Dieting with Obstacles - So many health problems....

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Tiger Tears
09-14-2012, 02:34 AM
Hiya. Im new. I have a major problem. I have lupus, fibromyalgia, scoilisos, syataica and am extremely over weight. I weigh about 395 and have depression, anxiety and am on 5 different medications. I also have hypothyriodsism. Sorry for all the misspellings. My question is, what should i do to lose the weight? When i try to exercise, my joints and body hurt. I eat on a budget do to being disabled. Im lost and all i want to do is cry. Please help.

09-14-2012, 03:07 AM
((hugs)) that's alot of things to have to deal with at the same time

i'd suggest just counting calories to start with and you should see a difference...there are online sites and phone apps to help with calorie counting...someone probably will suggest those...i use an old-fashioned notebook LOL

once some of the weight comes off, it might be easier to move around then and incorporate gentle exercises...or if you want to start now, i'd suggest just starting with what you can do and go from there...if you can walk around the house, do it twice...whatever you're doing is more than you did previously...and build from there...

you can do this!!

09-14-2012, 10:43 AM
The other thing to remember is that while exercise is good, if you do have a lot of physical issues right now, the best thing to do is focus on food instead until some of the weight is off.

You don't have to exercise, so don't put that pressure on you.

You can eat healthy on a budget. There is a forum here that has recipes for meals on a shoestring budget, and there are creative ways to eat healthy.

And you also have to think about food as an investment to your health -- as you lose weight, you may find that you're not spending as much on food or medication as you are doing now.

Alaskan is right too -- counting calories is FREE and calorie counters like MyFitnessPal are FREE. will give you an idea of how many calories you should eat per day to lose a pound per week (although you might lose more since you're just starting) which is a healthy rate of loss.

Just count your calories and see what happens.

Then, when you have the free time, start reading and educating yourself about health, nutrition, dieting, etc. Don't do any fad diets, I'm not convinced they are worth the cost of the foods or the plans.

I have PCOS/IR (insulin resistance) and I calorie count. I also watch how many carbohydrates I eat. It's worked for me so far.

The one piece of advice I will give you -- do this for your health, not for the scale. Focus on how healthier you feel because the weight is coming off your joints or you have more energy, rather than because the scale now reads 350 or 295 or 250.

Tiger Tears
09-14-2012, 12:24 PM
Thank you both so much. I value both of your ideas and will take things slow. I do have a problem about getting discouraged easily. But i will keep my head up. I will say, i cant eat when i get depressed. Food makes me sick at those times. I also dont binge eat ever. When i try to eat or drink during or after exercising, i cant keep anything down. Im sorry for complaining so much.

09-14-2012, 12:48 PM
Just want to say I understand. I am so sorry you have those health problems. It is not easy to exercise when in pain. I would talk to your doctor about what small steps you can do and still not hurt yourself. My RD always recommended swimming. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, heart problems and severe back issues that really impact what I can do. I started out with just walking and riding exercise bike. I lift lights weights as heavy ones set off joint problems. My PT guy told me that even a little bit will help. Maybe your doctor can send you to PT to learn what you can do. Thinking of you and hoping for the best for you!

Mountain Mamma
09-14-2012, 01:25 PM

Tiger, Sorry to hear about the multiple health problems and the pain you are in. I can't add to the good advice given here by Alaskan, Rana and Joy, just wanted to welcome you and wish you the best. There's just so much inspiration and help on the Forum. I like your name, but let's change those Tiger Tears to a Tiger ROAR and get started!

09-18-2012, 12:19 PM
I started in a very similar situation. My health was incredibly poor, and our food budget was sometimes only $25 a month (we weren't eligible for food stamps because our income was a smidge too high, and expenses aren't taken into the equation. Our medication expenses exceeded out rent).

I've found that making slow, gradual changes has been the most effective and the least stressful. Trying to make too many changes at once, just triggered more symptoms. I find that's still true.

Making small changes is less overwhelming (as long as you understand that your results are going to be slower than if you make larger changes).

If you can, talk to your doctor about what you should and shouldn't be doing for exercise. Ask if there's a warm-water exercise program available (the arthritis foundation, United Way, and your disability and aging resources should be able to help you find programs if your doctor doesn't know). In many cases, insurance will pay some of the cost if your doctor prescribes it as physical therapy.

The warm water was a tremendous help to me. At first I didn't even really "exercise" in the water, I just enjoyed the freedome from gravity and floated, and gently tread water, and leisurely swam/floated. Then I started using the water resistance toys (foam barbells and such). Amazing for the joints, really incredible.

What I can do now compared to what I could do when I started was incredible. It's taken me 8 years to get the weight off. Most of my efforts and most of my loss was in the last 5 years, but that's still less than 20 lbs per year. That may sound pitiful, but it's the most weight I've ever lost, and it's the longest I've ever been on a losing trend.

I haven't had a significant gain in 8 years. That alone is incredible for me.

