I want to get back in shape

  1. Identify a personal goal that you would like to reach. What are the changes you want to create in your life?

My goal is…

To reach a healthy weight. As Ive spoken with members of the Cerebral Palsy community they have all said that even being a little overweight makes their lives harder. I have been pretty sedentary after being sick my whole pregnancy and working from home.

  1. Formulate your goal in a way that is specific and measurable. What does it look like when you’ve succeeded?

I will reach my goal when…

I get back to my pre-pregnancy shape, around 120lbs and able to ride the stationary bike 15 miles over the course of an hour. Currently my focus is restoring my endurance.

  1. When do you want it to be done by? Make sure to define a healthy and realistic time line.

I want it to be done by…

I would love to reach my goal by the end of June. I know this is probably a little ambitious but I want to try.


Wow 15m on a stationary bike in an hour -that is a great pace! Do you have a history with biking?

I like the idea of pairing your goal of “healthy weight” with → not wanting to make my life harder.

I have been getting a lot of injuries playing soccer, and I feel similarly motivated to lose weight. I feel like having less weight would help me get injured less, less pressure on my joints/etc.

I usually like the idea of pairing “losing weight” with something more meaningful than /just/ looks, so I really like that you tied yours to improving your lifestyle/wellbeing.

Excited to hear about your journey as you go through this.

Do you feel clear on what a 1st step is?


Ive always enjoyed cycling and for a long time I would ride a bike to/from/between 2 jobs until I could buy my 1st car. After that I did it because reaching new bests (distance for example) made my happy and it makes me feel good mentally and used to make me feel good physically.

When I went to tech school and worked part time, I would go to the gym and cycle 15 miles before I went to work.

I think my primary goal right now is working on my endurance on the bike again. The more cardio I can do, the better off I’ll be. Then strength training to help with muscle weakness from CP.


Well… I’ve been hurting.

I know that muscle weakness from both the CP and the sedentary lifestyle are contributing and probably hormones too since its not unusual for my stamina to go down the drain around this time, if you catch my drift.

I don’t really want to stop because then I will find it hard to start again. I also know I will need to work through discomfort, it is inevitable. I ALSO know that I have a bad habit of pushing myself too long and too hard, so I was wondering, what would you, reader, do in this circumstance?


Hi Sapphire - great question.

It’s hard to feel discouraged. Like maintaining progress towards your goals, at the pace you expected, is just dishearteningly difficult.

Honestly Casey taught me something about “upper and lower limits” for habit creation that has been such a rescue.

It’s the idea that momentum is greater than any individual day of productivity, so crafting your expectations to generate and preserve that momentum is key.

An upper limit is a distance you would not exceed in a day
A lower limit is a distance you would not stop before you went in a day

For instance in your case maybe to start off with the upper limit is 3 miles, and the lower limit is going around the block.

Starting with something reasonable like this will help you on those “feeling off” days to be like - listen, I just have to get around the block. I can do that. No matter what.

And then the next day you feel better about your life because you stayed on track with your goals.

Hope this thought offers a kind way to stay at it.


Upper and lower limits are something Ive never thought about.

Its still very imprinted in my brain that if Im not doing the absolute best I can do Im not doing enough. I dont know if Ill ever truly be able to get rid of that thought process, so I appreciate outside feedback to keep me grounded.


Yeah I understand completely. I struggled with it at first too. It’s that black-and-white thinking that’s hard to break. Update me how it goes or if I can help you think through anything else :slight_smile:


Its still very imprinted in my brain that if Im not doing the absolute best I can do Im not doing enough. I dont know if Ill ever truly be able to get rid of that thought process, so I appreciate outside feedback to keep me grounded.

You will be able to change this way to think for something that respects more your needs and limits, but it’s surely going to take some time, and that’s okay. The exciting thing with goals like the one you’ve set, is that there’s going to be two areas of focus, learning and celebration for you:

  • The goal itself and reaching it
  • Your outlook and perspective on the process itself – journaling here is going to be a precious asset

If it’s of any comfort, I also tend to do too much in other life areas. It was the same with physical activity, but my body now decides for me most of the time as I physically can’t push my limits anymore. The balance between accountability and giving ourselves grace is so hard to find, especially since we don’t feel the same way every day. You want to push through the discomfort because you know there has to be a part of this, but then when is it too much?

Adding to Nate’s precious insight, I would suggest taking some time before and after your exercising a couple of minutes to:
1- Set some intention for your session (lower and upper limits are x, y, z and you commit to respecting it). Just a pep talk and contract to yourself.
2- Acknowledge the victory of respecting your limits. You may be left with the discomfort of feeling the urge to do more but having a hard stop at the upper limit you set sometimes. In those moments, make sure to acknowledge and celebrate not only the fact that you exercised, but also that you didn’t overdo it. Because this is likely to be, somehow, a secondary goal in your action plan, as it sets you up for growth and success. <3


I have to throw in the towel today. My body hurts so bad. I wish I didn’t have CP.


