Pills vs. Exercise

No looking back now! The gym membership has been purchased (daycare included) so it’s a done deal. I’ve worked out twice since we paid for the membership on Friday. My mood is already a hundred times better than before. And I learned if I just loosened the laces on my new shoes, my feet wouldn’t hurt so bad. Who knew??

My eating wasn’t the greatest on the weekend but I kept it in check. I didn’t lose any weight but I didn’t gain any either. Glass half full right? I am down 5 lbs since April 19. That equates to a little more than 2 lbs a week – not too shabby.

I’ve also been taking a large-ish dose of vitamin D and calcium with magnesium which I am sure has helped my mood a bit. At my last physical in October, my doctor told me that I was vitamin D deficient which wasn’t a huge surprise living in a cold, northern climate and not getting enough sun exposure. The problem with vitamin D supplements was that I was getting horrible headaches after taking them. I even tried taking them right before bed and I would wake up with a headache. I started taking them again just before I go to bed and I seem to be handling them better this time around.

So my pre-bedtime regimen of pills/vitamins :

30 mcg of Vitamin D

333 mg of Calcium, 167 mg of Magnesium (also includes another 15 mcg of vitamin D3)

150 mg. Lamotrigine

25 mg Seroquel

I’m not sure if better moods are from pills or exercise – probably a little of both but I’m putting more money on the exercising. I am off to the psychiatrist tomorrow.


Shoes Be Damned!

Ugghh the cravings these last two days! I caved yesterday and got an oat bar and a flat white from Starbucks and this morning I started the day with a breakfast sandwich from Tim Hortons. It’s PMS week and that’s what I’m blaming it on.

Lunches are always healthy – salad, and fruit or yogurt so I’m just trying to keep a balance. Normally if I slip up and eat something “bad”, I throw in the towel for the rest of the day (sometimes the rest of the week!) and just turn it into an all-day binge. But it’s time to take some control and realize that an oat bar shouldn’t sabotage a whole week’s worth of eating.

On the bright side, my husband and I bought a gym membership today so I am feeling very motivated. I haven’t been to the gym since my workout last weekend. We were debating on whether just to continue working out at a neighbourhood leisure centre or actually get a gym membership (I wanted the gym membership) so I am really excited to get back at it tomorrow. It has a daycare, a private workout area for women, fitness classes, lots and lots of equipment, tanning beds, towel service. And my husband actually gets a corporate membership through his job so this was definitely the better option. Now I just have to break in my shoes!

All or Nothing

So how did I get here? How did my weight problem get so off the rails? To put it in perspective, I am about 50 lbs. overweight right now. That’s a lot. It basically puts me in the BMI category of obese.

Since childhood I have always been about 20-30 pounds over my ideal weight so my mother started putting me on diets when I was around 9 or 10. She herself grew up as an overweight girl and I’m sure her own mother was unkind to her about it as her mother was always a slim woman herself. My mom didn’t want the same thing for me – I get it. But at the same time, it was very damaging to my self-esteem. I’m pretty sure that was the beginning of my life-long struggles with my body image and self-esteem. It’s hard to love yourself and hard to have a good body image when your own mother doesn’t think you’re fine just the way you are. It was pretty damaging. When we were having supper and I would reach for a second helping, she would say “do you really think you need that?” Basically the things experts tell parents these days not to say to their overweight children. It hurt immensely.

I was teased in elementary school because of my weight. Not often, but just enough to erode my low self-esteem even more. I was always an ugly duckling. Slightly overweight, short hair, bad teeth (and then braces). I always felt ugly and awkward. I was depressed and tried committing suicide twice in my teens.

After high school I gained more weight and got more depressed. At age 20, I got pregnant unexpectedly with my first daughter and used it as a free pass to eat whatever I wanted. I gained 50 lbs. during my pregnancy and lost almost nothing after she was born. But when my daughter’s father left me for another woman 3 years later, I lost most of my pregnancy weight from depression and trying to get back into the dating world. The Divorce Diet totally worked for me!

But through my struggles, I have learned that I have a very addictive personality. Food, cigarettes, alcohol. Thankfully I never got addicted to drugs but had I tried them, I probably would have been addicted to those too. I was an alcoholic by my mid-thirties. Fortunately I am now a recovering alcoholic and I haven’t had a drink in 8 years. I quit smoking a few years after that. But food has always been that one habit I just can’t seem to break.

But fast forward to 15 years later and 3 more kids, I have yo-yo’d my way through 40+ pounds. It honestly feels like I have been on a diet my entire life – but obviously that can’t be true or I’d be at my ideal weight right? For me, it has always been all or nothing. If I’m not completely restricting myself, I am eating it all. There’s no in between. And therein lies the problem…

As with quitting drinking, I need to take it one day at a time, one meal at a time, one workout at a time. When I start looking toward the future and start thinking about things I won’t be able to eat at this restaurant or for this special occasion, I get overwhelmed and discouraged. I’m really just trying to live in the moment right now. I am trying to eat things are that are good for my body and good for my mind. Starving myself doesn’t work and it never has. All I’m trying to do right now is to eat healthy, STOP EATING CRAP, try to exercise as much as I can and treat this weight loss thing like a marathon instead of a sprint.

