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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!

Depressed, Overweight, no job, no medications

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Old 03-19-2009, 10:23 AM   #1
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Unhappy Depressed, Overweight, no job, no medications

I'm 31. I'm at the highest weight I've ever weighed in my life. I lost my job 23 months ago and packed on a fast 40 pounds. I have always had depression issues, I have always suffered panic attacks, but I've never taken medications for more than a month.
About 3 years ago I was put on Paxil and then Seroquel, I took myself off both because I didn't like drug induced side effects.

Anyway, I have gone deeper into my depression since losing my job AND from gaining this weight. I just can't get it off no matter what I do.

Last year I spent four months working out every other day to Hip Hop Abs and did not lose a single pound. Naturally, I gave up. Now I'm even more out of shape but at least I haven't gained more.

I'm not an overeater, but I do live on the poor man's diet. Most nights it's a decision between spaghetti and hot dogs, and usually soup & crackers for lunch or just some carrot sticks. This is an example of what I can afford.

I am at a very bad point right now. I have decided to post last summer's photos of myself around my bed so when I wake up the reality of what I've become will be the first thing I see before I start my day and the last thing I see before I sleep. I want this to motivate me to start walking again and to start working out again.

I find that in order to keep my interest in working out I have to switch up what I'm doing. So I have ordered a new workout routine that is on it's way in the mail, Crunchless Abs.

I'm glad I found 3 Fat Chicks in the library and thus their forum. I'm glad to have a place to talk about this.

Thank you.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:31 AM   #2
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baby phat, I am so sorry to hear about the issues you are having with job loss..my thoughts are with you through this difficult time..my prayer is that God will light your path and show you what you need to next to get through this trial..

okay, on the weight loss I would like to encourage you to count calories...I can tell you, it absolutely does work! You can buy the Jennie O Turkey dogs for 70 calories for $1.19 a package at Walmart or Target. The Campbells Healthy Harvest Soup is $1.25 at Walmart and the huge can (vegetable) is just 100 calories. These are processed items but that's what it looks like you are doing. Drink a ton of water--it's free. Get whatever frozen or fresh veggies you like and limit your fruits. You can absolutely do this on a very strict budget.

Better than the processed items overhead, I would get a bag of beans and a bag of rice. You can do countless things with them with seasonings and getting creative. Just measure your portions. Have a look at the countless online calculators to figure out how many calories you should be ingesting. Consistency is the key. Let us know how things are going. It will absolutely get better.

Oh, one other thing I wanted to mention..try to get yourself some fish oil--another expense I know--but I think you would find it beneficial for your depression..also get some sunshine as well as exercise (sounds like you are exercising)...these are the things I use...not as effective as meds but it's great for your body and well worth you doing
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:41 AM   #3
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I'm sorry you lost your job, I understand how hard it is- I lost my job in 2007 and was unemployed for a year! The first job I found afterwards wasn't even near what I wanted to do- it was washing glassware at a lab, 8 hours a day, even coming in on the WEEKENDS to wash glassware so that everything would be ready on Monday. It was a crappy job, made me feel totally crappy, I was treated like dirt, BUT I did it. After working there for four months a job I applied for half a year before that finally called for an interview. I worked my *** off to get that job and did. I always find that it's easier to find a new job when you already have a job. I'm sure you are applying for work but my point is to apply for EVERYTHING. I mean heck I had a master's degree and I was washing dishes!

I agree to count calories and try to substitute where you can. Walmart sells food very cheap and there was a time where walmart was mine and my husband's grocery store for most of our food.

Good luck I hope you find something soon.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:54 AM   #4
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I know losing a job is tough-- I just lost mine, and in Singapore, there aren't any unemployment benefits. If you don't work, you starve, basically. Finding a job isn't really that tough. You can simply get a temporary one, until you managed to find one that suits what you want to do. It'll allow you to gain insight by working somewhere other than the industry you want to be in.

Motivation wise, posting photos of myself during my fat phases never helped me. It made me even more depressed to look at myself like that, and all the promises I made to myself over the years all broken just like that. Instead, I bought a dress that is way too small for me now, but I'll be able to fit into it at my goal weight (it might even be loose!). Every other week, I try it on to see how far I've come, and when I work out, I think of that dress, and all the attention I'll be getting when I'm finally able to fit into it. That keeps me going.

