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Disability and Weight

AndyGTAndyGT Member Posts: 294 Pioneering
Well, where do I start with this? I guess I start at a point before my accident and back injury etc. At a time when I was active. When  I had an active job, I did a lot of sport and when I wasn't ashamed of the way I looked. Now I never was a George Clooney look alike but I was happy own skin. 

I did some sport or fitness, each and every day.  I was a policeman and I played Rugby, Golf and Badminton each week as well  as occasional cycling and running etc. I lead an active life. Then one evening on.myq way to an urgent assistance call I had an accident. I slipped a disc (which was removed) and because I spent a year walking on it I damaged some nerves. Thus  over the next few years things got worse till the point I find myself today  where I find myself with unremitting chronic back pain.  I also struggle to walk or get around etc.. 

I am sure there are many out there that know what that is like.During that period though I have struggled with my weight. I am obviously not active like I use to be and the lbs / kilos have piled on.  I try to eat healthy but that is not enough. Then a couple of years ago I was sitting on a bus and the only spare seat was next ho me.  A young person of about, 20 got on.  You could tell they didn't want  to sit next to me but had no choice. As she sat there I could hear her muttering I may have a disability  but there is nothing wrong with my hearing.  I got up to get off a few stops later. As I got up to get off she looked at me and said "Thank god...... Why do you have to be so fat."I wanted to say something but just got off the bus.  That is always playing on my mind and then the other day I looked I  the mirror and really disliked what I saw. I won't go any further but suffice to say it wasn't good.  Anyway I never use to be like that and I am not blaming it entirely on my disability, but it doesn't help.  I try to watch what I eat and don't snack too much but when I try to do something I can end tears and flat on my back for a day.  As I say I try but it is never enough. I didn't intend to look like this....... Anyway I guess that's enough and I am sorry if I have prattled on too much, but thanks for listening.  At times I begin to wonder if it is me and the fact is I am just overweight.... 


  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,341 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community, I totally empathise with yourself. When I was in school I was very active and used to dance as well I then left school and all physical activities stopped.

    So in  my twenties due to lack of exercise and over eating I piled on the weight going to in excess of 24 stone. I was diagnosed with diabetes. After I had my son at age 39 I decided I had to take action to reduce my weight and over a period of time I did. By the time I was 49 after a lot of hard work I was down to 10 stone.

    Then at 50 I had my leg amputated and became a wheelchair user and due to issues with my knee I havd problems using a prosthesis much. As a result I too have piled back on the weight due to my disability making it hard to exercise. After all that hard work I put in, it goes back on a lot quicker than it comes off.

    Try not to focus on what people say I know its hard but they don't know your story, maybe seek some help from a dietician and speak to your GP . 

  • AndyGTAndyGT Member Posts: 294 Pioneering
    Thanks for the message. As you say people don't know me or my situation but they feel they have a right to comment on me and how I look.  As you say it's harder to lose than it was to put on.  I am sorry to hear that after all your good work the weight crept back.  I hope that you are ok and get support from your family.

    I look in the mirror and not do not like what I see but I feel very lonely.I will speak GP as you suggested thank you and see what they suggest.

    Take care ....
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,341 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for your reply I dont have family around only my teenage son but he is my rock feel sorry for him having to push me around at times.
    Some people will always be rude and ignorant and sometimes we should stand up for ourselves but I know that could cause issues.
    I hope your gp can help you will also tag in one of our champions that knows all about nutrition @thespiceman can you help here ? 
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @AndyGT   Pleased to meet you.

    Thanks to @janer1967 the tag.

    Sorry to hear about the experiences and problems you have.  I know can be difficult to deal with.

    I have qualifications in diet, nutrition. Use my experience knowledge to just guide and advise others.

    Good to hear your eating healthy yet your putting on weight.

    One of the several suggestions I would make is to look at portion size eat with your brain not with our eyes or stomach.

    Food we eat in this Country is on plates, this allows bigger portions, in Italy and Spain, much of Southern Europe the food is eaten in Bowls and regulated small portions.

    Means can  not eat a lot, in between that they often consume bread and have more pulses, vegetables less meat.  Salads served with any courses.

    I used to eat the way of this Country ballooned during addiction, and in pain constantly.

