chronic illness, weight gain, and guilt

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
2630 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@addex33:  ((Hugs)) First and most important of all, your feelings matter, and you should allow yourself the freedome to feel them. Please don’t make an already stressful and emotional situation worse for yourself by telling yourself that it isn’t important. Weight issues hit just about everyone, and your guilt and sadness are compounded by the stress and emotional strain and anger from your illness. I wholeheartedly support your desire to go to therapy and search for a support group because counseling can only help, and connecting to others who are going through the same experience will probably reveal that many of them are also going through the same issues with medication. You are not a drama queen at all, and body image issues are not petty at all.

In terms of dieting and trying to lose the weight, unless you’re still completely sedentary, 1200 calories is probably not enough for your daily needs. It is counterintuitive, but you probably need to eat more to be able to start losing because your metabolism might be in crisis mode due to too little food after getting used to being bedridden. Do you have access to a dietician at your doctor’s office/the hospital?

Do you think you’d be able to do weight training exercises that focus on your arms and legs as opposed to your core? The increase in muscle would help boost your metabolism and be a great start to getting back to being more fit. In terms of cardio, what about recumbent bikes? You’d be sitting up and back so easing the strain on your abdomen but allow some great movement. If you don’t have access to machines, are long speedwalks possible?

Post # 4
Member
2630 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@addex33:  Oh and P.S. Is your avatar a smiling benzene ring? 

Post # 6
Member
147 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Hi. Congratulations on your engagement and on getting well. I am so glad that you have a diagnosis and medications to ease your symptoms.

My advice is exercise in a pool, particularly a warmed one. It will support your joints, abdomen and still give you good cardiovascular fitness. Even if you just start by walking in the water or some type of aqua-aerobics.

Would seeing a physiotherapist help? It sounds like you’ve been unwell for a long time and are probably deconditioned. A physio could help you with a sensible exercise plan with your health limitations in mind.

Good luck!

Post # 7
Member
2630 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@addex33:  Ha! I knew it was a molecular structure from my vague memories of undergrad chemistries, but I had to ask my chem prof husband for its exact name. He and I are both completely tickled by it.

The recumbent bike isn’t completely ab muscle free, but it doesn’t work out your abs. Does that make sense? I don’t know if I’m describing it correctly. Basically I’m trying to say it doesn’t use your abs any more than normal, everyday type movements especially when you have it on low resistance. I don’t know if that’s light enough for your needs though. For speedwalking, can you do it on a treadmill? It sounds like a good compromise since you’d be free to walk for as long (time and/or distance) as you felt okay doing so while still staying close to seating access and, if need be, help.

Oh! What about a pedal exerciser? You can use it to pedal with your legs AND your arms depending on what you wanted to work out in that moment. I’ve used one in the past and didn’t feel any strain on my abs at all since it has almost zero resistance. The simple ones are lightweight and easy to pick up to put on a table/counter for arm exercises. Best of all, you can keep it at home, and if you start to feel pain, you are exactly where you want to be.

Post # 8
Member
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Hey lovely! I’ve been there, but it sounds like it’s for a different issue. I have chronic severe eczema and had to start pretty heavy steroids/prednisone last year. Having always been a skinny person, I felt a total lack of control when the weight gain started. I gained about 2 stone over 2 months! (Not sure what that is in lbs). And it was TOUGH. But these are the things that made it ok:

1. It turned out my SO loved me both ways! I’m sure yours does too 🙂

2. Yoga. Strenuous exercise exacerbates my eczema, so I can’t get sweaty or anything. I found yoga helped because it’s gentle, it encourages lean muscle and the yogic breathing encourages healing and relaxation which is so good for inflammatory diseases (if that’s what you have). In fact it’s good for any disease!

3. Eating less salt helped the water retention in my case.

4. I bought some BEAUTIFUL underwear! I know this sound silly, but realising that gorgeous underwear looked so much better on me with some extra weight was a turning point for me! Matching stuff, gorgeous fabrics, that sort of thing. The same applies to clothes, it took me a while to dress for my new shape, but I had a lot of help from friends and I ended up really happy with met new style. Just DON’T shop in places that have hideous light in their changing rooms. Seriously, no one ever sees you in that light!!

I hope that helps. If its similar to what you’re going through please feel free to ask anything else! All the best, enjoy your new body!

Post # 9
msjackrabbitMember
1080 posts
Bumble bee

With your 1200 diet, what are you eating?

Only, I know that when I’m ill, I eat crap because I can’t be bothered to get up and make something actually healthy. Which in turn just makes me feel worse.

Do you limit your calories by having small portions of bad food? Or load up on lots of salad and lean food?

Because a 1200 diet of half a sandwich and a bar of chocolate for lunch, along with a weight watchers microwave dinner is not at all the same as a 1200 diet of fresh fruit, chicken salads and fish with veggies and brown rice for dinner.

