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Diet and Exercise – A Catch 22 for the Disabled

A couple of years ago, my doctor told me I would be dead by 60 if I didn’t lose weight immediately.  My blood pressure was constantly at stroke level due to stress, my heart was enlarged which caused me to experience angina and atrial fibrillation, had severe sleep apnea, am insulin resistant and was borderline diabetic.  He referred me to a Lap-Band Clinic which I qualified for on five counts, but did not have insurance coverage or, at the time, $10,000 cash up front.  I told him I would diet.  He said it was too late for that, but what else could I do.  Shortly after that, I applied for disability and still do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare and do not have the now $15,000 fee to pay for surgery.  Now I suffer from congestive heart failure and have been hospitalized for respiratory failure, possible pulmonary embolism and am supposed to be on oxygen 24-7 (however, I do not have insurance coverage for the treatment).

There must be about 27 diet books and half dozen diet programs, CD’s, etc. in my collection now.  Like a lot of people, I make a New Year resolution every January to lose weight and exercise more.  This year it was Nutrisystem.  I had some extra money left over from my disability back pay and agonized over how to spend it wisely.  Health is always at the top of my list these days, since I am way short of that commodity.  Although the NS website is extremely helpful with tons of support, it did not work for me.  When I started, I decided that I would have to be dedicated for at least three months in order to get true and accurate results.  Right off the bat, I lost the initial 10 lbs. of water weight.  That was the first month.  I only lost an additional 2 lbs. per month thereafter, which for me at 200 lbs over my average weight was unacceptable, plus WAY too expensive to continue with these results.

What I liked about Nutrisystem was the precooked and packaged meals that came right to my door.  It is difficult for me to cook and shop since I am unable to stand for long periods of time due to osteoarthritis in my knees and scoliosis which has caused painful sciatic problems in my back.  Of course, the extra weight does not help.  Many of the meals were downright tasty, especially the frozen ones, and there is a lot of variety.  I also loved the forums where I could discuss my progress (or lack thereof) with other people in my situation.  The folks who were physically challenged seemed to be having the worst results.  We were unable to move around or exercise enough to boost our metabolism.  If we cut calories or meals in order to get past the stall, we ended up with even less of a metabolism and often even gained more weight.  Even with the diuretic I take daily for hypertension and edema, I was unable to lose more than the initial water weight and remained bloated and swollen.

Doctor’s advice?  Get more active which is difficult and painful carrying this much fat and water weight, not to mention the severe lack of oxygen when I take more than 20 steps.  More doctor’s advice?  Diet and take meds.  I protest, “But, Doctor, the diet doesn’t work if I can’t exercise and I can’t exercise because I need to lose weight and the meds make me tired, listless and lower my metabolism!”  Doctor says, “Hm.  Catch-22.  Get Lap-Band surgery.”  Seriously?


About agelimits99

Mother, grandmother, greatgrandmother, retired/disabled, at the mercy of the economy, divorced and at a crossroads in my life. Ouch! Something has to change.

2 responses to “Diet and Exercise – A Catch 22 for the Disabled

  1. Amy H ⋅

    Well, Christine…. I’m so sad to read about your health issues. Please take care! Because I want you to be healthy & live MUCH longer, I’m going to share MY story. Maybe there will be just one thing in it that will resonate/help you. ?? That is my reason for sharing…and my hope! So here goes!

    The beginning of 2011 found me heavier than I have ever been (even during & post-preg). While I know our challenges are different, they are still kinda the same, you know? Because I also have health issues that the additional weight was not helping! I took a different approach this time. I don’t usually make NY resolutions, but I did this yr! I heard Jorge Cruise speak about his book “The Belly Fat Cure” and decided SOME of his advice may work for me. The main thing I implemented was to give up most sugar in my diet. (I was a TOTAL sugar addict…. living on nothing but sweetened coffee & soda until my son came home from school @ 4 pm… then I’d finally eat something. It was pathetic!) I limited my sugar intake to 15 grams or less per day. This was ALL types of sugar…. even natural sugars found in fruit! I also upped my food/protein intake… so I basically lived on eggs, fish, chicken & a big variety of veggies. PLUS lots of BLACK coffee (or “Cowboy Coffee” as Allen calls it, lol!). One day a wk I had fruit & that felt like a big treat! Luckily, I only had to be super strict about this for about 3 wks…. then I was able to add some grains & more fruit plus other nutritious things back in.

    So that was the “diet” stuff I did. I know it was helpful….but the thing that helped THE MOST, I am sure, is I finally addressed the spiritual/emotional side of my weight/food issues! First, I purchased Marianne Williamsons book “A Course in Weight Loss; 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever.” I also started to listen to NOTHING but positive/uplifting programs on (thru my mobile phone w/ear buds so I could move around). This led me to MANY other programs/teleseminars/webinars and authors such as “Healing With the Masters,” “Unsinkable” with Sonia Ricotti, Loiuse Hay, Cheryl Richardson, Neale Donald Walsh, Wayne Dyer, Sonia Choquette, Collette Baron-Reid, etc, etc. I even WON a free trip to a HayHouse “I Can Do It” conference in Toronto in May 2011. (That was our 25th anniversary trip….we also went on to NYC after the conference in Canada. So cool!) And, of course, I continued to listen to “Abraham” as presented by Jerry & Esther Hicks (see…. but go there ONLY with an open mind, lol!) which I’ve been doing for years….just increased how often I listened. (They have LOTS of stuff on YouTube also…just search for “Abraham Hicks.”)

    I also found a guy on YouTube who has some WONDERFUL self-hypnosis videos (weight loss & stress among MANY other topics too numerous to list!). Just do a search for “Rob’s Hypnosis” and you’ll see what I mean. It’s helped me a LOT!

    Sorry for the long story…. but taking the “holistic” approach for a change really worked Chris! I am now thinner than I’ve been in YEARS. May seem unbelievable….but changing my THOUGHTS about weight loss was the answer! As Wayne Dyer says: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” I’ve been able to SEE myself as a “thin” person again….and keep the extra lbs off for over 6 months….even tho I’ve been WAAAY less strict about my diet this summer (still on black coffee & off soda, lol!) I just KNOW that I am supposed to be at this healthier weight & I BELIEVE it’s possible for me to maintain it, no matter WHAT I put in my mouth! THAT, my friend, is what worked for me!

    So there’s my LONG comment! Haha! I hope you find something in it that will somehow help you on your journey….or you just have fun reading it! Lol!

    Amy 🙂

    • Amy, thanks so much for your thoughtful, insightful and informative reply! At my age, I thought I had done it all, a new diet, exercise program or system every year, but you have cleared some fresh paths for me to travel and explore. I’m so happy that you found something that worked for you. I’ll let you know what I find and how it works for me!

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