My Blog · Self-Care · Transverse Myelitis

One Bite At A Time

Recently I have been looking at and reflecting upon the changes I have made this Summer. I have taken a few steps towards being healthier. I am monitoring how much I eat when I am bored and the amount I eat of sweets specifically – for example: I now eat 4-5 Oreos instead of a whole package or a row of brownies instead of the pan. I have also cut back on Coca Cola and beer – my go to drinks over the Summer months with camping and grill outs. Coffee and water are becoming my two best friends.

I do still enjoy a glass of wine or two on occasion, just not nightly like before. I also still indulge in sweets – which you can see in my recent post Shaking it Up with a ‘Sweet’ New Skill .

In addition to being cognizant of what and how much I am consuming, I have also been making a conscious effort to DO more. More walking, cleaning, stretching and even occasional exercising. This has been good for my heart, muscles and mind. The fresh air has also helped me to concentrate more on work – added bonus!

The combination of these things has not only given me more energy, but helped me lose a few pounds. Fifteen to be exact. This is huge considering I have gained 45 pounds in the last year and ten months since my onset of Transverse Myelitis. This caused me to not metabolize correctly for a while (and still slightly), I was paralyzed from the waist down and then significantly limited in movement for an extended period of time. Also when I was able to start moving, it was for short distances and a short period of time. I still struggle with this and the fatigue from over-doing it. Battling isolation, depression and comfort eating while having my office next to the kitchen has not helped matters either.

Somehow though, this Summer I found the strength and determination to make improvements and maintain them. I plan to continue to try to stay moving throughout the Fall and Winter. I know this will be more of a challenge since my nerve pain increases as soon as the temperature is below 60 degrees and I have poor balance on uneven, unstable and slippery surfaces. This will also be more challenging since Fall brings my favorite warm hearty foods. My impulse control will definitely be put to the test.

Honestly my biggest nemesis is sugar. It is like a super addictive drug to me. I do well when I have minimal sweets and sugar, but as soon as I have a little…it becomes all I crave and can think about. I literally cannot stop myself. Then to make matters worse I have almost no sensation in my stomach (ie. I do not feel hunger or fullness). This means I will not have the normal feelings of overeating or illness when I have had too much. I just keep going. Hence the weight gain.

I really want to be able to keep heading in the direction of being healthier and making good choices for my body. I will be working on holding myself accountable and trying to remember that even though no one sees how many trips I make into the kitchen or watches me eat the tub of frosting that it is still a poor choice. Wish me luck!

Cheers to making healthier choices more often than not!