100 lb. Club - Do you ever regain your mobility (? for those who have lost a lot of weight)

07-27-2012, 06:45 PM

I am 130 pounds overweight and am finding it VERY hard to get going. I ache everywhere, am so very, very, sore just from doing normal everyday tasks. I have been under a lot of stress over the last 5 years, especially (have four youn kids, saw my mom through a year of cancer and then her death which included a lot of family drama and am in charge of settling her estate and it isn't going smoothly).

My question is: this achy feeling. Do any of you relate? These feelings of immobility, of not being able to just do things - does it go away if I lose weight?

Thanks for reading,


07-27-2012, 07:11 PM
Here is my experience.

The good news is: Yes, I feel much more mobile, much more able and even willing to do things than I did at my heaviest. I can stand for a lot longer which makes kitchen chores a lot more pleasant and allows me to juggle more tasks at once. I don't fall as far behind on chores because doing chores is just plain easier. It takes so much less effort to do simple tasks now. It is really a remarkable difference - I am continually surprised by how much of a difference it makes.

The less good news is, this didn't happen overnight. I have seen people make claims like "oh I have been eating right and exercising for 2 weeks and I have so much more energy!" This was absolutely not my experience. I lost more than 50 pounds before I noticed any improvement in my ability to get around and do things - that took me a full year. I had to lose a significant amount of weight, but it did happen.

So that's my experience, for what it's worth. You will regain a lot of mobility and stamina, and you'll feel a lot less sore - but it will take a while and a significant loss before you get there. Just another reason to believe in your plan and stick with it for the long haul no matter what!

07-27-2012, 07:13 PM
Yes, it does go away, you will find as you lose , especially when you reach goal weight, that you have more energy, energy that you never knew you had and you will be running up and down stairs instead of stopping to rest every step or two.

07-27-2012, 08:00 PM
It will for sure get better! I am in so much better shape now and all my everyday stuff is easier I even started walking the dogs and we are up to 2 miles every morning. It didn't happen overnight. I worked for it. The most important thing is stay on plan and do not give up.

07-27-2012, 08:03 PM
Not only can weight loss help, even without weight loss, activity can help.

When I first started, I lost 20 lbs "accidentally" from sleep apnea treatment. I had never lost weight accidentally before, so I was determined to try to do something different "this time" to succeed, rather than fall into to they typical lose/regain cycle I always fell into before.

I had always tried to lose weight rapidly and when the weight loss slowed down, I would lose motivation. I've lost it enough times to know that weight loss alone does help relieving some of the pain and lack of energy.

I'd make drastic changes that wore me out, and when the weight loss would slow, I'd feel so hopeless and discouraged I'd give up.

I decided on a revolutionary path. I'd only make changes I was willing to stick with FOREVER whether or not weight loss resulted. And for the first two years, I didn't lose any more weight (but I did keep off the 20) and the health and mobility strides I made were amazing, even though no additional weight was coming off. Moving more (even without additional weight loss) gave me more energy and less pain.

When I was comfortable with one change, I would add another. Eventually not only did I feel better, and move better, I also started to lose weight. For me, the mobility and energy improvements actually preceded the weight loss (which is probably how I lost the first 20 lbs accidentally. The medication and CPAP machine helped me feel better, and when I felt better, I wanted to do more, and was able to do more).

Weight loss OR other healthy changes can get the ball rolling, but it's a slow-rolling ball at first.

My first "exercise" was moving my legs in bed (I was in incredibly bad shape when I started). I'd put a step-counting pedometer onto my shoes (because I kept losing pedometers to the wash mashine), and every day I'd write down the number of steps I took that day onto a calendar. Every day I tried to beat the previous day's count (even if only by a few steps).

When you're morbidly obese, it can feel like trying to dig yourself out of a well with a teaspoon. You can decide it's not worth the effort, or you can start digging. As you make progress your teaspoon gets bigger.

The hard part is getting started. You can start with the weight loss first, or the activity first, or you can do both together - but mobility and pain are often a self-perpetuating cycle. The bigger you are, the less you want to move because of the discomfort, the more discomfort, the less you do move and the bigger you get. Luckily the reverse is also true. The more you lose, and the more you do, the less discomfort, the more you want to move, and the more you move the easier it is to lose and to do more and want to do more.

