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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!

How to stay on track when you're depressed?

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Old 01-20-2012, 08:32 AM   #1
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Default How to stay on track when you're depressed?

Today is another off day. Sucks. I'm up a pound which also depresses me. I'm trying not to beat myself up about it, but it's the depression that's winning out. All I want to do is go eat everything I've been avoiding. Sugar, Pasta, Bread.....I'm feeling very deprived this morning. I'm thinking of just blowing off today and starting back again tomorrow. I've been good for 2 1/2 weeks. Maybe I just need a break. But is there really ever a 'break' in this process? Is this realistic? I feel like I'm constantly thinking about my diet and food these days which is also getting exhausting. But when I don't think about it then I make the wrong decisions.

I don't know what to do. I'm just not feeling well today and I really have no desire to eat something low cal / low carb. But I also know that I'm going to hate myself later if I do eat off plan. Some days I so wish that I was more normal and didn't have to deal with these issues. But I'm not. Depression is my life. So how does one stay on track when going through a depressive spell?
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:02 AM   #2
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Find other ways to deal with your depression. Exercise can help immensely, but maybe a nice bath? A cup of tea? Do you have any friends you can call up to talk to? Any TV shows that will cheer you up?

Emotional eating is NEVER the answer. I posted a blog about this recently because it's something I've struggled with too. You need to disassociate food form comfort in your mind. I'm still not perfect but it helps that when I get weak my DH will call me out on it (and I'll do the same for him). Now when I'm nervous? I'll clean, go outside for a walk, watch a show that I love, play with my daughter. ANYTHING to get my mind off of food. If you're genuinely hungry that's something else but emotional eating is not a good road to go down.

Also... a big thing that helped me was dealing with my problems head on. I'm a bad procrastinator and I'll put off stupid things forever and then feel seriously guilty about them and eat away my pain. A big step forward for me was organizing my life better and stop putting off these stupid things.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:24 AM   #3
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My problem is that I just don't move when I'm depressed. I'll scream inside my head to move and my body just doesn't like to cooperate. Nothing can motivate me except for eating. And sometimes I just want this feeling to go away so I'll give in to the eating.

So today I've half given in. I went to the store to get my guilty pleasure, buttercream icing. I'm embarrassed to say that I can sit down and eat the whole thing in one go. But I stood in the aisle holding the can for awhile. People probably thought I was crazy. But in the end I put it back on the shelf and walked out. Unfortunately I fullfilled the second part of my binge which is Chipotle burritos. The salty part of the meal. That I did get. And you know what? It's not making me feel better anyway. So I just inhaled extra calories and carbs and I'm not even getting the benefit that I wanted. And now I'm even more depressed because I'm pissed at myself for giving in. I just don't know what to do now. But today is pretty much sucking.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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These depression days sneak up on me. It's like the bottom of a bi-polar cycle. When I'm all in with my program, I'm kinda manic. But when I get too cocky, slip up a little, then it cascades into depression, sometimes within a few hours. Wish I could be in the manic stage for a bit longer, because I get things done! When in the depression, it takes me a couple days to get my mojo back.

For me, what works is breaking it all down into parts. I'm seriously ADD, so when I look at how far I have to go, or how big the scope of what I need to do is, I freak. But breaking things down, discovering where the fail started showing up, that helps. If the world around me is disorganized, I get things cleaned up and organized. I'm always amazed at how much just making my bed and getting things put away in the house helps my mental state. If I've been dipping too much into the wrong foods (for me, grains, dairy, refined/processed foods and especially soy), then I take a day to fast from it all, drinking lots of water. Helps me to clear my head and I can get back on track.

And sometimes, getting really pissed off at the whole process of losing weight, how unfair it is for it to be so darn difficult for me, sometimes the rage motivates me and fires up the ambition to get back on track.

For me, there are all sorts of tricks to get me back on track. And I have to use them all, often, because I really am ADD and easily distracted from the goal. Today's goal is to make it another hour without eating something, because I'm in a fasting mode for the moment (too many carbs yesterday) and drinking lots of water. That's it. Just get through the next hour moving in the right direction.

