Tag Archives: weight loss

Sharing My Crazy

Posted by: Maggie

I’ve been meaning to write about this for at least six months. I start and stop and decide not to write about and then that I should. But there never seems like a good time to fit it into the story of our life that I share with the world, which is filled with cute kid stories, fun family outings, pretty photographs and other happy things.

But I’ve decided that there’s just no perfect day or perfect way to fit it into our story, but it’s an important part of the story of who I am and if you don’t really share yourself and your feelings with the world then what’s the point of writing (or living if you ask me), so I’m just going to go ahead and talk about it now.

Last year, as part of my New Year’s Resolutions I decided that I was going to “Get Happier,” I mentioned that I had been feeling down for a while and I wanted to make an effort to feel better and so I wrote about my attempts for a few months and then I stopped writing about it because things started to get bad, and then they got worse, and then they got weepy, and then I finally did something to get better.

Apparently, despite my attempts to pass it off as “bouts of melancholy” (so much more lovely and romantic sounding right?), I suffer from Depression. Seriously. I know, don’t I always seem so cheerful and optimistic? That’s not just on the internet, friends. Just ask my real life friends, I’m pretty much always like that. I’m a very smiley person. Well, I have this amazing trick, that my therapist calls “pretending,” but I think it’s far more impressive than that, and is clearly very unhealthy. I just sort of shut it off. When I need to function for other people out in the world I just turn that part of my brain off for as long as I need to. I know it’s hard to explain how that works but when I need to be okay I just am, I just shut the depression down.

But here’s where the problem occurred that made me seek out help, at some point last year I got pushed to my stress limits, which might have been fine without the depression. I always have a lot on my plate, but something was different this time. I was shutting the depression off so often, and it was building up in my head so much, that any time I was alone it came out. And by out I mean uncontrollable sobbing for no apparent reason. Fun right? And then it got harder to shut off.

I’d never seen a doctor or a therapist about it before. I’d struggled with it forever. Probably since I was a kid, but it was always manageable. It got bad at times, but I dealt with it and I got better. I never wanted to admit that it was something that I needed help with, something that I couldn’t control. But last fall that’s exactly where I was.

Things changed when I had coffee with my friend Susan one morning last September. She’s written openly about her struggles with depression and anxiety on her blog and I love her for it and for a lot of reasons. She convinced me to finally get some help. I know that without her I wouldn’t have. I would have continued to suffer. But instead I made an appointment and saw someone and was immediately prescribed an anti-depressant. They (both the therapist and the psychiatrist) said that usually they ask a patient to consider it and have a discussion about whether it’s necessary or not, but that because what I was describing to them was so serious they thought that I needed to get on anti-depressants right away. Yes! I win at depression! I guess I was worse than I thought. And oh boy was I ever! I really had no idea.

I was nervous about getting on medication, afraid that I wouldn’t feel like myself anymore.  But a few weeks after going onto Prozac it was like a fog lifted, like the sun came out, like I had no idea that I had been living in so much darkness and the rest of you lived in the sun. I felt normal, not artificially happy like I thought I would, just normal. Except that I could concentrate on my work in a way that I couldn’t before, and those little things I didn’t have patience for before I now had all the time in the world for, and those small life challenges that seemed so daunting were really not a big deal. It was amazing.

But the medication wasn’t without drawbacks. It comes with some unpleasant side effects, that were completely worth dealing with to get out of that fog. First, after a couple months I lost my sex drive pretty much entirely. I just had zero interest in sex. Not so fun. Big bummer for Josh. Second, I gained about 30 pounds. Yup, right after working my ass off last year to lose 20 pounds over several months, I gained it back and more very quickly. Even less fun. But I was feeling better so I didn’t really care.

However, after being on the medication for six months I decided that it was time to go off. We wanted to start trying to get pregnant again and it’s not safe to do that on the medication and I wanted to lose the weight that I put on. So I’ve been off for several months now, and for a while I was feeling fine. But now I feel the depression creeping back in. I recommend reading this post Susan wrote for What the Jules describing what that feels like.

I had a couple of bad weeks, but I’m doing better right now. I’m recognizing what it is, instead of trying to ignore it. I’m trying to manage it, talk about it, and do those things that make me happy (see my friends more, get out of the house, plan photo shoots, have fun projects to work on) and most importantly, I’m trying to keep my stress level down.

I feel so lucky to have friends and family who love me and understand. Every day can be a bit of a struggle, but I’m really working on it.

2010 Resolutions in Review

Posted by: Maggie

Ok, so I meant to write this post about three weeks ago, but January has just blown by before I knew it. I apologize for being so behind on posting. I’ve been terribly busy ramping up both of my business ventures for the New Year. But I’ll try to get back to regular posting starting this week.

I want to start out 2011 by reviewing my resolutions from 2010. You may remember that last January I decided to get serious about my resolutions and dedicated a post to each. I’ll link to those below in case you want to go back and read them.

