OK, this is going to get a bit personal & give a glimpse at a side of #weightloss you don’t hear a lot about – Depression.
I’m going to be honest: when I was fat (no, I don’t use the term #overweight, I was FAT), I was never depressed. Not really. Sure, I was dealing with emotions in an unhealthy way, but I those emotions never hit extremes. I moderated with food. And I knew, I just KNEW once I lost weight that things would be even better. I’d be healthy, I’d be fit, I’d look good, and I’d be happy. The truth of the matter is, I was wrong.
As I lost weight, as became healthier, #depression began to rear its ugly head. At first it was because of not having my comfort fallback – food. I no longer ate to feel better. I might workout or get creative, but after 40 years of food addiction, it wasn’t quite the same.
Once I had achieved my #fitness ‘goal’ of 205lbs from my scale topping original weight of 450lbs, it hit even harder. I felt healthier, definitely. People said I looked healthier. Some even used the word ‘better.’ I didn’t feel that way inside.
Even after three years I was still struggling with that food addiction – realistically I still do today, but now I’m more conscious & separated from it, so it’s ‘easier’ – & it became a bit of a hole that #depression grew deep roots in.
On top of that, I now had self-image issues I NEVER had when I was fat. Before I was FAT and accepted it. I owned it. Now, I was thinner & healthier, but I didn’t look the way a thin, healthy person was supposed to look. I had more lines on my face. Skin dropped in places & hung in others.
Taking it to an extreme, possibly TMI place, getting intimate w/people become terrifying because of those self-esteem issues. I looked acceptable dressed, but take off the size 34 pants & Ted Baker shirt & it was a different matter. I became uncomfortable.
The less I weighed, the healthier I became, the worse that #depression kicked in. I began to lose confidence – now, you might not have noticed it if you saw me on stage in front of thousands of people, or at a convention signing for fans, or even at an industry party. I kicked ass.
But it was there. I just hid it really well. And that is where a lot of people losing weight find themselves: feeling & looking healthier, but that feeling doesn’t translate onto the inside. It’s one of the reasons a lot of people fall back into old eating patterns.
I’d like to say that it gets easier as you go along – I’ve been ‘fit’ for 3 years now – but it hasn’t yet. I’ve been dealing w/major depression for a year or more..and more so over the past couple of weeks. Even worse, those self-confidence issues are what led to the cause of the recent attack.
Now, I wish I could tell you how to get around the #weightloss #depression that kicks in for a lot of us, but I can’t. I can tell you that it is manageable w/help. Talk to your support system. It’s difficult but be upfront & honest.
You’re dealing with both addicting & loss, and it doesn’t hurt to get help. You’ve spent (or are spending) time getting your body healthy, don’t forget about the other half of that equation: your mind.
I deal with the depression during and after #weightloss in my upcoming book, Fat To Fit, which is due out later this year. Stay up to date w/the release on Twitter, Facebook, & the web – http://www.karategeek.com
-Mat Nastos, The Karate Geek
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