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Old 01-17-2013, 04:35 AM   #5
Z
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 862
Gallery: Z
Stats: Fat / Less Fat / Happy
WOE: Meat, eggs, butter
Start Date: June 2012
I feel like I should qualify my advice. I want you to understand that I truly understand what you're going through. For what it's worth, I won't tell you to buck up, or get over it. That doesn't work. If it were as easy as putting on a happy face, the artificial and jovial mask I've contorted my face into for the last 36 years would have long since cured my condition.

A condition called Dysthymia. What this means, is that I have always been depressed since the day I was born. I have never lived a single day free from depression.

I have tried counselling and medication and my depression has resisted all attempts at treatment. Where counselling was concerned, I ultimately decided that depression was a rational response to a life not worth living.

On the medicine side of things, I had two problems (three if you count that none of them helped)

1. Antidepressants tend to leave me foggy-headed, and since I think for a living, that's not really acceptable.

2. It turned out I was allergic to one particular antidepressant, and it caused me to go into anaphylactic shock.

For me there are two modes of depression: There's the normal threshhold of anguish, apathy, hopelessness, and self-loathing that I've known all my life, and there's a special bonus round depression that happens when a dysthymic slips into a Major Depressive Episode. They call it 'double depression'. Because, out of all the things I wanted double helpings of in life, depression was at the TOP of the list

Because of the underlying dysthymia, double depression is difficult to treat, and can last for years. It's like having the worst day of your life, every day, because every new day is worse than the day before it.

Fortunately for me, I do not suffer from anhedonia - a common co-symptom of dysthymia in which sufferers are incapable of experiencing any kind of fun, joy, or pleasure even when good things happen. This characteristic ability to find moments of joy in a constant sea of depression is referred to as 'atypical depression'. The name is a misnomer, since 40% of depression cases are some variant of atypical (making it the most common variety).

Enough of the fancy talk though - you asked a question: Is it possible to be miserable to the extent that absolutely nothing matters anymore, and you spend every waking moment despairing of life, and yet still successfully follow diet program?

Yes!

It is absolutely possible to be miserable and successful, but the cards are stacked against you, so it's going to take some extra work on your end. And some light rewiring.

WATCH-ME-SHRINK brought up a great point. Distractions. Have a hobby. Have 6 if you can. Spend time reading, and bowling and riding horses - find a creative outlet, and spend time out with your friends - even when you don't want to. Find something that brings you any small amount of joy or pleasure, because sometimes, you can put up enough distraction to take the edge off the pain - even forget about it for a moment. Stay busy, and keep your mind active. it's the quiet and non-productive moments that bring the pain back in full force.

Try not to think about being depressed. I know that's like telling someone to "Try not to think about elephants," but the more you dwell on your depression, the worse it will get.

Decide what your goal is, and why. Figure out the path you want to take, and internalize it. Before you even begin, treat your unwanted behaviors (eating cake, for example) with the same seriousness, fear and respect you'd treat a more classic addiction (heroin, for example).

You have to approach self change with absolute and immutable zealotry. You have to be in, 1500% - because the road is a lot longer than you think it's going to be.

From here, I'll share what got me started, but hopefully you've got better ideas. There is no positive motivation in my life. No hope for a better tomorrow. I'm already miserable, I shouldn't have to add fat to that.

The only reason I haven't killed myself is some combination of cowardice, a strong ethical aversion to taking life, a belief that no matter how bad this is, this is all there is, and an irrational fear that reincarnation might be a real thing and that suicide is merely a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

For lack of other tools, I channeled my raw hatred and disgust at my state of fitness and my appearance into resolve to change. I hated myself for every doughnut and every pizza, and every french fry. I hated myself for being fat, and for being too lazy to do something about it for all of those years.

I used all of that as the fire to keep me on the plan during induction. And as I started losing weight, I stepped up the levels of exercise, and moved to a sunny desert climate so that I could design my life around fitness.

it's the same thing that allowed me to quit smoking: An absolute unwavering unshakable zealotry that consumes my every thought night and day (at first, I sometimes think about other things now). I learned to recognize the initial discomfort as my punishment for eating wrong all these years, and to this day I refuse to allow myself to even think about eating carby foods. I will literally shout the idea out of my head, until it passes. I lock down every thought that might jeopardize my success. If you fantasize about pizza all day, you will eventually find an excuse to eat it.

I follow a simple set of rules, without any room for error: 20 carbs. No sugar. No starch. No culinary fruit (apples are out, bell peppers are in).

After a while, HFLC became a habit.

I've lost 50 pounds so far. I'm still depressed, and profoundly alone. But the improvements to my weight, musculature, and joint health have made it so much easier for me to get out and about - to engage in those distractions. I feel less intensely depressed, and things seem to be getting better all the time.

So to summarize:

1. Plan.
2. Commit.
3. Act.
4. Follow through
5. Repeat.

I can't say for sure what will work for you, but for me, it takes absolute commitment, and unshakable mental discipline. I had to be willing to abandon all excuses, and follow my plan to the letter - anything less isn't worth the effort.

I wish you all the success in the world. It won't be easy, but that's what makes it rewarding.

Last edited by Z; 01-17-2013 at 04:45 AM..
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