    Understand a need for change here are my points worth thinking about. 

    1.  Only eat when hungry, make time for eating plan this no rushed meals. Eat slowly take your time and chew.

    People we eat to get rid of boredom and no thinking of controls over portion .

    Use the bowl methods, buy different sizes.

    Pasta bowls soup bowls and so on, use fork and spoon.

    All the trend Rice Bowls Salad Bowls use large ones for Meat, Stews, Ragu.

    2.  Plan the bowl should be the following at all times.

    40% Vegetables, 40% meat 

    20% Carbs such as Pasta, Rice, Pulses Beans.

    Or do the this one 60% vegetables and 40% meat.

    These are recommendations.

    3.  Eat lean meat Chicken Turkey no Red Meat, use whole grain Pasta, Rice. Pulses and Beans.  Remove skin poaching roasting meat. Use wok or Kurrai same as Wok with lid restricted size of portions.

    Slow cookers, and steamers.

    Always think of having a veggie meal two times a week or more easy to do.

    After a meat dish left over veggies soup or veggie Pasta

    Can be tinned Salmon, Tuna, use fish in Salads or Pasta.

    Create a menu for you adapt for your disability. Ask me ideas.

    Think about including certain vegetables in the diet, I use certain ones known to stop cravings of food extra portions, based on Cuisine of Italy.

    Including Spinach leafy greens, Celery Chilli's.

    Beans Pulses aid sleep and fill you up, expand in the gut as does Pasta and Rice.

    4.  After and during meals drink water , from the tap , drink a glass before the meal. Stomach full then restricts food portions.

    No caffeine this restricts iron and nutrients from foods we consume.

    One other have a soup before your main meal restricts portion control.

    With every course stop twenty minutes this gives the brain responsive time to acknowledge your full.

    Takes some time, then after wards fruit, yoghurt or Bread.

    5.  Consider doing a food diary what you eat and why when and how.

    6. See then the problems how much eat.

    7. Consider if hungry Apples, Pears, PNB if not allergies. Pea nut Butter sandwich brown whole meal bread. small amounts, Apple Glass of Milk helps fill you up and energize you.

    8. Look at Community Health Unit Councils.  Have wellbeing service with food course learn to cook and educate yourself.

    I started doing this after addiction and continued to do so, learnt also from Italian friends and worked in Kitchen washing up volunteered.

    One other diets do not work it is around the science of food we are have a metabolic rate guided by our pituary  gland in our body

    Which controls hungry, regulates the signal from brain to stomach.

    Lots of myths and speculation.

    Something to consider exercise swimming, tai chi and small amounts of exercise daily can help. 

    Make it fun, house work music on, dancing.  

    Hope that helps please ask me anything. Happy to suggest anything, I would add please speak to your GP.

    Often can be worth looking at. Could offer anything else.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman .


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • Gwendoline1Gwendoline1 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    Hiya AndyGt and janer1967, I to have had difficulties with weight.
    When I was young I done all kinds of sport karate, running, basketball etc.
    Id always been active and had a physical job but sadly health got the better of me.
    Due to being inactive weight went on. Don’t get me wrong I was not your super model size 5 ft 7in and between 11and a half to 12 stone but was happy.
    I went up to 17 and a half stone and very unhappy. 
    My husband also had gained weight, we decided enough was enough.
    Like thespiceman suggested, we exchanged a plate for a bowl. We worked out calories and what foods we enjoyed We exchanged unhealthy for healthy.
    Dont get me wrong it wasn’t  plain sailing. Some days were harder than others but a year on I’m now 13 stone 4 pounds. 
    I’d like to lose a few more pounds but I’m realistic too.
    Im still me, I do feel better for losing weight but my main concern was my dad had onset diabetes and so did my grandfather and I really didn’t want it to happen to me too.
    Good luck and take care of yourselves 😀😀😀
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 683 Pioneering
    O.P. the other replies are fine advice. As fast as you lose the extra pounds, you will feel better about yourself,  and you will give your body a better chance to look after itself.     

