9/29/2007

Digging deeper

*I just edited this to remove some of the typos, sorry about that.

I've kept things (for the most part) on the surface in this blog. There are people that read my blog that I'd honestly not like to give the power of knowing my weaknesses. My issue with weight, is a bit deeper than my love for food or laziness. Although I read a post recently over at Half of Me, where she proclaimed her love for food and laziness and that is why she got so heavy in the first place. I love that, and I think a lot of us are like that too if we choose to be honest with ourselves.

That post stirred a lot of internal conflict and thinking in me this week. Things I've been wondering about for some time. I've been keeping myself from digging and exploring for answers within myself in hopes that there would eventually be an answer that I could buy, or try or discover. I read something recently somewhere that states "we are who we want to be". Which is a pretty great thought. After I read Miss Pasta's entry I kept thinking "but, why are some of us lazy? why is health and appearance more important to some people and not others?" I'll tell you all, I'm so lazy when it comes to personal appearance unless I've got somewhere to be. Every day Lorrie, well she is a bit rough around the edges. The wrong shade of foundation, wet hair pulled back in a messy bun, chipped nail polish and I never ever iron.

Its hard for me to admit to the things that I'm obviously not, because I want so much to be different. To be the girl that looks good casually, goes to the gym without moments thought and glows with inner beauty.

This brings me to some more digging. About four years into college, I was ready to get out. I didn't know where I'd go or what I'd do, I just wanted out. So instead I went to a school counselor who I'll call Miss M. I told her that I felt like I was floating through life, and disconnected. I explained that my moods would not change if I won a million dollars or if someone close passed away. I felt pretty horrible revealing that, but it was true and on some days it still is.
Miss M. concluded that I was suffering from Dysthymia. What is Dysthymia?

According to wikipedia
Dysthymia is a mood disorder that falls on the depression spectrum. It is typically characterized by a lack of enjoyment or pleasure that continues for an extended period. Dysthymia differs from major depression in that it is both longer-lasting and less disabling. Dysthymia can prevent a person from functioning effectively, disrupt sleep patterns, and interfere with activities of daily living (ADLs). Many dysthymia sufferers have a more specific subtype called atypical depression. Dysthymia sufferers exhibit fairly mild symptoms on a day-to-day basis. Over a lifetime the disorder may have more severe effects, such as a high rate of suicide, work impairment, and social isolation.

After this discovery I went to student health to get a prescription of Paxel, which I ended up taking for about 4 days. And I've never taken anything since. The thing about admitting to depression or mild chronic depression is that I feel like a sham. Because there are times when I can pull out of it, or pretend it isn't present. I feel ashamed to even think or tell other people that I may have depression because my life isn't bad, nor has it ever been. Its kind of like I'm saying "my life isn't good enough". I feel lazy and crazy a good portion of the time and therefore I don't talk about this.

There are things that I feel and think that make me feel that it isn't just who I am. This isn't who I really am. I have a hard time socializing with people, I do not feel authentic when I interact with other people, I get overwhelmed very easily, I'm easily distracted, I have little energy, I have negative thoughts about myself constantly, and I usually have deep feelings of sadness for no apparent reason.

I want to change this way of existence. I don't want to continue "sleep walking" or existing. I've done a lot of research and I believe that whatever it is that I have (or don't have) can been treated without medication. Not that I advocate or don't advocate medication for other people. But, I know that the only way that I can loose weight is to acknowledge how I feel and how this effects my health. I've been doing some research on Dysthymia and I found a lot of resources and suggestions to help someone with this.

Here is what I found:
(1) Feel your feelings (depression is the suppression of feelings -- acknowledging those feelings often causes depression to improve).
(2) Realize that nothing comes out of the blue (your depressed state has a root cause that you should look for in an event or situation).
(3) Challenge your depressed thinking by questioning your assumptions, especially ones that center on meaningless perfectionism.
(4) Establish priorities so that your energies can go towards them
(5) Communicate as directly as possible to everyone around you. Depressed people are often poor communicators who don't get their emotional needs served. With better communication, they can experience a more supportive emotional environment.
(6) Take care of your self.
(7) Take and expect the right responsibility for yourself -- for your own actions. Depressed people often feel guilty about things that they have no responsibility for (like the death of a parent or the divorce of their parents).
(8) Look for heroes. These role models can empower you to see the way to improve, especially if they were also depressed like Lincoln.
(9) Be generous. Helping others puts your own situation into perspective.
(10) Cultivate intimacy. This means letting down your defenses so people can see you as you are, and accept you for that. Depressed people often feel disgusted with their true selves, and hide that self from everyone.
(11) Practice detachment. Depressed people are often overly critical and pessimistic. Seeing things in the proper perspective can heal a lot of inappropriate pain.
(12) Learn to enjoy yourself.
(13) Get help when you need it. This may be the most important piece of advice since so many people do not.

I've read so much lately on the topic and I feel a lot better knowing that other people suffer from the same feelings of inadequacies. I truly believe that there are habits and behaviors that I choose to have that contribute to my feelings of depression. I read somewhere else that people can become addicted to feelings of depression and anxiety, which it a really interesting concept to think about. There are so many times that I choose the easier road of instant satisfaction, which in turn only makes me feel worse. I want to begin undoing depression by replacing depressive patterns of thinking, relating and behaving with a new and more effective set of skills.
There are suggestions that journaling and meditation are effective, which I really agree to and truly help me when I'm not forgetting to do them or getting "caught up" in my negative feelings.

I have a vision of my "ideal" self that I don't present very often. Often times I get caught up in thinking that being somewhere else will be better. I used to cut and color my hair so much that it started to fall out because I felt like my hair was the only thing I had control over. I would think "if only I had better hair then things would change". Which is really silly. There are things that I can do that I know always make me feel better, such as cleaning, exercising or creating art work, but I often feel too defeated and overwhelmed to do them. Sometimes I feel like I have about one productive week a month and the rest is me feeling sorry for myself.

