Part and parcel of taking Bipolar disorder medication is coming to terms with its side effects. Though I am relieved to have a diagnosis for my illness, happy that medication treatment is available, I am not ready and have not given much thought of its side effect weight gain.
When I find out I was two to three kilograms heavier in the span of two months, unlike the gradual increase from my bouts of emotional-eating, my thought was “I am going to have an obesity problem.” The ‘freak-out’ alarm rumbled loudly. The fear I had was greater than receiving the diagnosis of Bipolar disorder. I catastrophized that I would be plagued by obesity complications like heart diseases, Type II diabetes, and stroke. No amount of exercise would reduce my weight. There was no way out.
Keeping on My Toes
With a disturbed mind, I began to watch my diet, and control my bouts of emotional-eating. I would drink water whenever I crave for snacks. Alternatively, I would bargain for a ‘small dose’ of snack after completing some unfavorable tasks that need to be done. More often than I like, I succumb to emotional-eating. To restrain my cravings, I google for the food and fruit to avoid, so that I can snack healthily. It is no easy feat, and I persist with an exercise schedule, jogging two to three times a week, planking and/or situps on a daily basis.
I wonder with these efforts in place, will my method be effective? Will I lose my belly fat? Am I focusing on the wrong thing?
Instead of weight gain, to be fit and healthy seems to make more sense. With this thought, I feel less stress and my mealtimes become more enjoyable. I keep up with my exercises and a balance diet in smaller portions (less carbohydrate, more proteins, and take my greens). I have my water bottle with me as a constant reminder to stay hydrated and take less caffeine and sugar beverages.
More importantly, I resolve to keep fit and healthy with a positive mindset.