For several weeks now, my scale has hovered around 198 lbs.
This is 14 lb. above my February weight, and 20+ pounds above my ideal weight. I tell myself that I will easily lose weight when I focus on this. But that has not gotten the pounds off. In fact, several weeks ago I was weighing in at 194.4 lbs. So my weight is only climbing, not receding.
I can feel the extra weight as I go to zip up my pants.
By holding in my stomach, I can get them zipped up. But there is no give, I take up every bit of the 36-inch waistline. And don’t even ask how my shirts fit. Lately, I am getting that little gap between two of the lower buttons as my girth tries to escape from under my shirt. Standing, it is not as noticeable, but when I sit, there it is.
Getting out my stages of change worksheet, I can see I am just at stage three.
1) PRECONTEMPLATION STAGE
2) CONTEMPLATION STAGE
3) PREPARATION STAGE
4) ACTION STAGE
5) MAINTENANCE STAGE
In my mind, I am planning to take action.
But I am still finalizing my plans and have not committed to taking action. I see the advantages of changing my eating habits, but I still, have some underlying concerns that are keeping me from moving into the action stage.
In January of last year, I went through the same stages of change and made it to the action stage.
In April, I was to speak at an International Conference in Florida. I took action with my plan to lose weight from January until the last week of March. Then I went shopping for two new suits. This left several weeks for any alterations before the conference.
Having a goal and a reason that I could understand made losing weight easy.
As I dropped the pounds, depression saw this as a threat to its life of leisure. Knowing that I feel better about myself when I fit into my clothes, depression began to accelerate its plan for me. This included dragging me to the abyss and then throwing me into the depths of despair.
A by-product of this, was my appetite disappeared completely.
I ended up in hyper-speed, losing weight at a dangerous pace. Eating was a chore and had to be a conscious decision. For the first time in my life, I found I was forcing myself to eat. And my depression was loving it, cheering on my accelerated weight loss like it had a wager on me.
Several months ago, there was to be a June wedding.
I had a plan to lose the weight to fit into the suits I had bought for my speaking engagement. Then, COVID 19 and the pandemic occurred. This has pushed the wedding into next year and took the wind out of my “lose weight before the wedding plan.”
Of course, I can blame others and suggest that my additional weight is my body’s reaction to my new medicine.
Gaining or losing weight is one of the possible side effects of Wellbutrin. But I taking responsibility for my own success and blaming others is not part of my strategy. Until I take action, all I am really doing is entertaining a dream about losing weight.
SMART Recovery’s Stages of Change Model has been a tool I have used to make many decisions over the past year.
Taking action to acknowledge and focus on my depression was by far the biggest challenge I have faced with this tool. Besides losing weight, even making more mundane decisions like mowing the lawn can be thought of using this model. And of course, stopping addictive behaviors is the bread and butter of this method.
Back to losing my pandemic pounds, I see two weeks of South Beach Diet in my future.
Cutting out carbs and dairy, I dropped 15 pounds 10 years ago. Now, I do not know what finally moved me from contemplation to action then. But when a co-worker told me I “looked marvelous,” it reinforced the decision I had formulated.
Her comment about how good I looked made my day.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder last year, I am sharing what I learn. If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share.
I very much appreciate your comments.