Advice to morbidly obese 28/F wanting to get fit?

Height 156 cm, weight 122 kg, and BMI 50.1. I have never been exceptionally fit because of severe mental health problems and I have wanted to die for years and years, let me just get to the point where I am in a very terrible state. I mean, walking around a small lump puts me in a bad mood because I feel nervous because of shortness of breath and extreme depression because of my hatred. I am basically closed, out of work, etc. But I am trying to change my circumstances.

My goals are to be a healthy BMI, to be fit enough to do normal life things like walking, walking in walking and not dying, and improving my flexibility and lower back strength.

Nutritionally, I diagnosed EDNOS, so I either starve myself for days or eat binge. I have a psychiatrist who can help with the emotional aspect of eating disorder and other mental health problems (a sad story but it was a long journey inside and outside the hospital for most of the twenties of age, and extensive psychological abuse that required multiple surgeries and waking up to support life after attempting suicide, so I went through a difficult time Extremely).

I am also unemployed for a long time and in poverty, so paying for a gym membership / personal trainer is not necessarily an option. I'm scared of gyms because I'm really embarrassed about how I breathe when I'm with friends walking somewhere.

So yes. If this is a good post to do here, I think I'm just throwing this out there with enough information hopefully, and if anyone can tell me where to start, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks 💗

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21 thoughts on “Advice to morbidly obese 28/F wanting to get fit?”

  1. I like to walk
    I’m also clinically morbidly obese and embarrassed by being out of breath (my partner is the opposite, which also brings its own issues to my psyche)
    Walking really helps me, I have a Fitbit and try and hit 10000 steps/day. But it started really small.
    Instead of a large meal, I’d get a medium
    Instead of coke/soda, I changed to soda water (bc I like the carbonation not necessarily the sweet flavour)
    I’ve tried to be really simple in my dietary choices – snacking on fruit cups. Making sure there is more veggies than anything else on my plate. It’s not easy but little by little I’m making changes.
    With walking on the first day I literally walked to the end of my street – to the nearest corner and came back and little by little have worked my endurance up. I like to exercise on my lunch break because I work inside all day and the fresh air improves my mood.
    Hope that helps, even a little bit
    Progress isn’t linear!!! You will trip up, you will have good and bad days. 💜

    Reply
  2. The wiki would be a good place to start. [https://thefitness.wiki/getting-started-with-fitness/](https://thefitness.wiki/getting-started-with-fitness/) and [https://thefitness.wiki/weight-loss-101/](https://thefitness.wiki/weight-loss-101/) specifically.

    You need to eat fewer calories to lose weight. Continue working with a mental health professional and get your eating habits in check. You will not lose weight unless you eat at a consistent caloric deficit.

    As far as exercise, a gym membership or trainer is not needed for your goals or current fitness level. Walking would be a good way to get started. If walking any meaningful distance is a struggle, continue doing it until it is not. Work to increase the length and frequency of the walks.

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  3. I’m sure someone else will jump on with a much better worded reply than mine but with a BMI that high, diet is going to be 99.999% of it for quite a while. You need to stabalise how much you are eating so that its the same every day… you need to get out of the cycle. Its great that you have a psychologist working on that with you.

    dont even try to ‘restrict’ right now spend the next few weeks figuring out how many calories you eat and try to find an amount that you can eat thats the same day, i.e. doesn’t leave you starving but you also aren’t stuffed full.

    After a fortnight of that bring it down by 100 calories.. no more. Keep slowly adjusting. Any restriction will send you spiralling back to the binge restrict cycle.

    If you don’t count calories just weigh what you eat and eat the same every day. Then when you want to lower your calories just put a few grams of whatever less on your plate (i.e., if you have 20g butter on a sandwich bring it down to 15g)

    A good excercise when you feel ready would be pool laps.

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  4. I first want to congratulate you on taking the first steps!

    You seem to have a reasonable and obtainable goal, but majority of progress will have to be made with your diet. Understanding that you have EDNOS that can be difficult, when you binge eat, what do you eat? Could you replace it with lower calories or no calories?

    ​

    I would strongly suggest trying Yoga as well, get the stretches and blood flowing. Continue doing that, and as you progress on losing weight, Yoga will become much easier causing a snowball effect.

