I share a lot of your issues -- overweight all my life, with low normal thyroid, with PCOS and (possible) insulin resistance. I've suffered from migraines all my life. I also felt a sense of panic at the age of 39 and started on my current journey. While I haven't suffered the accidents you have, I do have very bad knees which limit the types of activities I can do. So ...
I hear you.
First of all, about the PCOS: My blood work was "normal" yet my doctors (internist, endo, and gynecologist) still gave me that diagnosis because I had so many symptoms. They did put me on birth control and glucophage (metformin) to try to jump start my periods, deal with some of the other symptoms, and manage the possible but formally undiagnosed insulin resistance. I had already lost about 40 pounds when I started seeing this group of doctors and finally (after 10 years of trying to get someone to listen to me about my symptoms) got this diagnosis. They told me right off the bat to NOT expect the metformin to make me lose weight any faster. They were right -- I have seen the same stories you have about women miraculously dropping weight after starting the medication, but that is NOT the norm. In fact at my recent checkup last week my doctor said she get so discouraged with her other PCOS patients who expect the medication to do the work for them. Anyway, the medication HAS helped some of the symptoms, but I can't say it's affected my weight loss in a significant way.
So, you have a lot of challenges, which makes it harder for you than it is for others. That doesn't mean it's impossible, it just means that your results won't come as quickly or as spectacularly as they will for some other people. One of the worst things you can do is to play the comparison game -- this is true of anyone trying to lose weight. We all have individual bodies and histories and challenges, and the only person you need to focus on is YOU.
Let's look at things you CAN do.
First, you CAN congratulate yourself for trying to eat a healthier diet and keep your calories under control. It's important to recognize the accomplishments we have, no matter how small. Success builds on success, and if you feel that your accomplishments so far don't matter, you'll never build up the confidence and optimism you need. Spend some time every day acknowledging what you did RIGHT, whether they are meeting specific goals or just staying on track in general.
Second, along the lines of the last bit, you CAN meditate. I agree with the others that this can be a very positive, helpful activity. You can either do it alone, or with a guided meditation or relaxation tape. At the beginning of my program I used a tape called A Meditation for Weight Loss
by Belleruth Naperstek; I got it from Amazon.com. There is a 20-minute guided meditation on one side, and a series of affirmations you can listen to at any time on the other side. Or, another thing that might help is just daily journaling -- spend some time alone and quiet with paper and pen and write down events, feelings, etc.
Third, continuing the thread, YOGA is a marvelous activity, even for those of us with flexibility and mobility challenges. I don't know how limiting your injuries are in relation to a typical yoga class, but there are a million different styles and levels of yoga. Yoga meets you where you are -- no matter what your limitations or abilities you can do yoga in some form. I recommend a real class over tapes. Yoga, done right, is good for body, mind, AND soul. It's really calming and refreshing and helps you get in touch with your body and respect and love it for what it is. It is an incredibly positive experience. I started taking yoga when I weighed about 230, and I wouldn't miss my weekly class for the world.
Fourth, for more vigorous activity, there are things you may be able to do even with your physical challenges. The ones that come to mind immediately are swimming, water aerobics or water therapy, and "chair aerobics." If you go to www.collagevideo.com
, you can go to their specialty section and look at the videos designed for people with mobility issues. You can still work up a good sweat sitting in a chair. Another thought: I belong to a fitness center associated with a rehab facility, and they have "hand bikes" -- you sit at the machine and use your arms to "pedal." Finally, you can do strength training. Building muscle is one of the best things you can do to increase your metabolism; the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn even at rest. Also, keep in mind that all activity adds up. If you can't walk 1/2 a mile at one go, then walk a block several times a day. Do what you CAN, rather than concentrating on what you CAN'T.
Ask your doctors about pain relief (both for the body pain and the headaches). Ask them to refer you for physical therapy to learn how to improve your condition and exercise safely. If your doctors are unsympathetic, then FIND NEW DOCTORS. There is no reason to put up with unsupportive caregivers -- remember, they work for YOU.
Good for you for coming here in your search for answers, and DON'T GIVE UP. You DON'T have to live the rest of your life seriously overweight and depressed. There ARE solutions -- sometimes you just have to get creative, and work on developing a more optimistic mind set. It CAN be done. I've lost 165 pounds so far and am still going strong. It's taken me over 3-1/2 years to get this far, so my results have come much more slowly than others. But, I decided when I started that I didn't care how long it took me, as long as I got there. If you lose 1 pound per month, you'll have lost 12 pounds in a year. EVERYTHING COUNTS -- every accomplishment, every ounce lost, every step taken. Let that fuel your engine, and keep pushing and experimenting and searching until you find what works for you, however slowly.