Words by Julie - Living Life With Paralysis

Damn snow! 4

I’m not one for diets. In fact it has been at least 10 years  since I attempted to stick to a “diet” (post baby #2 – I think it was called “slim in six”). Other than eating well balanced meals (lots of veg) and moderate portions, anything was allowed. Well now things are going to change; on January 2nd I will be eating clean for 30 days. It’s called Whole30. I am sharing this so that I have support and so I will hold myself accountable. Just meat and vegetables. No sugar, no dairy, starchy carbs, chocolate or wine. Coffee – yes – just black.

Here’s why I’m doing this.

Evidence shows that I need to lose some weight. Yesterday I pulled on my snowpants – a blanket over my lap was not going to cut it with this snow and cold – and I could not get the damn buttons to do up. Argh. Bad news. They are the only pants that I have that aren’t made from stretchy fabric and have elastic in the waistband. So, low and behold, they don’t do up. It’s not like I’m standing up and they are going to fall down, but that’s not really my point.

If my hips and waist continue to expand I will have to get a new wheelchair which would be like you buying a new pair of $8000 pants. Shedding a few pounds has got to be easier than the paperwork and government rigermoroll that it takes to get a new chair.  I know I have to be careful about this – calcium will be upped with supplements – my scan did indeed show osteoporosis – which leads to another resolution I will be making (again) this year; I have to put weight on my leg and hip bones every day using my standing frame. Bone density improves with weight bearing activity.

It’s not just about me fitting into my chair – it’s also because I have to carry myself around with my arms. Transfers from one seat to another require considerable strength and, if I am like the average person, my strength will decrease with age. Therefore my weight can not continue to increase. Increased weight also contributes to heart disease (which SCI patients become more susceptible to).

I am hoping that eliminating sugar will also help reduce my nerve pain. It’s been a drag lately, especially around my injury line. The connection between inflammatory foods and nerve pain may be real – and I am willing to do the work needed to see if it will make a difference.

I am also resolving to get out in the winter sun ASAP every day. Today I left it too late and by the time I got ready (it’s a process) the clouds had covered the sun and it had started to snow again. This picture was taken yesterday when I had gone to the effort of snow pants and snow tires, freewheel and ski poles. I did five laps of the driveway – a good workout.

Theo helped me get to the kids’ fort so I could see what they were up to. It’s these cold sunny days that I really miss skiing and snowshoeing – just getting out of the house (to cure cabin fever) and working up a sweat with snot running down my face – best feeling in the world (and helps to fight SAD).




A fellow SCI from the states asked the FB group what we did to keep occupied in winter since we could not get outdoors. My answer involves dressing for it and getting the hell outside! Tomorrow is to be quite cold here (-17 plus wind) but I am going to get out and give my version of roller skiing another try. If the driveway is a bit more packed down then it will make rolling easier. It was after the third trip up and back that my hands warmed up – so I’ll have to do at least that many trips tomorrow. Here is what it looked like:

Happy 2018 to everyone. Here’s to hoping that all the wine I drank and chocolate I ate today will melt away in the next 30 days…

Oh boy – wish me luck!



  • Susan Young says:

    Great workout with your chair in the snow! Wow. I also feel your not-buttoning-up pain. Yikes. Good luck with all of it. I’ll definitely be interested to hear more about your sugar/inflammation observations and discoveries.

  • Ernest Dow says:

    Best of success with your new eating regimen! We use stevia in our coffee (available at Scrimgeour’s grocery store). Switched to sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes. Sorry to hear of pain at injury line – hope sugar reduction helps.

  • Vicki says:

    You are such an inspiration to all the people you know and those you don’t, Julie.Good luck on all your endeavours.

  • Jan Duffield says:

    Me, the lover of all things sweet, was able to successfully eliminate all sugar from my diet for the months of December and January (not even a tiny shortbread passed my lips!). It took about 10 days for the craving for sugar to go away, then i was fine. I was shocked! One of the very pleasant but unexpected side effects of no sugar was that my hot flashes and night sweats were significantly reduced.
    I’ve no doubt that you’ll make it, Julie, and I’m super interested to hear if the “clean” eating helps with your nerve pain.

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