    Best of luck, you are sure to succeed . 
  • AilsAils Member Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @AndyGT, so sorry to hear of the recent episode on the bus with the young lady being horrible to you.  Can I say that it says more about her that she feels she has to make a nasty comment to a complete stranger she knows nothing about.  She will only recognise that when someone is horrible to her!  You have been very brave writing on here about your struggles with your weight and it sounds as though you are really trying your best to improve things for yourself so well done.  That shows determination and strength and you will get there.  Just take one day at a time.  We are all here to support you.  I see that the @thespiceman has given you excellent information and guidance above and with this you will be able to succeed.  I wish you all the very best and please let us know how you are getting on.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • AndyGTAndyGT Member Posts: 294 Pioneering
    Thanks to both [email protected] and thespiceman and to each person that has sent wishes and comments.  Everything said and everything meant is a help and makes things seem better.  I shall follow the directions from the spicemanand will also speak to GP.  It wont be easy but it is a great help knowing that I have people in my corner. In some ways having people that I don't know and have never met makes it a better feeling. They are there because they are good people not necessarily because they are friends.  Thanks to you all.
  • AndyGTAndyGT Member Posts: 294 Pioneering
    Janer1967... Sorry for not replying sooner.I am glad that you have your son around to be your rock.  There are times that without someone things can get very difficult and in some cases painful. Having that person there for you means so much. Thanks for the tag to thespiceman. As you say people can be so rude at times. They give no thought or consideration to those they upset. It would be good to answer back but would we then be sinking to their level.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,341 Disability Gamechanger
    @AndyGT Thanks for your lovely response, I was in a situation last week where I wish I had said more but didn't want to cause an altercation. I was about to cross a road on my mobility scooter and a lady pulled up in her car and blocked the dropped kerb and parked on double yellow lines leaving her kids in the back of the car while she went into the take away just a few steps away. I said to her you are blocking me crossing the road and she replied you will have to go round or wait. But me being me didn't do anything else wish now I had taken photos of her car on the double yellows if nothing else to highlight her ignorant and selfish action.

    Anyway you take care and let us know how you get on, always here for a shoulder to rant or talk to
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,007 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Andy, I also have a serious weight problem. I have all my adult life.

    At 38, I joined Weight Watchers for the umpteenth time, telling myself this was it.

    At 40 I had lost  7stone....going from 15.5 to 8.5 stone.....dropped so many dress sizes..even shoe sizes!

    I felt great, had an op to lift my bust, learned to drive, got a car, got promoted in my day job and became a WW leader!

    Life was marvellous.......then BANG! 5 years later I started to fall....I blamed it on a bit of weight gain...But no.....the mobility issue worsend and within 2 years I was in a wheelchair....MS had got me!

    Fast forward to now....67....overweight...struggling to keep to a healthy diet and paraplegic.

    I hear you Andy xxxxx

  • AndyGTAndyGT Member Posts: 294 Pioneering
    Hi Gwendoline. Thanks for the message and sentiment.  It means a lot when someone takes time out of their day to reply.

    It is hard when you do everything to try and remain healthy .  Then through no fault of tour own something gets to you.  I never tried karate but did judo when I was in the sea cadets.  My favourite was Rugby and Badminton though I also played football and basketball for my school.  I loved it and carried on after school but then the accident at work and it all changed.

    I am sure that you are a warm lovely person and the weight should not matter.   But it does, whether leading onto other health issues or just the fact you don't feel good about yourself.  My biggest problem is that I do not feel good about myself.  I feel old and very, very cumbersome.  I have forgotten who me is? I keep trying but it is difficult when you don't know what you are looking for. Oh well I'll carry on trying.

    I like the idea of changing from a plate to a bowl.  I'll give it a go.  My diet at the moment isn't bad. I don't have fried food or takeaway. I like vegetables and fruit.  The only thing is I have  problems with some fruit. I had a gall bladder problem a few years ago and had it removed.  Ever since then I can't eat apples because it gives me major stomach pains.

    Nothing  is plain sailing but it does make you feel better.  How do you feel?'I hope you are ok.

    Look after yourself.....
  • AndyGTAndyGT Member Posts: 294 Pioneering
    newborn....  I know I will feel better if I lose the weight, but I need to get over the feeling of not liking myself for the way  I look and feel.  It is a vicious circle. Not liking the way I look, then feeling sorry for myself  etc etc.... 

