Weight loss when disabled

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Katmint, 9 July 2013 Social URL.

  1. Katmint

    Katmint New Member

    Hi everyone

    Nice to meet you all!

    I am a bit stuck. It seems daft to be posting this already when I haven't even weighed myself yet but regardless of the figures I have a huge amount of weight to lose and the quality of my life is on the line.

    About four years ago I started WWs as I weighed around 17.5 stone. I know, it was really bad. Well I got down to 13.5 fairly easily with a few minor hurdles but something happened that I didn't expect and it has changed everything. The weightloss actually caused a herniated disc in my spine. Sounds like madness I know but the docs explained that it was changes in my weight distribution coupled with weak stomach muscles (2 previous caesarians). I had to have surgery and all of this combined with a fall caused by my back triggered long term chronic problems with my mobility and severe chronic pain. I now have what they call Complex Regional Pain Syndrome but regardless of the terminology what it means is that this week I am going into a wheelchair, something I have been putting off in the hope of getting better. On really good days I can walk for about 2 minutes at a time with elbow crutches.

    I am on a couple of long term medications for the pain and have sort of been a guinea pig for the pain clinic, having been on quite a few meds for differing periods of time. A couple of them are notorious for weight gain, one in particular made me gain a dress size in a month despite my eating not being bad. I'm off them now.

    My weight has crept back up, I daren't estimate how much as it's likely to be more although I am not as big as 4 years ago. I daren't weigh myself but am going to.

    A bit of a ray of hope has come about this week, I have been accepted to have a spinal cord stimulator operation (bit like an internal TENS machine). This could well give me my mobility back. However quite understandably the surgeon wants me to lose weight before he will okay the operation. You can't get any more motivation than that.

    Hurdles I have include a complete ban on extra exercise by my physiotherapist and the pain clinic as they are teaching me to 'pace'. I tend to overdo it and end up in a flare meaning I can't move at all. You might think "Then don't overdo it", but my level of achievable exercise is minute compared to others. Overdoing it to the physio is walking more than half of what causes me pain (currently two minutes of walking) without a rest, and she's embarrassingly totally right. This tolerance level can only increase if I follow the pacing, which means doing less at first. This ban is really frustrating and I am hoping they will allow me to exercise somehow once they know about the surgery but I don't see how it's achievable.

    So in the meantime I have to lose a dramatic amount of weight without relying on being able to burn much if any. My GP has referred me to an NHS weight loss service but he says he doesn't know how helpful it will be as it focuses mainly on exercise and the diet side will be fairly basic, much of which I'm already doing but not losing (presumably because I can't need anywhere near as many calories as a mobile person). He said if it doesn't work he will refer me to a nutritionist.

    As I lost my job due to having to go into hospital and losing my mobility, I can't afford WWs and the likes. I toyed with the idea of VLCDs but am concerned about managing to keep it off after and again they cost too much for me to afford. I am trying to set up my own business around all this but can't get my hopes up when I'm starting with nothing and have so much of this health rubbish going on.

    I want a life, I want to walk and I want more than anything to be able to support my family again financially so everything rests on me losing this weight.

    If anyone has any ideas I would very much appreciate your help.


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  3. firelass

    firelass Full Member

    Hey, I did the same thing :( though no where near as bad. The NHS can give people a gym card. The reason I bring this up is that the guys at my gym are fantastic about my back. They understand that even looking down hurts, and weight on my arms hurts. So mostly I'm stuck doing stretches. I find the cross trainer is good because I can walk supported. There is less impact. They also have vibration plates I press my back against it and it really helps with the pain. these things work for me anyway.

    The other issue I have is that you have to eat with the medication :( but I guess its as much about what you eat and how much.

    I don't know what you currently eat, I would go with no or low carb, no suger or fat. Looking at mostly veg and lean protein such as chicken or white fish and prawns etc.
    Its hard though, feeling rubbish, not being able to do anything about it, then not being able to do anything or eat anything you like.
    I can sympathize. Good luck, and I hope the op works!!

    I feel so lucky I don't need an op. :wave_cry:
  4. littlemiss

    littlemiss Silver Member

    Hi Welcome to the forum. I thought i'd share my story with you. I have a herniated disc too, I can walk now, but for around 2 years I could barely walk, this wasn't as bad as your injury as it was only a herniated disc and nothing else, mines was very simply caused by carrying a heavy bag, simple as that, I wasn't allowed a wheel chair by my physio as he was convinced it would be helped by exercise. I wasn't able to do any sort of exercise, even walking, without crying, and when I went for my apts with him he would get angry at me for not exercising he said exercise is the only way to help, something to do with if you build muscles it helps the pain, anyway, I got so sick of him basically putting me down that I thought....i'll do the exercise just to prove him wrong that it doesn't work, i was convinced it was more serious. Anyway after a couple of months I was a bit better and could walk again, albeit I was in a moderate amount of pain when walking but the exercise did help build muscles, also I managed to lose weight too and the more I lost the better my pain got. Now, i've put almost all of it back on, i am able to get about but still, its a constant struggle, so im trying to push myself to exercise again. Obviously your injury is more serious than mine and exercise wont help you but i just thought i'd let you know that there is hope, and it does get a bit better when you weigh less, simply because its less strain on your back. I have lots of info on exercises for back injuries if your interested, they're not strenous, i'd say they're more kinda like stretches. Good luck xxxx
  5. Katmint

    Katmint New Member

    Hi you guys

    Thank you so much for your posts, I really appreciate it.

