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need to loose weight for my bad back but how?

edited 01/26/2015 - 12:16 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi I'm a 21 year old female who had a car accident when I was 17. My spine snapped and now I have plates and screws in my back. When I was 17 I weighed 58 kilos and now I'm 75. My car accident left me with post traumatic stress disorder and since the day of my accident I havemy been the same since. I need to loose weight to help me reduce the pain in my back but I just can't seem to loose it. If anyone has any suggestions on what I could do that might help me that would be great. the last few years have been pretty crap for me. As you can all imagine. I normally started back at the gym 2 weeks ago and it's flared my back up and haven't been able to walk since so the gym isn't really good for me.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Well, if I had to loose weight the first thing I would do is cut out all sugars, such as sodas, foods with a high carb count & high fat content. I would replace it with flavored water, vegetables, eat lots of salads, don't eat fried foods, instead eat baked foods such as chicken or fish. It takes a little more effort to prepare foods the healthy way but it so worth it and soon it becomes a habit for you. I have never had to loose weight, I am the opposite but I did have to learn to eat properly due to diabetes and chronic pancreatitis. Along with eating properly, you have to be willing to move. Start with walking, walk as far as you can at first and then maybe a little farther each day...maybe work your way back into the gym.

    With your PTSD? Are you getting therapy for this? If not, please do. I can tell you this because I had a horrible bout with it a few years ago and w/o it I would not have been able to step out my own front door, it got that bad. PTSD is very debilitating. Is it in anyway hindering you from loosing the weight you need to?

    For flare up's I use ice. Ice helps a lot.
  • There are so many diet options out there, you have to figure out which lifestyle works best for you. Personally, I started south beach almost 7 years ago, and I feel so much better when I eat on plan (it's basically eating "good carbs", cutting out sugars, processed foods, etc.). South beach takes A LOT of planning and prep time though. For me, I enjoy cooking and love the health benefits of it. I almost never eat fast food now (and when I do, it tastes gross).
    Other people don't want prep time, still want their cookies, bread, etc. (for me, if I eat a little bread, it escalates...) Some people do better with calorie counting, so you can eat anything, but just have a calorie limit. A lot of people like weight watchers, which their point system is like calorie counting.
    I go on a great website nearly daily to check in, it helps me keep on track and at least think of dieting. It has almost every diet imaginable on there, plus other forums based on age, health issues, etc. I'm not sure I'm allowed to post it here, so if you're interested, just PM me.

    ACDF w/Corpectomy C3-6 12/8/14 ; Laminectomy C3-6  5/19/2016

  • I have lost over 90 lbs total and I have never gave up any foods I enjoy except My sodas I first went from Mt dew to coke and only fountain drinks and lost 30 lbs now I gave them up completely . I then started eating smaller portions soon I could not eat a big meal pounds just started falling off. Jan.1 2013 I had a major heart attack and had a stent placed above my heart having that done helped me out and I do not recommend that part but afterwards my taste buds and habits just changed For 4 months I could not eat anything but cottage cheese and a orange if I ate a Banquet Tv dinner I could only eat the half of it so when I started losing weight I just kept at it since Jan1 2013 i have went from being almost 300 lbs to 230 eat smaller portions and because of me being in pain 24/7 I do nothing but walk maybe 2 blocks and that is it
  • Doug HellDoug Hell Posts: 335
    edited 02/16/2015 - 6:19 AM
    Don't forget that nutrition is important. Avoid high levels of bad cholesterol and salt. Salt is the silent killer and u will find lots of that in banquet dinners. You should also invest in complex carbs as opposed to regular carbs (go with fruits and veggies as opposed to breads and pastas). Watching sugar and fat intake is a no brainer of course. Sugar is the leading cause of heart disease, even ahead of fat.
    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    Having had all kinds of eating disorders I am very in tuned to hearing the diet myths that it's all a matter of cutting back on foods. It's not but that is a part of it. Losing weight, getting healthy is a matter of changing everything you do and making a decision that you want to change your habits for ever!

    If anyone ever told me I had to give up a loved food forever I would stock up on that food and eat it until I burst! Along the same line, 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and I had to stop eating wheat, rye, and barley- those grains containing gluten. And guess what? I didn't become as thin as a whip because there are gluten free foods with loads of sugars and fats too!

    Instead learn how you would feel most comfortable changing your life style. If you choose to exercise more, swimming, walking, dancing, etc, you can eat more foods you like but still not without limits. If you exercise less and eat more you will not lose weight but you may gain muscle with burns calories too.

