health

Struggling with weight and mental health – how to start feeling better?

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been on physical and mental (I first wrote metal, I’m a trve metalhead apparently) health journey. I decided it’s time to address both in a longer post instead of quick IG stories or photos.

Physical health

I have been overweight my whole life. I just found out (didn’t remember) that on 9th grade I already weighted over 80kg and was on nurse’s watch list for my weight. Things you forget…

Covid-19 made my boyfriend and I work from home which meant even less steps during the day that I already got (or didn’t really) when working in the office. Also having access to food all the time – fridge is just some steps away – we both started gaining weight in the spring of 2020. So at the end of July when I hit 120 kg we both decided that this is enough, we need to do something. My boyfriend weighted less than I did by this point, even though at the start of our relationship he weighted more than I did. Of course that was 13 years ago and I’ve noticed I gain weight in relationships.

So we did something, we both started logging our daily calorie intake but didn’t start using the same app – which now later on is annoying since we can’t share recipes we had made, and their calories. I use MyFitnessPal which I already had on my phone and paid for Premium after first few weeks.

It wasn’t actually hard at all to stick to a lower calorie amount. Now that we’re home we make all our food from scratch. This has helped making lunches less in calories than they would be at work office. I actually really enjoyed staying on “green” and not going over my calories, even though going less than 100 over wasn’t that bad in my mind.

I stopped going to gym after August 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions and not needing to go out. I didn’t want to expose myself to possible carriers if I could avoid it. So I did my weight loss with just eating less. And yes, the only way to lose weight is intake less calories than you use – how you do that is up to you.

At no point did I restrict myself from eating certain foods, I still eat chocolate, ice cream and soda but I make sure they fit in my calorie range – and I’ve swapped ice cream to lower calorie versions like Halo Top, Vapaus from Jymy and Nick’s. Also I only drink diet sodas and energy drinks when I feel like it. Chocolate is still normal chocolate, just not the whole bar in one go.

So I’m really glad when at the end of January I got my weight under 100 kg – 99,8 kg to be exact. My goal was first to get under 100 kg before year end but I took 3 days off around Christmas when I didn’t log any calories. I just tried to eat less than I normally would’ve at Christmas but I did still go over my calories. So I adjusted my goal to get under 100 kg before the end of January.

So my next goal? It’s to get under 80 kg which is what I weighted when I met my boyfriend. And after that around 70 kg is my end goal, which is in normal range for my height (170 cm).

I will pick up going to gym and doing training hopefully soon – I could always do online classes but getting started is always so annoying. I will let you know more how my fitness journey is going – since I’m in so bad shape I need to do something – or more likely anything at the moment.

Mental health

I don’t mind talking about mental health and this whole post was triggered since I just got new diagnosis few days ago – that explains a lot.

Let’s start from the beginning: when I was 7 years old. That is actually when an event that triggered my panic disorder happened – nothing bad or traumatic (to most people), just embarrassing. And of course as a child I didn’t understand why I was so afraid of unknown people driving cars when I’m in one (taxis, buses etc.) and why I would feel like I need to get out of cinemas mid-movie. When I was young adult I realized I have a panic disorder and what was the trigger. I have known this for years now but has it helped? No. I have learned to live with it until few years ago I got my first panic attack at home, on my own couch, out of the blue. Like everything was normal and then all of a sudden I felt like I need to get out of here.

I finally booked appointment to work health care and got put on sertraline. At first it didn’t help, it was increased and it helped some. Then on top of that I was given another medication that also helps with other problems (mainly preventing migraines) that I have. Together these got me to old “normal” state in which I could continue living normally but still avoiding/having anxiety about certain places/events like going to cinema.

About a year ago I got sent to a psychiatrist since I decided it’s finally time for me to get some therapy that I’ve never had. I got confirmed that I do have panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and mix of some other anxiety disorders. Due to Covid-19 getting diagnosis and getting help took a bit longer than it should but in September I finally found a psychotherapist I started seeing. It will be a long journey but I’m glad I started it, I already see some improvements and I’ve started to notice my own way of thinking and how to stop thinking about the worst.

One thing that came up in therapy and that was a suspicion that I might also have ADD or ADHD. And that was finally confirmed few days ago – I have ADHD. In childhood I was really good at masking it – even as an adult unless overly stressed/anxious. I’m quick and I learn easily which is why teachers/parents didn’t pick up on me not listening or not doing homework etc. I was also brought up so that kids don’t talk unless spoken to and will sit still and behave.

So now we try to see if we can find a medication to help me concentrate on work and studies so that I don’t do 10 different things at once – and could finish something way before the deadline.

I will probably talk more about both later in the spring when I have more to say about both – hopefully have lost more weight, added exercise, and found more balanced mental health status by then.

If you have any questions, I will try to answer them!

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