Some people have it tough, and others have it very tough.
Shannan Hutchinson is one of the latter. Shannan has Multiple Sclerosis – yet despite the phenomenal challenges posed by her illness, Shannan was able to lose over 90 pounds – by eating right and exercising.
Here is her story.
For 5 months in 2002 Shannan was paralyzed. It took 18 months before she was able to walk again. By this time Shannan weighed 260 pounds (BMI 41) and her doctor suggested that she needed to lose weight.
Gastric bypass seemed like the only option – but after watching her mother experience 6 months of sickness after weight loss surgery, Shannan decided to go it alone.
Shannan started out slowly with water rehabilitation. She then progressed to power walking in the pool, and eventually water aerobics. Now, on a good day, Shannan can walk for 20-30 minutes at a time. “The key is knowing your bodies limitations” says Shannan.
Shannan has used the Weight Watchers meetings – and enjoys the accountability this offers. She currently eats 4-5 small meals a day, and stops eating before 8pm. It’s not all restrictive – “I love the fact I can still have my pizza or burger and fries once a week.”
Portion control is an important factor. Shannan also has to endure frequent courses of steroids (prednisone), and many other prescription medications.
In Shannan’s own words:
I have an AWESOME support network. My husband, 2 boys, parents, in-laws and friends have totally surrounded me with love, encouragement and support. It’s wonderful to have all of my support but I know that I was the one who made the choice to lose weight for me.
If you do it for anyone or anything else you will probably fail. I have become a little selfish. I can finally say I love myself. I was so caught up in disease, being a wife and mom that tried to compensate for all I felt I wasn’t. Now when I take a little time for Shannan, I’m happier therefore I am a better mom, wife, friend and woman.
Shannan was the grand prize winner of the 2006 Weight Watchers Inspiring Stories of the Year Contest.
From Diet-Blog and (I’m sure) all the readers: Thanks for being an incredible inspiration.