I have to throw in the towel today. My body hurts so bad. I wish I didn’t have CP.

You gave it at try, which is what matters the most in this process and at the moment. I hear you and understand the frustration though. You WANT to do more but your body just gives a hard stop. It’s unfair to face this, to feel limited in your freedom to move.

Were you doing some cycling or muscle training when this happened?

Your body will slowly extend its own limits. It may be slow progress, but it will. :hrtlegolove:


No, I wasnt doing anything when it happened. My muscles were just worn out and hadnt had sufficient time to recover I guess.

I rested that day. I didnt want to keep pushing and end up making the pain worse on myself. I have continued to cycle since then. My duration is slowly improving.

Im still nowhere close to where I want to be, but I feel that Im walking a fine line between pushing myself to progress and pushing my muscles into exhaustion.


I’m still nowhere close to where I want to be, but I feel that I’m walking a fine line between pushing myself to progress and pushing my muscles into exhaustion.

^^^^ THIS. This level of awareness is so good. And it also shows already how much you’re able to know yourself – both intuitively and physically. Love that you identify how you’re in this middle where learning is possible. You’re pushing yourself but also respecting your limits at a given time, which is huge.

Side question: would it be possible to benefit from a low-key activity such as regular stretching, or even casual swimming, between your cardio/muscle training sessions and rest? (Just thinking about things that can often be restorative for our muscles). Or maybe even targeted self-care such as baths, etc?


I actually have a handful of stretches that I did in physical therapy (before my insurance denied additional visits) that I can do that help my legs especially since thats where most of my issues are. They didnt give me any upper body stretches though, and when I decided not to exercise that day, it was my whole body - legs, arms, back. I had to have my husband give me a back massage before bed.


Absolutely love this and the fact that your husband is a supportive ally. I hope your body give you some rest this week, and that it will be filled with a sense of growth for you personally. You got this. :hrtlegolove:


Ive noticed very strongly today that I really want food. Im not hungry, I just want to eat.

When I was at my highest weight at 18 (higher even than my pregnancy weight), one of the 1st things I did was make the decision to not let my emotions decide when to eat. For a while it worked until I started developing early characteristics of anorexia… my brain just really cant do a happy medium apparently.

Anyway, at some point I started letting my feelings decide my eating habits again and its becoming obvious that its hard for me to have a healthy relationship with food ever. So yea. I just want to eat. Just because. Logic is winning so far, but I wanted to reach out because I know others deal with here deal with similar things.


From: Who.is

this plan is really incredible, thank you for sharing it. I know there is probably times when it gets hard and times when stress or anxiety make it take a back seat and that’s okay. I just wanted to send you some encouragement that you’ve got support and that we’re proud of you


From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hey Sapphire, I can relate to emotional eating completely and I honestly believe that you can control it but you have to keep control of it, you have to be vigilant, I know myself its something that is in me, its a way with food that has controlled me all of my life with short pieces of it where I have taken control back only to lose it again. I am so glad that your logic remains and I have real faith in you that you can keep this going. You have such strength. remind yourself as you think of wanting to eat that you are so much stronger than that thought. Good luck with this plan. I cant wait to see how you get on. Much Love Lisa. x


From: Dr Hogarth

Hi Sapphire,

Food is rarely an easy journey. I had some struggles with anorexia when I was younger and, although I definitely have a better relationship with food now compared to then, it’s still not an entirely healthy one. Eating outside certain times or eating more than certain amounts still causes me a lot of anxiety. To an extent, I think you’re right that for some people, their relationship with food will never be completely healthy and actually I think accepting that is a big step forward. Overcoming any problem requires you to accept what you can’t change and working around those constaints. Once you accept the situation, then you can manage it. Having set-backs it part of the process of learning what works and what doesn’t.

I know it’s not easy, but you will find a way to manage your relationship with food. Just allow yourself time to make mistakes, try new things and find what works. x


Thanks, this reply helps a lot. And of course thank you to others for responding also.

Yesterday was our grocery day and I bout some baby spinach and salmon to start making salad for lunch again. Hopefully I can keep it up and kick start my weight loss.

I have had migraines for the last several days and it is making working out hard.


I wanted to update because its been 3 weeks.

I havent lost a lot of weight but the progress is obvious.

Week 1 I lost 2 pounds, week 2 I maintained and week 3 I lost 1 pound. Buuuuuut…

Increasing my endurance on the bike is going very well. I went from barely being able to cycle sitting down for 2 minutes to being able to double my pace, standing the entire time, for 22 minutes. That means Ive increased my endurance 11 fold. Im so happy.