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spinie trying to lose weight!! help

cherrybabyccherrybaby Posts: 49
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss
Hi everyone! :D
I think I have came to this board a long time ago. But I am not sure. I am trying to lose weight. since my fusion in july of last year I have gained a lot of weight. Around 40 lb I started to lose it a little while I went to PT. but since I am not going any more it is all back.
I have tryed so many pills taking out pop, carbs, eating small meals and nothing seems to work! ~X( I am so frustrated! can any one give me any suggestions on what i can do to lose it?
I do have an exercize ball, but i have been having problems again with my back. When I tryed to use it a week ago i got a sharp pain up my back and down the leg. :''(
any thing that you can tell me that worked would be nice! thanks a bunch!! 8>


  • Hi! Glad your trying to make yourself healthy!

    Speak with your surgeon and stop by your old pt place to check on excersizes.

    But I do have 2 words for you. Weight watchers. I lost 60 pounds in a year and kept it off for 6 months so far, and I'm 7 weeks postop from spinal fusion. I too gained 50 pounds from my first surgery but weight watchers point system is gold. Like magic.

    Good luck!
  • hi!! all the best on your weight loss... =D> many times it helps to join a small group. :? you are more than welcome to join benji under week 2. :H i have managed to lose over 20 pound so far; not without a lot of blood, sweat and tears!! =)) drop by anytime!! :D good luck to you! <:P Jenny :)
  • One thing to keep in mind that losing weight and maintaining a healthy eating pattern is not about dieting. It's about a lifestyle change. You have to change the way you eat, the way you think and feel about food, and factor in healthy and consistant exercise. As for working out the best advice I can give you is to find something you enjoy. The more you enjoy it the more apt you will be to keep it up. Find a friend to workout with. It's a known fact that people who have a partner tend to not only workout more, but lose more weight. For "dieting" purposes you need to know exactly what you are eating, how much you are eating, when you are eating, ect. Fitday.com is a great tool to keep track of calories and macros. A lot of times people think that are eating a certain amount of calories when in reality they are taking in a lot more than they think. The best way to lose weight is to eat under maintenence, around 500 less calories per day. Do some form of cardio at least 3 times per week and at least for 30 min a day. The less intense the more you should do. Adding in some resistance training if you are able will help add definiion and tone up trouble areas too. Any ?'s feel free to ask. :)
  • It is a HUGE challenge for a spiney to lose weight, IMO. What if you can't exercise? What if your meds cause weight gain? What if you're depressed and part of that is eating?

    In my personal experience, I like what Danianne said. Before first surgery, I went to WW and lost quite a bit in a few months just by diet alone because I was unable to exercise. Now that I've gained it back, I want to go back again so bad, just have to be able to drive to the meetings by myself consistently. You can do the program all online, but I need to weigh in each week and LOOK at those numbers for it to work for me. No one else in the group(except the leader) sees the number, it is private. But being in the meetings gave me a lot of support for weight loss as well as socially(ok, that is really sad, kind of like Fight Club support groups for social please, but I am overweight!) :)

    I really liked the no pressure environment and the positive feedback. I signed up at a time when there was a special for free online service, too, so I used that as my food diary.

    Of course normally you should exercise, blah, blah, too, but if you physically cannot do it, this is a program that worked for me(and helped with my depression by getting out of the house!)
  • I've been morbidly obese for most of my life, and my entire adult life. My highest was over 400 pounds, which I know didn't do a single good thing for my spine problems. Over the years, I've done every "miracle" diet on the market. I'd lose a good bit of weight, then as soon as I started eating "normally" again, all those pounds would pile right back on, and they'd bring friends with them.

    The sad reality is that there's only about 5% of the population that really can't lose weight as a result of metabolic issues. I know there's lots of people that want to flame me for saying that and I'm not saying anyone has to agree with me about that - I didn't used to agree with me either ;) Hell, 9 months ago, I was giving my doctor and myself that exact same speech - it was the meds or it's because my metabolism has ceased to exist since I've been in bed for so long or it's because I can't exercise enough. My doctor has since told me his favorite of my excuses was "If I could just take a decent crap, I'd be 10 pounds lighter!" =))

    Weight loss is an absolutely simple math equation and that's why we have such a hard time doing it. :D You have to burn more calories than you take in, on a daily basis and over time. Exercise isn't an absolute requirement to lose weight, it just helps it go faster, because it adds to the "burned" side of the equation. The bright side of the equation is that our bodies give us a head start in the form of our resting metabolic rate, which is the number of calories we burn just by existing and there have been a couple of recent studies suggesting that the RMR for people with chronic pain is actually elevated from the general population, because we use energy to process the non-stop pain signals.