Hope this helps, and may life pick up for you from here onwards. Hugs!
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:59 PM   #5
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I'd have to completely agree with TBG in post #2. Her food suggestions are right on and calorie counting is absolutely vital. Think about balance as well. Keeping your vegetable intake high and your protein in check will help your body balance its natural chemicals.
Fish oil is super for your body in addition to helping with depression. My mom has MS and has taken it for years as an assist to demylineation (when the lining on the outside of your nerves wears away) and cognitive function. It's a great overall addition to your daily routine.
Also, if you are on a low cal diet, your fats will be low as well. The fish oil will keep the nerve sheath from depleting if you lack fat in your normal dietary intake.

Hope that all makes sense!

I'm sorry you are down - remember - one day at a time - one pound at a time - you can do this!
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:35 PM   #6
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Hey sweetie, BIG HUGS to you right now...I'm so sorry you're finding yourself in this place right now. I know it's hard. I know that it feels like there's no way out, and I know that feels pretty bad.

You did a great thing; you reached out to connect with support. I'm glad you did that. You're taking a step out of your circumstance and are moving into a nurturing place that will be safe for change. We're all here with you, sister!

You may think you're stuck in circumstances that will prevent you from ever feeling better, but you're not. You've got sunshine...make sure you go outside for an hour of sunlight on your eyes every day. Even if it's cloudy, you need that hour outside.

Make sure you're getting enough quality sleep. That means going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning, and getting at least 7.5 hours of sleep.

Get your 30 minutes of aerobic activity in every day. And do some weight training as well. If you don't have weights, use a gallon of some liquid (like a big bottle of shampoo), and work your arms (biceps, triceps, shoulders and forearms). Even wall push-ups. Do some squats, push up and down onto your toes, some side leg raises, those silly-looking dog-leg raises. And try some good stretching too, for your whole body. I promise that after a couple of weeks of doing the exercises, you will feel so much better.

And nutrition is really, really important. The fish oil is definitely a good thing. You do need fats. I like sardines, and I eat a can everyday, with a little lemon juice squeezed over them. Great source for calcium (if you get the kind with the bones in them), and the right fats. I'm actually a little too indulgent and get the ones packed in olive oil from Trader Joe's...and I have them with a baby spinach salad and whole wheat crackers...OMG!

I also recommend taking Vit B-complex. You're not eating a balanced diet, so you are probably depleted from certain nutrients. You can try to add more dark green leafy veggies too.

And eat every four hours. Don't let your blood sugar drop, because hypoglycemia also causes depressive symptoms.

This is just a brief period of time in your life. You are a victim of circumstance, but you also are the engine for change. Your circumstance does not define you. The photos around your room do not define you. You get to say who you are and you are strong enough for yourself, and smart enough to find good support when you're feeling low.

Let us know how you're doing. We're here for you.

Georgia
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:43 PM   #7
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Hey Baby phat sorry to hear you are down. Just remember life is a roller coaster. Just because you are down now doesn't mean you will be down next month or even next week! That's what makes life so exciting you never know what it is going to throw at you!

When we are at our lowest there is only ONE way to go and that is UP!

What is working for me is counting calories and keeping a log of exactly what I eat. Then I just make sure I don't go over 1800 calories a day and as long as I do this I lose, or have been so far.

You say you exercise and don't over eat, try keeping track of exactly what you eat. Many times we think we are eating pretty healthy and we are surprised at how much we are really eating.

Just hang in there and you will weather this storm. You will find another job and you will lose the weight but you have to work at both!

You can do it! Good luck!
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:11 PM   #8
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Wow, thank you all for your support!!

I did not know fish oils helped in those ways, I only knew it helped with blood sugar somehow, which can prevent diabetes, so I do take them but I usually only take one pill a day. I hate taking pills.

I count calories on and off. I do do most of my food shopping at Walmart, Target, Aldi's etc. We go to the supermarkets maybe 4-5 times a year. I have found that I do enjoy the lean hamburger and the hot dogs that aren't beef.

