Fifty or sixty pounds may not seem like much to the very obese but if you add paralysis to the problem, you can multiply the pounds by three. Like age in dog years or like a wind chill factor, 50 extra pounds on a disabled person feels like 150 extra pounds. Having been disabled now 32 years with a spinal cord injury, weight management was not an issue for me until the last 12 years. I had always been thin, like 110 pounds. I was in ballet until I was 16 years old. I’m also 51 years old now so I have that as an excuse but that did not comfort me when I found myself so overweight I couldn’t breathe while sitting up in bed. I was just miserable because my weight had crept up and I was trying everything I knew to lose it. With no scale available to weigh a paralyzed person, I did not know day to day if I was losing, or gaining. My decision to lose it all was at any cost. I’m an aggressive person when I want results. I will not pussyfoot around. My weight affected my every moment in how I felt about myself. It was like an extra handicap that I could get rid of if I just wanted it bad may enough; so I decided that no matter what happened, I had to lose it all as top priority in my life. No matter what family members thought about my eating habits or lack thereof, I was determined to break off my relationship with food. Comments from waitresses about how little I was eating, comments from my mother, caregivers, hubby or children would have to be disregarded. I could not satisfy other people and their concerns. I couldn’t focus on food anymore. I was focused on distracting myself from food and not eating was more important to me than eating. It’s a change in your whole life when you decide to lose weight. You must take up a hobby or decide what to do with your time besides eat. What will you do instead of eating breakfast? What about lunch time? Eating less and eating very little, or fasting more often from dinner to dinner is very noticeable to people around you. That cannot stop you.You want to be private about it but people want to know what’s up. So the mindset is the first thing I changed.I started with a very aggressive HCG diet. It’s scientifically unable to fail. All you need is the discipline. I didn’t care what it took, I was determined to fast 40 days if necessary. It’s easier for me not to eat than it is to eat differently. Everyone else in the world had to just deal with this change in me. If you cannot fight off your own mind and will and emotions plus the emotional effect on other people, worrying about whether you’re having enough protein or whatever, then you’ll fail.
The HCG diet brings you down to 500 calories a day with lots of water, so it’s like a fast. It worked great except.. I already had low blood pressure and drinking so much water without sodium in it, is dangerous. I didn’t know. Any diet that tells you to drink about a gallon a day should also tell you to make sure some of it is Propel or Gatorade. You can lower your blood pressure too much and it’s deadly. So I did end up in the hospital twice until they figured out the cause. It’s called “hyponaturia” which means you don’t have enough sodium in your body to hold on to the hydration. I actually dehydrated myself with water. It’s life threatening. Anyway the diet worked great except I didn’t know that detail so I don’t say not to do that diet, I say drink Propel along with regular water for any diet.
After that, I promised my husband I wouldn’t use that specific diet because it scared him. So I found a new one. It is called the “three-week diet.” Each of these diets said you could lose at a rate of about a pound a day. I liked that and it did happen. I am able to lose a pound a day whenever I need to because I learned how, safely. If I accidentally gain 2 pounds I can take it right back off.
1. The first thing that made a huge difference for me was I found a way to get a scale. My doctor prescribed the scale that attaches to my lift and this enabled me to start tracking my weight pound by pound. This is the most important thing that helped me by far. After I had already lost approximately 30 pounds without a scale to measure, I found out I was at 140 pounds. So I must have weighed about 170 pounds. As I continued my dieting, I could finally track exactly what was happening.
2. Another thing I learned is that you must have large bowel movements and have them often. I started using suppositories as that is suggested for my care. So I took time every day for a while to make sure I took action with my bowel care. It takes me two hours to make sure I’m done and can get up without any more problems. So I would pick a time of day or evening that I could get it done every day at first. It feels so good afterwards, like you just lost 2 pounds. Getting rid of the liquid that’s just sitting in the bowels is helpful too.
3. I bought a Fit Bit. As a part of weight management, it is vital to know how many calories you are burning on any given day so that you can either take in less calories or burn more. Even though I don’t track my steps per say, I can see my calories burn increase as I just run in my wheelchair, arms only, or any arm exercises. Deep breathing and heart rate increase does work.
At 123 pounds, I am happy but still determined to finish the job, down to 120. For me, I prefer being thin much more than I like food. Thinner makes life easier and makes me happier. I don’t need any more handicaps in my life. It’s much better for my health and mental stability to stay thin and I will keep it off for ever!