    ​

    Again, if you fix the diet, you’ll be set. Less calorie intake then you use a day and you’ll be on the right track. Also cut out sugar as much as you can. You don’t have to go cold turkey because that’s a easy way to quit.

    ​

    I also wouldn’t be scared of gyms, they are there for you to sweat and work out, and that’s the only reason people want to go to there, not to judge you.

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  5. I give you some suggestions based on my own experience: if you have to eat less but want to eat more, try to eat tons of veggies, just because they will fill your stomach with super low calories intake(don’t add much oil ofc).
    You don’t need a gym when you start, just buy some cheap dumbbells if you can and find a home workout on youtube from a good source. Maybe this will help.

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  6. Congrats on taking the right steps to be a healthier person! It’s definitely difficult steps to take but sounds like your making a good start!

    It’s going to be small steps to get your metabolism cranking again. Normal meals throughout the day will help. So hopefully you will make progress on that end. Thyroid issues run in my family which make it hard for me to loose weight like other people (which irritates me beyond belief) might also might want to have that checked out and see where you stand so you can better prepare for your journey.

    Also when you say fruit cups, I know most or loaded with sugar and preservatives. They probably do make pretty healthy ones, so if that’s the case then disregard. But I would stray away from that and go for fresh fruits veggies. I normally go oranges and bananas if I’m craving sweet and those mini bell peppers if I’m looking for something a bit more savory. In time you will notice you will begin to crave the healthy choices vs the junk food. It’s all a science and not one person has the same body. So what works for someone else may not work for you. Just have to keep trying different things and find thing you can tolerate. Another great snack is pistachios (unsalted preferably, sodium intake is something to watch for too) You can eat about 50 per serving. They have good fats, good source of protein and fiber and mighty delicious imo. They are more on the pricey side though. Also pickles are filling and low in calories to help calorie intake (get low sodium pickles and watch in take) most foods are okay it’s just about moderation.

    Hope you can take something for this and I wish you the best of luck in your journey. It does get tough it’s a more of a feat of mental rather then physical. Just keep doing it for yourself and your loved ones. The world is better with everyone we have in it! So getting your self healthier will help you stay here longer and in turn makes the world a better place! God speed!

    Reply
  7. At my worst I was in a somewhat similar spot. In 2012 I was 138kg (177cm, 30 years old) and walking 3km would give me DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) for two days.

    Weight loss is 75% diet, 20% exercise and 5% genetics. 95% of that is things you can influence somewhat.

    The three tips I’d add:

    – Fix food first. Start by HONESTLY tracking everything you eat and drink over a week, especially liquids as they are deceptive. /r/loseit has great tips. Your goal is calories in to be under 1800/day every day, this will require finding low calorie snacks.
    – Do food shopping on a full stomach and avoid supermarkets that waft smells to make you hungrier. Shopping hungry is how you wind up going home with five packets of biscuits. You have a limited capacity for discipline – spend it in the grocery store.
    – See exercise as an optional extra at the moment. On your good days, exercise. If you feel like shit though, it’s OK to skip a day. Strength training will make you feel better and make the incidental lifting you do in everyday life easier. Cardio training will help with breathlessness and (slowly) with weightloss as well. But again, food comes first, if you only have the energy to do one of eat well or exercise, eat well and just rest that day.

    From a strength perspective, can you perform five knee pushups or ten bodyweight squats? Although it helps, no equipment is needed until you improve to an elite level.

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  8. I came from the opposite end of the spectrum. I was too skinny trying to get jacked, did it. Only advice I have for you is keep at it, everyday, unwavering, you’ll be astonished at the progress you make it 9-12 months. I wish you the best, be militant in your routine, dont slip and you’ll be where you want to be in no time at all.

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  9. Other posters have already put great advice so I just want to add two tips:

    – it takes just 20 days to build a habit. If you can do it for just 20 days, you can do it forever
    – meal planning and prep is a lifesaver. Knowing your exact meals and preparing a lot in advance will help so much with diet compliance. Plan to succeed.