The fat-self photos posted does actually motivate me as opposed to just making me more depressed, I HATE those pictures so much that it makes me either workout or go walking. So, so far it's working. What does depress me though is trying on clothes at the stores, I literally cry in the dressing room, so I can't trying things on anymore, I just avoid my favorite passtime: clothes shipping. Which kind of works out since I can't afford it right not anyway.

It's so sad that that I stopped working out last year. I realize now what a mistake that was. I wasn't getting the weight off but I was benefitting from it, I worked my way up from the 20 minute routine to the 40 minute routine and now that I'm starting over I'm having trouble with the 20 minute routine. But I will NOT give up this time! I refuse to let it meat me again.

Thank you all so much for your support. It really does help. And the tips and info are priceless.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:18 PM   #9
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It does get better! I bought a treadmill for $100 and day one was a STRUGGLE. I thought I was gonna die lol. Literally I could barely do the 2! Now I'm up to steady at 2.5 and able to hit 3.0 and go for a while- one day I hope to be able to get up to a less than 10 minute mile!
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:30 PM   #10
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Dear Baby Phat,

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. One suggestion I have, if you haven't already done this, is to go have your thyroid checked. Since having an under active thyroid can cause depression and prevent you from losing weight.

Best wishes.
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Old 03-31-2009, 03:54 PM   #11
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I did have my thyroid checked RIGHT BEFORE I lost my job, so I'd say it was checked about 25 months ago and the results came back beautiful, so luckily it's not that.

I do have to add here tho, that this time around the working out is helping to lift my spirits a little. Perhaps because I'm doing it every day this time as opposed to every other day like last year. I am just afraid that I will burn myself out. I don't want that to happen.

Thank you all for your kind words, helpful advice and great encouragement. I really appreciate it!
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:32 PM   #12
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Losing your job is rough. I was getting depressed and binging.. I was even working out for 2 hours a day.. but considering I was eating a bunch of junk and sitting on my butt stressed out, I was seeing results. I found that aside from applying for jobs, that taking advantage of free or cheap services in the community (networking/volunteering) have been a great help! I was able to get out of the house and meet some wonderfully supportive people-especially women. There should be similiar groups in your area. Once you clear your head and project a positive energy, positive things will come. It worked for me and the people I have met had it work for them. I can send you some info links if you are interested and PM me.
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:33 AM   #13
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Hi there. I don't know if I'm unable to lose weight because I am depressed or depressed because I can't lose weight. I sought out some kind of thread this morning as I feel so unhappy/depressed.
I feel like there is nowhere to turn.
I've been trying so hard and no weight is coming off.
I feel like chucking it all and saying that I will just be fat and get fatter. But, I don't want to.
I've been here on 3FC for a very long time. I go to Weight Watchers and try very hard to follow their program. Sometimes I am doing great and other times I feel like I just can't possibly live like this any more.
I don't know what led me to pick his one thread, maybe it was the desperate sound of the title.
I'm not unemployed, I'm a stay at home mom. I do feel that I have allowed what is happening in the world to take control of how I feel. I feel so angry and unhappy about the way things are going. It's such a loss of control and I feel I want to scream. I hate watching the news, yet I am drawn to it. I spend time on that and then I feel badly that nothing was accomplished.
I feel like I am wallowing in misery. I do not want to take meds and I am scared of becoming dependent.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:09 AM   #14
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Hi baby phat,


Tell me what you like to do? lets start with something positive!
Is very important to start have fun!
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:44 PM   #15
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I dont like to take medications either. I dont like the reactions. Thats one reason i have gotten into herbalism. A great natural treatment for depression, that i am currently on and think works wonders for me, is St. Johns Wort. You can buy it very cheap online. I personally make my own tinctures with the dried herb soaked in vodka for 2 weeks, drawing all of the medicinal properties out of the herb, then straining out the liquid. I add a teaspoon of the vodka tincture to a glass of tea 2 times a day. I am in no way a doctor or anything. This is just self taught herbalism. You should also research the herb before you take it to make sure it wont affect any other medication you might be taking. Definatly not for people who are currently on MAOI's or other depression meds. Also causes you to be slightly photosensitive. But I cant afford meds, and dont like the side effects. this is a nice herbal alternative. but i repeat, research it to make sure its the right thing for YOU!
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