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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Physical Health With Mental Health Obstacles

We all know the old saying, that if you eat less calories than you expend, you will lose weight, but it's not always that easy. Metabolism, medications you may be on, previous attempts to lose weight, mindsets, thoughts and personal challenges all play a part in complicating the issue.

Today I want to talk about healthy weight loss, something that seems simple but is fraught with traps, tricks and complications, especially for those of us with a mental health condition.

Those of you who know me may be aware that a couple of years ago, I was well on the way to developing a mixture of anorexia and bulimia. I all but stopped eating, and I worked out excessively. Bumface helped me get a handle on it when we first got together, and for two years, my weight stayed relatively stable (give or take a few kg).

Alas, just before Christmas, I went on some antipsychotic medications, and since then, my weight has steadily increased. It got to a point where we decided enough was enough, and I signed up for the gym.

So here's where I'm at now:
  • I visit the gym at least three times a week, spending less than an hour there.
  • Weights no more often than every second day; cardio every time.
  • I haven't made huge changes to my eating (though I have minimised the junk), so I'm having 2 or 3* meals a day, of reasonable healthfulness. For example, today I had weetbix for breakfast, lite sweet & sour (made at home from a jar) chicken & veggies for lunch, and a ham & salad wrap (spinach wrap) will be dinner.
  • For the most part, I only drink no added sugar weak cordial (usually just to take my meds with), Coke Zero and water.
  • I'm going to be getting Bumface to do my measurements into a special notebook specifically for that purpose.

It's too soon to see big changes, especially as I know I'll be building muscle at the gym, but I think I'm on the right track.

*I'm currently spending between 12 and 14 hours in bed every day, so I think smaller meal numbers are reasonable, given my lack of energy (and no, they're not the reason I have a lack of energy).

What I want to know is what do you do to help yourself stay on track with healthy weight loss and/or just taking care of your body? How do you balance any tendency you have towards overdoing it, with the need to make sure you're doing 'enough'?


  1. With the stupid diseases/syndromes I have, exercise is almost completely out of the question, but I do walk 15 min a day as per the doc's instructions. The Robot, my husband, is my accountability partner, so he makes sure I don't skip even though I'd LOVE to-- it makes me feel miserable more often than not, but I notice that I'm slimming down a bit. (The meds, the meds, the meds… it's their fault! Well, that and being bed bound.)

    Other than that, I'm eating less, and trying to eat a more healthy and balanced diet. No junk food whatsoever, more veggies and protein since I tend towards fruit and carbs. Lots of water, juice or AZ green tea occasionally. Basically just being more intentional with my diet, and being kind to myself when I don't live up to the ideal. I'm doing my best, and that's all I can do. As long as I'm trying, that's good, you know? So long as I don't give up, I'm making progress. That's how I see it.

    1. That's fantastic! I think that's a great way of looking at it. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I don't have your exact experiences, but in this general area I try to establish a rule that there's at least one person who gets to know about all of the things I am doing. You don't have to tell them the breakdown of every single meal but...make sure there is nothing you are keeping from them or lying about.

    It can be easy to get off-track by yourself and go "oh this is fine" but having an outside perspective/check on your behaviors can catch things you've begun to rationalize but that are not healthy.

    Good luck in general! <3

    1. Thanks, lovely! I do that too, Bumface is aware, and he usually gyms with me so that I'm not tempted to overdo it.

      Thank you for the luck, and the response!

  3. I really think measurements are a healthy way to show change and improvement. It's so easy for those of us with EDs to obsess over weight. I need to get healthier and fitter but I really don't care what the number is any more. Good luck and well done to you xx