Help - I MUST lose weight!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I saw the gastroenterologist today for my liver biopsy results. The outcome - my liver is much worse than when they last checked, ten years ago. This is a new doctor, he's much nearer than the previous one, and it doesn't cost me ten bucks just for parking.

    The good news - I have no scarring. The bad news - fatty infiltration is bad now. I asked how this could be happening, he said it's my diet. I said, "How come?" and pointed out that I spent ten years on a low fat diet to no avail, I still gained weight.

    He said that I have to lose weight. OK, I know that. But despite all efforts, it's no go. I have been dieting since I was 20, when frankly I didn't really need to diet, but the diet charts back then declared me overweight at what I now realise was normal, for me. I'm short in the leg and long in the body, so if you look at dress sizes, you would assume I was 20 Kg lighter than I am. But dieting like we were taught to only piles on more weight when you come off the diet.

    I've lost weight in two ways, and two ways only - by starvation, when I simply ate nothing for about two months. I'm not kidding - I drank coffee (no sugar) and took fibre tablets with a lot of water. And vitamins.
    The other way I lost weight was about three years ago, when I went on the Atkins Diet. This doctor does not want me to go on Atkins. And even on Atkins, I stayed on the initial phase (supposed to be for a few weeks only) for six months, and lost a total of 10 Kg. It is just not healthy to do this, it is one step away from my former starvation diet.

    The advice now - since I can't exercise, and my already limited diet is maintaining my weight, then he says I need help - drugs.

    Xenical - all it will do is train me to avoid fatty foods. Since I already do this, I don't think it will help me. He agrees.

    Reductil - he wrote a prescription. it will cost me $80 and risks putting my blood pressure back up. It is supposed to work by not only stopping me from feeling hungry but also increasing my metabolism (or at least stopping my metabolism from getting any slower than its current snail's pace). The doctor said it MIGHT help; it's better than lap band surgery, which he says I'm not a candidate for.

    So I looked up Reductil tonight. The information is insufficient, there is a chance it will interact with my pain medications (but the website is reticent on more detail here). The big crunch came when I realised that Reductil contains as one of its inactive ingredients, a colour I am allergic to.

    So unless the Aussie version is uncoloured, or I can get a dosage that doesn't contain that colour, I'm snookered.

    The doctor was clear - unless I lose weight my body will continue to deposit fat into my liver, which is now almost saturated. I have insulin resistance, which means that although my pancreas can pump out as much insulin as I need, my cells are not good at picking it up and using it. Hence - I can feel like I've got low blood sugar, but my body is still packing away any raised BSLs as fat. I will feel weak and shaky as if I'm fasting, but instead of being able to use the energy, it gets stored instead.

    It's crazy. I'm not a big eater. I forgot to eat breakfast this morning and was still not feeling hungry when I saw the doctor at lunchtime. I bought some lunch - two pieces of sushi, light on rice and heavy on the raw tuna. I felt satisfied after two pieces of sushi (no more than two bites each). When I got home I had a handful of macadamia nuts, and we had a roast dinner tonight. I ate less than even easy child 2/difficult child 2, who only eats her dinner on a bread and butter plate.

    And that's about average. No biscuits, no cake, lots of fruit and salad.

    I was referred to a dietician the last time a doctor wanted me to lose weight. The dietician said I wasn't eating enough. On her diet, I gained. She also said I should eat less fruit and more vegetables, like tomatoes. I explained that tomatoes are a fruit, she said that for my purposes, they are vegetables. When I asked how I could distinguish between vegetables and fruit, she didn't have an answer. I was left feeling very unimpressed with her ability to really know what she was doing.

    I'll ring the specialist in the morning to see if there is a version of Reductil that doesn't have that particular colouring in it, but it's looking gloomy.

    So does anybody have any ideas for losing weight that I haven't already tried? I am going to try to walk more, especially at the end of the day, it's more a matter of getting the time to myself then. But I know my walking won't make enough difference - any exercise is limited by my muscles' inability to perform aerobically.

    Years ago, I used to work out in a gym, I was a very active person. I really get fed up with myself, sometimes.

