Thursday, June 27, 2013

Weighty Matters

Meigs Falls - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
June 26, 2013

Almost exactly one month ago, I wrote a post called, "There's Some Work To Be Done."  In it, I talked about the very slow weight creep that happens so often when we slip just a little here and just a little there.  I also mentioned that I was already a few days into my regular plan for shedding weight.  I am happy to report that just under one month later, about half of that weight is gone.  As is to be expected, the rate of loss has slowed dramatically and I expect it to take two months to shed the remaining pounds.  

I have not yet achieved the nirvana state where 100% of the time I can halt that little mind button that pushes me over the edge where I choose to eat something I know will trigger hunger and make a choice I really don't want to make.  Once I was back in the swing of things, the craving for "white things" left me completely and I've felt no desire for them.  But in the early months of this year and while on our trip to New York, it was like, "oh yeah, I'll have one (or three or six) of those."  Once I was able to flip that darn switch back, it's been smooth sailing!  

In addition to eliminating white sugar and white flour, I also made a conscious decision to eliminate all "nightshade" foods.  It is thought that those contain inflammatory agents and anyone with an inflammatory disease (in my case, Rheumatoid Arthritis) might do better without them.  I didn't write much about this earlier because it was difficult, but in January while in Florida, I experienced some major issues with heartburn.  Please understand that I'm not talking about your typical, "oh I hate too much pizza" heartburn.  This type of heartburn results in severe pain, asthma like symptoms and difficulty breathing.  Don't worry, this is well covered with my doctor - we know it is GERD resulting from more than 30 years of heavy anti-inflammatory medicine usage.  IT IS NOT CARDIAC RELATED.  I immediately stopped the anti-inflammatory, MOBIC, that I had been taking for two years and although I had some pain while coming off of it, surprisingly enough, I've been able to make it all these months with no anti-inflammatory medication.  I'm living on borrowed time with this because these meds are life savers for Rheumatoid Disease patients and I will likely not be able to tolerate them any longer.   So I am willing to try anything to see if it helps.  

Nightshades include tomatoes, potatoes (not sweet potatoes), eggplant, sweet and hot peppers and a few other things.  I'm o.k. with everything except the tomatoes.  I love them and with summer coming on, the thought of not eating little cherry tomatoes like candy hurts.  But so far, I've done it!  For over a month now, I've eaten nothing in the nightshade family of which I am aware.  And people, I can tell a difference!  Could it be simply the absence of any flare-ups in the disease right now?  Of course, but I honestly think I can see a difference because I ate a LOT of tomatoes all the time.  Let me know if you or anyone you know has eliminated "nightshades" from their eating, for what reason and whether or not it made a difference for them.  For now, I'm staying away from them and have even found some yummy substitutes for my beloved cherry tomatoes.

Thank you so much for all your well wishes and prayers for the folks about whom I wrote last week.  I am happy to report that little Zachary is doing as well as a little guy with his problems can.  His mom had a rough, rough recovery, but was finally able to go home from the hospital one day last week.  Earlier this week, they were able to hold baby Zachary for the first time.  What a celebration that must've been.  He now weighs 2.6 pounds!  I'll keep you posted.  

The memorial service for our friend who died in the horrendous fall is this Saturday afternoon.  Reading her obituary painted a beautiful picture of a life well lived and someone who held tightly to the love of family and friends.  We are encouraged to wear Hawaiian print or brightly colored shirts to the service and attend a potluck meal immediately following.  That is so, SO Karen!  I didn't see her that often - only at parties and such, but I miss her just knowing I'll not see her when I visit Bill at his college.  Bill is having a much tougher time.  Their offices were very near to each other and he interacted with her on a daily basis.  

In both cases, thanks again for your kind words.  They meant a lot to me.  

I will have some really exciting news to share in my next post.  There's lots going on in our life. A big change is in the works!  So check back the first part of next week!   In the meantime, don't beat around the bush.  Tell the important people in your life that you love them and tell them NOW.  You just simply never know what's around the corner.


  1. Sharon this post is a God send!! My very young daughter has RA, and she is suffering. I am sharing you with her!!! Thank you !!!