Hope you feel stronger soon.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:11 PM   #5
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First off - GOOD JOB for choosing to put the icing back! That's awesome, and it's not always an easy thing to do, either! You must have saved several hundred calories just by making that choice. So maybe the Chipotle burritos weren't such a great choice, but you ate way better than you could have (and than you have in the past, presumably). That's progress! That's good practice making better choices! And, you recognized that eating the burritos did not make you feel better. That's something that's good to know about yourself and your habits.

I think runningfromfat and Georgia had some good points.

Have you tried therapies for your depression beyond medication? Specifically, have you tried Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? Whatever the major mechanisms for your depression are, it sounds like you're also talking yourself into feeling worse.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the encouraging comments and suggestions. I'm beginning to get out of the fog.

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Originally Posted by theox View Post
Have you tried therapies for your depression beyond medication? Specifically, have you tried Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? Whatever the major mechanisms for your depression are, it sounds like you're also talking yourself into feeling worse.
I just started therapy in December. My nutritionist recommended it due to my road block in following her meal plan suggestions. I like her so far but I've only seen her about 7 times. So we're just getting started. But one of the first things she pointed out to me is that I'm really hard on my self. I'm my own worst enemy. I have a really hard time seeing the little victories and just focus on what I consider are failures. Everything she says makes sense. I just haven't figured out how to change my mindset yet. I've been making little changes here and there, but when the depression hits I just feed off of it and get into a bitter cycle of self-deprecation and self-flagellation. It usually takes me a few days to fully recover. <sigh> I just can't afford those lost days anymore. On a side note, my psychiatrist actually thinks that I sound like I have untreated PTSD. No one's ever mentioned that before. I don't have like a major traumatic event in my life so I never would have thought that, but she thinks it's a lot of little things that have added up over the years. She brought it up to my therapist to discuss. That oughtta be an interesting conversation.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:44 AM   #7
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I've started to read Feeling Good by Dr. Burns. It's apparently one of the best books that gives you techniques on how to beat depression.

It's been really helpful so far in understanding my thoughts. I haven't finished it, but I do recommend it, it may help you get out of the awful haze you're in (one I know all too well).
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:31 PM   #8
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Boy do I know where you're coming from! ((hugs)) I'm fighting with one of the worst bouts of depression I've had in a LONG time - and this dreary wintery rainy cold weather is so NOT helping things.

My best advice is to keep moving forward. It's like going to work on days like this - I don't want to but I HAVE to (if I want little luxuries like electricity and toothpaste) - so I do it.

Yesterday evening I did not want to do my work out. At all. I sat on the sofa and made every excuse in the book as to why I couldn't get my butt moving to do it. Some were valid (cold weather makes the arthritis in my knee flare up) but most were not.

In the end I made myself do it. I made myself go through every single miserable motion and I'm not going to lie - I hated every minute of it. When I was finally finished instead of being happy I'd done it I laid on the floor and cried.

BUT. Today's Sunshine thanks yesterday's Sunshine for kicking our collective butts into gear. I was miserable yes - but as you discovered I would have been miserable exercising OR miserable eating. Today I'm feeling a bit better and there is no guilt for not exercising or having a binge of foods that are not on plan for me.

Hang in there!
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theox View Post
First off - GOOD JOB for choosing to put the icing back! That's awesome, and it's not always an easy thing to do, either! You must have saved several hundred calories just by making that choice. So maybe the Chipotle burritos weren't such a great choice, but you ate way better than you could have (and than you have in the past, presumably). That's progress! That's good practice making better choices! And, you recognized that eating the burritos did not make you feel better. That's something that's good to know about yourself and your habits.
YES! You may not realize it, but this is a great step in the right direction! And if you had to give in and eat something, at least the burritos had nutritional value. Frosting doesn't have much of anything other than sugar (it's mostly vanilla extract, confectioner's sugar, egg and water--or at least it is when I make it at home). I've done the same thing, so I know how hard it is to not binge.

In my case, I kicked a very bad habit a year ago where I got the 4pm "hungries" before hitting the gym after work and stopped to grab a deep-fried meal from Jack-in-the-Box. Now I just make sure to pack enough healthy food in my lunch, and spend half my day eating it gradually.

