Disabled confined to Chair

I have Multiple sclerosis and have been confined to a scooter for the last four years and the weight keeps piling on since I can not exercise.
Why is it that they never address weight lose for the disabled who are chair bound? How can we lose the weight? Can anyone help me? I am 61 years young, 5'9" and weigh more than 230 lbs. Help!!!!

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I don't know if there is a program where you are but here in Va there use to be one of those off the beaten path kind of channels that actually had an exercise program for people who were whel chair bound or had mobility problems. maybe if you do an internet search for such a program or tape you might find something where ever you are.

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yes it was on a PBS channel and the excercises where done in a chair I think it was called "Sit and be Fit" not sure. Thank you for your response

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majictux! I weigh 240 lb and am currently unable to exercise due to a torn achilles, torn miniscus and bonespurs all in the same foot and leg. I started the challenge on the second and just by changing my eating have lost 3 lb.I do leg raises and armlifts just using my own weight. Try and see if you can do some of the exercises in the challenge modified.I know I would loose faster if I could do all the exercises but it took me 18 years to put on the weight and I'm only 60, I have time and I will learn patience.Maybe you can try to change your food choices and see if that will do something for you.If you would like to be my online buddy I could use someone to talk to when I want to fall of the wagon so to speak.

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One of the responsibilities that goes with my job is making sure people get exercise. Medicines, pain and not enough available resources do not help the problem.
What I try to do is help people use resistant bands, if it's on the body and can move, we move it. Healthy eating is an absolute must.
It isn't fair but most of my clients have to really cut calories to just maintain their weight.
Do what you can, concentrate on being as healthy as possible and try to do the best for yourself that you can.

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I found this link:
Hope this helps!!!

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I can emphathize with you. I have serious back problems (L-3, L-4, L-5 and S-1) and although I am not wheelchair-bound, I am very limited on what I can do in the realm of exercising. I am also on SS Disability due to my back: I am missing two discs and three others are on their way out. I have had four procedures in two years, been on pain meds, a TENS machine (useless!) and physical therapy, but nothing has helped me.

Monday I went to NYC for yet another consult and perhaps yet another procedure. This time they're saying it could be Facet Joints, the Discs, cysts on my Facet Joints, Arthritis plus the discs going bad AND the Facet Joints OR all of the above. I've been living in pain for 41 years, so I'm not expecting much anymore, and besides, I've heard all this (diagnosis) before...for at least the past 25 years, so all this is nothing new, nor is this encouraging to me. Quite the contrary, it is DIScouraging, for it means that yet another doctor cannot figure out exactly what's wrong (which I've been told that I'm in that rare 3% of people in our country where they cannot figure out what's wrong with their back).

I cannot stand, sit, bend, reach, twist or walk but for short distances or short periods of time (again, 20 minutes - 1/2 hour max.), so I'm very similar to you in that vein.

See that Degree in my picture? I earned that by doing college online, since I cannot attend a regular classroom because I cannot sit for more than an hour at a time; standing is limited to 20 minutes to 1/2 hour and forget about the rest of my "cannot do" list...those movements are long gone for me.

I also cannot participate in any physical activities for fun or exercising, so I also would love to find exercises that meet my needs as well as what you're looking for, too.

Life is passing me by and I've got seven grandchildren that I cannot do anything outside with AND I'm only 53! Way too young to be so prohibited/restricted due to my back and my orthopedic surgeon.

I absolutely agree with you that there are NEVER any exercises listed for people in your and my condition. I've been reading magazines for years and they all have these great exercises in them, but NONE of them address those of us who are disabled in one form or another; you'd think by now someone would think of us for a change, instead of putting these size 4 models in the magazines showing the public how to do these contortionistic moves that we will never be able to do!

Dieting and exercise go hand in hand, and even on this website, part of the N.B.C. is exercise, but there's nowhere to contact the creators of this program to ask, "Hey, what about us who cannot exercise due to physical problems and what do we do in place of it?"

