What would you say if somebody offered you the following choice: I will take 10 pounds off your waistline in the next month if you will agree to go food shopping in one of those electric three-wheeled carts.
Would your first thought be, “No way, that’s not me!”?
That sounds like my 75-year-old Polish grandmother who had very bad arthritis in her knees, but refused to use a wheelchair in the airport, saying, “I no cripple.”
I’ve used a wheelchair since I was 10 years old. For me it is a tool for my liberation, not my confinement. So that attitude just doesn’t make much sense to me.
It’s all about what other people think, isn’t it?
The tools are out there and most cost very little or nothing. Yet it is our own ego that prevents us from using them, even though the benefit would be great. An electric three-wheeled cart could turn a grocery store from a painful, exhausting, unnavigable stadium into a totally controllable resource for getting the fresh, healthy foods you love.
Other strategies for making things easier, like taking rest breaks while you are cooking, may draw some nasty comments from your partner or kids, and those can hurt.
Our research shows that people with invisible disabilities have the hardest time with those around them failing to accept the fact that they really do have limitations.
Never fear, we are here to help you expand your lexicon of explanations. The next time a comment launches like a knife aimed at your heart, try saying one of these either out loud or, even more importantly, to yourself:
- If this is what it takes for me to prepare healthier meals, I’m willing to do it.
- It helps take away the pain and it sure beats taking drugs!
- I’m all for making life easier, aren’t you?
- This is how I deal with [fill in your condition]. No further comments necessary.
- It helps me put love back into my cooking.
Check out this page on the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation website for more suggestions on tools to make cooking more accessible. Let us know what works for you.