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Depression and Weight Issues Have you been diagnosed with depression, are possibly on depression medication, and find it affects your weight loss efforts? Post here for support!

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Old 03-19-2009, 02:09 AM   #1
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Default Advice for losing weight gained from meds...

Hey there everyone Long time no see.

So, once upon a time, I lost around 30-40 lbs and at last became fit and healthy. Now, nearly three years later, I have gained 100 lbs from where I was when I graduated high school.

There are plenty of reasons why I've gained so much, but perhaps the most significant of these has been my medications. Right now I'm taking 300 mg of Zoloft, 200 mg of Lamictal, and 30 mg of Adderall. This combination has worked better for my depression/anxiety/ADD than anything I've tried thus far, so I'd rather not change it. It seems that every time my doctor and I "experiment" with alternatives, it doesn't turn out so well.

And therein lies the problem... I can't stop taking the meds that have contributed to my weight gain and my insatiable hunger, but I want to lose weight. Is it even possible? Would the stress of trying to lose weight now just send me back into another depressive episode? These are things I've carefully considered. I've even thought about some form of lap band surgery because I am so afraid of failing again. I had to buy size 20 pants yesterday... and while my boyfriend doesn't mind (he likes that my boobs and butt are bigger, haha), I am very uncomfortable with my body as it is now.

Is this at all possible? Can I ever overcome my junk food cravings while on these meds? Am I just setting myself up for failure?

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks <3
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:09 AM   #2
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I find that I have to plan everything I am going to eat for a day at least the night before. I try to do it for a week so I can grocery shop and have everything I need. I eat at scheduled times - 3 meals and 3 snacks. When I see it written down and posted on the fridge, I eat it. If I don't plan I'm out of control. Because I eat every few hours, it's easier not to overeat. As for junk food, it doesn't come into my house so I can't eat it. I also schedule my exercise, just like any other appointment. Exercise has done a lot to get me feeling less depressed.

It isn't easy, but it is doeable.

HW 356 pounds - CW 135 - GW 137

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:11 AM   #3
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Have you ever seen the movie Super Size Me? You might consider it. It got my kids to stop asking for MacDonalds. Junk food creates it's own addiction. Sugars and fats create immediate addictions. Anything with MSG is like heroin on your tongue. These foods are designed to make you want them more.

If you can do your best to eliminate these from your diet, that would be a great first step towards gaining some control in your life. Plan ahead to make different choices to overeat. It doesn't have to be celery and apples, unless that's what you really want. What do you tend to binge on specifically? If it's fried foods, maybe you can switch to using olive oil in your foods and add avocados and nuts to replace the bad fats with good ones. If you're into sugar, find some fibrous fruits, or dried fruits that don't have added sugar, like dried mango (so yummy!) or pineapple. Not juices though.

If you crave carbs altogether, start eating more whole grain foods, like whole wheat spaghetti, whole wheat bagels, steel-cut oats for breakfast. And if you have a chocolate addiction, switch to dark organic chocolate, like Green & Black's 70% Cocoa Chocolate. Just a square at a time, and let it melt on your tongue and really enjoy it. You might also go for spicier foods too, because that will also release endorphins.

Give yourself some time to back off the junk food and get used to the better choices. And try to balance out your new choices with plenty of veggies and low-fat proteins. I think you could make the switch gradually in about two months.

I did have to go off meds in order to start losing weight, but it hasn't just melted off. It would be nice to only have to worry about losing weight, but I have to eat a certain way because I'm now a borderline diabetic with hypoglycemia, and to help maintain my mental health, and to lose weight and get my blood pressure under control. Plus, I struggle with sleep apnea so I have to maintain good sleep hygiene.

But I also have to exercise. I didn't have confidence in what exercise could do for me until just over a year ago. I got help from a personal trainer who got me to exercise everyday, three weeks straight, and after two weeks, I started experiencing the euphoric effects of endorphins that are released with exercise. I found that if I did a combination of weight training and cardio, everyday, I just started feeling so much better.

Weight training really does it for me the best. Three times a week I do full body workouts. I get on the treadmill for five minutes to warm up, then I stretch properly, then start with exercises for my arms, shoulders and upper back. About 10 minutes into the workout I start feeling the endorphins kicking in. I make sure to stretch each muscle between each exercise set, and I make sure my form is correct as well as controlled so I don't get injured. (Already been there and done that and been to physical therapy for it!)

By the time I'm done with weight training (it takes me 45 minutes now, but I've been training for over a year now and I really enjoy it), my heart rate is up, I'm really warmed up, and I'm ready to spend some time on the treadmill. Since my heart rate is already up, I'm burning calories from fat the minute I get on the treadmill, and I'll walk within my target heart rate for at least 20 minutes, up to an hour. It depends on my schedule for the day. This is what I do three time a week, in the afternoons. I do just cardio on the treadmill in the mornings five to six days a week.

By the way, it took me over a year to get the antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds out of my system completely. It didn't feel good at all, and some days were really bad. But I'm on the right track now. This is what is working for me.

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Old 03-22-2009, 11:09 AM   #4
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lessthan, I gained 60 pounds on Zoloft a few years ago. I have no advice. I have since quit taking meds and am doing more homeopathic things. I do have more of a rollercoaster this way--meds really leveled me out. In the end though, my weight made me absolutely miserable. Everyone has to decide if the trade is worth it--and I know every situation is different.

"Be who you are, say what you feel. Those who matter, don't mind. Those who mind, don't matter." --Dr. Seuss
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