Your energy levels will increase so much more with that kind of food, and you’re more likely to want to go for a brisk walk to start off with, and then move on to better exercise once you’re feeling more up to it 🙂 xx

Post # 10
Member
1574 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

First off *hugs*. I have some chronic health issues, and while they may not be your problem, I feel for you. I haven’t gained much weight since I met my partner, but my weight fluctuates about 20lb. I also go through cycles where I feel bad b/c I can’t be as active as I’d like, and sometimes i feel like all I do is sleep. I know that I’ve recommended it in other threads, but a site that really has helped me a ton is Chronic Babe. There are lots of different message boards, but I’ll warn that some are more active than others. I also found a support group local to me for one of my health issues. It only meets once a month, but it’s been so beneficial. 

As for teh feeling like so many others are worse off, I have also dealt with that. I’m in counseling, and my counselor is helping me let go of that. So, some days I would be like “Omg MsLobizon, shut up! Your uncle is a walking parapalegic, you have no write to whine” (my uncle who recently passed was able to walk, but primarily used his wheelchair). But the thing is, we all come into life with our own experiences and what not. I can’t say I’m any worse off than you, my uncle, or anyone else. I can’t walk a mile in his shoes b/c we dont’ wear the same style or size. We all have the right to demand respect.

I can’t do much exercise right now due to some heart issues and chest pain. Yoga and water exercise has been helpful for me, as well as listening to my body.

 

 

 

Post # 11
Member
448 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

May I ask what condition you have, OP? The reason I ask is because I have a few chronic illnesses, so I wonder if you have an autoimmune condition like I do.

Also, as someone who used to have an eating disorder, I can tell you that your body needs plenty of calories no matter whether you are exercising or not. In fact, your body needs good nutrition more than ever now that you are ill because your whole system is low. If the meds are causing weight gain, cutting to 1200 is not getting to the root of the problem. I know that one condition I have is treated by a medicine that causes WG, so I take another type of med for it, along with herbs and avoiding certain foods.

Post # 13
Member
148 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I also have a chronic medical problem and so first I want to say, *hug*. I know absolutely what it is like to have ups and downs, and to have many many post surgery Pinterest boards. I have people tell me I have too many, and I remind them that I was on bed rest and lots of opportunities to organize them!

I would second Miss Jackrabbit’s comments about the types of things you are eating. I know when I have a flare-up, I tend to head straight towards carbs and chocolate. Lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are a good way to help keep balanced.

Before my surgery in March, my MOH came over and we cooked for about five hours and tossed a ton of stuff in the freezer. This was great right after the surgery, but also is really helpful for days when I have flare-ups and can’t go through the steps of preparing something healthy. I can simply pull something out of the freezer, toss in the microwave, and voila. See if your FI or some friends wouldn’t mind helping you put together some good freezer meals so you’ve got some easy go-to dinners!

As for the exercise, I would second swimming. Walking in the water may not seem like a big deal, but it really is a good workout while being very gentle. I would also HIGHLY recommend you talk to your doctors, and see what they recommend. Finding a personal trainer who has some background (or at least understanding) in your condition can also help. 

I also just wanted to say, I met my FI in the middle of my health issues. In fact, I wouldn’t have met him without them. And although they are frustrating for him (sometimes I think more so than for me) it is not anything we would trade. Your FI is with you to be with you, and I would put money on him caring more about seeing you in a good place emotionally and health wise than you hitting a certain number on a scale. 

If you ever need someone to chat with, or to just vent at, please feel free to PM me!

Post # 14
Member
928 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Hubs and I both have serious medical conditions. Having to deal with things like that before getting married turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because knowing without a doubt that that person will be there for you when you truly need them is the kind of thing that sustains a marriage for a lifetime. Weight comes & goes, don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Focus on being as healthy as you can and everything will be ok. I think getting some excercise equipment for your home would be best, that way if you’re not feeling well you can relax right away.

Post # 15
Member
1574 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@addex33:  completely understand avoiding the type of forums. I still occasionally struggle with denial of my health issues (and I’ve been diagnosed w/ ulcerative colitis for 22 years, lupus & RA for 20 yrs, and endometriosis/ovarian cysts for 13 yrs). Two months ago I did the “things aren’t so bad… even though I’m so obviously flaring, but nope nope nope!” dance. For me, part of it is not wanting to be sick & just be normal, and the other part is the knowledge that when I flare there is no ifs ands or buts, I need prednisone – which the side effects are lousy. 

Not sure what your health issue is, but if you’re more comfortable with it, maybe in person support groups? Not sure what is offered in your area, but near me, for lupus tehre are tons of support groups (our chapter got some nice grants – so if need be adn i wanted to drive up to an hour, i could hit one a week). A friend of mine who lives in California goes to some general autoimmune support group, although most of teh participants have lupus. I have found counseling to be very helpful, but it took a bit to find a counselor who worked for me. The place I go to has several counselors (some are only part time, so it appears that there are just a plethora of employees), and mine does specialize in fertility issues and some chronic health issues. He’s been great for me. They’re pretty good at matching you – I read all of the bios online, and then did a survey and they matched me with the guy i liked anyway

I forgot about some other exercise I do. I try to walk my dogs, but listen to my body – it may not be running (and I feel your pain, I played varsity soccer throughout high school, and then for fun after. I played softball for fun but realized i had to give it up as i was pushing myself too much). But i figure anything is better than nothing. I alos have some stretchy (non latex) bands and small weights for hands. I sometimes lift the hand weights when I’m on the phone.

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