Where else can you start but the beginning of how you got here? I suppose it’s accurate to say I have always had a struggle with food my entire life. I was always the chubby kid growing up in comparison to my Mother and Sister who were always quite thin despite the fact they ate pretty much the same things that I did. With exception maybe to the fact I would snack in the evenings or cook myself something quick.
I really don’t recall knowing much about fitness./exercise when I was young and even though we did live on a farm and worked really hard each day I still remained the same throughout my childhood/young adulthood. I got upset I ate…..so I suppose I was an emotional based eater and one day a few years ago I came to understand I had a food addiction after all of those years of using food to make myself feel better. A question a friend of mine and me discussed recently is IF we would of make better choices then and into adulthood would that of changed our life circumstances.
For instance would we of been more selective on certain outcomes such as relationships or would we of settled? When you’re obese you do not have the world on a string, and you will not aspire to the things you may want, but settle for what you may have instead. I have been married twice, divorced twice and both times could I have avoided those situations by not being obese and having a moderate amount of feelings of self-worth and self-confidence about myself? Which are all good questions and the answer is I really don’t know and may never know the answer to those. Did I have a happy life, filled with no regrets? I cannot say yes to that at all either. Lately, I have felt many regrets about my life and choices and have asked myself did I wait to late to change? At 48 years old, I think it’s natural to wonder when you start thinking about your mortality in the scheme of life.
My top weight in 2018 had reached 386.8 lbs I went thru a huge state of anxiety, and depression. More importantly I started having anxiety and panic attacks and felt like some foreign invisible force had invaded me. I talk about this, in an attempt to be transparent about my life, and struggles. So when this all started I told my Dr. about it and she referred me to the Therapist/Psychiatrist and I felt that was normal perhaps at the time. It’s funny when you see a Psychiatrist for the first time you imagine all these things will or won’t happen. But the reality is it’s not like some TV show where they care about you getting better or talk to in any in depth way to figure out your issues. It all comes down to medication management and they try all kinds of different meds to see what combination works in managing your anxiety/depression.
Then the psychiatrist put me on something called Abilify which is a mood stabilizer and then in a matter of 4 months I gained over 100 pounds. One day I got on the scales and I knew I was gaining weight and even mentioned this to both my Dr.’s when I kept seeing the scale go up and up. But the number was astonishing to me 386.8 lbs and I cried! I was on a one way train to hitting 400 pounds if I didn’t do something.
I started reading and researching every medication the psychiatrist had me on, during that time he had me on 6 medications. Which did not help my anxiety or depression they literally just made me sleep all the time.
By now I had done enough research to understand that I had to wean myself off everything I was taking. I struggled with the decision to do this and my last visit to the psychiatrist I mentioned wanting to stop taking all these meds he just rolled his eyes at me and started writing prescriptions. I walked out of the office and tore them up. Over a course of a month I weaned myself off everything he had me on.
I went to my PCP and told her I had stopped taking everything and she was extremely argumentative about my choice and she labeled me being Bi-polar with zero medical evidence to back this up. But that’s what’s in my PCP chart now. As we live in the age of technology each time I leave my Dr. office I get an email with a summary of my visit, and that’s what was in there when I left the parking lot. Upset is classically an understatement of how I felt about that. We carry labels with us wherever we go in life and I have still not gotten rid of that label in the Dr. office yet. No matter, that I take zero anxiety or depression meds anymore.
Fast forward it’s been over 1.5 years since I have taken any anxiety/depression meds now and I more than likely will never take any ever again. Did I cure myself? I would not go so far as to say that. It was hard to cope with no medications and I do not advocate to others to stop taking their anxiety/depression medications. But if there is any hope in this I would say yes you can learn to cope without medications and you must be willing to put in the work on YOURSELF. I have tried everything and I mean everything to make myself feel better. I also highly recommend meditation which helped me a lot and during this time I also renewed my faith in God and started reading the bible from page 1 and praying each day.
By the end of December 2018 I had dropped 50 pounds and it was a constant struggle and battle. I wish I could say I had not gained any of that back but the cycle goes lose 10 pounds gain 5 pounds. I have lost and gained the same 10 pounds so many times. I had big plans going into 2019 of everything I was going to change, and do to get a jump start on my weightloss for this year. Then tragedy strikes finding out my mother had terminal cancer. For months it was this heart wrenching cycle of eating and mourning, and being sad because I could not change or fix what was wrong with my mom. I had to learn to accept her diagnosis before I could even do anything for myself again. I spent months into 2019 fighting for her in terms of Specialists, cancer treatments, surgery ect. To come to the end of them telling us everything that could be done has been done. I visit my mom, talk to my mom, and love my mom but nothing I do will change her outcome and that was the hardest to accept. It does not matter how old you are, where you are in life you still need and want your mom. So I will try and be strong, and fight for myself with the rest of the weeks, months left of this year and hope I can conquer all the bad choices I made eating the first part of this year and turn things around.