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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Speaking UP

Contrary to the impression many hold about me, I am not comfortable standing up for myself. I have difficulty expressing a dissenting opinion, especially when it contradicts somebody whom I feel is an authority. I have been nervous about talking with my trainer, but I finally worked up my gumption and confronted some issues.

My frustrations came to the boiling point when, at my weekly weigh-in, I had only lost 8/10 of a pound. This dismal loss was, in my opinion, completely unacceptable considering the amount of work I have been investing. I knew the culprit which made the weigh-in failure even more infuriating.

My trainer had insisted that I consume between 1900 and 2400 calories a day. I trusted their expertise, even though all of my research proved their math incorrect. My goal is to lose one to two pounds a week, working towards the higher side of two. Eating their caloric recommendations I would only lose between 1/2 to 3/4 pound a week. I knew that I should be staying between 1400 to 1600 calories per day, but I was a "good girl" and followed their instructions.

After the weigh-in, my trainer tried to give me a pep talk, but I wasn't in the mood to be uplifted. I wasn't disappointed; I was downright angry. I knew that the calorie recommendation was too high, and I began to wonder if it was set that way on purpose. If my weight loss was less than one pound per week, I would lose 10 pounds by the time my commitment expired with the facility. Do they try to keep the weight loss slowed in order to keep dieters "on the hook" for their services? I don't know if it is a deliberate corporate decision, but I do know that, at that moment, my blind trust was broken.

Fuming and trying to maintain my composure, we proceeded to the gym to work-out. After hearing the instructions for my first exercise, I called a time-out and requested a meeting. In a surprisingly calm voice I explained that I do not have a left ankle, so calf-lift exercises were simply ludicrous. I do not have a problem balancing on my prosthetic, but I do have an issue with movements that require active ankle flexion because I don't have an ankle.

Making no headway with my discussion, I encouraged the trainer to stand on one foot, hold the medicine ball over her head and concentrate on how her body is balancing. In a cocky demeanor she quickly grabbed the ball and assumed the position. Within 10 seconds she dropped the ball, stood on both feet and apologized.

By the end of my session I felt better about the training I had received. The exercises made sense and, although difficult, were manageable and not dangerous with my prosthetic. My caloric intake was reevaluated and, low and behold, it was reduced to 1400-1600.

For the first time since I began, I left the gym feeling optimistic. I'm glad that I spoke up and insisted that I was heard. With such a positive outcome, I hope it doesn't take me this long to speak my mind in the future.

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