Weight Loss and Depression

I haven’t had a depressive episode since I started eating healthy, smaller portions, and walking at least a mile a day. I had them more times than I care to remember before that. But, I had one yesterday. 

Things didn’t go right for me Saturday. I went to bed depressed and got up Sunday morning depressed. I didn’t go to church. I didn’t walk. I just moped around most of the day wishing that the NFL season hadn’t ended. 

Fortunately, I didn’t go crazy binging on junk food like I used to do. Somehow, I managed to keep my healthy eating commitment that I had made to myself. I’ve come too far and have to much invested to turn to food when I get depressed. I have learned that the pain killer (food) creates more pain like guilt and regret which is not good or pleasant. 

I’ve learned that depression is anger turned inward. It is stuffing anger, and I often stuffed that anger with food trying to kill the anger with unhealthy eating. But, no more!  Thank God!  

So on that Sunday, I sat down in my man cave to try and get over it. I did have enough energy to have my devotion and sort out my sour disposition. Just before dinner, I had it sorted out. The depression lifted, and I felt better – like my old self again. If I had binged, I would have continued on in a depressed state feeling self-remorse, guilt, and shame. 

I’ve come a long way in this weight loss thing and successfully dealing with yesterday’s depression gives me a sense of victory today. I didn’t harm myself with food!

I know some who are working to lose the pounds get depressed when their weight loss stalls. Some get really depressed if they gain weight in spite of their efforts to lose weight. That depression can make a person want to give up – to quit trying and say “What’s the use?”  

Sometimes depression hits after an argument with your spouse, or you get a bad performance review from your supervisor even though you worked your tail off. A number of things can plunge a person into despair and hopelessness. And if a person has turned to food for comfort like I once did, the consequences are not desirable. 

But, we can’t quit. We can’t let depression have the victory. We have to sit back, take a breather, and work through it. 

Sir Winston Churchill suffered depressive episodes. He called it “the black dog” of depression. Researchers and biographers have since diagnosed him as someone who struggled with major episodes of depression. But, he worked through those episodes somehow and helped lead the way in defeating Hitler and the Nazis. He is a role model for me. 

So, when that old black dog sits down beside you, give yourself some self-understanding. You may not even feel like getting up in the morning. But, however depressed you are, don’t give in to the urge to feed your depression with food. Depression will pass. It always does, and you will have achieved another victory over controlling food rather than food controlling you. And when that depression finally lifts, you will feel victorious over emotional food cravings and be empowered to do it again when the black dog pays a visit. 

Finally, this verse from Philippians 4:8 always helps me through it .  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Losing weight starts with our brain – our thinking. Don’t let the crows build a nest of depression in it. Shoo them away with positive Scripture. It will help. Believe me.  I know. 

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