    All ideas welcome.

  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I haven't been told that I "MUST" lost weight, but I know that is next with the weight gain from the prednisone.

    husband & I would like to join the YMCA - specifically so I can do the water aerobics class. It's very gentle on the joints - all movement is cushioned by the water. That is the way the PTs want me to go.

    Just a thought for you.

    As to foods. we've been following a low fat, low sugar diet here for years. Works wonders for husband, kt is beginning to lose (with the help of a small dose of topamax (sp). It's an anti epileptic (used mostly for migraines at this point) that has a side effect of weight loss. Slow weight loss. It's not highly touted as the docs don't want people running in for a script for this stuff.

    kt functions on it very well - it makes me stupid.

    A couple of years ago when I dropped about 85 pounds I noticed that dairy really curtailed my appetite. Didn't take much - a cup of yogurt at breakfast; a non fat latte at lunch. Stuff like that. Really helped me lose the weight.

    Just a couple of thoughts for you.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Hon! This totally bites for you. Know one likes to hear that the efforts they've put forth over a 10 year period didn't do any good.

    Ok, clear your mind.

    First thing first: When you "stop eating" and "eat fiber and drink coffee" you basically put your body into "starvation mode". Your body is aware that there is something amiss and will resist the urge to clear itself.

    I'll bet dollars to donuts (sorry - no pun intended!) that you've SIGNIFICANTLY messed up your metabolism. See, once you "diet" up and down, on and off, all different methods, your metabolism becomes a difficult child in its own right!

    Try looking around on the net for information on speeding up your metabolism naturally. Certain foods/vitamin combinations will help speed it up.

    Now, regarding a diet. By rote, a diet is something you do to lose 5 or 10 pounds to fit in your skinny jeans or little black dress in a couple of days. You need to look at something that can be long term, allow you to function in the real world and still enjoy the food that you eat. Atkins was great for a while, but you have the whole fatty liver thing going on, so you can't do something like that for long periods of time.

    I would suggest something along the lines of a "Weight Watchers" type of mentality. Everyone in the family can still eat all of the things being prepared because it all falls into the normal parameters of everyday life. The points are easy to follow and you can still enjoy those desserts that you may/may not enjoy.

    THE BIGGEST THING IS TO CHANGE YOUR MINDSET!!!! This is not life altering, it is "mind bending". Once you've embraced the idea of "this is to feel better, not to lose weight"

    :hypnosis: you'll actually enjoy it!

    Exercise: DO NOT GET MAD AT ME FOR THE FOLLOWING SUGGESTION, I KNOW YOU'RE YOUNG VITAL AND INCREDIBLY INTELLIGENT!!! :laughing: Check out a variety of "chair exercises" on the internet for the elderly and/or infirm. Adding exercise is an extremely slow-paced step that CAN be introduced but carefully and logically. Chair exercises such as pushing on the floor with your feet while sitting down and pulling up on the chair simultaniously will strenthen the leg muscles, arms and neck when done correctly. Heck, you're not looking to run a marathon: remember: this is to feel better, not to lose weight! :hypnosis:

    I know how you feel (overweight diabetic without any self-control whatsoever - the mind is willing but the body is...chocolate!!!!!!) lol

    Check on the healthful living forum too. I'm too embarrassed to hop on there yet (nothing like feeling huge on the net!!!).

    Keep us up to date! I'm thinking good thoughts for you...if you go the Weight Watchers route let me know, maybe I'll start at the same time and we can partner up!

  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Do you have a compounding pharmacist anywhere around you? They can custom make a lot of medicines without the offending ingredients.
  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Marguerite, I know you have limitations with activity but I was thinking a YMCA type program where they can work on muscle strengthening exercises and some moderate walking. Three times a week will help you regain muscle strength and burn more calories.

