I started dieting on May 15, 2020. Welcome to day 123 of my weight loss journey.



Wednesday, 6:30 am Breakfast (500 calories allotted)

  • 2 Frozen Strawberry Juice Bars – 120 calories
  • Total 6:30 am Breakfast calories = 120 (380 calories under allotment)

Wednesday, 7:30 am Snack (1) (100 + Breakfast leftover = 480 calories allotted)

  • 1/4 Bottle of Orange Strawberry Sunny D – 60 calories
  • 2 Snack packs of Animal Crackers – 220 calories
  • Total 7:30 am Snack calories (1) = 280 (200 calories under allotment)

Wednesday, 11:30 am Snack (5) (100 + 3 Missed Snacks (2, 3, 4) + Snack (1) leftover = 600 calories allotted): at work

  • 1/8 Bottle of Orange Strawberry Sunny D – 30 calories
  • 1 Snack pack of Animal Crackers – 110 calories
  • 2 Sticks of Sugar Free Watermelon Gum – 10 calories
  • Total 11:30 am Snack calories (5) = 150 (450 calories under allotment)

Wednesday, 2:00 pm Lunch (500 + 1 Missed Snack (6) + Snack(5) leftover = 760 calories allotted)

  • 1/4 L of Water – 0 calories
  • 1 Slice of Cake – 200 Calories
  • 3 Rice Rolls – 114 calories
  • Total 2:00 pm Lunch calories = 314 (446 calories over allotment)

Wednesday, 4:00 pm Snack (7) (500 + 1 Missed Snack (6) + Snack(5) leftover = 760 calories allotted)

  • 1 Quart of Cookies N’ Cream Ice Cream – 1,320 calories
  • What happened here? Watching a movie. Ate the whole quart of ice cream. I know. I wanted to skip this section so badly today. I did not want to admit that I ate that much ice cream at once. I just wanted to delete this entry from my food diary, but I want to be real. Well, it’s probably a no-brainer that I will go over 2,000 calories today since I haven’t even had dinner yet and I have class tonight (likely with snacks to keep my hypoglycemia from crashing).

So, what’s on my mind? Why am I over the limit today? OK, here it is. I received the photo at left from my aunt this morning. She wrote a nice note about a memory from our annual summer vacations before I was married. It showed me walking on the Tybee Island beach (August 14, 1999 – two decades ago and almost nine years to the day before I became pregnant with my first (and only) child)). I almost forgot I ever looked like that. This is the me who did some modeling and won a pageant.

It’s a little depressing that I haven’t seen that waistline in twenty years. Even after delivering a child, I lost all of my pregnancy weight. I only started gaining uncontrollably after I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and prescribed medication. These meds increased my appetite – and worse, Bipolar is a disease of “no self control.” It makes a person have trouble with setting boundaries such as stopping an action when a state of fullness has already been achieved – a condition of extreme behaviors (like overeating).

Seeing this photo today made me feel lost. I decided to research the connection between mental health medications and obesity, something I have been thinking about a lot since trying to lose weight. I never had a problem with my weight before being medicated. Now, being overweight has caused other health problems including chronic high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

So, here’s what I read today. My most prominent medication is Quetiapine (Seroquel). Quetiapine is an atypical antipsychotic commonly used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression. Well, that’s no coincidence. I have a diagnosis of all three of those conditions. So the choice of the med for me is no surprise. What I was not expecting was to gain half my body weight. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester, NY – Medicine-related weight gain can have many causes. Some medicines might stimulate your appetite. This causes you to eat more and gain extra weight. Some medicines might affect your body’s metabolism. This causes your body to burn calories at a slower rate. Other medicines might affect how your body stores and absorbs sugars and other nutrients.

Increased appetite and carbohydrate craving, along with reduced activity level, are common symptoms of depression. Chronic, low-grade sleep deprivation is another contributor to obesity… Skipping sleep [also] leads to persistently elevated levels of the body’s stress hormone, which can cause elevated blood sugar levels and increased fat stores. Staying up late may also make one more prone to late night snacking.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Chronic sleep disruption (insomnia) has plagued me most of my adult life. Plus, my version of Bipolar includes mania, wherein a person could go days without sleeping (or sleep very few hours). So that’s the basic news. I am sometimes manic and don’t sleep at all; and I am taking the most notorious weight inducing medication. Take that to the trainer (exactly what I am going to do).

I started this weight loss journey because I believed that it was possible for me to lose weight. Somewhere though, I lost the vision of my beach body and just started recording calories instead of controlling them. Today, I have a renewed motivation to reach my goal. I am going to use today’s photo as fuel for this fight. Since I’ve started a new career path, let’s see how I can meet my weight loss goal by the time I graduate my web development program (just in time for interviews). That gives me 18 months. Let’s call this day 123 (1). With any good pace, I’ll be a little more than half the person I am today.

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Charity: Water Campaign

On Saturday, September 6, 2020, I became a Spring Member, pledging a donation to charity: water every month. I also started a fundraising campaign for charity: water called, “Songs For Water.” This fundraiser is to help charity: water build the much needed water projects around the world. Read my post about this. With just a little work, we’ve already raised enough money to give water to one beautiful life for an entire year! Your support really goes a long way. We have 106 days left before this campaign ends. Let’s smash this goal!

Best of Mental Health and Wellness,


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