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Wheelchair Side View at 460 pounds




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Beth Donovan's No Weight Loss Surgery, No Crazy Diets, No Extreme Exercise...
SparkPeople Story of Joy on a Journey:

Pounds lost 200 plus and counting

If you are reading this thinking YOU can't lose weight and get healthy because you're disabled or so far gone and hopeless... I'm talking to you...
Have Hope! It really can be done!

Sometimes we feel like we are just going to fail another time, so why even try? It can feel worse to regain the weight after losing it than it did to be overweight in the first place with people judging you and you already feeling out of control yourself. Then, while you're losing, you are constantly plagued by temptations with yummy foods and doubts about if and when you are going to regain your weight this time, no matter how positive you might try to be.

I started my journey back in 2006 with SparkPeople under a different account. I lost some weight, but then got really serious and became ~Indygirl. The truth is that it doesn't matter how long it takes to lose weight, it really isn't a race. It just matters if you do... This time around, I never ever set time limit goals for myself.

I started my journey at 460 pounds with the doctor's office and in home physical therapy where I lifted shampoo bottles in bed for exercise. I said, "This isn't going to get me anywhere!" My physical therapist said that every little move prepares you for the next big move. I was bedridden for awhile.

I have a herniated disk, slipped disks, protruding disks, bulging disks, crumbling vertebrae, severe degenerative disease, both knees need replaced, both rotator cuffs are torn, I'm arthritic and have fibromyalgia. I did not get diagnosed early on because doctors thought I was in pain because I was fat. I switched doctors. My new doctor actually did the MRI work ups and got me help like the physical therapy and a walker etc.

Everyone has their own path. Read 1000 diet/ nutrition/ exercise/ self help books and take what you like and leave the rest. That creates a custom lifestyle for you. Asking me what I eat etc doesn't help you, because our metabolisms are different. Your best bet is to check the food tracker on SparkPeople, that's what I do. I eat within the ranges without the menu planner. I try to limit, but I do not exclude processed foods. Processed junk kicks in my cravings.

Exercises for me have to be very creative. I have to focus every day on what I CAN DO and not what I can't. I used to get lost in can't, being disabled and all. Now I simply ask myself, "What CAN I DO?" Some days when my legs and back are not in working order, I use an arm bike called the Magnetrainer. Days when I can move more comfortably to stretch, I do physical therapy yoga poses. Sometimes my shoulders are very sore due to the rotator cuff issues, so I might chair exercise. I look for possibilities and created exercises for myself. I try to do no less than 5 minutes at a time. If I can, I do that several times a day. Whatever it takes to get those minutes in!

Think in a new way to act in a new way. It all really starts with your mind. You have to think like the new person you want to become. Follow in actions.

Regain DOES happen, but it is not permanent! It is not a seal of failure. I lost a total of 250 pounds. I've now lost a total of 230 pounds. Not bad after 10 years! But, in that time. I've bobbed up and down quite a bit. Weight is A LOT like the stock market. It has overall trends. It has daily ups and downs also. As long as your overall trend is staying relatively the same or going down, you're good. The daily ups and downs are just blips on the radar. Heed them. Make wise choices about your lifestyle, but never beat yourself up. Forgiveness is key to moving on and staying the course rather than spiraling out of control in a shame/binge cycle.

Join me on Team ~Indygirl and NewSparkDebbie

Member Since: 1/18/2008

Fitness Minutes: 67,103

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Beth Donovan

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