My ideal self is healthy, active, and authentic. She is confident at the weight she is now and even as she loses weight. Her personality shines, she is kind, intelligent, generous and witty. She has a sense of humor and doesn't shell up or sputter words in front of strangers. She doesn't create excuses for not exercising or wait until the house is clean, and the to-do list is finished before she can loose weight. My ideal self has a sense of style and goes on all of the adventures that she imagines in her head. She doesn't let difficult people or situations bring her down. She doesn't lose herself or who she is when challenged by others. She speaks her mind and stands up for herself. She is caring of herself and others. She takes care of herself and finds ways to make herself proud everyday. She lives in the moment, and is able to plan for the future. She doesn't mourn her mistakes in the past and excitedly lives her life. She isn't perfect and doesn't expect everyday to be that way. She is calm and down to earth.

I am her. I haven't let her come out.

I feel guilty about my weight loss in this blog. I don't want to feel like a failure and that my blog is an example of that. I feel bad that I go on and off of diets so quickly. Waiting for it to "click" or to get fed up enough. The truth is, it may never click, but I can realize that everyday I have control over what I want even if getting it isn't always easy. I don't mean to be a flake and I honestly can't remember what I did in the times that I didn't write. My weight has been at 275 (give or take 4 or 5lbs.) since April. It doesn't take a lot of knowledge to know that this weight is not good for me physically or mentally. I cannot continue to wait for it to matter or to click. I don't want my weight to be the deciding factor or contributor of negative feelings in my life.

Everyday I imagine what people must think of me "fat fat fat, lazy, disgusting, fat". Thinking this makes it hard to exist, when all I worry about is that everyone is judging me because of my weight. I shouldn't worry about that, but I do. I don't want to be the "fat girl", yet I've encountered many people who shine at my weight and let other people in. I want to be that person and choose to loose weight too.

My goals are changing to include weight loss in a different way. I want to heal myself and my thinking patterns. I want to focus more on exercise and eating well. So many times I will go off of a diet and eat all of the "bad" foods that I can stomach before I go back on the said. Most of the time I don't even want to food, I eat it because I feel like I have to.

I really love Nigella Lawson and there is a clip on youtube where she talks about her food philosophy. She doesn't deprive herself of things she loves, but she also doesn't hold priority over certain foods. She said that she loves eating fruits and vegetables because they are beautiful and she feels good when she eats them. She doesn't simply eat something because its "healthy" or because its unhealthy. She loves food, but doesn't abuse it. Her philosophy is wonderful. So many times I've eaten a salad at work or with other people and they make a comment about my "healthy" choices or that I'm on a diet. But, can we not eat whole some foods simply because we love them?

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8 Comments:

Blogger sweetnes said...

Hey Lorrie,
I just wanted to let you know that I don't think you are 'disgusting' or 'lazy.' I'm glad you started this blog because it's helped inspire me along my weight loss journey. I hope that you start to feel better and I just wanted to tell you that there are some of us here to support you.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Urban Chick said...

Lorrie,

I second your emotions. After I read PQ's entry, I went through a similar thought process.

I still have much weight to lose, but am doing much better with the whole "love yourself at any size". Walking and eating well is coming along a lot easier than it did before.

Please know there are avid readers out here rooting for you and your success in this journey.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous jordanalexandra said...

aw wow.
i feel like i am the same person as you. reading this was really crazy.
i went and talked to a counselor and i have the same form of depression. i took an antidepressant for about four weeks and then stopped. i didn't want to be that person anymore. and somedays it is easy to snap out of it. other days though it is so hard to feel anything at all. i'm trying to lose weight the all natural way now too. i think it makes you feel better for sure.
i'm going to keep reading your blog and i hope that you somehow feel happier now. and that you get all the results you want and deserve.

11:27 PM  
Blogger xo said...

I think you seem really creative and intelligent. Sometimes it just takes time to learn how to combine everything in your life (work, a social life, creativity, love, health) & learn how to make it work for you.

Most of us are right there with you.

xo

9:54 AM  
Blogger Lady T said...

i could have easily written a lot of this post.

i understand the feelings. honestly. what helped me (and i know everybody is different, so i am not telling you to DO this) was thinking of everything in a term of choices. telling myself, each day that i can choose "happy" or some other more positive emotion.

i dont always feel it, but i attempt to act happy/positive anyway...and it helps (me)....its not as simple as that of course. i still have awful days...and a lot of days where i am sad and dont know why. but i keep pushing forward and try to project a positive attitude. it has become kind of a habit.

i am trying to eat for health....but not just physical health, but mental health. and i find the excercise helps a lot with my moods as well. so this whole healthy lifestyle adoption has helped in many ways.

you've definitely inspired me. i thank you for that.

hoping you continue to move forward and not backwards....

blessings.....

10:09 AM  
Blogger Chubby Chick said...

Thanks for being so open and honest about everything. I think that is wonderful... and I applaud you for that. Blogging has really helped me to release some of my own negative emotions... and I think it will do the same for you.

Hang in there, girl! The best days of your life are ahead. I truly believe that. :)

4:33 PM  
Anonymous shauna said...

wow... such a powerful post.

you know i was watching nigella's latest show last night (Nigella Express) and thinking how she is equally lusty and enthused about a bean than she is a hunk of chocolate. none of this Good Food Bad Food bullshit... what a nice place to be :)

5:44 PM  
Blogger PastaQueen said...

I'm honored my post inspired such deep thinking. Good luck to you!

2:27 PM  

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