“The world of achievement has always belonged to the optimist.” ~ J. Harold Wilkins
How can this help me today and throughout my health and weight loss journey?
I know you haven’t seen me in a long time. But I found myself in a difficult place and really didn’t know what to say … until now.
Optimism has been there throughout my life to help me overcome huge challenges. I didn’t give up when I realized I would not be a prima ballerina. My mother wanted me to find a career while living back at home and in college. But I decided it would be too difficult to live by their rules after living virtually on my own at a boarding high school. So I joined the Women’s Army Corps to have college paid for and ‘see the World’. From dancing to the military, I’ve always been mentally and physically active so it’s never been a challenge for me.
I became sick in 2004 and in a coma for around four months. I came home in 2006, wheelchair bound and years of therapy ahead of me. Almost two years ago, I was prescribed increased doses of Prednisone and didn’t change my eating habits. So I found myself overweight to the point being obese and using the medication as an excuse. It was a REAL scapegoat but an excuse that didn’t help me get the weight off. I wasn’t eating a lot; 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day and that allowed me to tell myself that it wasn’t me, it was the medication.
I started logging in my calorie and water intake. I was doing my physical therapy twice a week and a great yoga practitioner was coming to our home every other week. Of course I didn’t really know because my efforts to get a wheelchair weight scale was fruitless. So I relied on what people told me about my appearance changes, my mirror image and the fit of my clothing. But nothing much changed and my weight appeared to remain about the same. Until yesterday…
I wanted to see how other people in my circumstances worked on their weight loss. I decided to search FB using ‘wheelchair overweight’ and was shocked after reading through the mean-spirited, misinformed comments from the ‘Results’. People believe that people like me are lazy, believe physicians gave us a wheelchair because we are fat and that we want to be in this situation. They think because some people overcame their overweight situation that everyone can overcome their totally different set of circumstances. That’s like saying ‘because Mother Theresa is a good person, so everyone who has a job should be able to serve others at her level’ or worse ‘because a ninja lady in a movie can wiggle her toes and get up after years in a coma, everyone should be able to get out of their wheelchair after a few months in a coma’.
I wrote one of my very best friends from the military and told her that I don’t want to be like this. I was shocked about the FB comments and in tears. I told her the only reason I haven’t ‘lost it’ or didn’t ‘break down’ and cry is because my severe chronic hives will make it difficult to breathe and also seeing me that angry and hurt would upset my husband; who works so hard to make me happy. I told her that am trying so hard and don’t get half the tools that people who can stand and walk are able to get. I can’t even get a stupid wheelchair weight scale, no help monitoring my body reactions nor someone to tell me what or how to eat on Prednisone. My last words were “Please help me! Help us!”
After half and hour of feeling hurt and sorry for myself, I went to work. I joined the SparkPeople app for tracking my intake, socializing with others and journaling along with the HalfSizeMe Coach app. I came up with an exercise program that I would do daily, even though I feared it would have me bedridden a lot more. I committed to drinking the total amount of water that was healthy for me daily. Last, I came up with the Reward Program below, that fit my lifestyle and keep me on track.
Wanda’s Health Reward System
1) Remain within 1,200 calorie intake daily
~ each successful day I get this icon – 🍰.
~ Seven consecutive days getting this icon 🍰, gets me a dessert after dinner!
2) Perform exercises every day
~ each day exercising, I get this icon – 🌸
~ seven consecutive days of exercising, I get a 💐.
~ after getting two bouquet icons 💐, I get a bouquet of real flowers!
3). Drink eight glasses of water daily
~ each consecutive day of success gets me this water drop icon💧
~ each successful seven days drinking water, I get a 💦
~ four 💦s gets me a bracelet charm!
Now, I have everything to create an environment for me to lose weight and a reward system to help keep me on track and like minded ‘Internet Buddies’ to help me remain encouraged. I will continue to work on getting access to or receive a wheelchair weight scale from the VA and know that seeing the numbers will give me even more incentive to continue. There’s a reason it is a part of every weight loss program and even overweight people in wheelchairs should have scales available to them.
I realize that exercising more will mean that I will rest a lot. That doesn’t sound too bad except that the increased rest time may very well interfere with my card making. I love taking paper and creating beautiful scenes, making sentiments for people to send out for others to feel better. Sitting there is almost therapeutic and allows me to focus on something other than my health. So, I hope that everything balances out and that my body adapts to the increased exercise. I pray that the Myositis doesn’t flair up and cause me to stop my progress.
I am thankful that I saw all the mean spirited comments on FB because it has motivated me to lose this weight, no matter what. It has driven me to look for information everywhere and made me determined to seek knowledge from everyone. I will begin with this steadfast mindset because God’s Word from Romans 8:37 tells us “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” So, YES, I will be optimistic in this journey as in all my life’s journeys because, as I have been told by many, I am an achiever. I will pray and hope that you will pray for me as well.