Sunday, February 09, 2014
I will start off by saying I have had some really bad experiences over the past several months and I have gained a lot of weight. My scale is broken and I don't actually know how much weight I have gained, and I'm afraid to step on a scale. I have refused to weigh in even at doctor's appointments.
I won't go into every detail of what happened, but here are some highlights:
I have mentioned before that I struggle with PTSD and bouts of depression. I will sometimes go through phases when I become almost catatonic. I felt one of these bouts coming on, and I went on a drug called Abilify to help. I had been on a similar drug before with no problems at all, and Abilify is supposed to be less likely to cause any issues, so I wasn't concerned about side effects. At first it helped, but then it started making me gain weight -- RAPIDLY. I gained ten pounds in a week. I didn't freak out about it at first. I thought, "oh, it's just water, perhaps I ate something salty" but then the weight never came off. Then a bit later it happened again -- ten pounds in a week. Then again. I got off of the medication. I stopped tracking my food because the drug made me ravenous. I was eating FAR too much but I really, truly could not help it. It was a very bizarre hunger. I could eat a large meal and two hours later I would be hungry enough to eat another large meal. I had trouble sleeping because I would lie in bed and be so HUNGRY. I had dreams about eating. It was terrible.
I know some of you may be skeptical that this would happen, but I have a friend who gained 61 pounds in about seven weeks with a similar drug. My weight gain was less than that and happened over about three months.
Now, this would be bad for ANYONE, but I have multiple endocrinological disorders, and it threw off my whole body chemistry. I am finally just now starting to get that under control.
Shortly after that, I had another traumatic incident that I don't want to get into. But something bad and stressful happened and it made me feel bad about myself, and it made it difficult to take care of myself.
THEN MORE STUFF HAPPENED. One morning in June 2013, I woke up with a sharp pain in my chest. I could barely move and it hurt to breathe. Once I figured out that I wasn't having a heart attack, I did some Google searches to find out what it was. I thought I had developed a rib inflammation, and all of the medical web sites I saw suggested rest. I didn't go to a doctor immediately. I know this will sound silly, I really know that, but I was afraid to go to the doctor because I didn't want them to see how much weight I had gained. I was so ashamed. I was devastated. I was so embarrassed and afraid that I didn't go to the doctor for chest pain, and it looked like it was costochondritis which resolves itself anyway, so no worries right? WRONG. Almost eight months later, I am still in pain every day. Any kind of exercise hurts. I have lost a lot of strength on the right side of my body. I finally got the courage to go to the doctor, but no one can figure out what it is. My X-rays showed nothing. I have good days and bad days, but I'm in pain every day and I don't know why. I hadn't lifted weights for a week when it happened, and I literally just woke up with this pain in my chest and it extends to my shoulder and back. It feels like someone shot an arrow through me. I've been scheduled for physical therapy, but again, no one knows what it is or why my muscles don't work on the upper right side of my body.
Needless to say, being in constant pain added to my poor mental state.
I moved in July. I am low income and it took me FOUR YEARS to find an apartment. I was so excited because I found a beautiful apartment in a neighborhood I like. It's a secure building and I have a washer/dryer and dishwasher, and it was recently remodeled. I never have to take the bus anymore because I'm close to everything. Then more awful things happened.
After I moved (which was a terrible experience with my chest/arm pain), I bought myself a bottle of cheap wine to relax. I had probably two glasses before bed and I went to sleep. I woke up with a rash. I had used a lot of cleaning products the day before, and I'd had the wine, and I figured I was allergic to one of those things. I became concerned after a couple of weeks when I noticed that my rash wasn't healing, and also it seems to keep replenishing itself.
After four weeks in this apartment, I discovered the problem: BED BUGS. They were here when I moved in. They took over EVERYTHING. I had to throw away a lot of things, including my bed. I sleep on the floor, which has only exacerbated my chronic pain problems. Just trying getting up from a lying-down position when your have severe muscle pain on one side of your body.
It gets so much worse. My landlord was very, very slow in addressing the problem. I live in a condo building and there is no on-site manager, so I'm very concerned about how in the world they are going to deal with this problem on the scale of the building. It's a HUGE building and there are many different landlords and many different homeowners. For reasons I don't understand, we have been dealing with a lot of incompetence when it comes to exterminators, and I've been waiting for proper extermination since AUGUST. I have been suffering with this since AUGUST. I'm covered in bites, literally from my head to my toes, which really doesn't help my self-esteem that has been affected by this weight gain. I know all of the home remedies and I practice them, but there's only so much that can be done until I get proper extermination. The exterminator came once in November, but they never did a follow-up appointment (even though they were paid for one) so I got re-infested. I'm totally miserable. Between the pain and the bites and not being able to sit on furniture, I am physically uncomfortable in every way possible.
Oh, but it gets worse!
Starting in October, one of my neighbors started acting weird. His behavior became more and more erratic, and it soon became apparent that he is suffering from psychosis. Unfortunately, a lot of his delusions seem to be directed at me. I have NO idea why -- I have never talked to him or interacted with him.
He believes that I break into his apartment and spy on him. He comes to my door and yells a lot of vulgar stuff at me. He slams doors and screams at all hours. I called the police, and he acted normal and they left him with a warning. He told the police that he had just been playing the radio loud. Once the cops left, he came up to my door and called me lots of obscene things I can't type on SparkPeople. I have started recording the things he yells and I played them for my landlord (who THANK HEAVENS is also this guy's landlord) and they are thinking of evicting him, but that takes a long time because he hasn't attacked me or anything. He does, however, scream profanities and vague (and some not-vague) threats. He talks to himself and gets into arguments with people who aren't there. He screams and it's terrifying. Two other people have complained but nothing has been done for some reason.
