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5/1/14 2:51 P

"I don't personally do well at all with goals anymore. I've so often failed to live up to my own expectations or those of others that I shy away from the whole concept."

I totally understand this. I failed my first weight loss goal. Who cares? I'm still engaged in the effort, and I actually feel pretty good about my progress. I'll get there when I get there. I'm OK with that.

I struggled with major depression in my mid-20's. I recall feelings of deadness interspersed with sadness and anxiety. It went on for a few years. I'm glad you're starting to feel better HEVENLEBLESSED. Good luck with your weight loss efforts and I hope you find Spark People as helpful as I have.


RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
5/1/14 1:35 P

I think that one of my own personal rules, "be kind to yourself", goes about triple when you're on the upswing from depression. I don't personally do well at all with goals anymore. I've so often failed to live up to my own expectations or those of others that I shy away from the whole concept. I cannot handle failure too much or too often; it triggers bad things. So this is the main reason I don't track, by the way -- for me it was just one more thing to potentially fail at, and not even a thing that had anything directly to do with what was going into my mouth. That was my own personal version of "be kind" in a way -- I decided to just focus on what I believed I needed to do and what I wanted to do, and let the chips fall where they may, weight wise. No real goals with it, not at first.

I also found it very important to stay focused in the present. I have so many regrets about the past and so many worries, but none of them are positive things when it comes to changing how I live from day to day. I determined -- and actually have done quite a good job with -- letting those thoughts go when they come up. (Hypothetical example: the scale's up 2 pounds today. I'm not sure if it's a part of a trend or just water weight. Experience has taught me I won't be sure for at least another week. What to do? Relax and let it go as much as possible. Just keep on putting one foot in front of the other in terms of what you eat and how much and when; trust that if you do what you need to do the weight will take care of itself. Usually it does. Another hypothetical example: I'm really hungry (this is a huge trigger for bad thoughts) and start worrying that the rest of my life is doomed to crazy hunger, despite that for the last several months I've really been just fine, normally. What to do? Set it aside until I've had time to eat and let things digest. Magically the bad thought goes away, and I'm fine. That sort of thing.)

And just overall -- be kind. Remember you are engaging in a lifelong change and any step forward is something real gained, and any step back is only temporary. Don't try to do too much too fast. Don't try to push your limits when your mind is telling you the consequences of failure are too high. Don't cut calories to the bone at the outset (1500 or even higher may be just fine), and don't try to commit to 2 hours of exercise a day unless you love every second of it. Keep your day-to-day goals flexible and with wiggle room where you need it, not absolute.

Finally, there is no such thing as falling off the bandwagon, or having a bad-food day, or cheating/regretting, or anything like that. All is allowed; you decide where your preferred boundaries are and no one else. Depression is powerlessness. You will find strength when you find comfort within your own rules for your own life. If you feel like you've slipped up or things are sliding, go right back to the rules above about letting it go. Take a deep breath, keep on going forward with your good habits as best you can, and when perspective returns (and only then) think about how and whether you want to change things in terms of your daily routine. And if you ever need to take a step back and do less for a while, that's fine, too.

I feel like I'm writing a self-help book. :) But I think it's really important.

Edited by: RENATARUNS at: 5/1/2014 (13:37)
5/1/14 12:53 P

In the top hot bar, hover over COMMUNITY and SparkTeams is in the drop down. Or click on this link:

5/1/14 12:41 P

How do I join the spark teams? I can seem to find them?! I tried looking up depression but just got articles :-(

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 61,429
5/1/14 11:56 A

I think joining one of the SparkTeams for this condition is a great idea. You might also want to check out "Mind Over Body", a great series of articles for dealing with things like emotional eating. Here's a link:

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen

PBAILEY06 SparkPoints: (36,969)
Fitness Minutes: (37,380)
Posts: 629
5/1/14 10:51 A

I belong to the Dealing with Depression group, and have gotten a lot of wonderful support there.

I am an emotional eater too, both when I'm depressed and stressed, and those two tend to feed off each other with me. For me, I've been working on identifying when I am really hungry vs eating to feel better and finding other activities to feel better. Sometimes that is listening to certain music, or taking a walk, or even just taking a break and walking away from the situation. Its not easy for me, and I'm not always successful, but its a work in progress.

CAPTATHLETICA SparkPoints: (3,771)
Fitness Minutes: (6,266)
Posts: 266
5/1/14 10:27 A

I am diagnosed with bipolar disorder and have see the severe effects of the depressive side (MDD). It's not fun. I've been hospitalized 4 times because of it. What I found that helped me the most on this journey was posting to this site. As you can see I have a few hundred posts that I've made lol. The people here never were once rude, insulting, or mean in any way. They were ALWAYS supportive. So when you feel yourself getting down, come here and send someone an email or post on the boards. We're always here to help you.

Exercise is the second biggest factor for me. It relieves so much anxiety and depression just from a simple workout. Also cut back on sugar and white bread/pasta. You'll be amazed how much your diet effects your mood.

Since eating healthier and losing this weight, I have been able to tolerate my symptoms without the need of medications

BITTERQUILL Posts: 1,584
5/1/14 10:22 A

Check to see if there are SP groups for people going through the same thing. There almost certainly are, and if the group is active you can probably get better advice there. Besides that, just stick with the SP plan for a while, then tweak it here and there when you are comfortable with doing so, to customize it to you. It really does work if you stick with it. :)

5/1/14 8:50 A

After a long battle with MDD (major depressive disorder) i am finally on 2 medications that are working! now i just have to find the motivation to get the weight off that I've gained... I am an emotional eater and i seriously need help getting back on track! Any suggestions?

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