  2. Oh, now I'm curious what the big changes are! :) I too, once the switch is flipped, find that those cravings are gone. It's so weird having to go through the process of flipping it though, and how hard that is! On the Nightshade foods, I've heard of that before (actually, I think my mom is supposed to avoid them too.) I don't actually know anyone who has deliberately cut them out and stuck with it though.

    Thinkin' of you!

  3. I agree that flipping the switch is the key. Sometimes it can be hard to flip!

    What is your substitute for cherry tomatoes? I'm not a fan, although I always wanted to like tomatoes, maybe I'll like your subs. I need to get a better variety of vegetables in my diet. It is my biggest lack.

  4. Congrats on losing some of that weight! I've stopped virtually all (98%) nightshades as well. Tomatoes was very easy for me because I am mildly allergic; meaning my worst reactions (so far) have been face break out or eczema. (although I know that means some day it might suddenly become way worse.) Still, I admit to a single or two french fry a couple of times a month. But you are right, re inflammatory foods, and I'm glad you are feeling better even without the meds!

  5. So glad to hear the creep weight is coming back off, AND that baby Zachary is growing. Very sad about Karen though.... life is such a fragile thing. But I love the thought of a Luau for her memorial...that is fantastic. I hope you all share many moments and good memories about Karen there as you celebrate her life.

  6. Heard a lot about nightshades causing problem with stuff like that -- lots of stuff I read even encourages limiting nightshades even if you don't have problems.

    Congrats on the weight loss progress!

  7. My mother has GERD terribly that causes her to choke at night - even on medications and I worry about her.

    I can do without grains, but I don't know if I could give up my taters! I need to get back into the swing of things again. I got off my vacation weight, but then the last week or so has been some 'unscheduled' eating, shall we say :D

    Big things? Did you get the RV???

  8. I didn't know tomatoes were part of the nightshade family! I wonder if that's one of those foods that your body would be able to tolerate without incident in smaller, intermittent amounts. It will be interesting to note, over time, how it all works out for you.

    1. So many things that are nightshade. Potatoes and peppers too!

  9. Wow, I don't know if I could eliminate the tomatoes in the summer. I love them so much that I actually don't like store tomatoes any other time of year. Darn medications--as I always say, every medicine has a side effect.

    Congrats on getting that weight off. As you know, I truly understand.

    Its always good to hear from you.

  10. I am the queen of "I'll have just one (or 3 or 6)" I've been slipping lately, and I'm working on it!

  11. All of my adult life --until this past year, I always let the weight creep back on me---and ignored it 'til it was totally out-of-control --and AFTER I not only gained back what I lost, but also would add more!!!! GADS---can't believe I did that so many, many times. BUT--this past year, I finally have learned (at age 70) to that I have to work harder than I did when dieting --to keep from gaining... I'm proud of ME --and hope and pray that I NEVER allow all of that weight to join me any longer!!!!! BUT--I'll admit. It takes WORK.

    We have been in North Carolina visiting George's son and family ---and they served so much fattening food (all kinds of snacks, BBQ pork, baked beans, corn on the cob, strawberry short cake, chips ----and breakfasts which consisted of bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, hashbrown/egg casserole, etc. etc. etc..... GADS---it was hard, but I was VERY careful!

    Proud of you.

  12. Congrats on your weight loss. And thanks for the info on the "nightshade" food items. My son suffers from Crohs and he also needs to avoid any type of inflammatory food items. I'll pass this info along to him.

  13. As a recently diagnosed GERD sufferer with Barrett's Esophagus issues, I'm interested in this nightshade connection and will have a look into it. Food and health is a very individual thing and so much hard work trying to make it all come together, isn't it? I was afraid I'd put on a few pounds with the inactivity related to my recent shoulder problems but ironically have lost a few pounds. Haven't run or had a big hike in weeks. Go figure.

  14. Glad to hear that slow and steady babystep changes are making a noticeable difference! Big hugs in regards to the loss of your friend...

  15. Sometimes our bodies are able to do amazing transformations! You just have to make regular actions directed for that and never stop on your way. For me physical activity works best. In order to keep myself toned I am taking Multipurpose High-Potency Super Nutritional Complex. This dietary supplement is manufactured by Military Grade and contains natural compounds. With such routine I don't need any diet, but if it is necessary, it's not a problem, because my body receives all necessary nutrients. My body is grateful and is willing to exercise whenever I ask it to :)