I compensate by doing a lot of walking in spite of it killing me. Believe me, I pay for it! I sleep with a heating pad at night every single night, or I can't move the next day. I live on Darvon, but obviously I can't take it if I have to drive.

The only thing I can think of is if you were able to do arm exercises or leg lifts? If not, then perhaps your doctor can give you specific exercises for you that will address your needs while you are wheelchair-bound.

I don't purport to have an exact answer for you, but I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, for you are an inspiration to me, and I have nothing to complain about, for at least I can walk, drive, sit and stand, albeit not as well as a "healthy" person, but I still have some functioning abilities.

Thanks, Majictux, for making me see that I have nothing to complain about (but can I complain about the constant pain?).

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yujeda3 and Libran1003,

I can relate to the situation and feel your pain (litterally)

I also use a wheelchair 90% of the time (the other 10% I am on forearm crutches) due to being a incomplete quad with osteoarthritis in both knees, hips and my spine, Lupus SLE and RSD.

I am also a sleep on the heating pad person with my back.

The best thing I have ever found is water work, if you have any access to a pool with a lift and preferably warmer water. The gentle pressure of the water and the boyancy it provides often will allow for more movement with less pain durring and afterward compared to anything else. Deep water is great or allowing the back to stretch out and it is completely impact free, just wear a belt so you don't have to worry abt keeping afloat.

Right now I don't have a pool anywhere within 70miles from me and I have promised myself my next job this won't be the case as I find myself in much worse shape without my pool.

Good luck and try to keep smiling (usually better then crying)

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What a great response. I am sorry about your pain, I totally understand, I live in pain 24/7 this is part of having MS If we could just get programs like Natonal Body Challenge and Biggest loser to just mention the needs of the disabled. Mention the sit and be fit tapes just make us feel like we are out there. My prayers are with you

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majictux -

I have a friend on Nutrisystem who is wheel chair bound because of MD - she has lost 100 pounds, so it can be done.

If I remember correctly - she started using NS program until she learned about portion sizes and nutritional balance and now she prepares her own meals.

So - it can be done......here's her story (edited slightly):
"Do you know what it’s like to grow up “fat”?
Do you know what it’s like to grow up fat & disabled?
Do you know what it’s like to feel hopeless?

If you can answer yes to 1 or more of the above questions then hopefully with my story you’ll find the help and motivation you’ll need to stop feeling that way and change your life today!

I was born with Muscular Dystrophy, which confined me to a wheelchair by the age of 4 yrs old. Unable to stand or walk I must use a power chair as I do not have strength in my arms to push a manual chair. All my life I’ve had to rely on others to transfer me in and out of my chair, shower me, and to get me dressed.

Growing up people can be very cruel to someone who is disabled, let alone someone who is very overweight and disabled. They would stare, call me names and make me feel less than a human. Even family members made their nasty comments about my weight, and the more they did the more I sat home eating to medicate the pain. I spent a lot of my time home, alone not wanting to go out in public. I felt ugly and worthless.

I tried many types of diets, even diet pills from a Doctor but I never stuck to a plan long enough. Being I cannot exercise I didn’t see results, fast enough. I was not able to get weighed easily to see the results. I did lose weight on the diet pills but did not want to stay on them forever, the side effects were horrible. As soon as I stopped I regained the weight plus more.

I was lucky enough to find a wonderful man-fully aware what he would have to deal with in my medical condition. We actually met as kids but later in life found each other again. We’ve been married now 15 yrs. He works very hard with his jobs, taking care of me, household chores, and taking care of the pets.

Shortly after getting married my health took a bad turn and I had to leave my job of being a 911 operator/dispatcher for the local Police Dept. This added to my depression.

With having Muscular Dystrophy and being overweight doing daily tasks got harder and harder, I could hardly move in my chair. Just doing my hair or brushing my teeth took a lot out of me. On top of this I developed sleep apnea which caused me to stop breathing at night. I also suffered from heart burn daily.

