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Sports has always been in my life. From the age of six whatever sport was in season I was playing. It seems my brother and I were always lining up neighborhood games. Grade school thru high school I was playing organized ball. In junior college I was the one who lined up friends for intramural teams. In my 20’s and early 30’s I was playing softball in the summers and racquetball at the health clubs I managed in the winters. I was always stayed around 180-195 pounds. Even during the first 20 years of my MS career I watched what I ate and stayed active.
I dug out my ancient memory for this post. On January 1, 1984 I was fat!! Too much beer and too many pizzas. Wanting to look like a health club manager I decided to lose 30 pounds. Took me four months to do it but on May 1, 1984 I was 30 pounds lighter. I did this by playing racquetball, riding a stationary bike, paying attention to what went in my mouth and counting calories! Unfortunately, like many people I’ve been gaining and losing that same 30 pounds for 34 years now.
Three years ago in March of 2015 I got on a scale at my neurologists office. I weighed a whopping 251 pounds. Never ever in my life had I weighed that much! I guess when I stopped standing and walking in 2011 I should have stopped eating. lol I went home that day and immediately put myself on my own 1,500 calorie per day eating program. I also got out my Post-It notes. I wrote down everything I ate and drank for two years.
I also figured my daily Cokes and chocolate milk in that 1,500! A bottle of Coke is 260 calories and a glass of chocolate milk is about 200 cals. After my drinks I probably was only eating 1,000 cals per day. I ate everything I wanted to but just kept track of the calories. Calories are in parenthesis. Eggs (75 each), can of soup (150-180), 6 inch pizzas (300), yogurt (100), rice dishes (150), slice of bread (70) were some of the things I ate. One pound equals 3,500 calories. You have to burn off or not eat 3,500 calories to lose a pound.
After two years of counting calories in March of 2017 I ended up with two 4 inch stacks of Post-It notes and I was 20 pounds lighter! I’d proved to myself I could lose weight without legs and by just counting calories!! It was a struggle at times but I did it. Jack LaLanne and Richard Simmons would have been proud! Guess what I did then? I was getting neurotic writing down cals so I threw away my Post-It notes and slowly gained back 15-20 pounds.
That brings me up to July of 2018. I have to lose 30 pounds again with no legs. My wife and I belonged to a health club in West Fargo for four years. We got in shape until my bowels and anxiety kicked in. The club was only 2 miles away but I didn’t even want to drive that far with my bowel problem. While at the club I fell in love with the NuStep T5 recumbent bicycle. The T5 counts your miles, calories burned, your speed, and minutes ridden. There are 15 different speeds and 5 different courses to bike on. I can strap my feet onto the pedals and there are braces for my weak legs. My legs don’t do too much on the T5, my arms are propelling the movement. It feels so good though to break a sweat!
A T5 normally costs $5,500 and I don’t have that kind of money. We needed to find a used one. My wife was diligent looking for a T5. She looked on Craigslist, Facebook and Ebay for a year. Doris finally found a used T5 in Colorado. The lady was selling the T5 because a disabled relative wasn’t riding it anymore. It was in great condition, almost brand new! We were able to buy it for $1,000 and a $1,000 for shipping. I’m riding it everyday now and getting back into whatever shape is possible with PPMS. I’m enjoying it tremendously!