Tag Archives: Shepherd Center

3 Amazing Wheelchair-User Weight Loss Stories


It’s not very often you hear someone in a wheelchair say, “Oh it was easy to lose that weight.” Usually it’s the exact opposite. We’re not moving as much, we’re not doing a lot of stuff, which means we’re not burning as many calories. For us, losing weight is a uphill battle. However like all things in life, there are those who totally prove this wrong.

From a mother and wife from Georgia who wanted to become the sexy wheelchair wife for her husband to a newly injured paraplegic who used his injury as a catalyst to lose weight, here are three amazing weight loss stories from people who use wheelchairs.

Video #1: Atlanta mom and wife loses 37 lbs

After 20 years of being in a wheelchair, Jamie Goodwin, a 38 year old paraplegic from Atlanta, Georgia took it upon herself to lose some weight that’s been bothering her since having her three boys. She was injured in a car accident when she was a teenager, and has since become a pastor’s wife and blogger (with 1700 followers on Facebook), following her “Wheelin’ Weight Loss.” Check it out

After trying different methods to lose the weight, she decided to head out and find a trainer to give her the workout she needed. Despite choosing a trainer with no experience, the two worked together to help her develop a weight loss program,. Since starting her weight loss journey 10 months ago, she’s lost 37 pounds doing a combination of wheelchair racing (she just finished her first 5k!), boxing, weight lifting and a few other things.

Jamie, at the pace you’re going you’ll be the “hot wife in a wheelchair” that you say you want to be for your husband very soon. Watch her story on Fox 5 Atlanta

Video #2: Nashville paraplegic loses half his body weight

Back in 2009, Mike Moeberg, who was 26 years old student at time, found himself a T10-11 paraplegic after a car accident. A lifelong resident of Nashville, Tennessee, Mike loved all the yummy food from this region, and unfortunately had the weight to prove it. But when he became paralyzed, he decided it was finally time to lose that weight; all 300 lbs of it.

And that’s exactly what he did. After attending rehab at Shepherd Center, he put himself on an intense workout routine and diet plan with a target to lose over half his body weight knowing it’d make his life easier (transfers, pushing himself, etc). He now weighs 160 lbs.

To realize this goal, Mike too got into hand-cycling, and now he races as well as does upper-body weight training on a weekly basis. Watch Mike talk about his amazing weight loss journey

Video #3: Director Jazzmyn Banks discusses 16 extra lbs

For Jazzmyn Banks, a wheelchair-user with a degenerative joint disease who only weighs 4’6, she has to be extra careful of putting on any extra weight. Just a few extra pounds can wreak havoc on her transfers and moving her limbs. And even though she only put on 16 extra pounds, it has been significantly making her life more difficult.

In her video, she discusses candidly exactly what she’s gone through – how she weighs herself when she can’t stand on the scale, how gaining weight effects her joints and her heart (not good) and how she plans on losing the weight. Her biggest challenge – creating a diet that works since she can’t workout.

Her trick is the “supermodel” portion control diet and she uses disposable portion cups to help. Check out Jazzmyn’s video

The key you guys: Don’t think weight loss is impossible if you can’t stand up and use your legs. The human body is amazingly resilient and even in the face of disability it will drop the pounds. All you need to do put down those Cheetos and move whatever you can for at least three times a week. Can you do it?

What helped you shed the pounds?

Watch the videos!

Fox news story of Georgia paraplegic who’s lost 37lbs

Mike Moeberg, a para who lost half his body weight

Jazzmyn Banks, a disabled woman and film director, discussing the difficulties of weight loss in a wheelchair

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SCI Superstar: Monica Quimby

Monica Quimby may be one of the most interesting women with spinal cord injuries to come along in the last six years. A college biology professor and a Paralympic athlete in-training, yes Monica is a go-getter, and she does it all with great hair (how does she do that?).

Not surprisingly, Monica also possesses one of those no fear attitudes everybody loves. A couple of years ago she even bungee jumped in her wheelchair and just recently she packed up and moved from Maine to somewhere much warmer; something that is never easy to do in a chair. A woman armed to the hilt in courage, this is the awesome story of Monica Quimby.

Why she’s fearless

Growing up in Scarborough, Maine, Monica was one of those outgoing girls who loved being social and physically active. Type A all the way. Ad she grew up skiing, which is exactly what she did when she was a student at the University of New Hampshire. She was on their ski team and she was a ski instructor at a local ski hill. And it was on this hill in 2006 when she landed on her back while doing a jump.

Never an easy adjustment to make – becoming a paraplegic – but she’s been a fighter. After going to Shepherd Center for rehab, and learning how to walk with braces, she realized it was finally time to go back to college.

But don’t be fooled by her blonde hair and cute dresses, this girl is crazy smart. She returned to classes at the University of New Hampshire and graduated with a degree in molecular biology. And during her undergrad, she discovered two ancestors of the strawberry through her research in mitochondrial DNA. Way cool.

After graduating, Monica went on and got her master’s degree in higher education from Kaplan University as well, and that is when (after applying to 15 previous positions) she finally scored her awesome job (which she still has) as adjunct biology professor at Southern Maine Community College. She’s held this job since early 2010.

Being that she’s only 26 however, that means she’s the same age as many of her students, but to negate this – she makes a conscious effort to make sure her students respect her as a superior by never wearing jeans. Awesome. Watch an interview with her about teaching

Monica is also responsible for the resurrection of the Ms. Wheelchair Maine pageant, and the subsequent foundation for the pageant. She won the title of Ms. Wheelchair Maine in 2011 and that was when she fell in love with the higher message of the pageant – promoting strong women with disabilities and disability awareness.

What’s next?

Monica it also an athlete again. She plays sled hockey regularly and has played quad rugby. But one of the most exciting sports on her radar is her longtime love, kayaking, and this is why she recently moved to Florida . She was recruited to train in kayaking and paracanoe (a cool new sport) in the next Paralympics – Brazil 2016. Definitely an exciting athletic future is in store for this woman.

It’s not very often we profile a woman with a SCI who rocks at science and so many other things, and Monica Quimby is it. With her eyes set on a PhD in her future as well, she is the very definition of a well-rounded woman.

Have you met Monica Quimby along her travels?

– Add her on Facebook: Ms. Wheelchair Maine 2011

Watch the videos!

Monica in the Ms. Wheelchair Maine documentary, Small Adaptations

Monica Quimby acting goofy for a promo of the documentary

Monica Quimby talking about teaching college students

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