Morbid obesity and back pain

Life as a morbidly obese woman was HARD! Besides the everyday stares, looks, and comments, I had pain. Back pain, knee pain, and hip pain. By the age of 37, I felt like my life was over.  And then I had my "a-ha" moment. That moment when life suddenly comes into focus, a plan gets made, and things start happening. 

My "a-ha" moment happened while I was trying to play kickball with my kids (#tampatrio Wink) when I fell and twisted my knee and ankle very badly. I couldn't get up off the ground. I was in pain. And standing over me were these three little babies. 2, 3, and 4 years old. And they were crying saying "mama get up, mama get up." And I couldn't. My oldest ran inside to get my husband and he came out to help. He couldn't get me up either. He had to grab a blanket, roll me on it, and drag me in the house. It was awful. Humiliating.  All I could think of was laying on the ground and having my babies stand over my body, crying. Is this what my life had become? This could have easily been a heart attach. And there was NO WAY I was going to let that happen. And that was my "a-ha" moment. 



Life is very different now after losing 200 pounds. My back doesn't hurt. In fact, I'm able to deadlift over 200 pounds (240 to be exact!). My knees still hurt a little bit, and so do my ankles, which is why I no longer run long distances. I can run about a mile before I need to stop and walk. It just hurts. But I can walk for hours and hours. Fitness is a LIFESTYLE for me, and I need to be able to be active every single day. I need to listen to my body, and if it tells me to stop running because the pain is not the good kind of pain, then I'm going to listen to it and stop.  I'm 42 years old and in the best shape of my life!


I want to be a 90 year old woman lifting weights and walking races. And by doing activities that I love and listening to my body, I'm giving it my best shot!

I have a great giveaway to go along with my story of how losing weight stopped my back pain!



There are 3 chances to win an iPad Mini 16G (WiFi) and Amazon gift cards. To be eligible to win these, you need to:

 1. Register as a user at by January 31, 2014 to be entered into a random drawing.  

2. Follow MedPress on Twitter (@MedPressForum), Like them on Facebook, and then register at though the rafflecopter giveaway below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3. Leave a comment on this post telling me about any back pain you might have (prior to January 31, 2014) to be entered into a random giveaway for a $50 Amazon gift card!! One lucky Metamorfit fan will be randomly chosen through

4. Join @MedPressForum, me @JennyMetamorfit, and other bloggers including ll the co-hosts @denisermt,  @CK_Lunchbox  @dadcentric and @itsajourney1 for a Twitter chat on January 21st at 8pm EST where we will talk all about spine health. We'll also giveaway TWO additional $50 Amazon gift cards during the Twitter chat. Use the hashtag #healthyspine


There is a lot of opportunity for you to win, and learn about how to keep you and your back healthy and strong! US Addresses only, please.


Disclaimer: I was compensated by Med Press for sharing my story of back pain and morbid obesity. 

Comments (70) -

  • Your weight loss story is so inspirational!  Thank you for sharing your story!
  • I started having back pain when I was pregnant and then I gained 100 pounds and it is just a daily reminder of all the weight I am still carrying that I am struggling to lose.
  • I've been pretty lucky and haven't really had any back pain aside from sitting too long during long car rides. I do a lot of yoga to strengthen my back and stretch it.
  • I am pretty lucky and I don't have major back issues but my neck always seems sore and stiff from years of working at a computer desk. I try to stretch as much as I can to help but sometimes need anti inflammatory meds
  • I had similar issues when I was overweight but 3 years ago, I had my "aha" moment.  Have since lost 150 lbs and no more back issues!!!  Smile
  • I was in a car accident in 2007 and still suffer some lower back pain.
  • I had lost 100 lbs and felt great but due to meds and depression, I gained it back. I just had my own a-ha moment 2 weeks ago when I woke up in pain bc I had been sleeping on my back. My fat is so much that my back is causing me problems!
  • I am so proud of you Jenny!! YOu look amazing! Keep up the inspirational stories and hard work.
  • I had back pain after i gained a lot of weight while pregnant. I'm losing weight now and it has been much much better! Smile
  • I have sporadic lower back pain that gets bad enough to where I cannot stand and walk straight. It usually comes after I do too much. It can be very painful. I spend weeks and sometimes months at the chiropractor trying to get relief.
  • My back pain has been much better since losing weight and practicing yoga stretches!
  • I have increasingly suffered from back and neck pain as my weight has increased.  I have watched over the last several years and the pain has increased so much that at times I cannot do much at all.  I have lost 50 pounds and am starting to have less and less pain!
  • i have back pain when i go too heavy on my weights or resistance bands. i've learned i need to go slow and steady when upping my weights and not compare myself to others!
  • I've struggled with back pain since high school, I injured my lower back and it has never been the same.
  • Even though I've always had weight issues my whole life, my back was usually ok.  Then I had a special needs daughter who can not walk or sit, so I find in the past few years all the picking her up and carrying her on a daily basis is really taking a toll on my lower back.  She is 80 pounds and can not hold on to me when I pick her up, so that adds even more strain on me I think.  I've lost a lot of weight (over 200 lbs) the past couple years and I do back exercises every week and it seems to be helping, but the pain always creeps in now and then.
  • I blew out my back a few years ago... Picking up a roasting pan... of all things!  I was down for several weeks.  I continued to have back pain for several years after.  One time I was in St. Louis, and was walking downtown, I fell flat on my rear!  I was so worried I had really messed up my back.  I was at a conference that weekend, and so while listening to the speakers, I walked and walked and walked the venue.  The blessing in that, it fixed my back!  Yes I may have a day here or there, where my back will be a bit tender, but not at all like it was!  My husband and I joke, on the days I do have issues, that we need to make a trip to St. Louis to fix it!  
  • Wow, you are a true inspiration! I can only hope to be as healthy and fit as you very soon!!

