Sunday, 31 July 2011

Tried Everything

Here are some of the things I have tried to help with depression
1) Medication: This was a big thing in the beginning, taking Seroquel, Celexa, Welburtin, Effexor and one other one that I can't remember, all of them at the same time and very high doses at one point.  Dr's are great, but in my case would just up the dose and add a new med without taking me off any.  It was a big mess and would recommend a specialist who knows the medication inside and out.
2) Counselling: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) The idea with this is changing the faulty (not necessarily wrong) thought process and creating new healthy ones.
3) B12 supplements and shots: B12 has been linked with chronic depression and when I had my b12 tested I was critically low.  This was something I had to ask for from my Dr, again they are not always up to date on current research.
4) Tanning and SAD Lamp: Yes I am very aware of the risks of tanning and one of the side effects of one of the meds was sensitive skin to sun, but a low time in a tanning bed in the dead of winter did help slightly. My depression is always worse in the winter.
5) Somatic Therapy:  This a holistic look at the body as a whole, and the connection with your body and mind.  It may sound crazy and I was a little (okay very) skeptic but felt I had no options left.  It manipulates the body and lets the body tell the clinician what needs to be manipulated in the body (organs, muscles, fluids) This was done about a year and a half ago and really helped me on the road to recovering.  I will write more broadly about each of these in time and share my story and journey with each of them.
6) Getting a puppy: Way better than deciding to have a baby, Ringo gave me a reason to get out of the house, exercise, and to get out of my own way by having to care and look after the little guy.
7) Got rid of as many stressors as possible
8) Research:  Found out as much about depression as I could on my own so I could be my own advocate.
9) Moved to a brighter house: Again with the light so important for me.

All of these things had to be asked for.  If I've learned one thing from depression is you need to ask for help, and in some cases beg.  I have literally called specialist and begged them to get me in.  No one can help you if you don't ask, help doesn't magically fall into your lap and cures don't come without effort.  Every day means researching and learning about depression, opening up and talking to others who have been in similar situations, and being willing to make the changes in your own life.  Very similar to losing weight, really there is no magic pill that will make you skinny, it means helping yourself, and working hard.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Day of Rest

A much needed day of rest, I feel a little worse for wear though.  Every time I stop, sit down and rest, I end up feeling like an feeble old lady whose bones creak.   I think it is because I have been stretching the sore muscles when I am up and about and they feel okay until they cool down again.
Yesterdays work out was a dozy, K had me doing lunges and bicep curls at the same time,  I really hate lunges and have a great dislike(not quite hate) for bicep curls, so together equal a great hatred and when I told K this it seemed to make her very happy.   I think she has a sadistic side to her, because anytime things are not going well between me and an exercise she gets very happy! We also had to do crunches and two other arm curls on a half ball.  Now I am not the most coordinated person, I trip on flat ground over my own feet, so to have me squatting down is a bit dangerous and adding weights...well lets just say I almost took out K and her little folder on me (this could have some hidden meaning, Freud would have a field day with that).  So yes today was much needed to rest my aching muscles, but I was up and ready to go to the gym and feeling a bit antsy this morning.
On a side note we had the most wonderful afternoon with the cutest 2.5 year old little guy who named us Samandon.  Landon's cousin was in town with his wife and adorable little guy who we took to fisherman's wharf, petting zoo, beacon hill park and for ice cream(no ice cream for me).  All in all a perfect afternoon, except for the fact I left the memory card for the camera in the computer (AGAIN).
Looking forward to getting on with a new week with exercise and hoping that I will meet my goal for the last two weeks (I think the weigh in is on Thursday) regardless I have been working hard and in the gym this week 6 out of 7 days, an hour a day and eating right and I need need need to be proud of myself for that alone!  

Friday, 29 July 2011

A Rough Week

It's been a rough week, mostly mentally.  The scale shows a 1.5 pound loss, I am short a pound and a half, which kinda bugs me, I will just have to pick it up a notch, by food journaling.  This is where every food that comes in contact to my mouth gets written down.  I googled calorie counters and have just used the first one to come up so that will be very helpful, I am hoping that this will give me a better understanding of what I have eaten, and what is in the food that I need.