My "secret" was in not trying to lose weight. When I focus on the weight loss, I become impatient and discouraged, so instead I decided that I was going to commit to making small, easy changes that I was willing to commit to with the intent of keeping up those changes whether or not weight loss resulted. My only weight-related goal at first was to "not gain." For the first two years, I didn't lose any weight, but I did get stronger, healthier, and much happier. I could do more, more easily, and I didn't feel overwhelmed, because I wasn't living for the scale.

I still consider "not gaining" my main objective, so I weigh daily and celebrate the "not gaining." If I do have a gain I first celebrate the loss I have maintained (so if I'm up 5 lbs because of a salty restaurant meal, I still get to celebrate the 100 lbs I have off).

This gets easier and easier as you have more to celebrate, but celebrating the accomplishment makes it less tempting to give up in the face of small gains or stalls.

I decided that I was going to practice maintenance from the very first pound. I didn't want to ever be tempted to give up (and gain) just because I was having trouble losing.

That perhaps was the most important key for me. In the past, when I couldn't lose (or felt like I couldn't lose) I would decide that if I wasn't going to be able to lose any more, I might as well give up and not care about whether or not I gained. That meant that I was either rapidly losing or even more rapidly gaining, because when I couldn't lose as rapidly as I wanted to, I'd give up figuring "what's the use... I'm never going to be as thin as I want, so I might as well eat whatever I want and accept the fact that I'm always going to be fat."

Now I remind myself that every pound counts. When I first started I focused on "If I can't lose, I can at least keep from gaining." Once I started losing I focused on "If I can't lose any more, I can at least keep off what I have lost," and even "If I've gained, I can at least keep from gaining more, and can keep off what I've lost."

I stumbled a lot. I still do. I make tons of mistakes. The only difference is that now I don't decide that a small mistake means I should keep making more until I decide it's time to start over. I've decided that there is no starting over, just moving on.

Tiger Tears
09-19-2012, 06:04 PM
I just wanted to say, thank you. Thank you for everything. I cried today. I cried more yesterday. I have made so my mistakes but its hard to make changes. To comment to a new life style. Diets dont work but i will try to make small differences. I cried so much last night. I never want take out again. My body hurts when i eat at anytime. But i bet if its really small meals, it might not hurt as much. Please, if you dont mind, help me threw this changing life style i am trying. And will succeed.

09-19-2012, 08:51 PM
Hey, there, Tiger! I didn't see this post until just now, but I want to encourage and support you. This is a great place to be for that.

I was going to suggest what Kaplods said; can you swim or float for a little bit of exercise that doesn't stress your body too much? If your doctor okays it, you could probably find a women only group or time if you are feeling self-conscious and I would think that you'd get a lot of support from those ladies too.

I'm not sure if your area does bountiful baskets, but it is a produce co-op that has really helped me & my hubs get fresh fruit and vegetables at a low cost, and it has made a HUGE difference in being able to afford to eat stuff that is healthier. It is and I know they ave pickup locations in Arizona, just not sure what might be close to where you live. If you aren't able to go fetch the basket yourself, you can have someone else pick it up for you if you have a feiend/family member/neighbor or whomever.

Like the others said, start small. It is really difficult to stay encouraged, and believe me when I say I KNOW the feeling personally. I have a bulging disc, bone spurs on both heels, and PTSD. I'm sure my issues are not nearly as many as you may have to deal with, but I remember when I first started my plan, I could hardly walk around the block. In fact, I had to stop several times to rest and I cried every stinkin' time I walked or stopped. he key for me was to just keep trying.

Te good news is...well, sorta good, or at least looking on the bright side, since you are heavier to start with, you probably won't have to do as much to see results as someone starting out at a lower weight. And, believe it or not, your body is already somewhat strong because you've already been carrying the weight around. Your strength will help you through as you begin to lose the pounds.

One of the things I have found (yes, it's cliche', but it's true) is that even the smallest amount of extra exercise helped me a great deal when I was first starting out. Even though it was difficult, I was really rewarded by every small victory. Like one less stop around the block. Like doing a while block without stopping. Like adding a second block. The brain chemicals help too, so the more you are able to do and the better you feel about what you are doing, the more brain chemistry rewards you get.

Please don't give up. It isn't easy, but if you just think in small successes, you can do it.


Tiger Tears
09-19-2012, 10:54 PM
I am worried about an issue i forgot to mention. I have 3 slipped disks. I have no confidents in myself. I seem to be doing nothing but complaining.

09-20-2012, 05:34 PM
I am worried about an issue i forgot to mention. I have 3 slipped disks. I have no confidents in myself. I seem to be doing nothing but complaining.

I have disk problems too. I herniated a disk about 20 years ago, and at that time was able to lose 60 lbs to avoid having to have back surgery. I didn't stick with the changes though because when my back healed to the point that I wasn't in pain, I let my habits slip.

When I was finally able to go back to work after the herniated disk, I could only work for a few hours at a time, and would have to go to the pool before and after work nd then when I could put in a full day, it was because I was going to the pool up to 3 times a day - before work, at lunch, and after work. At first I couldn't swim, I could just barely tread water - and I wasn't doing it for exercise, I was doing it for pain relief. The water would take the pressure of my spine. I joked to my boss (I was a probation officer at the time) that I would have no problem putting in my normal 12 hour days if I could spend the day in the pool and my probationers came to me. We both joked that the only inhibitor was keeping the paperwork dry.

