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I'm not sure which category to put this in. One year ago my Dr. put me on Lexipro because of trying to deal with my new life change of moving in with my mom. (husband came too, but he's Never a problem ). Well on came the weight, I felt hopeless but well enough to eat and not care about it. I stopped the med in January and started to see a counselor. He really helped me to navigate through some issues and supported me on some future plans. Such as boundaries and asking siblings for a break. My mom can be sweet or a royal pain. I can't seem to get a better handle on the boundary issue. She has a separate 2 room addition. She just won't keep that darn door shut! And she is safe to be alone. She is constantly coming in to my house for bogus excuses just to see what I'm doing. She asked me yesterday if she was in jail because I keep the door shut. I find myself hiding on her with a bag of chips , cookies whatever is around. Then I feel even worse and blame her, then vow to not get sucked into her trap. But why do I keep putting my finger in the socket?? She is active at the senior center a few days a week, I drop her off and she takes the bus home. One day a week they even pick her up to go grocery shopping. It's like if she doesn't go out every single day she's in my face wanting to know what my plans are for the day. And I do take her out a few times a week, sometimes I just want to be alone.

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CarolEllen:
Soothing oneself with yummy goodies will tend to put on those unhealthy pounds! As I understand it, some medications can compound that. I try to avoid medication whenever possible. Years ago, unrelated to any care-giving, I had put on some weight (but it was not really excessive or noticeable to others, just me.) I had not had a physical in about 5 years (just too busy being a mom and working full time.) When I did go, I was told my cholesterol was very high and I would have to take meds. NO NO NO!! At that time the recommendations they had for tackling this with or without medication was of no help and I had to figure it out myself. Processed foods. Frozen dinners. Basically anything with a shelf life (includes so-called healthy foods like granola bars. Even worse, suspect anything that boasts LOW OR FAT-FREE; these have to replace the fat with something to make it tasty, so they use some form of SUGAR!)

Anyway, one of the things I did was join a gym at work that they had recently opened at that time. I did NOT do any weights or classes, just the treadmill. Personally if I had the option to walk during the day, I would have preferred walking outside (and it is FREE!) I started out with just a normal, good pace, not a stroll. Maybe like 2 miles, about 20 minutes. About every two weeks I would not break a sweat so I would up the pace and the incline each time. The goal was to reduce cholesterol (which about 4-5 weeks of eliminating the crap, making my own meals, salad with chicken for work, making my own granola reduced it by a lot.) The bonus? In addition to getting the cholesterol ratios to a good place, I also lost about 20 pounds, which had been gained by eating those frozen dinners for lunch and those so-called healthy snacks.

Since your mom is at the senior center several days/week and goes grocery shopping with them, THAT can be your time to get out and WALK! It does not hurt to treat yourself with some goodies now and then, especially when you start making progress, but if you can walk a brisk pace outside or go to a gym and use the treadmill, you get several perks: burn off excess energy (for others who are stressed with care-giving, think STRESS RELEASE!), get fresh air, have time away from mom (ME time) and over time the weight loss (of course you will have to try to ditch the cookies and chips, except for special occasions!) Time it and every few weeks up the pace to try to beat your time! Raw baby carrots make a good cookie substitute (for the crunch, not so much the taste.) Other veggies raw, think veggie platters, maybe with a decent not-so-fat dip sometimes, are a better option. I never bothered with calorie counting. Eat healthy foods (keep as close to nature as possible) and MOVE usually works (unless there is an underlying medical issue - you should get a check up before starting any exercise regimen!) Actually, now that I think about it, your mom does not need you to be there all the time even when she is home - when you need to get away, put on a sweater or coat and take a walk outside instead of hibernating in your room with the naughty snacks! Extra calorie burning!

I need to get back to this myself. Although I do not provide hands-on care giving for mom, I do (try) to handle all the rest of it (bills, juggling money to be sure everything is covered, tons of paperwork to get SS, pension, IRS so that I get the paperwork, and apply for VA benefits, visiting mom, responding to issues that come up including falls or needed supplies, in addition to trying to coordinate my brothers to help clean out and fix her condo so we can rent it and have more money for her memory care!) Just that alone is stressful, when trying to get my own tasks, house repairs, snow removal, etc done. When do I get to enjoy MY retirement??? When is MY me time? Since money is tight for me, I do not get out often enough to get fresh veggies (frozen for some), so the healthier eating is still trying to get worked out. I may check into a local gym in 2018, as my medicare advantage plan says it covers this... I cannot do a lot because of vertebrae that slip out of place in my lower back, but perhaps just that treadmill again (my street is too much up/down to try that... yet. Plus, if I get into a bind, I might not be able to walk back home, whereas the treadmill I just have to get off it and back to my car!)