Because I am alone while my husband works, I decide to get a “Service dog”. This specially trained dog can help me with tasks such as pick up items I drop, open the fridge door, turn on and off lights and much more. I received my dog in December 2004. Having this dog changed my life in many ways. When we were out together in public, people would start conversations with me because of her, and in a way I hated it because of how ugly I felt. This gave me more of a reason to try to finally lose the weight.

In February 2005, I saw a commercial for Nutrisystem and thought to myself heck I tried everything else let’s try this. I liked the fact that the food was already portioned out and delivered to us at home. I didn’t have to struggle with the grocery store and he could go shop for the items I needed to add to the plan.

I bought a scale soon after starting the plan that went up to 600 lbs. We figured out if my husband weighed himself, then lifted me with him we could subtract his weight from the total to get mine. This sure helped me stay motivated each week to see the pounds melting off.

Taking this step was the best decision I ever made in my life. I was never hungry, nor did I feel deprived of anything. The food is good and so easy to prepare!

This plan taught me how to eat healthy whether at home or going out to eat. Previously, I hated healthy foods like skim milk or cottage cheese but now it’s part of my daily menu. My whole outlook of food has changed forever.

I started the plan about 190 lbs (probably closer to 200-210) and today 3 ½ years later I am at *91.2 lbs! I went from size 20/22 to a size 0/2. I still can’t believe it. I have been able to maintain the weight loss and live a happy healthy lifestyle. My sleep apnea and heart burn disappeared shortly after losing some weight.

I love hearing from people how great I look but what’s better is how I feel. I feel wonderful. I no longer want to sit at home feeling sorry for myself. I enjoy being out in public. Now when people come up to me to talk about my dog or anything I do not shy away, I welcome it.

I can finally say that at age 42 yrs I am happy with my weight and feel amazing! I went from being called “obese” to being called “skinny”, What? me skinny?

Yes, losing weight can be difficult. But if I can do it without the ability to exercise, then anyone can! It may have taken me longer then most, but not only did I reach my goal weigh I set the day I started, I kept going and lost alot more. All those years of being fat, depressed, alone, and ridiculed made me feel hopeless. I hope that my story inspires someone who feels alone or who is disabled, by proving that there is hope for all.

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Great idea if I could afford NS, but being on a fixed income I can't. Guess I will have to figure out a diet program myself since all I have seen include exercise. I do get some playing wii golf and bowling with my life partner. I do know the feeling of being exhausted from being over weight. taking a shower is a chore for me.

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Would you like me to ask her if she would welcome questions from you?

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Also - you might find calorieking.com very helpful.....I'm using that database to make sure my nutrients are on track - it's making a huge difference.

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Thank you I added calorie king to my favorites.

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Just to give you an update, I did write to the N.B.C. people, asking them about exercises for those of us who can't do the "normal" exercises. I haven't heard anything back yet and honestly, I don't expect to, since they probably get thousands of emails a week, but it's worth a try, right?

Yesterday and today were great days for me. I was able to clean the house yesterday (even though it literally took me from 9:00 until 3:30 with two breaks) and today I went food shopping. My pain was not too bad...don't get me wrong, it was definitely here, because it let me know it was here, but it just wasn't screaming at me like it normally does, so if and when I DO have these types of days like yesterday and today, I take advantage of them and get things done.

Now that tomorrow's Saturday, I will: 1- Have nothing to do, which isn't a bad thing and 2- Be able to take it easy because I know when I get up tomorrow morning my back will make me pay for yesterday and today's usage.

As an aside, I am really glad that another person here listed the website about sitting and exercising...I plan on checking it out, because I'm sure there's exercises that I can do even if I am not confined to a wheelchair (I know eventually I will be as I get older...I don't have proof of it, I just have this sneaky feeling or intuition that I will), so that website is worth gold to me. If you get to check it out, let us all know about your progress with it.

