One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


Ask Roni – Unable to Exercise

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I have lost 18 pounds and just a couple days ago my back went out of alignment. I will now not be able to exercise until I am done with treatments. For that matter I can’t even do my regular daily tasks or walk straight. I am so scared I am going to regain my weight. I need to lose a total of about 55-60 pounds. I have lost and gained this weight about 3 times in my life but this time is different, this time it is a life long commitment. I don’t expect much in the way of losing weight until I am better I just don’t want to gain any of the 18lbs I have lost thus far. Any suggestions??


Hi Shawnda!

First of all, Congratulations on your loss so far!! You are doing great and it’s nice to hear you are making a life long commitment.

It looks as if we are in the same boat as I also cannot exercise while recovering from my surgery. I too, am a little concerned that the sudden decrease in my activity level will have an effect on my weight. I think you have already entered your situation with the right mindset…

“I don’t expect much in the way of losing weight until I am better I just don’t want to gain any of the 18lbs I have lost thus far.”

I think this is a great goal. Too many people put too much pressure on themselves and consequently set themselves up to fail. Setting a realistic goal of weight maintenance is a very smart approach and shows that you really have made a lifetime commitment.

I’m not sure I have the right answer for you, all I can share is my own strategy. Not being able to workout requires a much closer eye on our food choices. I have decided to start counting points again to stay accountable on the diet front. I’m not sure if you are doing Weight Watchers but whatever plan you follow I would go back to the basics, sticking with as much whole foods as possible, fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean meats and keeping an eye on portions.

Interestedly, there are some studies that show exercise is not required for weight loss (maintenance) and I’m a living example of that. I did NOT workout excessively to reach my goal weight. Yes, I stayed active but bottom line, the the amount of calories I was consuming was less then I was exerting, therefore I lost weight. I don’t want to diminish the role of exercise as I find it an important part of the equation for weight loss/maintenance and overall health but not exercising is not a deal breaker if you account for the decrease in activity level.

That being said, I do plan to move as much as I can without injuring myself. This may not be possible in your situation, but I’m getting up hourly and walking around the house. Instead of asking the husband to get me a drink, I’ll get up myself. If I want something to eat, I walk into the kitchen. This small amount of movement and activity helps me feel mobile and, in my opinion, helps the healing process.

I hope that helps a little and I hope you are feeling better. Again, Congrats on the loss!!


PS Does anyone else have advice for Shawnda (and ME)? :~)

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There are 4 comments so far.


    June 20, 2008

    I think as Roni said that it is a great goal to set about not gaining the weight back. I also lost weight at the first with no exercise. But I think what is important in these situations is to control the things we can like what we are eating and let go of the things we can’t like the exercise part. But you can always see if you can do small things to keep muscle tone up or stretches and things of that sort….with no strain?… hope that makes sense

    Michelle Trif

    June 20, 2008

    I use a ‘calculator’ on It tells me exactly how many calories I need each day based on weight and activity level. It’s worth checking out.


    June 20, 2008

    Hi Roni!
    I was so excited to see that you answered my question. I am almost back to 100% and was able to not gain any weight while not exercising. I have started back exercising and have lost a few more pounds. Hope you are feeling better soon:) Thanks for this website, I am on here everyday and you keep me inspired!! Shawnda


    June 20, 2008

    Hi Roni,

    I am also a back pain sufferer and I’ve been trying to do things to prevent & help it. Yoga has been a god sent and my back has been thanking me ever since I began taking classes. That might be something to look into.

    I would also recommend for Shawnda (if she is doing WW) to retake the points quiz on the website. Being that she is no longer as active as she once was (for the time being at least), she may need to lower her points intake slightly to make up for the lack of movement. Just a thought. I hope you both feel better soon!