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 12-27-2011, 06:22 PM   #1  
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Default The Weight of Being OverWeight

Yeah, I've been avoiding this site for a few weeks to a month. I've felt like I've been complaining way too much. But then I decided well if you don't want to see me complain then don't read my posts. :-) I'd like support so if you're willing to read my posts then I'm willing to listen to your advice.

So as I've avoided certain things I've been thinking about a few things. I've started therapy and the therapist.. who is harsh but fair and I really like even though I'm an emotional wreck when I leave...has really stressed that she doesn't care about my weight. She doesn't want to talk about it. She doesn't want it to factor in to my mood. Because she feels that it's a physical manifestation of everything else that I'm dealing with. And I do agree with her. But I feel like there is an emotional weight that is added to you when you are overweight. I've been somewhat of a depressive person my whole life. But I've never felt as heavy emotionally as when I gained 100 pounds. I think one of the reasons that its hard or me to get moving is that I feel so weighed down by the extra weight that I'm carrying. It only makes sense. Add 100 pound weights onto your back and it's going to make it harder for the 130 pound person to move when they're now 230. Tack on the emotional stress along with that and of course there is going to be added weight.

So when do you address that extra weight in your life? Is the therapist right and I should just not think about the physical weight as I address my emotional issues? Or does the physical weight add on so much weight on to my shoulders that I need to address that first before tackling the bigger issues? What comes first? The chicken or the egg? The emotional or the physical weight loss?

Regardless, I just feel so emotionally AND physically heavy right now.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:26 PM   #2  
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You would not have gained 100 pounds if there wasn't a serious underlying emotional problem. I know exactly why I had gained 60lbs and what specific event started I guess I'm a little ahead of the game. My honest answer is the weight loss and the emotional issues must be addessed at the same one improves so will the other. I completely understand where you are coming from.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:07 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by mescelestus View Post
You would not have gained 100 pounds if there wasn't a serious underlying emotional problem.
I think this is one of the most dangerous myths of weight loss. I believed it for most of my life, for as long as I can remember, certain even in grade school that there was something seriously wrong with me mentally, and as a result I spent most of my life on a wild goose chase, searching for the serious underlying emotional problems that I assumed had to be there.

I not only sought counseling, I even went into the field of psychology, getting a bachelor's degree and master's degree in psychology in large part, to understand and fix myself.

Then, about six years ago my doctor recommended that I consider low-carb dieting but warned me not to go too low (though admitting he didn't know what was too low). I had never stuck with a low-carb diet in the past, because I was always quite sick on very low-carb diets, and at the time, very few low-carb diets were warning about going too-low. In fact, diets like Atkins recommended that someone as heavy as I stay on induction level (under 20g of carbs) for prolonged periods. I never gave moderately low-carb diets a chance.

I started experimenting with low-carb dieting, and discovered that emotional problems weren't responsible for my weight. My diet was responsible for the emotional problems.

When I ate a clean, whole-food, no wheat, moderately low-carb diet - not only did the emotional eating disappear - so did the emotional sensitivity and the mood swings.

I had already learned that the right birth control prevented the severe PMS/TOM mood swings that had haunted me since I was 9 or 10 (with symptoms so severe I was diagnosed with severe PMS - what today would be diagnosed as PMDD).

I wasn't fat because I was crazy - I was crazy because of hormonal and dietary issues.

I'm sure there are people who do have underlying emotional issues, but I do wonder how many people are like me - looking for underlying emotional issues that don't exist or which are a secondary not a primary problem. A result of diet rather than a cause for the obesity.

It's definitely worth trying a whole food, low-carb approach, and experimenting with different carb levels, to discover whether your diet is contributing to your emotional vulnerability.

I still can't believe how much my diet contributes to my mental and emotional health and stability.

Before I was on the birth control, my husband used to call me "werewolf" because of my mood swings and red-meat cravings. He would say that it wasn't safe to enter the apartment until he threw in a bag of fast food burgers and waited until he heard munching.

I still get red meat and chocolate cravings (the rest of the month I'm not all that partial to either), but I have to be very careful how I indulge them. I can't pair them with large amounts of grains and sugars as I did in the past. So that means low-sugar hot cocoa or a small steak rather than chocolate bars and burgers.

I can't tell you which was more important the birth control or the reduced-carb (no wheat, no refined sugar), but it's incredible how much each helped, and I'm so grateful that I found both.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:50 PM   #4  
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I find your comment, "She doesn't want it to factor in to my mood." interesting as it seems to me that how you feel is how you feel and that what affects your feelings is what affects your feelings whether anyone else wants them to or not.

The mind and the body are so interrelated I'm not sure it's always even possible to separate the emotional and the physical.

I would suggest that you stay tuned in to what feels right to you. I've heard of therapists who don't want to talk about other issues till they deal with weight (in the case where there are health issues) and therapists who don't want to talk about weight until they deal with other issues. Just remember that you are the one hiring the therapist and what you want to address takes presidence over what the therapist wants to address. I imagine that it could shift back and forth.

You might considered looking at the book "When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies" by Jane R. Hirschmann. She has interesting points to make about connections about worrying about weight as a replacement for worrying about other issues we may not want to address. If I've weighed the same thing 2 weeks ago that I do today, why am I particularly worried about my weight at this moment?
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