Start anywhere, but start using that teaspoon.

07-27-2012, 09:01 PM
i have to agree - it does get better, but slowly. right now I am at 312 down from 350, i started with just getting out of bed and working on active projects around the house and doing chores again, even if i had to sit in a chair to do them.

Lately I have been walking pretty much everyday (for a month or so) i started with a quarter mile - 2 weeks ago i moved up to 1/2 mile, and it still makes my backs and legs ache towards the end.

stretching regularly helps too. I don't do it in any organized way yet, just stretching my legs, arms and back in ways that feel better..

Arctic Mama
07-27-2012, 09:03 PM
Yes, it can definitely help! It may not be overnight and if you have sustained joint damage those problems could be residual, but I'd still expect significant improvement if you lost 20-30% of that excess body weight. That and body resistance workouts can help SO much. I have to prop my favorite, TTap, for being extremely gentle AND thoroughly rehabilitative (gentle doesn't mean 'easy', by the way!).

07-27-2012, 09:42 PM
I had a hysterectomy at 20 so I already have osteoarthritis and some osteoporosis, I have degenerative back problems, bad knees and a herniated disk. I limped, back constantly hurt...I ached nonstop. It's TONS better now! I occasionally have back problems when I lift something wrong and knees hurt when I run too much, but hey, I can run now. I went to Kids Place yesterday with my grandkids (my stepsons kids) and I climbed, crawled and slid for 3 hours right along side the kids!

07-27-2012, 09:54 PM
I sure can relate to what you are saying about the "soreness" or "achyness" if there is such a word ... :lol: I can do much more now than I could before I lost that 104 lbs. I still take my time and take rest breaks as I still have a ways to go, but I get a lot done considering where I started and the physical challenges I started with and still have (weak back from spina bifida; and injured knees).

You will start to notice a difference soon; it may take 30 lbs -- which is where I started to feel better. At first, if I overdid it, it would take days to recupe; now it only takes til the next day. I can walk further and longer too. The more you lose, the better you'll feel; just keep going!!! :hug:

07-27-2012, 10:05 PM
Although I've been struggling for a long time to get and stay under 300, the main reason I keep working is that I love my increased mobility. Starting at 5 minutes a day if that's all you can do is okay: those 5 minutes will grow. Do whatever your body can handle; don't push yourself into injuries early, and don't think that small amounts aren't worth it.

You can do it!

07-27-2012, 10:12 PM
I've lost 125 pounds, and yes, I'm much more mobile and have no daily aches and pains like I used to. Best wishes!

07-28-2012, 01:16 AM
OP thanks for asking this question.
EVERYONE WHO COMMENTED:thanks for sharing your stories!
I have constant pain in my feet/ankles (some permanent damage) and it really gets me down sometimes... this post is encouraging. Thank you all, I look forward to less pain.

07-28-2012, 01:22 AM
A MILLION times YES!!!!

At nearly 300 lbs, I was so dehabilitated by lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, that getting out of bed was a daily battle.

Today, I feel NO pain. I am strong and quick and feel like 8 million bucks!

getting healthy made all the difference for me. Before, I was just waiting to die. Now, I LIVE!! It's amazing :).

07-28-2012, 01:35 AM
Yes! I feel really great. There are so many things I can do. I rock-climb. I'm training for a half-marathon. I run and bike.

I had a really rough pregnancy/postpartum with my last baby and had horrible pubic symphysis pain and sacrum pain. Sleeping was fitful and torturous and sometimes it would take me more than 10 minutes to get out of bed because my back hurt so bad. I couldn't walk more than a couple of blocks without getting winded and this was not even at my highest weight. This was at about 245. I took medication that was supposed to treat some stomach pain and gained 25 more pounds before I decided to try to get my weight under control.

I lost down to 240 in one year with walking and a little running but it is the last 6 months that have brought the biggest mobility/fitness gains. I've been pushing myself a lot, but it really has paid off.

For me, doing some strength training has helped but also I think I've gotten a lot of new strength from indoor cycling. It has helped make my core stronger which makes everything else work better.

Good luck!

07-28-2012, 01:36 AM
I have to agree with everyone who has already posted. I thought I was "fit and fat" when I weighed 252 pounds. I was in decent shape for someone my age who was 100 pounds overweight. I never realized how much better I'd feel after losing weight. I think a real help along the way is to get some sort of exercise while you're losing. You'll strengthen your muscles as you lose and the impact will be doubled.