    There are a million eating plans for everyone. All of them work if you stick to them. Some aren't conducive to a normal life. I would suggest a Bariatric specialist who can work with your particular issues of health. If this is a matter of health I would think that you could get professional help.
  6. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Marg, any form of exercise is good. I have a fast metabolism...genetic I think. BUT one thing that doctor's notice that I do that many others don't do is fidget. I swing my legs while sitting in a chair...ALWAYS. I pace while on the phone. I sway from side to side (only from the waist) while at the computer, etc. I do stretching exercises before I get out of bed in the morning. They say it contributes more than you would think to getting some weight off or maintaining where you are.
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Marguerite, I would recommend looking into the G.I. diet. It's an eating plan built around foods that are high on the Glycemic Index. The diet was created by a scientist at the University of Toronto, and it helps to regulate blood sugar, fat and calories. If I remember correctly, it was created as a healthy meal plan for diabetics and others with blood sugar regulation problems and insulin resistance.

    My husband (pre-diabetic, with insulin resistance, and very overweight) has been following the G.I. plan for the last several months and has lost approx. 70 lbs so far.

    I don't have the books right in front of me, but I will run and find them and post again with the information.

  8. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I think Beth has given you great advice. I also think that by eating too little, you may have hurt your metabolism. I agree that Weight Watchers, or a similar type of eating plan, is a great way to lose weight and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Fran suggested that maybe a Bariatric specialist can help you find a healthy eating plan to fit your individual needs. I think this is definitely something worth looking into.

    I also think that you need to change your mindset from "diet" to healthy eating. You have to find a way of eating that becomes a permanent part of your life. in my humble opinion, diets only work as long as you're on them. Unless you change your attitude towards food, you'll most likely gain back most or all of the weight you lost while on a diet. And, one of the worst things that can happen is that you can slow your metabolism in the process.

    I can't even begin to imagine how frustrated you must feel... It is difficult to lose weight to begin with and not being able to exercise because of health problems makes it more difficult. I think Linda has a great idea - Water aerobics might be something you could look into. I'm glad you're going to try walking more. I think every bit of physical activity that you can do is a good thing.

    Please join us on the Healthy Living Forum. It really does help to have the support of others. Eating healthy has to be a life long plan. It takes time to make healthy eating a habit. It really does get easier to do as more time goes by.

    I'm thinking of you and hoping to see you on the Healthy Living Forum. Marg, you CAN do this!!! We'll support you every step of the way!!! WFEN
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey Marg,

    I would venture to guess that the Atkins diet is the last thing your doctor would want you on if your liver is "collecting" fat. Extremes in fat are part of that plan!

    I was thinking on the same lines as Linda - water. I know you are heading for winter down under so the ocean is out, but wondering if there was a fairly close location with an indoor pool nearby? If not a gym type setting, many senior centers or physical rehabilitation facilities have a pool. One rehab center in our neighborhood does open their doors to those with health concerns, regardless of age, with a "note" from your doctor. Your bones and muscles won't know you are excercising when you are in the water.

    However, sounds to me like it's more than excersice, it's more metabolic. The GI or the Zone might be worth looking into. WW is great, it's what I've been doing and I've lost 20 pounds in 7 weeks, but I'm not sure that's what you need. I'm thinking you are going to have to really limit sugars and fats and increase the fiber through vegetables and whole grains.

    Pop on over to the Healthful Living board and just copy and paste your original post. There may be some folks over there with some additional ideas. Hopefully there is a way to do what you need without medications.

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Marg -

    Come on over to the healthful living board - I haven't lost a lot of weight - but i've kept the weight I have now and I'm loosing is a great thing when trying to loose.....even if yar down under.

    (oh and going to your oceans? naught ah,,,too many venomous critters and pokey thing, and teeth things)
  11. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    No advice as I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. After losing 41 pounds in the last few months, I'm now struggling to keep them on. I have to force myself to eat.

    Just offering my support. Seems like you've received a lot of good advice. I have to agree that swimming in any form is an excellent source of exercise. It works every muscle in your body...and feels good, too!

    Good luck, dear.

  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Are they going to send you to a nutritionist? It seems like you should have something medically tailored to your situation if the low fat diet is not working.

