weight gain

Lostinfrance im certainly not upset your post there is nothing like a good healthy debate.
Its a known fact as we get older we need less food and quality at any time is essential. I look at my 84 year old mum and she doesnt eat enough to keep a sparrow alive, but for the first time in her life she is at a healthy weight. My reasons for gaining weight on chemo i believe is i ate what i fancied things like piza and kentucky now ive never liked that sort of food and never ate it before and probably will never eat it again as ive finished chemo. The only thing i drank was green tea in the morning and sipped coke through the day. My normal exercise got less as the chemo went on, ive lost muscle mass and in its place is fat through lack of exercise. I was thinking now that i could get back to my cycling, riding and long dog walks, not a chance im more tired now than when i was on chemo so building up slowly. The eating healthily has come back but the weight loss is not there, just think it needs the aerobic exercise to enable you to burn the fat. Right ill shut up now lol bdfore i boar everyone to death.

Hatty, i totally agree. nothing like a good healthy debate. lets face it, we need to sound off about how we feel and what we are going through with like minded people who can empathise and share their experiences.

Hmmm. Tamoxifen starts for me next week, and I have a stone and a half of chemo weight to shift, so not impressed that anything will make that mountain of blubber even harder to remove! Add on, of course, the additional stone and a half that I hadn’t managed to remove BEFORE dx…lol.

My own theory is that meds can make it much tougher, but not impossible - and age, as well as medication, is the big culprit in making weight loss tougher. Not just post menopausal, either - in my twenties and early thirties, if I needed to lose half a stone, bingo, off it came… by the time I’d had my last two kids and was heading for late thirties, it was SO much harder to do.

In all honesty, (and the nutritionists may scream, you have my permission), the only thing that works well for me is total food avoidance. Food is my main drug of choice - and I know darn well that I eat far too much for my body. Maybe not excessive for somebody else’s body, but too much for mine. But I love love love food. And I have no off button. So, when I need to lose weight… sawdust shakes and water are the way I go. For no more than a couple of months at a time, I hasten to add… but that’s enough to reboot and make me restart eating at a sensible volume, and being far more picky about what i put in my mouth. And no, I don’t instantly put on double what I’ve lost… sorry.

So, once rads is over, and I have the all clear to lose the pounds, that’s what I’ll be doing. I’ll let you know if the tamoxifen/chemopause has any effect on the weight loss…

In the meantime, anyone battling the bulge has my utmost empathy.

Sophie xx

Hello,i have been on Tamoxifen and Zoladex for two years.Ugh iam so fed up with the two stone weight gain.No matter what i do it will not shift.
My husband has been great while i had all my treatment,i know that he no longer fancys me because of the weight gain.I am sad about it.Most days i am fine and yes i know i am lucky
but i want to scream as hormone therapy is harsh on my body.Weight gain,cramp,tired,dark cicles around the eyes,aches,flushes,dry mouth.
Sorry for moaning but i feel better for it
Davida

Hey Davida, totally understand how you must feel. No matter how many times you have the same conversation with your husband /partner about how they will/ do see you with no hair and wheight gain its hard to believe they will still fancy you. The other alternative is that you’re not there to love or fancy at all and that has to be even harder to contemplate. Like yourself my husband has been fab since all this started in january and i am sure he will be the same for the rest of my treatment.I know I will feel the same as you wether its true or not but in realty he is going through it too.
I think we have to hold on to the hope that one day this will be all over and life will become normal again .

Having my hair cut short next week, it hasnt been short for a very long time, not looking forward to it but i ve been told it helps to make it easier when hair does fall out (chemo starting in two weeks).

Just a quick one - if you have hair that would be 10 inches or longer when cut, take a look at littleprincesses.org and consider donating your hair. I felt so much better knowing that it might be of use to someone else seeing as I wasn’t allowed to keep it, and it gives you the chance to stick up a middle finger at cancer.

Now that I’ve read through the thread (thank you for the debate, ladies, I know it’s something that most of us are affected by) I have to agree with LIF’s summary, that the cause of increased weight and difficulty losing it is an imbalance between calories that go in and calories that are used up. The PROBLEM is how to deal with this imbalance.

For whatever reasons, as we get older and also while we are undergoing treatment the balance can get seriously out of kilter. Whether it is that our metabolism changes so that we use calories more efficiently, our appetite (a very basic instinct) is affected by drugs or mental stresses, or our energy levels are lowered because of the treatments we are on, the nub of the matter is that we are consuming more calories than we are using up.

The problem is, how can we redress that balance? My biggest problem is appetite. On chemo I have a few days when I could really, really eat anything that doesn’t run fast enough to get away, with the expected consequences (nearly half a stone in the last week). I try to keep on top of myself on those difficult days, and I try not to eat the chocolates, biscuits, sweets, cakes etc on the other days, but it is hard, most definitely, and this cycle I have failed spectacularly. My energy levels have also gone through the floor and some days I’m just so exhausted it’s very difficult to summon up any energy to use up those extra calories, another SE of treatment.

