Got this Weight Thing Figured Out
|A picture of a rat.|
I had flashbacks of my 1975 physiology class and Dr. Johansson's lecture on obesity and Zucker rats. These rodents are mass-produced so that researchers can study obesity. They sit in a cage most of the day, eat, have a resistance to exercise, and gain lots of weight.
My situation was not much different: an abundance of food; little opportunity to burn calories, being cooped up in my own cage; and lots of down time in front of a computer or TV screen.
After the relatives left and the fitness center reopened and I had learned of my surprising and very quick weight gain (some studies would kill to see a similar weight loss over a period of months and here I was gaining 6% of my body weight in less than a month!), I decided it was time to do something about it. There was no way that I wanted to roll into spring with the additional adipose stuck to my waistline, so I got back on the treadmill at the gym and added an extra mile at a bit higher intensity level; dropped the slice of pizza I was consuming a couple of nights a week when I stayed over in the office; started back on my regular walks with the dog; and weighed myself regularly and cut down on calories or added more activity on days following the not-so-good days. In the same amount of time that it took me to gain the 8 lbs., by the end of January they were disposed of.
So if you're someone in the same predicament as I was in and your disability is limiting your options in finding an accessible gym or exercise equipment, hook up with a NCHPAD information specialist (firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-900-8086) and get some of our latest exercise videos. Spend more of your day eating a bit less (doesn't have to be too dramatic) and moving a bit more (any movement counts, including between-commercial movement breaks). Keep the addictive foods out of the cupboard and find a place where you can get out and wheel or walk for free such as a mall, federal office building, recreation center, etc. If you're a wheelchair user and don't have access to a wheelchair scale, ask your doctor where you can find one in your local hospital. If there isn't one, insist that the hospital buy one because it is discriminatory to not have a way for people who are unable to stand to have their weight measured. One of the most critical aspects of managing your weight is being able to weigh yourself regularly. Zucker rat, I am no more!