I’m Fat and I Know It, Clap Your Hands

Fifteen Years LaterMonday, February 17 was the 15th anniversary of my “accident” on the island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands. Last year, around this time, I wrote a blog entitled Lessons I Have Learned. Recently, I received a stark reminder of something that I hadn’t learned or at least had refused to acknowledge. The last blog I wrote was about a dog sled ride I took February 1st. It was a beautiful ride and a wonderful time, but in the context of that ride, I finally acknowledged that I had lost control over my weight. Not only was it affecting my wife and my caretakers, but it was also affecting my enjoyment of the things that I love to do. As I have stated so many times in my writings control is a major issue for me and probably almost anyone who has a disability. I prided myself on the way I had taken control of many of the frustrations and limitations that were placed on me by my quadriplegia. I knew I was overweight, but I had found reasons to excuse it. Such as, my condition limits my ability to exercise or I have greatly limited my food intake from what it was prior to my accident or eating is something that I can do that I really enjoy. But in reality all of these were excuses!

Summer before my accidentPrior to my “accident” I was very physically active and 6’5″ tall, which allowed me to consume a great amount of food and maintain a body weight between 215 and 220 pounds. During my struggle to survive, my weight plummeted to around 180 pounds. When I returned home after six months of rehabilitation I was still under what had been my normal weight. In the beginning, there was no need for me to curb my appetite. Quite the opposite I was being encouraged to regain the weight that I had lost. My weight began to creep up, but I was unable to hold it in check even though I made a serious effort to control the amount of food and portions I ate. Over a period of years my weight grew to over 260 pounds. A couple times I made an effort to restrict my caloric intake but was unable to maintain the effort for any length of time.

The problems I encountered on the dog sled ride caused me to realize my situation and make a mental commitment to change my lifestyle, reduce my weight and increase my physical activity. In other words, take control. This must be a change lasting the rest of my life and I know it. With the mental decision made I turned to a weight loss app I have used before.

Lose It, which I wrote about in an earlier blog Have I Got An App For You is already helping. While not designed for people with disabilities it is easy to adapt for people in unique circumstances. My activity level is increasing and my weight has begun to drop.
There is a great difference between talking about doing something and making the mental commitment to do it. \
Lose It

2 responses to “I’m Fat and I Know It, Clap Your Hands

  1. Oh Rich, this post is rich. Seven years ago I was still helping take care of my mother in law who had Alzheimer’s; and worrying about my mom and dad who were still adjusting to her injury on the West Coast. Because of my own medical issues, which are exacerbated by stress, I had trouble keeping up to 105 pounds. Everyone fussed at me constantly to eat. I just couldn’t. I was worrying about everyone, depressed, sad, angry, I wasn’t hungry and most of the time food made me sick. I’d always had weight issues, being overweight most of my young life until my mid 20s when something changed and I’d finally been able to lose weight. But then I got sick, and eating became a problem. It was more a series of autoimmune issues that made food a problem for me and the more people and doctors fussed at me, the harder it made eating. When Mrs. G died later in 2007 life started changing for us a little. It wasn’t as stressful everyday all the time. By 2010 I’d calmed some and my weight was at 115, a decent place for me, and my doctor was happy too. But then….Holy Cats! (my cousin loves that phrase) She, my cousin, took me on a real special trip to a real special place for my 55th birthday, and it was like, do it! Do what you want, all of it. And we did. I gave in to the temptation of incredible food, snacks, a Lady Godiva Chocolate Martini or two at the Uva Bar – oh it was grand. Then at her place there were the It’s Its, from my childhood days. I let go of the control I’d kept such a tight hold on over food. No problem at first, but here I am four years later and now I’m 140 pounds and I’m not happy. I had a surgery that laid me up, then another and another. I couldn’t move as much as I had been, ended up on the couch mostly for three years and the weight kept coming. It’s not helping my knee that hurts and will eventually need replacement, or my hip that was replaced two years ago. I feel tired, irritated, sad. I know I don’t eat that much, but I don’t move, so I eat too much for the amount of activity I do.

    Your post came at a good time. My medical insurance changed in January and now I have free access to an exercise program because I’m that old! I went to sign up, but pulled into the parking lot and no one was there. I didn’t go back. So I will this week. And I’ll get moving outside. I have a great dog that wants to walk and needs to meet more people in the neighborhood, so she can walk with me. I owe her that after the care she’s given me while I’ve been couched. And I’ll check out the Lose It app, put it on my phone, and see if I can get my weight back to 125, a reasonable compromise of healthy but not too rich.

    I’m still not going sledding in the snow, but I am headed back to my cousin’s in the Fall, and the special place we went before. This time there won’t be indulgent food, just indulgent play.

    Keep us posted, you loser.

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