Have anyone else gained weight during their time as a carer?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Kazza72, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. I put on a lot of weight when we moved in with mother to care for her, because:
    - she ate biscuits and cake as part of her regular diet (along with tiny portions of real meals - but she stayed very healthy on it all): at home we hardly ever had biscuits in the house, as I've always had a weight problem, and it's difficult to serve someone else's morning coffee and biscuit, or afternoon tea and cake, and not join in sociably

    - lack of normal exercise, not getting out of the house enough - and too tired/depressed to do so even on her day centre days

    - probably most of all, the "Sod it I need a treat" feeling after yet another lousy day, when a healthy snack of fresh fruit doesn't hit the spot but whatever chocolate is in the house does so.

    We did manage to get milk sorted out eventually: Got the milkman delivering a mix of full fat for her (milky drinks being again a large part of her nutrition), skimmed for hubby and me, and attached labels round our skimmed bottles with rubber bands saying "Pam and Andrew's milk", which almost always reminded her not to use it but to use the other stuff!

    It's a rotten business, the whole thing. Good luck to those who're battling to lose weight for the sake of their own health.
  2. Kazza72

    Kazza72 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    West London
    Anyone feeling tired with the extra weight? I feel constantly exhausted, vicious circle, need energy to exercise but no motivation to exercise because I just want to sleep all the time..more water might help, I don't drink nearly enough

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  3. pamann

    pamann Registered User

    Oct 28, 2013
    Hello pamD yes l have put on 1/2 a stone, althought most of my friends said l was getting too thin, l am now 9st. I eat treats things l would never eat before l was a carer for my hubby.
  4. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    Hi Kazza, I am another weight gainer, a couple of stone at least, I daren't go on the scales. I had not long got a middle aged weight gain under control when I started looking after my Mum and it all went haywire.:D
    now Mum is in a nursing home but I am still overeating. When we have good days, I think, must tackle this, but then a bad day comes along and I stuff my head in a bag of doritos before moving on to a family size bar of chocolate.:rolleyes:
    Kazza, I hadn't realised that the weight gain was affecting my health but when I go upstairs now I am breathless at the top. Horrid.
    I am thinking of going to slimming club but I have very few brain cells left to count calories and very little energy to actually get there. But I must do something...
  5. submarine

    submarine Registered User

    Apr 5, 2013
    All of the above!.

    when I went to the doctor I explained the situation she suggested that when I do
    the housework, do it with more vigour and run up and down the stairs instead of walk. No offer of help taking care of my mother so I can go for a brisk walk !.


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  6. Soobee

    Soobee Registered User

    Aug 22, 2009
    I've always had a serious weight problem (I am morbidly obese and would qualify for gastric band surgery) but yes it has crept up more over the last few years. Comfort eating is my thing. I have just finished a course that the local dieticians run - I lost 2.5% of my body weight (target 5%). I've just started seeing a counsellor about weight/motivation/hoarding/depression. It's all linked. Although I am exercising a bit more now I am not finding myself able to cut back on unhelpful snacking etc. I was never a hands-on carer but I was always sorting things out and worrying and it took its toll.
  7. Kazza72

    Kazza72 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    West London
    My whole body aches right now... I'm sure my weight gain, I can't stop eating, it's not good, I'm not even hungry when eating, I need to stop or I'm going to do irreversible damage. Let's see if I can behave tomorrow

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  8. Varandas

    Varandas Registered User

    Sep 2, 2013
    Hampshire England
    Hi Kazza, I have stopped buying snacks and sweets and there are plenty of apples and other fruits in the house.
    I get up in the middle of the night and since there are no chocolates a slice of toast with marmalade and a cup of tea will do the trick :confused:

    The other day I said the same thing - I am not hungry! then stopped eating what I had in front of me.

    It is hard and I wish you all a better day today!
  9. Kazza72

    Kazza72 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    West London
    Hi soobee...I hope your counsellor can help you deal with the depression and weight issues...caring is a lonely job to have. I do work full time too but people truly do not understand the full extent of stress most carers have to endure,a colleague commented the other day that if I keep eating chocolates I'm going to end up with a heart attack...easier said than done I say

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  10. Miss Merlot

    Miss Merlot Registered User

    Oct 15, 2012
    Opposite problem - I have lost weight over the years spent caring and am now at a point where friends and family are concerned (prior eating disorder).

    It's all about coping strategies one way or another, isn't it...? :(

    And am another one who relies on the old vino to take the edge off - but restrict food content to free up calorific space.

    It's not that I don't eat, but tend to fast in the day (green tea and one lunchtime meal of soup), and have a reasonable dinner - seems to work for me...

