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I find, that in the last year, I have put on so much weight. At first I thought it was passive eating, then, I noticed that I was overeating at the most stressful moments in my life...which have been many, lately.
I realized that this is no less destructive than over indulging in alcohol, pills, or other negative behaviors. It almost feels like I am destroying my health out of the frustration of not being able to handle everything right now.
I noticed that my face becomes red and hot when I get just a little stressed. I think I may have high blood pressure, too (which I never had before).
Added to these problems, I have no desire (or time) to exercise properly. I feel like I am sinking...there is nothing postive to hold onto right now...just more work and more stress.
Does anyone have a good solution for getting back on track healthwise...especially if you do not have a lot of free time? I find myself envying those people who go to "spas" to unwind. The only spa I have is my bathtub :o(
thanks...Lilli

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Hi all you wonderful caregivers and Happy New Year. One thing that really bugs me about the weight gain is that I do not get that much pleasure from food. I eat it because I have to but I am not enjoying eating since I have become a caregiver and am responsible for someone else's nutrition. It is weird. I keep promising myself weight watchers but the thought of all the planning, cooking and meetings gets me overwhelmed. I have enough to do already - unfortunately not much of it is for me. I just wish my metabolism would rev up and let me shed some of this gut weight. Is that too much to ask???? - hahaha.
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I am so glad to read that I am not the only one with these sorts of problems. I used to be very particular about my looks also, but working and caregiving takes up literally all of my day. I want to exercise, but literally have no time to do so. I keep thinking someday... but I really don't want to wish my life away. There has got to be a solution!
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When my sweet mom was alive she ate like a Super Model! ... and I was always trying to lose weight. It was ridiculous... we would just laugh about it.

I was always looking for meatloaf and macaroni and cheese recipes for her and I would cook up a wonderful cheesy beefy pasta or lasagna and she would sit down to eat it, but I had been cooking and driving to her house (sitting) all day and I just could hardly eat with her....

I felt like I was losing my mind sometimes. Now that she is gone, I clearly munch too much. It's no one's fault but my own. I fall for every goodie that anyone offers me, but not anymore. For New Year's I am going to say I have a health 'issue' and refuse the offers.

I am determined to start eating like a ... Super Model! :-) Vegetables and fruits galore!!
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Oh yes the weight - 30 lbs here over the last year. I think it is a combination of stress and probably too many calories! My Mums - who is 110lbs soaking wet - eats constantly. She is grazing all day and then want the 3 meals also. It is driving me mad. Here she is all focused on eating and I am the one carrying the extra weight. This may sound really vain but the weight gain is one of the hardest things that I have to go thru. No clothes fit well, my knee hurts and I look like a block of cheese. When I say my prayers at night and pray for patience during this time I usually add "Did I have to get fat on top of everything else"? hahaha - good to know I am not the only one.
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Christina: No cheese????? Really? Ya' just broke my heart.

Thank you all for the motivation...makes me feel like I am living in less of a caregiving "vacuum." I have my treadmill right here in my office, just sitting there and making me feel guilty. So I just have to dust it off and get to it.

