Disgusted, depressed and discouraged...

I'm 59 years old and was never heavy at all until like age 50, when I started having joint problems, and have since had three hip surgeries and two knee surgeries. I never really faced the reality that the reason I was never overweight is because I'm a cardio-junkie - I am an avid runner. Even though I come from a family of overweight people, I always thought I must just be different - never thought the running was the ONLY reason I was thin. Now, I'm fresh from a knee surgery that didn't go very well and I can't run, hike, walk or even do the elliptical for more than 20 minutes without exacerbating my pain. Yoga is out of the question, I hate cycling and I'm have not had a decent cardio workout in almost three months.

So now I'm dealing with not only gaining weight and chronic pain, but also having to come to terms with the fact that I probably won't be able to keep up the cardio like I always have. I have to change my life - change how I eat, change what I do for exercise, all of it. That is very difficult to face, so depression is also rearing its head.

I'm smart enough to know that I need to change my expectations and change my perspective - be grateful for what I do have, but I'm still in the grief stages I think. So I eat to make myself feel better and am putting on the pounds. I feel gross and disgusted with myself and so sad for the loss of the person I used to be. How does a person get past this?


  • gothchiq
    gothchiq Posts: 4,592 Member
    Is it possible to lift dumbbells while seated? I'm of the "anything is better than nothing" camp.
  • mermaidnj
    mermaidnj Posts: 162 Member
    Have you considered swimming easy on the joints and a great cardio and toning.. I loved can t now ear problems so I am the reverse learning to like the walking.. PS being in that water makes all the bad feelins float away..

    oh yeah be kind to your self..
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,374 Member
    Agree about counseling. Maybe give cycling another go. You might find it more attractive if you can do it pain free and it’s that or nothing. Keep an open mind. Adaptability is a valuable trait as we age. Are there Tai Chi or Qigong classes nearby?

    Don’t let the injury to your knee take over your head. After I sprained my ankle I spent several days pouting on the couch feeling hopeless. Fortunately I got around to physical therapy. As soon as I started PT my mood improved. Just at the prospect of getting better helped. It surplanted the idea that it was all downhill for me going forward.

    Look on YouTube for what exercises you might do with a bad knee. Bet there’s a lot. Good luck.
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,724 Member
    Along with everyone else's great advice, and after giving yourself time to heal with lots of PT, maybe seek out a qualified sports trainer of some kind? I'm totally out of my realm here but there has got to be many injuries to people that they overcome, at least to a degree, so that they can participate again, to some extent. Talk at length, to your physical therapist, your doctor, nutritionist, the whole health team that should be in your corner(!!) and see what they can suggest.
    It must be discouraging, looking at all this in front of you, but it sounds like you're an extremely strong person built to overcome and survive. It may take time and effort, but with patience, my bet is on you to find exercises that work. Good luck!!
  • jt03843
    jt03843 Posts: 2 Member
    Thank you all for taking the time. Your suggestions and comments are spot on. xo
  • annliz23
    annliz23 Posts: 2,598 Member
    Believe in yourself, it takes time start with small steps and remain positive, you can do this!
  • That's really rough. You have my sympathy.

    Definitely get physical therapy, and get some mental health therapy as well, not so much because you're all screwed up, but more to learn techniques so the current low you're in doesn't get settled and habitual, and really mess your life up. Physical therapy will get you the most out of your body as it is, and I agree with commentators above that swimming is a good cardio workout and will not be so hard on your joints.
  • InstepFitness
    InstepFitness Posts: 37 Member
    Water therapy classes at the gym help me to walk and turn my neck every day. I recommend it, its pain therapy and gets the joints moving how they are supposed to. It will get easier, Summer will be here soon.
  • elisa123gal
    elisa123gal Posts: 4,168 Member
    You need to step out of your own headspace and realize you're being negative because you've lost control for the time being.....but it is temporary. You can find a new exercise that will work for you. You also can get well..but it will take time. Look at it as a challenge. As you exercise your mood will improve...as we all know.
    You can also take control with the food you eat and start getting into that aspect of fitness too.