As to your confidence, it will grow as you have some success. Document your success so you can prove it to yourself.

One thing I did that was incredibly helpful was to get a pedometer with a step-counting function. I clipped it to my shoes, because otherwise I kept losing pedometers in the wash, or forgetting to clip it on. Then at the end of the day when I took off my shoes, I'd write the step count on a calendar and would reset the pedometer. The next day, I'd try to beat the previous day's record (even if only by two or three steps).

If I didn't make it, I didn't get down on myself, I just looked forward to the next time I'd be able to "beat" my existing record.

I do something similar now at the pool. I use a little plastic counter (like you can find at craftstores with the knitting supplies) and I move the counter after every lap (I used to count every length because I had to stop for a rest between lengths anyway). When I'm done, I write down the count in a little notebook.

Keeping a record helps you see that you are indeed making progress (but don't stress if you can't always beat your previous record. Some days you're going to be able to do more than others. The big picture is more important, if you ever get bummed about a bad day, eventually looking back to when you started you'll be able to see how much progress you've made.

At the start you won't have much to compare it to, but eventually you'll get to the point where you can see how far you've come.

09-21-2012, 08:56 AM
hey there Tiger! Since you aren't able to exercise much, you can try to make some changes in your diet. Going gluten free helped my joint and muscle pain about 80%! I have RA and fibromyalgia. I think if I went completely dairy free I would probably be even better off. You can find some inexpensive things that are gluten free. Progressive makes some soups that are gluten free. Meats, vegetables and fruits are all naturally gluten free, unless it's processed canned or packaged things, then you have to read labels.

So many people with lupus have helped their condition by going gluten free. You can read some stories online about that.

What med do you take for hypothyroidism? I'm currently on Synthroid,but I have an appt to see a doctor next Tuesday about switching to armour. From what I've been reading many people have less pain and fatigue when switching over to that. It has two thyroid hormones and not just one like Synthroid.

Calorie counting will help you, but also limit simple sugars and carbs. The only carbs you need should come from vegetables or a small amount of fruit. Just eating clean will help you feel better. It's not always possible on a budget and that it why I mentioned the canned soups. Hang in there! You have support here :)

Tiger Tears
09-22-2012, 03:22 AM
I am currently taking levothyroxine for my hypothyroidusm. I take it every morning.

09-22-2012, 09:10 AM
I recommend calorie counting and walking. Both are free and extremely do-able.

09-22-2012, 12:57 PM
I agree that calorie counting and walking are a great place to start. It's where I started, but don't get discouraged if they don not feel extremely doable. When I started, they were both barely possible, so don't be discouraged if you find them virtually impossible - that's ok, just take the steps as slow as you have to, and don't be ashamed to scale back.

When I started, walking in the sense that we usually consider to be "exercise" wasn't possible at all. When I tried to walk more than a few steps, my knees, hips and lower back were in such pain that I'd end up in bed for three days after walking only 5 to 10 minutes.

That's why I had to start with the pedometer and count my walking in steps rather than minutes - I couldn't walk long enough or far enough to register on the pedometer I had - I had to go out and buy a step counting pedometer so that I could measure my progress in steps.

If you can find a way to walk in water, I'd highly recommend it. I was extremely lucky in both major cities in which I lived to find a warm water arthritis exercise program (I found mine through the Arthritis Foundation website.

Often these programs are at local YMCA's, but some communities have dedicated warm water pools. The warmer the water, the easier it is on joints. Before I had arthritis, I always wondered why our local YMCA kept their pool so warm - I hated it because it made swimming intensely uncomfortable (I would get overheated too easily). Now I wish every community had a warm water pool.

Our local warm water pool keeps the air and water temperature at about 90 to 92 degrees. This is awesome, because you can walk right into the water without any "adjustment" period. No shivering or getting used to the water, and often these pools have steps or ramps to enter the water - or even lift chairs.

When I started, the YMCA arthritis program was too cold for me (the water temp between 82 and 85). All my joints would freeze up.

The 90 degree water was just perfect (that the pool had a ramp to get into the water was sublime).

It actually took me several years to get healthy enough to be able to stand the adjustment period of cooler water. Our warm water pool kept getting more expensive per visit, and I was getting healthy and strong enough to want to go to the pool more than twice a week, so we went to our local YMCA and bought a one month membership to see if I could get adjusted to the cooler water. The closest pool kept the temp at 82 and the branch across town had two pools and kept one at 86 - we drove across town to use the warmer pool, and it took about the full month for me to adjust to the cooler temperature.

I found a 3/4 length sleeve blouse in Goodwill that was made of a swimsuit-like lycra material and I wore it over my swimsuit top to help me stay warm (I was literally tempted to special-order long-sleeve swimming apparel designed for surfers and divers - but the prices in my size were far out of our reach).

As for calorie counting, that also presented challenges, because of our financial situation and my insulin resistance, prediabetes, and low thyroid issues. To lose weight I had to cut calories to ridiculously low levels. And when I cut calories low enough to lose weight, I had absolutely no energy - the fatigue was so severe I wouldn't be able to keep my eyes open, and didn't even have the energy to prepare a meal (hubby was taking care of me and even helping me to the bathroom at times I'd feel so weak).

