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 I'm having one of those brain-chemically Off days and finding it hard to take advantage of this, one of my last kid-free days for awhile. But the good news is, this is the first of such days I've had in MONTHS. MONTHS, SERIOUSLY. I'm not sure if those of you who are neurotypical-and-mentally-healthy are appreciating this fully, so try again, harder: I have gone MONTHS without depressive symptoms taking over my day. Last week at counseling I had to fill out the let's-see-how-sick-you-really-are checklist and I got to check "none of the days" for almost EVERY SYMPTOM, and the ones I didn't were things that have other causes besides depression, like, "Trouble focusing or paying attention" (have I mentioned I'm now officially on the record as having ADHD (Inattentive)? because I have mentioned it, but I keep forgetting).

The really annoying thing is, what could have caused this improvement? Certainly not the state of the world, which, if you haven't been paying attention, kind of sucks more every day. My kids are still loud and my husband's still Republican. I haven't even made any permanent changes in my medication, though we did try, seeing that I have an official new diagnosis that can be treated differently-- it turns out my heart really doesn't like prescription stimulants and I certainly don't want to force the matter on it. 

No, unfortunately, my improvement can be directly correlated with me being on Weight Watchers. 

SERIOUSLY, body?! My diet wasn't THAT bad before, and I'm not exercising THAT much more now. Yet you're going to make me watch what I eat and take the stairs for the rest of my life now to keep me all internally balanced out, is that what you're saying?

Before I go further, I want to make a few things abundantly clear. Most importantly: I am NOT, absolutely NOT, implying that clinical depression can be CURED just with diet and exercise. Maybe for some people it can, but that's not actually how the mental illness of depression works (maybe it works, combined with talk therapy, for some folks getting over situational depressions, but I ain't talking about them!). I am still on 100mgs of Zoloft a day, thanks, and I still have days like today, where I just haven't quite got the drive to live. The Zoloft attempts to keep the serotonin behaving as it ought to in a normal brain, but apparently being generally healthy keeps the levels of serotonin manageable on top of that.

Second thing I want to make clear: I'm relatively bothered by our culture's stance on FAT. I don't really approve of cosmetic weight loss, trying to get a Beach Body, wanting to hit a certain number on the scale. I've always had, I've said, relatively healthy feelings toward my figure (if not my face), whether as a skinny kid, a curvy adolescent, or an overweight adult. I figure, as long as I'm HEALTHY, there's nothing wrong with a little heft.

But that's the key-- I'd stopped being HEALTHY. If I ever WAS healthy. But anyhoo. That's why I started feeling better after only a week of "weight-watching." I hadn't even WEIGHED myself for the first time yet, so I wasn't psychologically cheering about that. No, I just woke up one morning about a week later and thought, "I ALREADY feel so much better. CRAP." 

i.e., apparently scaling back on portion sizes and carbs and non-water drinks actually DOES give you more viv. WHY. I LIKE NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT HOW MANY POINTS SOMETHING IS BEFORE I EAT IT. I LIKE BUFFETS. I haven't had to deal with a real buffet yet while on Weight Watchers but I WILL GO TO BUFFETS AGAIN. 

Anyway, it's funny, I've now hit the point, weight-wise, I was at about two to three years ago, when other people (doctors, inlaws, you know) were telling me I was gaining too much weight and I was perfectly happy where I was. It was much later into my sudden-blimping-out phase when I became dissatisfied with my own body-- looks-wise, the fact that I wasn't fitting into pretty dresses I'd just recently MADE-wise, but also I was getting a lot of annoying side symptoms that were in fact related to extra weight. I set my first goal on Weight Watchers to lose 20 pounds, which would get me out of that stage. And I hit it, a few weeks ago. And yes, like magic the heartburn and incontinence and joint pain and junk are gone! Woot!

But now my logical brain and my Id are apparently arguing with each other. I set a new goal to get me down another twenty pounds, which would get me back to pre-Maddie weight if not pre-Sammy. But-- though my points numbers and habits haven't changed-- I'm not losing as quickly now, and I'm CRAVING high-points food items a lot more, which GIVES me less desire to stick through it. So it's like subconsciously I hit a point where my superego is saying "Okay, keep up the good work, keep going!" but my id's all "No, this is my happy spot, remember? It's fine right here." 

But it's NOT fine right here, because it's too easy to slip back to where my body wasn't so happy? So I really need to keep going, and make sure habits are in place where I don't HAVE to be QUITE so strict with my diet but I'm not going to slide down that hill of healthlessness again? 

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