Weight Loss NHS
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Weight loss and wheelchair user and high dose steroid dependent?! Help

Hi I'm new here and I really want to loose weight but I'm finding it so hard. I'm 23 and have been in a wheelchair for 2 years after suffering a brain injury. Before my brain injury I swam daily and went to the gym 4 times a week I was also a nurse so had an active job. Now I can't stand, walk, or self propel because I have no functional use of my legs or left arm. I'm also steroid dependent because I have chronic lung disease. So I spend all day being inactive apart from weights with my right arm. I am struggling so much to loose weight everything I do fails I'm so down about everything and I think if I lost weight I'd be happy. Has anyone else successfully lost weight while not being able to exercise? Thank you for reading

8 Replies

Hello Lyssa

Firstly it's no wonder you are down, you have a lot to contend with 😕 As your situation is quite different is there no help available from your GP? Most of us on here restrict calories and in theory that should work for you too, but as you are not mobile that may need to be quite low 😕 I would definitely speak to someone at your GP surgery about this, and see what they suggest. Then come on here and we can all help and support you 😊😊😊

Very best of wishes



Hi can I ask what meals are you haveing have you got a nurse to talk to my son as loss 4 stone he did not do excersice as he as one leg shorter then the other and as arthritis he use to eat pastry like sausage rolls pies he as cut all that out he eats 3 meals a day nothing in between they say drinking green tea is good for losing weight you can get textless green and normal tea together plus if you are down that will not help if you need to talk to some one I am good listener

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Are you not having any therapeutic input other than the steroids? Are you in the UK? You deserve some support from the NHS with this!

I have lost weight whilst unable to do any significant calorie burning exercise. (I was mobile but spent most of my time in bed and exercise made me extremely unwell) I did it with pure calorie control. Not drastic reductions and not slavish, didn't cut anything out, and it took a couple of years. Then I took my eye off the ball - literally, didn't have scales - and it did, over quite a few years, creep back on, and then took another two years to come off but it has been easier because I've been able to be more active (still not much in terms of calories expended) but I've had to concentrate less, if that makes sense?

That's excellent that you are doing strength exercises. What concerns me is your statement that you think if you lost weight you'd be happy. The people who lose weight most easily and successfully do it the other way round. You've had a major life change at a young age, of a neurological type at that and the steroids are, of course, a challenge so you might benefit from a package of professional psychological support.

But in terms of what you can do yourself, you might find that mindfulness/gratitude techniques are helpful (be kind to yourself - focus on what you genuinely are grateful for rather than what you feel you ought to be grateful for!), and perhaps hypnotherapy - I borrowed digital audiobooks from the library with appropriate scripts around eating. I also find it very helpful to give myself treats - so that would be a bunch of daffs, or a punnet of blueberries. Are there other aspects of your brain injury that are leading to boredom and thus more eating? Are you able to read books and are you getting out and about and socialising?

Let us know how you get on!


Do you see a physio regularly? You might not be now, but that service, or dietetics should be available to help you.

Very best wishes. Keep going.


I'd suggest seeing your GP too if you haven't, I'm sure they should be able to and would like to help you, it sounds like a tough situation, but you're on here which is great!

I've only been on this group for just over a week or so and everyone is really kind.

I've said to a couple of others that I've found not eating in the evenings (after I've had dinner) really useful - got into a bad habit of snacking in front of the telly, took a week or so to break, but easy after a couple of weeks and makes a difference x


My mum who is 91 fell down and broke her leg a year ago and lost my Dad, before all this happened she used to cook pies and cakes meals etc for him and of course she had some too. Now she is at home by herself and does not cook anything she depends on family bringing in frozen meals. In a year she has lost 2 stone and she does no exercise at all she is much more mobile in that she can now get out of the chair without rocking backwards and forwards. She has lost her appetite as she is on a lot of painkillers, but the point being she stopped having all the extras of sweet stuff, so I think calorie counting the good stuff is still the way to go. good luck you will lose, join us here.

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Hi no advice but just a quick hello. You have had a major change with your life. Is there not any clubs or activities in your area for people with disabilities my father has multiple sclerosis wheelchair bound with muscle wastage but goes to a day centre for limited exercise, and socialising etc maybe ask doctor if anything like that available in your area


Hi Lyssa,

You sound very much like my mum. Despite contracting polio in the pandemic of the 1950s, she still managed to overcome the resultant disabilities by regularly swimming at the local outdoor pool, doing channel swimming distances. Unfortunately, as a very large number of those victims find, polio returns in the form of post polio syndrome which causes further muscle wastage and other resultant medical problems. On top of this, she has the effects of the aging process to contend with.

Mum does suffer with weight gain, albeit she does watch her diet closely. The real problem is the lack of facilities for disabled people to exercise locally, and the self -consciousness she feels when wearing a swimsuit in public whilst people are staring at her miss-shaped leg. Being sat at home doesn't help as boredom and depression sets in, as other people have highlighted in this forum, and the nibbling starts.

Are there any groups or classes you could get in touch with who can put you in touch with people who have suffered in a similar way to yourself? With having such an active past and a lot of contact with people, your situation must be unbearable. Maybe there is an able bodied person who could buddy up with you for a few hours to go to the local pool, or a wander around outside? I don't think it's the weight which is your problem, more the isolation and having to cope with the situation you've now found yourself in.

My mum receives a newsletter from the DN (disability network) and they seem to have links to all sorts of organisations who maybe able to help. :-)


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