Losing Weight with Mild Cerebral Palsy and Schizoaffective disorder, and $.95 per meal. Day one.

So I’m over three hundred pounds. I feel disgusted with myself. Things have to change or my prematurely aging body will break down far too soon. I’m having heart palpitations and out of sync heart beats randomly, which I’ve not experienced before. Curse a premmies weak heart. So let’s set up a plan, starting slow–and beginning next week when I get back to my home, to lose roughly one hundred and fifty pounds.

I’ve recently been taking care of my sick mother in Arizona (the past seven weeks) for her COPD attack that left her in the hospital again. She has a pool, which I’ve been using once or twice per day to at least do something with the excess energy this area seems to force upon you. She wanted (forced) me to try her keto diet, which I told her repeatedly was a bad idea for me to do but ended up doing anyway. I gained thirty pounds in a month to the surprise of no one. I would be walking around the neighborhood but I haven’t been able to wake up early enough to beat the heat and according to Joy (mum) the area isn’t safe after nightfall. Half the medication I take is for PTSD (night terrors) and forcing my bipolar mind into sleep mode whenever possible. Otherwise my sleep schedule flips and I stop sleeping altogether eventually. It doesn’t help that I ran out of my controlled substance anxiety medication for mania and have no idea how to refill it.

There’s a couple of issues I have to overcome to be successful:

All the muscles in my body are too tight. Thanks Cerebral Palsy. They’re extremely painful after a short distance and you can forget about hills–even though I will force myself up them I always end up feeling like I’m on fire.

Because of that I have to rest for hours after exercising and I’m prone to overexerting myself easily enough because I want results. As I learned as a child my body feels like it’s done five times the work what a healthy person would feel doing the same action. I can play piano for about fifteen minutes before my hands give out. Forty minutes of cello and I’m done. Can’t write my name to save my life and only have one speed while walking–lumbering.

The last time I attempted proper weight loss, only doable because of my partners help and guidance I got down to two twenty–but then we switched my antipsychotic and bam I was up seventy pounds in less than three months. I’ve been flexing between two hundred and eighty and three hundred and twenty ever since.

So that’s another issue: being mentally ill and having to fight what the meds care to call tolerable side effects.

For the last couple of years I’ve been agoraphobic. Had a psychotic break. Was hospitalized. Couldn’t leave the house at all. Forgot how petrol stations worked in my neighbourhood. Needed help getting supplies and being taken to the doctors. Finally I was able to go to the store by myself, then the doctors, and eventually even a couple of amazing college classes down the street. Helping my mother do daily tasks for almost two months seems to have knocked most of that out of me, which is nice. Focusing on someone else’s needs always lets me forget about my issues for a bit. As long as I wear headphones every single place I go–and understand I’m still going to get sick likely weekly no matter what I do. That my favorite places of restaurants and movie theatres to cafes are off limits because they will guaranteed make me ill for days afterwards. It’s a lonely non social lifestyle.

Having bipolar schizoaffective disorder also means I will cycle my mood to a suicidal bent for some period of time each month (usually). Occasionally it’s six weeks-to-months of ultra productive mania and then the same of feeling restless and worthless until I pickup another project. Sometimes it is multiple times a month. Others it’s a two day dip into the nether and I’m out feeling revived and hollowed out.

Sometimes I don’t have the wear with all not to act on my feelings–having come knife to throat close the last time, but always realizing once again at the last second that I may be able to help people even if I hate myself most of the time.

Medication: I’m on nine different doses of daily medications at the moment. Antipsychotics. PTSD meds. Anxiety meds. Weight loss meds. Sleep aides. And the like. All of them come with side effects. The main one I’ll be fighting is the one that makes me crave garbage greasy food at three in the morning. I live three blocks from an all night McDonald’s and I can get a burger for a dollar. Or several as the case may usually be when I’m feeling low and want to punish my body.

That brings up another issue: money.

I live on disability and food stamps. I get $15 per week to eat. That’s roughly $.95 per meal per day. The cheapest vegetables (radishes) at the cheapest store I’ve found are $.40 each. I’m seriously thinking of not eating lunches any more so I can afford to add fresh vegetables to my diet of rice, pinto beans (thankful for bulk stores for sure), and $.48 mac and cheese made with water instead of milk, which I don’t drink. Oh and the cheapest eggs I can find (currently $.08 each egg for a sixty pack.). Occasionally I buy coffee and almond milk but it’s not really something I can afford. I would love to be vegan again, but it’s as far as I can tell at the moment, out of my price range.

Here’s what you can eat for $.95 a meal that I’ve found so far:

Breakfast:

1 avocado on two pieces of toast. Bread with 1 gram sugar per slice: $1.28. Avocado (small) $.80. 1.28/22 slices and it’s $.06 per piece of bread plus cooking costs. $.92 before electricity is involved.

Lunch: leftovers from a weekly beans and rice meal you made on Monday. May come with a portion of steamed frozen vegetables.

Dinner: the same. Or Mac and cheese. Or if funds are low emergency ramen (which I hate at 500 calories of sodium). $.20-$.48/2-$.~94. Mac and cheese can be split easily into seconds or thirds.

Adding in taco seasoning to your beans for $.50 a week makes them more enjoyable. Does add salt though.

A pound of bulk pasta sets me back $.92 and I can make multiple meals with my own sauce recipe for roughly $1.20.

The problem is that I’m eating too many carbs with too little exercise. I can’t do weight training as my muscles get overly toned and lock up–though eventually I hope to do high rep low weight work outs. When I was down to my current thinnest (two hundred twenty) I was able to hike four miles a few times per week and do five k’s on an elliptical in about half an hour–which for a thirty year old guy who was told he’d never run as a child, and still walks on his toes, is amazing to do. I think I have to keep that in mind while I’m walking off the initial weight and building up lung capacity and stamina.

So what I hope to do is keep track here and go for a walk on Monday, whenever I wake up. I have to mow my lawns this weekend which I know destroys me physically but it’ll be a good place to start. I hope your exercise time today was worthwhile and I’ll see you on Monday with a photo of where I went.

I used to be a photographer before I got ill so maybe what I can do is get out of the house and have some fun with that for a while. Perhaps do a comic of it before working on my patent work for the evening once again which was on hold while I looked after Joy.

Hope you have a lovely day.

J.

2 thoughts on “Losing Weight with Mild Cerebral Palsy and Schizoaffective disorder, and $.95 per meal. Day one.

  1. Hey man, just read your post. I felt inclined to leave a comment because to some extent I really can relate to your post. When I was a teen, walking or standing for 15 minutes would already cause me bad pain. I can lead a more or less normal and active live now but it still requires a great effort to me and it’s always in the back of my head.

    Anyway, I dont have much to say – just wanted to you to know that I’m with you in spirit and wish you the best of luck! It sounds like you’re on the right track!

    Like

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