1. Lose 10 pounds

Success! I actually lost about 15 pounds and gained a lot of muscle! But ummmmm I have a terrible confession to make. I gained it back since November. Yep, I gain weight so easily that when I decided to not be so strict about what I ate and neglected the gym the weight went right back on! Oooops! Oh, well, I don’t feel too bad about it. Just annoyed to have to do the work all over again. I bet you can guess what will be on my list of resolutions for 2011!

2. Get Serious About Photography

Hell yes! I may have quit my daily photo projects sometime in February, but I sure did master my skills, rediscovered my style (I may write a post on this some day, I have so much to say about it), and got my business up and running. And I definitely surpassed my goal of one session a month!

3. Spend More Alone Time with My Husband

I’m pretty sure I succeeded with this one. If I remember correctly we did have at least one date night a month throughout the year. I think we need to work a little more on this though. You may see yet another repeat for 2011’s list.

4. See Friends Twice a Month

I did pretty okay on this one. The year started strong. I saw friends a lot over the first half of the year, but when my work situation changed in July I just got busy and tired and and visits with friends got fewer and farther between. This definitely had a detrimental effect on me. I need my friends. I just need that outlet to relax and laugh and not be taking care of a kid or a husband for an evening. Can you see 2011’s list forming?

5. Be A Better Friend

Wow, I really, truly failed at this one. This was the busiest year of my life. Even worse than my first year of law school. And I let that get in the way of keeping this resolution. I didn’t return phone calls or emails, I didn’t send the weekly email that I intended. I didn’t see those friends that I haven’t seen in forever. And I feel horribly about it. So, all I can think to do is quote myself from last year and try harder this year:

“I want to apologize to my friends for not being a better friend to each of you. I love you all so much, you don’t even know, you can’t even imagine how often I really do think about you and miss you and want to see you and laugh with you. You each bring something special and important to my life and my life wouldn’t be the same without you! I love you! Sorry I don’t always show it!”

6. Get Happier

This one is a really tough one. And it needs it’s own post. For now I’ll say that I succeeded, after a very difficult year, and not in the way I thought I would. Maybe we’ll talk about it tomorrow. We’ll see.

Overall, I think I was pretty successful. It was a very busy, very tiring year and I think that I made a very good effort. Although, I know I can do better. After all, that’s what new years are for, right?

I lost 15 pounds…and all I got was this lousy self-image

Posted by: Maggie

So, if you’ll remember way back at the start of the year I had a resolution to lose 10 lbs. And then I lost almost all of it and decided to up the ante and lose another five pounds. Well I did it. I lost the whole 15 lbs. Cool right? Sure.

Before we talk about it, let’s do a little before and after shall we. Because that’s not at all embarrassing.

Before (Amy’s shots of me at Eleanor’s birthday in December):

After (headshots Amy took of me for my photo site a few weeks ago):

Pretty big difference, right?  And I should be super happy and proud of myself for putting in the work it took to get here, and I mostly am, but I have to say I’m not really thrilled about how I look and it’s really annoying me lately.

People who know me, would say that I’m a pretty confident person. People who know me really well might even say that I might be a little too confident. I’m definitely not an insecure person.

As far as body image goes I’ve always been pretty happy with how I looked. Even at my heaviest, 60 lbs overweight, I still thought I looked good and didn’t really think too much about it.  That was right before I got pregnant with Eleanor. Yup, before. At that time I wanted to lose weight because I was much heavier than all of my friends and even though I didn’t really think I looked bad, I knew it wasn’t healthy for me to be at that weight.

After having Eleanor I started losing weight. I had only gained about 3 lbs during the pregnancy (lost 10 from morning sickness, only gained back 13). So when I got home from the hospital I weighed about 10 pounds less than when I got pregnant. And then breastfeeding burnt about a bajillion calories so I was losing weight pretty quickly. I started noticing a difference in how I looked and I liked it. I lost about 20 more pounds over the next year. Once I stopped nursing my weight pretty much stayed the same, I didn’t gain, I didn’t lose. And it was like that for almost a year, and then I decided that I wanted to lose a little more so at the start of the year I made this resolution.  And for once I kept it.

I’ve now lost about 15 lbs, gained a lot of muscle, and dropped about two dress sizes. And I’m thrilled about the size I am, but not so much about how I look. I actually feel a little more embarrassed about wearing a bikini in public than I did last summer when I was 15 lbs heavier. Right now I weigh what I’ve found on numerous charts to be the ideal weight for my height, but I have to say I’m not feeling ideal.

I think I’m just stuck in this Catch 22 where when I pay attention to what I weigh, watch what I eat and work hard to lose weight and be healthier, I notice that my body isn’t quite where I’d like it to be. All of the work I put in hasn’t given me the results I want. And I find that incredibly depressing. But when I don’t pay attention to my weight or what I’m eating or how much I’m exercising, then I slowly start gaining weight, but I also don’t feel bad about my weight.

So what’s better thin, unsatisfied, yet healthy, or fat, happy, but unhealthy?

You tell me people, because I just can’t decide.

But what I have decided is that I’m going to try lose another 10 pounds by Thanksgiving. That’s 10 lbs in 12 weeks. Completely doable. Hell, maybe I’ll finally be satisfied when I get closer to my high school weight (I’m still 17 lbs away). Maybe…

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