RayLin - agreed snacking is better than boozing or smoking, however excess weight can lead to health crises for you, including your premature demise, just like those other nasty habits can lead to - where does that leave hubby? You really should try to do something - I understand your difficulty leaving the home, and I certainly do know it is harder to get motivated when at home (too many distractions) but as others have said in other threads, put that oxygen mask on yourself first so that you can help others!
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Hey Lassie, congratulations on stopping smoking. That's a huge deal and great thing to do for yourself.

I'm no expert, but, when I started to focus on my nutrition, I actually looked up what each thing had that I ate and logged my calories. I was shocked. It enabled me to see just what I was consuming and why I had gained weight. Also, check with your doctor on thyroid. That and some other conditions and medications can cause weight gain. 
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I gained I-don't-know-how-many pounds in the last few years. The backbreaking caregiving - I would have thought that alone would have turned me into a skeleton (one good thing coming out of it?? HA!) - I was run ragged, I hardly ate ANYTHING - and I GAINED weight. I don't know how, because I was tired and hungry all the time. That was a couple years ago, and I got her into a nursing home and eventually she died, and it was like I never recovered from all that caregiving. I never got my life back. It almost killed me, I almost had a nervous breakdown...Now I am retired, so I didn't have to go to work or do anything, I could just kick back, sleep in, watch old movies. But still, my old life is just gone, and I'm fat fat fat. Is it 'cortisol' in reaction to stress that puts on that huge stomach? (I will admit 5 years ago I stopped smoking, and that, my friends, is something they really don't warn you about - gaining 20 lbs. within a year is not unknown to happen. With that, I may still be doomed to lung cancer in the future, but I am saving $400 a month myself, for not smoking any more. :-) so....)
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To everyone that responded to my initial weight gain issue, I sincerely thank you. I have read all and learned and little from each of you. God Bless!
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Aging, what gave you the impression that I don’t trust them? Was it because I answer the phone when I’m away from home? I’m always going to do that for fear something serious like death, (God forbid) or sickness has happened. I have no way of knowing who is calling my mom or the sitter. I leave my mom with others when the need arises. The only I’d like to happen is for the one who keeps her prohibits her from needlessly calling me so that I can enjoy myself. 

Now I’ve started unplugging the house phone when leaving. The sitter calls only as needed from their cell.

My daughter and baby brother are very trustworthy. It’s my oldest brother I don’t trust.
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Living with someone else who suffers with depression and/or anxiety can be rough. I know. I think what helps me the most is to set boundaries and to draw the line. Pitying the person or catering to them in order to feed their illness, doesn't serve them well or help the caregiver, imo. I think getting respite time works well too. You need time to get away and be carefree, live it up a little, have a cocktail, if you drink. It's important to be around people who aren't sick and maintain your own friends.

I also think that weight is something that can sneak up on you. I'd get a complete physical and have blood sugar and thyroid checked. If it's okay, I'd discuss weight loss options with your doctor. To me, it's mainly a mind thing. If your mind is ready to work on healthy eating, the behavior will follow. If you aren't ready, it's almost impossible to sustain it. Once, I got my mind ready. It wasn't difficult. I just counted calories, ate lots of nutritious food, planned and prepared my own meals and snacks, had treats on certain days, and lost about 46 pounds so far. Slow and steady was my motto. Some people join groups to lose weight, but, I didn't do that. I think that works for some people though. Weight Watchers has an online program, but, I'm not familiar with it.

I'd also add that caregiving can be so overwhelming. If you need help, I'd explore options to get some.
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My father follows me around when I visit him at his place. He lives alone and calls me several times a day - doesn't remember any of them. He wants to know where I am and what I am doing because he can't figure out what to do with himself and he is looking for ideas. He has moderate dementia. I have someone coming in for a few hours every day. I have tried to get him interested in hobbies. They have activities where he lives but he doesn't want to join in because he is unsure of himself. It's just something that I had to get used to but the shadowing is probably the most annoying thing he does. It's not his fault.
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Darol, I'm sorry if I give the wrong impression. I'm just wondering why you don't trust anyone to help you. Maybe that includes me!
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Aging...you’ve got it all wrong. Wow...superiority complex? You do sound hateful.
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Please get examined by your doctor. It is possible that your thyroid levels are out of wack.
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Darol, I don't mean to pick on you--only trying to help--but you seem to be putting yourself in that crack between a rock and hard place and refusing to crawl out, even though you know you're getting squeezed to death. You admit you need the "me time." You also need to admit that you're not God; you're not the only one who could handle something "really wrong" at home, are you? What kind of superiority complex is that?
Please, I don't mean to be hateful; but can you forgive yourself for thinking you're the only One good enough to do it all? Step back a bit and get a different perspective, and take some time for yourself.
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Aging myself. I do trust them. But it’s hard not to answer when I get a call from home. Suppose something is really wrong? I could never forgive myself. I’m always between a rock and a hard place. I’m going to do better though. I’ve gotta have some ‘me time. ‘
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For all you 'nay-sayers' - I'd rather be a fat wife than a thin widow.

