Struggling to lose weight :(

Just over a year ago I was 7 and half stone and a size 6-8. I went on the Depo-Provera shot for a year and a half and now I am nearly 13 stone and a size 16-18 which is really starting to get me down. I know my weight gain has been caused by the injection but now I just cannot seem to shift it.

I came off the injection 4 monhts ago hoping I would see some improvements as the Depo came out of my system but I have gained more weight rather than lose it. My period has also not returned yet which is getting me down as I don’t feel like I am functioning right anymore and I just do not feel like me.

At the start of the year I joined Slimming world which I did for 4 months, stuck to it religiously but didn’t see any loss at all, so I decided to try Weight Watchers for 3 months and again no improvements. I have been exercising when I can, as I have become so unfit I really struggle breathing when exercising and get in so much pain in my legs it can sometimes be hard. I have also cut down a hell of a lot compared to things in which I had cravings for whilst on the injection.

I visited the doctor just under a month ago and she suggested I tried Orlistat tablets for a month to see if that would help. I have taken the pills and instead of losing I gained 5lbs on them, I am going back to the doctors next week to discuss this but I just feel so frustrated that everything I seem to try gets me no where and I feel as if I am getting bigger and bigger. I have had my thyroid and things like that checked and they have all came back clear.

Just wanted to know if anyone on here has or is going through similar to me and really struggled to lose weight but managed it and any tips or advice people could give as to what could be going on and possible things I could do to maybe lose the weight.

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  • My response to this, will, obviously, be my own personal experience with this.

    I am on depo and have been for nearly 5 years.

    Firstly, please, do not worry about not having started any periods yet. You are told (well, should have been told) upon starting depot, it can take up to 1 year for 'things' to return to 'normal'. Everyone is different, so please don't feel like you aren't functioning properly. If you were on it for a long time, it could just be that your body is still adjusting or just not realised yet or something. But please, don't worry about it - unless you really believe it is a problem, there is no harm in going to your doctor to make sure things are all okay :)

    I have been on the depo for a long time, I'm hoping you were told that one of the side effects of the depo, is weight gain. However, lets not demonise it, as ALL hormonal contraception methods come with the weight gain warning. When I chose the depo, my nurse put it that, it isn't be all and end all "you will gain weight on this", she told me it can increase your appetite (so naturally, you feel like you need to eat more, you eat more, you gain weight).

    I have gained weight, but I was happily maintaining my weight for years, until 2 years ago I broke my ankle, and my ability to maintain on that lifestyle, was gone. So I began to gain weight. I can't boil it down to the depo, because I was on all sorts of meds etc, who knows why I suddenly started to gain weight.

    But I do know my weight gain was down to my lifestyle, it was not the depo. I understand that everyone is different, because otherwise, everyone on hormonal contraception would be gaining weight and/or over-weight, and we all know, not everyone is.

    You've taken the first step, by coming off of it.

    If I were in your place, I too would be very despondent and feel like giving up. But don't! You've had the all clear, so as far as you know there aren't any medical reasons you're gaining weight. Like all weight loss programmes - WW and SW isn't for everyone, I know someone who's lost 5st on SW and other who, like you, have lost nothing.

    My suggestion, would be, for one week, make a complete food diary from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to sleep. Sometimes we think we're eating things that are good, which may be the case, but it also boils down to quantity too (portion sizes). Start a record of everything you eat and drink, the size of it (if you don't weigh, use your hands. E.g. chicken breast the size of your fist). Then take a look at it, we eat mindlessly - we all do it! Just have a look and see how much you're actually eating - you may be eating healthy, but it can always become a problem if you're eating too much of it.

    After that, I'd give the NHS plan a go? Follow it week by week and see how you get on with it. Use the BMI calculator to find out how many calories you 'should' be eating to lose weight. It's 12 weeks and you have nothing to lose (except perhaps weight!!).

    I'd also recommend joining the Monday weigh-ins. I know I feel like 'advertising' it to people, makes you that little more determined to keep going. And reading other people's progress and experiences too!

    I know you've said about your legs and breathing. What type of exercises are you doing. I'd advocate walking. Put walking in to everything you do, and stairs. Things like parking further away from work or the shops, just to get in a few extra steps. Walk all the isles in a shop (obv avoid buying unhealthy foods), even make it 2 laps. Do a lap of the office at work. Make excuses to walk to places down the road, like to the post box, or local shop to buy an apple.

    If you're unable to do anything massively physical, I'd definitely suggest starting to walk, improving on the distance you can walk, the pace, the incline.

    I know we don't really need them, but getting a tracker could be a really good motivator. Work out how many steps you usually do on an average day, then add 1000, keep that up for a week/2 weeks and then add another 1000. Before you know it, you'll be walking 10,000 like it was always what you did.

    If you have the money, what about an exercise bike? You can do it at your own pace, and, as an added extra, you can even do it on front of the TV. Make it a target to go the whole of Eastenders on the bike or something.

    You are definitely in the right place. You will find loads of support on here! If you're struggling or want to celebrate a victory, post it. We'd all love to hear it and everyone is here to help and give advice.

    (Sorry for the long post!!)

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