Two steps forward, one step back…

I recently posted about my big diet change.  For about one month, I stuck to it like glue.  I had one cheat day that clocked in around 2200 calories, but overall, I stuck to my plan of 1200 calories or less.  I removed gluten, dairy, and salt.  I also limited carbs and sugar.  I was proud of myself.  My hope was to lose weight AND to see if any of my autoimmune arthritis symptoms would improve by a change in diet.  The first week, I did see a reduction in swelling.  I attributed that to the low/no salt.  By the second and third week, the swelling was back and the pain was still pretty high.  Regardless, I stuck to it.  Determined.  I’ve gained 30 pounds over the past few years due to lack of mobility and the use of prednisone for both pain/swelling and upper respiratory issues.  If I am being honest…..I treat my depression with food, too.  I was determined to get my life back on track and get healthier.

Then I went to see my rheumatologist.  I proudly got on the scale and guess what happened…..I gained 4 pounds.  GAINED. FOUR. POUNDS.  My heart cracked.  My rheumy  and I discussed other potential diets.  I’m going to crack open the Plant Paradox soon to see if removing lectins helps me reduce inflammation.  I left with a script for blood work, The Plant Paradox on my kindle, and a deflated ego.

I posted on facebook and so many people jumped in with suggestions.  I needed to get feedback from people but each one stung a bit, because again, I could only see my failure.   I didn’t start this diet willy nilly.  I met with a nutritionist and weighed the options of meal replacements vs. other diets.  I seldom do anything for my health without thinking about it long and hard.  So this diet was not a spur of the moment decision.  Finding out I gained weight got me thinking that my thyroid levels were off again.  That is a good excuse right?

Well, I got my blood work results back and guess what….I’m hypothyroid again.  You see I have a thyroid but due to Graves disease, I needed to “kill it” with radioactive iodine.  I’ve been fairly regulated for almost 20 years  with medication, but now the lovely menopause is wreaking havoc with my hormones.  Oh, and I’m also anemic.  So all the cards are falling into place as to why I am so tired all the time.  Why weight keeps packing on the pounds no matter what I do.  It’s all so depressing.

Living life with multiple illnesses criss-crossing is so exhausting.  I feel like I never have a good day.  I feel like I am losing myself in the non-stop chronic life ride.  How sad is it that blaming my thyroid for weight gain makes me feel better.  This little tiny organ can at times, make my life miserable.  It’s not my fault, right??  I put forth a solid effort only to come up short.  Today, I’m being miserable and sad.  In a day or two, I’ll refocus and try again.  This life is the eternal two steps forward and one step back.

Venting done…………


Photo credit:  Dr. Doni @

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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

6 thoughts on “Two steps forward, one step back…

  1. When we have chronic ailments we are often the victim of our own success and double the victim of our small failings. I knwo that no matter what happens there are days my weight can go up by as much as 10 lbs and down by as much as 6. So what do I weigh? I seldom know from day to day, What I do know is that it ranges form day to day. Life with RA is like that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ❤️ That is a lot to go through. I gained weight while on a gluten free diet while I saw others lose weight. Most of the time I’m hypothyroid but with hashis I swear lately I’m on a hyper swing. Previously I couldn’t lose weight to save my life and now I’m losing with not much effort. I’m interested to see how that book helps you. Inflammation is our enemy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. oh shit! this sounds like I just wrote this!!! Going through the same… no idea where to start, just so sad I am not ME any more… i miss ME!


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