Highs and Lows of Losing Weight With Mental Illness

I’ve been working on losing weight since spring of 2014.  In that time I’ve lost at least 70 pounds.  But I’ve hit a plateau lately where it seems like nothing I do is making the weight go even lower.  It’s essentially ground to a halt for the last two to three months.  I still exercise at least 5 to 6 days a week.  I still lift weights 3 days a week.  I still track what I eat.  I’m cutting how much I eat to even less than what I ate during the winter.  Yet, oddly, I still haven’t lost hardly any weight since the end of winter.  And I’m more active now than I was in the winter months.  I know what I’m doing is right and has worked in the past.  But, it is taxing to not see much in the way of results.

I am a numbers man to the point everyone I’ve met considers me a statistics and measurements geek.  Which is odd considering how bad I struggled in high school calculus.  I really go by what I can see, what I can measure, what I can quantify, and not much on how I feel.  Yes, I feel so much better now than I did this time one year ago.  But I look at all the medical statistics and facts that state, considering my weight, age, and body build, I am severely out of shape even after dropping 75 pounds.  I haven’t seen my general practice doctor since I started losing weight.  Last time I saw him he pretty much told be ‘get busy losing weight or get busy dying.’  Granted, he was more tactful than that but the message got through anyway.  So I’ve been working myself senseless losing weight and tracking what I eat to the point that most people think I went overboard.  But desperate problems need drastic solutions.  I won’t die before I’m 45 as long as I have any control over it.

While I am doing what needs to be done to get back into good health, it is still frustrating to see that the results aren’t coming as quickly as they once were.  I’m sure I probably hit a plateau or a point where the body is readjusting to the new normal for me.  I know I get lost in the day to day grind, especially when the results aren’t coming like they once were.  I have to remind myself every day that I haven’t been this is the healthiest and ‘lightest’ I’ve been since 2008.  I started having problems with sleep apnea in 2007, so when I finally do break through this current reset point it probably won’t be long before I stop having problems with sleep apnea.

This also isn’t the first reset point I’ve had in this project.  I had my first reset last autumn after having lost 45 pounds.  And that reset took over two months.  It should be noted, especially for myself, that exercise and the human body are more like chemistry sets and less like math problems.  In a chemistry set reactions happen often slowly or not at all until a given threshold or tipping point is crossed.  It isn’t just as simple as eliminate ‘x’ number of calories or burn ‘y’ number of calories in exercise.  The human body has built in survival processes that kick in if the calories or activity it was getting changes for long enough periods of time.  This worked well for most of the human experience as food sources weren’t secure and physical activity was part of every day existence.  Those age old processes are what make weight loss tough, but fortunately we can see this and compensate for our biology.  It takes daily work and it takes a lot of time.  Time is what I have in abundance as I’m semi retired at this point in time.  I’m just going to keep doing what I have been and I’ll break through this reset.  It’s just a matter of when.

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Author: alifeofmentalillness

I write about my experiences with mental illness and life in general. I am also currently under going 'lifestyle changes' (I hate the term 'dieting' as it's sounds so temporary) and have lost 70 pounds since spring 2014. I've put my poetry and novel writing on lower priority since I started losing weight and blogging more seriously.

4 thoughts on “Highs and Lows of Losing Weight With Mental Illness”

  1. I went through a lull in my battle against fat about a month ago. I have a friend who is fitness guru and he said I had to focus on what I was eating and really analyze my food. I did that and my body kicked right back into burn mode. Maybe something to think about. Danny

  2. 70 pounds in a year, that’s quite an achievement, but I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that. – Stick with it my friend, so many people give up when they hit these slow points in their weight lose journeys, but you seem to be dealing with it extremely well.

    Take care, stay strong, don’t let things slip.
    – E

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