Unconditional  Body Beautiful Post 7: My Arms, My Wings. 

My arms have always been something that have been talked about, especially in medical terms, because my spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy also affects them. Just like in my legs, the muscles in my arms are too “tight” or rigid, and this makes movement difficult. This means that I can’t lift things other than very light objects. I even find my iPad too heavy to lift, and I’m seriously considering getting an iPad air, because the screen on an iPad mini would be too small for me to see. Every time I have been to a neurologist in my life, they have always checked my reflexes and muscle tone in my arms, because they know that I have spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. Because of this, keeping my arms in shape is not easy, and now that we’re in the summer, I’m more conscious of that than ever. I love wearing sleeveless tops, and look for ones that are going to flatter my arms, for example ones with cute detailing around the tops of the arms, or, if they are short-sleeved T-shirts for example, I will look for ones with details on the sleeve, or a print that flatters me. 

The one I’m wearing in the  picture for this blog post  is of me on my 30th birthday  (December 2012, so that’s why the surroundings look Christmassy, lol 🙂  I’m out with my parents and Alfredo (he’s taking the photo). I love this top and leopard print! 
Once the weather gets a little bit cooler, I will start to wear more three-quarter length sleeve tops. I like this length, too, because it shows the thinnest part of my arm. It is not just me who knows this about three-quarter sleeve length tops, but a lot of women do too. Most of my hangups regarding wearing sleeveless tops have to do with mostly my worry about what people might be thinking about how my arms look, and also the fact I don’t want my arms looking awful. 

Keeping them in shape is especially not easy for me, because I can’t push a manual wheelchair to get around, and so I understand they’re not as toned because of that too. I once mentioned my hangups about my arms to a physiotherapist, and she gave me an elastic exercise band, which I use try and tone my arms up a bit. I have never been able to pull the band very much at all , but I can at least hold it very slightly.  which provides some resistance. Looking after my arms is helped also by the fact that my partner Alfredo does stretches on my arms to help them become more toned than they are. I am aware that they are not as untoned as some people’s, but I don’t want them looking worse .I’m conscious of the need to look after the skin on my arms because I get pressure wounds on them where the delicate skin on my arms presses on my wheelchair armrests. 

As well as exercises, I buy products to help the skin on my arms look as great as it can. I love body lotion, and look for the most nutrient – rich, and moisturising ones that I can find. I especially love Nivea and Dove as moisturising brands, because there is nothing worse than dry skin!

To sum up, the example I can think of to fit in with the title of this blog post – my arms my wings, is definitely one that comes to mind when I am explaining my needs to people. This couldn’t have been more true as years ago when I was choosing a wheelchair, as the technician, upon hearing about my needs, said “well then, I can see that your partner is both your arms and legs. ”

 – I definitely owe the fact that my arms are in shape to the care that Alfredo helps give them, and for that, I’m immensely grateful 🙂 I can’t lift weights, cook or do many household chores, but that doesn’t stop me from dong what I can to look after my arms. They’ll never be really muscley, and they never have been, but I’d love them to be slightly more toned. This is definitely part of my weight loss plan! I’d love to be able to wear smaller tops, and for my arms to look better in them. The spasticity in my arms, forearms hands wrists fingers and shoulders has, and always been there and will never change. I’m looking forward to continuing the fight to having more toned arms, though, because looking great = feeling great! 

Wish me luck! 

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