    You can do it. Good luck

    Reply
  10. I just started today myself, also 28/f, 170-something cms and 105kgs, had a baby 4.5 months ago and I have only ever been this big the last time I had a baby six years ago. I never managed to get below 90kg in that time though and I’m over it. I’m 29 in a week and I’ve decided I want to be able to run for 15 minutes and do 30 push-ups without a break by the time I’m 30. Good luck! It’s a life change for sure, sorry I don’t have any advice, just try not to be negative about yourself I guess. I know my own self-defeating narrative has held me back for a long a time. We can do this!

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  11. Well, I am proud of you for taking a step to getting in shape. My advice for you is to do a lot of research on nutrition and types of work outs (Google and YouTube works great). Just remember it all takes time and results are not going to happen over night. You have to find what works for you and do not be scared to push yourself. A lot of it is trial and error. Keep at it, even if you wake up and don’t feel like it. There has been so many times that I did not want to work out but I force myself anyway. Don’t be scared to work out at gyms. Most people in gyms are too focus on their own work out to really care. A lot of gym rats were once out of shape as well. So a lot of us understand that everyone starts somewhere and are willing to help.

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  12. Start small, do things that will build into habits. At your starting point even small things still show results. You can start with something as simple as making sure that half of every meal is fibrous veggies and making an effort to be active for 30 minutes every day. The absolute critical thing is that you don’t stop, whatever changes your make do them every day. When results show down you speed up.

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  13. There are extensive guides everywhere for what you should be doing but as someone who reached not once or twice but three times 140kg in his life let me tell you, I am 99.99% sure you can not use any of them at the moment. You haven’t been paying attention to your habits nearly as much as you believe to have done, and your hormones are such a mess that from what you are telling us, it caused even a suicide attempt.

    Now if I am to be honest, for me hitting the bottom of the barrel has always been the thing that forced me to try and rise to the surface again. Plus drugs: the thing about ego desolution is fucking real and it helped me tremendously in getting my act right at least on a level that makes me functional again. But alas drugs are not something you go around suggesting to people, so unless you are already in this world and you know how to use them, forget I even talked about it. In regards to money or lack of it rather, getting thin is about the cheapest thing someone can do. Homeless people get thin; ever seen a homeless person having a steady income? No, they don’t need money to not eat. You on the other hand can clearly afford to overeat some expensive shit; you can’t get 122kg from eating vegetables! Cookies, chips and a bottle of coke are ridiculously expensive if you attempt to value them for the good they do on/for you. So first order of business for me if I was in your position again would be to :

