With the New Year just a few hours away, I’m getting very excited about all the new things that I’m planning to do.  I’ve already posted most of my list once, so I won’t post it again, but there is one more thing that I really want to achieve in 2010.

I’ve struggled with my weight since I was a child, and I want to finally get back to my “happy weight,” somewhere between 15-25 lbs. lighter than I am now.

I lost a lot of weight my freshman year of college, but I’ve slowly gained it back over the past few years.  I’ve had a lot of medical problems that have made it hard for me to lost weight.  I’ve made almost every change that I can to my diet with my budget, short of completely giving up baking (I don’t want to go completely crazy).  I tried exercise over the years but I was always too tired to keep up with it with work and school work.  Then, in November 2008, I started having cramps in my heels, so I finally went to the doctor and found out that I was extremely anemic, Iron deficiency.  So my doctor put me on Iron indefinitely and fixed that right up.  I was shortly blessed with increased energy as my Iron levels increased, but in March 2009 I felt another dip in energy, along with pain in my elbows and wrists, and went back to the doctor.

My doctor tested my electrolyte levels, thinking that maybe they were causing the pain that I felt, but they all came back normal.  Unable to help as my joint pain grew progressively worse, my doctor referred me to a Rheumatologist.  My appointment wasn’t until May, and I spent all my free time learning everything I could about inflammatory diseases, especially Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus.  As I waited for my appointment to come, my symptoms continued to grow worse.  But my Rheumatology appointment didn’t yield any help for me.  Most inflammatory diseases are progressive; they slowly alter the make-up of the joints and often take years to diagnose.  Though the disease had progressed enough to cause me pain and fatigue (worse than I ever felt at the height of my anemia), there were no signs of disease in my blood tests or x-rays.  So they gave me another appointment in December, and I was left to wait again.

So I waited.  And my symptoms got worse.

There was a period where I felt sorry for myself.  I mean, I was 20 years old (21 now), and here I was feeling like an 80 year-old woman.  How am I supposed to juggle school, work, pain, periods of extreme fatigue, and still give a crap about exercise?!  But finally, when I found myself 25 lbs. heavier than my “happy weight”with a BMI that classified me as “overweight” (which I got to see at every doctor’s appointment, and they were not few), I had had enough.  I knew that I probably couldn’t spare much time for exercise while I was still in school, but I startedreally paying attention to what I ate again and lost the first 5 lbs.  Now that school is over, I’m finally getting back into an exercise regimen and I have lost almost 10 lbs.  And that’s not even the best news.

I’m still going to the Rheumatologist every few months for blood tests and x-rays.  For now they’ve diagnosed me with “non-specific inflammatory arthritis” and started me on Plaquenil.  In the meantime I’ve been exercising about 5-6 times a week, including cardio and strength training.

Hopefully I will be able to continue to lose weight while continuing to cope with my medical issues, and I hope that I will be healthier when 2011 comes around.

So that’s my story.  I hope that 2010 is a great year for you and that you accomplish everything you set out to do!

Happy New Year!