weight, to date, and was ready for a change. I wasn't happy with the way I looked. I wasn't happy with the way I felt. I knew that something needed to happen.
I tried several things (exercise, calorie counting, starvation) and nothing seemed to work. I eventually had great success after my mom introduced me to Weight Watchers. It was an easy process, a results inducing program and fun to go through that journey with my mom. I lost around 30 pounds and I was thrilled! I could wear my old clothes. Heck, clothing was even comfortable again! I felt great! About a year went by and I realized that I had gained about 8-10 pounds back...and then came 10 more pounds...and then 10 more. Yep, I gained every single little pound back.
Let me be very clear here: I take no pride in sharing such information with the world wide web, but feel it is necessary for the completion of this story.
I've been back at my "heaviest" for a few months now. Let me remind you that I visit my chiropractor every month, and have for the past 3 years (through weight loss and weight gain) and never once has my current weight come up in conversation.
Today, after a brief greeting and a question of interest regarding our time at camp, my chiropractor says "You put on a few pounds?"
(Now, I'm not sure that those are the exact words that came out of his mouth, but let's face it...he's a 6 foot tall skinny man, I'm a not so tall, somewhat chunky girl and he just, out loud, said something about my weight. What he said and what I heard were probably 2 totally different things...but COME ON!!!)
After I picked my jaw up off the floor and did my best to hold back any tears that were begging to flow, I was able to squeak out "Yeah, a little" while hiding my face in sheer embarassment.
He proceeded to tell me that he's been doing all kinds of research on fat cells and their role in joint pain. This leads me to believe that he wasn't just singling me out (at least I hope not!), but looking at all of his patients in the light of this new found knowledge. Once I was able to get past the fact that he just called me fat (or whatever it was he said), all the things he was saying started to make sense. It's a common misconception that joint pain is associated with obesity simply because the weight adds more pressure to the joints. The research he's been studying proposes the idea that fat cells are like little houses for inflammation. More fat cells=more inflammation. More inflammation=more pain. Therefore more fat cells=more pain. Makes sense to me. It's probably safe to say that most of us feel better when we weigh less.
I have fibromyalgia. I have arthritis. I have back pain. Most days are good, but some days are just straight up painful. I know that the pain is imminent and amplified by things (higher weight and less exercise) that I can do something about. I'm a smart girl. You'd think I'd be able to put 2 and 2 together and make a positive change. But I love me some ice cream...and cake...and sleeping...and cereal...and french fries...
And so, lifestyle change #5,372 begins. More fruits and vegetables...less carbs. More chicken and pork... less red meat. More smoothies... less cereal for breakfast. More exercise, less reality tv.
More energy, less pain. Seems like a good enough reason to me.