    OH has put on about 2 stone - part a result of middle-aged spread, and part a result of night-time care-related stress eating - so we really are both of us on opposite ends of the spectrum!
  11. flowerpetals

    flowerpetals Registered User

    Mar 6, 2015
    Oh yes, most definitely I have gained weight!! When things were bad over the Christmas right up to last month, I kept eating chocolate, cakes and anything sweet.
    My weight has been creeping up the past few years anyhow.

    I'm trying my best to cut down on crisps, chocolate and cakes. I only had a piece of cake for Mums birthday last week. I have given into chocolate but I had raging PMT, so I will allow myself chocolate in those times of need! :D I don't need crisps anymore, I have told myself over and over that they are "greasy, fatty, nasty..." and weirdly I have gone off them.

    I am substituting the bad stuff for fruit instead. Clementines are so lovely and I'm now putting raspberries in my porridge so that I have got something sweet to eat but something that is perfectly ok to eat. Carrots and hummus for snacking. Now that lighter days are here, I'm hoping that I will be able to get out for walks (hoping that my health holds up, that is!)
  12. JenniferW

    JenniferW Registered User

    Jul 17, 2011
    I think whatever problems we had before, many of which we seemed to be managing fairly well, being involved with someone with dementia adds enormous stresses and strains - and things really get tested to destruction!

    My mother has Alzheimer's and for 6 or more years after realising something was wrong (at a stage when we knew nothing about dementia), my sister and I supported her so that she could stay living in her own home. Eventially she had to move into a care home, and looking back, I'd say that was an explosion of new stresses and strains! Getting our mother settled in the new home, ironing out all the teething problems, was a major demand when we were also having to embark on clearing out her house and the lifetime of possessions to get it ready to sell. Even after the house was sold, we found ourselves having to get to grips with financial management at a new level! And all the time she's getting worse. I'm not surprised any of us show the effects of all this, and long-term, I'm sure there's going to be a real cost.
  13. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    That's how I feel, too, Jennifer. Funnily enough my OH only asked me yesterday whether I thought it would be easier when / if mum is in a care home, and I had sadly to say that I thought the stresses might be different, but I didn't think they'd be any less demanding .....:(

    I hope things are maybe just a little easier for you now, though :) xx
  14. Mossyanne1

    Mossyanne1 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    Totally understand, bought 2 Easter eggs with caramel mini eggs inside for my grandchildren and have eaten the lot. Can't seem to help myself. I've got to get a grip.

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  15. Kazza72

    Kazza72 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    West London
    That's the sort of thing I do mossyanne....been eyeing up the Easter eggs...doesn't help when they do cheap deals on them too...I'm a total sucker for cadburys...need to dodge chocolate tonight so wont buy it on the way home...it's a hard habit to crack though

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  16. Feline

    Feline Registered User

    Oct 25, 2012
    East Devon
    Yes ,I too put on weight because everything has to be done slowly, no exercise,no motivation until a month ago,motivation kicked in and I lost a stone, now scales seem to be stuck, I wonder why, could it be comfort eating again !
  17. Adcat

    Adcat Registered User

    Jun 15, 2014
    I used to look like Cindy Crawford. Now I look like Mrs Browne!
    I don't care what anyone says about chocolate.
    There is nothing like a nice cup of tea and a chocolate bar at 3am or indeed at any other hour of the day and night! :D:D:D
  18. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    So it's an epidemic, then? Comfort eating, lack of exercise, doing everything in slow motion, not being able to get out of the house......no wonder we put on weight and feel exhausted (in my case, anyway).

    My daughter is getting married in September, this has given me some motivation, but not enough......it all seems like a world away, most of the time! :rolleyes:

    Good luck everyone with whatever your goal is (even if it's to enjoy the chocolate! :D)

    Lindy xx
  19. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I was 'determined' to lose weight before coming to India but just not determined enough. Now I'm here , on a vegetarian diet, with no access to temptation, I think I might be losing weight but have no scales so will have to wait till I get home.

    If I have lost, I hope I can keep it off.

    I'm seeing such poverty here, my life at home seems greedy. Both Helen and I have said we hope this visit changes our shopping habits. I have enough food in for a siege.

    I know these are fine words. The proof will be in the pudding...........:rolleyes:
  20. Kazza72

    Kazza72 Registered User

    Feb 10, 2015
    West London
    Exhaustion and weight gain seem to go hand in hand. Just trying to get my backside moving this morning to get ready for work, everything feels a huge effort, my bad is killing me (probably due to the weight) and my poor ankles feel tired too. Just had toast and marmalade. I find once I eaten something initially it's so hard to stop there, it's like I feel I have to keep going, and having trouble breathing but that could be anxiety

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