It’s tough, but if I’m not going to be using up many calories I just need to reduce the intake.

We all know it’s difficult, and short of getting prescribed appetite surpressants (do we really want to shove more drugs into ourselves?) I’m going to have to develop something I haven’t had for years - willpower! Aaargh!!! Whether that’s willpower to drag my corpse off the sofa and go for a walk or a swim, or to cook something that’s filling but not too calorific (must find that veg soup recipe) or the willpower to just NOT buy the chocolate and most definitely NOT put it into my mouth even if I buy it…

Hi there
I have just been reading the debate on weight gain re Tamoxifen.
I have been taking this for 3 months now and am already finding managing my weight really difficult. I exercise regularly (running, yoga and jazzercise) but my middle is expanding as l speak… dread to think what it will be like after 5 years.Go for my first check up after rads on May 9th so am going to bring this up maybe starving myself is the answer l am already eating much less that before BC.

Hi Ladies,

I’ve been reading all these posts with interest and sympathy. I’m 2 years into Tamox having had mx, FEC and rads, and am about 1.5 stone over my pre-dx weight.

My surgeon told me it was me (i.e. you’re a fat pig and need to eat less) but 2 other doctors have told me it’s definitely Tamox and to be kind to myself. I have not taken this to mean “stuff yourself with chocolate when you feel like it”, but am eating very sensibly (low-GI works for me) and excercising as much as I can around a full-time sedentary job 40 miles from home.

I have days when I’m very depressed about my weight and how I look (one boob, no cleavage), but most of the time I try to remember that my life has been saved and I must be grateful for what I do have, slap on the lippy and smile. I really don’t think there’s much more I can do and I don’t want it to ruin my life by taking over.

Love to all, Bella xx

I’m just going to flash my halo for a second. Yesterday after dinner, OH asked if I wanted a pudding, I was very good and said no. Later on he offered me a yummy jam doughnut, and I thought of this thread and said no. I know it was only two little things I refused and there’s a long way to go, but I did feel a teeny bit virtuous.

So thank you for helping, even if you didn’t know you had!

Well done ChoccieMuffin! definitley give that halo a rub (and maybe change your sign on name:-) ).

It’s hard and unfair that after what we’ve been through we can’t eat what we like…but at least if we can rule out the food/amount of as is the case for the majority of posters on this thread (and another one on this site breastcancercare.org.uk/forum/weight-gain-on-tamoxifen-p528222.html#p528222) then we can make positive steps to tackle the issue of drugs being the culprit.

Although in my case as I’m pre menopausal I’ve been told that’s it nothing else…can’t have an Aromatase Inhibitor.

Looking forward to warmer weather when I more salads and less carbs like bread and pasta and eat less in general.

Good luck to all trying to cut out the things we enjoy most!

Bettina x

Well done Chocciemuffin from me too!

Sebflyte - I’m pre-men too and will still be in 3 years time when I come off Tamox. I’m really hoping I can limit the damage so that it’ll come off a bit easier once I stop taking the drugs. I think a few others have said they have lost it eventually so there’s hope yet.

BTW - my top tip for satisfying chocolate cravings is to keep some chopped (into shards with a knife) v good quality chocolate in a tub in the fridge. I allow myself a little every now and then when I get a craving - it certainly prevents whole bars being demolished!Otherwise I keep the fruit bowl full and go to that first. I’m working on the basis that prevention is better than cure, so if I don’t put it on I won’t have to lose it.

I ve not been on here for a while but its so comforting to read that Im not the only one who cant lose weight. I saw my Consultant this week as Im am so shattered and feel like a balloon most of the time, but he says that he’s not had any reports of feeling bloated and its proably something else??? Im on Herceptine and Tamoxofen.

To be honest Im too shattered to do the exercise classes i used to but try and walk round the block or so somthing just to keep me active.

Im with bella on the fruit. I try and keep lots of fruit in the house.

Keep posting everyone xx

Nice to hear from you again, Happy! I can certainly sympathise re;weight gain. Weight watchers v.good, but tough! Slimming World much easier, but didn’t really shift weight as well for me, also very expensive re:food. Both available online. I sound as though I’m a champion slimmer, but I don’t practise what I preach!

All the best, Sarah.

ps- Just re-read through thread properly and realsed that I missed the gist of it. For the record, I was on tamox.for 2.5 years and have now been on femara for nearly 3 months. My weight probs stem from anti-deps 10 years ago (and on-going) + steroids and inactivity last year whilst on chemo for the second time. I was already a size 18 before tamox. and I’m sure it didn’t help my weight loss efforts. A slimming club does give you a bit more motivation though than going it alone, but I probably wouldn’t bother with it if only slightly over-weight. I would certainly not recommend slimming during chemo.as you need to keep your bloods up and as much energy as poss.through a good diet.
You could try and work out your calorie expenditure -various sites online for this and then cut down slightly by say, 200 cals a day and do 1/2 hour exercise to keep your metabolism up. In theory, this should give you a small weight loss each week. Much easier said than done! Green tea also supposed to boost metabolism.