    I will be able to build up my exercise levels in time, it's just at the moment they have to be reined in as trying to move "normally" is actually making me unfitter by laying me out of action for two days afterwards. The idea is that I do less and more often, so that even on bad days I'm doing a bit. Just at the moment that "bit" is tiny. For example when I'm walking, usually I go on two elbow crutches or a granny walker (oh joy - that looks fanTAStic) and I will walk around as much as my companions at the time do - eg, walking round the city centre shops with family. I will push through the pain and often fall. Stupid I know but it's the gamble I take to try and look "normal" and not be a fuss. Now that I'm doing the pacing the way I will have to do it is with a wheelchair. To pace walking (and I have to pace every activity not just that), I have to work out at what point pain interrupts my thoughts. For me with walking it's about two minutes, tragic but true. So the physio said if it's two minutes, I have to stop walking after one minute, and get into the chair for a five minute sit/roll, then get up and walk another minute, then the wheelchair again, and so on. It means in theory I shouldn't hit my threshold and should be able to do more eventually. At first it will be really frustrating they say, no kidding. I am not allowed to take an exercise class or go swimming yet, I have to get the pacing down in my day to day stuff and improve my times before then.

    Today I saw the nurse at the surgery and asked her about calorie intake for me. She said to go online and search for my basal metabolic rate and that would tell me how many calories I can have. She said she doubted it would be more than 1000 for me. When I've done that with a couple of rough guesstimates of my weight, based on my weigh in for my pill check 3 months ago, it says around 1700 calories. That's a big difference to what she said, so I'm guessing that what she was meaning was that the basal metabolic rate would tell me what level would maintain my weight and she thought 1000 calories would reduce it? I dunno. One site said reduce the BMR by 500 calories to lose a pound a week. I'd rather go for 2 pounds a week but can't find how much I would need to shave off the BMR for that. So for now I am guessing I will look up some 1200 calorie roughly diet plans as I have so much brainfog from meds and the CRPS that I am going to be crap at counting and recording (but will try my absolute best as I really want this to work).

    To top things off I now have high blood pressure which is a massive change from my usual low blood pressure. I have to monitor at home for a couple of weeks and then they're going to see about meds, more bloomin' drugs and more bloomin' drama. I just want to be normal! xxx
  6. littlemiss

    littlemiss Silver Member

    It sounds like your going through a tough time. What I always find when I exercise more and eat less is I get happier, even if im not losing any weight thats noticeable, its that whole feeling where you know you are doing something, your going in the right direction. My doctor advised me to go down to 1000 cals, I started a thread about this recently and didn't get a lot of replies, when I was at my heavies, and after my back injury, my doctor told me to go down to 1000 a day, back then I got a lot of stick on this forum for doing that, almost as if people didn't believe what my doctor had told me, I lost over 5 stone in about 7 months by doing that (and a bit of exercise bike every day and my light back exercises)

    Your right about the basal metabolic rate (BMR) its the rate your body burns calories if you were to lie in bed all day, any more than your BMR and you put on weight, any less and you lose weight. So how much you drop your calories is up to you, what you think you can manage, doing 1000 cals a day was great for me because i'm better when I dont eat that much, I found myself having to find things to bulk up my cals, plus if i eat anything extremely tasty like chocolate it sends me binging. So where you have diets like weight watchers that allow you treats I couldn't do that because it would spiral me out of control, I think after about 2 months of 1000 cals and no treats, I eventually was able to eat the odd biscuit or whatever without binging but at the start I couldn't have done that.

    I have tried doing 1200 cals a day recently and not lost much, i'm itching to go back on 1000 cals the only thing is if you hit a plateu you dont have much you can do, because you cant reduce your cals, but i only had that sometimes when i'd lose nothing one week and more the next, it never lasted long.
  7. Mabelpye

    Mabelpye New Member

    I just wanted to say hi to everyone. I'm starting Slimming World and trying to get to my target of 70kg from my current weight of 91kg. I have M.E and fibromyalgia, and am under strict instructions not to increase my activity load or else be at risk of another bad relapse. Not the greatest of things you want to hear when you want to lose weight so desperately. I'm jealous of people who are doing the Insanity workout because I'd absolutely love to be able to do something like that. I'm just after some support and guidance because I'm terrible at following diets and get bored so easily lol xxx

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