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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    I have mild cerebral palsy and OCD, how I can lose weight?

    Hello, I have mild cerebral palsy (spastic diplegia) and I was wondering how I can lose weight? I have already lost 15 kilos, but I would like to try and lose some more weight. I enjoy walking, but I can't run. Do you have any ideas on how I can get more physically active?

    I also suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and take medication. Some of the side effects (of the medication) mean I put on weight. Could I reduce this problem at all?

    So to sum up, I would like to lose weight even though I have some difficulties with my CP and my OCD with medication. How can I lose weight or prevent any more weight gain? Is there any gentle ways to get physically active?

    Thank you.
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  • 1


    Jennifer Grant


    New practice opened Feb 2018. Seewebsite I'm passionate about working with people from all walks of life to help them create a more vital, … View Profile

    Congratulations on your commitment to good health – maintaining a healthy body weight and keeping physically active are great foundations for good mental health.
    While I’d love to give a helpful response, I’m stuck not knowing whether you’re already at a healthy weight. If you are, and want to maintain your existing weight, then a good relationship to food (eg, eating mindfully, nourishingly, regularly) and exercise is key. Exercise for physical and mental health benefits requires about 20-30 minutes of sustained physical activity, at sufficient intensity to raise your heart & respiration rates (enough so that you’re breathing a bit harder than usual but could still have a conversation), most days of the week. The way you do this – walking, swimming, cycling, gym, throwing a ball around or anything that gets your heart rate up – is less important than enjoying it enough so that you’ll keep doing it.
    The mechanisms by which psychotropic medications induce weight gain (or make it harder to maintain optimal body fat levels) are complex, and vary depending on the class of medication you’re taking as well as the dose. OCD often responds well to good psychological therapy. If you were to establish a good therapeutic relationship with a psychologist, and if you were willing to work through a solid evidence based program of therapy you might then want to talk to your prescribing doctor about trialling a reduced dose of medication with a view to weaning yourself off medication altogether. That might be a really scary thought! Notice the thought, feel the fear, reflect on what’s really important to you. And act accordingly.
    I wish you well in your journey.

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