Need help staying motivated with no scale!

Discussion in 'W.I.S.H' started by lizzyb5280, May 10, 2010.

  1. lizzyb5280

    lizzyb5280 Mouseketeer

    Mar 10, 2010
    Hello, I'm new to the group but need some encouragement.

    I'm a paraplegic and have only sporadic access to wheelchair scales. I don't have one at home, nor do most of my doctor's offices. I was last weighed back in February before I had surgery, and before that it had been two years!

    I find it hard to stay motivated about my weight loss when I have no way to weigh in. I know many people go by measurement or clothing fit, but this is complicated for me too. My waist measurement seated vs. lying on my bed is about a three inch difference. Seated I can barely button my jeans, lying down I have so much room I could fit my entire arm in there! As well, I have a feeling the loss of muscle tone will make my waist measurements change more slowly. After all, in the six weeks I was hospitalized immediately after becoming disabled, I went from a size 16 to a 22 just on lost muscle tone.

    So does anyone have any advise to help me stay motivated and stick with my weight loss plans? I've spent my entire teens and twenties overweight, and having turned 30 last week I'm determined not to spend another decade the same way. My husband needs to lose weight too; at 6'2'' and 325 he's built just like his dad, who was a diabetic and died of a heart attack at 44. Unfortunately though, he hasn't been as motivated to change yet, and I'm tired on waiting for him to be ready for me to improve my own health.
  2. disney_mommy

    disney_mommy "Dear god, what am I doing? This is half a man."

    Jul 21, 2005
    Wow, that's such a tough situation to be in. You seem to have a good attitude about it, though. That's great that you are ready to make changes in your life. No need to wait for your husband. Maybe as he sees the progress you make, he will be motivated to do the same.

    I'm sure it would be hard to stay motivated without concrete numbers to show your progress, but are there other ways to see your progress? Can you tell that you get winded less easily? Can you tell a difference in your upper body strength or definition? Your heartrate will also measurably improve as you improve your fitness.

    Have you spoken to your doctor? He may have some tips on staying motivated, or other ways in which to guage your progress. Google may also offer advice from others in your same position.

    Remember that even though the signs may not be obvious to others, if you are doing the work, you are improving your health and that is truly important.
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  4. lizzyb5280

    lizzyb5280 Mouseketeer

    Mar 10, 2010
    Thanks for the reply, Andrea! I have to admit, seeing the number of views with no replies was starting to be a bit disheartening. I do feel a bit of improvement in my endurance. Last year we went to the zoo for Mother's Day and I struggled, often asking my DH to push me. Went again this year, and the only time I had to ask for help was on one spot that was esp. steep and not safe to push alone. (Of course, a ten degree temp difference probably helped too ;) ) As well, as my daughter has grown my ability to lift her has grown, so I know my upper body is getting stronger. 2 1/2 years ago, I never could have lifted a 28 pound toddler.

    As you said, I need to just focus on doing thing that I know are healthier, whether I see results or not. I had DH watch DD tonight so I could go for a 30 minute "walk", then had a banana and glass of water when I got back. I think it did a lot for me mentally to go out and do something positive for myself. Without DD tagging along, I was able to go faster than normal, and pushed myself to go farther than normal. Feeling quite motivated now, hopefully I can keep it up!
  5. John VN

    John VN DIS Cast Member

    Aug 2, 2003
    need help staying motivated with no scale

    I bolded a few things that struck me. Not sure if this makes any sense.:confused3

    Please do not be disheartened with lack of responses. I find it difficult to put myself in your place and maybe others do also.

    Second and third bolding would seem to me to be the greatest motivation you would need, other than doing things for you. I got onto my high horse(started exercising) because of wife and family not the scale. Turned out the scale wound up being a secondary reward.

    The challenges for you will be great but the rewards greater still. When you experience a lack of motivation just think about DD and DH.

