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…

Dyane Chunkers Two..JPG

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?


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:


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



67 thoughts on “I’ve Lost It!

    • Thanks so much for your kind comment, and I must say Lucy is WAY cuter in person! 😉 I’m more than 2x/ your age, so your life will get more spicy, I promise. (In a GOOD way!!!!!)

      Do all you can to take excellent care of yourself. You sound very self-aware for the tender age of 21….I’m sending you my very best and thanks again for stopping by! Dyane

  1. I gained a lot of weight from Seroquel also. And from a bunch of my other meds. BUT, I don’t move nearly as much as I should. I’ll have to check that site out.

    • Yay Leslie, I’d LOVE if you jump on board with us. You can’t beat free….(well, you can, but not in this case!) In the past I would have done the healthy eating and start exercise simultanesouly. I know better now that won’t work for me and only burn me out. Baby steps….moving more awaits us!

      p.s. please let me know if you have any questions. I might actually know the answer! 😉

  2. I’m wondering why this didn’t just pop into my email? What have I done? I’m new at this ‘follow a tag’ business and there you are to encourage me to do it. I have been thru this too and I am now prediabetic or at least for three straight mos my AIC went up up up and then back to normal. But regained 6.

    • I’m terrible when it comes to WordPress tech – it must be a settings thing. I hardly have anything come in my email; it’s all in my Reader, if that makes sense. I’m sorry you got prediabetic; I was “pre-pre” – it sounds like you’re doing everything you can to take care of yourself now!

    • Thanks for letting me know about needing to know a friend’s email in order to add on that friend. I’ll add that info. in my post when I get some time later. Thanks again for doing this with me! 🙂

  3. Thank you for the plug, Dyan. I’m going to look it over this weekend and likely sign up. Together we can do this!

    • My pleasure, Bradley, and I promise I’ll stop pressuring you! If it doesn’t float your boat, no worries! So far 2 blogging pals have joined and we’re creating our own little group on LoseIt. I think it will be fun!

      Take care & you’re right, no matter what, we can (and WILL) do this!

      • Oh good, I’m so glad because, as you know, sometimes it’s a fine line between “encourage” and “pressure”, although I can’t vouch for Lucy. She’s one fierce collie, Bradley, and she read some of your recent blog posts, plus she’s learning how to use my MacBook…you’ve been warned! 😉

  4. You always look beautiful to me dear daughter but must be truthful, on your last visit I noticed the weight gain especially the derrière so..,..I am thrilled to hear that you are back on a healthy regime with exercise and good stuff to eat.
    I am sorry to admit that I did not do the same in a consistent manner. Congratulations . You are one gorgeous gal!!! With brains and talent too. Mama

  5. I SO need to do this. I’ve been comfort eating high sugar foods since my Mom had her stroke. My husband asks me to join him in walking the dogs, but more often than not, I hide out on the couch, overwhelmed and inert.

    • I know, I know – I’m stoked you’re joining me as a….what does Lose It! call it?? Oh yes! An “#accountabilitybuddy”, ha, ha! I’m yours! Welcome aboard the Lose It! train, my friend!

      • I read your latest post, and my heart goes out to you. Praying that the weight eases a.s.a.p…..and I won’t pressure you too much with Lose It!, I promise! 💗We’ll start out slow….

      • There is always the future for you to clean up! You’ve been thorugh hell; I deem your comfort eating to be just fine for now! I’ll be touching base with you about it towards the beginning of May and see where you’re at. XOXOXO

      • Hahaha, maybe she and I can communicate in Urdu! And I’ll join Lose it too. I’m turning into a jiggly mess of a person. Yukh! I’m on a, or trying to be on a sugar free, bread free diet to reduce inflammation but so far the Seroquel spider belly is winning. Your encouragement would be so appreciated! And I now you’ll get to your goal! 💞💞

      • I’d love it if you & Lucy spoke in Urdu! 😉 Yes, please join us on Lose It! Kitt is there as well as More than Mental. It’s a very cool app, so easy to follow, and I’ve definitely learned a thing or two since I started using it. Just go to the website and you can search for me and send a friend request. See you there soon and we’ll lovingly kiss our Seroquel Spider Bellies goodbye! 😉

