pics over the years, serious yo-yo-ing

Here are some pictures of me over the years.  One of the reasons I want to lose weight is selfish.  I don’t want to hate looking back at myself in photographs, especially now that I have two girls and we’re constantly taking pictures.  I know some people say you should love the body you have, but I keep thinking back tot 2012 when I was at goal…

Now in 2015 I’m back on meds, trying ones that aren’t supposed to increase weight gain, but I still feel very depressed and hopeless.  Here I am in May 2015.  I should give up on skinny jeans for a while, I think:

may 2015 v2may 2015 ph v2

In the fall of 2014 I went back off meds and went back to grad school for the second time:

sept 2014 v2

Here I was in May 2014 after gaining my 2013 maternity leave weight and being very depressed and anxious, back on Zoloft.  Since then I’ve lost a few pounds, and gained them back again.

2014 may v2

Here I was a week or so after my second was born in 2013, only 7 lbs above goal, before I started having serious postpartum depression and anxiety .  I was freaking out and binge-eating Nutella on Petit Lu cookies like crazy when I was on maternity leave:

2013 july v2

One of my favorites, at Lifetime and my goal weight in July 2012, before getting pregnant with my second, off meds:


Here is what I looked like in 2011, on my birthday, 9 months after my first child and back on anti-depressants, and a few months before I started Weight Watchers for the 3rd or 4th time, about 20-25 pounds above goal:


In 2009, I was lost a few pounds on Jenny Craig, and some from tapering off my meds, still 10 away from goal, just before I got pregnant with my first:


And here I am on my honeymoon in 2008 😦  Makes me cringe.

HM 2008 v2

Here I am at my wedding.  I really hate looking at my wedding pictures, which makes me sad.  I hated shopping for a dress, and I postponed picking a date for two years because of my weight.

wedding 2008 v2

Here is what I looked like in early 2008, before my wedding, about 20 pounds over goal.  At this point I had been seriously struggling with my weight since 2000, although you could argue that even as a child and adolescent I wasn’t happy.  I had tried doing things on my own and programs like Weight Watchers a couple of times, but I couldn’t lose more than 5 or 10 pounds, and then I’d yo-yo back up.  I was always crying at meetings and at the gym because I hated my body so much.

FEb 2008 v2

In 2005 and 2006 I might have been at my heaviest post-grad school…probably 30 pounds over goal:

poland 2005 v2

Here I was in 98 or 99 in college, after my breast reduction in 1996, probably around my current goal weight:


And a real flash from the past: me back in middle school in 1991 or 92, I think.  Compared to other skinny pre-teens/adolescents I was quite curvy, but I thought I was too fat.  I think I was probably 10 or 15 pounds below my current goal, in the middle of a healthy weight range for my height and age.  In high school I think I was 5 pounds heavier, and then in college, another 5 pounds.  In my first grad school period my infrequent exercise habits could no longer compensate for my binge eating and I gained another 15.

p_v14alcyc4mp1204 1992ish

So over the last 15 years, there has only been one year where I remotely liked the way I looked in pictures.  Although even in 2012 there are some pictures where I’m not happy with how I look.

thoughts on “May (or May Not) Cause Weight Gain”

I was just reading this article in the New York Times by Diana Spechler from March about depression, weight, body image, and going off her meds.  Here are some excerpts that resonated with me.

I eat and eat until I’m horrified by all the eating I’ve done. I eat more. I speed-eat. I’m in a Dorito-eating contest with myself…On bupropion, food didn’t hold the appeal it had once held. It became a bit of a chore, chewing food. For the first time in my life, I would forget to have lunch, leave burritos half uneaten, find myself unable to finish dessert. It should be reflexive — to eat when we’re hungry, to stop when we’re satisfied — but this was the first time I could remember my brain receiving those messages. A genie had granted the wish that I had been making since I was a teenager: Release me from my food fixation…I wish that I’d aged out of this. I wish that my feminism protected me from this. But I’ll likely wind up dieting again, doing calorie math in my head, because few things make me feel as hopeful or invigorated.

Over the last few days and weeks I realized that I really hate myself so much.  I’m so ashamed of my life.  But instead of hurting or killing myself I stuff myself with food until I’m numb and high and my record-player thoughts slow down.  But the fix is short-lived and then I hate myself again until my mouth is stuffed again.

It was really rough with my in-laws staying with us.  My mother-in-law criticizes my father-in-law about his eating, which made me feel self-conscious about my own.  She also talked about her grandparents who were survivors of WWII who just kept going despite the trauma, which made me feel bad that my mom committed suicide, and that I have suicidal tendencies.

I don’t think the Viibryd (vilazodone) is helping.  My therapist recommended Lamictal, which is really a mood stabilizer.  Need to meet with my psychiatrist again.  I’m still so unhappy about my weight, our financial situation, our dumpy apartment and long commute, parenting, and my career prospects.  I realized over the last 18 months I spent about $750 on Weight Watchers and didn’t meet any of my goals.  I’m going to try Overeaters Anonymous, tracking food on my FitBit app, which is free.  I asked my husband to do the dishes because when I’m in the kitchen I just binge ridiculously.  I’m going to do my exercises for my hip and core and glutes, and buy a new Just Dance game for the Wii.

what a long year it’s been

So last fall I was doing physical therapy (PT) as a sort of “pre-hab” to see if I could avoid having arthroscopic surgery on the labral tear on my hip.  I also started my MS program.  I still managed to go to weight watchers but didn’t achieve my goals.  I ended up deciding to go off Zoloft in September 2014 to see if that would help with my weight loss.  Took one class two nights a week.  I did manage to lose a a few pounds, even after having my surgery in February.

My spring semester was really busy: classes four nights a week, plus working full time, doing PT and spending time with my husband and two girls.  I managed not to binge too much.  But then my therapist started mentioning that I seemed depressed and anxious and recommended going back on meds.  I was really scared to because I feared I would gain weight.  I tried Brintellix (vortioxetine) , which isn’t supposed to affect your weight, but I felt worse.  Really stressed out with all the kids’ whining.  Then school ended and I had to go home every day instead of getting to go to class and stimulating my mind.  I signed up for some free online classes to try to get ahead.  I also applied for a few new jobs and did one round of interviews before pulling out because it’s not a good fit.  I ended up officially quitting weight watchers because I only went a few times in the Spring semester, and I feel so stressed about money.  Thinking of seeing a financial counselor.

Embed from Getty Images

I ended up stopping Brintellix and trying Viibryd (vilazodone).  I’ve been on it a month and now I’m at my highest non-pregnant weight since 2011: 158!  I’m thinking of joining a Binge Eating or Eating Disorders support group to try to improve my body image.  But then part of me just wants to lose weight so I feel better about myself.  I constantly feel judged.  By my co-workers, friends, strangers, in-laws.  What can’t I like me the way I am?  Should I just go back to Weight Watchers?  I’m crying all the time, and officially you’re not supposed to do Weight Watchers if you have an eating disorder.

But I really want to lose weight before my 20th reunion in 2016.  I also hate being so fat and ugly in all our family pics with the kids.

I’m trying hard to not feel like this year has been wasted, but that’s kind of what I feel like…