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 09-18-2011, 12:56 AM   #1  
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Default Too afraid to weigh myself

So, in brief...

I've always struggled with my weight. However, last October, I was put on a medication that caused me to gain about 30 pounds in two months. Cue spiraling whirlwind of depressive episodes (which is kind of funny because that's the reason I was put on that particular medication in the first place).

Anyway, I haven't weighed myself in about six or eight months. I'm afraid. I'm afraid if I step on the scale and the numbers are even higher, that I'll go into another major depressive episode. I hate being so controlled by the possibility of falling into a depression, but I also really, really don't want to trigger anything.

This is especially because...I tend to eat when depressed (OK, not "tend", I do. Who am I kidding?). I've gotten myself into a nice little cycle, basically.

At this point, I don't know what to do. I feel like I should weigh myself so I can actually track it, and so that I will no longer be afraid of some damn numbers on a scale. But I honestly don't know if I can handle it.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:45 AM   #2  
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I get where you are coming from. I've just stopped weighing myself just because I ended up being 'ruled' by the scale. I can say that I have more peace of mind now and no slip-ups since. I'm thinking about maybe weighing myself once a month and tracking from there.

There are some people who can deal with the fluctuations, but even if I know a gain is due to water retention or TOM I get very disheartened very quickly and let things spiral out of control from there.

If you do what you need to do - eat healthy, smaller portions, some exercise - the fat is going to come off whether you step on that scale or not. Some people like to see the numbers go down as motivation - but I get derailed by every little gain and I just don't think its worth it. Instead of measuring my weight each morning, I find I'm happier and more productive just putting down what I've eaten, the exercises I've done and even my mood.

I hope you don't be scared of the scale, and if you have a history of depressive episodes due to weight gain I would suggest you just get back on track and maybe after a month or two you might feel ready to weigh yourself. Again I must say that if you keep on plan the fat will come off regardless if you use a scale or not.
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:37 AM   #3  
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Why don't you postpone weighing yourself, and start with measuring yourself. You don't have to measure everything, start with something less daunting such as your arms. I didn't buy a scale for my first month of dieting, I waited until I could tell by the fit of my clothes that it was actually working. Once I bought that scale, I realised that I'd been about 7lb heavier than I thought when I started, so I'm rather glad I didn't have that shock at the start. Then I didn't start measuring myself until 3 months in, and the first time, I just measured my upper arm, chest and calf. Of course, you could also copy me and rely on the fit of your clothes to start with, then start adding in weighing or measuring, whichever you think is least likely to upset you. I hadn't known the measurements of my upper arm and so forth before, so there was nothing to compare it to and thus nothing to get freaked out about.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:21 PM   #4  
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I've been afraid of the scale, too. I started back on plan in June and my trainer weighed me then for a start weight. I made him promise not to tell me the number. He has weighed me every 2 weeks since, and again, I don't wanna know. I'm afraid to know the numbers because I feel so good right now: my clothes are looser, I have more energy, I'm feeling bones I forgot I had, etc. But I'm just terrified of seeing those numbers and going into a tailspin.

When I lost a large amount of weight years ago I weighed in and did measurements once a month. That worked for me because I tend to get a bit obsessive and if I weighed in every day (or even every week) I know every little fluctuation would really chip away at my resolve.

If you're not ready to weigh yourself, then don't do it. Or, weigh yourself but have a friend record it and don't look (you'll probably want to know your start weight eventually so you can feel rewarded for all your hard work down the line).

Your weight is just one way to measure success and progress. How you feel mentally and physically and how your clothes fit are just as important.

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Old 09-18-2011, 06:09 PM   #5  
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Seeing the number can be really tough, especially the first time. Whatever the scale or the measuring tape says, it doesn't change what you are already seeing in the mirror everyday. If you do want to use the scale as a tool in your weight loss, maybe try staying on plan for a few weeks before stepping on the scale. It might give you them confidence you need to accept the number.

Another poster said once that we don't use the scale because it's the most accurate but because it's the most convenient. Do whatever will keep you on track. If the scale will derail you, ignore it for now and maybe you can return to it once you're down a clothing size - or not, you may make it to goal without ever stepping on it. Either way, don't let the scale or your size rule your life. If numbers make you depressed or obsessed, there's no need for them.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:17 PM   #6  
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I am really lucky in that I've never had any obsession/fear/issues with the scale (Body image issues out the wazoo, but the scale holds no power over me). I can see me, afterall. If I stepped on the scale tomorrow and it said I weighed 140lbs I wouldn't stop my journey, because I'm not yet satisfied with what I see in the mirror.

I know that exercising is making me healthier, even if it makes the scale go a little wonky at times. I know that eating more fruits and veggies is good for me, even if those chips I saved my calories for are causing a little water retention. And I know that no matter what the scale says, I am making positive changes in my life. Because I can feel it and I can see it. I can see me, and that is all that matters.