Workout #1


First day back at the gym in about 10 years on the weekend was a success! It felt so good to work out again – why did I wait so long? Because I had a million and one excuses that’s why. In my defense, I have popped out 3 kids in the last 6 years so finding the time has always been a struggle. But I need to do this. My life and health depends on it. I’ll be a better wife and mother if I take care of myself and my mental health will improve which is really the main reason I decided to go back to it.

In talking with my husband (who also wants to start exercising too), we’ve decided that we can carve out an hour on two nights of the week and then one or both days on the weekend. We’ve found some gym and fitness facilities with childcare which is great or we can take turns on alternating evenings during the week.

So in order to start this new endeavor, I had to buy new running shoes. Unfortunately my feet hurt sooooo bad after I was done on the elliptical machine so I really hope that I just need to break in these shoes and then things will get better. It really pissed me off because I was totally fine with the workout but my feet were throbbing – I almost didn’t make the 30 minutes. So frustrating! And my legs were absolutely killing me when I went to bed last night – this was after I took some naproxen. I was thinking “uh oh I pushed myself too hard – I’m not going to be able to walk tomorrow!” So I dug out the roll-on muscle analgesic that I’ve never used in my life and it helped a lot. I was able to fall asleep and the pain was gone when I woke up this morning – thank goodness.

But I am super proud of myself. I want to go back. I think I can do this. Just need to take it one day at a time.

My Psychology of Disordered Eating

There was a sudden shift in my mindset that caused me to start a diet on a Thursday (gasp!) as opposed to my usual Monday and it has more to do with my mental health than my physical one at this point. I have been struggling with PMDD for the last 8 years and many years of a general anxiety disorder prior to that. Paxil seemed to work but caused sexual side effects that were difficult to live with. Once I gradually weaned myself off, I was angry, depressed and suicidal. Suspecting that I might be bipolar, I was prescribed Lamictal. It seems to work for the depression but not for the anxiety, so last week I was prescribed Seroquel, an anti-psychotic medication which is notorious for weight gain – yikes. Now I am starting to get a little worried here.

I have found a psychologist in my area who deals with disordered eating (a new term that I have recently discovered!) and from her online profile, it seems like she is someone I would be comfortable talking to but unfortunately she doesn’t have any openings until July. But I had a discussion with my husband and he suggested we start going to the gym again because he knows how much better my mental health is when I am exercising. It’s not going to cure the anxiety (well maybe it will – who knows!) but I’ll definitely be happier. I am always significantly happier when I am eating better and I’m not sure if it’s because sugar adversely affects my mood or I’m just happy that I’m actively trying to lose weight instead of stuffing my face with chocolate and getting nowhere. Time to do something other than just pop pills in order to deal with my mental health issues.


Day 2 and it was nice to see the scale down a few pounds this morning. But it’s Friday, and by now I am usually in a panic. Weekends are always the worst for me to navigate while trying to watch what I eat. But now that I’ve decided just to eat healthier instead of deleting entire food groups, I’m not dreading the weekend the way I normally do – and it’s refreshing. I even have plans to go to the gym for the first time in about 10 years. That should be interesting.

Everyday is Day One…

Today is the first day of what I hope will be a rest of my life journey. And it’s not even a Monday – or the first of the month!! If I had to count how many times I’ve started a new diet, I’d be a billionaire – seriously. I’ve spent the better part of my life living in a prison of my own making. Every hour is spent obsessing about how fat I am, how ugly I am, that everyone is judging me. But every hour is also spent thinking about what I am going to eat next. I feel guilty about every single bite of food I put into my mouth and I don’t understand why I can’t just stop eating and lose the weight once and for all.

Because of my life-long yo-yo dieting, my metabolism is basically shot. I am pretty sure that I am insulin-resistant, I am deficient in iron and vitamin D, my hair is falling out, I’m sure I have some kind of thyroid issue, my joints are stiff and I can’t climb a single flight of stairs without getting winded. And yet I continue to put crap into my body, day in and day out. I continue to be miserable day in and day out. When I really sit and think about it, it is beyond depressing that I’ve spent 30 years of my life being miserable about my weight, hating my body, being self-conscious. It really has been like living in a prison. The cold hard truth is that I am a food addict but mostly I am a carb and sugar addict. And my body certainly does not need sugar to survive.

I need to realize that I can’t deny myself food. I can’t just not eat. I’ve tried that too haha! and it never works. I can’t starve myself, but I do have the choice of WHAT to eat. So my words of “wisdom” to myself today are these:

First and foremost, STOP EATING CRAP. Take a breath. You can do this. You can’t NOT do this. Your life depends on it. Enough is enough.