If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ in HCMA Announcements. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. Your Participation in this message board is strictly voluntary. Information and comments on the message board do not necessarily reflect the feelings, opinions, or positions of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association. At no time should participants to this board substitute information within for individual medical advice. The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association shall not be liable for any information provided herein. All participants in this board should conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner. Failure to do so will result in suspension or termination. The moderators of the message board working with the HCMA will be responsible for notifying participants if they have violated the rules of conduct for the board. Moderators or HCMA staff may edit any post to ensure it conforms with the rules of the board or may delete it. This community is welcoming to all those with HCM we ask that you remember each user comes to the board with information and a point of view that may differ from that which you hold, respect is critical, please post respectfully. Thank you

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Weight frustration

Collapse

About the Author

Collapse

Laoshur Find out more about Laoshur
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Weight frustration

    I have been wondering whether anyone else feels the way I do and if so, what you may have done to conquer it.

    I am overweight and want to lose. I know it would help me feel better. But, first of all, there is no diet that I can read that is adapted to living in China. I have to rinse raw vegetables several times in tap water, then wash them in soapy water and rinse them a couple of times in tap water and then rinse them in purified water before we will eat them, since many farmers here use night soil for fertilizer. The results of that kind of maltreatment on lettuce is interesting to say the least. That makes salads a relatively rare treat. Meat is full of hormones, but I have decided I am old enough to just pretend that doesn't affect me.

    So, when we came back here last month, I decided to bite the bullet and try to guess my way through a sort of "South Beach Diet for expatriots living in China." I ate lots of hard boiled eggs, peanuts, peanut butter by the spoonful, salads as often as possible, etc. Indeed I lost 5 pounds in a few days. I was thrilled and eager to continue. But, the next day I gained it all back, because I have a fairly big problem with fluid retention. I take HCTZ daily, but it seems to just stave off the accumulation of too much fluid in my chest.

    This morning (it's morning here, evening there - 12 hours different from the East Coast) I can easily leave dents in my legs, arms, and face but I went to the bathroom 4 times last night, so my ankles are less swollen than they had been.

    About the same time that I was discouraged from gaining all the weight back, we had a long series of eating out. Our students love to take us out or to be taken out by us, so we do this a lot. I can tell you that there is very little that is on the menu here that fits a South Beach Diet. Even if you order meat, it has a sauce on it that often contains sugar. The result is, that as far as I can tell, I haven't gained or lost weight.

    This is very discouraging. I know very few of you face the problem (?) of eating Chinese restaurant food almost daily, but I know that many of you face trying to lose weight while fighting constant fluid retention. Has anyone figured out how to avoid discouragement when you see your weight suddenly shoot up after thinking you were actually losing?

    Rhoda

  • #2
    Re: Weight frustration

    Hi Rhoda,
    I'm going to Weight Watchers and am losing slowly but surely. I have a friend who has attended in Sweden and I know it is world wide; is there a chance it is in China? You can join on line. You may want to check into it. The fluid retention is tricky as you have to drink 32 ounces of water a day. As they say, it is not a diet; it is a way of life.
    Nancy

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Weight frustration

      Hi Rhoda,

      I am also a Weight Watcher. I joined in April and have lost about 12 lbs. I have 10 or so to go. It goes very slowly, but I am definitely seeing results. I do get frustrated by water gains, and I find that I have them twice a month, related to the time of my cycle. I am (as of yet!) not in CHF, so I don't think that is causing the fluid gains, but I wonder if my beta blockers and my hypothyroid problems contribute to the slow weight loss.

      I agree that you should see if there are meetings in China that you could attend. An alternative is joining WW online. I am doing that also, and am finding it very helpful. (I use Etools which I pay a little more for, as well as attending meetings). I will tell you that I considered myself an expert dieter before, but WW has still really taught me alot, esp. about portion control. If fresh veggies are hard to find there, you could find ways to incorporate canned veggies, soups, beans, frozen veggies and fruits, etc.

      Good luck. It is hard, but worth the effort.
      Daughter of Father with HCM
      Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
      Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
      ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
      Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Weight frustration

        Hi, and thanks for the suggestions.