The number on the scale is unimportant. You're going to look the same stepping up onto the scale as you are stepping down, so why feel differently about yourself? It is information, plain and simple. It changes nothing about you. So weigh yourself. Don't weigh yourself. Who cares? As long as you put effort into leading a healthier lifestyle you will be able to feel and see the changes, with or without a number associated with them.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:57 PM   #7  
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i m going to the docs on thursday to get on meds for anxiety/depression. i am scared to death it is going to make me gain weight! what meds are you on??

i have been doing ok on my plan, i know i have been losing but i too am terrified of the scale so i never weight myself, i go by my clothes. however since i am going on medicine i just joined weight watchers last night ( hemmed and hawed and did it at 11:50 pm, 10 minutes before the buy one get one month free thing ended). now i have done ww before but when i go i tell them, do NOT tell me what i weigh EVER. they record my start weight and then each week i just have them tell me if it went up or down. not even the # it changed. i get too obsessed and the # will NEVER be what i want it to be.

i am going back to weight watchers because i know what i have been doing hasd been working and this way i will be able to monitor if this medicine i go on is making me gain. if i see i have even gained 1 or 2 i am making them give me something else.

maybe u could have someone else weigh u? someone who will know what u started at and then tell u if it is going up or down?? i feel for you, i really do. i always say the scale is one of the most evil things in the world, capable of making you feel awful so easily.
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:10 PM   #8  
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I have a trick I use when I'm dreading facing the scale. It might not work for everyone but certainly helps me out. Essentially I'll wait to weigh myself until the worst possible time. For instance: after a HUGE meal, in the evening, with all my clothes still on (shoes off though, I've gotta draw the line somewhere).

That way I know whatever the scale says (and yes, it's usually quite a shocker), the next morning when I step on I'll already have lost weight. For me it's like easing into a cold swimming pool one baby step at a time instead of just jumping in the deep end straight away.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck and remember... knowledge is power!

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Old 09-19-2011, 05:06 PM   #9  
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I've so been there! The measurements are a good idea, because I don't know about you but I don't measure myself very often and wouldn't have much to compare it to. That said, if you are kind of wanting to weigh, do you think you can just talk yourself into a good enough head space to do it? For me, there have been times when I have gone months without weighing because I was afraid, and I would just feel like I was such a lost cause. Several times, by the time I actually DID weigh, I weighed less than I assumed I did and it was a pleasant surprise. The times when it was way more than I anticipated, I tried to leverage it into some kind of resolve to eat better and see that number go down!! If you talk yourself into a place where you just assume that you have gained since the last time you weighed, and just assume you've gained a lot, the number will likely not shock you (esp. if you're still wearing the same clothes you were the last time you weighed) and it may even make you feel better! You can do this!!
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:18 PM   #10  
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Been there, done that. That's why I can't actively join in the daily weigh in's that some of our members can. I literally focused on making that number move--who cares if it's by a healthy method--or giving up and hitting those comfort foods (and I have a lot of them).

One thing I do--even if the numbers aren't going down--is try to pay attention to how my clothes fit. Just today, I noticed that some of my scrub tops for work looking a little baggy in the waist, and I had to tie them tighter in the back. I can encourage myself that I'm obviously losing because my clothes fit better. Maybe you can do something like that as a "measurement" instead of looking at a scale.

Also, I have had to, and it's a midset I have to reset every day, not make this journey about weight, per se. Not make it about the numbers, but make it about living healthy, being healthy, and getting to a place where I can enjoy my life again. I know that if I'm in that place, doing those things, the numbers will eventually fall into line.

Everyone else is right though: if the numbers scare you right now, don't look at them. Do you. Just get started and see what happens.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:40 AM   #11  
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Hi everyone,

Thank you for your imput! I've decided I'm going to try the measuring- for some reason, it doesn't seem to have the same trigger factor as weight. I'll just hold off on weighing myself until I feel a little more confident in my plan.

Bellastarr: I was on Depakote when I gained all the weight. I know weight gain is a common side effect, but it doesn't happen to everyone. I'm on Lutera right now, and it seems to be pretty weight neutral for me. I think the key is just to realize it's a possibility and monitor your weight accordingly- during the two months I gained that weight, I wasn't even thinking that could be a side effect, and by the time I noticed, it was already there.
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:48 PM   #12  
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my doc put me on lexapro and assured me that it will not cause weight gain, it may increase appetite but if i don't give in and eat anything more than what i am doing she said it shouldn't be a problem. i hope so, and am going to try it, i explained a huge part of my depression and anxiety is because of my weight. i'm glad what you are on right now seems to be working better
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