    I will be fine and dandy and everything will be great. Thanks for the thoughts, it means a lot. 
  • Gwendoline1Gwendoline1 Member Posts: 226 Pioneering
    Morning, I totally understand where you are coming from.
    I took the bull by the horns and wrote down everything I had eaten in a given day. I was shocked, it wasn’t always the quantity but what it was eg. I swapped a sandwich of uncut bread, butter, cheese and a packet of crisps for a tin of reduced salt and sugar tomato soup or homemade soup with a small bread roll my husband had made. I followed this through the day. I’m not saying I hadn’t been over eating I had, so I cut down on that too.
    Its not easy, I wanted to give up many times. 
    When I started to see the weight coming off I felt there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
    You’ll always come across rude people, it’s easy to say ignore them but it hurts.
    Ive never been a person who as confidence with their body image, no matter what size I was/am. That’s through historical issues.
    Give it a go I hope it works . 
    Thank you for taking time out to reply.
    Take care and good luck.😀😀😀
  • AndyGTAndyGT Member Posts: 294 Pioneering
    Thanks for the thought, it does a lot that you took time out to send me the message.  

    It was a very trying time for me at the time. I was feeling bad 
    , so sorry to hear of the recent episode on the bus with the young lady being horrible to you.  Can I say that it says more about her that she feels she has to make a nasty comment to a complete stranger she knows nothing about.  She will only recognise that when someone is horrible to her!  You have been very brave writing on here about your struggles with your weight and it sounds as though you are really trying your best to improve things for yourself so well done.  That shows determination and strength and you will get there.  Just take one day at a time.  We are all here to support you.  I see that the @thespiceman has given you excellent information and guidance above and with this you will be able to succeed.  I wish you all the very best and please let us know how you are getting on.  smile
  • AndyGTAndyGT Member Posts: 294 Pioneering
    I could sit around and not do anything, but I guess I had better do something.   Anyway, lent begins on Wednesday so that's as good a time as any to start..... Here goes. 
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @AndyGT   Please look at the information I provided for you.

    Always please need to stress this.

    Word of caution and precaution all dieting losing weight loss has to be done slowly and with support.

    I had and lost weight though addiction but had support because naturally if you losing weight the body responds so.

    You might get the following symptoms palpitations, chest pains due to the loss of weight and the heart taking it time to adjust the pressure that is needed.

    Nothing scary but you must take advice and guidance from health professionals.

    Use the wellbeing service a lot of help and support plus one advantage it is free also one other this might help look at other aspects of your health.

    Mentioned fitness could signpost you to support groups tailored for you.

    I used the Tia Chi they advised me on, never do any exercise with out speaking to GP.  Important any health changes.

    Understand the need to change and you will succeed.

    One point if you do join well being service many have cooking courses and healthy ways to cook food all free.

    Involved in then the support around that the knowledge gained and education.

    Reason got a lot of knowledge in fact any courses I go on  now the teams recognise my expertise and use me as a consultant, advisor as part of the course.

    This is gives me great pleasure.

    Something else please look at the forum my own recipes.  I am the Recipe King in here, scroll around look around see my recipes.

    Very much cheap budget and simple easy to do.

    Please if I can help ask anything please ask.

    Please if I wish you well but please look at links I have stated you need to be safe and secure and please do speak to your GP.

    An essential requirement.  In any changes please .

    Please take care.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • AndyGTAndyGT Member Posts: 294 Pioneering
    Thanks for reply. I have an appointment to GP on  Thursday.  Have already read your directions and will undoubtedly refer back to them. Thanks for the advice. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi guys, just wondered if anyone would want to write a blog post about healthy eating and dieting? Maybe covering how it can be more difficult when you have a disability, or aids which can be used to make cooking easier. Open to suggestions!

    Please email ideas to [email protected]
    Community Partner

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  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 683 Pioneering
    To help our planet and our bodies,  and for animal welfare,  organic makes sense.  There isn't really organic junk food, fast food, ready meals,  takeaways.   It makes no sense to buy large amounts of food  at organic prices and chuck it out.    Mostly,  fresh food, freshly made, won't be fattening. 

