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Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain. Need ideas!

13 REPLIES 13
feistyflora
Member

Re: Can't shift weight? - Tip: Get Into The Groove!

Hi Alison

 

Don't get rid of those dresses yet!  I had some fabulous clothes in my 'fat phase' (just before diagnosis) and I got rid of them all - the maddening thing is that I am slim enough now to be able to wear them (if only I still had them - I could cry!)  Last night my OH was out and I decided to watch a Top Of The Pops repeat on Channel 4. Those old disco hits were, and still are, great (e.g. The Gibson Brothers and Errol of Hot Chocolate singing Are You Getting Enough Happiness? Ah, sigh - I would have had a cup of cocoa with him anytime!) Anyway I decided to join in and have a dance around my front room and I was soon laughing my head off. I can thoroughly recommend it - 'get into the groove' as they say. Seeing those outrageous 1970's clothes again is great fun, it cheers you up, it doesn't feel like exercising and at the very least you'll give your kids a laugh! Mind you I nearly choked at the skimpy underwear worn by Legs & Co (corsets and suspenders!!! - bet they would  censor those sort of outfits now, even if they do allow 'twerking').  Watching Motorhead playing at Glastonbury at the moment - if they can keep grooving, hell so can I cos I look years younger than them! Smiley Tongue Smiley LOL

alisonv
Member

Re: Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain - Newsflash

Hi

 

I also have put on a lot of weight since all the treatment. I'm on Tamoxifien and I blame that! However I also do much less exercise than I used to, I was slammed into the menopause by the Tamoxifen and I was told that breast cancer chemo makes you put on weight. I'v'e never shifted it and I'm really fed up with myself. You're an inspiration feistyflora! I'm going to go back on the 5:2 diet and see if that works for me. I did it once before but didn't stick to it. But I"m going to stick at it this time. I still have a suitcase full of clothes that don't fit me any more - I can't believe how much bigger I am.

 

Chubbs - if you want to keep in touch via this thread whilst we both try to shift weight I'd be very pleased...it might shame me into trying harder. I find it so hard to resist anything with fat and sugar in it - the very worst thing for me.

 

Alison x

feistyflora
Member

Re: Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain - Newsflash

Hi Chubbs

 

Have been thinking about you - how are you getting on with the dieting?  I felt really low after chemo too, you are not on your own there.  Don't give up - losing weight can be done - I'm rooting for you Heart.  I used to have thunder thighs, hamster cheeks, a double chin and I was always out of breath before I got cancer. Did you notice there was an article in the paper a few days ago - (Daily Mail I think) - they have done some research that confirms that people who weigh themselves every day (rather than once a week) lose more weight. I am still stuffing myself with green salad every day (and I mean "stuffing" - large dinner plate absolutely overflowing but I go easy on the cheese) and no I don't suffer from wind (just in case you were wondering  Smiley LOL).  I am beginning to feel like a freak because not only have I lost weight, I feel fitter than I did when I was a teenager, I'm zinging with energy, I don't get out of puff.  You name it I find every single exercise DVD I try easy - Hip Hop, Nell McAndrew even the Pump It Up Ones!!!  My BMI is below 25 and my blood pressure is 112 over 60. Not only that but my hair has grown back stronger and fuller than ever.  The most weird thing of all is that my eyebrows are sparse but my eyelashes have grown back really long - they would make Bambi jealous!!! 

feistyflora
Member

Re: Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain. Need ideas!

Hi 'chubbs'

 

Have already posted how I managed to lose weight but there's just one more thing to add.  I know they say weigh yourself once a week but I don't - I weigh myself every single morning because that way I notice if I have put on even a pound or two and that way I can take immediate action to reverse things.  If I have put on a couple of pounds by 'over indulging' at my last meal I then make sure I cut back on my next meal to balance things out. I also find that adding tiny little 'tweaks' such as having my coffee black (instead of adding milk) and spreading something like horseradish sauce on bread (instead of butter) really make a difference. Make yourself some cucumber and carrot 'sticks' to go with low-fat yoghurt dip if you get the 'munchies' when you are sitting watching TV in the evening - those carrots take a hell of a lot of chewing and they are very good for you!!!  Also, some foods are supposed to speed up the metabolism, e.g. pears, capers (look on internet for full list).  Get yourself a dance DVD - don't laugh but I do 'Salsa with Nadia' - it cheers you up, is easy to follow and sure makes you break out in a sweat! Don't lose heart.  Keep at it because it can be done. 

Kess
Member

Re: Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain. Need ideas!

I finished treatment in nov last year. I put on about a stone during chemo, and I was already about a stone overweight. Since finishing treatment I have managed to lose a stone and a half by being careful most of the time and doing more. It's been very slow, but I do allow myself some treats. I don't really like exercise, but my bcn said there is increasing evidence that being a healthy weight and doing more exercise helps reduce the chance of recurrence. So I treat it like taking my Tamoxifen, and just get on with it... If you are struggling to lose weight, it is worth having a chat with your GP, because there are sometimes options available to you on the NHS.
feistyflora
Member

Re: Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain. Need ideas!