    Just go for it.:thumbsup2
  6. johde

    johde DIS Veteran

    Jul 27, 2002
    Good luck on your journey. You sound like you are wanting an objective measure but then decided you can't do can't use weight or measurement. For most people theese are the best objective measure. So turning the question around, Can we make these measures work for you? (without breaking the bank).
    Most wheelchair scales are very expensive. One option though if you have access to someone that is handy might by to make your own wheelchair scale. You could place 4 household scales one the floor and put a piece of plywood on top. Cut out around the readouts on the scales. Add a small ramp to get on, and there you have a scale you can use at home. Your weight would be the total of all 4 scales minus the weight of the chair and the plywood. I got the idea from a commercially available one at . They made theirs with 2 scales but for stability I would think 4 might be better as a DIY project. Another option might be to find someplace locally that has a wheelchair scale that you can use. I would try calling around to the local nurseing homes. My mom is current in the nursing home and the one she is in has a wheel chair scale. You might find one that will let you weigh yourself every couple of weeks or even one a month. As far as other options, size might work but as you hinted at, you will need to measure the same way every time, I would recommend lying on the bed in the morning. I've found similar problems with the scale. My weight can very as much as 3-4 lb during the course of the day. I always weigh less in the morning.

    As far as subjective measures your going to need to go feel. Do you feel stronger? Do you have more stamina? Do you feel less tired?

    Good luck again and I hope you find something that works for you.
  7. lizzyb5280

    lizzyb5280 Mouseketeer

    Mar 10, 2010
    Thanks John. When I wrote the post in my head, I meant to include in that opening sentence that I know I have a unique situation that's hard to relate to. Somehow the second half of that sentence got lost between my brain and my hands.

    And yes, my family is my primary reason for leading a healthier lifestyle. With both of her parents struggling with weight, I want to set a better example for DD so that she never has to go through these things. I also want to make myself as healthy as possible so that I can be here for her for a long time to come. I know that complications of paraplegia can result in a shortened life span, no need to add obesity complications to the equation. As far as my husband goes, not only do I want to be the best wife I can be, but I also hope that if he sees my changes starting to have a positive effect then maybe he'll realize that he can do it too.

    And Johde, thanks for the link to that wheelchair scale! My husband and dad are both pretty handy, and could probably build something like that, but even if not I've never seen a wheelchair scale that inexpensive. And *maybe* I could even get insurance to cover it!
  8. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 1999
    Have you considered joining Weight Watchers? I know that my local WW center has a wheelchair scale. This is at the center and NOT at the mobile or at-work meeting places. You could go to the WW website and call the local centers and see if they have a scale. That way you can weigh yourself weekly and get the motivation and support you need.
  9. Dizneydawn

    Dizneydawn One Road Trip Away From A STRAIGHT JACKET! Wanna DVC Gold

    Jan 19, 2006
    If you want please join our thread! ("When did I get kicked off of Skinny Island...") It is here on the WISH forum.
    We are actually just starting tom. a positive challenge focused on strictly tracking food intake.

    There is about 30 of us that are regulars. We give only positive support, a kind ear to listen to and will cheer you on as well!!

    If you would like - you can come on over, introduce yourself and be a part of our journeys. The first post really explains our threads ambition.

    I hope to see you there.

    On a personal note - My Dad is a new amputee and I grew up involved in a program that helped develop ways for hunters/nature lovers - to become more mobile and live the life they once had enjoyed before their injuries - or dreamed of if born with those disabilities.

    My oldest son's GF's father is also a paraplegic due to an accident a few years ago. It rocks everything you thought you knew about your life.

    I know that your body gives you challenges you do not welcome but I will do whatever I can to help you not only overcome them but rally in what you can do vs being distraught at what your new body cannot.

    I think the scale can be a bad crutch anyway. It is a tool we use to measure our success in this weight loss journey but as important is how you feel, how your clothes feel and what changes you make in your daily life being more mindful of food choices!

    None of that shows up in a number on the scale. :hug:

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