And on so few calories, I'd be so hungry all I could think about was food. It was unbearable. I couldn't sleep because of the hunger and if I ate enough to bring the hunger from unbearable to just unpleasant, I wouldn't lose weight.

When my doctor recommended low-carb (but warned not to go too low) I was really skeptical, because low-carb had always made me I'll (because I was going too low - I had to experiment to find the right level). I also wasn't sure how we'd afford to eat low-carb because most affordable foods are extremely high in carb.

Low-carb turned out to be a lifesaver for me. Not only could I eat more calories and still lose, the "rabid hunger" disappeared.

Eating low-carb on a very tight budget is a challenge. For protein I ate mostly dark meat chicken (thigh quarters from Aldi at 69 to 89 cents per pound) and a ground beef tvp mixture I concocted from the cheapest ground beef I could find (79 cents a pound) and dry tvp from the healthfood store at$2.49 a pound - but one pound of tvp is equivalent to about 3 to 4 lbs of ground meat - so the equivalent of 65 cents per pound (If you type kaplods and tvp into the search bar you'll find my recipe).

For veggies, we'd buy onions, cabbage (tons and tons of cabbage), celery and carrots and whatever was on sale for the cheapest price (Aldi frozen veggies were a godsend).

When you're very disabled and on a severe-poverty budget, eating low-carb is more challenging, so you have to get creative, but it's worth it.

You do need to know though whether you have kidney problems, so talk to your doctor before starting a low-carb diet, to make sure it's safe. Most people (even people with kidney problems) can low-carb safely, but the diet isn't safe for some kidney disorders.

Ignore the low-carb advice about "induction flu," being normal. If you're healthy and fit, induction flu isn't a terrible concern, but if you have blood sugar problems, it can be dangerous as well as unpleasant. If you feel sick on low-carb, don't assume it's normal and that you just have to suck it up. If you feel sick, eat more frequently and/or increase your calorie or carb intake. Do it gradually so you can find the carb level that is both comfortable and effective.

I recommend a low-carb exchange plan like that on I started with their "High Protein" 1800 calorie plan. You might want to start at the middle of the road plan and gradually trade the carby exchanges for protein ones.

09-22-2012, 10:48 PM
I am currently taking levothyroxine for my hypothyroidusm. I take it every morning.

That is generic Synthroid. That is what I'm taking now. I'm hoping to switch to armour when I see the new doc Tuesday.

Tiger Tears
09-23-2012, 05:25 AM
Are there any side affects that should be known about it? Should i switch as well?

09-23-2012, 01:03 PM
Are there any side affects that should be known about it? Should i switch as well?

It has to be monitored by a physician just like levothyroxine. They will have to check your levels to make sure they're adequate and just like levothyroxine too much can cause symptoms and too little can. If you read online about it you will see how it has helped so many people feel like themselves again. The brain fog, fatigue, concentration problems, muscle and joint pain,etc all got better after switching to armour or naturethroid. I sure hope it helps me. Even if some of these got better I would be happy!

Tiger Tears
09-25-2012, 05:08 AM
Im sorry to say, i have decided to stop cold turkey. I will only eat when my stomach hurts bad. I cant stop eating, snacking. I love deserts. I refuse to keep eating. To eat when bored or anything. It hurts evert time i take a bite of anything. I cry and now, i quite. Im sorry for complaining. After going to the hospital Saturday, i realize, i need to stop.

10-03-2012, 02:05 PM
After developing Hashimotos, I learned from my doc that autoimmune diseases tend to snowball. If you get one, you're prone to get others. You seem to be a classic example. However, you can really help yourself by closely monitoring what you eat. Many people have undiagnosed food allergies, or are simply prone to inflammation from certain foods. I switched for a long time to an anti-inflammatory diet and found that my symptoms for Hashis improved significantly and I lost weight almost effortlessly despite not making any effort to actually restrict portions. I also felt healthier on that diet than I have ever felt. Unfortunately I fell off the wagon and have been eating crap for months and feel like crap, and not only is my Hashi's pretty much out of control but I've developed arthritic symptoms as well. I plan to go back on the anti-inflammatory diet. If you're interested, check out this book, which is the one my doctor recommended and the one I followed while I was on the diet: The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book: Protect Yourself and Your Family from Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies - and More ( by Jessica K Black, ND.

Tiger Tears
10-04-2012, 04:39 AM
I just wanted to say, i have made a very small step in my goal. I lost 5 pounds in about a week and a half. I eat about 2-3 very small meals a day. I even walked 4.5 miles between monday and Tuesday. I have been a little weak but i will continue no matter what. I will reach my goal! Thank you for your support. I hope im doing this diet right.

10-04-2012, 03:40 PM
Congratulations on the success so far, Tiger Tears! :)

10-04-2012, 05:24 PM
You are doing awesome! Every little step helps us!

