Getting in Shape

GIS after weight gain caused by medication

I am at wit's end. I put on about 30lbs from prednisone that I had to take during cancer treatment. I'm EXTREMELY thankful to be alive, but I'm depressed about the weight gain. The prednisone weight will come off eventually, but I have to wait until my metabolism wakes up. Who knows when that will be? It will probably happen sometime between May and November, based on when I stopped taking it. Yeah, big date range. Per dr's orders, I'm also not allowed to go on any diets, I have to take in a minimum of 1,400 calories a day, and I can work out, but only to what my body can handle. Right now, my body is still recovering from being pumped full of poison for 4 months.

Anyway- has anyone else here been in the situation where they gained weight from medication and couldn't really do anything about it? It's hard to stay motivated when you work your butt off and nothing happens. I'm trying to find inspiration. TIA!


Re: GIS after weight gain caused by medication

  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I haven't had to deal with that Jells, but as for motivation, keep going with what you can handle.  As soon as your metabolism does kick in, I'm sure you're going to see big changes fast if you are already into the workouts and eating well.  

    When I had my last cold, it killed me to practice.  But a week after, I felt great, but as soon as I hit a practice, I had no energy and stunting killed me again.  It was so frustrating cos I felt healthy, but wasn't really 100%.  It does come back, but I understand how the waiting game sucks.  And  I only had to deal with that for a few weeks.  

    Not sure if I have much motivation for you.  Just wanted to send you internet hugs and some support.  I know soon we're gonna see a huge AW post from you about how you're back to pre-cancer weight.  Just vent to us all you want.  

  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Thanks @WinstonsGirl!

    I did a lot of venting today and posted something similar to the Stupid Cancer support group I belong to. It turns out that one woman had her endocrinologist put her on this new weight loss drug, Qsymia. So, I'm going to bring that up to my oncologist when i see her on Monday. It will at least get me through to when the weight really does want to come off. 


  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    Just Internet (((hugs))) from me.
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  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    Thanks @JCBride2015


    It's strange, but I'm 10 months out from my initial diagnosis and I'm just now getting mad and angry about everything. If I can just get back one part of my "old" life, it will make me feel so much better.


  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    Thanks @JCBride2015


    It's strange, but I'm 10 months out from my initial diagnosis and I'm just now getting mad and angry about everything. If I can just get back one part of my "old" life, it will make me feel so much better.

    I think the delayed anger is normal.  About 12 years ago I got a deep infection from back surgery that resulted in 3 additional surgeries and a year of antibiotics (about 9 months of that was IV antibiotics at home with PICC line).  I had two trips to the ER where doctors weren't sure I'd survive the night.  At least for me, when I was diagnosed and going through all that, the focus was more on "how do I beat this?" I was focused on the day to day struggle and just doing what needed to be done. And I knew that I needed to stay positive through it.  So, I didn't have time or energy to let myself be so angry over it... that emotion was there, but I quickly pushed it back because it was unproductive for me and only made things worse.  I did gain about 20 lbs during that year, because I wasn't able to do much, but by the end of it I was so happy to be alive that it didn't bother me too much.  Within about a year after getting better the weight did just drop off, which made me very happy though.

    Currently, I'm on a medication that has caused me to gain about 30 lbs. over the past year. I hate it and it's affecting my mood horribly.  Part of the problem is I have a hard time getting active due to back pain (lasted effect from all the craziness mentioned above).  The medication is unrelated, but the added weight causes more back pain, which makes it harder to get moving to lose the weight.  I've changed to a healthier diet, but that just isn't doing much.  I know that I need to just suck it up and exercise, but it is hard to do when you hurt, even if you know it will help the pain.  I've found yoga to be a good start, though.  It can be slow moving and meditative or you can ramp it up to a faster pace.  It a great workout, even at a slow pace though.