    My back pain started (not surprisingly) after I gained weight.  I was about 150 pounds more than what I needed to be, and it made it very difficult to even clean the house as my lower back would start hurting so intensely, even after 10 minutes of mopping or vacuuming.  I too "woke up" one day and thought, I just can't do this anymore.  It was about my 40th birthday and I just knew I was done being overweight.  It's been about 6 weeks and I've been steadily losing and am down 18.6 pounds and am proud of that small accomplishment!  It's a lifestyle change as you know and soon enough I'll be to my goal weight.  Even with a small amount of weight loss, I already notice a difference in my back, but i'm definitely looking forward to being pain free forever!
  • Now that I am past 35 years old, I cannot sit in the same position at my desk for more than an hour without getting sharp pains shooting down my let.  I know losing weight would help with a lot of my issues.  I'm tracking my calories again, going to succeed.  
  • I battle middle back pain frequently from an injury i sustained inhigh school. I was squished by a roll container full of canned goods. I had multiple breaka in my right foot, right arm, and slipped multiple disc starting in my neck. I see the chiropractor weekly to this day.
  • I have mild disc degenerate disease in my L4/L5.  So pain at times can be bad.  I have been doing back exercises to try and strengthen it.  My husband and I are looking into getting a new bed because I can only sleep on my side and even then i wake up in the middle night in pain
  • Ever since I used to work manually labor, I have had back pain.  I even have had physical therapy for it.  I still have to sleep with a pillow between my legs otherwise I will wake up with really bad back pain.  It SUCKS!  

    In other news, I love your story.  What I just read literally made my heart droop that you were humiliated.  I am so glad you overcame it!  WTG!
  • I've had on and off back pain for some years now; thanks to having TWO car accidents within 2 weeks of each other:  rear-ended in one ... t-boned in the other ... didn't help that I fell down my back stairs to the yard last week ... lower back and hips hurting still ...

    Funny thing though:  I can do races where I wog (jog/walk) and no back pain ... but to stand still or go grocery shopping, my back kills me and I need to sit down ...

