Seven pounds


A picture speaks a thousand words, right?

Meet my little bundle of claws, Molly.

She’s seven years old and weighs fourteen pounds.  She’s my feisty baby. 🙂 This picture shows her in one of her favorite places giving me the old ‘turn the water on and I’ll hairball all over the clean laundry next time you leave it piled on the guest bed’ look.

Does it help conceptualize how big she is by seeing her in the sink?


Now chop her in half and attach one of the halves to my butt.  Because that is how much weight I’ve gained on Prednisone since June.

I know that sounds horrible in several ways. I realize I need to not be so vain. I realize that I’m lucky to have access to healthcare and medications.  I realize I need to be happy that I guess I’m feeling a little better (although I now think I’m getting the placebo rather than Enbrel because I’ve dialed the Prednisone back to less than 10mg and I’m not feeling as good) but I’m really upset about the weight gain.

I weighed 113 when I went to college.  I admit that was too skinny- I’m 5’6. At my heaviest, after long term Prednisone use, I wore a size 12 and was teetering on having to go up a size.  I have a hard time looking at pictures from that time. But I started to feel better, got off Prednisone, and took back control of my diet and exercise. In May/June, I was a size 4.

I worked my butt off.  Literally.  You know how on all the weight loss shows they have super scheduled workouts, controlled meals, top notch trainers, supportive friends and family, and then they all somehow get fabulous makeovers for the finale show?  Um, yes….that doesn’t really happen.  I did splurge on a trainer who was enormously helpful for the diet and exercise part and am considering doing this again.  But scheduled workouts?  No, anything beyond our weekly appointments was up to me to make sure happened.  Controlled meals?  Again, all on me.  Supportive friends and family?  They tried. “I’m so proud of how hard you’re working, Amanda.  Now let’s go get Mexican and drink lots of beer.”

I am still waiting for my makeover.

So to gain 7 pounds so quickly after it took AGES+ literal blood, sweat, and tears to get it off….I’m having hard time not completely freaking out about it plus I feel gross and bloated and uncomfortable.   But I’m also really weak from this dang flare so really getting in a workout right now is tough.

I started easing myself back into the gym this week.  On Monday, I did 12 minutes on the elliptical- there was much hacking and wheezing and general feeling like I was dying!  I had intended to do 15 minutes and then some light weight training but my legs felt like jello.  I took yesterday off mainly for the courtesy of the other people using the gym.  Today was better. I did 20 minutes on the elliptical. Then I did 3 reps of 10 on the leg press at 40 pounds and 2 reps of 7 of walking lunges with 8 pound free weights.  (Point of reference: I used to do 3 reps of 15 on the leg press at 75 pounds and 3 reps of 25-30 walking lunges.)

Then I sat down on the bench and did a mental checklist of weight exercises I used to do: nope, can’t do that one yet and that other one would be a lot of force on my knees which isn’t a good idea yet.  And oh heck no, I am NOT doing that one because it completely sucks. So then I went home.

But it’s a start and I’m happy with what I did tonight.  My goal is to work up to 30 min/3 times a week for both weights and cardio.

I have a fun fall coming up: heading back to DC for the American College of Rheumatology’s Advocates for Arthritis where I’m ESPECIALLY excited to see some of you there, two trips to California, a Lady Gaga concert, tickets to see the Carolina Panthers, hopefully another trip back to SC, and a birthday a month from tomorrow. Ok, I’m not really excited about that last thing.

I would really like my present to myself to be the absence of those freaking seven pounds.

Note: no cats were chopped in half for the writing of this post.

8 responses »

  1. Blarg to prednisone weight gain. I still can’t look at pictures from when I was on that, including engagement party pictures. I know how you feel! Good luck getting it off and with the workouts.

  2. Glad to hear no cats were harmed during the making of this blog post … but sorry about the 7lb. I had a rude awakening at my last hospital visit – I’d been avoiding the scales, as you do, and the nurse announced that I’d put on nearly a stone (that’s a WHOLE cat on my bum) – mind you, that was just the kick up the rather large backside that I needed, and I’ve managed to lose 9lb of it since then … so going in the right direction.

  3. I have a hard time looking at photos of myself when I was on high prednisone doses.

    I’m trying to take some gym inspiration from this post – I really need to get back to working out. Thanks for the kick in the butt. 🙂

  4. Love the new blog layout! I am with you on the weight gain. I was on prednisone for the whole month of July and now I am on Plaquenil and my clothes are too tight! I’m mostly sad cause I have really cute clothes and I don’t want to buy new ones! Good job on the workouts! I know you aren’t working as hard as you want to but it sounds really challenging and It’s really cool that you are able to do that!

  5. I think it’s fabulous that you’re getting to the gym and starting those workouts in spite of hurting, Amandajohn. It really IS hard, and people who don’t have RA really don’t get just HOW hard. You deserve a serious pat on the back.

    I’ve never taken prednisone (with the exception of one, week-long dose 15 years ago to get rid of a terrible case of poison oak), so I haven’t had to deal with the weight issues it causes. But believe me, I’ve read so many accounts of them on blogs like yours that should my doc suggest it, I may deck him. I’m quite able to gain unwanted weight without pharmaceutical help, thank you!

    Good luck in your ongoing effort to drop the poundage and strengthen your muscles and joints. You WILL be successful. And enjoy the upcoming weekend! Feel good!

  6. I heard on the radio this morning that half the woman interviewed would rather give up sex for the entire summer than gain 10 pounds. I guess that is how important weight gain is to us, right? Good luck with losing the weight. It sounds like you have been quite successful in the past and I can only imagine you will be successful again this time. Good luck! Oh, “happy birthday” in advance!

  7. Urg. Weight gain is so never fun. I haven’t ever been on prednisone, but I put on 15 solid pounds of pudge when I first got sick, and worked my butt off to take it off, too…only to put most of it back on for no good reason. You are entitled to feel crappy about it, but it sounds like it is also motivating you to be as active as you can be, and that’s all you can ask for. good luck and keep at it- oh, and totally jealous of the Lady Gaga concert!!!

  8. Ugh, I empathise. I’ve put on about 8 pounds since Christmas, mostly due to eating I think. I meant to lose it over summer but it seems we’re almost in autumn and I’m nowhere close..

    Your cat is super cute by the way!!!

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