A Weight-y Update

Last July, I made a post here regarding a little trouble I was having with my weight.  Since then, several other people with sit-down jobs have written to me, asking about my progress; and the original post remains one of my most popular!  I figured it was time for an update…

I drew this back in January when things were going really well… *wistful sigh*

Things Were Going Really Well!…At First…

As you can probably guess from the illustration above, I did manage to lose quite a few inches!  I went from 170 pounds down to 155!  More impressive than the numbers on the scale (which aren’t always to be trusted!), I went from a super-tight size 14 to a comfortably-fitting size 12.  Not bad, I say!  My long-term goal was size 10.  I’ve been a size 6 before (and even a size 4 back in 2007!), and that was great, but I’m perfectly happy being a little “bigger” so long as I’m healthy.

What I was doing:

Daily Walks.  My partner and I would go out for daily walks.  We started out with just one loop around the block.  Each week, we would add another lap.  And then the laps became bigger, and bigger.  When the weather was bad, we would take my Nintendo 3DS with us to the local mall and use the pedometer feature to make sure we walked as much indoors as we had been outside.  I also had a secret weapon: MBT shoes.  This isn’t the first time I’ve put on a ton of weight!  Back in 2006, I found myself in a similar situation.  I was gifted with a pair of MBT shoes and put them to good use.  I enlisted their services once again this time around as well!

Crunches.  Ya gotta love crunches!

Push-ups.  These made me nostalgic for my martial arts days.

Free weights.  Be sure you use a proper stance!  And get a spotter for when you start lifting heavier! :)

Stretching.  To be honest, I would sometimes be lazy about stretching at first.  But as I got into the swing of things, I remembered to do it more and more.  The benefits of stretching aren’t as immediate (at least for me), but it really shouldn’t be ignored.  (I’m writing this down as a reminder to myself as well as you!).

Where Things Went Horribly, Horribly Wrong…

Whoo-boy.  This is hard to admit, but, somewhere along the way…things went horribly wrong.  I’m currently 185lbs, I’m bursting out of those size 14 jeans, and my giganto boobs have gone from a 34E (DDD) to a 34H!  YIKES!!  I keep expecting Gene Wilder to pounce on me and scream that I’m a “fat, fat, fatty!”  I now refrain from sending any full body pictures of me in profile to my friends because I’m afraid they’ll ask me when I’m “due.”  Mostly, it’s just uncomfortable.

So what happened?

Depression.  Oh, the crippling depression!  Every year around “the holidays,” I get really, really down.  And it kicks in again around late May.  (Though, this year, I’m taking steps to–hopefully!–prevent it!).  It’s pretty common for people to get “seasonal” depression, and I’m definitely not the only writer with this problem.  Hang in there!  It will pass.  It always does (even if it seems like it’s taking forever!).  I also find a lot of the tips in Julie Fast’s book, Get It Done When You’re Depressed, to be extremely helpful.  Here’s a link to get it on Amazon if you’re interested.

Sickness.  My immune system is pretty much crap.  Think “bubble boy” without the “luxury” of a protective bubble.  I try to protect myself, but sometimes it’s just impossible.  The cold weather brought with it all the usual germs.  And, even if you never leave your house, if you live with someone who does go outside–particularly someone who works with “the public”–you’re pretty much doomed to catch at least one seasonal sickness.  I caught ‘em all!  (If germs were Pokemon, I’d be really happy about that statement…).  And I managed to get food poisoning–twice!!  There’s nothing quite like being sick to throw off your workout schedule.

“Extra Mayo, Please!”  Okay, I admit it: My eating went to crap.  Between feeling down and feeling sick, there wasn’t a lot of room left for “I feel like cooking!”  The lure of fast food, with its comforting mushy texture and absolutely no effort from me, was just too strong.  We found ourselves eating out more, and more, and more.  It became ridiculous!  Our monthly “eating out” budget went from “around $100″ to “over $500!”  (I know!  We were shocked when we did the math too!!).  If anything on this list makes me hang my head in shame, it’s this.

Way Too Much Work.  I ended up avoiding my own tips on “how to avoid burnout” and completely overbooked myself.  Hey!–I had to pay for all that junk food somehow!  At the worst of it, I was getting about 3 hours of sleep per night and hadn’t had a day off in over a month.

