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Diet dilemmas - Carers UK Forum

Diet dilemmas

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Hi. I’m new to this. I care for my husband who went from being perfectly healthy to being a paraplegic overnight due to a spinal abcess. This happened in January 2017. We manage well with a fully adapted house and a positive attitude. However last week my ankle ligament gave way and I have to wear a boot for 6 weeks. I cannot walk the dog or drive and I am not as active in the daytime. I am putting on weight which I worked so hard to lose 3 years ago (3 stone). I cannot get my head in the right place and I don’t want my kids to think I am going to go back to how I was. I’m 54 and it’s not easy to lose at this age. I was so proud of myself and now I feel that I’ve failed everyone.
Hi Jane
Sounds like you have a lot to deal with so no wonder there is a touch of comfort eating going on.
That is a splendid weight loss you achieved a few years ago. What diet were you following then and was it due to change of life style such as walking or types of food you were eating or amounts etc?
I guess you will need to dig deep for some motivation and recognise that being less active right now requires less fuel- all very difficult but at least you recognise it as a challenge. Have you tried the usual weight watchers groups etc or on line versions with supportive forums and fresh ideas. Costly but they can help for a few weeks. The really hardest part I find is flicking that internat motivation switch and keeping in the on position- we all know the rules but easier said than done especially when life keeps hurling great challenges at us.
Hi Jane. Welcome to carersuk. It sounds like you've been coping remarkably well since your husband's serious illness. I'm sorry to hear about your ankle injury. Hopefully it is only temporary and will gradually heal. I know how you feel because I had a similar situation. I care for my elderly mum and dad and in July my dad came out of hospital and I was rushing around to help him and I fell over baclwards onto the floor and severely bruised my coccyx. It was very painful for the first 4 weeks but is almost healed now.
Going back to your situation - use this opportunity to get your daughter/son to walk the dog and to help around the house. You need to rest your ankle so that it can recover.
As far ss your weight is concerned - yes it's very annoying putting on weight when you were slimming down, but as soon as you're recovered and exercising again then you will be able to slim down again.
For the next few weeks rest and make sure you eat healthily - so that weight gain is minimal and your ankle heals up quickly x
Another idea is to do simple upper body exercises eg just sitting in a chair you can do arm exercises and neck exercises (details on the internet). When you feel stronger you could buy some free weights to strengthen and tone your upper body. You wont lose weight doing these exercises but these are great for gaining muscle mass and will turn fat into muscle.
Couple of thoughts.

Is the problem with your foot that you cannot make it 'weight bear' much, as in, if you ran on it!??

If so, what about trying cycling? Cycling isn't weight bearing in the way that walking or running is, as the weight of the body goes through the cycle seat, and the muscles of your legs are simply used for generation rotation of the wheel.

I'm not suggesting you go out and bicycle madly round the neighbourhood with a bad foot (!), but what about getting an exercise bike (or going for spinning classes if that's possible?). An exercise bike at home can be ideal, as you simply pace yourself for what you can do, starting light and short and building up time and resistance (there has to be a bit of resistence as otherwise it's pointless!).

Also, if you have room in your living room you can do it while watching the telly! Or with reading a book/listening to the radio etc.

A second thought is this - re dieting.

Dieting is a pig - it's effectively 'life-long' from middle age onward for any woman who is not a stick-insect (and hey, they'd all be the first to die in a famine ha ha!!!)(well, there has to be a downside to the 'oh, I never put weight on whatever I eat!' privilege!).

So this is a good time to move to 'diet for life' mentality. BUT, how to get to a 'sustainable' diet-for-life (no binge/starve etc etc).

To my mind the key is 'cutting out carbs'. I didn't think it was going to be possible to cut out carbs (ie, sugars and starches, especially the latter) without feeling starving (my BIG fear is 'feeling hungry'), but the way to do it is this:

In the protein-starch-veg trio of our usual meals we simply cut out the starch (potatoes/rice/pasta/bread) and double the amount of protein and veg instead. I do promise you, by doubling up on the amount of protein (which keeps us feeling fuller for longer) and of veg (fibre fills us up nicely!), we CAN get through a meal without starch, and STILL not feel hungry.

To 'test this out', start off with a plate of twice-the-protein, and 'twice-the-veg' and a separate plate of the starch (eg, potatoes etc). Then eat the protein and veg first, and tell yourself if you are still hungry you can eat the potatoes at the end. I will be that you won't be hungry! (By the way, essential to wait a good 30 seconds after your last mouthful of protein/veg - this break cuts the neural feedback loop that exists between the stomach and the brain that keeps us in 'gulping' mode of fork/mouth/fork/mouth etc that is a primeval instinct to stuff as much food into us in the shortest possible time before a lion arrives to eat us!)(watch a dog eat to see what I mean - they bolt their food however much they have of it!)

Good luck with it - you won't believe you can live 'starch free', and it will, when you reach your target weight, be the BIGGEST treat in the world (OCCASSIONAL TREAT!), but you truly can live 'starch free' and not be hungry......
Hi Jane,
Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear about your husband and the massive life change for you both as a result. Congratulations on losing 3 stone. I hope your foot heels quickly.

Since you can't walk far or drive, I would make sure there aren't any or many unhealthy treats in the house, then you won't have to summon up willpower to resist them. If you have to buy them for other family members buy the exact number needed so there aren't spare ones to tempt you. Unfortunately you will be burning less calories whilst you are less active. Keeping occupied is the key. If you get the boredom-munches, then try making yourself a drink instead. Have healthy things you like in the house to munch on instead.

Good luck!

We used to have a weigh loss thread on here, years ago. You could always post updates on here e.g. Same/ -1/ +1 etc if that will give you an incentive. Personally I need to lose 5 lbs and am struggling with lack of willpower.

hey, you should always keep your head up, bad things happen as this is life :) You are doing great and some pounds will not change who you are and what you have done for your family. Anyway, when your leg is cured, you will be able to return to your previous body, important is to believe in yourself!
Locked as it is an old thread.