10-04-2012, 06:49 PM
Congrats on the first steps! I also heard Yoga would be good to try if you can't do a lot of high impact work? There's a video on youtube of a war vet who went from not being able to walk unassisted to being able to run without a problem!

10-04-2012, 08:10 PM
Tiger Tears-I am so glad to see you posted here again. Congratulations on your pounds lost! Please never be too hard on yourself. Do the best YOU can, not try to do someone else's best. It sounds like you've made a huge step in the right direction. Stay on a steady course and it will work out for you. Don't worry about perfection. It's a journey with twists and turns just like any other journey. And it ain't a race!

Hugs to you!


Tiger Tears
10-08-2012, 04:56 AM
Just a check in. I haven't lost anymore yet, but my energy is low when i excise(walk). I am a little worried i can't do it. I have tried yoga but it hurts a bit to much. I have been walking a mile every 2-3 days now. It hurts, but no pain no gain. I will check back every couple days. If anyone has any tips and or hints to help, please do. I wanted to know if there are any natural otc meds i can take to help speed up my metabolism that won't interfere with my meds.

Tiger Tears
10-16-2012, 06:28 PM
Another check in. I began to hurt today. Did something but not sure what. Food has now become nothing but a pain. I feel like i dont want to eat anymore. Im dizzy so much. I have been sleeping threw the night now. That helps alot. Any advice will help. Im so different strange. I dont like it and i cant change. I haven't lost anymore weight. Just the 15 in a month and a half. I will double that.

10-16-2012, 10:45 PM
TIGER ~ 15 lbs in 1.5 months is great actually. You are doing fine. I also have pain when I walk, but stop and take respites as I need them, if I need them. Yesterday, I needed many; today, only a few. Also, be sure that you are eating enuff each day; eating 5-6 smaller meals, if necessary.

Just keep going; that is key ... :hug:

Tiger Tears
10-24-2012, 07:01 PM
Sorry its been so long. I gained all that weight back plus more. I almost had given up on life. I have decided, less food, more exercise, less stress, more work on everything. I get bored, work out. Im hungry, eat then work out.

11-21-2012, 12:22 AM
I just wanted to say, thank you. Thank you for everything. I cried today. I cried more yesterday. I have made so my mistakes but its hard to make changes. To comment to a new life style. Diets dont work but i will try to make small differences. I cried so much last night. I never want take out again. My body hurts when i eat at anytime. But i bet if its really small meals, it might not hurt as much. Please, if you dont mind, help me threw this changing life style i am trying. And will succeed.

All of us can make mistakes, it is normal, but it doesn't mean we can make the same mistake everytime.
I feel sorry for the health problem you are currently experiencing, I know it is really hard to deal with them, regarding with doing exercise, I guess walking is a good start for you, walking then going up and down stairs is probably a good start. Slow but still effective. Just don't give.

12-27-2012, 03:41 PM
I've been trying to lose weight for a long, long time. I thought when my mom died at age 45, that it would be my turning point. Unfortunately, that was 4 1/2 years ago and I've Gained ten pounds since then. I've made a lot of small steps in that time that have helped, but not enough. I was diagnosed a couple months ago with a neurological disease where I have too much spinal fluid in my head. It's pushing on my eyes and ears and brain. It is most likely caused by my weight. Now, I can barely exercise or live a normal life. When I walk, I feel motion sickness to the point of almost falling down or feeling sick to my stomach.

I wish I had lost the weight years ago. I may have never developed this. But, I'm not going to let it stop me from living my life. I could get depressed and mope around, but I owe it to myself above all to regain my health. I've beat my sugar addiction with nutritious foods and changing the way I eat. I'm finally losing weight and I'm feeling so much better. I follow a paleo or anti inflammatory type diet. It's very hard at first to stop eating the carbs but they were making me sick and addicted. I never thought I could turn down a Reese's. I ate one the other day and spit it out. It tasted disgusting. I almost cried. I was so happy that I am no longer a slave to food.

It's taken me almost five years to beat it, but it was worth it. Take it a little at a time. I tried many times. I would do a week of no sugar and then back to bad eating. Then I made it thirty days a couple times. It's easy now. There's a good support group for trying the diet for thirty days. The website is whole9 life and the book is "it starts with food". It's changed my life. You can do it.

Tiger Tears
01-21-2013, 05:09 AM
Im so sorry everyone. Its been so so long since my last reply. The 20th this month was my birthday and after watching how much i ate cake, it sickened me. Im at 400 pounds. My body hurts everyday now. I have set my mind, threw out the junk food, i need to lose the weight. But i need help. I need advice. I have vitamins now, but i want to try a belly wrap thing. I cant find one that fits tho. My waist is 56-58 inches sadly. Wat should i do? Im at my wits end. Please please help.

01-21-2013, 11:16 PM
Happy belated birthday and :hug:!

Are you looking for a wrap to "lose" inches (it'll be very temporary) or something to alleviate your back issues?