Yes, it's stress eating. Still better than drinking.

And some of us can't leave our LO's with another person. Partly because they won't let us but personally, there just isn't anyone I can call. At 96, DH is older than his siblings, but not by much. Most can't get out and about anymore. I only have 2 sisters and one is dealing with a DH with a terminal illness. I won't call her unless absolutely positively necessary.

How would you handle your LO falling and no one able to assist? My DH is terrified that I will leave him alone.

Yes, I can use the stationary bike. But I don't feel like it. I'm tired from being up all night because he needs help to tinkle. And I wouldn't trade any of this for a cemetery plot and widow-hood.

2 sides to every coin people. I get to choose which side of the coin and he's still here.
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Omg tiredonlychild! Drumstick cones are my "drug" of choice too. OP I understand how you gained weight. I have too and my mother does not live with me. The constant anxiety of caregiving and judgemental stuff from Mom, kept me stuffing my face. Please stop now. I have gained 70 pounds. You have some good tips. You are at a disadvantage not being on your home ground so you have to carve out space. Exercise, finding a reason to regularly leave the house for something your mother can't join you for. Tell a white lie if you have to. I am finally losing weight after years of gaining. One thing that helps me personally is a little app on which I record my weight nearly every day. I think it helps me remember to take care of my self. You will find a solution that works for you. It might be that living together won't work.
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If you've gained 30 pounds taking care of someone it seems like you must be doing a lot of hand to mouth, meaning stress eating. This is very common and it sounds like you probably do need to take a break and be alone. Don't feel bad if you find your really not cut out for caregiving, not everyone is and that's OK
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Darol (and others with this problem with getting out for a break):
If you trust the people who are willing to stay with your mom while you go out--and why not trust them?--just don't answer the phone if she calls you. They may not handle every little demand the same as you would, but SO WHAT? You really need that time away to concentrate on happier things and realize that there is another world out there. You are blessed to have willing helpers.
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I lost 80 pounds being Mom's caregiver. I was working full-time and taking care of myself, my house, my mother and my mother's house. I never had one 24 hour period to myself in 20 years. When I became Mom's 24/7 caregiver in 2014 my weight was too low but I was too busy to change it. I was getting pains and injuries from lack of strength. Most of the time I couldn't sleep because I was hungry. Starting in 2016 I made a concerted effort to eat better. I am not a snacker. I like to cook and bake from scratch. My Mom cannot do anything unassisted. My dream is to go into the kitchen and cook something from start to finish, but instead I have to check on Mom every 2 minutes because she will fall on the floor if she tries to get up by herself. She won't call me because she doesn't have enough cognitive ability to understand that she needs help. Most of the time I am interrupted several times before I can cook something for myself. I have been able to gain back 20 pounds, but it is a daily struggle to maintain my weight.
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Sh*t - in the last 2 years, I've gained 40!

But my DH is still here and I am not going totally bonkers tending him 24/7 by myself.

It will come off again - and if not, really, in the grand scheme of things, it's just a few pounds.

But I am sorry you too are going through this. I am not thrilled with the extra 40 lbs but life is going on.

