Archives for January 2018

January 30, 2018

Lifestyle Update!

Approximately 6 weeks have passed since I’ve started nutritional counseling with Patty Berry, RD.  I honestly believe that I’m breaking through my self-imposed hurdles that have kept me in the past from losing weight and keeping it off!  Developing a positive relationship with food and my body has never been a part any of my weight loss attempts, but is now a dominate part of developing healthy eating habits.  I purposely will never again think about the ill-fated attempts at weight loss nor regret those attempts, they will be part of my past, not part of my future.

Nutritional counseling is much more than a diet, it is shaping my healthy eating habits, meal planning, and changing beliefs about weight loss.  I am slowly making changes and feeling confident and strong about achieving weight loss.  It will be a long road to weight loss freedom, but I believe it is going to be full of new ways of thinking and many successes along the way!

My successes to date is not in the number of pounds I have lost, I haven’t weighed myself since December 14th.  I’m most proud of what I have learned, but most importantly I am proud of what I am retaining and using everyday, and feeling so much better!

Have a great week!

January 23, 2018

Tried & True!

Late December at the end of my scheduled rheumatology appointment, I was asked if I had any questions.  I asked; “When will I be able to live my life and not think about rheumatoid arthritis every waking hour?” My rheumatolgist explained that I will not be able to lead such a life as RA is chronic condition that is present and persistent, even when you are without pain.   In an odd way, it made me feel relieved, because it validated how I live my life, even though I vehemently resent the time and energy I spend addressing the disease. Waking up, meditating, stretching, ensuring that my day starts out on a level plane is a constant chore.  Continuously  assessing how life in general may adversely affect me is exhausting.  

Yet,  on a positive note, I’m pleased as punch to have collected an arsenal of products that have not left me, nor my will behind. I have used the following products for years and they have not abandoned me.

  Sephora Collection Dark Rainbow Antibacterial Brush Set

In my Favorite Day to Day Items!  post from July 26th, 2016, I first reviewed this brush set.  Nothing has changed with this set, I find the price point of $62, acceptable for a 7 piece brush set, but the new one I just purchased from Sephora after Christmas, I picked up for $29. It is no longer available for the lower price but another version is available for $62. I find this an invaluable set, being antibacterial, it may lower my chances of acquiring an infection, due to my compromised immune system.  It is also a good quality brush set that is full, soft, no shedding, and blends beautifully.

 Atelier Cologne Jasmine Angelique Cologne Absolue 200mL and a Personalized Travel Spray 30mL

My August 16th, 2016 blog post The Heat!!! , summed up the difficulty of finding perfumes, body wash, and body lotions that agreed with me.  The staying power of particular scents no longer were the same since the RA diagnosis.  I’ve read that medicines will change your body chemistry, and encourage skin to throw off the scent of perfumes.  I don’t know if that was the case with me but, it has been my experience that perfumes I’ve used for decades, a summer and winter fragrance, no longer smelled the same since the RA diagnosis.  I was introduced to the Atelier Cologne by way of samples and found sweet success. It is pricey and for that reason I did not jump ahead and purchase this big bottle until I had used all the samples I collected at fragrance counters, and had enough confidence in the cologne and my relationship. We have been together for almost a year and have had no adverse or diminished reactions from this product. I love the smell of jasmine mixed with lemon, rather a strong scent that has a major staying power and lingers for hours.  Hopefully I will be able to have a long and loving relationship with this cologne!

  Buxom Lips Off Leash ™ Plumping 15 Piece Mini Lip Collection

A selection of 15 shimmer shine lip polishes and glassy smooth lip creams.  Mini in size, maximal in color, these lip plumping polishes pack a wallop.  In the past I have purchased a full size Buxom Full-On Lip Polish for $20.  thoroughly enjoyed wearing it, loved the color, but it was not worth the price since it only lasted a couple of weeks.   After Christmas, I purchased this collection for $29.50 and I was extremely pleased and didn’t care that a few of the polishes were odd colors.   I can honestly say that I’ve tried all 15 shades (even the ones that did not appeal to me), and loved each and everyone.  Astonishing!!!  They all went on easily and left you with a pleasant tingling sensation.  The moisturizering, non-drying formula was never sticky, greasy, or tacky.  The bonus for using this product is they contain Vitamin A & E, the reason they are so moisturizing.  

