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Thread: Diet

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Sonora, CA, USA


    I've gained 40 unwanted pounds since I was released July 2000 from the hospital, four months after my injury (T-10 complete). I was in good shape when I left the hospital. I have not gained anything back since the injury and this depresses me.

    I worked out frequently at the gym before I was injured. I miss the endorphin rush. I've been dealing with grief and depression since the injury. I compulsively overeat at night after the wife and kids are asleep. I usually stay up until 2 or 3 a.m. This drives my wife crazy.

    I'm not stretching, have lost flexibility and the weight gain has made it tough to transfer and manuever in my wheelchair. I can't touch my feet anymore. I was a decent-looking guy before the injury and didn't look bad after I left the hospital.

    How have you kept slim or taken pounds off? My self-esteem is low. Obviously, the answer is to watch what I eat and count calories.

    Any suggestions? How do you stay in shape?

  2. #2
    Hi Scribe,

    I never really worked out before my injury, but now workout almost every day at a local gym. It did take me a few days to figure out a good way to get off and on the equiptment.

    I feel much better after working out. The endorphin rush is a much better cure for depression than meds. Also even though I don't have use of my stomach muscles I find that regular excercise of any kind will help keep the weight off of the belly. I was injured when I was 16 and am now 26. I have a little bit of a belly but it is hardly noticable with cloths on.

    I am meeting with a physical therapist this week so I can try swimming. I here a lot of SCI people really enjoy this. Once I get it down I am going to add swimming to part of my workout.

    Maybe some kind of regular excercise is what you need to: help the depression, keep the weight off, and feel better about yourself.

    I hope this inspires you.


  3. #3
    you might also check and see what the side effect of some of the medicines you are taking. I started gaining weight in the spring of last year and could not figure out why all of a sudden my appetite came back very strong. I finally figured out just a few months ago that one of the medicines (Imipramine) that was prescribed last spring for bladder spasms also has the side effect " increased appetite and increased appetite for sweets " according to its labeling. I needed to gain some weight because I lost so much after my accident, but now it is starting to add up and I plan on talking to my doctor about getting off this medicine.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    BC, Canada
    Over-eating (especially in private after your wife and kids go to bed) is a sign of Depression. After reading previous posts of yours you seem like a very reasonable, compassionate person. I hope you are doing okay and figure things out.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Sonora, CA, USA

    Good input

    Tara, Carl R and Chimera, thanks for the constructive advice and encouragement. I've been having problems lately coping with my injury. I am taking antidepressants but these meds can only go so far in relieving the angst. I also take Vicodin, which reduces the physical pain and helps take the edge off anxiety.

    Tara, you seem like a reasonable and compassionate person, too, and I'm glad you responded to this topic.

    Carl R., I'm going to inquire about side effects from the meds.

    Chimera, I may start working out again, although our local gym is not very adaptable. I would have to adjust to the equipment and hope I don't fall off my wheelchair. It has a handcycle I can use.

    If I get more money, I may get a hand cycle for home. Trouble is, the more equipment you have the more it eats up space unless your home has a huge room to put it in.

    It's hard to make yourself vulnerable in these forums. But I have to reach out to others, which often is tough to do.

    What kind of eating habits do you have? Do you keep away from certain foods and drinks?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Argao, Cebu, Philippines


    It still amazes me the efficiency of the human body and how few calories we burn. A complete workout might only burn 1500 calories or less, which can be consumed in a matter of minutes.

    For losing weight I strongly endorse the Atkin's Diet for periods of 2 - 3 weeks. This diet means zero carbohydrates. Your body then adjusts its metabolism to burn fat in order to produce energy. It's called "ketosis," I believe. You literally become a fat-burning machine. The problem is that most healthy foods like grains, fruits and vegetables are primarily carbohydrates. You can easily lose ten to fifteen pounds in three weeks, however, and slowly add back in carbohydrates for your health but eliminating all things such as processed sugar.

    It has really helped me shed unwanted pounds I've gained and I normally do a two to three week course twice a year.

    Hope this helps.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  7. #7


    Scribe, I think you should have a combination of the following to help you address this:

    Seek out counseling in your area. Antidepressant drugs alone are not very successful in treating depression. Talking therapy can help. Ask your physician for a referral to a good psychologist or psychiatric social worker in your area. This may need to involve some family therapy as well.

    Ask your physician for a referral to a registered dietician. These professionals can be very helpful in assisting you to restructure your diet with safety weight loss goals, using a balanced diet. Fad diets should be avoided, as you really need to develop completely different eating habits for life.

    Start working out. This may include just pushing your chair some miles on the local high school track. I know your area is hilly, so road pushes may be more difficult. Swimming is also a good exercise. Look into a wheelchair sport you can participate in that you will enjoy. This will help get endorphins flowing to help with your depression as well.

    Weight loss involves burning more calories that you consume, but obviously it is not that simple. You will need the support of your family and friends to reach that goal, and will need to start feeling better about yourself at the same time.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001


    It's really hard to lose weight once you've gained it, and I too am struggling to lose a few pounds I've put on over the winter. The most effective method of exercising for me is to work out with someone else. I guess I am just not motivated enough to do it on my own, so I need someone else's urging me to the gym! Actually, I bought a Bowflex home gym for my husband and discovered that I can use quite a bit of the equipment (I am a T11 complete). Maybe you can get something for your house, so you don't have to travel to the gym. It helped me.

    I do lift free weights and do stretching at home at least 3 times a week, and in good weather I ride my handcycle as often as possible. I also ride horses in good weather. I really enjoy outdoor activities, so getting in shape for them is becoming a priority for me.

    Good luck, and if you find the secret for shedding the last 10 pounds, please let me know!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Sonora, CA, USA

    Constructive advice

    Thanks, nurse, your professional advice makes sense.

    I'm compulsively overeating at night. My psychologist has prescribed (through her physician husband) wellbutrin and effexor for depression. The wellbutrin diminishes hunger in some people. This is why it's not prescribed for thin people and those with anorexia and bulemia. However, it hasn't put a dent in my appetite.

    I started a new insurance plan in January that allows me 24 visits yearly for counseling. My laset insurance policy only allowed 15. As a result, last year I used up my visits early. As a result, I had only two visits over the last three months of 2001 and have seen her only once this year. I'm scheduling two visits a month from now on.

    I took you advice to exercise to heart. I may buy a handcycle. I exercised frequently before I was injured two years ago.

  10. #10
    Senior Member crashgirl246's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    palm springs Ca.

    Use to be BUFF!!

    I was very active prior injury. The gym was an everyday thing for me. I had 14inch bieceps,big cut quads,wide back,cut abs..its so depressing now looking at my legs and especially MY BELLY! Is there any kind of surgery that can be done for this?Like a tummy-tuck? You know, I live in the Plastic Surgery capitol of the world here..I like to wear little skimpy tank tops and stuff, but now, forget it. Help!
    I eat very healthy. Oatmeal for breakfast,wheat bread and tuna or a salad for lunch, fruit,chicken or meat w/veggies for dinner. I dont get it. I wheel myself to the gym and back. i train 4 days a week. this gut just wont go away! ugh..
    Have a beautifl day!

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