The next week and a half is going to be crazy, very busy and lots of family around (meaning tons of really good meals).  So I am planning on having a full refrigerator and a meal plan so that what ever is cooked there will be enough fruits, veggies, proteins and carbs that are good for me.   We are going away for a convention and I plan on bringing at least one of my own meals a day, and no snacking.  I will try and eat healthy when going out, and make sure to get in to the gym every day regardless of what is going on.
Having no stove is driving me crazy, so tired of BBQ'ing and would love to have quinoa as my protein source instead of fish or chicken.  I am hoping that my  MIL will do the cooking when she is here!

So I am going to try and give today the best I can, have K kick my butt, than on to getting ready for the craziness that will happen in the next 10 days.  I may not be able to blog everyday but will give it my best as it helps keep me accountable!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Going further than before

Yesterday was a really amazing and incredibly difficult work out with K.  We did two different exercise sets each with 3 reps each.  The first set was 5 exercises all working on upper body with barbells and one leg exercise it was really hard, I don't think of myself as strong and by the second rep I was shaking so bad. I had to stop between each rep to relax my muscles and stop the shaking.  The second set was a blur I was so exhausted by the first set that I couldn't believe that I had to start again and was very overwhelming.  I got the first to reps done and K said we were going to do each exercise until I could not physically not go any! Lat I doubled what I normally do I did 40!! I couldn't believe it, the step ups, crunches, weird pulley thing were okay I got about 10 more of each...but the plank I killed 1 minute! I was so so so excited because the plank is a mental exercise as well as physical. When I was doing the plank(s) I was telling myself you have faced much harder obstacles than this, mind you it never feels like it in the moment, and you are doing this for a reason and every bit of hurt is worth what I will get out of it.  It was amazing how that change of mindset allowed me to push further than ever before. I want to remember this everyday, not just in the gym and learn to find the inner strength to fight through anything that life throws at me.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Depression and Kiddlets

One of the rudest questions ever.... so when are you having children?  I know that it is not meant to be rude or hurtful, but it is to me. It feels like no one is even thinking about what is coming out of their mouths. What if I have been trying and not able to? Or just had a miscarriage? Or just don't want to have any? It is such a personal question, and should not be brought up in light conversation.
Being married for 6 years, you get this question a lot (no one asks Landon this question, well not as much as they ask me). Having children is such a huge responsibility, one that I personally feel for myself, that I am not able to give 100% (yet) having been battling with depression.  Depression and kids don't work for me, I know of some people who say that it has helped them.  When you can barely get out of bed, get dressed, hold down a job, cook and clean your house, or have any sort of social life adding a baby to that sort of life is like adding fuel to a fire. Both Landon and I feel very strongly about this, every piece of scientific research I have read says that severe maternal depression can have long term negative effects on the growth of children, both socially and physically.  So until I have been able to cope with my depression and I does not effect our lives there will be no babies coming into our lives.
I feel the desire everyday to add a child to our little family, often so bad it hurts (there have been many tears). So when you ask me when I am  having kids, I hurt, physically and mentally because I don't have an answer for you.  I love my future child too much to subject them to the life that we have lived with depression and haven't had enough time to know that the depression is not coming back to answer that question for myself let alone you.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Thank goodness for eyebrows!

K did a great job yesterday! I swear she can come up with new ways to make me hurt.  Lunges with have got to be kidding me, squats with weights...nearly dying, running sprints...yuck.  I was sweating so bad, rivers running down my face, following the arches of my eyebrows(why I am so glad for eyebrows kept the sweat almost all out of my eyes) running down the side of my face.   I work out without my glasses on as they steam up so I can only seeing blurry images of myself, except when on the treadmill.  So yesterday I was able to see myself and oh my goodness.  I could have played Lord Voldemort (from Harry Potter if you don't know who that is please read the books your missing out) I was so so so pale, it was really gross.  But it was a great work out, I was really pumped up going in to the training and it made a difference for me mentally to fight through each rep and enjoying fighting trying to do each individual exercise perfectly.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Clothes that FIT!!