I hope you do throw out the junk food. And if you have the time, go back and re-read kaplods excellent posts to you. I think there's a lot of amazing advice contained there. :hug:

Tiger Tears
01-22-2013, 08:19 AM
I looking for something to help my back. I have started working out since sunday. But my back is a major issue. It hurts so much when i workout. Also, as a good side of this diet, im cutting all sugar drinks. Im sticking to water and gater/power aid. I do have another question. I was told that soaking in a tub with epson salt is good for your body. True or false? If true, how much is to be used? How often? Im done cutting corners, im sticking to it. Im going to lose this weight! Oh, one more question please. Since im just starting to work out, how often should i? How many times for those days? Do i stop when it hurts? Thank you for all of your time.

01-22-2013, 09:19 AM
Happy Bday! Epson salt is good for muscle aches and pains, but you have to be careful because some people feel weak after they soak in it due to the magnesium. It's never bothered me at all, but that is a warning about it.

01-22-2013, 11:26 AM
Hi Tiger,

Congratulations to you for wanting to change your life. It is hard to make that choice and I am glad for you that you did.

I too suffer with Fibromyalgia as well as Rheumatoid Arthritis and hypothyroidism. I am looking at losing a total of 160pounds. For those of us with a lot of weight to lose, and health issues it can be much harder to lose weight and we have to sometimes do things differently than those with say 20 or 40 pounds to drop.

How much weight are you looking to lose?

I am going to tell you how I am losing weight and perhaps some of this will information will be helpful to you.

1st - with Fibromyalgia I am sure you feel a bit overwhelmed with the simplest things. It is just part of the fibro problem. I found that I couldn’t keep track of all the changes I was “supposed to make” on any other plan and even simple things if there were too many confused me and got me so I couldn’t think at all. My doctor suggested this – find a food plan that you want to follow, say south beach or weight watchers for example.

Learn what you can about those programs first before you do any changes. Once you understand the requirements of the program, change one meal a day to follow the program. For example – change your breakfast to follow what the south beach program says. Do that until it feels natural to eat that way for that meal. Usually a week or so. Then change your second meal of the day (in addition to the first) until that feels natural.

So what you are doing is easing into that lifestyle while making those changes a permanent way of life for you. Within a few weeks you will be following the plan without out it being a shock to the system.

2nd – with Fibromyalgia and such a large amount of weight to lose and your other health issues, and I am sure you haven t been working out regularly all along – do not over do the physical activity. Literally start with just simply walking 5 minutes a day for 2 weeks. At week 3 add another 5 minutes so you arew walking for a total of 10 minutes. Continue at 10 minutes a day for several months. When you are able to walk those 10 minutes without pain at that time or after a couple of days (as we all know, Fibro pain can hit 2 days after exercise) then you are ready to increase to 15 minutes. Do that until you reach 20 minutes a day. Continue to do that amount, no more for now.

Items that are extremely helpful for the pains are Epsom salt baths (even a foot soak, ) magnesium and zinc supplements and large doses of omega 3s. Fibro sufferers tend to be low on all of those and they will help the inflammation in your body. If you are going to do a bath, use 2 cups of Epsom salts and soak in warm to hot water for 20-30 minutes. You will probably be sleepy afterwards.

So break this down into simple steps for yourself and create mini goals. Too much all at once can be discouraging and we don’t want that! Items to remove from your diet can come as you get comfortable with the food plan you choose.

Here is what I did for myself

Week 1 Goals
Follow Ideal Protein Plan for the week
Exercise –5 minutes of walking per day
Drink 60 ounces of water a day
10 ounces when waking
10 ounces between breakfast and 9 am
20 ounces between 9 am – 1 pm
20 ounces between 1 pm – 6 pm

Week 2 Goals
If All goals above were met consistently for the week – do the following
(if goals were not all met, continue until you can meet them all for the full week to 2 weeks – so they become habit and become natural to do)

In addition to continuing week 1 goals - add

Drink replace one diet drink per day with 20 ounces water
Have one additional serving of vegetables a day

Follow Ideal Protein Plan for the week
Exercise –5 minutes of walking per day
Drink 60 ounces of water a day
10 ounces when waking
10 ounces between breakfast and 9 am
20 ounces between 9 am – 1 pm
20 ounces between 1 pm – 6 pm
20 ounces between 6 pm and bedtime

Week 3 goals
If All goals above were met consistently for the week – do the following
(if goals were not all met, continue until you can meet them all for the full week to 2 weeks – so they become habit and become natural to do)

In addition continuing week 1 and week 2 goals this week I will

Find one positive thing about myself every day and write it down in my journal
Find one positive thing to be happy about or grateful every day for and write it in my journal

Drink replace one diet drink per day with 20 ounces water
Have one additional serving of vegetables a day
Follow Ideal Protein Plan for the week
Exercise –5 minutes of walking per day
Drink 60 ounces of water a day
10 ounces when waking
10 ounces between breakfast and 9 am
20 ounces between 9 am – 1 pm
20 ounces between 1 pm – 6 pm
20 ounces between 6 pm and bedtime

I hope this gives you some food for thought. I know food plans are expensive, but perhaps a visit to the doctor to see if they can put you on a medically monitored food plan to help you get started could help as well.