I was ten and a half stone before my op, chemo and rads.   I now weigh 8 stone and am a size 10/12.  This is how I lost it.  The chemo destroyed my appetite but also I did the following.  Cardio exercise and weight-lifting first thing in the morning every day (if you do it first thing you get it over and done with).  Porridge for breakfast (made with water and sultanas for sweetness - no sugar).  Eat normal food for dinner but watch portion size.  Huge green salad for evening meal (plate overflowing!) with some protein included. I cut out cow's milk and substituted coconut milk in drinks (not the coconut milk that has white rice in it though).  Basically that is how I lost weight and I have kept it off. See if it works for you.  Good luck!  PS No cakes, sugar, biscuits or buns but I do have two squares of good quality dark chocolate every day and I eat wholemeal bread.

hevaw
Member

Re: Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain. Need ideas!

I've been on tamoxifen for 4 years now and I can't shift the weight either.  I take citalopram to help reduce the severity of my hot flushes and that can give me a rather 'whatever' attitute sometimes which may not help my willpower, but i've never been as heavy as I am now.  In the last few months my hair has started to go really limp and lifeless too.  I used to have lovely naturally curly hair and now it seems to be very flat and pathetic. (although, having lost my hair during chemo I promised myself I'd never moan about a bad hair day again!)  I just have to work really hard to make healthier food choices and I've got back into the gym again, so fingers crossed for some success.

Flopsie
Member

Re: Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain. Need ideas!

yes I feel I have gained weight. I walk lots careful with my diet, very very frustrating.
angiepops
Member

Re: Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain. Need ideas!

hi chubbs

ive been the same and i had all the sameas you and had tamoxifen for 18 months. i do take care not to scoff loads of cakes etc but to be honest i have gone up a size and stayed there. ive lived on lettuce and done ll the counting points etc and never got more that a pound or two off, so i decided bugger it, i eat pretty much what i want and bought some bigger knickers. im not going to make myself that miserable fighting a losing battle. I was never good at diets, so as long as i stay about what i am, im not doing any more of them.

angie xx

 

somerset
Member

Re: Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain. Need ideas!

Hi Chubbs

Have you been offered a Look Good Feel Better workshop? Would not address the weight issue but might help with the eyebrows and feeling about appearance generally. I don't wear much make-up but picked up some useful tips and it was a fun afternoon which was great at the time. I thought they ran in most of the country and should be offered around chemo although in fact I did not get a place until just after chemo. Might be worth asking if there is one local to you or look at their website. 

Bondgirl
Member

Re: Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain. Need ideas!

This is my motivation

I may not be there yet, but I am nearer than I was yesterday

this is a poster in my step class room with a guy running up,steps - shame I can't paste it on here x
Bondgirl
Member

Re: Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain. Need ideas!

Hi Chubbs, same for me.

My story and time lengths. At time of diagnosis March2014 I was 52' 5'2" and weighed 9 St 3lb. I had stage 2 invasive lobular and ducal tumours removed by WLE and had first node removed 12 March the. Started chemo 4 FEC and 4 Taxotere. My weight increased over the 5 months of chemo to 10 St 11lbs and believe me I wasn't eating much or drinking alcohol coz couldn't face it. Then 17 Sept had full node clearance as cancer was in first node and suegeon did clear margins WLE then 27 Oct had 20 sessions of rads.

It wasn't until after the second surgery and rads that the weight started to move really slowly plus there was Christmas. I know weigh 9 St 11, i am still trying to get to my pre-diagnosis weight but I seem to have got stuck unless I walk 3 miles a few times a week and be really good with food and maybe lose a lb but then if I have a weekend away it all comes back and I have to start again.

I have opted not to take the hormone therapy as had bad experience even tho Onc is persisting so my weight is without the influence of hormones. The BCN did say it can take 6 months at least for all the chemo/steroids to get out of your system so please don't be hard on your self it will move albeit slowly and the summer is coming so we won't need the comfort food and not being able to get out walking.

I started back at my gym doing step class after 26 Feb when my surgeon said it was ok and did a legs bums and tums class but found the hand weights made my arm feel funny so have stopped that.

Your diagnosis was only 8 months ago mine was 12 and I felt the weight move only since January so yours might start soon x
Judithvr6
Member

Re: Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain. Need ideas!

Hi, I'm sure given time and being careful with diet and exercise the weight will go.

Steroids can cause weight gain through water retention or increase in appetite and if yours is not through water retention its not going to go as quickly.

 

I know I put on weight with chemo and steroids but it did go. Sorry but I can't remember how much weight or how long it took me to lose it (it was 22 years ago,  when age 29).

 

Your body's been put through it and probably doesn't work in the same way it used to. It no doubt needs some time to sort itself out. Be gentle with yourself, be patient, give it time.

X

 

 

Chubbs
Member

Can't shift chemo + steroid weight gain. Need ideas!

So.....I'm new to this site. Diagnosed 8 months, aged 38 years, ago with stage 2, grade 3 BC. Had mx and recon followed by EC-T chemo, which I finished a month ago. I put on about a stone and a half, mostly around my middle, during chemo. Everyone promised me it would fall off as soon as I finished steroids and chemo, but it's not. And I've not even started tamoxifen yet and frankly I'm reluctant to if I can't get this weight off. For the two weeks I've eaten a fruit, veg and lean protein diet and walked 3-4 miles each day. I've really limited the treats and alcohol. Normally if I did this is lose a good few pounds. Post chemo, following this plan I've lost zilch, not a single pound. I know it's only weight but I'm feeling so low after chemo and most of that comes from hating my appearance. If I could just get the weight gain under control I could cope with the bald head, lack of eyebrows and different sized boobs. This just feels like the final straw! Did anyone else have difficulty losing weight post treatment, despite best efforts? Or what worked for people? My periods stopped half way thru chemo so some of this may be chemopause induced.