    1. **Find a coach**. People tend to sit on the two opposite fences in regards to coaches; either hate them or drink their sweat and taste their farts. When the journey of losing weight and finding a work to support myself and my family started, there are two people I connected with : a health coach and a career coach. Luckily I went to college back then so their services were offered to me for “free”, and although I never had to use them past the initial steps I swear if it wasn’t for these two lovely women in my life, I would have failed SOO hard!!! A proper coach is not as much of a teacher or a psychologist or even a friend or a mentor as they are something inbetween all of these and that is the exact right combination to help you get out of your mind for a second and start moving. They know what you should be doing to get that which you want and they know you are going to need to make small steps towards each goal and their job is to help you find what is that next small step. Find a coach. Even if it costs money. You had never built the resolve to do this journey entirely on your own; accept you need help from someone and it is going to cost you. It’s ok. You clearly have the money to spare; if you don’t, you can find it as you buy less and less food for your stomach.
    2. **Your bed is your head**. Not in the most literal sense but the place where you spend most of your time relaxing your body, is also the place where you sit and spend hours inside of your head. And that head of yours, has all sorts of demons lurking inside it. Different versions of you throw all kinds of mean comments and arguments making it a cesspool of anger and trust issues. It’s not ok. Those people in your head have their own goals to live for and maybe just one out of the hundred is thinking the best for you and your body. Are you going to arbitrarily find that one voice and name her the Queen of all, all of a sudden? Impossible.. The only way to help her come out and to the top, is to quiet all the voices in your head until you can hear a whisper. And the best way to do that, is the way all people who have been thinking too much have done it : **take long walks**. From 140kg to 125kg all I did that could count as an exercise was to take a two hour, daily, often drug induced, walk right into the black of the night in the quietest most abandonded of neighborhoods. Thinking back on it, it was dangerous as fuck and I think it’s clear I was depressed and angry about so many things going on. Going out in the dark helped a lot with people not seeing me though, so if you think you can afford it in terms of being safe at least, go for it but avoid any bad neighborhoods.
    3. **Start skipping your friends**. Friends are fucking fantastic to have; they can be the joy of life most of the times but they are people just like you, with their own problems and demons in their head and that means they won’t always be focused in having your best interest in mind, even if they are people who do have it in general. Good kings always had an entire team of counselors, but they also always made the decisions themselves. In the first steps of fixing my own diet I had to make some drastic changes like eating a yogurt and 2 fruits for dinner. And I had to make this choice while watching movies with my friends who had ordered pizza or burgers and happily enjoyed them, sometimes right in my face. It was a torment sitting with them but they were all thin, smoking cigarettes and eating shit food once a day; not exactly something to aspire to. As I cut down our meetings from 5 days a week, to 4 days and soon to 2 days, it became far-far-far easier to uphold on my good choices in food and also made a lot of time to do all the other things that benefited me. In just 2 or 3 months I moved from a 140kg, jobless and depressed sob, to a 125kg sob with a hobby and even my first ever girlfriend!
    4. **Follow the trends (and your own stupid ideas) to failure.** Following this and that month’s flavor in diets and exercise (and really anything in general) is not a great idea. Not at all. However there is some merit to it that people with experience often neglect. That is, being a fool with a purpose is an order of magnitude better than being just a fool. There is a vast amount of information readily accessible from your phone’s screen or someone else’s mouth. Do you know which information is useful and which you should throw out of the window when it comes to having good eating habits and making a healthy body for yourself? If you knew you would already have these. It is a reality that is forced upon us by those inner demons who live with us however, that when things start to get rough and the trip seems difficult, we will try all sorts of stupid shit to cut on time and effort; some will work for a while, some won’t work at all. The real benefit of trying them however is that you come out of their failures with knowledge. I now know that having one meal per day, or starving 3 days a week works for me in losing weight real quickly. I also know that I then eat like I was left alone in the jungle for a month after every starving day, which means that as quickly as I lost 5kg, I took back 6. This is why OMAD and starving are stupid fucking diets for me to follow.

    There is another benefit to being the fool here. You actually learn what does good for you and what you like. Similarly to the diets I also tried a variety of sports during my journey; from archery and walking, to swimming and MMA. Some things like the archery felt really nice to do even if they didn’t help me with the goals I had in mind. Others like running were great but resulted in more problems that they were intended to fix. Through trial and error I managed to learn more about myself and what I was into hence creating habits that are easy to adhere to. I created my own gym piece by piece, I made friendships and found girlfriends through belonging to those sports teams, I learned ways of thinking that affected positevely other parts of my life and I build routines that I do not have force upon myself to follow. I enjoy shooting a bow and arrow, so now I just go out and shoot it. It is not a great exercise but it keeps me on my two feet for an hour, puts me under the sun to get my vitamin D for the day and keeps creepling thoughts away. It is far better to do than just sitting around watching youtubers play games, or depressing news and whatever.

    And I think that’s enough for now to absorb and utilize. But they are important things that guides talking about calories, and macros don’t mention. And they are right not to mention; they are geared towards people who already have a sense of what leads and what doesn’t lead to a healthy and active life. People like us, people who live in some side of the scale’s extremes have an entire mountain of different things to deal with and problems that the average person doesn’t know. There’s is no point in seeking advise from someone who makes race cars, when you need to be making a lorry. You need to approach things that are a step or two away from you first, before attempting to do the things people on the other side of the scale suggest. I wish you good luck and would love to see you in 10 years time, living a life that you constructed and is worth entirely living.

    Reply
  14. r/CICO + r/Volumeeating those helped a lot of people lose a lot of weight. Exercise wise – keep walking, walking is great for fat loss and if you can walk somewhere in nature, even better. I would also start doing Plank exercises every day – hold for how long you can, don’t push yourself. Also drink A LOT of water, it will make you feel better, help you shed water weight and improve you digestion and mental health.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask, I’ve been doing this fat loss/fitness thing for years.