I was so happy Sunday morning putting on a skirt I haven't been able to wear in over a year! It has take almost 30 pounds to get back in this skirt and I was/am so proud of myself.   It's weird, I have more confidence today then I ever did wearing a size 2.  I feel strong and capable and ready to take on the world, or at least until K knocks me down a peg or two in her work out this morning!
The path in front of me is long and will be hard and I am glad I have found this confidence in myself, as it will help make the journey bearable.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Moments Like These

These are the moments you don't see with depression, yes they are there, but you aren't.  Everyday there is something that makes me laugh or just stop and be grateful for. I have missed much in the last few years, somethings that I have been a part of or there for the event but not really in spirit, and I am so sorry to have missed them.  I have a wonderful little family and I am thankful that they love me unconditionally.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Pink Bicycle Reward

So food is such a major part of how we celebrate and socialize that last night when I wanted to celebrate losing 6 pounds what else could I do other than go out for dinner.  Our food options without a kitchen have been limited.  I was looking for an amazing burger, something a little more than red robins or white spot, so Landon suggested the Pink Bicycle, and wow what good burgers!  But I managed to cut some calories out of the meal, ordering water, and only eating half of the fries and no sauce (ketchup, mayo, etc) with the fries.  Dang it was a good burger and worth the calories that I will have to burn off later.
So as excited as I was to loose 6 pounds, it was a little frustrating to not have "Biggest Loser" numbers.  Where you loose 5-6 pounds a week, and shrink before the nations eyes.  So onto the next two weeks with the same goal of 5 pounds!
The exercise of the day ripping out old hardwood floor with gross linoleum on top.  It is my rest day, but I really have been itching to feel my muscles working hard, so floor is the answer! 

Friday, 22 July 2011

I did it!

My first two weeks with K and I am down 6 pounds!  189 now!  I never plan to see a 190 ever again. Thank you K

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Instant Gratification

So K has asked me to stay off the scale this week until Friday, when we do our first weigh in.  I DON'T like this, I like getting on the scale every morning to keep me on track and to motivate me.  I love instant gratification, it is part of the reason I got into this mess with my weight. I managed to stay off until this am, I needed to know, and was feeling a bit discouraged.  Happy numbers! My Goal is to have lost 5 pounds in two weeks, as that will get me to 30 by the end of September.  So I will let you know Friday if I've done it or not, it will be close that's for sure, as the whole eating healthy thing is really killing me.  I have been dying for a white spot chicken burger with fries and chipoltle mayo, or a red Thai curry....but I made an awesome strawberry chicken salad for dinner instead!  I have been doing good, just finding that no matter how much fruit and veggies and proteins(yuck) I consume, I am craving fatty foods, and feeling like I am missing out...Okay enough about food I am driving my self crazy!
Oh yah I rocked 30 push ups today, I was so excited when I finished the 1st rep, I couldn't stop smiling.  I really didn't think I could do one, let alone a rep of ten!  So, stoked.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Wobbly Bits

I was running on the treadmill, yes running, I was reminded of Bridget Jones Diary and her talking about her wobbly bits, and it made me smile. Ahhh wobbly bits, we all have some somewhere, or think we do at least.   Running for the first time in years in front of a crowed gym will make you feel every wiggle and jiggle you have, and thanks to the surrounding mirrors show them to you as well!   I was told by K to switch up my cardio, to do some intervals and try some different machines.  Supposedly intervals create a harder recovery for your body later on and cause more calories to burn.  Getting your heart rate to increase and decrease is really good too, I can't remember why as I was busy trying to get through training and could barely breath let alone take in and recall much information later.  The workout was really hard, mentally and physically, the pounding of my body for every step was very difficult.  It felt the the whole room was watching me, and I had to talk myself through the 30 minutes of intervals reminding myself that know one really cares what I look like.  Besides if they have the ability to judge me they aren't working out hard enough! And do I really care what strangers think about me?  And then a much larger lady came in and started working out, and I was so proud of her and really encouraged by watching her work so hard.  I realized that my thinking was way off, anyone at the gym knows how hard each one of us is working and what we are working for.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Inspiring Trust

