The Body Makeover Part Three


With the initial assessment complete, a workout plan in place, and cute new workout clothing purchased (of course!), it was time for me to get serious.

First things first, I needed to establish some personal goals and get my nutrition in order.

Again, while I won’t put actual weights online, here’s what I put down on paper.

BMI in 2009: 21.2 (admission: too thin, I looked like Skeletor)
BMI on March 24, 2013: 27
BMI goal: 22.3 – 22.6

Nutrition has always been a hard thing for me. I have tried every crash diet, detox, and even pills. They all have one thing in common: I feel miserable and am hateful to be around on them. At the advice of a coworker, I downloaded the mobile MyPlate app from Livestrong. It was $2 and basically works the same as Weight Watchers. I can eat whatever I want as long as it falls into the calorie range I am given based on my weight and activity level; I can earn extra calories by logging workouts.

I also started eating very clean. Loading up as many vegetables in every meal as possible, making sure I ate good carbs (quinoa is my new BFF), and lowfat complete proteins (black beans and rice, black bean burgers, lentil anything) alone made me feel great. Within a few days, I felt ‘even’ as in I didn’t spend most of my day on a sugar crash. Oh yeah, and I haven’t had a Coke since March. Unsweetened tea and flavored seltzer water is the new norm.

So…back to the physical activity!

The first class I attempted was spinning. I chose this class for several reasons. It was a seated class so if I needed to rest, it wouldn’t be obvious. Bonus: the class is conducted in a dark studio. I felt comfortable pushing myself in a situation where I was seated and relatively hidden for confidence purposes.

I was able to do the whole class although for a lot of it, I just sat and pedaled to the beat of my own drummer. A very very slow drummer. I was able to do some of the up and down; I was pleasantly surprised to find myself sitting these out not because of joint issues but because I was simply winded.

Then came my first real workout with C.

I can’t remember exactly what we did but I do remember very clearly that:

– Par for the course thus far, I refused to do anything with my wrists. I did try but would immediately hand the weights back to her. Same thing with pulling anything heavy. No go. We finally compromised and for exercises that required my wrists to do the bulk of activity, I would allow her to hand me three pound weights.

-Even with only one spinning class and a couple go’s on the elliptical, my ankle already felt stronger. I balanced on a bosu ball and killed some squats.

What really stands out from that first day is that she totally snuck one over on me. She told me that she wanted to assess my wrists by us throwing and catching a basketball. We did this 15 times: once facing each other, and then standing side to side so that I twisted and threw it back. It was actually FUN and I didn’t think twice about it because I was enjoying it.

When we finished, she let me know that my wrists had been throwing and catching a 10 lb medicine ball. Those same wrists that she had to beg me to even try a 3 lb free weight for.


I started to open my eyes to the fact that my fear was holding me back more than my body.

That workout was intense. But it was manageable. It was hard rather than hurt. And the next day, it was *almost* delightful to wake up to aches and pains from actual physical exertion rather than aches and pains from a flare.

Up next: sticking to it and OH MY GOODNESS the results.

2 responses »

  1. i am so glad i stumbled across your blog i really am stuggling and need some help or suggestions, i am 24 next week and have been diagnosed with ra for 2 and a half years now. just before i was diagnosed i had just finished my personal trainer qualifications and dancing was my life. i was fit and exercise was my favorite thing. my ra however got so bad to the point that i couldnt walk for a long while and although my meds are working now and i have almost full movement all over my body i have gained soo much weight (went from BMI of 20.3 to 26.5) and get so depressed that i cant find the emotional energy to get past the tough part to do something about it (which is not just me wanting to lose the weight even my doctor wants me to lose it), and i was just wondering if you had any suggestions that might help. i have tried talking to friends and family about it but the barrier about understanding exactly how i feel seems to not help. any tips or suggestions would be deeply appreciated 🙂 just reading your experiences is already given me some hope and for that i cant thank you enough

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