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  15. Congratulations on making it here for help. The most important focus here is to work with your mental health team. Severe obesity is really a symptom of mental health/depression, by working on your mental health, you’re already fighting half the battle.

    There’s no need to go to a gym and hire a personal trainer if you can’t (and I say this as a personal trainer). Do you have one supportive person in your life that will take walks with you without judgement? Another thought – do you know anyone who is interested in letting you walk their dog? Dogs are supportive, non-judgemental companions.

    Assuming you have the psychiatrist/dietician support (can you get a registered dietician referral?), walking a little bit longer or a little bit faster each day is perfectly appropriate at your weight and stage of fitness. If you can do 5 minutes today, do 6-7 minutes tomorrow or the next day. 3x a week is fine.

    You may also want to look at r/loseit and chat with other folks who struggle(d) with morbid obesity.

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  16. The main thing is eating the right amount of calories. Until you sort that out nothing else will matter. Good luck.

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  17. A calorie deficit should be your number one goal. Exercising regularly can help to burn some calories, but more importantly help form your mindset and discipline

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  18. I feel for you, so much.

    I’ve been fat my whole life. I don’t remember a time when I was thin. I’ve seen pictures of me aged 7 or 8 where I was slim, but by the time I got to age 10-11 and puberty began, I’ve been fat.

    I’m 162cm and 103kg (BMI 38.7) at age 30(F). I worry that I am getting worse, not better.

    Back in 2016-2018, I dedicated myself to fitness and better eating, and after a year and a half of effort, got down to ~85kg. I was still overweight, but I felt great! I was in the best shape of my life! I could swim four lengths with no breaks, and I only felt a bit tired, not like I was going to die! I could run up the six flights of stairs at work without even feeling winded! I got compliments from total strangers! I had to start wearing belts to keep my jeans up; I even started shopping for new ones in my new, lower size.

    I was also deeply miserable. I hated going to the gym. It cost an absurd amount of money that I could only barely afford, and I resented every £ I spent just trying to be normal. I forced myself to go at least 3 times a week and despised every second of it. I have never enjoyed exercise, and doing more exercise of different types didn’t improve that. Those three days a week felt like doing penance for something, and I never stopped dreading it. Partly the exercise itself, partly resenting the cost, partly the rude gymbros who looked at me like I didn’t belong (most people aren’t like that, but no matter how many times I switched gyms, there was always one or two).

    I hated the food I had to eat; endless veggies and lean white meat, few carbs, even fewer fats and sugars while my friends and partner ate what they wanted. I stopped looking forward to mealtimes because the food was never what I wanted to eat; sometimes I would just skip meals entirely because I had no enthusiasm for the types of meals I was required to eat. Fast food was (mostly) entirely banned for the calorie count, so I also had to start cooking for myself every night, which felt cruel when I was already losing time. Come home from overtime done to pay for the stupid gym at 6pm, rush out to attend the stupid gym at 6:30, get home at 7:30, spend 30-40 minutes cooking, then maybe two hours to myself before bed, assuming I didn’t have other chores to do.

    So I slipped. I told myself that I could ease the restrictions now. I was a healthier weight. As long as I kept going to the gym and didn’t go too far, I’d be fine. I could slow the losses, maybe just maintain for a while, for the sake of my mental health.

    I put the weight back on slowly, imperceptibly. I can’t point to any one thing that changed, and I still don’t think my habits are *that* terrible; calorie counts tell me I shouldn’t be gaining at the rate I am.

    The doctor tells me PCOS might be to blame, insulin resistance and whatnot. It’s possible, I suppose, but I also hate the idea of being one of those people who says “ah well y’know I can’t help it, it’s hormonal”. I can help it, it just might be a tiny bit harder for me.

    Now, in 2020, I’m right back where I started. All the misery was for nothing, I made zero long-term progress. I can’t dispute that it definitely worked, and I did achieve my goal. But I have no interest whatsoever in going back to that existance.

    … Well damn, this turned into a rant. Sorry readers, hope you made it to the end alive.

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