Thanks for being an inspiration, because you ARE one, even if you don't feel that you are. You show a great initiative to changing your lifestyle in spite of your lifestyle's limitations and you have a good outlook when most people in your challenging position wouldn't. If no one else on this board tells you, I will: I AM PROUD OF YOU!

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Now to find where to write discovery and ask them the same thing. Long ago I wrote NBC asking why you don't have a weight lose program for the disabled. I never got an answer. Most everything you see on TV or the internet does not include the disabled, it is as if we don't exists. The home they build to give away never had the disabled in mind. This makes me feel they think we don't have a chance and makes me angry and want to fight more.

Most of us that have a disability seem to inspire one another and by the grace of God we do.

I think I heard on the Biggest loser them mention that if your unable to exercise to lower your carbs not sure going to check it out. I also saw a Doctor on the Bonnie show today he wrote a book caalled 4 day diet if I find anything out I will post.

May your Saturday be good and I will pray for you and the pain you go through

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Okay I found the doctor that was on the Bonnie Hunt show his name is Dr Ian Smith and his web site is http://www.doctoriansmith.com/ haven't really looked at it yet.

I wonder if the TV stations realize that we support them since most of us have a lot of time on our hand and watch their shows.

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I can say I know how you feel, I am also a person who has Multiple Sclerosis, and am wheelchair bound for all day until my caretaker puts me to bed. I don't know who to tell you to loose the weight, but i can tell you that my Dr. told me to layoff the Carbs and Sugars due to my Diabetees and since I have done that I have lost weight, isnt much but it keeps coming off. I do some exercise when I have a good day, and without the horrible pain that comes with it. I sure wish I could give you some advice but I work out with the stretchy bands they have some resistance and do not make me sore. The most important thing my Dr. told me is that Tammy take you time and no overdoing it, people like you for who you are, and if they dont then they were never your friends to start with. Try swimming to with a floatation device that is excellent for the M.S. because you dont have to worry about trying to stay above the water. That really helps. But Keep Your Head Held High because like my friend told me I will always Love You for who you are not what you look like. So Love Yourself. Oh and I have been in this thing for 6 years and I weigh 235.00 pounds and I am 5 foot and 8 inches. So hang in there and just try to cut back on your carbs and sugar because we aren't able to burn them off with excercise so they turn to pounds. Take it Easy and God Bless You

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Thanks for your reply. I try hard to keep a positive attitude, hard to do with constant pain. I will try my best to cut the carbs, but I love bread and pasta. Gd Bless and keep up the good work.

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i'm new here - i have MD and use a wheelchair about 90% of the time - if you're having problems exercising, i recommend a stationary bicycle. i use one made by "SUNNY" - it's even motorized, so it helps you along. i ride it for about an hour and a half, daily. it keeps your legs moving, and you burn up a ton of calories. i'm around 97 pounds, 5'1, and would like to slim down to 90, only because my back feels better when i weigh less. i decided to cut out alcohol -was drinking 2-3 glasses of wine a day (about 450 calories) and that's also cut down my appetite during dinner. i've tried just about every diet pill on the market and none of them work. i eat around 800 calories a day and it's a constant struggle. i've been using calorieking.com for years and it does help with helping you decide on food choices. i'm going to see my neurologist in april to chat about my belly. it just seems to be distended (like i'm 3 months pregnant or something) and i can't tell if it's fat or just the fact that i don't have any strong stomach muscles. we shall see. that's my story at the moment - you are all inspirational and hope you continue to keep up the super dooper work!

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There was a show on Public television called Sit and be Fit. I don't know if it is available in your area. When I was layed up with an ankle fracture, and a right sided nerve stroke, I "worked out " everyday with this program; I found it helpful and effective. It involved a lot of low impact stretching. You'd be surprised!

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