I’d like to start this column off with a small piece of personal information about myself. I suffer from what the doctors think is rheumatoid arthritis. The reason I use the word "think" is because while the tests show a high rheumatoid factor, I have not yet seen the specialist and, therefore, cannot be diagnosed with it.
But they are, however, certain something about my immune system is not right and suspect the cause is RA (rheumatoid arthritis). I experience chronic fatigue with my increased rheumatoid factor. Anybody with chronic fatigue knows how miserable it is.
During a recent trip to the doctor, I asked what I could do about this problem. I explained to her that I have three small children and was having a heck of a time taking care of them. She offered three suggestions to help fight the fatigue.
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The first one was to drink at least 46 ounces of water a day. Now that’s a weakness for me. I don’t drink much during the day — not just water, but anything.
The second was to fit 30 minutes of aerobic exercise into each day. The exercises need to elevate the heart rate, and I was to be sure and stretch before and after. She also suggested yoga as my stretching exercise. Yoga would not only help with the fatigue, but with my chronic pain, too.
Her third recommendation was to cut back on my carbohydrates. She stressed that a "carb free diet" is too extreme. She said everyone needs carbohydrates, but everyone also needed to cut back on them. She suggested that I try the "diabetic diet" and not get too fanatic about counting carbs. She didn’t want me to nit-pick because there was no need. A healthy diet is just that, healthy.
Eating right is drilled into us through out all 13 years of school. We know too many cookies and too much candy are bad. We know that after eating a big bowl of pasta, we’re ready for a nap. We also know that carbohydrates stick to the ribs and take longer to burn off.
Yet for some reason, when someone introduced the "carb free diet", everyone went crazy purchased books about it. Now we have foods bombarding our shelves labeled "low carb" and restaurants featuring "carb free" selections.
I hope I don’t offend anyone, but we know how to lose weight. We have always known how to lose weight. And a diet isn’t just about weight either; it’s about health. We have gotten so caught up in these fad diets that we’ve forgotten something important.
The secret to losing weight is not hidden under the cover of some book. Granted, they contain useful information, but we not know what to stop and what to start doing to become healthier.
All the books in the world won’t do you a bit of good if we don’t have will power. We have to have the strength and the desire, and we won’t find that in a book.
This diet may work well for some when all else failed, I’m not saying it doesn’t. What I am saying, however, is that we tend to get to carried away and forget important things.
We don’t have to make radical changes in our routines and diet. Small, gradual changes work just as well. And when we back it with will power, strength and desire, we can achieve big changes. Put God in the picture, and we’ll accomplish even more.
I am by no means downing diets that are out there today. Some people don’t know how to balance their diet, and for them I think it’s great.
Diet wisely. A healthy diet is important, but don’t get fanatical about it and carried away in the hype.
Tanya Nave, who lives in Kensington, is a wife, mother and writer. She can be reached at BlessedwHislove@aol.com