I have been invited by the lovely Jenna to share my story with you all. I am Jen from www.justaveragejen.com. I am a thirty something average kind of woman really. I blog about how I lost weight, the challenges I faced and the changes it has made in my life.
I first remember thinking I was fat when I was about 8 years but by the time I was 12 I definitely believed I was overweight, the biggest in my class at school and I was unhappy about this. Around the same time is the first time I remember really feeling depressed. I didn’t do anything about either my weight or my depression for a good few years. I remember first trying to diet aged around 16. My first encounter with medical professionals about my depression was when I was 17 after having attempted suicide. In my opinion depression and comfort eating often go very much hand in hand.
For years I ate when I was unhappy and I was unhappy with my weight, a vicious cycle really but one that is difficult to get out of. I have been in abusive relationships and I have a child with disabilities which all add to the unhappiness and depression that made me keep eating. Before I knew it I had ballooned to a whopping size 30 and of course then the idea of losing weight is a depressing concept in itself.
I broke that cycle though, I still have depression, I am still on medication for my depression and I still have days when I feel my life is not worth living and I want to end it all. The change I made was making the decision to lose weight. It wasn’t an easy decision as it wasn’t like I just had a couple of pounds to lose, I wanted to lose almost half my bodyweight! I would have to stop eating full tubs of ice cream, family packs of biscuits and huge bars of chocolate just to make me feel better. I had to take control of my weight.
I will not pretend it is easy losing weight because it isn’t, of course I will always be that same person who finds comfort in cookie dough ice-cream or binging on cakes and chocolate but I have tried to address this and I lost over 10 stone to become a size 6-8 and much happier about my body. I still have depression and I still comfort eat but I am more in control of that and I am much happier after making that change in my life. Whilst losing my weight I also ditched my abusive ex who made me feel worthless and unhappy every day, that definitely helped too!
Here are some tips for anyone in a similar position to me who wants to lose weight and is depressed and thinks that it is such a big hurdle to overcome the comfort eating.
1. Find comfort in healthier foods, I find a stodgy pasta dish is just as comforting and makes me feel just as good inside when made with less oil, lower fat cheese and more vegetables.
2. When going shopping be strong, don’t buy the ice-cream or chocolate that will tempt you on a bad day, buy other things to help you through bad days like a face mask to pamper yourself with, low calorie hot chocolate, or a dvd.
3. Don’t beat yourself up if you are trying to lose weight and have a bad day and eat rubbish, we all do it, if you start again and don’t let it stop you then you can still achieve what you want to achieve.
4. Address your depression, does your doctor know how you are feeling, maybe they can adjust your medication to help you more?
5. Let someone in, try not to do it on your own, share your worries and concerns with a friend and consider eating healthily together.
6. Remember every little change you make to a healthier lifestyle will all add up, you don’t have to lose weight quickly you can do it at whatever speed is manageable to you but all those little changes add up so change what you can when you can.
7. Find fruits you like to snack on whilst watching tv or listening to music instead of chocolate or crisps, you might be surprised how quickly you get used to eating a punnet of grapes instead of a family size bag of chocolate!
8. Praise yourself constantly for everything you do well, look at the positives not the negatives.
Losing weight is not easy, being depressed is not easy but you can be happier and you can lose weight and break those comfort eating habits. In my opinion it is not easy to cure depression, I truly believe I will have depression for life but I find now that it is easier to cope with my depression as I have addressed some of the issues that made the depression worse. I have days when I eat unhealthy foods, I have days where I hate my body, but I know that if I keep at it and don’t give up I will never be the unhappy morbidly obese Jen I once was, I may still be depressed but I wont be morbidly obese or abused again, that I am adamant of.
If you want to read more about my story, how I lost weight, my life now, see my recipes or just say hi feel free to pop over to my blog at www.JustAverageJen.com or find me on social media. My weight and my depression will be long term battles for me but I will always share them with my readers to help others.