 The Buxom lip polishes were an after Christmas splurge since I had already purchased 3 new lip products early fall, and they have been a joy!  I am a fan of the Dior Lip Maximizers and decided to try Dior Addict Lip Sugar Scrub.  It was my intention to use this sugar scrub for sloughing off winter dead skin, but never expected this sugar scrub to exfoliate and leave my lips moisturized and soft.  Always preparing for the fall/winter climate change I also purchased the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil.  I was enticed to purchase this lip oil by magazine ads, and it was a score!  The lip comfort oil hydrated and soothed my dry skin.  As well as nourishing my lips its fruity smell and hint of color is more than a bonus!  The final lip product, Tatouge Couture Mate Stain by YSL is a new product to market.  It received rave reviews, I fell for it, and all the hype over this product was accurate and true.  YSL states; ” A liquid-matte lip stain that offers a high-impact, ultra-matte color with a lightweight, naked feel.”  true on all accounts and it was non-drying and long wearing.  I have tried many matte stains and have yet to find one that equals this YSL product.

  Becca Beach Tint Fig  

Within the last 14 months whenever I applied make-up, Becca Beach Tint Fig was definitely in the mix.  In My Squirreling Ways!post from October 14, 2016, I mentioned that this product was recommended to me by a cosmetic rep from a store that did not sell this product. Luckily I took her advice and have no regrets.  This cheek and lip tint, (I only used it on my checks) produces a nice, natural, subtle glow to my checks.  It is a nice pop of color in every season, best of all it is enriched with antioxidants and Vitamin E and smells divine!  I especially love that I’ve had no adverse reaction from this product.  

Learning to live with the challenges of Rheumatoid Arthritis is a time-consuming physically challenging grab-bag of learning experiences.  If there is one thing that I can honestly attest, your self-image and happiness are not dependent on how this disease may affect you, self-care, whether medicinal or cosmetic is just as important!  Have a great week!

January 16, 2018


Just some thoughts……

In my lifetime I have started more diets than the passing of ships through the Suez Canal! Each and every time I joined Weight Watchers, Opti-Fast, Medi-Fast, and countless other diets, it was always going to be the final one. My diet always started with a great amount of determination and willpower to succeed, and always seemed to end with a feeling of disgust and disappointment. I was sometimes able to sustain weight lose, but never able to make the lifestyle changes that allowed me to end my dieting dilemmas. I’ll never pish-pish any diet that allows individuals to realize weight lose and a healthy relationship with food, yet it has eluded me for years!

This past December I contacted an online registered dietician named Patty Berry. I was so done with the numerous attempts of starting and learning about different techniques, and it seemed as if this might be more of an educational experience in learning how, what, and when to eat. Well, a little more than a month has passed, I haven’t weighed myself within this time frame, but I do know that it is clicking in the areas we discuss, and I have never felt the confidence that I feel today, that I will never diet again! This journey has been enjoyable and I haven’t felt this content in quite a long time.

Working with Patty is a one to one experience. Even though she is located in San Diego, I touch base with her every couple of days after she has perused my food records, and I have just completed my second online visit with her via the “safe HIPAA compliant platform” this morning. There is no disappointing/negative feelings working with her, there is only support, suggestions, and solutions on how to eat healthy, balanced, and satisfying meals and snacks. There are no foods that are bad, there are meals and snacks to be eaten in very lenient amounts. I laugh to myself when some of her responses to my food records suggest I may not be eating enough, but after further explanation, what she suggests makes perfect sense. So there is no truth in the saying that you; “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” because I am putting that saying to rest!

