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Weight Loss with Chronic Illness

I need to lose weight.

Not for anyone else, not to look a certain way, but for my health. I don’t feel the need to change myself to fit any arbitrary beauty standards. This isn’t for anyone else but me (except obviously my cats, for whom I would like to stick around).

I am overweight and it’s affecting my health.

Not every fat person has health issues. But I do.

Due to an ongoing health problem, I may need an operation at some point in the near future and at my current weight, the surgery would be incredibly high-risk.

Alongside this, my chronic illness includes mobility issues, and with my extra weight, movement is even more difficult and painful than it would be with the illness alone.


The Plan

Disclaimer: This is my plan for my specific situation. This is not advice for anyone else. If you are in a similar situation or have any concerns about your health, please speak to a medical professional.

Medication

My first step is to wean off Quetiapine (the mood stabiliser I’ve been taking for two years). I don’t over-eat and my meals are healthy, but Quetiapine is an absolute b*tch for weight gain. I don’t know the technical terms (obviously), but I know that it f*cks up your metabolism so basically when you eat normally, your body holds onto more of it, causing you to gain weight even if you don’t over-eat. I’m currently in talks with the CMHT to start the weaning process. The psychiatrist is currently saying no, but honestly it’s my body and my decision what I put in it. I know it’s going to be a long, horrible process, as Quetiapine withdrawals are horrendous, but I’ve got to do it and I’m committed to it, no matter painful it is. I have support at home to monitor the weaning process and I have presented my case regarding my decision fully and clearly, so the professionals should respect that.

Weight Loss with Chronic Illness (thepatchworkfox.com)

Exercise

Next, I’ve got to move more. It’s so hard to force yourself to move when it’s so painful and you experience severe chronic fatigue. Nevertheless, it’s got to happen. I’m starting small, trying to move around the house more and walk around the garden. I’m also trying to do little bits of chair-exercise throughout the day. Of course, this won’t cause the weight to drop away, but any extra movement has got to contribute, right? The next step exercise-wise is going to be swimming. I’m incredibly anxious about this for various reasons, but I also know that swimming is the perfect exercise for my condition as it takes the pressure off the joints, thus reducing pain and allowing more movement. I have some mental and physical obstacles to overcome before I can get to this point, but again, I am committed.

Diet

As for food, I mentioned that I don’t over-eat and while this is true, there are areas than I could adjust to help the process along. My carer helps me with my meals, so we will work on this together, looking at where we can swap or reduce things while making sure I’m getting the nutrition I need.

Weight Loss with Chronic Illness (thepatchworkfox.com)

I do feel anxious about this process. It’s going to involve pain, discomfort, and a lot of change, with which I struggle at the best of times.

However, I also feel hopeful. I have a lot of support around me and I feel cautiously optimistic about how my life could change for the better.

Fellow chronic illness pals: I’d love to hear any advice or tips you may have regarding losing weight safely whilst chronically ill, particularly with regard to gentle exercises you have found beneficial or ways to reduce pain during exercise.

I am absolutely not interested in diet pills, meal replacement drinks, fad diets, or any “quick fixes”. Any suggestions like this will be deleted, blocked, and if necessary, reported.


If you’ve got to this point, thank you so much for reading! I hope to be able to share my journey, the ups and the downs, and fingers crossed, my eventual success!

Please feel free to share your stories in the comments – I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Weight Loss with Chronic Illness (thepatchworkfox.com)

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4 replies »

  1. This sounds like an excellent way to start.

    I am in a similar position re: mental health and chronic pain. I’m slowly building up how far I can walk. I have disordered eating so I’m lessening how much I snack!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much. I’m totally with you on the slowly building it up – it’s tempting to immediately start pushing through the pain and fatigue and going full pelt, but I know that won’t help me in the long run and I’d be more likely to cause myself unnecessary pain and give up because of it. Good luck with your journey x

      Like

  2. Wishing you all the best with your weight loss and weaning off the meds 🙂 I’m afraid I don’t really have any good suggestions (although the NHS website has some good tips on diet and exercise), I am trying to lose weight myself. Reducing the amount of carbs I eat, especially anything with wheat in it, has made a small difference so maybe it’s something to consider.

    Liked by 1 person

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