My decision to lose weight came after I'd had the 40 something MOT with my GP and all had come back OK - apart from my being overweight. I had enjoyed excellent health up to then (apart from asthma) and instead of resting on my laurels, I thought "I need to keep it that way". I was born disabled as a consequence of the drug Thalidomide. My limbs are all shortened and my mobility is severely affected, not helped by a road traffic accident in 2002 when I suffered a complicated fracture of my lower leg and ended up with an ankle fusion.
My disability impacts on my life each and every day. I really did not want any other issues or problems... eg, diabetes, high blood pressure.
I was recommended to do an NHS weightloss class for 10 weeks (attending once a fortnight). The aim was to learn about healthy eating, portion sizes, taking regular exercise, etc and to lose 10% of our body weight in that time. We were weighed in privately at the start of each session.
Out of the 15 or so of us in that group, there were several people with existing medical conditions, some had mobility issues caused by the excess weight - and many who clearly had no clue about eating healthily! Members of the group dropped out along the way (it was free to attend) and I am proud to say I was the only person who achieved my 10% loss - it did become a bit of a competitive thing for me though! It also made me believe I could do it, and that I possessed far more in terms of determination than I realised.
Of course, the rest is history. That must have been about 7 years ago now (2010/11). I briefly considered weight loss surgery (stomach bypass) and then gave it one last shot with an on-line weight loss website (www.weightlossresources.co.uk).
I really had no clue that my weight impacted so much on (1) my mobility (2) my general pain and (3) my asthma. I'd been overweight since the age of 9 so I'd never known any differently.
I've not had to use an inhaler since 2012/13 - my asthma was definitely exacerbated by my excess weight. My mobility and stamina have improved hugely. I still use a wheelchair outside of the house, but I can get to the end of the garden now, mow the grass, etc. My personal care routine used to take 1.5 hours. It now takes 45 minutes (showering, washing and drying hair, dressing, make up). I have an additional 5.25 hours a week now! I can use that for exercise and filling in my food diary!
My pain - I am still working on, but I am certain that losing the weight has given me the massive kick up the derriere that I needed to move my body more.
I need my mobility more than most - to me as well as being able to get about, it's about remaining independent and not having to rely on my husband any more than I do to assist me each and every day. He's a gem, and I want him to be my equal partner, not my carer.
Lose weight whilst you are physically able to and before the onset of those "middle age" diseases and illnesses. There's not a day or a week when I don't wish that I'd done this sooner.
It's going to be a life long battle to keep the weight down, but I am used to and up for a challenge!