Monday, 8 May 2017

Losing Weight With A Mental Illness

Hey you!

Right so before I start this blog, I would like to prefix it with some things; I am in no way qualified to give weight loss advice, this is what is working for me which is why I am sharing. Only you know whether you need to lose weight, it is about you and your health and I am not promoting unhealthy weight loss. This works for me, with my mental disorder, on my medication, it may be different for you.

Now all that fun stuff is out the way! I have struggled with my weight most of my life but it has fluctuated a lot thanks to different medications and emotions. I have a disorder known as BPD and I take Duloxetine. I am an emotional eater. Mental illness makes it hard enough to lose weight what with the lack of motivation and self worth, add on top of that medication that usually makes you gain weight, it can feel like an impossible task to lose weight but I think i've cracked it!

First and foremost, I have a few tips which I feel have made losing weight a lot easier for me. Don't weigh yourself, when I realised that my worth wasn't defined by a number on a set of scales, I became much happier. I measure my weight loss on how I feel and when I have to go down a dress size. The other piece of golden advice is stop putting pressure on yourself. You are going to have shit days, it's inevitable and if on one of those shit days you want to comfort eat, do it. Try and be good for the rest of the week but don't deprive yourself pleasure. Weight loss is a journey, not a quick fix. It took you however many years to put your weight on and it won't disappear over night. You can allow yourself a pizza in your darkest hour.

My mental illness means I find it very difficult to look after myself. I struggle to have the motivation to cook, or prepare food for myself. It's as if I don't feel deserving enough to be looked after. So with that in mind, I realised I needed to find a way to get the calories in, in a healthy yet easy way. Finding a way of doing that wasn't easy but then I thought about shakes. They're super easy to prepare, quick to wash up, contain a good amount of calories and protein and they are actually pretty filling.

So, I started with Slim Fast, which are great. The only issue I had was that they are pretty pricey and it was getting expensive. Onto the internet for some research and I found that Tesco do their own low calorie shake known as Ultraslim. Having looked at quantities versus price they come out a lot cheaper and they're often on offer. My preferences are Summer Strawberry and Vanilla. As I have a sweet tooth, I tend to add a little bit of sucralose based sweetener to make them perfect. My shaker bottles also come from Poundland, which are great because they have a bottom compartment for keeping powder in, ready to shake with your milk when you want it.

I have a shake for breakfast and one for lunch. Awesome.

Between those shakes, I fill myself up with things like fruit, veg and seeds. Luckily I quite like fruit and again for this I am going to recommend Tesco. They have a huge range of frozen fruit and veg which is awesome for me. I usually buy pomegranate seeds, watermelon balls and edamame beans. Edamame beans are my vice.

So in the morning before work, while I'm drinking my shake, I grab a couple of sandwich bags and stick a handful of watermelon in one and a handful of edamame in another. This way I can eat and 11am ish, then lunch time shake at 1pm and then another snack at 3-4pm before going home and having dinner. Obviously the fruit and veg is frozen so I just keep it out of the fridge to defrost for when I need it.

If it's not defrosted in time, boil a kettle, fill a bowl up with hot water and leave your bag floating in the water for 5 minutes. Hey presto!

Onto dinner. Now as I have said, I am a comfort food fiend and also a creature of habit. So for dinner, I have a microwave jacket potato every night. I usually have it with half a tin of baked beans, a teaspoon of butter and around 70 grams of mild cheddar. I'll sometimes chuck some coleslaw on the side as well. This is so quick and you only have your plate and saucepan to wash up. It's also super comforting and warming.
So far I have lost 3 dress sizes on top an two on the bottom since January. That is including maybe 1 takeout a week. I feel better in myself and have proved to myself it is possible. I will be looking to add exercise into the mix soon but right now I am happy.

I'd love to know what you think and also if you have any weight loss tips, leave them in the comments below. x


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