I know what you are saying about ailments that prevent you from starting. I have had so many knee and foot problems - but it is due to the weight - vicious circle. I have never been this unhealthy. But this year I am committed to making good changes for myself. I will let you know how it went on Dec. 31st :o)
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Hi Lilli,
I find myself going from eating too many sweets to then depriving myself. I was walking every day 3-5 miles, then I got enflamed nerves in my feet--which is probably stress-related, too--so I have had to stop. I put on my shoes and forced myself the other day, and suffered very badly the next. It's not that I don't want to walk, or eat healthy, or exercise, or lift weights, or be a tea-totaller, but I am weak.
Paul said it best, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak". If he couldn't do it, then that's no excuse, but it is a good illustration that we must learn to forgive ourselves, give ourselves a healthy treat whenever we can, and keep trying.
By the way, almost every morning when my Mother wakes up the first time and I take her to the bathroom, clean her up, change her Depends, put powder on her to feel better, change her nightgown, give her before breakfast meds and all the water she wants, then put her back to bed, I tell her, "We'll get up in a while. First, I need to do a few things for myself." I mean, get a cup of uninterrupted coffee, walk outside to look at my garden, feed the cat, set things up for her breakfast, and sometimes just sit and watch the news for a moment. She gets that look on her face, and sometimes says, "what about me?" But, I have just done more for her than I do for myself in a day, and it can't be all about her, all of the time. I KNOW THAT. SHE DOESN'T. I do what I need to do, when I need to do it, and I do not like listening to her incessant whining first thing in the morning, but that's how she is now. (The new med, Zyprexa, is helping a lot! She is more positive and calm, but she is having a hard time finding the right words.)
Bottom line on diet, in my experience: eat lots of protein: tuna, sardines, turkey, chicken breast, lots of fresh greens, no dressing just lemon juice and a bit of olive oil, don't eat bread, rice or pasta, have a baked potato once in a while with salsa or chili, but no butter, sour cream, or cheese, eat a cup of vegies at lunch and dinner with your salad and protein, (don't eat cheese !!!) no alcohol, or maybe just one glass :) eat berries for dessert, eat fruit in the morning, no extra sugar, drink lots of water, about 90 ounces a day. Every morning I start out with that mind set--some days it works, other days I fail. Then I try again:) Love, Christina
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Since I been looking after mom for the last 2yrs I have gained 50lbs+ carrying that extra weight is making me more exhausted than ever. I "graze" all day long. When mom has bad nights I eat to say awake. I can't stop. It has became so habit that I don't even realize how much I am eating. I also smoke. I used to be a very light smoker but now I am running outside every little bit for a puff or two. I am smoking a pack a day. Which that is money we don't have. But the stress at times and feelings of being alone, food and cigarettes are my best friend. Taking care of mom, chasing after kids, trying to spend time with husband, doing housework, maintaining an arce+ lawn, cleaning the pool, weeding the flower beds and the garden is all in a days work!!! What makes it even more difficult, my moms house has a finished basement also. Thats where hubby and kids retreat too. My parents made a kitchen as well in the finished basement, so that is 2 kitchens that I have got to cleanup. I feel as though I am cleaning up two households.
My hubby does try. But I get so caught up in my role that I don't appreciate and really don't respect the help. My hubby tries to encourage me to walk on treadmill but I feel insulted. I feel thats his way of saying "hey your fat"
I have no drive to take care of myself and don't know how to fix it!!!!
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good for you rebecca -small steps seems to work well. You are right that we seem tio forget we are of value because we are so busy.stressed
leep up the good work! ♥ Joan
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I started eating badly when my father first went into the hospital a two years ago. I left my teaching job in the afternoon, ate to have energy at the hospital, and then ate to stay awake to drive home and grade papers. Since he passed away, I was exhausted until this summer and ate badly. I have started eating smaller portions, and make better choices at the grocery store. The best part has been walking. The weight has been very slowly coming off but it is coming off. I think my father would expect it of me. We forget we are of value because we are all so busy. Hang in there! Rebecca
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thx Ringo - so had to have that junk food in the house - sounds like a little bit of depression - a real demotivator - I guess the best motivation is just to be the best you that you can be - for your own sake cause you are worth it (((((hugs))))))
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Emjo,

I'm so sorry that you lost your 23 year old son. Nothing I have gone through compares to that.

Just my everyday, unrelenting, stupid stress.

I'm trying. Also, my father (who is very thin) eats a LOT of junk food - food that I would never have brought into my house before (because I know how I am); so I am having a hard time resisting that temptation.

I used to be quite vain - but now - can't figure out my motivation. I'm in an office all day - then waiting on a 90 year old and 16 year old son . . . what IS my motivation????

I know it should be to take care of myself. Hopefully, I'll find that motivation soon! I hate feeling this way.
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HI ringo and miz - would just encourage both of you and the others to take even small steps to look after yourself. There is a void after losing a loved one, there is a change after taking some one into your home. Either way it is stressful and can take a toll on your health,
miz i retired a year ago and felt a void too - though do not have the grieving you do, but it is still a big adjustment and has taken about a year for me to refocus

I lost my youngest son at age 23 nearly 9 years ago and after suriving the first period of shock I realised that I had to start looking after myself better -and eating better was high up on the list

you can do it!
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And I eat at night. I usually do okay during the day.
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I have put on weight too but it's been during the aftermath of losing my mom who I cared for for over 5 years and then my mother-in-law 3 months later. It's like I am trying to fill a void in my life. I think problems with my bro and sis and cleaning out Mom & Dad's house has added to it. Sucks. I hate it.
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I'm there too! 10 lbs since we moved to a new state and my father moved in with us.

