Weight Loss Support - Heart meds and weight loss???

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08-30-2011, 02:42 AM
Trying to get used to being on heart meds and living a normal life at the same time but instead I have been gaining more weight each day...have good intentions to get up and get moving but feel like the planets on the jimmy dean breakfast commercials before they have had their breakfast...hoping to meet people with similar issues to see what may have worked for them.

April Snow
08-30-2011, 08:53 AM
depending on the meds, it should only be an adjustment period of a few weeks. just try to start small with activity, and do a few minutes if that's all you are comfortable doing.

but in terms of weight loss, your food is going to play a much bigger role, and that's something you should be able to get started on right away. If you have figured out what plan you want to do, map out what you are going to eat for the next few days and then make sure you have all that food on hand and easily accessible to you. Go ahead and pre-cook whatever you can, and you can also prepare pre-measured and pre-packed portions.

Good luck!

08-30-2011, 04:03 PM
Thank you for the encouragement! I think my food choices are a big problem right now and I am trying to get it under control but my will power is weak...hopefully seeing all of the success stories on here will give me motivation! Thanks again and good luck to you as well!

08-30-2011, 04:27 PM
See my post on your other thread for my suggestions, but I also wanted to add that you should make sure to get your doctor's approval before starting any kind of serious exercise. Most likely, you doctor already cleared you for a certain level, such as walking, which is why I suggested it.
Welcome and good luck!

08-30-2011, 05:19 PM
Thank you for the response...I have been cleared for exercise but I think someone forgot to tell my body that, or it's in denial! Thank you and good luck to you as well!

08-30-2011, 06:47 PM
Aerobic excercise is supposed to be the best kind for people with heart conditions as it strengthens the muscle. So jogging etc

08-30-2011, 09:53 PM
I'm on a heart med to regulate my heartbeat - when I first started it, I was really tired a lot of the time. One of the first things that I noticed helped was that even if I was really, really tired, trying to exercise just a little bit. I'd judge how to go with things after trying at least 10 minutes, whether to continue or not. I have other medical conditions, so that had to be taken into account as well - if I could work past the tiredness in 10 minutes, I'd keep going, if I was still feeling completely exhausted, continuing would likely end up with having an ugly asthma flare.

After a few weeks, things should get better - I don't notice any difference now, about 3.5 years in. One thing to consider when exercising, especially on heart meds, is to watch out for dizziness and the like. My heart med also reduces my blood pressure, which is probably great for most folks, but I have low blood pressure already - before I got used to it and knew what feeling meant: "STOP NOW", I had to move my coffee table out of my living room for a while - I would occasionally fall over or pass out for a few seconds, and was worried I would bash my head on it. Making sure to watch out for those feelings and keep healthy snacks and small bottles of low calorie gatorade around helped me through this - as did adjusting my medicine to a slower release type.

Good luck - you can get through this too!

08-31-2011, 12:16 AM
Thank you for the info. I have low blood pressure as well and on meds that lower it even further along with a heart rate med...I also had a pacemaker implanted in April due to passing out and my heart stopping. It was hard enough to try losing extra weight before but now on all these meds I feel like a slug and feel like I have aged 20 years...thank you again and good luck to you!

08-31-2011, 07:17 PM
Another thing that I thought of today to watch out for - there was a shortage of my heart meds at one point, and the pharmacy switched me from the extended release to the immediate release version - on a Thursday. I started taking the med on Friday and spent the entire weekend passing out almost every time I stood up - my body could not handle the immediate release form. Since it was a weekend, I couldn't get a hold of my doctor until Monday, and I couldn't stop taking it, because, you know, heartbeat needs to be regulated - kind of an important thing.

Now I make sure to always refill about a week before I run out, so that if there's a problem with supply, I can get a substitute from my doc before ugliness unfolds.

08-31-2011, 09:33 PM
I'm not even sure if mine is an extended release or not...that is definitely something to think about and talk to my doctor about. Thanks!

Larry H
09-01-2011, 12:20 AM
Thank you for the info. I have low blood pressure as well and on meds that lower it even further along with a heart rate med...I also had a pacemaker implanted in April due to passing out and my heart stopping. It was hard enough to try losing extra weight before but now on all these meds I feel like a slug and feel like I have aged 20 years...thank you again and good luck to you!

I have had a pacemaker for many years without it my resting heart rate is 20 beats per minute and I pass out. I have always had low blood pressure usually 90 over 40. This April I had cardiac bypass surgery and was put on several medications that lower my blood pressure even further. As you see you are not the only one. I walk daily and am a calorie counter. Since January 6 of this year I have lost 104 pounds. If I can be successful, you can also. Hang in there. I realize that nature gives us men an unfair advantage in that we lose weight quicker than women. Don't give up you can lose weight despite your heart condition.


