I don’t know how long ago I made this blog but I haven’t been on it in forever. I started college this time last year and although you might have heard of the freshman 15, I experienced the freshman 50.
Before college started I’d been on a healthy binge for almost a year, which is when I was active on this blog, but I stopped blogging well before school started due to the self-esteem problems that things like “thigh gaps” and “thinspo” gave me. I ate healthy food, ran for an hour everyday and hiked at least once a week and went from 150lbs at the start of my diet/new lifestyle whatever you want to call it, to 120lbs at the start of college (I’m 5’7 with a relatively small frame).
I thought I’d keep up my work out routine in college considering there was a full gym that was included with our tuition in addition to having to walk everywhere in a large campus. I overestimated my attention span for exercise and my willpower when it came to the endless dining hall fries and free frat party alcohol. My weight bumped up to 135lbs in the first month, which didn’t bother me too much because I had a lot of wiggle room weight-wise when I started college and I was prepared for a bit of weight gain. I blamed it on being “carefree” and “having fun” and basically adopted a very go-with-the-flow attitude the way many girls who aren’t used to worrying about their weight do.
Gradually during the first few months of college, I developed this horrible numb feeling inside of me. It was as if nothing made me happy, even the things I used to love doing, even my guilty pleasures, even my boyfriend. I initially reached out to my college friends, but they didn’t have much of an attention span for “negative energy” as one of them referred to it as. My boyfriend at the time tried to help me, but when he couldn’t, it frustrated him and eventually the behaviors I adopted to soothe myself such as drinking drove him to break up with me. At this point I was ready to break up with him as well simply because I wasn’t happy and we both realized he just wasn’t the type of person who could handle being in a relationship with someone who had clinical depression. I knew I had a genetic predisposition for it and that I’d had a taste of depression before, but I had never experienced this chronic numbing agony before. What people who neither have depression or know about depression don’t understand is that it’s not an external experience or event that makes you this way that you can just “fix” and the depression will go away. It’s basically being heartbroken about nothing, and you keep trying to find a reason why you feel this way and then trying to fix that reason and eventually you realize that nothing you or anyone does will make you happy. Allie Brosh, the author of hyperbole and a half (if you haven’t seen this blog check it out it’s great), describes depression perfectly. She says it’s like when you’re a kid playing with toys and every game you play with these toys is fun, but then you start to grow up, and one day, even though you’re playing the same games with the same toys, it’s just not fun anymore. Depression is like that, but with everything.
Anyways, this was the beginning of the end for me. My roommate moved out and I was alone. I almost never left my dorm room and since none of my college friends were really “best” friends, they didn’t bother to check on me. I slept a minimum of 14 hours a day and when I was awake I basically stared at the ceiling and tried to go back to sleep. Once I slept for 5 days straight. I barely had the energy to eat anything and what I did eat was garbage that I could get from the snack bar downstairs. I didn’t care about how I looked at all, I didn’t care about my health, I didn’t care about anything. This lasted almost consistently (there were a few good days, even some good weeks, but not enough) until spring break. I went home to my family, and then never went back to school. I got a medical withdrawal for severe depression and basically lost contact with everyone I met in school. My family helped nurse me back to health, I tried different medications (none of which seemed to work), but even just being in a familiar environment with people who wanted me to get better helped. I don’t even remember the moment I actually got better, I just know I’m good now.
By the time I had a wake up call that I was not the same person I went to college as, it was too late. I finally thought about exercise and diet again, and when I weighed myself I was 150lbs and right back where I started almost 2 years ago. It was discouraging but I kept with it. I started jogging almost everyday, eating just healthy food in general without a particular diet plan. I didn’t weigh myself because I knew it would upset me until I was back at an “acceptable” weight. Before it had taken me a little over a month to lose 10lbs, I gave myself a little room for error about 6 weeks straight of jogging everyday and healthy eating and I hoped to weigh 140, expected to weigh about 142, but I’d accept it as much as 145 because sometimes progress is slow. I weighed in at 155lbs. I’d gained weight and it was horrible. In my panic I decided to do a 2 week juice fast, where for 2 weeks I drank nothing but organic juices that I made myself. It was a ton of work and the first time I actually stuck with a juice cleanse, which I’d previously used for only a couple of days to limit my cravings and jumpstart my diet. At the end of two weeks I felt weak and miserable, but thought to myself “this is healthy, doctors recommend it to overweight people all the time,” and with confidence that I’d be at least 10lbs less, I weighed myself. 155lbs. I was heart broken, I told my family and all of friends about my unexplainable problem losing weight and everyone basically said the same thing along the lines of “try harder!” or “you’re probably not doing it right!” and no matter what I said they wouldn’t believe me and thought I was just being lazy and expecting results. This mildly triggered my depression again, not as much as before because I knew that what had caused this massive weight gain had been my depression. I was determined to get better and started seeing a therapist, who told me my depression was preventing me from losing weight. Eventually I realized that the only reason therapy was working was because I was spending my whole time arguing with my therapist. It stressed me out, but it made me more confident in my opinions and my self-awareness. Eventually I accepted my weight of 155 because whether I was dieting and exercising or not, I never gained anymore weight for a few months. I figured my body was just settling here now that I was older and I should just accept it. I wasn’t eating right or exercising but it wasn’t changing anything anyways so I figured there was no point. On June 24th I took a 3 week vacation to visit my friends in another state. It was a ton of fun and because of the location, I was walking a lot and since it was a more health conscious state, I was eating better. After three weeks of this I figured I must have lost SOME weight since that had happened to me when I went to Europe a few years before. I went home and early the next morning I hopped on the scale. It read 168lbs, and I was officially overweight. A week ago I took a blood test and just a few days ago I got the results. I had something called hypothyroidism, which means that my thyroid (the gland that regulates metabolism) wasn’t producing enough hormones and my body wasn’t burning enough energy or calories to lose or a maintain a healthy weight. I have an appointment with my doctor to get a new medication, which should hopefully correct my weight, and if not, set me up for success when I try to lose weight the next time.
If you keep gaining weight and can’t lose it, don’t listen when people just say you’re not trying hard enough. Get a blood test and a psych evaluation, because both depression and hypothyroidism (and plenty other health problems) make it harder or even impossible to lose weight until they are treated. I gained almost 50 pounds in one year, if that happened to you or your current diet and exercise plan doesn’t work even after months of following it carefully, IT’S NOT NORMAL and you should see a doctor. Most people assume weight loss is the same formula for everyone and will say it’s your own fault if you gain or cannot lose weight, but it’s not always the case. Rule out any health problems and talk to a doctor before starting a weight loss plan. Thank you.
Lunge 30 seconds (left and right legs)
Splits 30 seconds (left and right legs)
Splits arms up 30 seconds (left and right legs)
Pike sit toes pointed 30 seconds
Pike sit toes flexed 30 seconds
Straddle sit 30 seconds (left and right sides)
Straddle sit middle 30 seconds
Middle splits on elbows 30 seconds
Middle splits on shoulders 30 seconds
Middle splits on hands 30 seconds
Bridge 10 seconds