gaining weight

Diet Changes

It’s been awhile since I talked about medication and anxiety, etc. Here are a few posts to give some background:

Medications and Weight – the brief history of starting prozac because of my postpartum anxiety.

Positive Thinking, Positive Change – The post where I talk about gaining 10 pounds when I increased the dosage of prozac and trying a different medication.

Keto Background – The post where I decided to try the keto diet in order to lose the weight.

What was so frustrating about gaining 10 pounds on prozac last year was that I was still working out. I was still counting my calories. I did some research and it seems like prozac in particular, changes the metabolism in your brain. There are some theories that it might cause insulin resistance, as well. I read through a bunch of online medical journals and reports and articles. Some of which I understood–a lot was over my head. But there was definitely evidence of prozac causing weird shifts in your metabolism and WHAT you crave.

I know that when I increased the dosage from the minimal I was craving sugar and carbs like mad. I went back down to 10mg and the cravings decreased. I went on the keto diet and lost some weight in the beginning and then the weight loss stopped.

“It has been observed that Prozac and weight gain go hand in hand, especially in women.  (source)”

Ugh!

I mean, none of this is news to me, really. I’ve had a history of depression my whole life and I’ve tried a bunch of different medications over 20+ years. I had bad experiences with Paxil, Effexor (40 pound weight gain), Celexa (15 pound gain), Zoloft, Lexapro, Wellbutrin (the best one,that never caused weight gain). I know that antidepressants can cause weight gain. Which is why I try and be more diligent–keep counting my calories and keep working out.

I’ve been doing okay lately with my anxiety and at my last therapy session my doctor “cleared” me of having a “clinical mental health issue.” They don’t say cured. 😉 I’m not cured, I will always struggle with anxiety, but I am using the tools I learned to try and manage it. Which is why I thought maybe it’s time to stop the prozac, see how I manage without it and HOPEFULLY finally lose the weight.

It’s been pretty frustrating this year that I didn’t lose a lot of weight doing the keto diet. Especially following a bunch of keto people on Instagram and seeing drastic weight changes for people doing the diet. It felt like my body adapted really quickly to doing keto and then just STOPPED losing weight. No matter what I did. It wasn’t even a slow weight loss…it just stopped.

It takes about a month for prozac to be completely out of my system. But I’m ready to try and see if it helps me with weight loss. It’s been a struggle the last few months to stay committed to keto when I’m not seeing results.

Finally, you might want to check out this podcast about metabolism. It was really interesting and informative!

Medications and Weight

I’m feeling pretty down about my weight right now. I wanted to check in and share my experiences lately.

I was doing pretty good. I was to the point where I had 9 pounds to lose to get back to pre-Logan weight. I was feeling better about myself, even though it’s taken forever to even get to that point.

I’ve shared in the past about my experiences with depression and taking antidepressants and the unfortunately side effect: weight gain. Well I’m back to that spot again.

A few years ago I realized that my issues are more with anxiety than depression. Yes, depression was a big issue for me in my teens and twenties but in my 30’s it’s been anxiety. Like on a scale of 1-10, I’ve been holding steady at like a 7 for anxiety! I definitely had postpartum anxiety.

After I had Logan I was sleep deprived and anxious and because of my history I was super vigilant about looking for signs of postpartum depression…so much so that I totally missed the fact that I was suffering from PPA. Mostly because it wasn’t even on my radar. People talk so much about PPD but rarely PPA. I didn’t even know it was a thing until I started to feel like I was going insane.

I was so anxious all the time. The biggest thing for me was anxiety about SIDS. I had no reason to be anxious about it but I became obsessed. To the point where I wasn’t sleeping at all in those early months. It was not a healthy situation. I talked to my therapist and she eventually said it was time to go back on my medication. So when I stopped breastfeeding at 10 months PP, I went back on my Wellbutrin.

Wellbutrin has been my go-to medication for 20+ years. It’s the one that has worked best for me and THANKFULLY NO WEIGHT GAIN. It’s basically the only one out there that honestly does not cause weight gain.

Well, good news: no weight gain for me. Bad news: the medication that has always worked in the past suddenly didn’t work — instead, it super aggravated my anxiety. I was crushed. I went off the medication per my doctor and he suggested we try Prozac.

I was reluctant to try it because I couldn’t really find a lot of information about Prozac and weight gain. My doctor said it was usually “minimal.” But I decided to try because my anxiety was so bad. It was exhausting. I started the Prozac last November and once it started working, it was like a giant weight was lifted. Suddenly my anxiety was gone. I was able to think more clearly and manage the anxiety that came up. It was really eye-opening how bad my anxiety had been.

Fast forward about 4 or 5 months and my doctor decided it was time to increase the dosage a bit.

10 pounds. That’s how much I’ve gained since taking the Prozac. It was slow at first and then the dosage increase bumped it up pretty fast. I talked to my doctor and he said that 10 pounds sounds about right for that. He still called that “minimal.” I know 10 pounds is minimal to most but it’s A LOT to me. Especially in a short time.

I’m unhappy about this, I’m frustrated. Especially considering I’d been doing so well. And then on the flipside, I keep thinking “is losing weight worth the crippling anxiety?” Or is it better to just be like this and have my anxiety under control?

I talked to my doctor and he had a few suggestions:

  1. reduce the prozac back to the lower dose and see if that helps
  2. try Cymbalta instead (the side effects seem iffy to me)
  3. try Buspar (it’s an older medication and apparently doesn’t cause weight gain–but…..who knows)

I’m honestly not sure what the right decision is. It’s clear I need something to help manage the symptoms. But…at what cost?

So that’s the update right now. I still haven’t decided.