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07-22-2008, 12:41 AM   #1
butt-eze
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I'm lost

For those of you who are familiar with my story you know that I have gained a tremendous amount of weight since being diagnosed almost 3 years ago. It was at first a yo yo process thanks to prednisone. Followed by a month long hospitalization, another year of steroids, and depression. It has never helped that I've always had fairly poor eating habits.

Now, how do I get back to where I was? Truthfully I need to lose 100 lbs. I have never had this problem until now. The crohn's is causing arthritic pain in my knees and feet. Making it hard to walk, climb stairs, and work out in general.

My idea is to swim. I grew up swimming and loved it. In fact, I will most likely start swimming ASAP. However, it is the diet that has me perplexed. If I didn't have crohn's I would get the whole idea of a balanced diet. Yet I'm currently in a mild flare. Pain during BM, bleeding, and a fissure. I'm hoping the Humira kicks in but I've only had one dose thus far.

My main area that I need help is just finding a healthy diet that isn't extreme.
Can I do something like yogurt, bananas, apples, pretzels, turkey sandwich???
I have always hated vegetables but should I choke them down? I don't even like red meat that much but will eat it if I should. I can tolerate fish.

I just simple don't get how to make this work while working full-time and taking care of a 2 year old.

Please, no lectures...just help.
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Amy
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Humira started 7/10/2008
Committee Chair for CCFA Northwest Chapter
07-22-2008, 02:36 AM   #2
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hey Amy

i would say yes, there is every chance of eating appropriate foods while you have the flare, but still foods which don't need to be high calorie or high fat in value.

if you can tolerate cereal - then the slimmers variety (here it's called Special K) is ideal for a baseline.. if you had a bowlful of that every morning, with a banana sliced into it, & either fully skimmed milk or low fat yoghurt poured onto it, then that would be a great start to the day. all the things you mention above i think would be fine - you can get slimmers bread, low fat spread - i buy low fat/low sugar almost everything i can.. crisps (potato chips), biscuits etc.. not particularly for me but for the whole family. the only thing i'd be careful with is apples, especially if you're flaring.

if you've got the energy, swimming would really help too, and it might ease the aches in your joints as well.
07-22-2008, 03:00 AM   #3
BWS1982
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Hey Amy, no lectures, I'll copy over my tips from Kittee's thread if in case you didn't catch it, and then add more to that....
========================================

BWS1982 said:
...some fat loss/satiating tips I can give you off the top of my head, but I'll keep it to many of the common ones because they're not complicated and they work:

1. Try brushing your teeth frequently, a clean mouth has less desire to pig out, try it, it actually works well

2. drink lots of liquids, mainly water and any other low sugar/Crohns friendly drinks you can tolerate.

3. any protein like Isla said you can tolerate the more the better, do it, same with fiber and healthy fats (in moderation, they're calorically dense, so easy on 'em) if you can tolerate any that is

4. cut out the simple carbs if you can (even though they're Crohns friendly), they spike blood sugar and increase hunger when you "crash" again

5. small snacks here and there are great (your calorie counting is a good idea, I count calories and protein each day mentally when I'm in remission)

6. If you can tolerate either apples or nuts, eat 'em, the fiber and especially the specific sugar in apples actually blunts the appetite well

7. When you serve your portions, serve up smaller ones and then leave the serving "area", you'd be surprised at the studies that show subconsiously how much people were inclined to "finish their plates" with whatever was on it

8. take sips of water between bites, this will fill you up faster and slow you down, allowing your signals for satiation to register

9. try eating with your opposite hand (this works well unless your ambidextrous), it also slows you down, a right hander would eat with the left hand.

10. If you can when shopping, eliminate the purchase of anything you have a tendancy to endulge on, even if it's for a special occasion or someone else (if it's there, you'll eat it)...you'll get a craving at home and think "eh, all I have is this and that, I'm not in the mood for that, forget it", and also make the shopping trip when you're full

11. Try soups and liquids too, surpisingly low in calories per their weight, and will fill you up faster

12. If you're an emotional eater, try to tackle that and preoccupy yourself with something and relax so you don't trigger things

13. This one can be harsh, but it works...before you feel the need to go eat something either look in the mirror and recall your desires to lose weight, or pinch a part of your body that is a part you feel very poorly about (ie: your belly or your thigh), this often makes people recall their conviction about wanting to lean out and works well

14. since the fact of it boils down to calories in/out, remember to focus on the "out" part too, read: exercising...try to do anything active, park your car farther from the store, take the stairs, etc...now that you're on pred you may have the ability to do this stuff better

15. time of day matters, try to get any/all carbs in in the AM, and taper them off as the day goes, the closer to bedtime, the stricter you should get in general, and try to isolate your food as protein sources towards bedtime (shouldn't go to bed hungry though, use the protein)

16. Perhaps make a goal of getting into an old piece of clothing that you fit in recently that you liked (or even buy a new peice that you WOULD have fit in if you need more motivation)...use this as a goal, you want to fit in it and picture yourself looking good in it, shoot for this

17. Eliminate all "TV and mindless eating", if you are tuned out of your eating process, you'll be inclined to eat more than you should, AND eat it faster...try eating when eating is the only thing you're doing

18. Use treats as a motivator, many times you'll still lose fat effectively if you set a goal, like if you eat very strict for 3 days straight, you get a treat (food or even otherwise, like a purchase) on the 4th day, and repeat, repeat...

19. Take some measurements...some people respond better mentally to a numerical value to their fat loss/weight loss, this motivates them better if they can conceptualize their progress this way

I used to have a list of nearly a hundred of these on an old USB drive somewhere I used to give to people I'd advise (coworkers, family etc...) and help to go along...But remember, your Crohns has to come first, as well as your mental well being...don't let those be overiden. A lot of these may not work for you, and what helps is if you try to root out what causes your "snacking" etc...is it stress? is it something to chew on? (gum helps here), find out what that is and attack that too if you can...These are very common sense ones too, hopefully something will work. I'll come back here and post more if I can think of any. Good luck, PM me if you have anything I can help with.


