Getting REAL about weight loss: how I lost 105 lbs

No matter where I go these days, people ask me how much weight I have lost. I am proud to say I have lost 105 pounds! Many immediately want to know if I had weight loss surgery or if I had joined Weight Watchers or one of the other assisted weight loss programs. I proudly say I lost each and every pound on my own. While I still have 20 more pounds to lose, I thought I would use My Unplanned Life and a series of posts to share what worked for me as well as what I have learned about medication, food, exercise and the importance of paying attention to the way we treat our bodies. I have battled with my weight for several decades and believe as Maya Angelou says “when we know better, we do better.”

I remember the exact moment when I ‘got real’ with myself about losing weight. I was at an appointment with my Internist soon after I had been in the hospital with an a-fib and flutter problem. We were talking about my recent weight gain and he said, “We should probably talk about gastric bypass since you aren’t able to exercise like most people.” The words ‘most people’ struck me. Wasn’t I like most people…just because I have a spinal cord injury did that make me an exception? My second thought was people in wheel chairs are able to exercise…what is wrong with me?

The next day I woke up still thinking about the appointment and knew my current doctors, as well as the doctors in my past, were contributing to me feeling sorry for myself. I needed to own up to ME…spinal cord injury and all or I was going to have to consider weight loss surgery. I sat down and made a promise to myself with some specific goals and a timeline. I knew what to do…I just had to get it done.

The first and most important step in my weight loss quest was finding a new doctor, which is what I did – an endocrinologist, who I have written about in past posts. While I wasn’t thrilled about adding another doctor to my ever-growing list, I knew I needed someone different and new. Dr. U. certainly was like no one I had ever seen. Endocrinologist diagnose and treat hormone imbalances and problems by helping to restore the normal balance of hormones in your body. It’s my opinion every person should see an endocrinologist at some point since our hormones can easily be thrown off-balance and we may never know it. I knew my endocrine system had to be out of whack since my body had been through so much. If I have learned anything though this process is that our bodies do tell us things but we often choose not to listen.

Dr. U. immediately discovered some things in my blood work other doctors missed. I had Cushing’s syndrome from all the steroids I had been given during the last seven years and was diabetic. My body had also been under so much stress from the Dr. Liar court case and from all the medical problems since the injury. I needed to detox my body and not allow any of my doctors to use steroids of any type in my treatment plan. I knew it was going to be difficult since steroids were used to help in my pain management, but it had to be done. I also took a four-week class on how to manage diabetes.

In addition, every six months I had and continue to have blood work done, including my thyroid, vitamin B-12, iron, Complete Metabolic and Lipid Panels, Cortisol, ACTH as well as any other tests that may be needed. I take supplements and adjust my diet based on the findings of my blood work. I also have a sluggish thyroid, but have known about that since I was in my late 20’s. I manage that with medication.

I knew I had to find some type of exercise I could at least tolerate and could do with my injury without increasing my pain. With those limitations in mind I talked with my physical therapist about how I used to enjoy swimming. While I couldn’t imagine putting on a bathing suit, I swallowed my pride; bought two with the longest skirts I could find and began walking in our neighborhood pool in the evening with my husband. We walked and talked and the weeks turned into months. I found I loved being in the water and by the end of the summer I was signed up for aquatic physical therapy. The chore of exercising was suddenly something I really enjoyed and the days when I didn’t go to the pool…I missed it. Before I knew it, I was feeling healthier and stronger and the scale was beginning to move in the right direction for a change. Talk about being motivated.

Coming up…Getting REAL about food

©My Unplanned Life and http://www.shakinguplife.wordpress.com, 2013

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About mswd

I am an individual living with a spinal cord injury. How the injury occurred, how I found out how severe my injury was and how my planned life suddenly became 'unplanned' is included in this blog. Also included is how the injury has tested my family and me. I believe you will discover it has been both a mentally and physically challenging ordeal and I learned a few lessons along the way. While I am still defining my life’s purpose since the injury, I have uncovered those who are injured, live with pain or have other obstacles to navigate are never able to escape. However, come with me as I explore ways to improve my life, learn to live with multiple neurological conditions, educate others and look for the silver lining. I believe with a little willpower, my caring family and God's guidance I will learn to forgive, hopefully forget how I was treated and dismissed by a doctor and uncover life's new purpose. I pray for painfree days and answers to questions that keep swirling through my mind. I also pray for a cure for neurological conditions and for the doctors to treat their patients with respect. Welcome to my journey. I would love to hear about yours!
This entry was posted in Disability, Dr. Liar, Self Discovery, Spinal Cord Injury, staying motivated while losing weight and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Getting REAL about weight loss: how I lost 105 lbs

  1. This makes me so incredibly happy. YOu have no idea. Congratulations on not letting someone or something else determine what YOU can or cannot do. WOW!!! 🙂

    • mswd says:

      Thank you so much Colleen! I am feeling so much better and after thinking about it for a while I hope some of things I have learned will help others. As you know I have struggling with what to write about. 🙂 Hoping you are doing well. Always love your posts!

      • 🙂 Thank you Marsha! I’m looking forward to your posts. Looking for a little extra help in JUST this area right now. 🙂

      • mswd says:

        Colleen ~ I have been having WordPress problems and this message just came through. Please forgive the delay! Will have part two of this post soon. Thank you for always taking the time to leave a message ~ you are so thoughtful!

      • I hope the kinks all get worked out. I look forward to the second post. Thanks for the nice words, sometimes I think I’m not thoughtful. (Which of course, is ironic.) 🙂

      • mswd says:

        You are one of the most thoughtful people I know! And thank you…I had to write to the WordPress customer service folks, but I think everything is working now thankfully! Enjoy the weekend and new post coming soon! XO

  2. Beth says:

    I’m so proud of you, Marsha!!!! Well done!!

    • mswd says:

      Beth ~ thank you so much…it has been a challenge, but something I had to do. Hoping you are making strides with your back. Please let me know! Hugs dear friend!

  3. I know the exercise is important because the body is doing everything to support that exercise. I take BP and cholesterol medicine and both warn again dizziness. We worked in the yard today and I was getting really dizzy and also having blurred vision. I took my BP tonight and it was 101/73. I knew it was low because all I have to do is exercise in some way and I get dizzy. Well that also tells me that if I would exercise regularly, I could start ditching meds. I pulled out my bike today and I need two new inner tubes because both tires are flat. I’ve been losing weight too and it’s hard, but I can lose more I think if I start riding my bike everyday. You should be proud of yourself for doing this. It’s like one day we realize that “wow, we’ve changed” and I know that my bad habits have affected my health over the years. Great job on the weight loss! I “know” you feel better.

    • mswd says:

      David ~ thank you so much for your message and for inspiring me to write about this topic! It was your message that finally got me out of my writing slump and I hope you know how much I appreciate you taking the time share your thoughts. I am so glad it is warming up and we can all get outside and get some fresh air and exercise! I am sorry you are having blood pressure problems. I was having BP problems as well, but found out it was because I was on the wrong dosage of thyroid medication. Crazy! Hoping you were able to repair the bike tires…I have an adult trike since I can’t balance a regular bike due to my SCI. It’s not the same, but it’s exercise! Keep up the good work and before you know it you will be posting information like this on your blog! And stay tuned for those recipes…I am looking for a way to tie them in! 😉 Thanks again friend!

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