This is a repost from an old, now dead blog.
Despite being on Zoladex and three other medications that all have weight gain as a side effect, I am gradually losing weight.
The last time I was on Zoladex about 6 years ago, I put on a large amount of weight. It was coupled with multiple operations and other medications – about 30kg.
This time, I’m slowly getting my weight down.
The doctors are very pleased with my progress, and keep asking me what I am doing differently.
Essentially, I am doing the following two things:
Loads of exercise
Walking. Lots and lots of walking! And anything else that has me moving on my feet.
One of the side effects of Zoladex is bone density loss (about 3% over a 6 month course), so weight bearing exercise is doubly important.
To keep my motivation up, I’m using various tricks.
I have been doing this for the past 2.5 years now, and am slowly increasing my average daily steps. I’ve nearly reached Isengard for the second time, this time following Merry and Pippin.
WalkerTracker has recently implemented a point/level system and has competitions, which provide extra motivation. The WalkToRivendell mailing list also holds regular challenges.
Exercise DVDs – mainly the Walk Away The Pounds series by Leslie Sansone. It is winter in Australia, and when I am dizzy, or feeling really icky, fitness DVDs are a safe alternative. I can stop any time that I feel too sick or too much pain.
These can be difficult for my ankle (never recovered from the last sprain), as they usually include a lot of stepping side to side. It puts a lot of strain on the ankle stabilising ligaments. These programs also use various aids – weights, stretchy bands, etc., adding to variety which helps maintain interest.
I do have to be careful not to kick my cats though!
Step challenge at work – GCC2009. Unfortunately this requires me to wear a second (very poor quality) pedometer to be consistent with everyone else who signed up for the challenge.
Wii for Fitness
I’m using a few games on the Wii (updated for Wii U):
- Wii Fit – this could have been a better motivator, except there is one person in the house that has blitzed the records for all the aerobic and balance games (not me!) We recently bought extra blocks to put under the board – it is a real step now. You really need a big rug, or two yoga mats on a slippery floor. It is a great hook, but doesn’t provide much fitness benefit.
- EA Sports Active (Wii) – another, more recently released fitness game. Many of the exercises are poorly designed and there are no warm up, cool down or stretching sections. It does work much better than the Wii Fit to increase fitness.
- DDR Hottest Party 2 (Wii) – released a couple of weeks ago in Australia, this is actually challenging. I’m one of the most uncoordinated people that I know, and not light on my feet, so this is actually very difficult. I am quite impressed – I didn’t expect DDR to be as difficult, or challenge my fitness as much as it does. I will have to see how it plays over a longer time, as I have only had it a few weeks. It does require playing in socks or bare feet, which isn’t very good for the neuromas.
On the weekends, I try to do 1-2 sessions of three hours+, sometimes trekking around the local forests/lakes, complete with nasty hills. This has been also difficult on my ankle, and it often gets strapped for the longer walks. I try to get another 3-4 sessions of at least 30 minutes plus a yoga class, during the week.
Edit – I later upped this to a weekend hiking session of 5+ hours, 4-5 weekly cardio sessions of 2 hours, and switched to tai chi from yoga when my wrists developed synovitis. It was too much, and I burned out.
Unfortunately, with a weak immune system, sickness has knocked me about, and stopped me from exercising quite often, so progress is slower than I would like.
I’m not eating as much take away (probably now just 2-3 times per month), and most of the time I try to eat three meals a day (sometimes the nausea makes it a little too difficult to eat).
I do make my own biscuits, muffins and other treats, but limit these. I try to eat only good quality chocolate (saving money at the same time means I can’t buy much!)
If I want to snack, I eat nuts or dried fruit. I try to limit my carb intake. Recently it has become more difficult now that my partner has become an expert in making bread!
I do try to limit my caloric intake to 2000 or less per day, but I am not tracking it regularly.
Cooking in advance
When I am up to it, I cook in advance and freeze many meals (lunches and dinners).
The increased exercise plays havoc with inflammation. As work has been very stressful and hard on my hands, having food in the freezer that I can just reheat, is wonderful.
One day of preparation, cooking and cleaning is much better than stressing my hands/wrists daily, even though the full day of chopping, stirring and cleaning hurts enormously.
Maintaining a high level of exercise while chronically ill is really difficult – exhaustion, increased inflammation, and the increase in pain levels impact both at home and at work.
Add in work stress over insane work schedules and inflammation-aggravating deliverables, the awful side effects of the Zoladex, and the many winter viruses that have plagued Melbourne, means I really haven’t been having fun.
Dropping some balls
I’ve dropped my studies, going out, spending time with friends and family, a clean house, a garden, my hobbies, and my sanity. All to slowly lose weight and hopefully increase my fitness.
It comes with a huge increase in pain, illness and bad moods.
I am now 25kg down from my highest weight (over the last 2.5 years). Yay me!!??….