getting healthy

I’m trying to take better care of myself. For me, that means:

  • learning to manage my depression
  • eating healthy
  • exercising
  • cutting negative influences out of my life
  • trying to focus on the positive

I’ve been to see a therapist and a doctor for my depression, and they were both wonderful and helpful.

I also recently started eating healthier (again), which has helped my depression a ton. At my highest point, I was just under 300 pounds, and I felt out of control and I hated looking at myself in the mirror. So then… I would eat for comfort, which obviously wasn’t helping the situation any, but it was one of the familiar things I had always turned to.

I don’t exactly know what prompted me to change my eating habits, and I’m trying to avoid sounding like some sort of magical, cure-all infomercial. (There is no magical cure-all, sadly. It takes work. That’s the hard part.)

Anyway, I was at a hair appointment, reading one of the “popular” magazines, and there was a weight loss article in it. I took a look, just curious to see what those people were doing that worked for them. Most used meal plan systems and apps to help them lose weight. I didn’t plan to use a meal plan system I had to pay money for, I just wanted to learn to cook healthier. I did download the app that was most often mentioned in the article. (It’s MyFitnessPal, but there are other apps that will also work, such as Lose it! They aren’t paying me to advertise for them, so if you’re going to use an app, just pick something that *you* like.) That being said, I do like MyFitnessPal. The app helps me keep track of calories, weight loss, goals, and exercise. Most similar apps will do this, I just happen to like the format.

I first started myself out with a 2,000 calorie daily goal. I’m pretty sure I was eating closer to 3,000 calories a day before I started tracking, but even the 2,000 calories was too much. (If you do what an app tells you to do for a weight goal, you might actually gain.) I reduced the daily calorie intake goal to 1,800, but that still allowed me too much leeway with snacking. I took it down again to 1,700, which still seemed too generous. I finally went to 1,600 calories a day, and that seems to work pretty well for me.

Okay, so DO NOT assume that calorie amount is right for you. Based on my frame and weight, that’s what works well for me, but I’m also keeping a very close eye on what kind of calories I eat. It’s a little lower than the usual percent daily values, but I’m definitely not starving myself. Here’s what I typically have been eating.

For breakfast:

  • 2 scrambled eggs, with a little bit of ham, seasoned with fresh ground black pepper and herbs de Provence
  • a cup of tea with 1 tbsp sugar and 1/4 nonfat organic milk

Lunch:

  • Baked chicken (breast or thigh), seasoned with a little salt and pepper
  • Baked carrots
  • Baked broccoli
  • An orange or tangerine

Dinner:

  • Baked bell pepper stuffed with ground beef, peppers, and onion, seasoned with spices to taste
  • Baked asparagus
  • Green grapes

Snacks:

  • Baby carrots, grapes, blackberries, or raspberries

Occasionally, I will have a hamburger or a small piece of chocolate, but I just allow for it with the rest of my day’s calories. I never feel deprived or hungry. It’s not a diet, it’s really just trying to get healthy and make good changes for myself. I’ve lost 13 pounds so far!

Eating healthier not only helps me lose weight, it helps me feel better overall, and I also don’t hate the mirror anymore. I still look pretty much the same, but I feel good, and that helps my depression as well. It’s all interconnected.

As for negative influences… I’m trying to talk less to people who don’t have anything nice to say, and talk more to people who understand what I’m going through and will be there for me. It’s not always easy, but it helps. I’m also connecting more with things I enjoy, which helps me be less apathetic. (Video games and comic books make me happy. Making art and working on my bullet journal is very therapeutic.)

I hope this is helpful to others out there. Depression is normal, and tons of people have it. If you think you might have depression, I encourage you to talk to someone about it. You are not alone!

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