Day 38, What Causes Your Weight Gain?

Morning

 
Whew!  After last night, I almost feel like giving up the fight.  However, I am getting myself together this morning so that I can continue.
 
I am frying sausage for my husband–his favorite food.  Sometimes I can get him to eat sauerkraut with it, so he has at least one vegetable and some probiotics.
 
I have not published any of this journey yet.  I am determined not to let my critics discourage me.  However, I can sometimes block myself.  I want to overcome that.
 

Getting Help

 
One possibility is getting some help for my last few pounds.  However, most professionals probably do not want to take on a client who is losing to less than 18.5 BMI (body mass index).
 
If you would like to know your BMI, Cronometer has a calculator.  There are numerous other BMI calculators on the Web, too.  It is merely a function of your height and weight and will not tell you your body fat percentage.
 

Exercise

 
I could focus on the distribution of my fat.  However, my arms and legs have always been skinny.  Strength training might help if I can stick to it.  That is the challenge.  I get sore.  I probably need more specialized equipment than I have at home.  There are four gyms in this area that I have access to that are paid for by our HOA (Home Owner’s Association).  I am concerned about leaving my husband alone while I work out.  Those of you who know me well also know about my driving anxiety.  The nearest gym is 1.1 miles away, a bit too far to walk both ways through the snow.
 
Minutes ago, I used some stretch bands.
 
Do I sound like a wuss? When you design an exercise routine, you have to take into account your wussiness.  I have typically been okay on cardio and lousy on resistance training.  An effective exercise program will have both, as well as some flexibility training.
 

Evening

 
I walked to the library and park and visited the neighbors this afternoon.  I ate their nuts and lunch, so my total calories soared.
 

Diet Diary

 
My diet diary is not ideal.  Today, I missed a green drink.  I can improve on this in the coming days.  One messed up day leads to another.  However, on the bright side, I felt less hungry today.
 
 
 

Visual Perception of Goals

 
I checked out the book, Clearer, Closer, Better by Emily Balcetis, Ph.D. while at the library today.  She has extensively researched how we visually perceive goals:
 
  1. She wrote about keeping the goal in sight.
  2. She talks about materializing how we obtain it or what Jeff Haden calls the process.
  3. She expounds about visualizing ways to handle what can go wrong.
 
I have only scratched the surface of her book, so there is more.  Today’s diet diary shows a few things that have gone wrong.  What is my way of handling it?  I could go back to my two-meal-a-day plan, but that has the possibility of causing a hypoglycemic episode and could cause another binging attack.  I could try 1200-1300 calories-a-day to see if that will work.  Let me think of that possibility.  I considered eating as much as 1600 calories a day, but my progress would be so slow that it would be frustrating.  If I am not active enough, I could even gain weight.  I could do 1200-1300 calories a day with two full meals and a substantial snack.
 

What Is My Plan?

 
What is my plan?  Emily encourages us to have a plan.  She says to visualize the goal as near rather than far into the future.  Giving myself 110 days to lose to 50 kg may have been too much.  I can accomplish it sooner–if I do not get derailed.  I still do not know what my binge last night cost me.  It could have been a kilogram.  That could take ten days of work to fix.
 
 
Ultimately, I do not want to rush to the finish line and gain the weight back again.  I have been there and done that.  This graph shows my weight changes over the past twelve months.  This diagram does not reflect last night’s binge.
 

How Did I Gain Weight?

 
As I mentioned earlier, my excess weight has roughly been the following:
 
  • 1.5 kilograms I did not finish losing last year
  • 1.5 kilograms gained from melancholy earlier this year
  • 2 kilograms gained from the pandemic
  • 1.5 kilograms gained from being in the hospital
 
I have now lost the hospital weight, the pandemic weight, and almost all of the depression weight.  I want to lose what I failed to take off last year.  There are two main reasons I started gaining last December.  One, a well-meaning relative, convinced me I did not need to lose any more weight.  And two, my doctor reduced my thyroid medication to 30 mg.  (I take 60 mg now.)  I let go of my intermittent fasting, had a mini binge, and started to gain.  Losing sight of my goal triggered melancholy, which resulted from a lowered thyroid hormone level.  Then came Christmas.  Then more melancholy, the pandemic, then a breakdown in May.
 

Losing Then Gaining Again

 
Even though I was on a third medication that causes weight gain, starting in May, I lost weight because I was no longer down.  However, my doctor stopped the antidepressant because it affected my heart.  Immediately, I got depressed again and regained weight.  When I started this blog journey, the melancholy stopped (just like that).  I started losing weight without a medication change.  Melancholy has threatened to come back during times of frustration.  However, I nipped it in the bud with cognitive techniques and went on.
 
You can see that weight gain and melancholy go hand in hand.  Some people lose weight when down.  I tend to gain.  Weight change is typically one of the symptoms of melancholy.  I have worked hard all my life to overcome both weight gain and melancholy.  Along with my quest to lose weight has been my plan to overcome my mood disorder.  The battle continues and will go on for the rest of my life.
 

Sleep

 
That is a bit of history.  Now for my future.  First, I need to get to bed.  Lack of sleep is one of the most significant causes of mania and melancholy.  Lack of sleep also makes weight loss almost impossible.  Bipolar makes it doubly hard to get enough sleep, and I have TMJ on top of it.   Bipolar patients often experience fatigue.  I once said to my psychiatrist, “I am just so tired.  What can I do?”  He recognized that the illness is tiring.  It drives you to exhaustion.
 

Next Morning

 
I did not sleep as long as I hoped.  I read Emily’s book for a while this morning, hoping it would lull me back to sleep.  It was so stimulating I am now typing instead of sleeping.  Emily mentioned the creation of MyFitnessPal.  I successfully used that app to reduce from 113 pounds to less than 110.  That was the first time I did that. Cronometer tracks more nutrients and is more accurate.   However, its database is not as extensive.  If you use it, either option can be helpful.
 

Prayer

 
 
Morning PRAYER
 
Dear Lord,
 
Melancholy threatens to strike again.  However, I am pressing on.
 
Diet Diary
After reading part of Emily’s book, I realize that I am not overboard in keeping a diet diary.  That is what it takes to achieve a challenging goal.
 
Google
This morning I read about creating a goal in Google Calendar, which automatically schedules your endeavor.  Emily says that doing that yourself may not work as well.  I have not used that feature yet.  Let me give it some consideration.  
 
Halloween
Halloween is approaching.  Some years, I have gotten derailed on Halloween candy.  This year, I will have Mini Joy with chocolate, nuts, coconut, pumpkin seeds, and blueberries instead of resorting to commercial candy.
 
Sleep
Lord, what can I do about my sleep?  I talked my husband into letting me retire early last night. However, I did not get in bed until past 10:30 PM.  As usual, he needed services at my bedtime, and my reading and writing kept me awake before that.
 
What am I doing wrong?  Why does my body refuse to stay asleep?  Is it from getting older? Will it get even worse?  I used to want to get up as early as possible.  Now that is not working out so well.  Please guide me to some behaviors that will improve this.
 
Binge
As I suspected, my binge caused a .9 kilogram weight gain.  Please help me to figure out how to lose the weight again without triggering another splurge.
 
Lord, if any of my readers are facing these same problems, please help them.
 
Amen.
 
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.  If you wish to download a FREE copy of my ebook (with no need to enter your name or email), click on the book below.  Please continue this journey with me by clicking on the arrows at the right of the page.
 
 
 
 
 
 
This article, with its diet diary, shows what worked for me.  I do not claim that it will work for you.  Consult a licensed medical provider to determine your diet and medical care.  These blog entries do not diagnose or treat any disease.  If I provide any clues for you or your provider, I will be happy.
 
 

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