All my best,


Tiger Tears
01-23-2013, 05:33 AM
I am wanting to lose about 150 pounds. To get down to 250 at least before im laid to rest. (Sounds bad, i know) my first goal is 50 pounds. With the fibo and 3 slipped disks (and more), the simplest things like bending over to grab something off the floor, hurts so bad. And another factor that isn't helping is that i sleep on the floor. No lies. The couch was broken and old. My son has the only bed in the apt. And the apt is to small for another bed. With the stress of saying up for a couch, eating right, working out, and raising my son, its so so hard. My husband doesn't help to much, so that right there is hard. I also have a horrible sleep pattern and im trying to not eat past 7pm unless its a healthly snack. Im doing something wrong. Im trying to stay positive, even tho my depression is hard to control.

01-23-2013, 07:37 AM
Calorie Counting! You can do it on any budget! You can eat what you want within your set allowance of calories. It's super easy! Don't be so hard on yourself about exercising! Just worry about what you put into your body. It's a one day at a time process.

01-24-2013, 01:49 PM

The folks here have given excellent advice. Losing weight isn't about jumping in the deep end before learning to swim. Find a diet plan that you can follow. Learn about it, make a plan. You have to have a plan of attack. You can't go from no exercise at all to 60 minute work outs every day. You build up to that. Make realistic small goals for yourself and work toward them.

If I may be so bold - I suggest you speak to your doctor about antidepressants. Cymbalta is fantastic for folks with fibromyalgia and depression. Until you mange that, I think this will always be a very difficult struggle for you.

All my best,

01-26-2013, 01:04 PM
I think i am very sorry for all those health conditions that are making life difficult and unbearable. One certain thing is that your excess weight is the main cause of those complications. If a way can be found of cutting the weight, i think most of the problems will disappear on their own. why cant you try watching what you eat and walking around the compound and short distances. Otherwise I wish you luck

Tiger Tears
01-27-2013, 05:53 PM
Hi all. I have been cutting my intake of food to 2-3 small meals a day, no sugar snacks and drinking only water. I have also started taking vitamins. Such as fish oil, vitamin D, C, and others. I have also started taking an all natural diet pill so it wont affect my abilify med. Its been 4 days doing this and i feel about 10% better. Im awake a little longer then before during the day. I have been trying to work out cardio and can do about 7-8 mins a day. I have yet to check my weight (which ill do tomorrow at my doc) and see if anything has changed. If nothing has, ill just keep trying, not going to worry. I have been doing breathing exercises to help my anger issue. Thats doing very well. Starting next month, when i get my foodstamps, my food list will not contain any sugar snacks, no fatty foods, only lean affordable food, fresh and frozen fruits and vegies. I have also changed from white rice and bread to wheat. And no more fast food.

02-01-2013, 12:08 PM
WOW, I never thought I would find someone who, like myself, battles with multiple health problems.

I read your post and feel your frustration.

I am a chronic pain suffer (8 herniated discs in my back, chronic headaches, arthritis in joints especially bad R my hands and knees, and I have gout in my toes, and pain in my heels) I also has severe kidney disease WHICH means that I cannot take painkillers as they are destructive for my kidneys which are failing (I get 3-4 bladder/ kidney infections a month).

Also similar to you I am overweight - some due to my body's slow metabolism, some due to the medications that I need to take. Currently I weigh 215 (gained 25 lbs in less than a month from taking prednisone for my gout last december). I know I need to exercise BUT doing it in pain is hard - emotionally and physically. I also know I need to eat better - good portions and NO emotional eating.

It is hard. I see food as my enemy as I have always had to be SO cautious of what I eat due to my kidneys - salt and proteins R very very hard for kidneys to digest. So-much-so that during my teenage years I was bulimic (ate and then threw up the food; even did this during both my pregnancies!).

So, complaining aside, what do I do? I follow a strict food plan given to me by a dietician familiar with kidney disease, and I force myself to exercise!. I go to pilates as I find that it really doesn't hurt at all while I am working out. I also go to a gym where I work on core strength as that will help my back pain; and recently, I have started back to walking outside for cardio, as I HAVE TO DO CARDIO if I want to lose weight.

I have tried doing cardio in a gym setting - treadmill and bike. But I just find a total lack of an emotional sense of achievement doing that. So, I went back outside. You see, what I forgot to mention, was that after the birth of my last child (1993) I was paralyzed for 2 years from waist down. I met a trainer who helped me to walk again - then she helped me to run a 5K and a 10K. And I worked out with her power walking outside ... , she helped me conquer my body so that I could achieve what I wanted. And even though I am MUCH sicker now than I was then, she gave me the tools to achieve my goals and I know I can achieve them now ... using the same determination... I also know it will take A LOT longer to lose weight as i am fighting against medications that make me put on massive amount of weight and I am in MUCH more pain.

Now, like then, I get outside and say tonnes of things in my head to help me get through my power walk outside. I am in pain. From a scale of 1-10, I live at 8. And when I am walking, my legs go numb and feel like they are 1000 lbs of lead that are also on fire. And I know that I can do this ... if I want to. I make my will bigger than my pain.