    Sorry to hear that things are not going well. I hope that you will find some answers soon.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    Wat is your thyroid doing? Are your levels optimal for your body? Some people's low is other's high (within certain ranges). I know I fought to lose weight for YEARS with NO luck, even with gain. A few months ago they tested the levels of whatever my body makes that shows my autoimmune is attacking the thyroid. It was, bigtime. When the level of thyroid got low they added some and I have lost a LOT of weight with almost no effort. Just the healthy eating (complex carbs, protein, low fat) that I was already doing.

    I do think that sooner or later they will figure out why your body is doing this. The high GI diet might be very useful.

    Hope you can get this figured out soon and feel BETTER!!

  14. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    As promised, here is the reference information for the GI diet book:\

    The G.I. Diet Clinic
    by Rick Gallop
    ISBN 978-0-679-31439-4

    Living the G.I. Diet
    by Rick Gallop and Emily Richards
    ISBN 0-679-31253-6

    Both books are published by Random House Canada

    They include week-by-week plans, shopping lists and lots of simple recipes.

    Hope this helps,
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I just jumped on quickly while I wait for difficult child 3 to have breakfast (I WAS planning to leave now, for his day at school, but I hear city traffic is SNAFUd by a burst water main, traffic will be diverted to our route all day. Oh, joy.)

    Topomax - I've been on it, my neurologist put me on it for headaches but it seemed to cause them. I stayed on it for about two weeks, the weight didn't change one iota. Not worth the headaches it was causing. I actually did stick it out longer in th hope I could lose weight.

    WeightWatchers - I don't think I have the patience to count everything I eat. Besides, it's a classic calorie-counting diet, of the sort I was on back when I was 20 (and shouldn't have been). And those will put my body into starvation-mode and make the insulin resistance much worse.

    We DO have in Australia the CSIRO diet. I think I have the book somewhere, I know I was planning to get it and if I did buy it, I know exactly where it would be. If it's not there, I will buy one today.
    The CSIRO diet is a combination of low-GI and slightly reduced carb, but also moderately low in fat. You can't cut out fat and have low-GI.

    Back when I was doing Atkins, I made a few horrifying discoveries about food and marketing - all that stuff labelled 'lite' or 'low-fat' is generally higher in carbs, higher GI. The reason is, you take out the fat and you need SOMETHING to make it palatable. Also, you take out the fat and proportionally there is more sugar (including natural sugars) left over. For example, I will happily drink skim milk, especially in summer. But on Atkins it's worse than full-cream milk, because when they take out the fat in full-cream milk they are removing 4% of the product. This reduces 100 ml of milk to 96 mls. The same amount of lactose you get in 100 mls now is contained in a slightly smaller volume, which is why skim and low-fat milk taste sweeter. And of course, this gives my body a sugar hit it just shouldn't have.
    The other nasty discovery was that there seems to be no such thing as a healthy fast food. Even health food places sell stuff that is just too high in carbs. Sushi (if I choose carefully - and expensively) seems to be the safest overall. But those lovely rice paper wraps with lettuce, coriander, prawns or chicken in them - stuffed with rice vermicelli as well. In fact, they are so padded with rice vermicelli that the 'good' ingredients add flavour only, not nutrition.

    I think I need to increase fibre intake a bit, keep it low-fat but avoid sugar hits (including natural sugars). So instead of drinking milk in ANY form, it's back to calcium tablets. I'm adding a Vitamin B tablet (it doesn't contain iron, which I can't take and don't need). Lots of cooked vegetables (low-carb ones) and lean meat in extreme moderation.

    Exercise - the chair ones (thanks for the ideas though - I'm not offended, but I've been trying various things for decades now) won't cut it. I do move around a bit, it's just that I need to up the ante with a body that won't do the job. Ideally, I need aerobic exercise. But no matter what the exercise or where I do it, my muscles are just not capable of this - they stop working before I get to the aerobic stage. I've been working with experts over the years, physical therapists whose job it is to work with people with disabilities and get them back into the workforce. They told me that they didn't think they could help me, but because I was determined, they'd give it a go. When the rest of the group were able to escalate their activity, I was left literally crawling in the dust.

