antidepressants

Bottomless Pit

Wednesday morning I had an early appointment before work. The plan was to head to the gym before my appointment, then I realized last week my membership was expiring. I decided to go anyway and see if I could work out despite it being lapsed. At the very least ask the salesperson trying to get me to sign up if I could have one more morning to workout before “making a decision” on the gym membership (snicker).

I got up early, had a snack (English Muffin) and headed to the gym. When I got to the gym there was no one at the counter where I checked in and no salespeople lurking in the sales area. I saw the usual counter girl, whom I really like and chat with, helping some other people. She said “Hi Lisa!” and waved. I waved back and decided–hey, no one at the counter……why not?? Sure it was sneaky. Technically I wasn’t a member anymore. But…..yeah, I don’t feel guilty.

First up: treadmill. I haven’t run since last Saturday when my run was cut short with a calf cramp. The cramp had gone away–I was able to swim on Sunday and bike 24 miles on Monday with no issues. I thought I was okay by Wednesday. I started slow and felt okay.


I got sucked into an episode of Supernatural (yum yum) and was enjoying the empty gym in the early morning hours. Then about 3/4 into my first mile my right calf started to cramp AGAIN. UGH. I slowed to a walk for about a minute then decided to try and run through the cramp. It was my last chance to use the gym and I was just tired of this cramping business.

I was able to run it out and finish my run but my leg still feels cramped up. I have no idea what is causing it. I foam roll, I eat healthy, drink water, stretch….what’s up?? Runners: give me advice!


Run Stats:
Time: 50 minutes
Distance: 3.75 miles


Not a bad distance despite my calf discomfort. I really wish this cramp would knock it off already. If I’m going gym-free for awhile I’ll be spending more time running.


After my run I limped down the stairs to the weight room and did my last weight session at the gym. Sad face. Felt sad. Sure I can buy some free weights to do at home but it’s just not the same.


I spent a good amount of time using the plated weight machines for chest and back since I won’t have access to them. Then I finished up with the free weights. I’ve noticed that I’ve lost a LOT of my strength since taking a month off from weight lifting.


Finally, I spent some time doing some ab work and then did a LOT of stretching. I ended my workout with the foam roller–paying extra attention to my stupid calf muscles. Ugh.


Gym Stats:
Time: 1:33
Calories Burned: 778


I hurried home to shower and eat before my appointment. I put on some muscle rub to see if that would help my calf.


For breakfast I scrambled 2 eggs with chopping red onion, 1 slice of ham chopped and topped with salsa, sour cream and beans. It was a big breakfast but exactly what I needed after a killer workout.

I was hungry in an hour.

Whenever I work out in the morning before work, I am a total bottomless pit the rest of the day. It doesn’t matter if I bring enough food to work to eat throughout the day, or if I eat good, filling foods–I am still starving.

I had leftover pizza for lunch (mmm carbs) and was still hungry. Ate a hard boiled egg as a snack. That took the edge off, then I was hungry again. Stupid hunger!

QUESTION: What’s the deal with my calf cramping?

Drugs and Weight Gain

This is a personal subject for me, but something I wanted to share here. I’m no stranger to depression and since I was 14 years old, I was on some sort of antidepressant. I’ve tried almost all of them out there over the years. I had no idea that the pills could be contributing to my weight gain. It was never discussed!

In my “Fat History” (About Me Page), I spoke about a revelation I had during a sweat lodge. I got off the pills. For the first time in years I didn’t take anything and I started to lose weight. I lost my 110 pounds—all off pills. Because of the weight loss, and my increased activity, I was HAPPY. All the time. I had energy. I ate a healthy diet. I was so active, I rarely sat still to even watch TV (just ask Michael—it drives him nuts that I can’t sit still for one TV show :)). I didn’t need pills! I was convinced that exercise had cured my depression. And it really had!

Last year was a hard one for me, however. There were a lot of changes in my life; new relationship, insecurities, job changes, financial changes, friendship changes, and finally a new move. All of these things overwhelmed me at one point (last March). I found that I wasn’t suffering from depression BUT I was having horrible episodes of intense, crippling anxiety. I was reluctant to take any pills—exercise had worked for me—but exercise wasn’t working for the anxiety like it did for the depression.

I spoke to my doctor (who like most HMO’s is very quick to prescribe something instead of try to fix something). I was prescribed Celexa. I was told it was similar to one I had taken in the past. I took Celexa for about 9 months or so. And I gained 15 pounds.

After losing 110 pounds, I was absolutely devastated to gain 15 back. And the worst part? I WAS STILL DOING ALL THE SAME THINGS I DID BEFORE. I still worked out like a fiend. I still watched what I ate.

I read a fantastic article about reversing the effects of antidepressant weight gain. Check it out here: http://www.divinecaroline.com/22189/96350-reversing-antidepressant-weight-gain/.

One part of the article really caught my eye: “Some animal studies focusing on drugs like Zyprexa that cause substantial weight gain suggest that the drug interferes with other brain chemicals such as histamine or a sub-group of serotonin-containing cells, thereby promoting hunger.” That’s how I felt! All last year I was always hungry. I thought perhaps this new hunger (and insatiable hunger to boot) was because of my new running program. I started researching “weight gain while training” and found that other people had similar issues. But I was still kind of baffled as to why I was gaining so much.

I asked my doctor if I could be referred to a nutritionist to see if there was something I could do. She refused. She said that since I wasn’t obese (anymore) and not diabetic, insurance wouldn’t cover it. What? I’m still frustrated about this and STILL haven’t seen the nutritionist.

Since I was refused the nutritionist, I started to think that maybe it was the pills? I decided to stop taking them. The article states: “Weight gain ranged between fifteen and forty pounds for those on antidepressants and between seventy-five and 125 pounds for those on mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotic drugs.”

Here’s a picture of me on New Year’s Eve. Now that I’ve started losing the weight, I can REALLY see that 15 pounds.

New Year's Eve

Since I’ve stopped taking the pills, I’ve lost 3 pounds. I’m pretty happy about that. I’m a work in progress. My goal is to lose those 15 pounds I gained last year. I’m doing everything right. Now it’s time for my body to realize that and catch up!

Hike 2 Weeks Ago