As of the past 4 -5 months, I’ve probably weighed the most I’ve ever weighed in my life. At this point, I am technically “over weight” but not noticably fat or obese. Old shirts now show a little beer belly, and old pants are tight around the waist or don’t fit at all.
My Diabetes (Type 1 Juvenile Onset) is generally not a factor here. In fact, my Endocrinologist told me that weight gain by Type 1 diabetics is a sign that blood glucose levels are in good control. When levels are too high, the body can not absorb glucose in the blood, because there is not enough insulin. When the body does not have enough insulin and can’t absorb glucose from the blood, it begins to break down any muscle and/or fat tissue in the body in an attempt to get energy. This of course causes a circular reaction: breaking down fat and muscle does ultimately produce glucose, but the body can’t use it because there is not enough insulin to process it. So, for those with poor blood sugar levels or who are undiagnosed diabetics, fat and muscle slowly detiorate and are passed outside the body by extremely frequent urination – the tell tale sign that someone might be diabetic.
I attribute my weight gain to these variables:
1) Lack of exercise. I stopped going to the Gym prior to Christmas and that effectively ceased any and all types of exercise, save daily push-ups and sit-ups. When I was in High School and College (and post College for a couple years) I actively ran, sometimes as much as 10 miles a day on some occasions. As a result, my body is used to an active lifestyle. Since college however, and since my BPD really started to get in the way of things, my running and exercising has all but disappeared.
2) Over eating. When I’m bored, I eat. When I’m hungry, I eat more than I should. When I’m out to dinner, I get a full meal. When I’m depressed, I eat. When I need energy I binge on chocolate, which contains fat and sugar. As you can tell, eating serves as a respite from negative feelings. It produces a few moments of pleasant sensations, and as my body has come to recognize these good feelings, I have a greater urge to eat more food, more often.
3) Over sleeping. As I’ve mentioned on previous posts, I sleep way too much. I probably get about 12-14 hours of sleep a day, and even more on days when I’m really down and literally don’t leave my bed. Obviously, when I’m sleeping my body is basically doing absolutely nothing, and this doesn’t burn calories or tone muscle.
4) Zyprexa. I take a small dosage of Zyprexa as a mood stabilizer, which teamed with other medications makes up my daily regimen of pills. I’ve read and heard from others that taking Zyprexa sometimes means gaining a few extra pounds. I don’t think Zyprexa is the big culprit here, but I do realize it could be a contributing factor that hampers any attempts my body makes to burn off excess energy.
Note, I AM NOT a qualified Psychiatrist or Physician, please consult your medical provider if you have questions about Zyprexa and weight gain.
5.) Sedentary lifestyle. When I was in my youth, most of my playtime was spent practicing soccer, playing in the yard with my brothers, or swimming at the local lake. In High school and College, as I mentioned above, I participated in Varsity Cross Country and Track, so I was exposed to strenuous exercise on a daily basis. Now that my life is heavily focused on my internet businesses, I spend tons of time at my computer. This has eliminated some points during the day at which I would have previously exercised, moved around, or otherwise did something energetic.
All five of these variables combine to produce the growth of my belly and pockets of flab here and there.
Each week, I try and make a resolve to return to the gym and begin a new exercise routine. When I think about actually getting myself focused to begin, my BPD sends a lot of negative thoughts to my head, and my inner critic berates me from all angles.
For me, exercising brings about a variety of good and bad feelings, but most notably negative feelings. I down myself for NOT excercising; but when I am exercising, I down myself for not being able to run as fast as I used to, or down myself if I am not losing weight fast enough. Further, I get very self-competitive and make fun of myself if I run on the treadmill slowly or lift light weights, even if my effort is the best I can do at that given moment.
All told, I need to lose about 8-10 pounds. This is completely possible and I know the methods to go about losing the weight.
The problem is my BPD and emotional mindset. Even though I feel bad looking at my slowly evolving beer belly, I sometimes realize that I feel just as bad, if not worse, when I am trying to exercise and improve myself.
The result: As of late, I take the lesser of the two negative feelings – a little extra weight seems less depressing than putting myself on an exercise routine where I know my mind will begin bothering me,playing tricks, and putting me down.