    My suggestion would be to talk to a dietician or personal trainer. Don't dive into anything that you cannot stand doing because you will not be able to stick with it.
    My best trick to lose weight and feel great? Get a puppy! Adopt a older dog! Walking a new best friend will increase exercise and mood and decrease pain. Dogs are endorphin generators!
    Good Luck!

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
  • kathikay55kkathikay55 Posts: 2
    edited 02/16/2015 - 6:05 PM
    I recently had spial fusion surgery and the Whole30 program was a god send . Whole foods with ant inflammatory properties that help reduce joint pain. Weightloss can be difficult especially given your specific challenges. Don't buy into fad diets. Whole foods will help nourish those cells to help you heal! Good luck!
    Whole30.com for more info.
  • Doug HellDoug Hell Posts: 335
    edited 02/19/2015 - 6:41 AM
    Losing weight is about changing your lifestyle completely. HEALTHY EATING 80% of the time combined with an exercise regimen. It's the only way. Sorry. If you can't give up those unhealthy foods you love to eat by the pounds, you're not going to be able to lose any weight. Due to our specific spine challenges, lets face it, exercise is a tough go, so we need to focus on what we consume while we are confined to the sedentary living situation. Here is my advice to you for the short term.

    Download "myfitnesspal" with your android or iphone. Follow it strictly. If you consume between 1500-1800 calories a day, you will lose between 1-3 lbs a week, even if your lifestyle is sedentary, based on your physical situation.

    1. if you consume more calories than you burn, u gain weight, so the answer is to consume less calories. It's that simple.
    2. Increase WILL POWER and just do it.

    Wishing you the best

    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • jcham12jjcham12 Posts: 29
    edited 02/19/2015 - 7:06 AM
    At one point in my life I was a very good bodybuilder. 20 years later I'm happy to have some left over knowledge that I can use with my current back condition. December 14, 2014 to December 31, 2014, just two weeks I was able to drop 6 lbs of fat and gain 5 lbs of muscle.

    Via the experts the combination of exercise and diet seem to be the key to weight loss and over all good health. However when I can not get to the gym based on pain or for what ever reason I can at least can continue to diet. Daily, due to my back condition I am plagued with pain, social anxiety, and fear. I was reading some of the posts here even dating has become impossible ((for me as well)) but dieting seems to be the one things at times I can do without much effort.

    I got a blender ((silver bullet-magic bullet)) a can of Whey Protein, tons of frozen fruit or fresh and I'm constantly making drinks and constantly losing weight ((frozen works best for me no need for ice)). 2-4 times per day with or without the protein they taste good, my body no longer seems to be storing fat but rather burning it. Granted--lean meats, veggie's, I cut the unneeded soda's and or other crap out but for the most part this seems to be working for me.

    I do not stick to a constant diet like X-Y-Z type of living and or eating. I get up have a coffee, I use flavored creamer and cut the sugar. Mix up a drink and on my way. Chicken or tuna for lunch and fruit bars for snacks, I eat about 6-8 times per day on a good day but it's all good stuff. Tuna I get the oil just based on the fact that every Dr I see recommends fish oils, why water based tuna is still on the market is a mystery to me. This is how I eat everyday ((or try too)), at night in front of the TV I get some pretzels. It's all personal preference and good judgement I suppose.

    I've not been to the gym in a month and I'm a little excited to see the results ((if any)). Again I started this on the 14th of December. I weighed in at 265 with a 33% BMI on the 31st of December I weighed in at 270 with a 30 % BMI. Fingers crossed that I'm around 27% BMI and really hoping to be at 250-260 lbs. Had I been working out over the last month my fingers wouldn't need to be crossed, when I say working out walking seemed the best for burning fat. Still I do hope this helps, salads and all that never seemed to work for me ((empty calories that do nothing on all levels)) and as already said fad diets never worked for me as well. I think that the only reason why this works for me is that my body is getting healthy carbs everyday and no longer needs to store them. Pain relief aside last week I looked in the mirror and I said OMG I do have a chin!!!! My goal ((by spring)) April or May is to get down to 225 lbs with a BMI of 20-23%.

    Based on my back condition every aspect of my life is filled with chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and fear but after writing this I realized that this is one activity I can feel good about and actually I do feel good about. Wish you the best on all levels, good luck..
  • If you have access to a pool that is the best place to exercise without impact on your body - that coupled with a cut in calories should get you on the road. Good Luck
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