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Dieting with Obstacles Those with special health concerns such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, pregnancy, etc can post here for extra support and help.

So many health problems....

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Old 09-14-2012, 01:34 AM   #1
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Unhappy So many health problems....

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.
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:07 AM   #2
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((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!!
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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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. MyFitnessPal.com 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.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:24 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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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!
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:25 PM   #6
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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!
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:19 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:04 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:51 PM   #9
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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 bountifulbaskets.org 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.

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Old 09-19-2012, 09:54 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Tears View Post
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.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:56 AM   #12
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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

Last edited by Violet73 : 09-21-2012 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:22 AM   #13
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I am currently taking levothyroxine for my hypothyroidusm. I take it every morning.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:10 AM   #14
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I recommend calorie counting and walking. Both are free and extremely do-able.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:57 AM   #15
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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.

http://www.arthritis.org/aquatics.php

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 Frugalabundance.com. 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.
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