Need help getting back on track
Its been a long time since I have been here, but I am slipping and can use help. I have fallen into a major depression due to our current issue and family stuff. i am on depression meds now, and they are helping a bit. I am gaining weight and still fit into my clothes...but barely! I am so scared. I never want to be the old person I was and I could use some pointers on how to jump start weight loss again.
Here is how I screwed up and know I need to fix....its obvious, but I could use other tips and tricks please. I began drinking alcohol, but now switched to light wine....working on stop drinking all together, been hard. I have not exercised in a long time. I do eat healthy for the most part, the part I am struggling with is getting off my rump and exercise. I am tired and stressed out. My hair has been coming out due to stress and it became so thin I cut it to chin length just to give it more body. Please share your experiences with me - I would appreciate it!
Giving up alcohol completely (I, too, drank wine) helped me lose around 60lbs of regain. It's shocking how many calories are in alcohol and the accompanying snacking.
It took me around 9 months to lose that, so it's not easy or quick. There is a daily menu thread on the RNY board, that is surgery inclusive, if you want accountability or something like Weigh****chers might help
Proud Feminist, Atheist, LGBT friend, and Democratic Socialist
My suggestion: Instead of trying to overhaul your diet immediately, fix one thing at a time. Even when you're not coping with depression, I think this is a good approach to dieting. With depression in the picture, a step-by-step approach to any kind of change can help you from getting overwhelmed.
1. Track everything you eat.
As you track your eating, think about why you're eating. Were you hungry? bored? stressed? Just wanted the sensation of chewing or crunching something? Was it a social occasion and you wanted to join in? I've learned that it's perfectly normal and healthy to eat sometimes when you're not hungry. Everyone (whatever their size) does it. Instead of trying to white-knuckle through these urges, I find it best to plan for it by having foods on hand that are fun to eat and low calorie (or low carb, if that's your goal). Some examples: pomegranate seeds, carrot sticks, frozen grapes/cherries (suck on them to defrost a bit, then chew), sugar-free jello, sugar-free popsicles.
Also, for the less-healthy foods, why did you choose them? Were you stressed and trying to self-soothe? Before my surgery, I made a mental list of things that I could do when stressed out, like curl up under the duvet, drink some fragrant herbal tea, take a hot shower, snuggle with my cats, listen to music. Notice how these activities involve a lot of different senses, as do the fun-to-eat snacks I mentioned earlier. I find it helpful to remind myself regularly to engage other senses besides taste.
Too tired to cook? Personally, I hate cooking. I knew I should meal-prep, but that was never going to happen. So instead I looked high and low for healthy prepared meals. I was surprised at all the options available. I have to drive a little farther to do the grocery shopping, but it's worth it.
I found that my desire to eat varies from day to day, even when taking activity level into account. My high-hunger days are usually balanced out by my low-hunger days. Realising this was a game changer for me. Now when I have a day where I eat more than usual, I don't feel I've "blown" my diet. I accept that it was probably just a hungry day, and I only need to worry about it if there are a few days like that in a row. I've noticed that my cats do the same thing. Some days they'll naturally eat more than usual, some days they'll eat less than usual.
2. Identify one thing that you can improve about your diet without feeling deprived.
Look at the things you eat most often. Perhaps one of them would be just as satisfying if you chose a sugar-free version, or made some other small change. Perhaps if you had better options on hand, you would chose them. Perhaps meal-prepping would help.
3. Get comfortable with that one change. Then you can consider making the next change (if needed).
TIP:I find it works better to focus on doing the things I should do, instead of resisting the things I shouldn't. I try never to tell myself "no" when it comes to food; instead, I tell myself "later". How does that work? From the time I wake up, I focus on getting enough fluids (I have found I feel better if I have 2.5 litres) and eating a vegetable dish. Once I've accomplished those two things, if I really want something, I eat it. My exception to that is sugar; I never want to get addicted to that stuff again! I do eat sugary foods once or twice a year, but it always leaves me feeling a bit queasy.
While I am sorry to see that you are going through this, I am 8 yrs out after losing 112 lbs and in the last two years since my Dad and then my husband died, and now my Mom died last October, I, too, got in the habit of having a glass or two of wine every night to "help me sleep". I didn't sleep any better so for me that was just an excuse. Depression is real and unfortunately it is also real that alcohol is a depressant. So, here I was, 40 lb weight gained back and ashamed of myself. Three weeks ago, I finally picked myself up, dusted myself off and started cutting alcohol and carbs. I am down 8 lbs and intend to get back to my healthy weight. I have been swimming and walking for exercise (did I mention I hate exercise?) but I am committed to being an example to others again. And I give myself a little pat on the back after I exercise. I am not going fullbore on the exercise because I am in my early 60s and anytime I do that, it becomes a job instead of way of burning a few extra calories (EVERY little bit helps!) My older brother had VSG surgery based on my success. He is doing well, but if nothing else, I hope my weight gain keeps him in check. Make sure you are getting protein and vitamin E for your hair loss. The best advice I can give you is you made this decision so you could love yourself. Keep that thought in mind and love yourself again and live your best life!
I lost my family too... brother, mom and dad. That is why I have been drinking. Oh man, and the sleep issues are horrible!!!! Sounds like our experiences are parallel and I need to just power through it. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and I hope we both get back down our "normal" weight! I'm sorry for your losses too!