Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A few more realizations - none of them feel good, but will lead to good

While I am on track and feeling good, I am also trying to sort out how and why I got derailed. I'm trying to keep my mind in a positive mind-set which isn't that hard as I'm an optimist by nature, but I did discover a couple of things that were bummers.

First, yesterday I got to thinking about where my weight loss start was last time and where it is this time. I know my all time high was 275, but I had dropped and gained, but held stead at 265 for several years (a set point). Well, I thought I had STARTED at 265 last time. No.... I had totally forgotten that I had lost ten pounds and kept it off for a year after we moved from Virginia to Maryland. My journey had started last time at 255 pounds - not the 265 I had thought.

Which means, I had regained ALL but 14 pounds over an 18 month time period!

The weight fell off the first time for the first few months. It's not falling off this time. It's coming off yes, but it's much, much slower.

That is sort of tied to realization #2. I was just lamenting my new weight loss pattern on a weight loss forum. The last time I was losing weight my weight loss followed my menstrual cycle. I would gain as ovulation neared, and lose for about a week a few days following ovulation. Same pattern month after month without fail.

Well, I'm full in perimenopause now and my cycles are irregular. I have had maybe four cycles in the last year. And my weight loss is less predictable. And it's way, way, way slower. Wish I would have been more in the know that perimenopause tends to be one of the most difficult times to lose weight as the hormones are all over the place. And, with my hormones all over the place, it could have been a contributing factor to my depression.

I had several whammies - perimenopause - can cause depression. Seasonal Affect Disorder - causes seasonal depression. I stopped taking my thyroid medicine in the late summer/early fall - low thyroid function can cause depression. AND, I was dealing with a lot of injuries which kept me from the gym more often that I liked, and since exercise is a mood lifter, THAT was leading me to have more unhappiness too.

And for awhile, actually, there was a fifth contributing factor, I was gaining or was stuck at the same weight while eating 1500 calories a day - and I was still hungry. If I didn't exercise, I was stuck. And that was extremely frustrating. I was having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I would face a lifetime of hunger at 1500 calories. If I ate more, I gained. That entire year after my initial weight loss was a slow struggle, but still going slightly up... and then I just "lost it" and gave in temporarily.  The saying of, "more food doesn't taste as good as thin feels" left me. Food definitely tasted better than thin felt for many, many months as I used it as my only comfort.

And then the sixth contributing factor - seeing my husband's disappointment in me. Seeing how our relationship changed (and is still changed). I don't like to disappoint people, especially people I love. So, seeing he had lost his faith in me. Seeing he was disappointed in me and not attracted to me hurt a lot too... which also added to the depression.

So, I am getting a better understanding of why I went into a deep depression - it wasn't unexplainable. I get it now.

And, now I'm beginning to understand why losing weight the last couple of years has been especially difficult - I'm dealing with menopause stuff at the same time and this time tends to be the roughest time for weight loss (which makes sense as when do most women gain weight? During menopause!)

With the new information, I know more what to look for and how to keep my head in a better place. Knowledge is power. If this weight loss is super slow, it's super slow. It's not a race. It's about making it lifelong. if it takes me twice as long as last time, it does. It says nothing about me or my value as a person. It's about getting healthier forever.

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