It's getting worse and I'm afraid even to take out my garbage. I will have to move if he isn't evicted, but if he's evicted, he'll still know where I live so that's not so great, either. He frequently yells things like "B**** I WILL KILL YOU" at no one in particular.
On my 34th birthday I felt stronger than I've ever felt in my life. On my 35th birthday I just felt like a shell. I have socially isolated myself. I can't really do a lot of exercise and I let my gym membership lapse, but I am going to start it up again. I need to start tracking my food again. I really need a lot of help this time.
My elderly cat is slowly dying, as well, and that is yet another problem.
One of the more important things that SparkPeople taught me before is that you won't want to take care of yourself if you hate yourself, and right now I hate myself. I have to undo this damage if I ever want to feel right again.
So, that's my life, currently! I hope I have something better to report, soon. I should reset all of my SP counters because I can't look back on what WAS without beating myself up about what IS.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
My weight hasn't changed much since August. I've actually gained a pound or two. I'm still not weighing myself, but I did catch a glimpse of my weight at the doctor's office last week -- I was 150 while fully clothed and after eating a couple of meals. I haven't been exercising as much, and my eating hasn't been so great either, so I'm not expecting big results until I really buckle down and change my diet.
However, I am excited about one thing -- my size is stable for the first time ever. I haven't bought "nice" clothes in years and I always have multiple wardrobes in varying sizes in order to accommodate my yo-yo dieting. This is embarrassing to say, but until this past year, I had never worn the same size clothing for more than three months straight. I've almost never worn out a piece of clothing. I always get rid of my clothes after not being able to get into them for a while. From a very young age my weight fluctuated a lot -- I was ALWAYS either gaining or losing. It's actually kind of nice to be stable, and I'm close enough to my goal that if I buy certain styles of clothing I know they will still fit me even if I lose 10-15 lbs.
I am slowly getting over my anxiety over shopping at stores that don't have a plus-size line. Even though I am well aware of my size, I imagine that if I buy clothes from (or even enter) a "regular" store, that somehow I'll magically gain 50 pounds in five minutes and nothing will fit. I'm probably five pounds too heavy to get into a size 8, so this anxiety is getting a bit ridiculous. I bought some size M tops from Victoria's Secret and they fit nicely! I can't weight to get more clothes without feeling compelled to shop at thrift stores or Ross because I'm worried I won't be able to wear my clothes for more than three months.
I'm still 15 lbs above a healthy BMI, and my body fat, while lower than one would expect for someone my height and weight, is still higher than I would like. I may not be able to get all the way down to 130, but I should be at a healthy body fat percentage in the mid-130s.
I'm getting there slowly, but I'm okay where I am.
Monday, November 05, 2012
I don't have a lot of pictures of myself at my heaviest weight. I avoided the camera a lot back then. I didn't get out much so there weren't many occasions to take pictures of me, anyway.
I was looking for a specific picture today, and I found quite a few pictures of me taken in 2002-2003, which is when I was at my heaviest.
This picture was definitely taken in 2002. I'm not sure I what I weighed, but probably around 250 lbs:
Now, I realize that in addition to my size, I'm wearing a bulky sweater and this picture was taken at an unflattering angle, but I still can't believe that's what I looked like ten years ago when I was about 23 or 24 years old. I don't look much better in other pictures taken from better angles.
That sweater was a size 24W sweater from Lane Bryant.
Here's a recent picture of me at size 10 (age 33):
Saturday, November 03, 2012
In addition to my regular weekly goals, I'm not going to weigh myself for the month of November. I'm getting a little obsessive about the scale and it's depressing me. Also, if I see a "bad" number I get depressed, but if I see a "good" number I feel better about letting myself slack a bit.
So, I'm just going to avoid it for a month. I put my scale at the back of my closet. So far so good. I weighed myself on Halloween and I was 149. I was retaining a ton of water so I didn't update my ticker.
I'm also going to go through the whole month without any alcohol at all. I like to have wine on the weekends when I watch TV (and sometimes during the week) but I'm abstaining for now. Wish me luck!
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I really slacked off this month. I slacked off last month, too. I'm fortunate that the scale hasn't been too unkind. My weight fluctuates around the upper 140s.
I haven't been able to ride my bike because my pedals get really slippery in rain and I LIVE IN SEATTLE so that's a problem. I had good intentions -- I really was going to ride in the rain but I'm not comfortable with standing up on my pedals to go up hills, and again -- SEATTLE -- no matter where I go, I'm going to find hills. Also, my bike saddle is wobbly so I have to have someone look at it and I haven't gotten around to taking it to the shop.
No worries, though, I have a gym and I have fitness videos, so I need to revamp my plan and really take responsibility for my eating habits.
First of all, I am going to hit the gym three times a week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I will do strength training for 30 minutes and then at least 60 of cardio.
On my days away from the gym, I will stick to bike rides (weather and bike saddle permitting) and Turbo Fire/Jillian Michaels DVDs. All in all I want to do five hours a week of cardio. I just have to keep on myself about food and stay away from alcohol!
I was on a pretty good regimen of only having only about four drinks a month, but at some point that went by the wayside. Oops!
I still want to lose close to 20 lbs but given my size, hunger levels, thyroid disease, etc, it will probably take a while. Losing weight at 148 lbs is a bit more difficult than losing weight at 220 lbs. My eating habits haven't even changed all that much, but I get so hungry and I don't want to go through the whole deprivation thing again.
I need to cook more and eat more vegetables, so I'm going to try to make a trip to my local produce stand once a week. I was doing that for a while and it helped a lot.
So that's me, looking forward to the end of 2012 and beyond. I have no idea how long it will take to get these 15-20 lbs off!
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