I Just Want to Stick Around for Awhile

weight loss
On Saturday I went to Weight Watchers for my weekly weigh-in. I weighed 263 lbs. Based on past posts, many of you understand how frustrated, angry and disheartened I felt when I looked at that scale.

My Weight Loss and Gains

Here’s a quick history of my weight loss journey, which you can see in the graph below.

I joined Weight Watchers January 2009 and was at my highest weight of 303 lbs. For about two years my weight changed very little, but around August 2012 I started dropping dramatically. What changed? I stopped just showing up to meetings every week, and started to actually work the program by tracking my food and exercising. Go figure, huh?

weight loss graph

Boldly displayed you can see November 12, 2012 when I could proudly boast that I’d lost 88 lbs. and was well on my way to weighing under 200 lbs. Unfortunately, I never reached it. I’d exercise one week, eat well the other, but hurt myself in the process and gained 47 lbs. back. The positive is that I did not gain all my weight back, which happens to most people, and I give Weight Watcher’s the credit for that.

I’m sorry if it SEEMS I have been obsessing about my weight lately, but it’s only because I AM obsessed with my weight. I want to look better, feel better, and I want to wear nice clothes. Most importantly, though, is that I just want to stick around for awhile. The statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health are pretty grim.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy in the United States is 78 years.
Life expectancy in the sub-Saharan African country of Sudan is 59 years. In Ethiopia it’s 53 years.
And what is the life expectancy in the United States for those with a serious mental illness (schizophrenia, major depression, and bipolar disorder)? It ranges from 49 – 60 years. Those are really sad numbers.

It’s no surprise that those with a serious mental illness have higher suicide rates. In fact, one in five patients with bipolar disorder completes suicide, however that awful fact is not the major factor in lower life expectancy. The shorter life span is because they

…are more likely to suffer chronic diseases associated with addiction (especially nicotine), obesity (sometimes associated with antipsychotic medication), and poverty (with its attendant poor nutrition and health care) and they may suffer the adverse health consequences earlier

Let’s look at these three factors:

Addiction: For decades, addiction controlled my life, but I’m happy to say that I’ve been clean and sober for 13 years.

Poverty: While, my husband, Maurice, works full time, the amount I receive from Disability is right at the poverty level for one person. So, it’s not accurate to say we live in poverty, but we certainly have had to forgo necessary medical care because of lack of funds, and there’s not much that I can do about that right now.

Obesity: Ding! Ding! Ding! Obesity takes the prize. Of the three factors, that is the one thing I can change and, hopefully, make a difference. I’ve already started reducing meds that have a serious impact on weight gain, but I must recommit to living healthier as well.

Because I want to live a long, healthy life, I may be writing more about my weight loss journey. I think I’ve said that many times before, but I can’t continue to just give it lip service. Statistically speaking, I have to act now.

11 comments on I Just Want to Stick Around for Awhile

  1. I’m not sure everyone can be as thin as they’d like, but I’d say most people can still make healthier choices and feel better. Thirteen years sobriety goes a long, long way toward living better. Are you still walking how you were? Man, I was envying your distances!
    Good luck, always wishing you good days 🙂

    1. Hi Joey. I think some psych meds makes it extremely difficult for many people to keep weight off. Obviously it’s been a major struggle for me, which is why I put my foot down on certain meds. I am taking a risk, but am monitoring myself constantly. I have friends and loved ones who wouldn’t hesitate to tell me if things go awry. All I can do is the best I can. I’m not walking as frequently as I use to, but I still log 5 – 7 miles when I do. This weeks plan is to walk at least 6 days this week (I’ve been working up towards that) I’m much better at walking in the morning than at night, but had a doctors appointment. That means I’m going to have to push my ass out the door later. Wish me luck.

  2. I feel ya my friend. Keep the faith and try not to let the numbers distract you too much. Do what you can when you can, and try to make good food choices. I’m on a low-carb diet and I have been working out on my treadmill. In combination of the weightgain from meds, I also have hypothyroidism. :/ And I come from big stock people.I don’t want a heart attack and I don’t want diabetes (both run in my family) so I am trying my best. I made a deal with myself — not get too caught up with my carb count when it is high for the day. I like to keep it about 50-60 grams a day. But today I am at 122. I got disappointed and moved on. Trying to be better tomorrow. A weight battle is hard. I’m rooting for you though my friend!

  3. I know you can do it Bradley! We’re all rooting for you sweetie! I’m glad you’re sticking around. Hugs!?

    1. I’ll be sticking around as long as I can, avaswan. My plan is that it will be a good while.

  4. I’m rooting for you, Bradley. You dropped a lot of weight once, which proves you are able to do it. You can do it again. I know how hard it is. I have to lose 57 lbs. I’ve dropped 20 from my highest weight ever. The key for me is *maintaining* the right mindset and that’s not easy. Sigh, I’m going to work at it once again. You’re right that these meds make it tougher. But we can be tough too. You can do it. You don’t let setbacks totally defeat you. You get up, brush yourself off and continue working towards your goals. You are an inspiration to me because you don’t quit.

    1. Such kind qwords – thank you Journey. Knowing I’ve done it before is the only thing that keeps me going. Otherwise it’d look insurmountable. I’m rooting for you too..

  5. i’m working on weight loss too, for the reasons you said. since the start of the year, i lost 15lb, but then had a bad few weeks, gained back 5, then lost it, then found it…just sticking at about a 10lb loss overall. seems a bit disheartening, now that we are half thru the year and i still have only lost 10lb. but i am trying to keep going day after day…each day is a new start. good luck to you, may we both find our paths.

    1. I don’t want to sound flippant, but 10 lbs is 10 lbs. Sometimes things don’t work out in the time we want, but we need to pat ourselves on the back that we are at least moving forward. We’ll both work through this, kat

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