      • See you there soon! Love to all and goodbye to Seroquel spider belly! On and Derby week’s starting and the Blue Angels are buzzing my neighborhood!!! Spikes my adrenalin!! 💜💙💜💙

    • Hi rebithebipolarbear, I just sent you an invitation! Yay! I haven’t created our group yet but I will do that towards the end of this week, & I’ll make sure to send you an invitation. Please let me know if you have questions by email dyane@baymoon.com. To do something relatively easy to start flushing out your system, drink more water each day. A safe rule of thumb is Not sure where you live, but this is a good time to do it with the warmer weather coming.

      On LIVESSTRONG.com it says, “Helps the Metabolism
      Water plays a role in the metabolism of the food you eat. When you do not drink enough water, your body is not as efficient at this process. A study in the “Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism” found that, in 14 men and women, drinking 17 oz. of water raised the metabolic rate by 30 percent, on average, partly due to the body’s attempts to warm the water after ingestion. The study suggests that increasing your water intake by 1.5 L per day for a year could lead to a 5 lb. weight loss, without making any other changes.”

      Woo hoo! But you want to be safe and not drink too much. Check out this 1-page article (link below) on LIVESTRONG for more details on suggested exact amounts of water intake that are safe! :)))))

      I’m proud of you for joining our intrepid group-to-be:


      • To clarify, I sent you an invite to Lose It! and will send a *separate* invite to the group once I create it.

  6. Please tell me Lucy didn’t really eat the gelato. Isn’t chocolate lethal for dogs? My apologies if you answered this previously. I was lazy and didn’t look at the other comments….

    Sugar is a demon, even for you, Honey Pot! Slay the beast!

    Love and unbridled encouragement—always!


    • No way did my baby eat gelato! I’ve always heard that chocolate is dangerous for dogs!!! I didn’t answer it previously, so I’m glad you brought it up! I’m slaying the beast and it feels really good…..I’ll keep you posted. XOXO p.s. thought of you today when I drove past a building called “The Sandpiper”!!!

      • Oh good! I didn’t think you’d put Lucy anywhere near danger. Best of luck demon slaying! You can do anything, Honey Pot! Thanks for the good “Sandpiper” thoughts….Sneak preview: Sunday’s column is “My Alarm Clock Has Fur.” 🙂

      • I LOVE that title and can’t wait to read it, especially because Lucy wakes me up every morning by lightly jumping on me!

  7. I have gained so much weight since I started on Lithium four years ago. I’ve only managed to even out my weight so at least I’m not gaining anymore. I might check the app and see if I can’t do more than just maintain!

    • That’s awesome you were able to even # out! Give yourself a lot of credit for maintaining! Yes, please take a look at Lose It! when you can, and if it feels right, I’d love for you to join us….whether or not you decide to try it, take a look at your water intake. I’m either all or nothing when it comes to water, and since we’re on lithium, the “nothing” habit must go. If you’re not drinking enough, start with upping the intake before making other changes. Baby steps work! 🙂

  8. My wife is going through a lot of weight gain too and you know what, I love her exactly the way she is. I think your hubby feels the same way!

  9. UGH, weight weight weight…blech. I managed to lose 85lbs through Weight Watchers, but I just can’t kick this blasted final 15. GAH!
    Fight the good fight, Dyane!

    • I’m ASTOUNDED by your incredible weight loss! 85 pounds is amazing. That’s Avonlea + 1/6th of Marilla’s weight. This is going to sound crazy, but to jumpstart weight loss this is what I do: drink a gallon of water a day. And no, I’m not, um…insert any P.C. word you want to use about what I do right here: X .

      I love drinking water, and I feel SO good drinking it throughout the day; the only drawback is the frequent pee factor. Drinking more water might jiggle your final 15. I suggest reading the following LIVESTRONG article when you can, and there are other articles with more detail out there if you want addl.info.