    Love your story:  great inspiration each time I read it ...
  • I have been having back pain since I had my daughter 14 months ago. I don't know if it is from the extra pounds I'm still carrying or from the epidural I had.
  • When my started my weight loss journey my back pain was in the middle of my back it made everything from walking to running to merely sitting with my kids to read a story a painful. Although I am not close to my goal weight the back pain has subsided. Thanks Jenny for sharing your story! You are truly an inspiration.
  • My back pain (neck) started the day an elderly man looked south rather than north and didn't leave me enough time to stop prior to t-boning his very large van with my vehicle.  
  • I have back pain when I run too far with or without a hydration belt.  My hips get out of whack.
  • Several years ago I was working with a young girl who has cerebral palsy and often had to lift her.  One day, I did something wrong and locked up my back, ended up in the ER.  To this day, I have to be extremely careful or my back goes out.  Luckily, I only have occasional  pain/discomfort.
  • My back pain only comes after walking around in heels all day. They sure look pretty though.
  • I'm 63 and my job requires me to be on my feet constantly. There's a lot of bending and standing in one place. This can be very hard on the back.
  • My low back pain is related to lack of core strength and muscle tightness. My upper back and neck pain is related to a damaged trapezius muscle which when fatigued allows the scapula to "wing" translating to pain down the arm, numbness in my hand and collarbone pain. If left unattended - I see a chiropractor every few weeks - headaches and neck pain result.
  • Congrats on the amazing weight loss and keeping it off!
  • My back pain comes and goes.  It's usually lower back.
  • Wow, this is so close to home, I started having back pain when I had my first child, it gets irritated and flares up if I do not keep active physically, so if I take a few months off and get lazy and then say lift something heavy, I'll be out for a week.
  • I have back pain from the extra weight I carry and from the car accident I was in. It's very frustrating.
  • I have some serious back pain from extra weight I'm carrying around.  
  • I developed low back pain after an accident (while pregnant). Walking has been the biggest savior in alleviating and keeping back pain at bay.
  • For me it's been pregnancy related, the strain has been hard to go back to normal from.
  • Thank you for sharing your story!
    Loosing approx 95lbs has helped my back in many ways: much more flexible working at little table or on floor with pediatric clients, physiotherapy much less frequent, less visits to Dr, less pain meds... To name a few!
  • I didn't have back pain until after I had my first child. I've noticed since I've lost about 70lbs and started exercising more, it has lessened, though I still have trouble with sciatica.
  • I had pain everywhere, includingback, knees and didn't understand how I could ever stick to a workout plan.  Once I committed and worked thru the pain I am now down 54 lbs.  still a ways to go but life and pain is so much better.
  • I did all steps except Twitter, I don't use Twitter.  I hope I still qualify.  I  have extreme back pain caused by multiple health issues.  I find that when I am able to walk consistently, it helps relieve some of the pain!
  • You are such an inspiration.  My knees and ankles ache too when I run, but I am committed to losing this last 70 pounds and be a more active mom for my kids.
  • I back and knees will start to hurt when weight starts to creep on. First clue for me
  • Back pain comes when weight increases for me
  • Absolutely amazing story! You are the definition of determination!
  • You motivate me so much!   I have 150 lbs to lose so that explains my lower back pain upon rising everyday.
  • I'm extremely lucky that I haven't experienced much back pain.  Even with an extra 104 lbs on my body, I rarely had issues.  My sister however has debilitating pain and often is hospitalized for it.  I'm very fortunate and blessed.
  • I had bad back back hasn't been the same ever since Frown
  • I have back pain in my lower back daily. I have been doing yoga to help ease the pain.
  • I have Scoliosis in my upper spine and a congenital defect in my lower spine, so I deal with pain, discomfort, and numbness on a daily basis.
  • I get back pain when I sleep the wrong way or if I'm sedentary too long.
  • My back pain happens when i sit for long periods of time or I sleep wrong,which is almosy everynight.
  • In September 2001 I was in a car accident, resulting in bulging discs.  I was already overweight, but this contributed to my weight climbing to the highest it'd ever been.  I didn't get much help or relief from doctors, but since I've started my weight loss journey it's improved immensely.  Hopefully someday, I'll be pain free.
  • I have lost 30 pounds since August but have 60 more to lose. I have a lot of lower back pain. Hoping moving more and continuing to lose will help.
  • I started having back pain when I gained weight. It's hard to do just about everything including sleep.
  • My back pain stems from scoliosis, something I've dealt with all my life. I know and can feel the difference when I work out and stay on to of my weight and health. My 13 yr old daughter now suffers from scoliosis and knowing how much better I feel when I work out and take care of myself has convinced her to join in and get strong and healthy. Win win for both of us
  • I've been fortunate in that despite being in my 30's and overweight most of my life, I haven't struggled badly with back pain. I recently crashed into a snow bank while tubing and hit my neck and shoulder so badly I could hardly walk. It's difficult to know how to treat this. I don't bother going to my primary dr since they'll likely just treat the pain. I've tried chiropractic and massage for a little relief, but nothing has made it 100%.
  • My back pain is due to my really uneven hips.  It causes me lots of lower (and upper) back issues- and running doesn't help (but running helps keep me from wanting to strangle people, so I still do it).  
    I've been to a chiro 2-3 times a week for the last 6 months and it's slowly getting better.  
  • I am fortunate to not suffer from a whole lot of back pain, but I do have neck pain quite often along with upper back/shoulder blade discomfort. I'm working a trainer at targeting the muscles in my upper back to help support my shoulders and neck better. Hoping to find the right combo of muscle building and stretching to help me sleep better at night!
  • Amy
    I have struggled with back pain since I was 18. I was in a car accident. At 20i was told I have a back of a 45yearold. I have Stenosis,  degenitive discs and bulging. My only option I was told would b to fuse my bottom 3 Vertebrae which I would loose a lot of mobility. Some days are really challenging and hard to even move.  Taking off weight has helped a great deal.
  • My pain originally stems from a couple of broken ribs back when I was 16. After that, it was always related to some activity I was doing. Playing Xylophone in college. (Heavy instrument to march with.) Then I discovered roller derby!! Can we say owwie? Sure you can!! After 4 years of derby, I retired and we all know what that means...weight gain. Right now I'm sitting at 40lbs more than I need, so I'm running 5K every day. I got  back my 15 minute mile, but I know I can get better!! First goal: Disney 5K!!
  • I've had chronic back pain for years. I believe that it's related to improper shoes, and my mattress. I'm unable to stand up for long periods of time without my back hurting.
  • I suffer from back pain a few times a year.  My back will "go out" for seemingly no reason at all.  It has taken as long as 2 weeks to feel normal again.  I sympathize with any who suffer from this, it is horrible!
  • I don't normally get much back pain unless I sleep funny or do something wrong at the gym. Im very thankful for that! Hopefully I never experience it!
  • my back pain is terrible from my accident!
  • I've had back pain off and on due to being top heavy!
  • I've had back pain off and on due to being top heavy!
  • Due to many years of being overweight and the stress and having 3 children so close together, all of which required to have an epidural. The pain gets so bad that my back will actually look like a hunchback at times and my neck will get an extremely sharp pain then lock up on me and I wont be able to move it for 8-12 hours. I wouldn't wish this kind of pain on anyone. That is why I am making it my goal to lose weight and get healthy. Then maybe the doctors can help me figure out what is wrong.
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