Lack of Sleep.  When your body chemistry is out of whack, sleep is one of the first things to fly out the window.  Not only was I overworking myself, but my huge boobs have been literally crushing me.  I can no longer sleep on my back (which used to be oh-so-comfy!) and, by the end of the day, my back pain from lugging those things around with me all day is simply extraordinary (and it’s super hard to sleep when you’ve got killer back pain!).  Sleep is so, so important.  You don’t even realize just how important sleep is until you’re not getting enough.  Everything moves slower, and even the simplest tasks become harder to perform.  Forget about working out!  If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can be a chore just to slog through your usual daily tasks.

So What Happens Now?

My blood sugar has been kicking my butt, you guys.  I’m a Hypoglycemic and my doctor very sternly told me to “never, ever, get fat.”  I was warned that if I gained too much weight, I could easily end up Diabetic.  I started experiencing several “pre-diabetes” symptoms including a lack of feeling in my fingers and toes (my toes turned blue on more than one occasion), blurry vision, extreme fatigue, and minor blackouts.  To be honest, it got pretty darn scary.

I’ve started working out again!

Not only that, but I’ve cut out the junk food.  I haven’t cut out fat–you need a little bit of fat!–but I’m no longer eating out for every meal.  I’m back to cooking home-cooked meals from scratch.  And I’m already feeling a lot better!  (And my wallet feels better too!).

What About YOU?

Have your say!

I confessed the trials and tribulations of my health journey…  What about you?

I’m going to continue to update you on my progress as things happen, but I would love to hear from you too!  Leave me a comment, won’t you?

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Posted in Freelance Life, Freelancing, Freelancing Advice, Time Management, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
4 comments on “A Weight-y Update
  1. Krista says:

    I too have struggled with depression over the years, and know many individuals who do. My mother has Bipolar Disorder and so did her father. I am one of the few that can trace my ancestry and I have a long history of mental illness in the genes. I was fortunate to only have bouts of anxiety and depression. But I still attend therapy. I still get professional help to regulate my depression. As a psychotherapist myself, I believe in treatment. I recommend a book that changed my life and attitude called “Mind over Mood.” It uses Beck’s cognitive therapy tools in a self help, workbook format. It is fantastic.

    I also recommend daily quotes. Putting your mind in the right “mind set” is extremely important. Researchers have discovered that it takes 10 positive thoughts to counter act one negative one. In essence, we could think all day on positive thoughts and still be unable to counter act the all the negative ones. Also, staying on a routine that includes exercise. Endorphins are proven to be the most effective thing against most mental illness (which is a chemical imbalance of the brain by the way) and ANYONE can have an imbalance just by getting sick, lack of sleep, stress, a predisposition/family history of mental illness or any combination thereof. I must stress that mental illness is a PHYSICAL illness, that’s right. Some behavior patterns are created from learned behavior, but are also driven by a chemical imbalance. Your brain is an organ, therefore, it is like a well oiled machine or car. The better you maintain it, the better you run. And some people are just born with lemons for brains/bodies (and need a lot of maintenance just to keep running), while others are lucky to inherit luxury models. I am the mid size economy model that breaks down sometimes. LOL

    I also take a daily supplement called 5 HTP (over the counter). It helps the body produce more seratonin naturally and helps you sleep. SSRIS (Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors) are prescription drugs that help block the body from absorbing too much of that vital chemical that helps regulate positive mood and can be only prescribed by a doctor. If you have a case where there are definite patterns to your depression or frequent insomnia, I recommend seeing a doctor (for a physical…because it could be your thyroid or something that needs immediate attention), psychologist (for therapy) and a psychiatrist (for prescription) because that means you likely have a more severe form of an imbalance that needs constant monitoring and close regulation.

    Always talk to a professional about depression, insomnia and potential treatments. The problems arise when we think we can handle it alone. While eating right and exercising are important to regulate depression; getting professional help is EXTREMELY important. While it can be distressing to acknowledge we have depression or insomnia or
    any medical problem, we can’t pretend it isn’t a daily problem. Just because we don’t have an episode or season
    when it becomes an imminent threat, it is something you must attend to like taking a shower everyday. You have
    to make it apart of your daily routine of self care. If you don’t, there are bad side effects, and it is not only you who suffer
    but your loved ones.

