The Hungry Man Eats

Tag Archives: Depression

Depression + Weight Loss + Food Blogging = Recipe for Disaster

Sad Pizza :(

So, I just noticed that I have only three blog posts in the past eight months. I also don’t really weigh much less than I did a year ago when I got my bloodwork done for the first time in years, discovered I had sky high blood pressure and started seeing a nutritionist. On top of all that I have been taking anti-depression medications for around 14 months now and I have a hard time discerning how much they have actively helped. Also I am now 40, yay.

 

In retrospect I should have expected something like this, I do a lot of reading on things pertaining to depression and how to get past it (or just live with it as it seems) and one thing I discovered is that depressed people don’t write much while actively depressed. I know why this is, having been this way more often than not these days, when you are depressed you don’t feel like doing much of anything let alone plonking yourself down behind your laptop and writing out 750 or so barely adequate words about the latest restaurant you went to when all you really want to do is say something like “Eat a Beef Wellington or eat Lucky Charms for dinner, I don’t care, because we all die in the end anyway.”

 
So let’s count the problems:
• I just calculated my BMI right before typing this out and it’s 35.4, anything over 30 is classified as obese and anything over 25 is classified as overweight. If I want to get down to 24.9 which is the highest possible measure you can have and not be overweight, I will need to lose 79 pounds.
• What pisses me off? I did this once before. In the fall of 2000 I weighed 272 pounds, but by the spring of 2003 I had dropped over 70 pounds and consistently weighed 197-199 at that time. Even as recently as the spring of 2006 I was briefly below the 200 pound mark. Ten years later, almost all of that work has gone to waste.
• Medications: I used to be proud that I needed no meds, not even a multivitamin because I was healthy. Now, I have to take five different medications, two for depression and three for cholesterol/high blood pressure.
• Moderate sleep apnea, certainly because I am overweight, which means that you need to have a stupid machine blowing air into your nose while you sleep so that your airway stays open properly so you don’t stop breathing.
• Not enough exercise: Although these days experts say that around 80% of a person’s weight loss can be attributed to healthy eating, exercise still plays a bit of a role, and has other health benefits above and beyond losing weight. But it is hard to get your rear in gear and be more active when you are…
• Still depressed: You don’t want to do anything, you don’t have the energy to do anything, and you don’t care that you don’t want to do anything or have the energy to do anything. I could have another whole blogs worth of material on how insidiously crippling and destructive depression can be. Like most people who are battling it, I am never in as good of a mood as I appear to be, and I don’t like to talk about how poorly I actually feel because there is no point in doing so, there is nothing that can be done or said by anyone that will help.

 
This is where I would normally go and have some more bullet points where I point out the good things and what is going right, but there aren’t any. It’s not a total wasteland, I have been working on reducing my carb intake and bumping up my protein intake, not easy with all the sugar out there. The springtime will hopefully bring more opportunities to get active and have more fresh local produce available.
I want to get writing more frequently again, I was something I enjoyed doing in the not too distant past, and I do have ideas rattling around in my head, but the execution of getting something from my brain to the screen is such a challenge these days. I just hope I can post more frequently, and this and life for that matter becomes enjoyable again.

Let’s Ketchup!!!

Lets Ketchup

It’s time to pick up the posting pace, the Hungry Man has fancy plans, and pants to match. I had a follow up visit with my nutritionist just the other day (June 3rd) and I had gained 1.5 pounds since my last visit. This drops my total weight loss since March 10th to only 2 pounds, which is really nothing to brag about as I have been attempting to follow my nutritionist’s advice for nearly three months now.

So what gives with that? Remember a few posts back how I mentioned that I was depressed and was seeing a therapist about it? Therapy alone was just not cutting the mustard, so she recommended a psychiatrist who I now also see who has prescribed medication for the depression. Unfortunately the depression has grown markedly worse over the past 4-6 weeks and I would probably be a good bit worse off but for the medication and therapy that I am already on. Trying to lose weight is challenging enough under regular circumstances, add depression to the mix and I should be ecstatic that I am still down 2 pounds since March 10th. But since I am depressed I am not ecstatic, I am kicking myself for not doing a better job.

This makes an interesting variety of things that I can discuss here in assorted combinations:

  • Food – the usual Hungry Man blog fare
  • Food and losing weight – my attempts to lose weight and the eating/recipes/choices that go along with weight loss
  • Food and depression – how does feeling down all the time affect what I eat, and how do I eat well when I feel down all the time?
  • Weight loss and depression – Now that is a challenge there, how the hell do you successfully eat well, lose weight and be depressed at the same time (especially while I am really struggling with the depression part)?

The unfortunate thing with attempting to lose weight is that people fail more often then they succeed. With weight loss, people who become overweight in the first place have a harder time maintaining a healthy weight after losing the weight than people who are at a healthy weight have to work to maintain their healthy weight.

Not too long ago, I was puttering around the web looking as some assorted weight loss blogs, and one in particular caught my attention. She lost as many as 55 pounds and was about 20-25 pounds away from her goal when things got off track. The next to last post was back in January and she had regained all but 9 of the pounds he had lost. Her last post was January 29th. I am sure her story is continuing to unfold out there in the real world, but the story presented thus far is only one of a failed attempt.

With depression, it can often be a lifelong battle to maintain the upper hand against it through therapy, medication and other measures. I have also seen a number of blogs that detail the ongoing battles that people have had fighting depression and most people never fully recover, they manage their depression and it can flare up or go away for a while, but rarely does it ever go away for good. I thought mine had, I stopped taking medication some time in 1998 or 1999 and seemed to be fine till around 2010 or so, that’s nearly a dozen years that I thought I was in the clear.

So long story short, I have two big challenges in front of me, neither of which has a guarantee of success, but it is better to try and fail than to never try at all.

Till next time, stay hungry my friends…

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