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Best of LexMom: Painfully Transparent

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“Best of LexMom Series” – We’re posting pieces from years past that our readers love!
This post was published one week after Mommy Needs a Time Out four years ago.

I received such a warm, sweet response from last week’s post that I thought,
“Why not be painfully transparent and talk about another tough subject?”
Let’s hope I don’t have writer’s remorse in a minute. I may as well have titled
this “I’m fat because I’m crazy and I’m crazy because I’m fat.” How’s that for a
rock and a hard place? I said that to my doctor last month with my head down.
(It was really rough day.) When I looked up, she reluctantly nodded in
agreement. What the heck? You’re not suppose to agree with me! That
makes it sound like I’m stuck in an unending spiral! Oh wait. I am.

Let me back up a bit. In case you missed it, I have bipolar disorder. Most
medications for ANY mental health issues come with a nasty side effect that
often goes unmentioned. WEIGHT GAIN! I’m convinced they don’t really
mention this because most women, especially depressed or otherwise
mentally … um … struggling women, will lose their minds (even more) if you tell
them they are going to gain weight. Personally, I’d rather be happy,
functioning and fluffy than crazy and skinny. If you have ever seen the really,
easier. I’ve seen women gain thirty pounds from their medication alone… a
year.

Let me introduce “the rock.” If you are depressed, etc., you do not want to get
up and exercise. You do not want to see a gym, anyone in a gym, a treadmill,
weights, a yoga mat, anything! No matter how much you hear that it’ll make
you feel better, you REALLY don’t want to do it! And chances are you are
emotionally eating. Now, you have to take meds that are probably going to
increase the weight gain.  And there you have, I’m fat because I’m crazy.

Please meet “the hard place.” If you are not exercising, getting fresh air,
eating healthy, it WILL make your mental health issues harder to deal with.
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Sitting on the sofa will not make life
easier. Pizza and chocolate, no matter how much you (I) LOVE them, is not
helping your situation in the long run. They are so tasty when you are in the
process of eating them, but once all the ingredients start swirling around your
body – not so good. Looking in the mirror and seeing any weight gain also
REALLY doesn’t help the mental status either. And there you have, I’m crazy
because I’m fat.

It is such a nasty place to get stuck! If you have never experienced this, say a
HUGE prayer of thanksgiving right now! There is good news though. You can
at least slow down the spiral and eventually get out of it. It’s literally mind over
matter. You have to make yourself do something. Anything. I am not a fitness
or nutrition expert but I do know that baby steps is a good way to start. If you
add up enough little, baby steps, you will make progress. Do 5 sit ups. Drink
an extra glass of water. Talk to your doctor about your meds. There are a
gazillion options out there these days. If you have other medical conditions
that limit exercise, ask your doctor for a list of things you can do. Water
exercise, yoga, just walking are all great ways to start. Moving, really moving,
for twenty minutes a day is a good starting goal. My favorite is dancing like a
fool with my toddler.  I’ve heard that people at gyms are really nice but that’s a
phobia I’ll conquer another day.

One of my all time favorite quotes is from Michael J. Fox.
“So, sure, it may be one step forward and two steps back, but I’ve learned that
what is important is making that one step really count; always looking up.”

Take a step. And another. And another. You’ll eventually get to your goal if
you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. At the beginning, you may
hate the idea of doing and you may hate it the entire time you are doing it, but
when you are done for the day, you should be so proud of yourself for doing
it! Personally, I still struggle with this EVERY day and my goals change. One
week it’s to lose two pounds. One week it’s to just not gain anything. It’s hard
but you CAN do it!

Good Luck!

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