So some of you might wonder how I'm managing shopping if I can't even cook an entire meal without a chair in the kitchen. I am still amazed at how easily it was to go from kick boxing to my current state. When all you have to do is roll out of bed and take a 5 second walk to your office and that is about the extent of the activity you get for the day, is it any wonder I can even muster up the strength to roll out of bed? To say I am out of shape just doesn't even do justice to how SERIOUSLY out of shape I truly am. Every time I have the least little problem health-wise, I'm reminded how close I am to becoming completely bedridden. Just one little mishap or illness can erode what little strength I have left and possibly compromise my mobility to the extent that I WON'T even be able to roll out of bed any longer.
So, with this in mind, I made a drastic and humiliating decision. I am going to have to start reclaiming some of the things Erik started doing...first, because I was working too much to do them myself (running errands, grocery shopping, taking Tanner to doctor's appointments, etc), then later because I no longer had the strength to do them myself. The situation was snowballing on me and I realized that it wasn't going to take much more before I couldn't even do the things I was doing now...that's scary. If you've ever wondered (like a thinner me used to wonder) exactly *how* an extremely obese person gets bed-bound....my blog should answer your question. It starts slowly. You gain weight over time and gradually you start adjusting your life and activities to accommodate that weight gain. At first, you start waiting for a parking spot closer to the entrance of the store, leave earlier to get a closer spot at work. When you go grocery shopping, you stop doing the once every week or so shopping and start shopping in more manageable bites of time that won't require you to be on your feet an hour or longer or require you walking the entire store. You start using the elevator instead of the stairs. Before you know it, this reduction in activity means you lose bits of muscle mass which makes mobility and physical activity even more difficult. The lack of activity contributes to your weight gain which makes everything more difficult. Before you know it, you discover internet shopping...no need to leave the house at all for that. You go through the drive through at the drug store pharmacy vs. walking in. And so on, and so on....you see the vicious cycle here.
If you happen to have problems with depression (like I do) that only exacerbates your problems as you likely will spend most of your free time sleeping. The more weight you gain, the more mobility you lose, the more depressed you get. Again, vicious cycle.
The problem I was faced with was...how was I going to attempt these outings without getting myself into a situation that I might have a problem getting out of. How was I going to go to the store, walk from my car into the store, walk around the store browsing products AND stand at the check out line long enough to pay for my items and then walk back to my car? Sounds like a simple outing to most of you. For me, it might as well be climbing mount everest. I finally came up with a solution. Yes, I get funny looks, yes it is somewhat humiliating (it would probably be incredibly humiliating for most of you, but when you weigh what I weigh, the bar for what sort of humiliating situations you can endure definitely gets raised. What I did was load a folding chair in the backseat of the car. When I got to the store, I threw the folding chair into a cart and walked until I really needed to sit down. I tried to last as long as I could which quite honestly, wasn't all that long. We are talking way under 5 minutes at a time on my feet. Usually my cue to break out the poor man's wheelchair was about the time my back started aching, knees started trembling, calves cramping...you get the picture. Pretty much, if I knew the next step was going to possibly endanger anyone who might be unfortunate enough to share the aisle with me should I fall, I sat down. A few clerks gave me funny looks when I whipped out the chair. Some customers tried to act as if it was the most normal thing in the world to carry a folding chair under your arm while you shop and avoided my gaze. In all honesty, they probably could have cared less lol...they were probably more interested in their own crafting pursuits to worry about the morbidly obese woman taking a crafting break in the middle of aisle 12. Yes, it was a bit embarrassing, but I was proud of myself for getting out there despite my limitations. I have to start somewhere.
I suppose I could have used one of their wheelchairs or hopped on the motorized chairs they have at some stores, but to me...that is only one more step towards immobility. Right now...that is MY "waiting for a closer parking spot" or giving up another errand to erik. If I accept my current limitations then I'm only setting myself up for the next step...becoming completely immobile and I refuse to accept that. I may not have made much progress this year where my weight is concerned. I've actually lost about 30 lbs in total which is progress I suppose seeing as I've managed to gain about 25 lbs a year for the last 10 years. I'll take what I can get :)
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