    Sugar is pretty much pointless,  and chemical sweeteners are worse. So, sticking to organic food home cooked will automatically mean a lot of fruit, veg, salad, eggs, high quality protein.    The preparation may be difficult for some people,  but mostly,  an omelette pan greased with only  half a spoonful of oil will  be enough for one or two portions,  apart  from steaming the vegetables.   

    Just scrubbing root veg, or pulling off outer leaves,  and putting the food in a metal colander over a pan of not much simmering water, with a lid,  will avoid heavy lifting or difficult chopping.  After a decent length of steaming, it is easy for some with weak hands and poor grip to deal with skinning and cutting up whatever the  vegetable is.

    The good thing about fruit, and about salad,  is it doesn't need cooking.

    If people want to lose weight they probably will, but only as a side effect of having a sustainable and healthy and good tasting choice of food.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @newborn   Great advice these are good. I just wanted to add one of the things I learnt.

    Mixing as I did with Italian families is Sunday after Church is the big preparation day for the week ahead.

    I do this know, there are easy ways to do food and to not waste any thing.

    These are the ones I use tips, tricks shortcut and learnt from Kitchen, volunteering and also from my Italian friends.

    1.  If buying produce the best you can afford cheap ingredients do not make good meals if they or of inferior quality.

    Be sensible and if do buying organic think do I need to make uses of these can I freeze.

    If not organic any meat or vegetables is it good quality and it worth buying in bulk, do the maths.

    Used to go around stores with a calculator on my mobile , some supermarkets rip you off and deceive.

    Anything can be frozen make sure it is stored carefully. Tin foil cut and ready to use on line. Company called Bacon foil no need scissors.
    Have various also zip bags, clip bags and assorted storage for being useful veggies freezer, or fruit or marinades or useful for portion control.

    2. Use food processor slicers attachment and blenders to cut, dice make sauces simple ones.

    Write down instructions how to use adapt for your use.

    In busy kitchens arrive prep vegetables and into cartons, zip bags or use blanching.

    Add to a pan of water boiling quickly add . Have a colander on the hob and scoop out with a spoon slotted one in to a bowl of cold water to shock.

    Cool down as store in fridge. 

    The Classic Sol Frito which is Carrot Onion, Celery used all over the world for recipes add to any other veggies.

    Cheat quick one buy good quality brands of Tomato Pasta sauce. Italian ones, Napolina, Biona, Barilla on line cheaper. Think of using on lines for general use of those items a lot.

    Worth considering.  thinking of Rice and Pasta bulk buys share the cost with family members.

    If buying big 1kg bags actually works out cheaper than supermarkets.

    Also think of if I can freeze sauces, stocks, soups use your freezer.

    On line plastic container none stain ones new products useful.

    Old memory my Italian friends making bulks Pasta sauces me helping rigid plastic Containers in the freezer bought small ones .

    Two freezers full.

    3.  Look at planning each week simple menus and meal plans that can be helpful.

    Example do think ahead if making like I do Pasta a lot put extra in the Pan for the next meal.

    Use the amount you wish to and the rest use another meal.

    Same with veggies left over always use up add extra for Soups, cost nothing you have the left overs.

    I eat a lot of Soup cheap budgets cost little and freeze.

    Think  of slow cookers, soups . Think of looking on line websites just because it says lets say Soup mix or vegetables for mash.

    Use these already diced ready to freeze add Tomato Passata Stock cube.  Instant Ragu mixes. 

    Plus Red Wine Vinegar your preservative.

    4.  For Convenience look at websites for frozen veggies and fruit.

    Saves a lot of time chopping.

    Simple meals and simple one pots.

    I use the following Peas, Beans, Spinach, Broccoli.

    5. To sweeten recipes if too sour or acidic use Lemon Juice or use Dried fruit.

    Apricots, Dates, Prunes all used in Cuisines around the world.

    6.  I use Organic Tomato Ketchup instead of sugar and use various Spices Herbs to flavour sauces meat.

    Cinnamon, Paprika, Chilli help.

    Beware of Salt in food, too salty or too spicy use a Potato.

    I hope these help.

    One other just signed up to OCADO wow.

    Always worth looking at best shopping on line experience for ages.

    Please if I can help with anything ask me have a lot of ideas to help.

    Few suggestions mentioned.

    Best wishes take care.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
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