06 August 2008


Eep! Sorry for the delay. Life got in the way, and I didn't happen to run across anything blogworthy for a while.

Let's talk about accidental weight loss. I know that "accidental" and "weight loss" become an impossible, unrealistic concept for some people when they combine, but for some of us, it really does happen.

For some it's a symptom or side effect of a medical condition. My mother, for example, has a thyroid condition that has caused her to go from a size 16 to a size 8 in about six months. Try as she might, she's having a hard time keeping weight on, and it troubles her. She's not enjoying buying new pants every few weeks as she drops another size. Drastic weight loss was not something she factored into her very tight budget, and the combination of new (thrift store) clothes and more food is causing her some concern.

I've accidentally lost weight twice: once when I was very, very depressed, and once when I became unusually active.

Having a mental disorder doesn't just change how you feel and think, it changes everything you do, including eating. In my case, I went through a period of Major Depression where I just didn't think to eat much for about six months, and wound up 30 pounds lighter. That was quite a shock for me, and it took me a while to adjust my mental self-image. For about a year after that I was still buying clothes in my old size because I hadn't really wrapped my head around the idea of being thinner.

Last year when I started a new job, I was suddenly burning a lot more calories than I was eating, and I didn't think to step on the scale until a few weeks in when my "tight jeans" weren't so tight anymore. Ten pounds gone! Eek! Bones were showing more, and I wasn't feeling healthy, so I immediately adjusted my diet so I could get back to my target weight (between 130 and 135) and maintain it. Eating that much more than usual was uncomfortable for about a week while my stomach got used to it, but I felt so much better when I was back where I wanted to be.

So folks, if a thin chick seems distressed when she mentions losing weight by accident, please don't tell her she's lucky. When she talks about struggling to gain that weight back, please don't tell her that you wish you had that problem. Weight loss is just as traumatic for some of us as weight gain is for some of you, and we probably don't want to joke about it.

No comments: