Losing Weight & Depression

One of the many things that went in the tank when I got sick three years ago was my general health. There was a time (quite literally!) when my wife and I would run marathons. Okay, so I ran one marathon, but she’s run a bunch. When I got sick, physical health took an absolute back seat to mental health. What that mean is that i ballooned up about 60 pounds, which has caused a host of other problems with my feet, back, etc etc etc.

So now that I’m off of most of my medication, my wife and I decided it is time to begin losing this weight and reclaim another part of our lives.

The way that we have been most successful at eating well has been Weight Watchers. It’s concrete, they set limits and freedoms, and we have had a great deal of success with them over the years.

One of the things that is important about WW is attending the meetings every week. They are somewhat similar in nature to an AA or NA meeting, although I doubt they would ever admit it. So as I was sitting in our meeting this past week, I was struck with the parallels between losing weight and fighting depression. Here are some of the ones that popped into my head:

  1. Triggers. Certain events can serve as triggers for depressive behavior. The key is to A) recognize what they are and B) Develop strategies to either avoid the triggers or how to deal with them in less destructive ways.
  2. Take each day at a time. I know that for myself, I tend to globalize things. If I am having a bad day, it really doesn’t take much for me to convert that into a bad week or month or year. True for food, true for mental health. By looking at each day in itself, it helps one to keep focused, and minimizes the down times. “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
  3. Plan. By acting in a purely reactionary mode, you can easily be caught off guard and get stuck in a worse situation that is really necessary. Recognize your limits and your strengths, and evaluate on that basis.

Those are three off the top of my head. Any others come to mind?

-DMR

12 thoughts on “Losing Weight & Depression”

  1. Good point you’re making about the parallels. I don’t have any more to add. I just wanted to say that for me the best way to cut back on eating is to use a smaller plate at mealtime. Its so simple, but it seems to work.

    Maybe there is a parallel to fighting depression here: One thing I need to do to keep depression at bay is to put less outside activities on my plate….. focus on my activities here at home.

    Maybe its a parallel and maybe not. Take care.

  2. Good point you’re making about the parallels. I don’t have any more to add. I just wanted to say that for me the best way to cut back on eating is to use a smaller plate at mealtime. Its so simple, but it seems to work.

    Maybe there is a parallel to fighting depression here: One thing I need to do to keep depression at bay is to put less outside activities on my plate….. focus on my activities here at home.

    Maybe its a parallel and maybe not. Take care.

  3. I used to run to deal with stress and problems to make my life better. Got a 26.2 mile race under my belt too.

    When i went mental all I could think about was about how sick I was. Running is such an introspectful sport I couldn’t do it anymore.

  4. I used to run to deal with stress and problems to make my life better. Got a 26.2 mile race under my belt too.

    When i went mental all I could think about was about how sick I was. Running is such an introspectful sport I couldn’t do it anymore.

  5. I wasted the last 4 months of my life. I had been running about 30-35 miles a week for a couple of years. I ALWAYS kept my 7 miler available. No matter what, if i didn’t run the rest of the week, I would find a day to run 7 miles.

    I stopped running at the beginning of the year. I haven’t run 30 miles all winter. I haven’t run 7 miles since October.

    I finally went to the doc yesterday. He gave medicine and it helped immediately.

    a small sour note. I asked my church leaders for an extra week of vacation so I could have a month off to get refreshed and straightened out and they said no. They are probably right, because I am feeling much better after one day of medicine. That’s ok, they were looking out for the church.

    A crescendo note on which to end. I cranked out 3 miles today. It felt good to eat my usual breakfast of biscuits and gravel once again.

    Dark Road Guy you inspired me to get help. You inspired me to ask for help before I crashed and burned.

    keep up the blog.

    Diss My Order

  6. I wasted the last 4 months of my life. I had been running about 30-35 miles a week for a couple of years. I ALWAYS kept my 7 miler available. No matter what, if i didn’t run the rest of the week, I would find a day to run 7 miles.

    I stopped running at the beginning of the year. I haven’t run 30 miles all winter. I haven’t run 7 miles since October.

    I finally went to the doc yesterday. He gave medicine and it helped immediately.

    a small sour note. I asked my church leaders for an extra week of vacation so I could have a month off to get refreshed and straightened out and they said no. They are probably right, because I am feeling much better after one day of medicine. That’s ok, they were looking out for the church.

    A crescendo note on which to end. I cranked out 3 miles today. It felt good to eat my usual breakfast of biscuits and gravel once again.

    Dark Road Guy you inspired me to get help. You inspired me to ask for help before I crashed and burned.

    keep up the blog.

    Diss My Order

  7. Hey, I’m officially starting Weight Watchers tomorrow! With the writing in the journal, and everything.

    Yay! We can do it! Red Cabbage in the German vinegar stuff is very low in points, you can have a cup of it for ONE POINT!

    I eat when bored. I eat the wrong foods sometimes.

  8. Hey, I’m officially starting Weight Watchers tomorrow! With the writing in the journal, and everything.

    Yay! We can do it! Red Cabbage in the German vinegar stuff is very low in points, you can have a cup of it for ONE POINT!

    I eat when bored. I eat the wrong foods sometimes.

  9. Don’t forget that it is a road you don’t walk through on your own. It is much easier when you have someone to eat well with you. At family gatherings, my mom and I have a plan of action and have decided before hand what to eat and what not to eat.

  10. Don’t forget that it is a road you don’t walk through on your own. It is much easier when you have someone to eat well with you. At family gatherings, my mom and I have a plan of action and have decided before hand what to eat and what not to eat.

  11. Good for you on WW! It’s the only “diet” that’s ever really worked for me. I’m trying here, but it’s been a rough start. 7 pounds in 10 weeks isn’t going to set any records…

  12. Good for you on WW! It’s the only “diet” that’s ever really worked for me. I’m trying here, but it’s been a rough start. 7 pounds in 10 weeks isn’t going to set any records…

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