If you compulsively eat, creating a controlled series of snacking throughout the day can help. For example, I get a tall soy cappuccino from Starbucks for breakfast every morning. The soymilk keeps me full until about 10:30am, when I eat half the main entree of my lunch--usually a salad from Trader Joe's, or one of their low-cal frozen entrees or wraps. Then I eat the 2nd half around 2pm. Then I finish off with a serving of fruit--usually berries or pomegranate seeds or a banana--right before I leave work. Do I still crave fried foods? YES. After a YEAR of not eating unplanned meals at fast food places, I STILL crave grease and salt. Not just once in a while, either--I crave it every day. I crave it to the point where healthy food tastes nasty. To me eating a salad is like lunching on toothpaste. But I've forced myself to stop focusing on my taste buds where lunch is concerned, and focus instead on how full my stomach feels.

Changing the subject, do you swim? I've found it's a form of exercise that cheers me up better than others for some reason. Swimming laps burns more than things like yoga, too, so it'd be good for chipping away at the food you overate.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkshine View Post
I've started to read Feeling Good by Dr. Burns. It's apparently one of the best books that gives you techniques on how to beat depression.

It's been really helpful so far in understanding my thoughts. I haven't finished it, but I do recommend it, it may help you get out of the awful haze you're in (one I know all too well).
I use this book. My shrink "prescribed" it. I've found it extremely helpful.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:41 PM   #11
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Depression sucks. It can be very tempting to just give up and let go. Don't do it. If you feel like you have messed up, just try to do a little exercise to burn off a few calories. If nothing else, you can say that you've exercised a bit. Even if it's just a short 15 minute walk, put on some music and just go at it. I'm struggling with depression, emotional eating, and serious life changes and sometimes, I really don't care at all about exercise and diet. But, I try to care on more days than I don't and I try to offset my mistakes in one way or another. Everyone makes mistakes, but if you beat yourself up over them instead of trying to change them, then the depression will just get worse and so will your fitness goals! Let go of the guilt and start over.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:05 AM   #12
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Default Don't be depressed.

The only answer for your question is "don't be depressed". Always think happy thoughts.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:13 AM   #13
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The only answer for your question is "don't be depressed". Always think happy thoughts.
You do realize that this is completely unhelpful and actually offensive, right? It's like a telling a person with pneumonia to just breathe properly, or a person with cancer to just grow healthy cells.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The only answer for your question is "don't be depressed". Always think happy thoughts.
...you really think it is that simple? really?

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What about a something like a small bowl of texas chili and some of your favorite veggies? I have seen a bunch of low-carb recipes for texas chili online and if you don't want to use beef turkey could work. It might be a good option for when you want something different that is warm and filling.
I also feel very lethargic when I am depressed too and one of the ways I deal with it is cooking. Sounds odd but I try to focus on making good, healthy, and yummy food for my household and it is something constructive to do. I make big batches of slow cooked food that I can freeze for lunches and lazy days,though I would make sure to put these in the freezer before sitting down to eat. It might work for you if you make sure you're not cooking trigger foods...and if it sounds like a bad idea then please trust your instincts.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:56 PM   #15
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I have just come up with a new little way to brighten my own spirits and stay motivated while depressed, so I thought I'd share.

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is online shopping (well, clothes shopping in general, though it's much more enjoyable when I've lost some weight). Now I'm a grad student living on a stipend, but I can afford to put away a little spending money each month if I'm careful about my expenditures, and I've decided to put some money toward some incentives to reach goals.

So I'm picking out a cute dress, skirt, or whatever (something moderately priced enough to be reasonable, but expensive enough that I wouldn't buy it for myself normally) for each goal that I'm setting (5 lbs lost, 10 lbs lost, exercise hours... whatever you like to work towards). This seems like a better prize to me than some of the other non-food motivators people suggest, and my mood brightens just spending time picking the outfits and thinking of how cute they'll look if I lose 5 lbs.

Anyway, hang in there, and hope that helps.
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