Think about how much stress our weight puts on our joints. Think what a chore it is to carry heavy things. think how good it feels to put down a heavy load and not have to carry it any longer. That's what it will be like when you lose.

Welcome to the forum. God luck to you.


07-28-2012, 01:55 AM
I think it will get better as you progress. There will still be those achy days too,but overall I have noticed that I have far fewer of them. It's the routine, moving and light exercise for which you sometimes have to push yourself alittle to get to. I do think if you hang in there and fight through the initial part, you'll look back and marvel at how much less you stiffness and aches you are experiencing. My knees and ankles bother me alot less often without the almost 80lbaThis is a hurdle you can get over. Trust me.

07-28-2012, 09:32 AM
This is an excellent thread. I'm looking forward to greater mobility myself--subscribing.

Lori Bell
07-28-2012, 10:42 AM
Yes, for me it was a major life changing event. At 333 pounds I could barely move. Just rolling over in bed was a challenge. A flight of stairs or shopping at a mall or "super-store" was torture. I was to a point of barely moving.

By the grace of God, I barely sit down now!!! I actually sit less now, than I moved before. :). I just had my 47th birthday and someone asked me if I felt old...all I could do was giggle. I feel YOUNGER now than I did at 27. No joke, it's awesome and amazing!

07-28-2012, 03:59 PM
I haven't lost that much yet even though I've been exercising at the Y four days a week for the last two years but can I just say to you that you should do as much as you can before you lose weight? Yes I am sore, my knees and back hurt from Zumba and sometimes the weights, but I don't care, it is all making me fitter. Once I get rid of the weight I assume all the muscles I've been building will be a lot more apparent, although of course I can see the ones in my legs and arms now, and many things are a lot easier, especially hoisting myself out of the tub, or carrying many bags.

07-28-2012, 05:08 PM
Lori Bell, every time I see your picture, I smile because you look so happy! In my imagination, I think you are in a NY Taxi going to some sophisticated job in the fashion industry.

The rest of you, read Lori Bell's symptoms before she lost weight. Pretty bad, right? Well, take heed now because I had the very same symptoms. The difference being that although I have much less weight to loose, I am almost 70 years old. It doesn't get better if you put it off. Follow her example.

My good news is that I have been eating better and working my way up to walking two miles a few times a week. I feel much better after only 6 or so weeks. And yes, I have some pain. Yesterday, I got my shoes on etc to walk, and I just couldn't do it for soreness, but I did it today!

07-28-2012, 06:03 PM
Sara, thanks so much for asking this, I wanted to know myself but was afraid of the answer. I've told my familr repeatedly thid last 5 wks on plan that I am going to be so pi**#d off if I loose 100+ pds and still can't walk. The answers have been very encouraging.

07-28-2012, 06:30 PM
I used to weigh 360 and managed to fool myself into thinking that I could get around ok. I couldn't though. I had trouble standing any longer than five minutes at a time, got winded from half a flight of stairs, summer just about killed me from the heat alone, and I once felt myself passing out as I was driving (I had to pull over!).

I'm only about halfway to goal but I can lap around the mall several times without issue, can climb the stairs with ease, can handle 110+ degree heat (I live in the desert), and have a much easier time even getting daily chores done. I'm feeling pretty good and can only imagine how things will get better! Even the last 20 pounds lost has made an enormous difference, and I still have a long ways to go. :)

07-28-2012, 09:14 PM
I hadn't thought of it for awhile, but at my highest weight I used to have to sit down in front of the refrigerator to put away the groceries after a long shopping trip because I didn't have the energy to stand there and do it. I hurt all the time and basic tasks were difficult. I am still pretty overweight by most standards, but I am in such a different place. I don't hurt most of the time unless I really push myself and I can keep up in an hour long Zumba and belly dance classes. Even small amounts of weight can make a big difference in how you feel. Just pick up something that weighs five pounds and walk around with it for awhile. You can really feel it. You don't have to wait for huge losses to really feel different, which is pretty exciting. At the same time, I am excited to keep losing to keep feeling better and better. :)

07-28-2012, 09:53 PM
I remember coming in from doing some yard work a year ago and crying at my kitchen sink as I washed my hands because I felt like s**t - my legs hurt, my back hurt, I could barely stand up. I've always been fairly active (exercise, gardening, walking) but years of being heavy were taking their toll.

