One of the things I learned the hard way is the eating your feelings PLUS a mostly sedentary wheelchair lifestyle is NOT a combination for losing weight. Or for not not gaining weight. When I was doing inpatient rehab, they had me sweating for like 6 hours a day. So when the dinner people brought me freshly baked deep-dish chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream every night, I didn’t think anything other than “these people should become saints!”
When I got home and transferred to outpatient physical therapy, once or twice a week, things drastically changed for the worst. I am definitely an emotional eater. So when the hubs was at work, and I sat around the house with nothing to do but watch TV and eat, that’s exactly what I did. Candy. Chocolate. Salami sandwiches on delicious fresh rolls. Ice cream. You get the idea: all the stuff that dieticians would be gasping at. And in large quantities.
The problem (besides the obvious lack of dietary standards) was that I wore t-shirts and shorts with elastic bands. Elastic stretches. So as my belly grew, it wasn’t as obvious to me. I didn’t look in the mirror, because I hated what I saw. The wheelchair, not the weight. I also hid behind the excuse that I couldn’t weigh myself because I can’t get on a scale. But then when I started trying to wear normal clothes and they didn’t fit, it started to click. And when people started filming my physical therapy sessions so I could see the progress I was making, all I saw was the weight gain.
The problem is that it’s hard to workout when you’re in a wheelchair. Well, that’s what I convinced myself of. But the truth is, that while it may take more creativity and thought to come up with a wheelchair workout, it’s actually not that hard. For me anyway. I’m lucky because I have pretty good upper body strength. And my core is getting very strong. I can lower myself to the floor and do certain floor workouts (like crunches and planks). I have the ability to drive myself to the local public pool with a lift and swim. There’s a gym up the street owned by the nicest guy who is really excited to help me get back in shape and up on my feet. I took the push handles off my chair so people can’t push me. There is way more opportunity that I was allowing for and opening myself up to. And while I still can’t weigh myself, I can definitely using a measuring tape to take measurements, and just go by how my clothes fit.
So this is my embarrassingly public detail of my attempt to get in shape. Comments, questions and motivations are welcomed!