There is a new study that just came out that links weightloss to depression. A little hinky at first glance, but after reading the short version here or the long version here, I have my own insights into the findings of this study. Let me be clear, they are totally unscientific insights, but I believe they are valuable.
I can make a lot of assumptions about my readership, but the reality is I can only speak from my own experience. I have 100 pounds to lose. I am depressed in the sense that I am diagnosed with chronic depression, I take medication and I am being treated by talk therapy. Now my depression doesn’t stem solely from my weight, but I do have hopes that losing some of this weight will increase my level of happiness. I have had this hope for years that losing some of the extra weight I have been carrying around would turn my life around. If I just…..
What this study said to me is there is a large portion of the overweight population that has undiagnosed depression. I highly doubt that the depression manifested itself through weight loss. There are a host of ailments that doctors fail to treat as they chalk things up to weight and expect that losing it will clear up the issue. Depression is one of them.
So where does that leave us? This study almost seems to discourage weightloss, but no, that cant be it. Lifestyle illnesses will take their toll if we don’t drop the extra weight. And the ramifications of those are far harder to treat then depression.
Maybe what we need to do is learn is to love ourselves exactly where we are at. Not putting off til tomorrow what we can do today. I have a vinyl sticker on my bathroom door that says “Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful” and when I saw it yesterday it struck home with me. I am beautiful. I am worthy of love. I don’t need to lose weight to be any of those things. While I may have a broken leg and be out of work, I am still a fantastic human being capable of many things. Yes, I have things to work on, but for this moment I am going to love myself, because I am all I have in this world. I have said it before, but it all begins between our two ears.
In closing I am going to post two pictures, taken 8 years apart. In both I thought I was fat. In both I was depressed. In both I am beautiful. Losing the weight was good for me, as losing the weigh now will be good for me. But there are very few differences in my mental state between the two. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor and tell them you need a referral for talk therapy. You must become your own advocate if you are suffering with depression. No one else will do it for you, no one can lose the weight, and no one else will advocate for you. Be your own kind of beautiful and embrace yourself where you are on your path. Don’t wait til some day in the future when you feel you are deserving, you deserve your own love today.