When you are in pain all the time, sticking to your diet is often the last thing on your mind. When I hurt I want to nibble. I crave salted peanuts… yes I know, I love salty nuts. Go ahead giggle! But, I am a comfort eater, I admit it. The thing is, sometimes it is good to have something to focus on, ideally something that doesn’t require a lot of concentration, and trying to eat a healthy diet can be just the thing. I lost 5 stone (70lbs or 31.75kg) a few years ago, while I was in pain, so I know it can be done. It’s true I have gained it back, but I will lose it again, and I thought it mught be helpful to share my top tips on how to stick to your diet when you’re in pain.
A bit of back ground on Chronic Pain.
Unless this is your first time here (in which case welcome) you will know I have chronic low back pain caused by the disc between the L5/S1 joints. I have just had diagnostic nerve root blocks done so that the consultant can decide if surgical treatment is likely to succeed. They did the left side on the 29th July and I had reduced pain for 3 days. On the 4th day the pain got worse than ever. I was a little reluctant to have the other side done, but they told me the diagnostic information was required. They did the right side on the 19th and I have again had reduced pain for a few days on that side, anyway. What is difficult for me is not snacking when my pain increases.
Last week I lost half a pound. This is quite normal when you have a large loss one week, to have a small loss or a maintain the following week, so I was quite content with this. This week my pain has been high and so my desire to munch has been high and sticking to my diet has been more difficult. So – what brilliant advice to I have?
Make a plan!
Pain or any other ailment is eased by having a plan. I don’t mean plan a 5 course meal, I mean plan your main meals and lunches. Create a menu of sorts but as simple as possible too.
Do your prep work.
Meals cooked from scratch always taste better than fast foods but the preparation often puts people off after a long day at work. At least that’s what I often hear. But there are ways to make it easier. If you have recipes that have a number of ingredients like:
- one stick of celery chopped,
- two carrots chopped,
- one chopped onion,
With recipies like these Mr. H prepares the vegetables and puts them all into freezer bags. Don’t forget to label them! This means you have significantly less preparation to do making it much easier to stick to your diet.
Find healtthy things to snack on that satisfy your needs. I make posters of the snacks I have bought and their syn values, so I can remain in control. It is also important to make sure that your treats are treats! If you don’t enjoy your food you will look for foods you do. So choose wisely and have a variety of options.
Even when things are off course, like yesterday when the pork we were suppost to have (sweet and sour pork) smelled off. We ordered takeaway instead, but I ate conciously and slowly, so I didn’t over eat. I have also learned to accept that sometimes life happens. The planned meal was not possible and so we had to have something else. If i have a gain tomorrow there is a reason why and it will soon come off again.
Control your pain.
If you have a pain medications take them regularly. There are a number of reasons for pain, and at it’s base level it is there to tell you something is wrong with your body. If you have had an operation or injury your body will heal quicker if it isn’t in pain, but you must also take medications only as prescribed.
I take very strong medications (morphine) which I would rather not be taking. I am etremely aware of the adictive nature of morphine and the longer I am taking it the worse the withdrawal will be. Unfortunately without them I would not be writing.
Pain medications often cause constipation and so it’s important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. You may need medicines to help and I urge you to speak to your doctor. Constipation can lead to piles which are really not fun.
This week’s loss?
Well actually it was a gain of 2lbs, but I’m not concerned. It will soon come off again, if I stick to the diet. And, that’s the most important tip I can give you- Don’t give up.
This post is linked to The Tell Me About photo meme Monochromerotic #6, click HERE to see more photos and posts linked. I have coloured it with reds to symbolise the pain.