Three years ago today I came home from Rehab.

joyzy Posts: 97 Member
I suffered a spinal cord injury at age 30, due to genetics and being significantly overweight. I had emergency surgery: laminectomy, discectomy at L4/L5, and decompression of the spinal cord. I was left with cauda equina syndrome, temporarily paralyzed from the waist down and had to live at a rehab hospital to learn to walk again.

I was a stay at home mom of three daughters, at that time they were ages 5, 2, and 9 months old.

After a month I had regained enough sensation and strength to return home with a walker. My neurosurgeon advised me that this could happen again and I needed to lose weight to prevent it. I weighed 270 pounds at 5'8" tall.

That day I signed up for a MFP account. I graduated to a cane and began daily exercise of slowly walking around my block. The first day I walked a quarter mile and it took me 25 minutes. SLOW. But moving. Counting calories worked. I ate about 1600 calories/day.

Each day I added a little more walking. Eventually I could walk for 45-60 minutes without the cane. We joined the YMCA so I could exercise.

During the course of the following year, I lost 100 pounds and began running. I was NEVER a runner, ever. I couldn't even run one lap around the track in high school gym class.

2.5 years after my injury, I ran my first marathon, the Philadelphia Marathon, in 2013. I still can't feel down the back of my right leg and the bottom of my right foot is numb too.

This spring I ran my second marathon, the Pocono Run for the Red Marathon.

I include my kids in my exercise when I can. I'll run while they bike, or I'll push them in the jogging stroller, or haul them behind me on my bike trailer.

Now, I work at the YMCA. I'm a group fitness instructor and I lead the Running Club, and I started up a new class called "Moving with Joy." (that's my name :-) ) This class is couch-to-5k type class where beginners sign up and we train over a 2 month period up to a 5k race at the end of the session. I LOVE teaching this class. I also work as a Y Coach for new members, determining their goals and directing them toward the classes and programs that suit their needs. I get paid to exercise with people! It's awesome!!

A few weeks ago we had a fundraiser where staff members rode on a bike to raise money for the local kids' water safety camp. I rode long and collected donations enough to fully sponsor three kids to attend the camp at no cost to their families!

So, here I am this summer at the beach. No longer 270lbs. Much happier, more active and happy to be able to walk...and run!

SO, if I can do it, you can too. For goodness sake I couldn't even walk. Now get out there and MOVE!!! :-)



  • anissa333
    anissa333 Posts: 175 Member
    WOW!!! So inspiring.
  • ProudAirforceWife
    ProudAirforceWife Posts: 38 Member
    Beyond inspiring...WOW, what a come back and you can see the "joy" in your face. Thanks for sharing your made my Friday ;)
  • VCanadapt
    VCanadapt Posts: 142 Member
    Wow! You look Awesome. Truly inspiring story - Congrats on your weight loss
  • NextPage
    NextPage Posts: 609 Member
    Thank you so much for posting this. Others would have given up and instead you gave it your all.

    P.S. You also look hot :wink:
  • Briaboo4
    Briaboo4 Posts: 1,080 Member
    Amazing, amazing, AMAZING!! There really is no excuse not to get fit and live a healthy lifestyle. You are a true inspiration!
  • sarahmoo12
    sarahmoo12 Posts: 756 Member
    loved this post! Well done lady you have done amazing!
  • Jess__I__Can
    Jess__I__Can Posts: 307 Member
    I think I got something in my eye...
  • Meerataila
    Meerataila Posts: 1,885 Member
    Incredible determination and just what I needed to read. Thank you!
  • mom2tripsn2
    mom2tripsn2 Posts: 64 Member
  • jeanholly
    jeanholly Posts: 12 Member
    I rarely respond to posts, but
  • gsager
    gsager Posts: 977 Member
    You are an inspiration. Shows what all of us can do it we can stay committed. Thank you!
  • He1loKitty
    He1loKitty Posts: 212 Member
    Amazing and inspirational story! Thank you for sharing and congrats on your success! You look beautiful!
  • atfirstblush
    atfirstblush Posts: 88 Member
    Oh my goodness you look great. That's a wonderful story not to mention an inspiration to your kids.
  • tattooedillini26
    tattooedillini26 Posts: 48 Member
    You are amazing! Phenomenal transformation and determination!
  • eganita
    eganita Posts: 501 Member
    You look incredible, and your story is so inspiring!! Way to go!!! You're setting such a wonderful example for your girls as well :)
  • vitolicious
    What a great way to start my day! Thanks for sharing!
  • mncodergal
    mncodergal Posts: 58 Member
    WOW! What a truly amazing, uplifting story. Thank you so much for sharing!
  • gsnow597
    gsnow597 Posts: 36 Member
    PREACH IT SISTER!!!!! Well Done!
  • sammama5
    sammama5 Posts: 92 Member
    Congratulations! You look wonderful! Thanks for sharing your story. :-)
  • fhartog
    fhartog Posts: 10 Member
    That was awesome, I wasn't feeling like running today. Now I do. Thanks for the boost!
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