    When I started tracking every single item that I ate and drank, literally every last bit of food that passed my lips, I discovered that I was blowing sunshine up my own pattootey with all those reasons I "couldn't" lose weight. It wasn't intentional or even conscious, but that didn't change what it was. MOST days, I was eating a perfectly respectable amount of calories, but 2-3 nights a week of eating dinner out (because I hurt too bad to cook) blew any progress I may have made. In just 3 fast food meals (Burger King, McDonalds, etc) I was taking in right around 10,000 calories a week -- in just 3 easy-order "combo" meals!

    I mentioned in another thread that as of yesterday, I've lost 68 pounds. The first thing I did was balance my diet and get rid of those fast foods. On average, 25% of my calories come from protein, 20% come from fats, and 55% come from complex carbohydrates. Yes, I actually eat bread, rice, and pasta. Eliminating an entire class of food isn't a solution, unless you plan to do it forever. ;-)

    The first month of my effort was concentrated solely on diet changes, and I lost 9 pounds in a month just by doing that. It took effort, because I had to find things I could cook without standing around the kitchen, but as it turns out, there are balanced, pre-packaged, quick cooking meals available in stores, but you have to read labels.

    At months 2-3, I started PT - 30 minute sessions in the pool, 2 times a week. During those PT sessions, I was doing strengthening exercises, not cardio. At the end of month 3, I started adding some cardio exercise - 10-15 minutes of water jogging and have been building up my water aerobic routines ever since.

    Currently, I go to the pool 3 times a week and do 60-90 minutes of water aerobics. About 2 weeks ago, I added a recumbent bike to my exercise routine and I'm doing 5-10 minutes, 1 day per week, which is all I can tolerate. My food plan is the same percentages as above and my calorie range is 1970-2210 calories per day. With that, I lose 2-3 pounds per week. If anybody had tried to tell me 9 months ago that I could eat as much as I eat in a day AND lose 2-3 pounds per week, I would sworn up and down that their metabolism was higher than mine and that it was impossible for me to do that, but here I am saying and doing it.

    The whole calories in vs. calories out is a very simple equation, but it's not always easy in practice. There are plenty of days I wake up with my legs and feet on fire and have to force myself to get up and go to the pool. And plenty of days I have to try to convince myself that the turkey burger really tastes just like a Double Whopper with Cheese and extra mayonaise. It's especially hard on the days when I notice the weight loss has no direct effect on my pain levels and I start thinking WTF.. why bother if it's not really fixing anything.

    But that's where the one unexpected side effect of losing the weight keeps me going. As long as I'm losing, I can "prove" to my doctor that I'm making an effort to do what he's been asking me to do for so long. As a result, he's become much more willing to give me whatever meds I need/ask for, without the grumbling, mumbling, and flipping back and forth through the pages in my chart while he rubs his chin and goes "hmmmm" in my general direction.

    I used to complain a lot about the fact that it took an act of God to get him to change my meds, but it turns out, all I had to do was take the first step down this road and almost immediately, he became willing to do whatever I need to keep me on this path.

    Anyway.. that's probably more than anyone wanted to hear from me on this particular topic, but there ya go.. for what it's worth.. ;-)
  • That's awesome. Great info and a great testimonial. It is amazing when we look at just exactly how many calories we do or don't put into our bodies in a single given day or week. I know for me I have to do just exactly like you mentioned and look at the "bigger picture". In other words look past today. I can't tell you how many times I will allow myself to splurge because I was "so good" the last few days. Of course that splurge lasts more than one meal or one day and sure enough, I erase all the good that I did the days before.

    I am not obese, never have been, but am like most who fret over a few pounds here or there and like most chronic pain patients, I worry due to my decreased level of activity. Since I have been very athletic all my life, to reduce that even a tad, makes a huge difference to me.

    Anyway, thanks for the nice perspective on this. You articulated it very nicely.


