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Disclaimer: In this post I am going to talk about my journey to weightloss and what it took to get in shape. I am not a dietician or nutritionist and although everything I tell you today worked great for me it may not work for you. I am by no means an expert in weight loss so everything I talk about in this post should be used for informational use only and never substituted for professional medical advice.
When you are abled it can be difficult to lose weight but when you have a physical disability it has more challenges. Abled people often have an easier time working out than disabled people and for some, it’s not even possible. Losing weight is possible without exercising at all and there have been times when I thought I would have to start over and all hope was lost but still was able to stay true to my goals because I learned to respect myself and did what it took to be disciplined. It hasn’t always been easy because I am limited to exercise and some meals are difficult for me to cook or I am just too lazy to prepare it so I get into this habit of getting what is easy which is not always healthy. Weight loss is a struggle for many disabled people because most people have to rely on others to cook their meals so you don’t want to be too picky with your diet choices or sometimes people legitimately think they have fallen too far off the wagon and they can’t. It is never too late to start a weight loss journey so if you are struggling in this post I am going to give you some tips on how I lost about twenty to thirty pounds nearly ten years ago and kept it off.
Write it down– Not all disabled people will benefit from the working out or are physically able to and it will be harder if you can’t incorporate movement in speed up weight loss but it doesn’t mean if you can’ your doomed to reaching your weight lose goals. Figure out how many calories you should be consuming and write down everything you eat it a day because you may be surprised how many extra calories you are consuming but don’t need to.
Start a weightloss plan- Sometimes the reason you may not be able to lose weight is that you may legitimately think you are eating healthy but actually are not. Trying a weight loss plan like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem may help you learn a thing or two about nutrition so you can figure out what daily habits you have that is comprising your results. For me personally, I struggle with staying motivated with my fitness goals and would not benefit from any plans that did not have a health coach to help me stay motivated. Get to know yourself so you will have an idea of what you’ll need to be successful because there are so many good plans out there that will give you results if you just follow them. If you don’t know what plan is right for you then write down your goals and figure out what realistically, makes sense for your lifestyle and if you still don’t know just try one and if it doesn’t work out then you can always try something else.
Make small changes- Sometimes when people start a weight loss journey they have this wrong assumption that they have to cut all these things out and do crazy hard workout to get results. You don’t have to do any strict dieting or hard workouts to reach your goals but all it takes is one small change and before you know it you will be eating a whole different way. Instead of reaching for that bag of chips why not try a new vegetable instead because it’s the small changes that will lead to big result not the drastic big ones but those are the ones that are just unrealistic and you shouldn’t make.
Get moving- When you have physical disability working out is more difficult and for some not possible but for many it is! If you are able do something that require movement because that will help you reach your weight loss goals faster than just diet alone. Find something you enjoy whether that’s pilates, yoga or weight lifting it doesn’t matter what it is or how small as long as your moving. When I first started working out I was so out of shape I was only able to do maybe ten minutes before I felt like I was going to die but I as I go stronger I have been able to work out longer and now can do it for well over an hour. Everyone starts as beginner because even athletes were once beginners so don’t let that fear stop you from moving!
Be mindful of your portion control- When you have a new fitness or weight loss gial it’s important to exerise to help reach those goals but one thing that people often over look is portion control. If you want to reach these goals you have to practice portion because it’s so easy to have a bag a chips and eat half the bag which is okay if you do it once but a lot of times it’s a daily think which can make it very difficult to lose if that is what your trying to do. Don’t have scale to measure out the right portions for you food? No problem there is a solution for this but all you have to do to measure your portions when you don’t have a scale is make a fist and use the size of your fist as a guide. I don’t know how accurate this method is but even if it’s not entirely accurate it will be way better than eating a entire bag of chips!
Don’t drink your calories– There is so many extra calories in many of the beverages we consume like soda that can really wreck havoc on your weight loss goals. One soda every once in a while will not kill you but if you trying to lose weight you may want to cut out these sugary drink and just stick to water. Yes that even mean coffee creamer because you would be surprised how much extra calories you can add to your coffee if you just mindlessly add creamer to it. When I add creamer to my coffee I don’t like it super sweet so I don’t ever do more than one tablespoon so I can still have the sweetness but also stay on track of my goals.
Cheat meal, not cheat day– One of the reasons I think so many people struggle with reaching their weight loss goals is because they aren’t counting calories so they don’t realize how many extra calories they are consumes and they are having far to many cheat days! An occassional cheat day during the holidays will not kill you or even put you back that much but it only becomes problem and affect you when you make occassional cheat days regular cheat days. Don’t beat yourself up over one bad meal or one bad day because we all have them and just accept your mistake and try and to do better. Sitting there crying over all the bad food you ate that you shouldn’t have won’t help you but you need to just accept it and try and do better tommarow.
Don’t order take out everyday- When you have a really long day work day I can totally understand coming home and not wanting to cook so you order take out. There is nothing wrong with ordering out occassionally but what I see a lot of people doing is ordering out mulitple times a week and then wonder why they are hitting a plateu in their weight loss journey. Eating out once a week will not kill you but you have to understand that take-out has more calories than you realize so if you are struggling to reach your goals I want you to really think about how many times a week you order a pizza and if it’s a lot that maybe your problem. Meal prepping can be hard when your starving so why not do it ahead of time so all you have to do when you come home is cook it! If you know what you want it will be a whole faster to prepare it than if you were undecided and took an hour to figure it out.
Don’t fight your cravings– We all get cravings but when you are trying to lose weight often we deprive ourselves of the things we love and try and fight these cravings! Don’t try and fight it but have the things you love in moderation because your weight loss journey will seem horrible if all your eating is chicken and vegetables! It’s okay to eat a small brownie every once in a while or even once a week because it’s not going to ruin your goals but will keep you sain. You can’t honestly be happy while depriving yourself of all your favorite foods but all that will do is lead to a binge and you giving up!
Never buy it– We all have that one food that we can just eat and eat until we feel sick but if it’s ruining your weight loss goals then maybe it’s time to get it out of your house and stop buying it! I know that if I bought chocolate on a regular basis I would never have lost weight because I have no self-control when it comes to chocolate so I don’t buy it and only have it occasionally when I go out. If you don’t have it in your house you can’t overeat it so if it’s a problem then stop buying it and buy something else instead that you do like but have a little more self-control over.
When you have a physical disability there is no denying that losing weight will be harder if you can’t workout out but that still doesn’t mean it’s not possible. You can still lose weight if you can’t hit the gym it just may take a little more discipline and maybe a little bit longer. Weight loss or any strength goal, in general, is eighty percent nutrition and only twenty percent fitness so if you can’t work out don’t stress over it and be honest with what you’re eating. A lot of the time the reason people gain weight is honestly because they have no concept of what they are eating and think they are eating way healthier than they actually are. Write down the foods you are eating and how much of it because then you can become really honest with yourself and truly see how many extra calories you are consuming and make changes as you see fit. Are you struggling to lose weight because of your disability? What is the biggest challenge you face when trying to lose weight?