  • Hey! I can totally relate. I have been taking on and off prednisone too, my longest being since from October 2013 to now. I went from 116 pounds (which was too thin for me, I was super ill) to now 150. I want to go back to 120–130. I am 5'4". It's taken so long to taper because every time I do, the protein in my kidney starts to spike up. I have 2 forms of lupus (SLE and Nephritis) Im on 10 mg right now, down from 80 mg when I started, but I had to be on 15 for 6 months...I just got engaged last Thursday and my wedding is in 2 years so I hope and pray I'll be off of prednisone by then and back to my normal weight.

    I've been able to lose weight after prednisone before. I was on 60 mg from December 2011–November 2012. I went from 143 to 118 by eating healthy and working out. I did yoga, treadmill, kettle bells, but I got the best results from Ballet Beautiful DVDs (look it up, the instructor trained Natalie Portman for Black Swan and she trains Victoria's Secret models). My muscles were super sleek. I love power yoga too.

    I can see how you can be extremely upset. I am too, especially after every doctor's office they say "just stay on the ___ mg of prednisone, we'll increase your cellcept/plaquenil/losartan and just get your labs done" it's really depressing and makes me actually eat junk food and forget about working out and eating healthy, because it's like what's the point? I binge on Hot Cheetos and candy a lot. I know that's a bad attitude though. Especially because I want to influence my fiancé, he is obese and he has expressed many times how much he wants to lose weight to look good for the wedding and to live as long as he can with me.

    It also sucks when you see wedding magazine pics of super thin women and you wonder, "will I ever look like that on my day?" But the good news is that marriage is for everyone, and your fiancé thinks your perfect. I do totally totally understand how you want to look and feel good too.

    And I am totally sorry about the cancer treatment, my dad passed away 2 years ago from stage 4 lung cancer. Sending you hugs because I know how super hard it is! Good luck!
  • I haven't had your exact situation, but I've had a cortisol producing pituitary tumor twice. The first time I gained 150 lbs before I was diagnosed (took about 2 years). Countless diets and exercise programs didn't work while that thing was in my head. I was treated with cortef (similar to prednizone) and that kept me from losing more than 60 lbs. 7 years later after insisting something was wrong for years, a cross country move, and 3 different endocrinologists I find out the tumor is back and I need neurosurgery AGAIN! Now I'm up to an all-time high of 408lbs. I did everything I could to stop the weight gain, but nothing works. My goal is to ultimately get back down to around 210 lbs. I'm 3.5 months post-op and already I've lost 45 lbs without doing much of anything. I'm still on the steroid treatment and will find out in October if I can stop taking it. But right now my weight loss is stalled so I need to give myself a kick in the butt and start working out more than half-heartedly. It's been and extremely difficult decade+. My fiance proposed 2 months after my surgery and I have a little over a year to lose as much weight as I can (safely)
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  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    So sorry to hear you are going through all of that @knottie1434983798. I originally posted this in March and am eating to a calorie count approved by my doctor AND I work out 5+ days/week (mostly boxing). However, I still have not lost any weight. So frustrating!!!!


  • @Jells2dot0 are you seeing any difference in the way your clothes fit?  Many times you may start to see weight loss in your measurements but not necessarily on the scale.  I have recently started a program where I eliminated all processed foods, grains, added sugars.  Reducing your calorie intake is good but sometimes it doesn't help much if its all junk processed foods.    Some things to think about that have worked for me.
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  • @Jells2dot0 Hi. Just coming across this. I've never been through anything like this and cannot being to imagine all that you have been through. I'd admire your strength and hope you continue to fight. I can offer some advice on weight loss, however.

    You mentioned that you have to adhere to a strict 1400 calorie per day diet. Do you count macro nutrients? Meaning, what percentage of your daily calories go to fats, carbs and proteins? I think what might be helpful to you, since 1400 is slightly above the suggested calorie intake for women, is take make sure that those calories are used in the best way possible. Proteins should be your highest percentage, but they should be high quality, lean proteins--chicken, fish, ground turkey, etc. Then carbs, again, high quality--quinoa, chia seeds, oats. And finally fats--avoiding the bad, saturated kinds and picking the good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Fill in the rest of your meals with veggies and fruits that are high in fiber and low on the glycemic scale and you should start to see changes.  Hope that helps. Good luck to you!

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