    PS good luck on your continued success.
  • Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think that you may have just motivated me to start keeping track of what goes in my mouth! Thanks again.
  • I spent two weeks in bed, horribly depressed and then went on a very active, trout-fishing-in-the-streams-after-a-four-mile-jaunt-through-the-woods vacations. When I got home, none of my clothes fit me. I started going to work with my suit pants unbuttoned beneath the jacket, feeling very uncomfortable. Finally (yesterday) I decided to go shopping and buy just one pair of black pants a size larger. The larger size was too small. Just another loss on the road of pain. First I give up tennis, then I give up almost all physical exercise (the really extreme kind that I like) then I give up orgasms (the antidepressants, you know.) Now, I am no longer the skinny girl and I seemed to have gained some 20# in less than a month. I, too, am keeping track of my calories. I bought an electronic device that will do that for me. I am exercising. BUT MY FEET HURT. I still think it was the Lyrica. I would take a couple right bow if weight gain weren't an issue. I am 60 years old. It will take me forever to lose this Lyrica (or depression) weight. I am keeping my calories under 1200 and am not feeling deprived in the slightest which makes me think I wasn't eating a whole lot more than that to begin with. There is an antiepileptic drug used for nerve pain called Zonisimide. This same drug is also used for weight loss as it seeems to curtail a person's (women more so) appetite. I have a prescription but when I run out I'm going to ask my PCP to write me a script. I cannot buy an entire new wardrobe. Hi JJ!

  • Thanks so much for sharring your story! It really is an inspiration for me. I have been obese since I was young. I started Weight Watcher's this past July and so far I have lost 11.8 pounds. My pain management Dr. was the one who originally tried to give me the push to loose weight, but I really committed myself to doing it. It has been slow going, especially with the steriods injection that I had last month and my meds, but it is coming off. My Dr. has been noticibly impressed with my efforts so far.

    However, I have emotionally been struggling with over-eating since he recommended the spinal cord stimulator. I have decided to go for it, but a part of me thinks that it is going to really be hard to maintain the low cal meals through the trial and procedure. Last night I sat and ate way too many chips because I am so worried about the SCS. Not as much about the pain of the procedure, but what happens if it doesn't help me. I am trying to tell myself that I need to continue to eat healthy because it is good for my overall health and my family's, but it has been difficult the last few weeks. I am sure that you can understand this since I know you have the SCS.
  • I lost 25 lbs in 6 weeks using my recumbent bicycle 30 minutes a day. I also eat only fruit and yogurt and lots of water along with 2 meals a day with veggies. I eat only 12 almonds and 2 dark chocolate squares along with the fruit for a snack. Always ask the Dr what exercise machines you can use as well as a multivit/multimineral while dieting. Mainly I believe I lost the weight I had gained from slowly stopping the Lyrica as ordered by my Dr. Many hospitals have a dietitian you can see covered by your insurance. It involves writing everything you eat down for a week and work with you from there. It's quite a challenge to exercise when you're in pain. Take care of yourself. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN

  • I had tried the South Beach diet a few years ago and was successful. I'm not the type to weigh/measure, and found South Beach easy since you don't need to do this w/ this plan. I started it again after my July surgery and now on phase two (about 10 lbs lost so far, another 10-15 to go). Hope this helps.
  • In fact, I've always been super thin (my younger brother called me "Rex" as in Anorexia. I have always been aware of eating healthily. I love veggies, am not a big carnivore and now I'm fat. So when I read I need to change my attitude about food, blah blah blah, I think this does not apply to me. I also believe than when people see mem they, too, believe, I need to change my attitidue toward food, etc.. I am so bummed. If I were to write a list of statements I believe to be true about myself, so many of them would no longer apply (since the onset of chronic pain.) I'm so very, very glad that Bionic Woman has found a way out. I'm equally glad for all of you who can relate to her story. Are there others who were always very, very thin, very active and are now stimied by your disability? What do WE do? I'm afraid to get on a scale but given the fact that none of my clothes fit nor does the one larger size and all this within 3 weeks, SOMETHING IS GOING ON HERE! I've been keeping track of my calories--no more than 1200 per day. I do not feel deprived. I plan to see my primary just to make sure nothing is awry with my thyroid. I seemed to have gained the weight during the two weeks I was on vacation. While I was on vacation, I was extremely physically active and so, gave in to the pain, and took Lyrica. It makes me feel so good. BUT THE WEIGHT GAIN! Previous posters said it was folly to blame the drugs. I've been VERY THIN all my life. Now I'm not. I have no appetite. What do I blame? Susan.
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