After Weslee was born in 2013, I didn’t stress about getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I decided I was comfortable with the extra 15 lbs I’d gained and bought new clothes. It was a freeing feeling to not be stressed about getting back to my pre-baby body. I’ve been content with my weight/body image for the last 3 years.
Then last October my doctor and I decided to up my dosage of anxiety medication. We’ve been trying to find the right meds and the right dosage for a while. We finally found it with this last change! Yay!
I feel normal for the first time in years…maybe for the first time in my life. I am not as moody as I used to be, not as impatient, nor as negative. I sleep better, handle conflict better, and am a much better wife, mother, friend, and employee. I used to wonder if I was abnormal because of the rollercoaster of emotions I rode daily – not to mention the anxiety attacks and bouts with depression I experienced. Feeling emotionally and mentally balanced – what I consider normal – is a wonderful feeling!
But with all of that positivity comes a bit of negativity. I’ve gained 11 pounds since my dosage changed. EEK! I can’t blame it on holiday binge eating because I didn’t binge eat this year. My diet and exercise have pretty much stayed the same as they were before the new dosage. Also, weight gain is big side effect of this particular drug. Boooo!
So, here I am almost weighing the amount I did when I was 9 months pregnant, and I’m definitely NOT pregnant. I’m not content with these new 11 lbs, and I do not want to buy new clothes in a bigger size.
On top of that, I read these two articles that talk about how heart disease is the leading cause of death in American women and how mental illness can potentially increase one’s risk of heart disease. My anxiety soared while I was reading the article that linked mental illness to heart disease. I had to stop reading it for a bit to calm myself down.
With weight gain and heart disease on my mind, I knew I had to make a change.
I emailed a friend with similar mental health issues, and asked for her advice. She shared: I am just committed to the reality that whole health is me on meds, exercising, eating whole foods and going to therapy. That is me whole.
Her words struck a chord with me. I know I cannot go back to feeling “abnormal” again, so I am determined to adopt my friend’s definition of a whole self. I will stay on my meds (let all the family say “Amen!”), I will eat healthy and clean, I will be consistent with exercise, I will continue to see my therapist as needed, I will be consistent with prayer and bible study, and I will commit to writing every week as another form of therapy and accountability.
I’m going to put up reminder post-it notes around my house, car, and office to help me stay focused. I might tell my kids to help hold me accountable too – they will be more than happy to have something to nag me about. Ha!
Here’s to a life of whole health – spiritual health, physical health, and mental health!