Written by Molly Tracy
Hello there, my lovely loyal readers! These past months have been a bit hard on me, mostly from being depressed about surgeries. This made me think I had situational depression, but the longer I sit in my room or walk around like a zombie, and the more I feel like I’m giving up is making me realize that it’s possible that this is part of my chronic depression/mood disorder.
According to the MAYO Clinic, 3 MILLION people a year are diagnosed with chronic depression, which is a mood disorder causing persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest.
If you think you might have depression, you could also be diagnosed with major depressive disorder, Bipolar II, or any other psychological problems. The point is, 3 million people are with ya, sista (or brotha, or xotha)
Depression can be brought on by a lot of things, but there’s one huge symptom: weight gain. It can be the reason someone becomes depressed or it can be something that happens as the depression becomes more severe; for some people they can even become underweight.
For me, the medicines given to me to control my manic issues, my depression, and anxiety all caused my metabolism to drop to a groundbreakingly slow pace. I went from 110 pounds in 2009 to currently weighing 250+ in 2015…with various fluctuations. So, personally, even though ‘fat’ is only a descriptor, I’m not a fan of the word. I’m morbidly obese, and because of my height (>5ft) I would probably say heavily on the morbidly.
I never saw it coming, I never really realized my appetite was changing. I’m not addicted to food, I’m never really hungry, I barely eat as it is. How did this happen?
One of the reasons my trachea surgery didn’t go well in the beginning of last month was because of my weight. Still, so frustrating. What am I doing wrong!?! Why is this happening?! What can I possibly DO?!
Exercise: can’t exactly go do that…like all my favorite characters in the media I have a bum leg (House! Rumplestiltskin! Crutchie from Newsies!) because I’ve fallen out of my chair on my knee so many times. Plus…you know…the wheelchair thing. I would love to go out and do the P90X, run, play a sport – unfortunately, that’s not gonna happen. So what else can I do to lose weight?
Gastric Bypass: In my experience, these work tremendously. My father had gastric bypass and lost half of his weight. His pants could literally fit another person. The surgery is laparoscopic meaning that there are three points where tiny incisions are made, and then the stomach is cut so only a small portion is left tied to the small intestine where it actually works.
Pros: You lose weight! Your body has no other choice but to lose it because of the amount of food you can no longer eat. Less hunger!
Cons: In 2008 this was an outrageously dangerous surgery, and the complication rate was huge. My father’s surgeon put in a feeding tube through the stomach to eliminate most of the complications of the surgery. While most surgeons will have a double digit complication rate, Dr. Jawaad at Florida Hospital has a .01% complication rate.
Dieting: There are various diets hawked by the media: Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig. Those are expensive to keep up with and the same diet may not work for everyone. The best thing to do is see a nutritionist who can help come up with how many calories to eat per day and how many of each food group.
The most important thing about dieting is the inevitable ‘slipping up’. Dieting isn’t just a food change, it’s a lifestyle change. Of course, I’d rather have a burger and fries than a salad, and maybe one day once I get things under control I will. DO NOT think that because you had a cookie or a brownie or chocolate that you’ve ruined your diet. Just keep going. I promise it’s better than throwing in the towel over something so small.
Every opportunity is hard. But you know what? I’d rather be healthy than at risk for anything.
[box] Molly Tracy lives in Orlando, FL. She’s currently attending Community College where she’s studying to be a teacher. She lives by the three Bs: Broadway, BBC, and Blogging. She has been writing for Outloud since Jan 2010. [/box]