I have been wondering the last little while why I am able to be pushed so hard by K.  At first I thought it was my pride, cause I sure have a lot of it and I hate being embarrassed in front of someone and to appear weak.  But on more reflection it's because she knows what my body/I am capable, and only asks that of me.  Trusting in my self is especially hard after dealing with depression and anxiety attacks, as it often it felt like my body was letting me down.  I would make some plans and want to do something and than when the time came I would be so down and sad that I could barely leave my bed, let alone get dressed and imagine leaving the house.  Or I could be out somewhere, and out of the blue I would have a panic attack and be left short of breath, drenched in sweat (not an exaggeration sometimes I could ring out my clothes) and shaking.  So needless to say I have trust issues with what I believe I am capable of doing, and am glad that K doesn't see me the way I see me.  I am learning to see myself through her eyes and am in awe of my body and it's limitations which seem endless!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

This Weeks Challenge

Sorry about the last post, I was a bit of a debbie downer, I really hate "failing" at something.  However I have been incredibly sore this weekend, especially in the areas where I was struggling with the exercises, so yahh they worked, and all the tears and sweat were worth it! So So glad so now I am looking forward to working with K 3X's this week, I guess I can't imagine anything worst then last Friday...but she has surprised me every time.   So my big challenge is that we have no kitchen, so eating healthy will be more difficult. Food will be BBQ'd, as we have no other way to cook anything.

So here are the new pictures, yuck, yuck and yuck!
These pics will help me eat healthy this week, that is for sure! Summer really makes it easier to eat healthy, lots of fruits and veggies.
So my challenge for this week is to make super yummy healthy meals, stay away from eating out, and leave the pizza I bought for Landon's lunch. Really Landon pizza, of all the food's in all the world and you brought that into my life....temptation!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Bad Day

Yesterdays appointment with K was really hard, by the end of it I was near tears.  Almost all my exercises were with barbells squats with an extra 25 pounds, straight lead lifts, and more.  It was so painful and very difficult. There were two exercises, one that had me with my butt out, back arched and parallel to the ground and shoulders back and head up and lifting 25 pounds working on my lats.  Even by the third set of reps I still hadn't gotten it right, which was frustrating and embarrassing.  When it comes to using weights you have to be so careful to do it right or you can really hurt yourself, so K wasn't really happy and kept correcting me.  Which I know is great to get it done right, but I hate, hate, hate doing something wrong and when I can't get it right I usually end up giving up, but there is no way I was giving up in front of K. So I came home and to lick my wounded pride, and didn't end up eating the salad I had planned. Two homemade soft tacos later I curled up in bed, the house was a mess and I just couldn't bring myself to care about it.  So glad that today is my rest day, we will be in Vancouver buying a kitchen from Ikea...yahhh for renos?
Hope you all have a good weekend

Friday, 15 July 2011

Introducing K

So my trainer is this little very skinny beautiful 22 year girl we will call K, which doesn't do much for the self esteem but we are working on that.  K is fantastic and kicks my butt, hard.  I thought I was working myself out hard when I've been doing cardio in the past 2 months, I mean having your heart rate at 175+ and burning 550 calories an hour has been hard... but it's got nothing on K.  So my first time I went in thinking that I would do my cardio afterwards because hey I'm just that good and working that hard....wrong so wrong.  By the time I was done doing my cool down stretches it was all I could do to keep my lunch down, and I weakly wobbled out of the gym and sat in the car until I was with it enough to drive home.  Yes it was that bad, however the next time had nothing on the first time.  I went in confident that I could get through the day with out whining and moaning for my life to be over, but K had changed all the exercises (working the same muscles, just differently) and decided to push me.  Yep I nearly died the last time but she thought I could work a little harder.  So instead of just doing the 12 reps of whatever if it looked like I wasn't shaking and grimacing we would do "just a couple more".  "Let see how long you can hold this plank" after 45 minutes of exercise this is not a welcome comment, but I did an extra 15 seconds for at total of 45 seconds, which might be easier if you had any upper body strength and not holding up over 190 pounds.  I showed her, yeah right she can probably do the cursed plank for about 5 minutes. I also discovered that I could sweat so much that i had a river running into my ear, very gross, and all I could think about (other than i was dying) was that I was going to be the first person to get swimmers ear from exercising on dry land with no water insight.  K is patient and very encouraging and feels that she can help me loss 30 pounds by the end of September, as long as I eat right and am in the gym about 6 days a week, 3 with her, 3 by myself.  So with the 30 pounds dangling in front of me I get ready to have my butt handed to me again today.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Wow Thanks!