        I have looked for WW here, but have never heard of such a thing. It would have to be an English language expat's group as my very limited Chinese would make a chinese version meaningless. I also just went to their web site and find no indication that there is one here. Nor did I find any links via Google. I doubt very much that the online service would be any help because of the vast differences between the foods and cooking methods available here and in the US.

        Also, I forgot to mention that there are no canned veggies or soups or beans available here except a very few at ruinous prices in international food stores. The only frozen veggies are peas, corn, and the same horrible pea-carrot-corn mixture that was popular in the 50's. Chinese generally do not eat raw or canned veggies and rarely eat frozen ones.

        Also, portion control is somewhat of a meaningless concept in China. We do not use plates here, only tiny saucers. We eat from common dishes and rarely, if ever, place food on the saucer. My husband and I are revolutionizing our student's lives by insisting, when we are buying, that they use a common chopstick to place a bite on their plate rather than each person putting their own chopsticks into the bowl and then into their mouth and then back into the dish again. We started this revolution during SARS and have pretty much kept it up ever since. When we are guests, we eat from the common bowl with our chopsticks just like everyone else, however. But portion size remains something that cannot be measured on a plate that only holds a bite or two.

        Actually, I do not think that Chinese food is the real problem. I think that declining activity as I have felt worse and worse over the years is more of a problem. What I am really asking about is how people who have chf cope with the sense of failure (and occasionally temporary triumph) that comes from the constant variations in water weight that cannot really be measured accurately. Any help here?

        Rhoda

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Weight frustration

          Hi again Rhoda,
          I once had a very intelligent doctor who told me that the body tries to maintain a weight that is normal for it at that stage of life. He explained that if you start a diet you are usually very effective – at first, but the body then becomes more efficient at digesting what it receives and you either lose weight slower, or hit a plateau. Now, you fall off the wagon once, and this now more efficient digestion puts you right back where you began.

          A short while after this conversation a major study was released that showed that of people who diet approximately 94 to 96% of them wind up five years later, heavier then when they started. We all know that some cultures traditionally are thinner or heavier then others (look at Americans), but I sometimes wonder how much of that is cultural habit, and how much the availability of less then wonderful snacks and foods, and how much the necessities of living where they do. (Look at the Eskimos and their high blubber diets.)

          I guess the only way to successfully lose weight and keep it off is to change your eating habits. No mean feat, so the next best thing is to bend your diet to eat more of the proper foods then you have before, and less of the bad foods – never cutting them out completely, but making them a treat now and then. Eating out frequently is a problem we share, but we’ve added a salad restaurant to our selections, and at the buffets I pick and choose more wisely then before.

          Your vegetable problem is a serious one, but what about fruit? Also, in the building where you live could you join in with other ex-patriots to wash enough vegetables for the group one time, and share their vegetables when it is their turn to wash. This would add some effort to washing a larger load of vegetables when it is your turn, but getting other vegetables for no effort when it is their turn.

          The only alternative is to grow things like bean sprouts indoors someplace, like the bottom of a closet. This is used for people who cruise for extended periods. They take a tray, place paper toweling on it and dampen it. They then spread some seeds on it and store it for a day or two, depending on the crop. Something like bean sprouts they then eat directly. For others they place the tray in sunlight (from a window) and let it green for the day before using. This will not only give you some very fresh salad material, it will be essentially free of night soil, which you know can be picked up as dust by the winds, and will cover anything grown outside.

          I hope this at least has given you some ideas on improving your diet. Losing weight and keeping it off is a real long shot - especially since your body likes the weight it has now – and I think to succeed would require a cultural change in the way you address food.
          Burt

