Hey there everyone, I am happy to let you know that things have gotten substantially better.
I have communicated with my husband about my mental illness. I have sought out help from professionals, and between a combination of therapy and medication, I have been able to once again feel like a productive person.
I no longer feel like I am a waste of space, or that the air I breathe is being wasted.
Also, we were approved as foster parents and have officially been licensed and our home is now recognized as a “Foster Care Facility”. Our social worker has done extensive interviews, and we have done intense training to ensure that not only am I prepared to have kids, but that we offer some kiddo a safe place. Our intention is to adopt a child in need, take them in, and give them the parenting we wish we received as children.
All of that stated, I am coming to the main update of my personal blog. My weight.
I started this health journey a few months ago and have struggled to find the will to work out, diet right, and firmly believe that the lack of energy I had to even get out of bed due to depression caused a lot of my health problems in regards to weight. I had originally started to realize I had a problem mentally when I hit 399lbs. A scary number that I never in my life thought I would get to.
Just I hopped on the scale yesterday and am happy to report that I have lost 42lbs, putting me at a current weight of 357lbs.
Now, for those interested, here is what I did.
1) I had to get myself in a better mental space. Every time I tried working out or dieting, my brain would look for reasons for me to fail. My depression would take over and drive me down into self doubt and loathing that I’d never thought possible. I got a hold of my doctor, received therapy, and have been prescribed Zoloft. I cannot urge you enough to get a hold of a doctor. Take mental illness seriously. Do not let yourself or others come up with some sort of excuse like “it’s all in my head” or “I can’t afford this”. At the end of the day you need to make yourself mentally capable. Mentally sound. Mentally fit. I can say with first hand experience that medication CAN work. Even if Zoloft doesn’t work for you, there are many medications out there that can influence mood and combat depression. Keep searching, and get the help you need to start taking care of yourself.
2) Once I was mentally stable enough to not give up on everything I tried doing within a week- Exercise, Diet, College, etc: I focused on my second biggest problem: Diet.
The world Diet itself, used to make me sad and depressed. I mean, it has the word DIE in it.
The biggest thing I can recommend here is that you need to be honest and hold yourself accountable. I know that I can eat an entire large Domino’s pizza by myself. Is that something I am ashamed of? No. I fucking love pizza. What I can say, is that I no longer eat 3 large pizzas a week. I order pizza no more than twice a month, and I have also started ordering one large pizza, with my limit at a half, while my husband can eat the other half or save some for his lunch at work the next day. In short, DON’T cut things that you love to eat out of your life. Cut it back, dial it down, but do not remove it. It will completely destroy your desire to diet and lose weight. You know what I am talking about. You tell yourself, “Just one Girl Scout Cookie,” and then the next thing you know, the whole box is gone because you didn’t just take one cookie and put the box up, instead you took the box with you to the couch and you’re hating yourself for being a pig.
The next thing I had to admit to myself about dieting is that I hate prepping meals for the week. While that works for other people, I CANNOT sit there, cook for an hour or so, and then spend my week eating cold as hell meals that had to be reheated in the microwave or oven. I get completely annoyed and disgusted. Maybe I don’t want the same thing every night, or maybe I simply changed my mind last minute because something else looked better, or I wanted to get something from the store because I was feeling creative in the kitchen.
To combat this:
I started buying food I knew I loved. I love fried chicken. I love Pork Chops. I love Steak. I love Beef.
So what did I do for chicken? I buy a pack of bone in chicken legs at our local grocery store, separate them into meal portions for my husband and I (2 legs each) and stick them into the freezer portioned. From there, if my husband or I feel like chicken for dinner, I will grab a portioned package from the freezer and toss it into the fridge to thaw for the next dinner.
For pork chops, if they are thicker, we do the same thing but one each and if it is a thinner chop we do 2 a piece. Same for steaks.
For the ground beef, we separate into medium sized rolls in different Ziploc bags for the freezer. The reasoning for that, is that we also pair a portioned package of ground beef with one or two bags of frozen stir fry vegetables from the store. Then we take 1 cup of brown rice (uncooked), and cook it. We mix all three ingredients to make a tasty stir fry.
Generally for vegetables we can get a bag of salad from the store or heat a frozen bag to be a side for other meats.
For out starch, we love potatoes and we love brown rice. The rice is pretty straight forward in how to prepare and can taste different depending on soy sauce or different seasoning (which goes for anything we cook really), but the potatoes are where we have a little fun. We can choose to mash them, cube them and bake them, thin slices and add cheese for au gratin, or make french fries in our deep fryer. We could even grate them for hash browns if we are feeling up to it.
That makes up most of our dinners, which can vary greatly depending on what we use or what seasonings we choose. I mean, tonight we made burgers.
The difference between my diet previously (3 large pizzas a week, taco bell, wendys, etc) and now is completely different. I mean, we still have one or two nights a week where we treat ourselves out, but most nights we get to spend together at our kitchen table, talking about our day.
I fucking hate exercise.
I don’t know about you, but I severely hate exercising in public. I get self conscious and start worrying about what my body looks like to others rather than doing the very best I can to get the most efficient work out. So while I still pay for a membership, I keep facing that personal fear every single time I considered heading to the gym. I then make the excuse that it is too much work for me to get showered and dressed for only a 30 minute workout and a drive all the way across town.
From there I decided that I would do T25 at home. The problem with that, is that in order to do T25 or other home workout videos, I have to again get myself mentally prepared to do it because exercise fucking sucks. It’s not the most fun thing to do, to turn on your television, pop in the disc, and listen to some super buff or fit person reminding you how overweight you are. Don’t get me wrong, T25 does have Sean T, and he is really nice about it, but it gets rather annoying that a skinny person constantly tells you something isn’t hard when you are carrying 200lbs more than them, and feel every step/jump you do much harder because of it.
So, I decided to be honest with myself and find something I have always wanted to do, but never really went for, because of my depression and insecurities. I started doing yoga. It’s low impact, which is a must because of my snapped knee ligament in my right knee. Also, I can get a great work out from doing 30 second poses that are designed for beginners. I’ve been doing it for a while and have doubled my pose holding time from 30 seconds to a minute, and am doing a total of 36 poses. I am starting to get strength in my legs, and feel less wobbly every day that I do it. The best thing about doing Yoga? My husband has found that he rather enjoys it because he chose to join in on a whim. He went and bought a yoga mat and we do Yoga together every day when he gets off of work. While he is much skinnier than me, he is nowhere near as flexible, so it is rather funny to see him struggle getting into positions and poses that I find relatively easy, which also makes me feel better about exercising.
In summary, you need to take care of your mind before you can focus on your body. The biggest thing you can do in regards to that is be honest. Be honest that mental illness is a real thing and that it is kicking your ass. Once you get your mental space fixed or on track, you need to be honest with yourself and address your eating habits and make baby steps to change them for the better. Finally, you have to be honest with yourself in order to find an exercise routine that makes you feel better and refreshed afterwards.
Thanks for letting me rant to you about my personal update. I still play video games and have recently started a YouTube channel where I post almost daily, videos of myself and my family playing games that we love together on the PS4 and computer. Feel free to subscribe here or there in order to keep connected.
That Mental Fight
-Aerick Kerrick / Blaine Frazier