I do not have COVID 19, but I do have MDD.
My relationship with depression is much more defined than it was a year ago. Just before I went into the hospital, I was so stressed that I was having trouble eating. My weight dropped appreciably, and I had to force myself to eat anything at all.
Jump forward to today, and I am eating everything in sight.
I read an article this morning where Minerva Guerrero, Ph.D., a licensed mental health counselor based in Scarsdale, has tips for those stress eating during the coronavirus. We all want comfort during trying times. And many of our favorite memories are of childhood treats made by a beloved family member. Recreating that, gives us comfort and a feeling of control.
The same desire for control is making us all buy toilet paper.
It is not the toilet paper we necessarily need, but we need to feel like we are doing something that we can control. Gravitating to what we know, and what makes us feel good, is one way to feel in control.
So why am I gaining weight?
Am I chunking on the pounds as insurance against famine? Making sure I can survive off my fat reserves is a strategy like the bears that live in the mountains surrounding my home? They gorge themselves before winter and then live comfortably off their fat reserves until spring. Living off the beaten path, somewhat in the wilderness, could have me modeling our bear’s behavior.
Or I am just eating out of frustration or nervousness?
What ever the reason, I am ready to address this. I spent last spring at the gym, working to trim down for a speech I was to give at a conference. And then, as depression took over, my weight loss accelerated. This was unforeseen and became chronic. I was spiraling out of control and eating anything was a struggle.
So, the uncertainty of depression caused me to NOT EAT, and the uncertainty of coronavirus is causing me to OVEREAT.
I’m not sure what to say about that. I do know my pants are a little tighter these days. My diet is for the most part healthy, but portion control is defiantly an issue. Yes, almonds, pecans and walnuts are a good snack, but eating almost a cup versus a ¼ cup can pack on the calories. And for a long time, I wasn’t eating desserts. Now, I am having a craving for Chocolate marshmallow ice cream. And I have been eyeing the boxes of Oreos in the grocery store.
Eating breakfast every day is a relatively new idea for me.
My MO had been to consume two to three cups of black coffee, always before noon, and then not eat until I got home at night. Then, I would eat an entire days’ worth of food, and very soon after that, go to bed. Changing this behavior helped me lose weight and feel much more productive during the day.
Knowing the reason behind my recent weight gain is only the beginning.
I still need to address it. After all, our sheltering in place could go on for weeks, months or possibly a year or more. I will be a sausage if I keep this up. I need to address this now, while I am just uncomfortable, instead of later, when my weight might become an underlying health condition.
While it’s just 10 pounds I need to lose, it is still ten pounds.
READ MORE: I gained 10 pounds, I must be cured!
I do drink between 48 and 96 ounces of water daily. And my diet includes raw carrots, bananas, apples, blueberries, corn, blackberries, honey nut cheerios (which our dog enjoys), fresh salads, and dried fruit including mangos. I very rarely eat from a fast-food establishment, maybe once every few months, tops. And I stopped drinking soda years ago.
At work, I walk between five and seven miles daily.
I am not just sitting around. But I am not going to the gym right now, and I have yet to establish a workout routine I will consistently do at home. Lately, I have been thinking about taking a walk when I get home, versus sitting down and eating right away. My work schedule right now is putting me home about 10:30 at night, and I have been using that as an excuse not to walk in the dark.
So, there you have it.
I am eating more as I, in the background, worry about Covid19. Depression has caused me to not eat, at times. Is it too much to ask that the two balance each other out and help me maintain a comfortable weight? It seems doable to me.
Today, I am going to start looking at the portion size.
Once again, I cannot control Covid 19 or the fact that I have depression. But I certainly can control my attitude towards it. I will start with that!
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share.