    Life has thrown you a curve ball..but you can do this.. change your food...start trying other forms of exercise and you will be on your way to the old you.
  • cherys
    cherys Posts: 387 Member
    I sympathise with you so much. Injuries have made me far more sedentary that I want to be and my weight and body shape has ballooned.

    I think we just need to recognise that during recuperation from injury we have to do exercise that isn't our favourite. I hate cycling too - hate it - but it's been recommended to me so I am going to dust off my bike and make a start on it again.

    Same with swimming - not my favourite activity but it's better than being sedentary. Also, some aqua-aerobics might help as the water supports the body weight but offers good resistance. I also agree with people who recommend doing some weights. Even gentle hand weights while watching TV burn more than sitting still. Finding tiny ways to improve strength, agility, mobility and ,muscle tone all add up.
  • angelexperiment
    angelexperiment Posts: 1,918 Member
    You will be able to do these things! It just takes time. My mother has had multiple total knees with and without complications. If you do your home exercises every day do your Pt you will regain yoin your degrees of range of motion. She thought she’d never get past 90 she’s at 130 degrees now she can do anything! Hike bike walk miles and miles ( she refuses to run so I can’t say anything about that) she dances multiple times a week square dance ( which is insane btw). I’m so surprised she does all she does. It took awhile to get there but she did it, don’t throw in the towel yet! Keep on pushing yourself and it’s important to continue your exercises after healing up bc too much sedentary is not good on a total knee. And can cause you to lose range of motion.
  • angelexperiment
    angelexperiment Posts: 1,918 Member
    And she is 67
  • angelexperiment
    angelexperiment Posts: 1,918 Member
    Oh and although you can’t run on land now you can do it in a pool! Water exercise classes! I did those and they have you do different exercises and running in bc water is awesome too
  • annliz23
    annliz23 Posts: 2,598 Member
    I have been strapping my knees up when exercising that seems to take the stress off and slowly building up my time on the exercise bike also I have tried lifting a dumbell between my ankles also low impact cardio and placing a roller under my knee and lifting it up and down. Swimming is excellent too.
  • Katmary71
    Katmary71 Posts: 5,717 Member
    I second (or third) physical therapy. Swimming or yoga are good alternatives. I used to bike all the time as a teenager, joined the gym at 15 and lifted weights and did aerobics daily. I wanted to become an aerobics instructor while I went to college to become a physical therapist. Right out of high school I slipped on a wet floor at work and injured my back enough to require surgery and never fully recovered. It was really hard to accept I'd have to make new life choices at 19 and started having anxiety leaving the house because my legs would give out. I've had multiple surgeries since.

    When I went to physical therapy for frozen shoulder there was a machine like bike pedals that you'd pedal with your hands. I have no clue if you bought a desk bike if that would work or not but know my gym has one. I did buy a recumbent bike after my last back surgery and that's supposed to be good for knees. It's not what you prefer but you get a good workout, I read novels and listen to music and time goes by fast.
  • Hikinglover1224
    Hikinglover1224 Posts: 13 Member
    I definitely need some extra motivation right now, I dislocated my shoulder a month ago, and just went to the docs to see how my mri came out. It was not good, I found out that I will have to have shoulder surgery, and the recovery time is 4-6 months, I am so devasted. I was hoping that I could start exercising instead of just tracking my calories, but that is not going to be the case for some time. This means the earliest I can even think of working is August or September, and that is hard for me, as I am a workaholic. Just looking for a little motivation in this trying time.
  • Healthydiner65
    Healthydiner65 Posts: 1,579 Member
    Physical disabilities have stopped me from strenuous activities but I can walk so I do frequently. Best exercise ever. Sometimes with a cane if I need it. I’m praying for you!
  • annliz23
    annliz23 Posts: 2,598 Member
    edited March 2020
    Everyone can do this, you just have to find your own way!