When I was going through my long period of ever increasing depression last year and even into the earlier part of this year, I suffered a lot of issues that weren’t good for me. But one of the most devastating and common when suffering from depression is weight gain. I read that on the internet. I have ALWAYS felt overweight even though I wasn’t when I was younger, I just felt I was. I find it tragic they way women are made to feel about themselves and we can see the affects in society, bulimia, anorexia, bullying and a general self-loathing towards our body. This works on us and shapes who we are and who we become. I find this so sad as one of those who felt that way. It took me years to realize that I wasn't fat all those years I thought I was and I think it's only gotten worse for young women in particular through the years.
But when my husband was so sick and then after he died, I really started going downhill. He had esophageal cancer and with that particular kind, he couldn’t eat solids really, only soups and the like. He could only drink Ensure and Boost for the protein and caloric intake, but he hated them. Because of that, I was very uncomfortable eating around him – doing something he couldn’t do. As a result I developed horrible eating habits. I’d eat bad and quick food late at night after he went to bed. Junk food was easy and didn't make the house smell wonderful.
Things didn’t improve after he died, if anything they got worse. That’s also when depression first really hit me. Things didn’t improve food-wise, if anything they only got worse over the years until a couple of years ago when enough was enough. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes – no surprise there – if ever a disease could be self induced, I self-induced with my poor eating and sedentary life style. I joined a gym, got a personal trainer and for the next year and half worked like a daughter of a gun. I was in better shape than I had been in years, though I was still heavier than I wanted to be. I managed to lose 50 lbs. Then the time with my trainer came to an end and the depression made a reappearance, worse and nastier than ever as I didn’t really comprehend what was going on for a long time. I just knew that while on the outside I seemed the same as ever, happy, fun to be with, a good co-worker, inside it was so very, very bad. The only time I felt NOTHING (and that’s what I wanted to feel as I didn’t have any highs really) was when I was eating. Of course after a binge I felt worse than ever, but I needed those feel nothing times as relief. So of course you can imagine what happened. I put back all the weight on and I didn’t even really give a damn that I did.
Then I got a doctor, got on new medication for depression that has been almost a wonder drug. I still struggle, but not even close to what it was like before. I still tend to isolate more than I should, but not like I used to and I’m working on coming all the way back. But the damage is done weight wise and can’t be fixed overnight. I’ve debated on whether to get in touch with the personal trainer I had. I think he is amazing. He’s older than many of them and he’s not at all a Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, Dolvett Quince type – if her were I wouldn’t have been able to handle it. He was exactly the kind of trainer that I needed. But as I said, I haven’t had him as a trainer for a year and a half now
He called me out of the blue last night to see how I’m doing. He is taking a course on isometrics and needs a trainee/guinea pig. Because it’s a course he’s taking he can’t charge and he was wondering if I would be interested. I jumped right on it as I so Very Desperately need to get back into shape. I’m going to RWA this year and I don’t want to be in the shape I’m in now. I wasn’t for a while. We can discuss whether I want to have him as a personal trainer again for the other things I need help with – cardio, machines etc. Our first session is on Monday.
But a large part of me is very afraid to see him. I told friends and coworkers I had a non-sexual crush on him and I’m so worried he’s going to be disappointed – though he didn’t seem to be at all when I was talking to him and letting him know what had happened. The two of us worked SO hard to get me to where I was and it’s like I wasted his time and mine. I hate that I let that happen, but I couldn’t stop it. I fell down the mountain and I didn’t get held up along the way, I fell all the way down. Rationally I know I need to get over it – forgive myself and move forward, but part of me wants to wallow in self-pity and guilt and part of me is afraid of all the hard work there will be again – even though when I was deep into working out I loved it.
I googled some of the symptoms. I didn't have all of these, but I sure did have many
Signs and symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
- Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
- Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
- Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
- Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
- Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
- Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
- Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
- Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness - yep, that was a BIG one
Appetite or body changes - oh boy yes to that one
Sleep changes - if I wasn't eating, I wanted to sleep
Loss of energy - oh yes indeedy
Self-loathing - without doubt this was the biggest symptom for me
Concentration problems - another one
I still struggle with them - but nothing like before.
Ach, but we humans are a complicated species aren’t we? We are our own worst enemies.