      I was surprised that drinking this amount of H20 was deemed safe by different reputable sources, but I was also glad it was ok to do. 😉


      • Thanks for the tip! Actually, this is a good reminder for me to balance my fluids; I drink about two pots of coffee today, and the occasional cup of water. I should probably reverse that balance somehow… 🙂 Weight loss is hard, but it CAN be done! If I can work that much off, I just know you can, too!

  10. Lady, could I sign up woth lose it to cheer i on too? I think I need to loose some around my tighs too.

    Now Miss Lucy, I know you’re a cute, adorable and honest lady. Pray tell me darling, who buys all those G pints? Daddy Craig?

    OK enough for now am off to my village of origin 6 hours away from the crazy city I reside in. You know water from the rocks and bush lamps for the night. No one is fat there hahaha

    • I just sent you an invitation, honey, and I’ll be forming our group this week! You can still get started in the meantime! I’m thrilled you will be a part of our awesome adventure! Email me with any questions, anytime. You are too funny – I adore your sense of humor.
      Hope you’re doing okay in that slender village! Love you! 👍❤️

      • Oh my I am becoming so old school all over. can you imagine fair lady am only seeing your comment now? Ha what will be my fine? expelled from the group even before I join or get started? please where is the invitation? I seriously need to loose some hip mass. oh met my funny self prevail for the other ‘me’ is sorry…

    • Hey sweetie, I sent you another invitation, so check your spam!!! If that doesn’t work, simply go to http://www.loseit.com and join. Let me know & I’ll find you! :))) And get you in that group, fine-free! Miss you & sending you my love! XOXOXOX Lady Dy

      • ha god sent oh, I chose the simply because curiously my gmail says app unreachable for like a good 45 mins now. thx so much my fair lady

  11. I think you look wonderful and I can’t imagine you ever gaining enough weight to change that. Just slow down on the sweets and exercise and you’ll be fine. I need to drop some pounds too but depression is sinking in and I’m feeling bad for myself. I’ll try and get up and go.

    • YO JESS! Okay, I’ll calm down with the all-caps! Girl, I’m already feelng so much better after just re-commiting to not eating shit all the time!!!! Seriously. You’ve always been so kind to me, reminding me not to harsh on how I look but to honor what’s there. I love being hardcore now about stopping being a human garbage can, and my first social situation last Sunday went so well – I even inspired my friend to take better care of yourself!. Anyway, most important is that I hope your depression lifts SOON!!!!!!! You are gorgeous, don’t worry about pounds right now!!!!! I’m here for you and thinking of you – your last post was over-the-top brilliant. Or as they say in bloody England, brillo! Love you J!!!!!

  12. You are such a strong woman! I am trying to lose it too so will look at the app to help motivation. I keep falling down on the chocolate and wine fronts. I think the meds make us wanna eat. It seems to be a common malady.

    • Awwww, thanks so much! *You* are a strong mama! I just wrote about Lose It! again (along with some other stuff) & hope you check it out! I’d love to have you join our little Lose It! group or you could do it on your own & we could be Lose It friends there to encourage one another….I bet you’d like it. I agree with you – the meds definitely make us eat, plus once I stopped drinking alcohol in 2013, I ate way more sugar! I don’t miss my sugary, fattening stuff now – plus there is wonderful organic fruit where I live at the stores and farmer’s markets. Not cheap, but cheaper than buying a pint of gelato every day! 😉

      • Oooo will have the start more conservatively after my birthday weekend. So Monday. I’ve downloaded the app so will look you up.

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  14. I have the opposite problem. Ive lost over 30 pounds since i staryed my meds in february… i was thin to begin with. People saynim anorexic the meds just wont let me eat 😦

    • That sounds so hard to have people say you’re anorexic when it’s because of the meds! I’m curious (if you don’t mind my being nosy) what your psychiatrist or prescribing professional says about it? I’m so sorry that you have to deal with this on top of the other challenges we face
      Thank you for stopping by; I wish I had good advice about this
      If I learn anything that might be helpful I’ll let you know!

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