Losing weight has made a HUGE difference. You will definitely see positive results!

07-29-2012, 01:15 PM
Yes, to an amazing degree. I didn't realize how much of my body aches and energy level was related to the weight and not my age until after 20 years of carrying around an extra 100 lbs, losing it. I am fitter and feel better than I could have imagined. In fact it seems odd when friends complain of aches and pains of aging now, as I feel better every year.

07-29-2012, 03:22 PM
Lots of things became much easier for me after I lost the weight. Things like being able to take a shower, clip my toenails or vacuum my apartment. Also, being able to stand at the sink to wash dishes no longer makes my back or legs ache.

I really love being able to go up a flight of stairs without having to hold the handrail and haul myself up. Same with getting out of my car. I no longer have to hold onto the door frame and pull myself out of there!

Be encouraged that things will get better!

07-29-2012, 10:10 PM
I've been reading all the posts and I want to say that we have really done an amazing job of improving our health. One thing that came to me after I wrote my original post is this. After i had lost about 30 pounds, I was visiting my daughter and we went to and outlet mall and spent most of the day walking around. That isn't anything new - we did that all the time and I never had trouble - like I said in my first post - I always thought of myself as being pretty fit. On the ride home, DD said, "It's not just your weight that changed. I didn't have to slow my pace today so you could keep up with me." While I was not aware of it, my daughter apparently had to slow down her normal walking pace when we were together to match my slower pace. Not any more! Just a small NSV, but an improvement just the same.


07-29-2012, 10:31 PM
I still have quite a lot to lose but what I've lost so far has made an immense difference in my mobility and pain levels. I have really bad feet and ankles. I also have osteo arthritis in my right knee. My right shoulder is a right mess. At my heaviest, I couldn't stand for longer than 5 minutes without pain. I couldn't walk normally and certainly not for far or for very long. Sometimes in bed, I felt like I was suffocating in my own fat.

Now, I have a lot more stamina, more mobility and a whole lot less pain. Doing dishes is no problem and I've started doing other household chores. From time to time, I go for a half-mile walk in my neighborhood; something I couldn't do at all 6 months ago when I started this effort. Do I still have issues? Sure I do but everything is so much better it's startling.

07-29-2012, 10:36 PM
I am 60 years old, My legs used to swell after 3 hours of car journey. Now, I do exercise almost 4 days a week. Do Zumba once or twice. When I started, I could not do elliptical for 3 minutes. Now I can do it for 30 minutes with resistance level 5. Do weights 2 times a day.
By the way, if any of you have high blood pressure, try deep breathing. It does bring the BP down, is my personal experience.
At 60, I feel better than 50 years of age. My stamina has increased, my aches and pains reduced.
Give yourself an year. One day at a time, if you stuck to your goal for a day, cross the day from your calendar. After you cross 365 days, you will be happier person.

07-30-2012, 08:49 PM
I hope I never forget the struggles I had at 350 lbs. I can remember climbing a ladder to do yardwork and housework, sweating like a dog and thinking, "This is just about impossible! How am I doing this? It's so painful and so uncomfortable - not to mention dangerous!" But, I had to do it. I had no one to help me.

My feet swelled so badly that I couldn't tie my shoes, and I just barely moved around my office and work environment .I bought a pedometer, and at that time, on some of my "normal days" I took 700 steps - Home to car to office to car to home. (I'm not proud of that)

My floor was always littered with items I hadn't the energy to bend over and pick up. (that's one thing that amazes me now -- I drop it; I pick it up!)

I have to say that, at that weight, I probably noticed a difference after losing about 50 lbs. It kind of snuck up on me. Be aware, and as you lose, you'll notice little things that are easier on your body.

It's great to realize that you can step up on a chair to change a light bulb, or get up from sitting/kneeling on the floor - and a big thrill to realize you can take a tub bath now because you can actually get yourself out of there!

Keep going, better days are ahead of you!

07-30-2012, 09:02 PM
Another mobility plus after losing weight is not having to wear slip on shoes! I can now bend over without losing my breath to actually tie my laces.