09-01-2011, 12:57 AM
I'm not on heart meds, but I have health, pain, and mobility issues that crept up on me, until I was housebound and was nearly bed-ridden. Without my husband, I would have had to be in a nursing home, because I really relied on him to help me bathe and dress myself.

I used to wonder how people could eat themselves to the point of immobility, and it's scary how close I came to that. As I lost physical function, food became my main source of entertainment, and when I was sad and depressed my husband would try to cheer me with food. Because I wasn't obviously gaining weight, and could still walk and get around the house in short bursts, he didn't (and still doesn't I think) realize that he was enabling me (not to blame him at all - every bite I chose to eat).

He didn't realize though how close our situation was to some that we'd seen on tv, and he'd say "if the person can't get out of bed, why are their families bringing the food to them, I wouldn't do that). I've since pointed out how close we did come to that. How when he saw me suffering, and knew that my favorite foods would cheer me up, at least temporarily, he would bring them home for me (without my having asked).

"That's different," he said, "you could still get around and I wasn't making the situation any worse," and I said, "but you weren't making it better, either - we both were choosing the best short-term solution, but the worst long-term one."

It was really hard to dig myself out of the hole, I'd dug myself into, and when I started it felt like I was at the bottom of a 40 foot well and only had a teaspoon to do the digging.

The good news though is that you really can start with a teaspoon. Able-bodied or not, we tend to believe that weight loss and health/fitness improvements have to be accomplished with huge and difficult behavior change. We think we have to completely overhaul our life, or we'll see no results.

We're not dumb for thinking that, either - because the messages are everywhere. We've heard (even from reputable media) that for exercise to be effective/have health benefits you had to exercise at least 30 minutes, at least 3 days a week - implying that less than that had absolutely no value at all.

I couldn't do 5 minutes of exercise, so I initially thought "what's the use."

Ironically though I've had the most success on the "small change" train than I ever did on the "life overhaul." For 35 years, I only ever tried to lose weight, and get fit by the life overhaul method. I always cut my daily calories to half or less of what I'd been eating, and increased my exercise by 5 to 20 fold.

No wonder I could never stick with it, but I thought that small changes would never work, because they wouldn't yield results large enough to be motivating - because I thought I needed rapid and impressive results to stay motivated. When the weight loss slowed, so did my motivation.

The hardest thing to do this time has been learning to accept small, slow results, because with my current health issues there is no way for me to experience large, rapid results. Maybe as my health improves, my tolerance for larger changes and my weight loss speed may improve, but I can't hang my success on that. I have to be accepting of whatever results I get, or I'm going to decide it's not worth the trouble and give up.

The parable of the tortoise and the hare, always annoyed me as a child, because the tortoise only won, because the rabbit had been cocky. If the rabbit had used his brains, he would have won. I spent most of my dieting-life as a rabbit, wishing she was a cheetah and thinking she was a tortoise.

I didn't give up because I was cocky, I gave up because I thought there was no way for me to win the race. When I was forced to be the tortoise, I was finally able to see that any progress I made was going to make my life better, in weight loss everyone can win. The cheetah, the hare, the tortoise, even the snail- but you only can win if you put the effort in and put one foot in front of the other.

It's kind of ironic that I only learned this after I was forced to become the snail. There were times in my life when I had been a potential cheetah, but I always felt like I was failing, because I expected huge losses (especially since I occasionally experienced them).

Realistic expectations and rewarding yourself even for tiny improvements has helped me alot. When I focus on my failures, I get discouraged, but when I focus on my successes, I gain confidence and want to build on those successes.

It doesn't matter if you start small or start big, as long as you start and keep moving forward. It doesn't even matter how long it takes to get you where you want to be, as long as you're always moving towards your goal, and not following the forward and backward "dance" that has become weight loss tradition.

09-01-2011, 07:30 PM
Thank you Larry H, it definitely sounds like you can relate and seeing all the great progress you have made makes me even that much more motivated!

kaplods-It sounds like you have definitely sampled the plethora of diet tactics, like most of us, and have finally found a good fit! I am trying to test out my patient side and take it one day at a time...I try to picture myself a year from now without having done anything and thinking well I had a whole year that I just wasted wanting NOW results and not doing anything since I couldn't have it now when all along I could have done it at my comfortable speed and had the results.