By Rebecca Gillett, Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast Co-host
We have talked a lot on the podcast about what’s healthy to eat or not to eat when you have arthritis. But let’s get to a topic that all of us with arthritis have heard about at some point and have reacted with a hearty, exhausted sigh. “Losing weight can help alleviate your joint pain.” I know, I know. Easier said than done. Guilty as charged for being someone who admittedly loves to eat delicious things and have an occasional glass of fine, red wine. Now throw in a pandemic and being stuck in my house with not much to do and what do you get? Well, the additional COVID-19 pounds that I did not ask for. Maybe it’s not actually 19 extra pounds but it sure feels like it.
How many times have you found yourself standing in the kitchen staring into your fridge or pantry trying to find something to snack on? But wait. You’re not even hungry. Or you catch yourself grabbing that ice cream pint while you are binge watching Bridgerton only to find you have made it to the bottom of the container.
When I have been stuck in bed or in a recliner during a surgery recovery, I love to watch cooking and home improvement shows. I remember this time after a major surgery and my sister was visiting to help me out. I made her go to the store to get me sour cream and onion chips – my favorite. (The craving force is strong in me and can sometimes take me to the dark side.) We watched TV while plowing through that family size bag of chips mindlessly, only to realize, WHOOPS, the bag was empty. It happens to the best of us.
We’ve all experienced comfort eating at some point, especially if you are living with a chronic disease. The hard part is trying to gain control and discipline around eating and nutrition, knowing that many of the things we turn to are not the best choices for our health.
It’s important to not only pay attention to what we eat, but also our behavior around eating. There are more diets out there than we can keep up with. However, if we learn to take a different approach to eating to change our behaviors around nutrition, could that have a more lasting effect for losing weight and keeping it off?
In this episode of the Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast, our guest speaker, Jennifer Daubenmier, PhD, associate professor in the Holistic Health Studies Program at San Francisco State University, helps us explore how Mindful Eating can play a significant role in our nutrition and weight loss efforts.
One of my favorite topics we have covered on the podcast has been about the practice of mindfulness and meditation. It’s something I had not incorporated into my routine or self-care prior to learning more about it in the Mindfulness for Beginners episode. It’s a practice that I turn to daily to help manage my stress and anxiety. Also, with gaining that COVID-19, I have employed a little more mindfulness into what I’m eating, to enjoy and savor the foods I should eat in moderation, but also to take pause before I decide what I will eat. Am I actually hungry? Why am I eating this, and do I really need to? Is this the best, healthy choice? Hopefully, this approach will help me shed a few pounds and decrease my joint pain.
Tune in to the Mindful Eating & Weight Loss episode now to learn strategies to help make a shift in how you approach eating and nutrition to better manage your arthritis and your waistline.