With so much going on in my life these days, I’ve decided I definitely have a case of perception deception. Let me explain.
Once October arrives, the holiday season with all the additional activities essentially starts. Add the sale of mom’s house, a mere 300 miles away, and I am being kept sufficiently entertained. Oh, and October means the pumpkin filled with candy bars is right there on the counter for the taking. I love my sugar, but I have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) so my body does not like sugar.
Every year I think I have the discipline to resist the lure of the candy bars in the pumpkin. Since my RA diagnosis, I’ve had control over the urge to eat too much candy a total of one year. A candy bar here or there is not what I’m talking about. I can eat one after another so easily. And then I suffer the effects. The inability to keep my candy consumption to a minimum was a problem this year.
After a day of eating way too many candy bars I was feeling light headed, my joints were sore, my legs were restless when I tried to go to sleep and my arms and legs felt like jelly. Now I’ve been obsessing over my symptoms potentially related to my RA lately with the increased stress from travel, grief, and just dealing with what comes up in normal day-to-day living. So I decided I was experiencing a serious sugar load.
After I realized I had really overdone it with eating too much sugar, I got pretty concerned. I tried to think back to how I felt when I was having severe arthritic flares. I wanted to take action to mitigate the sugar overload. That is when I knew I had a case of perception deception.
As much as I tried, I wasn’t sure I could be confident my memory of my symptoms was accurate. At that moment I was scared I was going to go into a full blown flare.
Maybe detailed notes or detailed journaling would have helped, but I’m just not a journal-type.
Once again I was kicking myself that I allowed the candy bar consumption to get out of control. The excess sugar is just too inflammatory and problematic for someone with RA.
I live by my *FRESH* acronym, at least most of the time. Having a chronic autoimmune disease requires discipline with lifestyle choices. The food I eat is so important to consider always. There is nothing like feeling and thinking well as a powerful motivator to adhere to healthy eating, stress reduction, exercise, proper sleep patterns and staying hydrated. I knew I blew it here.
Because my memory of my RA symptoms is not accurate, a classic case of perception deception, I have a good reason to stay focused on my *FRESH* lifestyle. I would be horrified if I ended up having an arthritic flare just because I couldn’t control my urge to eat candy bars. That would be crazy and not very wise.
This situation is making me get my mind set on limiting not only sweets during the upcoming holiday season, but to also mentally preparing for all the less-than-healthy snack foods so readily available during the fun season. Many of them are prepared with processed food, which is something else that causes my body and joints to revolt!
What are your tips to help you resist the sugar temptation? Please share them in the comments below.
And that is using Arthritis Wisdom!
photo credit: Brendan Church at Unsplash