Huggers,
Linda
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Feel you, Carolellen. My father lived with us for almost six years in a two room suite/separate bathroom. He just moved to memory care the first week of December. This past year, things took a dive, with serious illness and serious caregiving. I just calculated about a fifth of the year was spent in hospitals or a rehab center. I became so worn out on every front, I took Xanax to control anxiety and keep from having a stroke, and I would eat Stouffers mac-n-cheese and a Drumstick ice cream cone EVERY night when I would get home from the hospitals. When he was here, it was all fast food toward the end of this year. So bad for me, the family and him. But I was like a horse flailing in the street, you could beat me some more, but I just couldn't get up to do normal things at home any more - between my job, my kids, and dad. Awful, awful diet. And it did not get easier on my side, we installed baby monitors - so I would be able to hear dad at night with (blessedly) MSNBC going all the time. And before that, when he was still mobile, I would hear the scrape of his walker headed toward my room. I would just cower in my bed with dread.  Most days, I just hid in our bedroom - with the kids coming in the bedroom to watch TV or to talk, because to go out in the "common area" meant I would become someone's maid. My husband would run interference when it got to the point of me never getting a break. Even so, as I've written, with five people in addition to my dad, it got to be too much. He's at a memory center now and doing ok. The one big change is the people there are happy - or at least not miserable - to see him. It had gotten to such a point that I think psychologically our household was terrible for him. He was so demanding - from a medical care standpoint - that all of us were burned out. and that can't feel good. Now, we want to see him, he wants to see us, I'm not having to clean him up after a bowel movement and he's actually been able to take a shower and transfer to the wheel chair - which he was not able to do in our house - mostly because WE were exhausted and didn't really know what we were doing. This Christmas, the house was trashed - because I was sick and exhausted from the year and the move (sadness, guilt, grief) - but we brought the entire dinner to the memory care unit, my youngest daughter played bass solo Christmas carols and Dad actually sang. I would NOT have believed it, considering where we've been. And no mac-n-cheese and drumsticks. Next year, take the weight back off and breathe. Feel your circumstance. Lock the door, put up a sign. You have to have alone time or you will go crazy.
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Wow! Y’all get time alone! I never get time to myself. My mom won’t let me out of her sight. I signed her up for the senior center and she refuses to go. I try to take her to the adult daycare. Then says I’m trying to put her away. I can get away during the daytime for quick trips to the store but that’s not enough for me.
I have a daughter, brother and friend that will sit with her but she doesn’t trust them. She calls my cell constantly while I’m away. I went on a 6 hr trip last week and she called me 4 times. She claimed she hadn’t eaten or taking any meds. It was all a lie. I’d just like to have 24-48 hours to myself without getting a phone call from mom or the sitter.
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Thanks cetude. I too have to exercise and eat better. Carolellen, I too had no time alone in my home. After awhile it really got on my nerves. My aunt disapproved of my tv choices, and likes it very quiet, while I like lots of background music. It no longer matters whose house it is, it is a huge adjustment. Yes, Lexapro and weight gain and snacking for me too.
For a year or two my aunt could travel, and was good company. Then I was able to get a companion to be with her a few times a week, so I could get out. Then I had the companion take her out - my own space again...till she fell and won't go out except with me. So it is one step at a time, finding a solution and then things change. Some things I just learned to accept and work around. Keep in touch here. We understand, and when we have differing views, we can be helpful, or ignored. ;) Best wishes on this new stage of your life.
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It's your choice to eat junk food so it can be your choice to eat more healthy and start exercising. I also gained 30 pounds from caregiving stress but decided I was just getting myself in a mess and I was terrified I might become diabetic so I set a goal to lose 2 pounds a month (yes that was not unreasonable) and *gradually* start exercising. Two years later I lost 32 pounds and I can vigorously bike ride 30 minutes a day with a one-speed bike. My waistline went from 38 inches to 32 inches. It's all about choices and eating all that junk is only doing you harm..which in turn if something happens to your health who is going to take care of your loved one. Nobody but a nursing home. Yes life sucks and I'm a full time caregiver and it is hell every single day for me. But I try to do things which makes life more bearable. I also acquired my Bachelor's degree but I worked very hard and made top grades so I won scholarship after scholarship so college was 100% free for me including the books which I turned around and sold on Amazon. With so many online classes educational opportunities are abound and it NEED NOT COST A DIME if you make straight A's and apply for scholarships.  Bachelor scholarships are everywhere and they give them out like candy for those who earned it and sometimes I'd win two scholarships. So I never had to pay a dime for my education.  That's ALL UP TO YOU. YOU have control. This degree I have can open up more doors if I still can't work in an office, I can do so online and stay at home and watch my mum and make some money.  Like I said it's your choice. 
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Sounds like your mom could use a senior companion to hangout with. Call your local AAA (area agency on aging) for help and payment. Then you can spend one day a week with your mom doing something you both like to do.
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We have news wars on here too,, hubs is a Fox fan, and mom is a CNN junky. I try to stay like Switzerland ... OMG! I just want to watch Destination America or History channel ! I turned my daughters room into a TV room, guest bedroom! For me...
But back to the weight issue, I also plan to go to a gym after the worst of winter is over.. I know I wont go out when it is cold or snowing. My knees are shot after my broken ankle last year, and my thigh muscles. I sit on the floor to play with the puppy and I have to get on my hands and knees to get up.. it is sort of scaring me at this point how out of shape I am.
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Off topic--but since I was the once complaining about FoxNews---it has turned my usually calm husband into a raging political fool. I'm enbarassed about the amount of time he wastes watching it--and the programs repeat a couple times during the day, sooo...if he's home, it's on and I just cannot STAND the sound of a single commentator. I actually moved out of our bedroom 2 years ago b/c of it. Hubby is just addicted.