    We live too far away from most services. Swimming - ideally I need to get to a heated pool, but it costs too much and is too far away. The beach - the water has been too rough for me, I've lost too much strength to cope with it to get decent exercise. That plus the bad weather this summer - I did not have a good summer for exercise.

    What has worked for me in the past - walking around the block. When I get tired, I sit in the gutter, then get up and go again when I can. I can also go for a bushwalk to the headland and back - there is no way I can stop halfway then, and do the rest tomorrow! I have to get home. difficult child 3 can come with me, or I can go alone. If I take my phone and get into trouble, I'm still in range.

    The trouble is, I've already been doing a lot of this. I know I can pick up a bit more on the exercise, I will have to force myself to make the time, maybe in the middle of difficult child 3's school day if he seems to be working well.

    But will it be enough?

    I have to ring various people about the medications today. We DO have compounding services thank goodness - Sydney has four that I know of, three in our region. Whether they can compound this - I don't know. It will add a fair bit to the $80 tag though.

    Gotta dash - time to head for school.

  16. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    I'm not too sure I should give any advice on this:faint:. I was anorexic in high school & gained 60-70 pounds when pregnant with both of my kids! I'm an emotional eater from H#!!. But, along with that...I have had arthritis since I was 17, chronic hives have been with me for over a year & I have been a roller coaster on the weight for years now. But, I will say....if you set your mind to it....things start to fall into place. 3 years ago.... I went on an excercise, health nut holiday (I called it that). It worked great.....but, I had the time to do it = 30 pounds lost *gained quite a bit back in a year. Last year...I was training for the Avon Walk For Breast Cancer. I tried so hard. Time alone was an issue. Hives came into my life. No motivation to make sure I was eating weight lost really. But, I sure could walk the miles! A few months after that.....I got mad! I was running every chance I could, even if it was when the family was eating dinner. I was calorie counting like crazy = 20 pounds lost. Gained 15 back. Right now, I'm back to taking advantage of my Sundays & go running. I'm trying to watch my calorie intake. Down 12 pounds.

    So, what I guess I'm trying to say is......if my mind was able to make a lifestyle change for ME, I would be able to stay off that roller coaster. I haven't been able to prove that to myself yet & need to! I think the others have given great advice.....I should chew on it myself:tongue::D. If you are able to push your walks & step them up a notch, it's only going to be a positive!!!!! Every little bit helps.....heck, I even heard if you tense up your butt/crotch muscles while you are sitting, it's helping your body!?!? One of those chair exercises I laugh out loud to when I remember & give it a shot!

    I'm too chicken to hop over & post on the healthful living board.....sounds like a good idea though. I bet there's great advice there too!:D
  17. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    What about the gastric band thing? I just read a report that it worked far more effectively than dieting for people with diabetes. Apparently there is some way that do it in Europe that is a minimal type of operation--in the US they do it in such a way that it a far more complicated procedure. Seems to me that if you really need to the lose the weight for medical reasons that that might be the way to go.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    It sounds so scary and frustrating to not be able to get your body to respond. I know you have been coping with it for a long time, and I admire what you can do. I have a body that doesn't respond well either, and it is just not fun.

    I hope you can get things figured out to help fix your liver.

    I will say that my mom was diagnosis'd with primary biliary cirrhosis (autoimmune liver disease) many year ago. At the first biopsy her liver wasn't looking too good - doctor brought up transplants as an option!!!). She was still teaching at the University then. She started with the Zone diet plan. I know it includes more fat than you can tolerate, but it does a good job of balancing carbs and proteins. At her last 2 biopsies things have improved hugely - doctor says much of it is the Zone thing. They didn't think she COULD have her body fix the liver with this. BUT IT DID FIX ITSELF!!

    We were astounded.

    Maybe, with careful study and adaptations, you can work out something that your body will like. You are really creative and effective with other problems in life. I hve faith that you can find a way to handle this.

    Sending late-night can't sleep scared I am really really sick - hugs. Anytime you are in that point, imagine me sitting next to you, listening and giving you hugs.

