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Losing Weight While Disabled

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Old 07-20-2015, 10:37 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2015
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Default Losing Weight While Disabled

Hi everyone,

Very nice to meet you all. The reason I'm here is because I'm a physically disabled young man who has gained some weight and wants to lose it. It seems like some of you have been down the road, and maybe you'll have some ideas. Unfortunately, as you've probably guessed, being disabled really makes this difficult.

I am 5'10", 230lbs, age 30, male. All of the fat has gravitated to my gut; the rest of me is skinny as ever.

The core of my syndrome is in the pelvis. Any amount of strain on that area causes severe pain. I walk with a cane, not because of the fat, but because of the syndrome. As well, I have IBS and most vegetables disagree with me in a really painful way. I don't eat seafood. So, you see how this might be a tough situation to get around.

Crunches, lifting, and running are out (strain on the former two, and pretty hard to run when you need a cane to walk!). I am looking at getting a small above ground pool for our backyard, as just moving around in the water has been most frequently recommended to me by my specialist physicians. They are extremely guarded about anything which might put strain on my pelvis, for fear of making the situation worse. I fully support being guarded about that!

Would anyone have any ideas, whether exercise, dietary, or anything else? My goal is to maybe get down to 200 pounds from where I am, without any concern for building muscle along the way. I have to be realistic about what can be achieved within my physical limits.

The losing weight thing is mostly about fears related to my health (word to the wise: when you're having anxiety attacks over weight gain, don't watch reality shows about 600lb people getting forklifted to the gastric bypass doctor).

I do have regular checkups and, interestingly, my cholesterol is deemed to be excellent and everything other than Vitamin D is just where it should be.

Thanks a lot!

Last edited by JasonL : 07-20-2015 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:22 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 3,670

S/C/G: 220/193/164

Height: 5'8"


Hi Jason, since you need to eat and avoid specific foods, you know better than any of us what foods will work for you. With that said, it sounds like you may just need to limit your portions thereby lowering your calories. Also, I don't know if you can and do eat sweets, but sugar contributes to belly fat, so you want to limit desserts and sugary snacks if you eat them. Oh, and a pool is a great idea for exercise! And keep in mind, you are only 30 lbs from where you want to be, so try not to feel anxious about it (and I suffer from anxiety too, so I know that can be easier said than done). I think if you just watch your portion sizes and eat less than you've been eating, don't snack in front of the tv, avoid desserts, drink water, you'll find your weight will slowly start coming back down to where you want it to be, even if you are sedentary. Good luck!
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:41 AM   #3
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Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,370

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"


Hubby and I both disabled, and are also extremely overweight and both have painful joint and mobility issues (for me, the weight came first. For hubby the joint problems came first).

Hubby was told at 17, that he'd be in a wheelchair by age 30. Only exercise and pain meds have kept him out of the wheelchair (he's 45).

Water exercise is awesome, especially because the water itself (and most especially if the water is warm) can relieve pain, but you will have to experiment (slowly, gently, and in short increments at first).

Hubby LOVES the water, because he can do more in the water, and because the reduction in gravity's pressure on his spine and joints dramatically reduces the pain. Our doctors warned us not to stay in the water "too long" because it could make our pain much worse when he did finally get out of the water.

They told us "too long" might be 20 minutes or 2 hours, and we'd have to experiment. For hubby 30 minutes or so seems to be the magic window. For me, it depends on the water temperature and how hard I'm exercising in the water, but even 90 minutes is usually not a problem for me.

The temptation is to stay in the water as long as possible, because the relief from gravity is so great, but that can make the return to gravity after getting out of the water even more painful.

If we had a pool, rather than having to go to the gym, we could use the pool several times a day, as long as we didn't stay in too long at a stretch. I'd probably spend every alternate waking hour in the water.
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