I occasionally plan on sharing my progress while working with Patty Berry,  and sharing some of the life changing behaviors I am experiencing. RA Style and Flare is a platform where I share positive experiences during challenging times! This is certainly one experience I am so happy to share!  Have a great week, and people in the northeast, stay toasty!

January 9, 2018

‘Bomb Cyclone’ Really?

Last Wednesday I woke up to the news that we were going to get hit with a ‘bomb cyclone’ in the next day!  Really?  Surprisingly, I had never heard of one even though I consider myself one of the largest receptacles of useless information.  So Sean Patrick and I went to the beach to see if there were any signs of the ominous type of weather to come!  Nothing seemed amiss, it had been frigid and the beach showed signs of the weather!

Wednesday, 4:15 pm, I did not see signs of the impending ‘bomb cyclone’, but I didn’t know what a ‘bomb cyclone’ was.  So I went home to try to make sense of the storm to come.  What I learned was that two meteorologists coined this term,  they had used in a paper they had published.  A ‘bomb cyclone’ are powerful cyclones that get their energy from rapid drops in pressure caused by hot and cold temperatures colliding.  Similar to having rheumatoid arthritis, when there are drops in pressure caused by hot and cold temperatures colliding, I adversely react, in layman’s terms, I’m in a world of hurt.  So I patiently waited for Armageddon to come!

Thursday, 9:32 am, Sean Patrick and I ventured back down to the beach to see what was shaking and it was quickly apparent something was up!

By the floating ice, it was apparent the temperature was increasing and it started to snow!

Wednesday, 1:45 pm, we headed back down to the beach to see what was shaking, but we didn’t get very far!

The wind was whipping the snow around and it was cold!  I settled in at home and watched the weather from the comfort of a cozy armchair.  

Friday, 11:31 am, Sean Patrick went out and checked to see if the coast was clear!

After waiting for the walkway to be shoveled, we were able to escape!

Making our way to the beach we were met with cyclonic weather!

The visual display of snow being whipped in many directions was challenged by the water slamming into the shore.  It was quite a sight, but the bitter cold sent us fleeing for the comfort of central heating.

It was a fun and interesting few days, but I am happy the temperature has finally risen and I’m able to get my feet back into my shoes! (Insider RA joke)  

Hoping everyone that was affected by this storm faired well, and wishing all a great week!


January 2, 2018

A New Year , 365 New Chances!

Some choose January 1st, as the day they have designated to commence work on goal(s) they have identified in their New Year’s Resolutions.  You can tell by reading or hearing in the media advertisements what most people’s goals are for the new year.  The gym and diet program specials have been running for weeks.  It makes perfect sense to start anew on January 1st, but I’ve never realized success in all my many years of resolutions, that this was the best time to commit to life changes.  I think I’ve got this sewn up!

Late November, I realized my weight gain was rather frightening, I had gained approximately 13 lbs. since October 3rd when I was weighed in an emergency room.  It was a wake up call for me to lose weight, my first inclination was to start on January 1st, just a month away!  Feeling so uncomfortable, I didn’t think eating the way I was and limited mobility, waiting to January 1st, was such a great idea.  At this point I contacted Patty Berry RD , and have been following a food plan filled with nourishing food, and sometimes not so nourishing.  I haven’t been perfect following her direction but what I have learned is my goal should never have been to lose weight, it should have been a goal that would make me a healthier and better person.  To achieve this goal I needed to enlist Patty’s  expertise, I’m planning my future by working towards small changes and easing into this new food plan.  I really am embracing change with many of her suggestions and looking forward in becoming mindful and responsible for my food choices, during holidays, in restaurants, and at home.

What has been the most important aspect of working with Patty , is the realization that it doesn’t matter what day you choose to start working on a goal, it just matters that you do.  It doesn’t matter if you hit some bumps in the road, it matters that you cruise on.  New Year’s Day is a national holiday on the first day of the calendar year, but it is not the only day you can start/commit to a goal for the next 365 days, or a lifetime in my situation.