Dear Diary: In search of some encouragement and postive energy (weight loss and depression)

OK friends, this isn't book-related but I need to put it out there in the universe. So you get a personal post today - yay?
Real talk: according to my BMI, I'm morbidly obese. I'm 5'4" and 268 lbs (that's right, putting that all out there in the public eye) and I've been fat as far back as I can remember... Just not THIS fat. When I say that I'm morbidly obese, people go "Oh come on, you are not" because I think that the picture in some people's heads of what morbidly obese looks like is a person who doesn't fit through doorways and can't get off the couch. And while I think the BMI chart is kind of a load of crap, the fact remains that I'm a good 100 lbs overweight.

"Why are you telling me this?" I see you wondering. WELL. Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Buttercup is marry Humperdink in a little less than half an hour. So all we have to do is get in, break up the wedding, steal the princess, make our escape... After I kill Count Rugen.

Oh wait, that's not my story. This is my story: I've struggled with Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) since I was a teenager. Basically it's a hormone disorder with a lot of fun side-effects, one of which is an ease at gaining weight and a difficulty losing it (which throws the hormones further out of balance, which makes weight loss even harder, which throws hormones more out of balance... Yeah, it pretty much sucks.) It also tends to come with a great big dollop of depression, so fun times!
In the Year of Our Lord 2017 I decided enough was enough and got with it, joined Weight Watchers and did the low carb thing (as prescribed by my doctor, because PCOS also comes with some body dysfunction when it comes to processing carb, so no "Low Carb is The Most Horrible" comments plz). I lost 30 lbs in a little over 4 months and was rocking that crap. Bought new size 18 pants, got rid of all my size 22's - life was good.

Then in mid-April I was slammed with a wicked recurrence of my stupid depression, and it all sort of slipped away. Fast forward one year (ONE MEASLY YEAR) and I've gained back that 30 pounds plus an extra 15 for good measure. Because there's nothing like fighting a losing battle!

So here I am... I had to buy a few new pairs of size 22's and they're getting snug, and I just REFUSE to buy size 24 pants and have that be the new biggest size I've ever been.

I want to clarify: there is nothing wrong with being a size 24 or larger. I am all about body positivity and loving yourself whatever your size. There are many woman who are larger than me that are GORGEOUS, and I'm not just talking about their faces. I am very much apple shaped and carry a large part of my weight in my gut, so it's that extra unhealthy visceral fat. I also have a small chest so I'm all out of proportion, and I basically look like I have very pregnant lady tummy all the time. It's not a look I like, and I'm not comfortable in my body. I went for a walk with my kids last week and couldn't make it down the street and back before I was all "My back! My hips!"

OK, this post is getting way too long. Are you still with me? I started back on a low carb diet two and a half weeks ago, and then last week my whole family got the stomach flu and I went "Well this is stressful, time for a pint of Ben & Jerry's and a bag of potato chips to calm me down!"

This week I'm back on track, and I've been doing well. I had started out doing Atkins, but a week in I was already driving myself crazy with compulsively measuring every little thing. I have an addictive personality and I've found that tracking my food can very quickly take me to a pretty unhealthy place, which is why I decided I would just stick to a high fat/moderate protein/low carb diet without actually tracking; sticking to a list of acceptable foods, letting myself deviate and indulge IN MODERATION when things like birthday parties invariably happen (because otherwise I am "good" during said birthday party, and the next day crack under the pressure of having been super strict and end up binging on a bunch on garbage that's way worse than a sliver of cake in the moment would have been...)

I guess the positive side to my past struggles with weight loss is that I've got a LOT of lessons learned. My struggle is being kind to myself and letting weight loss happen at an organic pace. The great thing about tracking every gram that goes into my body and being super strict with how many net carbs I consume in a day is that the weight comes off FAST. It's also not sustainable, and my head knows that. This new approach IS working - it's just slow AF.

And that's where the encouragement and positive energy comes in! I need some good juju from you and the universe and whatever, reminding and reinforcing that this less strict, more sustainable approach I'm taking makes it so I can enjoy my life while also losing weight. I deserve to be happy NOW, not when I've lost so-many pounds. Part of being happy means eating delicious, healthy food; exercising (which I am rocking, btw, but I want to go full throttle and my body can't so I feel guilty for not doing MORE).

WHY AM I NEVER ENOUGH FOR MYSELF?

Seriously! If I friend told me they were sticking to their diet 80%+ of the time, were going on the treadmill for 30 minutes a day and then also hitting the gym 4 times a week for whatever they can take, even if it's just 5 minutes or 15, and had talked to a personal trainer about developing a personal exercise plan, I would be throwing them a damn parade with flowers and balloons and great big flashing neon signs that say "YOU ROCK!" That is EXACTLY MY LIFE RIGHT NOW, so why am I so much harder on myself? Why would I be so proud of someone else, and for me it's not good enough?

UGHHHHHHH, I don't know, you guys. There was a moment writing this where I felt a bit more positive, and now I'm back to wavering.

8 comments:

  1. That is A FUCKING HUGE DEAL that you are even examining this because it's REALLY SCARY. And you are not only looking, you are acting! Moving forward! Doing the thing! (I tried to put parade gifs in here but it got angry)
    As someone who also struggles with this, I have OPINIONS. And they are: It is just fine to ease into this shit. You don't have to do everything at once. And its okay to fall down and get back up, and occasionally eat a whole pizza, and eat that slice of cake. You are making changes, and that's the important thing.

    I super believe in you, Tad Cooper!!!

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    1. THANK YOU for always being so supportive, babe. You are the bestest best best.

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  2. Wooosh! Ting-ting-ting! Blowing the bad juju away and sprinkling some fairy dust of positive vibes for good measure.

    You're doing great! Gosh, I've always wanted to exercise but ugh, so just think that you are better than me. Haha. I AM CHEERING FOR YOU!

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    1. Thanks so much for the support, Jennilyn. And thanks for the fairy dust of positive vibes!! :D

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  3. From one apple to another: do not despair! I've fought the good fight in the past and thought I'd cracked it. Wrong; I developed anorexia. Now I've still got a 'middle' and because of an accident, exercise is difficult, so everything has to be taken slowly. So frustrating but find the way that works for you and go with it. For me it was ditching the scales and keeping a food diary otherwise I become obsessive and that's not good at all! Bucket loads of positive vibes heading your way across the Atlantic from Ireland!

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Kate. :)

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  4. Hi, Elley! We are in the same boat! I also have PCOS and I don't like to talk about it much on social media. I know how hard it is! I have had my OB help me with this since hubby and I are planning to have kids.

    Just take it one day at a time, Elley! Keep positive and reach out to me if you want to talk! My DMs are open! Weight loss is HARD and even harder if you have a condition that doesn't really help any!

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  5. I SO feel ya because I am in the same boat!! I have PCOS too, plus on high dose of an antidepressant that is famous for weight gain. And I have chronic fatigue so I can't exercise much at all. So yeah... ;) BUT I focus on gluten-free, low-ish carb, make sure I CUT DOWN SLOWLY as I'm less likely to backtrack then, and slowly but surely losing weight, woo-hoo! I think slow is best. And finding foods you love that help with the weight loss. :D You can do it, and if you fail one day, get back on that wagon and you'll see overall progress! :D

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