For those of you who believe there is nothing you can do when you have chronic pain, take it from me: there is hope.
I weighed 460 pounds and with all of my chronic medical issues and disability, I managed to baby step my way through my thus far of journey of 6 years. I’ve lost almost 200 pounds to date.
Lately I feel like I can do nothing. I have some extra medical issues getting in my way and need a few surgeries. Part of me, the old me, wants to give up in a chocolate oblivion and couch-sitting frenzy. I got up to 460 pounds the last time I caved in and decided that not trying was better than failure. At that point, I gave away my own rights to run, work, play, and walk on the beach. I literally handed over my freedom with full consent with each bite and every minute I sat sedentary. It seemed easier and freeing at the moment. I mean, what else could I do?
Well, let me tell you! I discovered that baby stepping is powerful. Something is not nothing. Even if you walk around the house with difficulty, you do it in preparation for your next steps in life. The real problem is that we have grown up in an “All or nothing/ No pain, no gain” world. What about those of us who do have pain and are prone to gaining weight? Push yourself without pushing yourself down. See a medical profession first and ask them what you CAN do. They can tell you how not to exacerbate your particular issues. Then, armed with knowledge, go gently into your journey.
Support can be very hard to come by for those of us with chronic pain or disabilities. Still, it can be done-- just see my Spark Page! I’ve lost almost 200 pounds despite my conditions. Forget those who call you lazy and give you advice like the artichoke and water pill diet. There is no fast track. There is simply the journey, and I have found it to be one of the most introspective and joyous times of my life. You can educate yourself through SparkPeople and make a real lifestyle change. Read, try different foods and activities and ignore the haters.
Never hold yourself up to Barbie girl working out next to you, on the TV, or in magazines. You are unique. Go at your own pace and challenge yourself against your own accomplishments. NEVER forget to reward yourself with some non-food item. Things that I like to reward myself with are clothes, jewelry, and manicure/pedicures. Someday, a massage sounds good.
Find what motivates you. Fill your life with supportive people, even if they are just your online Sparkfriends. My Sparkfriends mean the world to me. They keep me going when I feel down. Lately I’ve been struggling because I need surgery and I feel like a rolly polly bug. It frustrates me terribly, the fatigue, pain, and just general lethargy. If it were not for all of you, I would feel so lost. I read things people write to me and smile. I feel better. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping me going.
Find your calling. For me, as soon as I lost 100 pounds, I knew I was supposed to get the message out that nobody need lie in their bed their whole lives, as I did. I was merely living, not existing. Once I found my calling, I wanted to pay forward everything SparkPeople and my journey had taught me. I found myself pushing harder to be ABLE to do that.
Another great tip is to redefine yourself. I used to be a 460-pound, fat, disabled woman. Now, I’m me. I’m more positive, spontaneous, and determined. Yes, I’m still disabled and overweight, but I feel mentally different.
When I started trying to get in exercise, I had in-home physical therapy. Then I did light housework with many breaks, using a sweeper to steady me. Then I started using an arm cycle. That seems to be my most standard piece of workout equipment along with my wheeled walker, “Freedom.”
Don’t give up. Talk to you medical professional about what is right for you. They may refer you to other doctors and there may be a few hoops to jump through, but you are worth it. Do whatever you can to enable yourself, one tiny step at a time. If your medical professional is too aggressive toward you because of your weight, find a new one. If your medical professional does anything less than sincerely care, that is not the right one for you. We hire them. We can fire them.
So the good news is: YES! You can get fit, lose weight and have a better life, even if you feel like you can’t do anything. I will be fighting the good fight with you!
How do you stay encouraged?
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