Oh--and he records the shows he "misses" while at work or on a business trip so he can catch up. I never thought I'd be replaced by a TV news station.

I WAS a psych major and I know this channel has altered hubby's once-sunny view on life.

WHY do we have cable when A: I don't watch TV and B: he watches one station?
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Oh speaking of Fox News.... when I was visiting my Mom at her long-term-care facility, Mom was sleeping so I went out into the common area. No residents were there so I turned on the sitting room TV and was channel surfing. A nurse/aide came by and asked me politely once I found a station, please make sure it isn't Fox News as that station tends to upset the residents, but the other cable news networks were ok. I also remember hearing that at the hospital when my parents were there.

I thought what an interesting thesis that would make for a psych major.
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Hi CarolEllen
I can really relate. I treasure time alone, and my mother (who also had her own suite in our home) would always come find me as I was getting some relaxing time. I put on weight and that added to the unhappiness/guilt/frustration.
The self closing hinges sound like a great idea, as does the carving out your personal haven in the house. But I would encourage you to start walking, if you are able. It doesn't need to be race walking or anything but take an hour a day and hit the sidewalk. Maybe listen to a book on tape. Do some daily reflections (there are a lot of websites/books that can help with this) that focus on self care and thankfulness, that helped me to get out of my head. Making that 1 hour walk and small changes in eating (if you do the shopping try not to buy your weaknesses!) is what helped me gradually get rid of the 20+ pounds I put on.
I would caution seeking a "tranquilizer" they can interfere with judgement and also contribute to weight gain. There are anti-depressants that are also for anxiety. Buproprion is one (also called Welbutrin) that has been developed and does not have the side effect of weight gain for most people.
Best of luck, you are not alone (oh, wait-you want alone time! : )
Margaret
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And btw midkid, Fox News ?! Yup its on here all the time! My hubby too, but hey what can I say ? In my case it's the least I can do for him living with his MIL!!
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Thank you all!
A self closing door, that's genius! And since we're having construction it will fall into the project like it wasn't intentional.
I never even considered that I might have anxiety 🤔, you shed a new light for me. I'll f/u with my PMD. And to answer a question, we lived separately in our home 3 miles away. three years after my dad died ,mom asked us to move in with her because she was lonely. We thought it would solve one problem of continuous calls at 2 am that she was out of breath or dizzy or her BP was out of control, it was always something. So we thought it made sense since she was independent at the time. Three weeks after we signed our contract to sell our home, she had spinal compression fractures which took several weeks to heal. Her health physically and mentally has declined since then. At one point last February she told me she was dying and had only 3 weeks to live. ( sucker across my forehead, I figured it must be true who says such things!) łI'm thankful for the senior center and the fact that she goes. I know a lot of you have much more to bear and my heart goes out to you as I read and learn from your posts. God Bless you all.
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Carolellen, one positive note, your Mom likes to go to the Senior Center many days during the week. And Mom has transportation for grocery shopping. A lot of us would gladly change places with you :)

Since your Mom sounds like she can take care of herself, just curious why you and your husband moved in with her? Or are there times when she doesn't like being by herself? I know how that feels, and it can be scary as one ages.

Any chance you could work or volunteer part-time during the day, especially on days when Mom is at the senior center? That might give you the emotional jump start that you need. It's great getting up in the morning and going to work, even if it is half a day.

Now, as for the closed door, you need to remember that prior to you moving in, Mom had her house all to herself. That's a very hard habit to break. And that there is now that child/adult dynamic going on where Mom is back to being Mom again, and you are a teenager. When your Mom is home alone on her side of the house, she wants to talk to someone, to be with someone on her days off from the senior center. I can't blame her, as last week I was home sick and how I hated being by myself.

Yep, I also had put on weight and it wasn't from comfort eating, it was from the lack of exercise as back when I was helping my parents I was exhausted, and who wants to exercise then?
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