  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know this has to be so frustrating. One of the WW plan doesn't have you counting everything; it is called their core plan. There is some counting but not everything.

    Increasing fiber is a good idea. I remember an old ww plan that had people eating at least 30 grams of fiber a day and no more than 30 grams of sugar and no more than 30 grams of fat a day.

    It sounds like you are already making lots of good choices. One word of advice is be sure not to skip meals. As others have said if you aren't eating enough your body will fight to hold on to what it has.

    Many hugs and prayers that you will find a plan that works for you.
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I managed to talk to the pharmacist today - I didn't get the prescription filled because he had to order it in. When I found out last night about the colouring problem, I rang him this morning to check. Apparently it comes in two strengths and both have this colour as far as he could tell. I was out all day today (during business hours) so I didn't get a chance to call the manufacturer. Hopefully I will manage to tomorrow.

    The gastroenterologist - I left a message for him, he didn't call me back. Again, maybe tomorrow.

    I see the GP tomorrow (I'm also dealing with a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) which seems to be not responding well to the antibiotic injection I had). If I have to go onto the only oral antibiotic I can take, that is likely to reduce my food intake because the tablets make me sick. But maybe if I take them with food and antiemetics, they'll stay down.

    Nutritionist - I was thinking that tonight, but they'd have to be a lot better at their job than the last one I saw. On her diet, I gained weight!

    Thank goodness I'm not a comfort eater - when I'm upset or depressed I don't eat. I do sometimes eat 'comfort food' - usually when I'm really cold, or not feeling well. But I'm talking about risotto, or mashed potato. I don't eat biscuits or cake, I don't eat junk food, I don't drink lemonade or other sugary drinks, I use one sweetener in decaf coffee, I don't drink alcohol. What I do eat, is much less in quantity anyway, than most (judged by what others in the family eat, and what I see friends eat when we go out). I generally serve my evening meal on a bread and butter plate.

    mother in law is shocking at sabotaging me - she does it to everyone, but we have a hard time making her eat properly herself. But I'm used to her and have succeeded in avoiding her snares.

    So, what I'm doing for now - I'm going to try to make time to do more walking than I already do. I'll probably go back to wearing a pedometer through the day, and try to up the ante each day, to push the numbers ever higher.

    I'm cutting out all things with sugar in them. I'm cutting out as much fat as I can. Then I'm minimising carbs, but still making sure I'm eating a healthy range of natural foods. I'm going to keep cooking at home, but really concentrating on those principles (which I have done to a large extent lately anyway). I've been turned off packaged food since finding a rat molar in a pre-packaged family pack lasagne.

    I'm NOT going to count calories for now. If I'm going to try this pill, I suspect I need to start from a baseline of as normal a metabolic rate as I can. If I start taking it AFTER my metabolism has gone into 'famine' mode, then I suspect it won't work properly.

    I'll look into the WW thing, it may have changed from the last time I checked it out. I didn't get the CSIRO book today, maybe tomorrow. There are a number of foods I can't eat, which can really interfere with the more typical diet plans. I can't eat oats, for example, so muesli is out. And I can't eat more than a very few beans. Chickpeas are OK, but I need to check their carb level. I do have a fairly low oil hommous recipe, plus a bread recipe which uses a lot of chickpeas and tastes fabulous with salad.

    One thing I have stopped eating - I used to have an evening bowl of ice cream (two to three scoops) because despite eating it my weight has been stable. But for the sake of my liver, I'm dropping it - even though ice cream is moderately low GI, it's too high in sugar.

    And we will see what happens.

    Oh, and my thyroid - someone was asking. The hormone levels are OK, although I haven't had it checked out for a while. But I've had no change in the sort of symptoms I would expect. I would probably really benefit from an overactive thyroid about now! We don't get underactive thyroid in our family, just the other one - the motor set too hot.

    Next time some doctor wants bloods done, I'll suggest checking thyroid as well. But this one is fairly clear - the fasting insulin was high, with normal BSL.
    But maybe I could use the insulin resistance to get a referral back to my endocrinologist... he might have some clues.

    There's nothing like teamwork.

    Thanks, guys.