I'm bi-polar and have been diagnosed as such for quite some time. I'm 5'4'' and currently weigh 133 lbs which is less than my past weight of topping off at 149 lbs a few months ago. A few weeks ago I was 125 and at times I'm very good about what I eat until I have some sort of out-of-control phase which I believe my mental illness procures and I gain weight that I'm trying to lose or have lost and than at that point I get very depressed and have towork very hard to pull myself out of that depresion and back into in control. I hate relapses and now I am very angry for messing up like I have in my diet and gaining that weight back. Does any one have suggestions? Advice?
Hi linusfuller. You are definitely right in that emotional issues can cause and be caused by issues with weight...often they are very intertwined. Also, if you are on medication, that can also cause weight gain that can be very frustrating. You've done a good job recognizing that you go through an "out of control phase," so that makes me think that you are aware of a lot about your condition. Do you tend to eat more when you feel out of control or when you feel depressed? Maybe you could keep a log or journal or chart that connects what you eat with how you are feeling. Then, once you see a pattern, you can take steps to do other things besides eat (get help from others, exercise, write, whatever works) when you know you are in a vulnerable time. You can also see if there are certain types of food you go for when stressed and plan for a couple smarter versions of those to get yourself through and take it easy on yourself without going overboard.
Also, and I know it's hard (for all of us), try to keep things in perspective. The weight you are at is still a healthy weight. It might not feel like your preferred weight, but you got to a weight you felt good at before and you can do it again. You are not that far off. This isn't something where you get to a perfect weight and stay there; there is constant change and you make adjustments. You can look at where you are now as an adjustment period, but don't think of it as a failure, because you would be more likely to give up (what's the use, etc. kind of thinking). Relapses happen. You know how to handle them and how to get your weight back down; the next trick to learn is to not let them get too far out of hand to begin with.
The more you beat yourself up emotionally about how you feel you did, the worse you will feel and that will make it more likely to not care what you eat. I have been there. Then I found the quote that's in my signature and it put it in perspective for me.
And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.
I agree with Cassie, your weight is not bad at all! I'm not sure if you have been writing what you eat in fitday, but it really helps reducing the influence of how you feel that day on what you eat. If you decide that you are going to eat 1,500 cal a day for example, and "fitday tells you" (!) that you only have 300 left for the day, that's what you have to do... I know it sounds stupid but it works for me (although I don't have your problems of bipolar disorder, I feel out of control too, as many people do).
I loved the suggestions Cassie gave you! I only wanted to add that there are certain foods that may help you feel better when you are in your depressive phase (which is probably when you feel hungrier, right?), such as foods rich in tryptophan, e.g. chocolate (just a little bit!), milk, cheese, meat and carbs.
Keep in touch!
I really sympathize with you. I'm no expert on mood disorders, but my son has certain mood disorder symptoms that go along with his autism. He's on medication (Trileptal), which helps tremendously, but every so often he has a spell where it seems like the medication isn't working so well. He'll have moments, lasting about an hour, where he has absolutely zero inhibition, and is completely incapable of making rational, reasonable choices. At those moments, he has no way of thinking about consequences. I can see how an adult going through something similar might easily make a lot of bad food choices, because there is no internal voice telling saying, "Hey, maybe that's not such a good idea."
I totally understand that when you are going through a rough spell, it's a brain chemistry thing. All the stuff about self-talk and making better choices isn't really going to work during those times. At least that's what I've seen with my son. He knows what appropriate behavior and good choices are, but during those "moments", he's not in control of himself.
Maybe whatever medication you are on needs to be adjusted a bit? I understand these things can change over time. All the good advice in the world about making better choices won't help at all if your brain chemistry isn't allowing you to make those choices. I'd suggest bringing it up with your doctor.
Best of luck to you.
Starting weight: 157 lbs.-- June 23, 2010
Current weight: 149 lbs.
Mini-goal: 136 lbs.-- November 1, 2010
Target weight: 120 lbs.-- February 21, 2011
I see what Evelyn is saying, but I still maintain that having something in place is better than nothing. I don't believe you can just say, "Well, I'm going out of control and whatever is, is." One of the reasons I suggesed enlisting the help of someone is to provide an external voice when the internal one doesn't work. Addicts have sponsors for this very reason. I think that just rolling over and giving in is not the best option, and that there are always things that can be put into place to minimize, though not eliminate, the effects of loss of control.
It has also been clinically shown that not only does brain chemistry affect actions, the reverse holds true, especially in depression. Actions and changes in habits can change brain chemistry over time. No, it doesn't take the place of medication (though you didn't indicate whether or not you are on meds, which is between you and your doctor), but it's something. New behaviors can become habits and easier to employ when you're stressed. It's not easy, but it's not impossible, either. Keep trying till you find what works for you; you'll get it!
And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.
Last edited by cjohnson728; 08-28-2010 at 11:56 PM.
I'm bi-polar and have had problems with depression ever since I little...I'm just 16 now, but I've been through a lot of ups and downs. My suggestion is to go to the doctor or phyciatrist so they can prescribe some medicine to you. I quit taking my medication about a year ago (out of frustration and me just being stupid) and it's made all the difference...lots of late night cravings, lots of unhappy days, and many tears. I'm doing better now, so I don't play to go back on it anytime soon,but I wish I would have stayed on it. But back to you.. Trust me, not only will you be able to lose the weight/keep it off, you will be a lot happier. If you don't want to go that route, just go to a counselor, I'm not a big talker, but it helped. It's very, very worth it. Good Luck
16 Years, 5'4"
Starting: August 11
Starting Weight: 168
Current Weight: 163.5 Goal Weight: 140
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."