Thanks so much for the encouraging posts and emails.  It really means a lot to me.  One of the reasons I started this blog is because every time I have put myself out there during the last 6 years I have gotten some sort of result, sometimes bad and sometimes great.  The bad: asking for help and being turned away, or told your unstable and essentially crazy...needless to say doctors have been changed, and relationships have been damaged some beyond repair.   The good: asking for help from the right people (friends, family and doctors) get results, discovering that when I talk about depression that I am not alone and more people than you would know suffer from mental illness, going back to school and realizing that I have a passion for learning and that I am smarter than I thought, admitting you have a problem and getting help, and many many more things.  Yes I have been hurt by putting myself out there, but over all I have been helped more than hurt.  So again thank you for your encouragement, it feels so good to know I have you all by my side.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


The Road By Cormac McCarthy is the best description of depression I have come across, it is not written about depression but but I found the post-apocalyptic world similar to the world that I often have to face.    I highly recommend this book if you are ever trying to understand what living with depression is like, as the worlds are very alike.

Depression is something that I have a hard time talking about, I feel like I don't understand it, even after 6 years.  I don't know if I will ever completely understand it. Here is what I know about it, it can be stress related, triggered by past traumas, anger, environmental, seasonal, cognitive, situational, or genetic. It can last for a week or for a lifetime.  Medication doesn't always help, doctors don't always know what they are doing and everyone has an opinion. And everyone suffers differently. I am "officially" diagnosed with severe clinical depression.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Beginning

So I have decided to start blogging about losing weight, and coming back from the dark depths of depression.  During my depression I gained 92 pounds over a 5 year period.  I could blame it on the medication, the depression, but the blame falls on my shoulders alone.  Everyday that I made an unhealthy eating choice and was curled up in bed not exercising that was my fault.  Yes, the medication I took caused my appetite to increase, and for me to feel sluggish but ultimately the choices I made were poor choices.  Cheetos, chocolate, and sour soothers are not on the food pyramid and should never been eaten in meal size quantities.  I tried during the the last 6 years to try exercising, but never lasting long, and always giving up because I wasn't seeing results.  There were a few reasons I wasn't seeing results; such as I was eating unhealthy food and binge eating(yes I have gotten help for that), not knowing how to exercise, and the biggest reason was just feeling overwhelmed and alone.

 This February two things happened to make my life change.  The first was a class I was taking about behavior modification with involved a project in which I had to change a behavior of mine, I knew I wanted to lose weight and get in shape and found the tools in this class, but I was reluctant to put it on paper and expose myself(kinda like I am doing now).  At this same time I watched an episode on the Biggest Loser, now I am not a fan of reality TV, but when you are in school and looking to procrastinate you will watch almost anything...even Jersey Shore...which I'm sure killed off a few of my brain cells.  Well I watched the show in its entirety that week, cried during every episode and felt inspired and empowered to change my life.   So armed with my behavior modification tools, I started exercising, and only during exercise could I watch certain TV shows, I had my bike set up in front of the computer and went to work.  Encouraged by those on the Biggest Loser who went in front of millions of people and bared their souls in order to change their lives got me going.

This is me in the beginning of February, when you are fat there is not a lot of pictures of you.

Things have changed since mid February for starters I have lost 25 pounds (I started at 217) and am around 191 right now, about two months ago I joined a gym and started working out 5x a week for about an hour on the elliptical, and last week I got a trainer and am on a very healthy eating plan.  The most amazing thing...other then having clothes fit, is the depression has truly lifted. I know the depression isn't gone for good, I figure it will be around for the rest of my life....but exercise helps.

This is a more recent picture, actually the only picture I have since the last one was taken of myself, here I have lost about 20 pounds you can see it in my face a lot.
I plan on taking more pictures of my self in my workout clothes weekly, not sure how often I will post pictures of myself but monthly for sure.  I hope that you will come on this journey with me back to the size I used to be.