Feeling Better…Why Not Join Me?

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My “Before” Seroquel Spider Belly picture with Coach Lucy, J.D.

(I am not with child…I’m pushing 50!)  

Then again, age is relative, right? While surfing memoirs on Amazon, I saw  Dr. Frieda Birnbaum’s book. She had twin boys at age sixty! 

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I wish her all the happiness in the world, but I must admit that upon learning why her life began at sixty, my first thought was:

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Back to business…

In the past 3 weeks I stopped binging, I started using the free Lose It! app (described in my last post), and I started drinking water every day. I’ve lost about 7 pounds and feel much healthier!

If you’re tempted to join me, here are some ways to psych yourself up:

Pick up a ten pound weight or something that weighs around that much. Now imagine carrying that around all day long….or if you’re where I’m at weight-wise, imagine carrying three of them!

I suggest you visit Target’s dressing room, take off your clothes, and look at the full-length mirror. (I’m not kidding.) That was my wake-up call.

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Exercise

Before I got sick at Christmas, I followed “Dr. Alsuwaidan-style” exercise. If you’re ready to bring exercise into your life, get the okay from your doctor. Next, please take a look at my post about this awesome psychiatrist’s suggestions for working out for your mood, not just your bod. I plan on returning to Dr. A’s style of exercise in May.

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Psychiatrist Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan practices what he preaches!

Daily Water Intake

Of course you should talk with your psychiatrist before doing something new on the dietary front. When you start increasing your water intake, do it safely because you can mess up your electrolyte balance if you don’t. Keep in mind that if you take lithium like I do, you need to be extra cautious when it comes to how much water you drink. I know you know that!

I liked these Mayo Clinic & LIVESTRONG‘s links. They have 1-page (very) general guides suggesting safe daily H20 amounts, but they aren’t geared for those who take psych meds. So put your pdoc to good use and ask him/her about it!

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Lose It! worked for me before in 2012. It was awesome until I made the ginormous mistake of tapering off meds & relapsing. It wasn’t Lose It’s fault that I gained back the weight. Anyway, the good news is that it’s working again and it’s easy (and dare I say it?) fun & educational to use.

If you want to lighten up what you carry around, c’mon, join me! (I’m not being paid by Lose It! to write this. I wish!)

I created a Lose It! group called “Wondrous Writers Weight Loss Group” and I really want some company there. Visit https://www.loseit.com to sign up – it’s free. Once you sign up, look for the group by that title.

You can also write your email in the comments, and I can send you a Lose It! invite. 

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So true

To be clear, I won’t be switching this blog to a weight-loss blog anytime soon. 😉 I wanted to share my good news with you, and double-check if anyone else wants to participate with me.

I’ll see you next week, and as always, thanks for reading!!!!

love,

Dyane

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Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.

I’ve Lost It!

 

 

LoseIt Before

Um…Lucy ate the entire pint of talenti dark chocolate gelato in one sitting. Not me!

I never had a significant weight gain until bipolar disorder entered the picture. I was a high school cross country team runner until I blew out my knee playing basketball. I eventually had successful anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery, and learned how to use weight lifting to strengthen the muscles around my knee.

Long before I was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder, I worked at a local gym as a front desk attendant. I was responsible for opening the gym weekdays at the grisly hour of 5:30 a.m. and greeting groggy members.

At the front desk I handed out workout towels to the eclectic membership which ranged from the founder of Netflix (before he became a billionaire and built his own gym) to University of California professors, artists, high-tech employees and the homeless.  

A year into the job, weary of being known as the “counter girl”, I became certified as an American Council on Exercise personal trainer, which was incredibly challenging. Studying for the certification was as difficult as any university class I took. I cried with relief and joy when I found out I passed my A.C.E. exam! From then on I trained members how to use the equipment, designed their exercise programs, and taught circuit training classes for two years.  

My first major weight gain happened six years ago when I was in the thick of bipolar depression; hopeless and deeply depressed.

The semi-smile you see here is the fakey kind…

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Not feeling the Christmas spirit! 

Our house only has a few mirrors, and they all show how we look from the chest up, so you can imagine how easy it might be to ignore a growing weight problem. “Out of sight, out of mind” rings a bell. 

Yet I didn’t totally have my head in the sand about my body. I knew I gained a lot of weight once my Seroquel spider belly popped out and none of my clothes fit. 

Two weeks ago I had an epiphany in Target. (Where else? The Vatican???)

Accompanied by my oldest daughter Avonlea, I was in an extremely well-lit changing room trying on dresses in front of Target’s full-length mirror. After one glance at myself, I didn’t recognize the body I saw in the mirror.

It was apparent that if I kept up my habit of eating gelato (and a lot more sweets than that since the Italian Ben Lomond Baking Company opened down the street), my fatigue would worsen and I’d be asking for diabetes along with a host of other maladies. 

It was time to stop sabotaging my physical and mental health.

Avonlea reminded me of my success using the free internet program/app Lose It! in which I gradually and safely lost sixty pounds after that Christmas photo was taken.

Lose It! claims that its followers do better when a few of one’s friends use the program. There’s a rumor this popular blogger might join me in the Lose It! program. 

To that blogger I say, “C’mon, you have nothing to lose by trying Lose It! except for adipose tissue (a.k.a. fat)!”

images Adipose tissue – it’s what’s for dinner!

For the past three weeks I’ve eaten only low-fat, mostly organic, non-GMO-sourced food. I returned to drinking plenty of water – a good idea since I take lithium. I follow these water guidelines to be safe. The better-quality food I now eat doesn’t cost our family a great deal more because there’s a savvy shopper in the family. Craig worked in kitchens for years as a cook to put himself through school. He continues to cook at home and prefers to buy groceries. That’s fine with me!

I’ll be honest with you – I was eating a pint of talenti a night, okay? That volume of gelato adds up calorically and financially.

Can you see why I can’t blame my weight gain on my meds?

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I don’t miss my small mountain’s worth of gelato a week – it’s a miracle.

I feel much better, but it’s definitely challenging to sit with my emotions instead of distract myself with food. Reading Geneen Roth’s classic books about compulsive overeating and attending OA meetings once helped me grapple with compulsive overeating. Now I’m lucky to have my therapist to turn to; she’s one of the healthiest people I know.

Once I get out more this summer and face a few social situations, I’ll be tested, but I’ll figure it out.

My goal is to look like this:

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Don’t be jealous!

Just kidding!

Seriously, if you’re in the same boat as me, consider checking out Lose It! (Forgive me if I sound like an infomercial – I simply like their program, but I don’t work for them.)

You may be wondering where exercise fits in this regime. Well, I plan on returning to what I call my “Dr. Alsuwaidan-style exercise very soon.

Unknown-4Psychiatrist/ISBD Chair Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan

Ever since my Christmas illness cramped my cardio habit, I dropped my workouts to the wayside. I miss the way they make me feel, especially in terms of alleviating anxiety. So yes, I shall sweat again soon.

In the meantime, let me know if you want to try Lose It! by setting up your profile (it’s easy to do) and “friend” me under my name. I’ll be there to cheer you on.

I’m experienced in encouraging gym members to achieve their goals, so I’d be more than honored to encourage any member of our tribe to feel better.

Lots of love & see you next week,

Dyane

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.

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