Being Healthy and Well With Cerebral Palsy Part 1

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I intend for this to be an on going series of blog posts. In other words: I’ll give y’all updates from time to time on progress. Having CP means that I don’t move like everybody else. I have cruddy balance, at best, and my right hand I often describe as half a hand. I’m also from and live in Georgia, USA. That’s as deep south as can be. What does that have to do with this post, you may ask? Plenty. In the south: we celebrate with food, comfort those who are dealing with hardships and/or loss with food, fellowship over food… In the south: if we can fry it we most likely will. It tastes amazing, but all that fried, rich, food isn’t healthy no matter how comforting it is.

Pre-pandemic: I did my best to make my overall health and wellness a priority. It’s good for me and my CP. Then all of our lives were turned upside down by an enemy so small we couldn’t see it without a microscope. Suddenly, the best way to keep everybody safe was to stay home. Panic buying of essentials ensued out of fear. Take-out and comfort food helped a lot of us (myself included) feel a sense of familiarity for a little while…until the guilt kicked in.

Then I’d tell myself: I’ll do better tomorrow. However, I didn’t. The whole cycle would start over again every day. After my second vaccine two weeks ago: I decided enough was enough. It was time to break my own cycle. So that’s what I’m trying to do. What does this look like for someone with CP, you ask? I can only speak for myself, but here are my goals in no particular order:

  1. drink more water/ drink more period: I tend to get so busy with my ever present to do list I forget to hydrate properly.
  2. exercise daily: I have an all sitting exercise DVD. I have had it for so long I can do the routine without the DVD. I put on music that makes me want to move and get to work. The warmer and more tired I make my muscles: the number of spikes in my muscle tone decrease greatly making everyday movement, easier
  3. be more mindful of how much I eat/what I eat
  4. try not to get so busy I skip meals: huge challenge for me
  5. have a better sleep schedule: I’m a night owl , so definitely a challenge

The biggest goal I’ve set is to GIVE MYSELF A BREAK if I’m not 100% at all this every day, I’m a type A, personality , a perfectionist, and my own worst critic. I thought this last goal might resonate with all of you, too.

I often make deals with the people who know me best for accountability on both of our parts. I propose to make a deal with everybody who reads this and wants to. Deal is as follows: if we don’t do so good at whatever your 1-5/however many numbers are on your list on a particular day: it’s okay. Really, it is. The point is for it to be a life-long process. There are no magic pills and we’re imperfectly perfect humans. We’re going to mess up. When I mess up: I’m not loved any less by God or anyone else who loves me, and neither are you. Take a deep breath, and try to do better tomorrow is all we can ask of ourselves. Who’s with me?

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