    I was diagnosed pre-diabetic in June of 2011. If I didn’t loose weight, I would become a full blown diabetic. I admit
    I was addicted to sodas. The first thing I did was get off soda. It when through nine days of caffeine withdrawal, and considering that I have a history of migranes, let’s just say, it was hell. The next move I made was to start exercising
    more. I then went to a medical weight loss orientation at Kaiser. They had options. The lap band and gastric by pass
    were offered as options for those needing to loose at least 60 pounds or more. I was 340 pounds as of June. 2011.

    I decided to go for the 800 cal, medical monitored weight loss. 5 meals, mostly shakes, soups or protein bar and water
    and that’s it. I also had a trainer with 24 hr. fitness. I lost 66 pounds by mid Feb. and got down to 274.

    I am back up to 283, but still have kept off 57 pounds to date. I am still trying to go lower and do better. I may go back on the diet at some point but I want to try and stay at this weight for a while to control my eating and exercise. I AM NO LONGER PRE-DIABETIC!!!! My sugar and cholesterol levels are now normal. Just 6 months ago, they were really
    bad. I will have labs again soon to see if my levels have remained normal. I hope they have (crosses fingers).

    All I can say is that I am doing better because I am making my health a priority and taking it very seriously. I also had to
    quit my job in Oct. 2010 because of the damage it was inflicting on my health. I was afraid of the burden I would put
    on my husband, but honestly, our relationship is better because I involve him more in my life rather than trying to
    go it alone. I am going to a class called “Keeping the Weight Off” by Kaiser. It is a free support group. Held every

    Learning how to better take care of yourself is a life long process. Our capabilities and limitations change as our
    circumstances change. Just take my advice, GET HELP. Don’t be afraid to get all the help and SUPPORT you can find. You won’t regret it. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/complete-index.shtml

    If you need a lifeline when in crisis: http://www.allaboutcounseling.com/crisis_hotlines.htm


    • littlezotz says:

      My goodness, Krista! I think you just won the gold medal for leaving the longest comment on my website!!

      I appreciate that you took the time to write so much. :)

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve struggled with so much. My paternal grandfather was adopted, so about half of my family tree is missing. I’m honestly not sure where most of my troubles stem from. It’s great that you’ve been able to trace your roots back so far. I have several friends with Bi-Polar Disorder (including my partner) and it’s no picnic. You and I really are blessed that we “just” got the depression half.

      My depression used to be a LOT worse. I used to be a “cutter.” I even wrote a bit about it here: http://ezinearticles.com/?Self-Injury-As-Stress-Management&id=5087313 I still have the scars, but I’ve been clean ever since I moved out of my parents’ house. I have a good support system now. As you said, that’s so important.

      I still get the seasonal bouts of depression, but I know to expect it now. And, over the past few years, I also realized that it partly stems from money-related issues. In this business, the “slow” seasons are Winter and Summer–RIGHT when I get hit with the blues! Haha. (Just my luck!!). There’s nothing quite like the anxiety of having moths flutter out of your empty wallet right when people are expecting presents or visits (gas money!) or any of the other many obligations those seasons tend to bring. As May quickly approaches, I’ve been working on my budget–preparing for the “dry season”–in hopes that it will further help to stave off my summer blues. ;)

      I’m very happy to hear that you’re no longer pre-diabetic! That’s wonderful news!!

      Let’s both keep up the good work! *fist pump* We can do this!!

      Thanks again for stopping by!

  2. littlezotz says:

    If anyone’s interested, I was just made aware of this great article on Freelance Folder about how to get more sleep! http://freelancefolder.com/10-ways-to-get-a-better-nights-rest/

  3. Good on you for being fully transparent. I’ve been dropping weight as well, although I slipped up a bit in April… Gained a nice 5 pounds then. But we can definitely do it!
    Danielle Lynn recently posted..Shave Hours Off Your Next Copy ProjectMy Profile

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