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Weight frustration

            Rhoda,
            About a year and a half ago I started doing Atkins. I was about 50-55 pounds overweight and disgusted with myself cause I couldnt hack it on a low fat diet. I love cheese and meat so I decided to give atkins a try I lost 55 pounds from January -July of that year. So far I have kept most of it off by just watching my carbs. (I cheat sometimes now so I have let about 5 or 6 creep back on) I loved it cause I never felt hungry. Unless people read up on Atkins most people think it means no veggies. Actually you are supposed to have 2-3 cups per day. They dont have to be salad veggies I ate alot of canned green beans you can go to atkins.com to find out more if you are interested. It really made a big difference in how I looked and felt and lowered my cholesterol. Most importantly whatever route you pursue.....Good luck !
            2.6 Septal Measurement
            ICD Aug 2010 (pushed into it over 6 abnormal beats...hate it!!!)
            "I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special"
            ~Steel Magnolia's~

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Weight frustration

              Rhonda

              Aarg (or whatever it is that Charlie Brown says) you have a problem (or an optimist would say, an opportunity). As a "lifetime" dieter, I sympathize with you! I've spent most of my life being 10-15 pounds overweitht & I know I feel better the lower my weight is. I also battle with CHF, so my weight fluctuates thru out the day.
              What is the availability of fish? Can you order plain steamed, baked or broiled fish? You identified the "sauce" problem, with hidden ingredients. I've read a few studies on the effects of soup prior to a meal. Can you order a clear veggie soup (or make at home) prior to meals? There are lots of web sites that ship food-can you get together with your friends & mail order some food products? What would happen if you took plastic plates to restaurants, so you could better control your portions (wipe off sauce etc)-woud the Chinese just say "Crazy American" or label you rude? Can you mail order seeds & grow your own veggies?
              It's unlikely that Weight Watchers has meetings where you are, but their game plan is very sound, can you get one of their books & try to follow the plan? Or can you start a local group with your friends-I would try to get you the necessary materials & instructions from the WW office here. I also have 2 of their cookbooks which briefly explain the points system I would be happy to mail them to you-if you'd like.

              My last suggestion just helped me loose 2 pounds - I cut my hair! This will only work about once every 2 years (I have extremely thick hair), but was very encouraging to me!

              Here's my sad weight story. I was just diagnosed with "a very overactive thyroid" - this would normally cause someone to be very underweight, but not me! Of course, the one good sideeffect of this , I don';t experience!
              Good luck with the battle & let me know if I can help, in any way
              RONNIE

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Weight frustration

                Rhoda, I can relate to your frustration. I am constantly fighting to lose around 20 pounds or so and it seems so much harder for me than others to lose the weight. I don't know if it's because of HCM, my meds or just bad genetics. I am on 150 mg of Atenolol daily and I have asked my doctors many times if the beta blockers have anything to do with this. They never seem to be able to give me a definite answer. (I think they think I am not really trying hard enough)
                I have been on South Beach, Atkins and now Weight Watchers with friends and coworkers, and it seems like my weight always comes off so much more slowly than anyone else. I do excercise regularly too. When I do lose a few pounds I can shoot back up two or three pounds in a day. I realize this may be water weight gain, but again the doctors never really can give me an answer. Anyway, what I am trying to say is I know your frustration. So what I have learned works best is to just not get on the scale as much. Because with me if it shows a gain, I will get that "I give up attitude" and then over eat, it can be a vicous cycle. Eat as best you can, even though you have the disadvantage of being in a different country with different foods, eat the best you can with what you do have and what is the best for your heart and health and just ignore that scale. Focus on how your clothes start feeling (give it time) and how you feel physically. Eventually it will show on the scale, but in the meantime don't let it be the determining factor of whether or not you're losing weight.
                Hang in there !!
                JoAnn

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Weight frustration

                  I just want to reaffirm what JoAnn just said. I agree with her 100%. In fact, JoAnn, if you want to have a HCM Weight Watcher's buddy, I would like to do that with you. I am also struggling. I keep losing and regaining the same 4 lbs. and have for the last two months and am frustrated. I take 175 mg. of atenolol, and am also on Synthroid for hypothyroid. If you are interested in buddying up, send me a PM. I have the same problems of feeling like a failure when the scale goes up, and I seem to have a harder time with the water weight than others.
                  Daughter of Father with HCM
                  Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
                  Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
                  ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
                  Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

                  Comment

                  Today's Birthdays

                  Collapse

                  There are no members with birthdays today.

                  Working...
                  X