I have two dogs so walk them regularly and ride my bike - but come 9:00 - the stress eating begins.
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(((((((lilli))))) I am so sorry you and others above feel so hopeless. I have struggled all my life with emotional eating - being the scapegoat for a Bordeline Personality Disorder and narcissistic mum has certainly contributed but as an adult i have to take responsibility for myself. None of us can do everything and some things some times have to be let go.I have taken a break from my mum - meaning no communication from me though i still get emails from her and I do this with no guilt. For how long I do not know. She still sends me requests and demands regularly, which i ignore. Am i an uncaring person - no not at all, i am just doing what I need to do to survive. Her needs are a bottomless pit and she would drag me into it and consume all my time and energy on what are largely wild goose chases. She wants my company too, but she is so negative she drags me down and I have to travel 5 hrs to get to her city and then stay in a hotel so it is not something I can do often. I have been seeing a therapist (well qualified and no cost through a local church) and he is encouraging me to do what is good for me - and to detach and distance. No one can do it for you. I have an AHA moment the other day. All my life i have been concerned about doing right by others. Then I realized that doing right means also doing right by myself. Duh - took a lot of years. Lilli I know your problerms with your mum are different but it sounds like you need a good check up and to do some things that are good for you. Are you on antidepressants? They can help if you are overwhelmed. I have looked at what is essential in my mother's care and she is getting that - without my direct involvement. Of course she wants my involvement but I cannot afford that right now as my physical/mental health has suffered too much. I am in touch with the people who are in contact with her so will hear if any real crises occur. I have lost close to 20 lbs since Christmas (have gone down a size ) and am looking at hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions. It is only since I have taken a break and have mental/emotional time for my self by detaching that I have been able to do this. I have gotten caught up on my back taxes, have some time to enjoy my grandkids, and also to think a little what I want for my retirement. Lack of mental/emotional space is a real downer and I don't think anyone can live like that for long without doing themselves damage. Please take some steps to regain a better balance in your life. you can do it. i have taken a lesson from a friend whose dear husband of many years was in hospital dying of cancer. She took the morning off to read her newspaper and coffee witrh friends. She told me that she knew he wanted her there earlier each day but that she needed that time for herself. That was healthy and I learned from it. Joan
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Um, ya, don't all caregivers who don't have a break? (I'm not trying to be rude, I mean it!!) God help us all.
Hugs,
Cara
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I have gained 20+ pounds but, standing at 5'8", weight is not such a problem. I just have my hair and teeth falling out of my head, rarely put on make-up or clothes that indicate a possible figure underneath and, basically, don't feel pretty no matter what I do. I suppose depression is raising its ugly head in there, but I have fought it most of my adult life and manage to keep it under control. But any more, I go for literally months and years without seeing friends, a lot has to do with I don't want them to see me like this, after this long a time. I feel, after 20+ years of caregiving my mother age 82 after a massive stroke/aneurysm and moved in with me 10 years later. While we lived in separate homes, it wasn't as bad, but its now gone from bad to worse and, to make things more unbearable, I have to depend on her pension to help me support myself since I took an early retirement in 2002. Things have snowballed, and I don't know if I've gone past the point of no return or what, but my future is bleak. Good news is I may have landed a temp job with the County, which would be an answer to my preyers at this point, for many different reasons. Wish me luck, I hope to hear for sure by early next week! Hang in there, I figure things can't get much worse, so that sounds like they will get better; maybe so!
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Oh man, it's been a long cold rainy winter here in Oregon, and along with that has come the fat train. I am back to using my CPAP machine at night to make sure my sleep apnea hasn't reoccurred on me. Most of the problem stems from NOT exercising anymore. I have no desire to get myself back to Curves, or even to use my own equipment. There is a little switch I have in my body that makes the sleep apnea come back with 20 extra pounds (really stupid) so I have hit it again. My mother is dying of cancer, my husband's job made everyone take a 15% pay cut, and my mother-in-law is feeling neglected too. I'm not depressed, just mad and frustrated I guess. For me I eat when I'm bored, tired, sad, happy, sick, well, horny whatever the case, what's not to love about food?...ha As soon as Spring is really here, not this peek a boo Spring we're having, the weight will come off slowly when my husband and I get back into the habit of taking walks in the evening again. (please Lord)...
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We could almost be the same person. I have gained over 50 pounds in the last 3 years while dealing with separation from husband, mother in nursing home, daughter and her husband divorced, son and his wife separated, fell and broke right elbow, legal issues, car was rear-ended in August leaving me with unpaid medical bills...and I clearly understand where you are coming from. I leave for work at 6:30am and get home after an 11 hour day. I drag myself up the stairs and plop down on the sofa. I don't want to do anything. I don't want the phone to ring because I am soooo tired. I go from the sofa to the fridge, then on computer and Facebook for several hours while eating God only knows what. I ate almost a whole large pizza the other night and then I wonder why I can't wear any of my clothes. I am an emotional eater, who eats whether I am happy or sad. I am now close to the 300 pound mark....pity party is what I do best. If I don't lose some weight and soon, I am going to have a stroke or heart attack. But, I have found that when I am helping others, that is when I don't dwell on the negative. Seeing that there are folks who have bigger health, marital, and other major issues helps me to take a closer look at myself. I volunteer at the nursing home on a rare occasion, and when I do I see how those little residents appreciate anyone who gives them attention. They are so sweet and have so much to offer. There may be an agency that offers free exercise classes. The town in which I live offers women's exercise classes, support groups and much more. I believe you could benefit from such activities...hang in there cause you can do it!!!!
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