Here are some things that I say to help me stay exercising:
1) I will not let my body win;
2) pain may have my body, but it will never have my soul;
3) whether I say I can, or say I cannot, each way I will be correct;
4) victory lies in the quality of the effort;
5) success is in the eye of the doer; and
the miracle is NOT that I finished; but rather that I had the courage to even start.

What I know for sure is that, for me, there will never be an end to my battles. they are lifelong and emotionally and physically punishing. I will never be one of those people who loses 100 lbs from proper eating and exercising because both are complicated for me because of my health and associated medications. AND, I know that I am more than a survivor ... I chose to thrive inside my life. And to do that I have to find a way to mind-over-body. And so do you. Is it easy? **** no sweetie ... but no one else can do it for us. AND, if you need a warrior friend ... here I am.

xo Jenn

02-01-2013, 09:02 PM
I know that calorie counting has been mentioned, but I found good luck with keeping a food journal and was able to see where my excess eating was. I was shocked by how much I was actually eating and when. I am on Atkins now and use the food journal to track carbs.

As for exercising I found simple walking in place helps, every night I do as much as I can(I have fibro, arthritis and a few other things) I stated out with barely making five minutes, but I am up to 15-20 minutes a night, and getting longer every night. Good Luck.

Tiger Tears
02-10-2013, 09:58 PM
Hi, sorry for taking so long to reply. I have been in so much pain. I cry inside lately, even when i try to sleep. My back, sides and abdomen hurts. My abdomen for about 3-4 days now. I believe i might need to go to the hospital. That scares me. Im so sick of food, so tired of trying. I say nasty things in my head just to walk to where i need to get to. I feel as if im fighting for my life.....and am losing. But, i wont give up. I need to keep trying. To keep fighting. I cant give up......i need something......someone for when i want to eat or don't feel like moving, i will get that help. Those motivating words i need.

02-12-2013, 09:28 AM
Tiger, are you on an antidepressant? I just started Lexapro a couple of weeks ago and I'm amazed at how much better I feel. It's helping with my fibro pain and fatigue and also my joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis. My spirits are lifted and I'm feeling normal again. If you are on one, then maybe it needs to be changed? Low serotonin can cause so many symptoms, not just depression.

02-12-2013, 11:03 PM
A great deal of terrific advice!

I'd like to add, journaling. Keep a diary or blog or whatever floats your boat. Track your food, how do feel, physically and mentally after eating x or y or whatever. Does pasta bind you up? Maybe apples are great! Maybe processed food is Satan for you. Take a good hard look at the ingredients in any food that is not natural/fresh, and look for trends in how your body reacts to it.

Track the moods of the family, track your moods, did you watch the news and get depressed, was your hubby in a bad mood, was your son being a pain or happy or what ever. How does their moods behavior relate to how you feel.

Track how you feel after exercise. Better, for a bit but bad the next day and so on.

And an odd one, but seriously, track the weather and how your body feels. The barometric pressure can have a huge impact on how your body feels. I learned this from my Orthopedic surgeon.

Basically track every darn thing. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! ;) Do this honestly and objectively, the point being to go back after a month/3 months/6 months, and look for trends. Doing this long term, helps to identify how your emotions, mind and body respond to daily life, food, activity, weather, family, etc.

After doing this for awhile, studying the trends will give you insights to how everything around you affects you and you can make the appropriate adjustments.

Tiger Tears
02-12-2013, 11:35 PM
I can do that. Yes. Keep a journal on everything. Im glad i have a spare note book. Im on 2 meds for my depression. Abilify and Lamictal. Im also on Levpthyroxine for my hypothyroid. I have been feeling moody lately. Went to the hospital today for the pain i described on my last post. They can't find anything but gastroitis. That's better then something bad. Im relived. Anyway, i want to do more around the house. I even got a workout video game. Something to try out. I think it will be fun. Also, im changing my out look on things. I want to see the positive things and ignore the negative. Im going to stop crying, stop whining, stop being such a baby and move. Get active. Do something. I even will reward myself if i can accomplish even 1 thing a day, week, or month. Everyday, i will look in the mirror and say, "I Can!" I may be asking to much, but, if i can have all of your support everytime, i know i can succeed.

02-13-2013, 09:32 AM
I just started taking rhodiola . Wow, it has been the best mood enhancer that I've taken without any side effects. I also think that d3 and fish oil have made a huge impact on my outlook. But the rhodiola has made it easier for me to deal with immediate stressors like my kids and my job. I don't feel so overwhelmed.

Tiger Tears
02-25-2013, 11:46 PM
I have a worry now. Or maybe a concern.....anyway, i believe i might be pregnant......i wont find out till friday. Is that bad? My husband and i and happy, but im wondering if my body can handle it. Are there any risks???

01-24-2015, 03:05 PM
((hugs)) that's alot of things to have to deal with at the same time

i'd suggest just counting calories to start with and you should see a difference...there are online sites and phone apps to help with calorie counting...someone probably will suggest those...i use an old-fashioned notebook LOL

once some of the weight comes off, it might be easier to move around then and incorporate gentle exercises...or if you want to start now, i'd suggest just starting with what you can do and go from there...if you can walk around the house, do it twice...whatever you're doing is more than you did previously...and build from there...

you can do this!!