I thought a great topic for my inaugural post would be my purpose in creating this blog & my plans for it. This would also be a great time to let you know I’m a big fan of bullet lists and outlines (though going over this in the edit phase I can say I actually managed to write this without using either of those. bummer.).
I have struggled for years with my weight & my brain scrambles. I am currently 253 pounds. This is down from my top weight of 270.2 pounds when I began Weight Watchers last year. That’s a lot for a 5′ 4″ female, or pretty much anyone really. My current goal weight is 142 pounds. I have Bipolar Disorder type 2, so heavy on the deep, dark depressive epidodes & suicidal ideation. I have self-harmed & attempted suicide. Obviously it didn’t go as planned, but that is arguably a good thing. Also, I have PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. If you don’t know, it is a hormonal issue that has a serious impact on weight in many women who have it. The best way I know of to describe it is the way my diagnosing gynecologist did to me, hormonally your body thinks you’re pregnant so it is collecting & protecting all the fat it can get its grubby little paws on. I used to be quite thin, but that was a long time ago in another life. There’s a lot more to say about all this, but if I cram it all into this post, what will I have to talk about later?
My focus here is on the weight loss & mental illness. There is a lot of information out there on losing weight with PCOS, but not so much on battling the bulge with mental illness. My searches so far have only turned up information on medications causing weight gain & links between weight & depression. I wanted a space to discuss the dual struggle of fighting fat and a mood disorder at the same time. The common way of looking at it says to work on mental stability first and then worry about my weight, but I am just too unhappy in my body & being the person who has built this blubber shell around herself, plus decades of research have shown that what will work for my waistline will work for my gray matter. I don’t think the methods or madness of losing weight is so much different with mental illness, I just think the issues are exacerbated with your are living with a mental illness.
My goal with this blog is to not only share my progress & struggles with both my weight loss & my mental health, but to share with you what I learn while educating myself about the connections between fitness & nutrition & mental health. I hope one day to use the knowledge gained during my own process to help other people battle mood disorders & weight problems using diet & exercise. My experience in the mental health system has shown a woeful lack of guidance on using those two simple methods. Okay, maybe they aren’t so simple depending on the severity of someone’s current condition, but there’s always baby steps. Just cutting back on sugar & caffeine, or going for regular walks can work wonders. Speaking of sugar – I’m a self-diagnosed sugar addict, so I’ll also be going into that at times, too.
To kick it off I plan to blog three times a week, Monday, Wednesday, & Friday. My Weight Watchers meetings are Thursday evenings, so Fridays seem the perfect choice for updating on my weight progress, reflecting on the past week, & discussing my goals for the current week. Monday will work for similarly covering my mental issues. That leaves Wednesday as a flex day where I’ll discuss interesting articles & intriguing research I’ve come across, as well as highlighting products, books, websites, etc, I am particularly impressed, or remarkably unimpressed, by. The topics will naturally blend into each other, so those are not hard & fast, just guidelines to help me figure out what to talk about.
I hope you enjoy my story as it unfolds, and take something useful away for yourself. I would love to hear about your own experiences in these areas as well. I’ve already got a page of topic ideas written out, so I look forward to sharing my progress, struggles, inspiration, & insights with you!