With Becca gone back home, it's just me and the cabin is quiet. I love that feeling of exhaustion that comes after hard physical activity when you can relax on the sofa and simply rest. My mind begins to wander and I am filled with every emotion from sadness to gratitude to overwhelming contentment as my memory reflects..........................
Two and a half years ago, I began this blog for no reason other than to journal my thoughts. One day, I got a comment and that began a friendship. Those of you who have been with me from the start will remember Margie and her blog. You will also remember that Margie and her husband, Bruce, were killed in October of 2010, by a suicidal driver while taking their morning walk. Margie was my first follower and although I never met her in person, she was my friend. There will never be an October go by that I don't think of her and remember what a support she was to me when I began Gains and Losses. I still mourn and miss the loss of one of the great encouragers the weight loss blogging community had.
I am now officially celebrating the loss of old eating habits. One year ago, I weighed 30 pounds more than I do today and could find no motivation for change. Today, I am not perfect (nor will I ever be), but my eating habits are as close to "normal" as I think they've ever been. Over the past couple of months, there have been many temptations to revert back to old habits, but I've remained committed and am gaining more confidence that those days of out of control eating are nothing but a memory. I did confess to Becca that there was a little "episode" with the peanut butter jar over the weekend! Although more was consumed than was needed, even that was stopped before it got totally out of hand.
Once week ago, I was in more pain from a very active Rheumatoid Arthritis flare than I'd experienced in over a decade. At the very least, the pain was acute enough that I was unable to continue normal daily activities and was actually feeling pretty useless since my days were spent on the sofa with heating pads attached to various parts of my body. In a plea of desparation, I begged my rheumatologist to let me restart the medication, Enbrel, for one more trial period before switching to something else. As I've mentioned, Enbrel was a miracle drug for me that kept my RA in remission for over a decade. I had stopped it in July because of increasing headache pain that we were afraid was going to become full fledged migraines. I was given permission to restart the Enbrel last Thursday and I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to report that the change was almost immediate. Within hours of the first injection, I could feel a difference and within 24 hours, I felt as normal as a person with acute rheumatoid disease will ever feel. By Thursday afternoon, I could lift my coffee mug again with one hand and Thursday evening, I cooked dinner and loaded the dishwasher. Things continued to improve culminating with yesterday's hike of 9.3 miles followed by today's hike of 6 miles. As I said earlier, I am tired, but it's the good kind of tired. So far, there have been no headaches. My second injection will be this morning. Let's hope for an even better week and no headaches.
Thanks so much for all your concern these past months. It has been so tough, so challenging and emotionally draining. For the rest of my life, I will battle the ups and downs of RA. A decade of remission had somewhat put me in a state of believing the worst would never happen again. But it did and it will again. I am so grateful for every day with minimal pain and freedom of movement.
On a lighter note, I'm thinking of letting caloriecount.com rest in peace. For the past couple of years, it's been my go-to for tracking and analyzing, but I'm bored with it. So I'm asking for your input. What tracking system do you use and why? I'm particularly interested in hearing from those who've used Calorie Count and switched. Why did you switch and to what did you switch?
I'll leave you with a few pictures from this week's hiking adventures...............