To add, Amy, is the 100 lbs. a guess or is it a former weight or what? Just wasn't sure how you came upon that particular number. Try to go slow and steady, it ensures a staying fat reduction when it comes off gradual, the body doesn't like sudden weight changes...which is why people often bounce back on crash diets, even fatter than before. I suggest go with the swimming (sounds like you've made up your mind though), because it's easy on the joints as you state, but primarily because you have a passion for it, and more likely to maintain it. It's great cardio and to be honest, doesn't feel like strenuous work. Also, your food suggestions are fine as long as they don't traditionally worsen your Crohns (do the carbs more towards morning if possible, like pretzels...and also, try to periodically ingest protein and water to quench ravenous hunger), what it really comes down to is calories in and out, with a minimal influence on some other factors (blood sugar levels, hormones, etc...). Just be sure not to do anything that'd make your mild flare turn into a major one, but I'm sure that precaution doesn't need to be stated. Also, because you mention your son, I would add that if you could "kill 2 birds with 1 stone", you could turn mother-son time into both a fun time for you two, and exercise, simultaneously...running around, playing with a ball, swimming together (I know he's young, but perhaps in the shallow end with floaties, and then someone watches him while you get a few laps in, just spitballing here...)...you'll get lots of great exercise this way too.

Hope this is a good start, I'll try to add more after you respond some, perhaps Jeff can add something I may not have mentioned too. Good luck.
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-diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in Sept. 2006, currently 28 years old

"Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird."

"Men with Spartan lives, simple in their creature comforts, if only to allow for the complexity of their passions." -The X-Files, S4

Last edited by BWS1982; 07-22-2008 at 03:04 AM.
07-22-2008, 02:46 PM   #4
butt-eze
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Actually to reach my apporpriate BMI I would need to lose over 100 lbs but I was willing to settle with just getting back to a decent weight. When my son was born in October 2005 I lost all of my pregnancy weight thanks to the Crohn's diet. LOL! After that I rapidly gained 50+ pounds due to high dose steroids. I was then hospitalized for over a month. Was unable to walk for quite some time and then was still on steroids. The entire year after being discharged I was on steroids to avoid a relapse of my lung condition (BOOP). I was also depressed/anxious about nearly dying. This is when I put on another 50 + pounds. Now with the joint pain I have lacked motivation to do anything.

My goal with the swimming is to increase my strength and mobility. You know what....I'll freakin sign up tomorrow!
07-25-2008, 03:06 AM   #5
BWS1982
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How's it working Amy?
07-30-2008, 12:32 PM   #6
Isla
 
I know, I have gained 40 pounds myself and seem to just slowly increase the pounds slowly but surely. Hopefully you can inspire me to get off my computer nerd butt - which is almost impossible!
07-30-2008, 12:35 PM   #7
butt-eze
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I'd love to inspire you but I think we'd be better off encouraging each other. I work in a medical office where drug reps bring us starbucks, donuts, cookies, ice cream, almost every day. It's tough to resist. Especially when everyone else is indulging.
If you have any good ideas let me know.
07-30-2008, 11:42 PM   #8
Jeff D.
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Benson has a lot of great info for you in his post. I will add that don't just do swimming. You can do a workout in a pool that will put less pressure on your joints which is good if you have arthritis. Also, cycling is a very good low impact workout which will help you lose weight. If you don't have a bike and would like info on bikes in your price range I'm am very knowledgable and if I can't answer your question I could always email my friend who works in a bike shop. I would not suggest things that are really fast paced because your heart rate will go way to high up and you won't be able to lose wieght that way. Also, a heart rate moniter is a great purchase. Best of luck and let me know if I could be any help.
07-31-2008, 12:27 AM   #9
BWS1982
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slightly off topic, to an extent, but I'm a fan of HIIT Jeff, don't know if you've touched on that in your schooling yet, but basically stands for "High Intensity Interval Training", and uses interval training to blast the heartrate higher, and give a longer afterburn, which in turn burns calories long long after the workout ending. It's also a preference of bodybuilders though, because it doesn't have the atrophy effects that slow jogging has (look at the body of Michael Johnson, fastest sprinter in the world arguably, and then at the body of a marathon runner, or Lance Armstrong, the body adapts to longer sessions of aerobic work by tightening the muscles and dropping it's size, focusing on the type 1 fibers, for the slow twitch style jogs)....I prefer to do it as sprints, fast for x seconds, do a light jog for x seconds, fast again for x seconds....and so on.

Jogging and the "fat burn zone" of the heart rate range though is important to focus on for general "weight loss" as it's effective, I'm just saying Bodybuilding's more a focus on preserving muscle and size, and HIIT has some great benefits, plus, we like to mainly use diet to shrink fat cells, like absurdly low levels of carbs etc....but I did do a great amount of distance running when I was training for the POWER test a year ago in remission, the physical test needed to become a police officer. I'll say it's easier to do distance cardio to music than sprint your ass off doing laps back and forth when you can't hear a thing because you're panting so loud.

Good idea on the water exercises, didn't think of mentioning that.
07-31-2008, 01:57 AM   #10
Jeff D.
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I haven't studied HIIT in school but I have studied it on my own for the past few years. I'm a big believer in HIIT and have used it to great success on my own. I wouldn't suggest it though if you don't already have some sort of baseline.

Benson I think this is one of the first times we agree on something like this.lol
07-31-2008, 03:50 AM   #11
BWS1982
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Yaaay!
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