My family loves to eat and genetics means I am predisposed to have a weight problem. Add to that sitting often due to my CP and challenge is a major understatement. I have an extra challenge in addition to those I just mentioned. What is it? When I went for my consultation for my first major surgery my neurosurgeon announced I needed to manage my weight better to have the surgery. The solution? Finding a dietitian to help mom and I understand food more accurately and better understand how my body processes food. I had no idea the head trip going to a dietitian at that young of an age would create later in my life. I lost weight and had the surgery but ever since my weight has been a sense of guilt every time it increased.
In November of last year, I decided to take control of my eating habits and my exercise finally. The only problem? What I was doing was only increasing my weight not decreasing it. About six weeks ago, I got angry with myself. Instead of going to a dietitian or downloading a weight loss app, I decided to research on the Internet for the best way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle still remembering the basics from the dietitian as a child as well. Knowing I wanted to do so as safely as possible, having watched someone I love, lose substantial weight quickly without trying because of a side effect of doctor prescribed medication, I knew slow and steady was the best course of action.
I have already detailed the changes I made to my diet, which you can read if you are interested and have not here: https://thrivingwithcerebralpalsy.com/2023/04/08/why-making-adjustments-to-be-my-healthiest-is-important/ The dietary changes I made are paying off. My clothes fit better, and I feel better than I have in a long time. However, there were two more piece of the puzzle I needed to figure out how to deal with. The guilt and the head trip of going to a dietitian at such an early age. How do I forgive myself? My weight gain stemmed from the stress of the upside-down circumstances of the last year plus for my immediate family and I. Foods of convenience became the norm instead of healthy choices especially for snack options.
I am not a stress eater. When I get stressed, I often forget to eat and when I remember I am hungry I reach for the wrong food. My first order of business to rid myself of the guilt was to not be as critical of myself. It is a tall order and a work in progress. The second way of letting go of the guilt is to not allow anyone who I am close with to disparage me and my progress which requires putting boundaries in place. Progress takes time and I am looking for sustainable instead of a quick fix because quick fixes never work. Lastly, I remind myself to be proud of the progress I am making and the choices I am making now because my body will thank me now and in the future. In all honesty, I get frustrated with the fact that my progress is not faster, but I remind myself CP makes every aspect of my life more challenging including this and do my best to let my frustration go. I write this blog post to be honest with you all about two of my most difficult challenges and to give hope to those of you who are doing your best to be your healthiest self as well. Remember, Rome was not built in a day and progress is progress. Be proud of your progress so far and keep going. I promise I am taking my own advice here as well and will keep you all updated on my progress as I go.