Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Struggle

Okay, I'm going to get serious for a little while. I usually try to keep my blog here up-beat, but I think it's important to talk about struggles. If I'm going through this then other people are too, and maybe they want to read about it.

I am underweight. I'm not anorexic or bulimic, but I do have depression and anxiety issues. I also have Celiac Disease, which doesn't help things. When I get depressed, I don't eat. I know, I know, most people eat when they're upset. Well, I'm the opposite. I get an anxious stomach, and start feeling nauseous. When my stomach is upset I don't want to eat anything. Well, I'd been dealing with the anxiety for so long, that (according to my Doctor) I shut off my hunger trigger. Now, I actually forget to eat. I feed my kids, but then I get busy doing other things and forget to sit down and eat. I am under orders from my doctor to feed myself when I feed the kids, and I am really trying to stick to that.

I don't own a scale, so I don't know exactly how much I weigh, but in February I went in to the Doctor for some shoulder pain and when they weighed me I was 118 lbs. Which would be great, except that I am almost 5'9" tall. That puts my BMI (Body Mass Index)at 17.4. A normal weight person has a BMI of 18.5-24.9.

If someone finds out I'm underweight they'll usually tell me to eat more junk food or to 'carbo load'. Well, that's where the Celiac Disease complicates things. Celiac Disease is an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. That means I can't have most processed foods. There are lots of great products out there that are gluten-free, and more are coming out every day. These tend to be prohibitively expensive. And really hard to find. I can bake my own goodies, but one of the most serious symptoms of my depression is that I just don't have the energy to. This can be a vicious cycle, as being underweight makes me tired too. Food = Energy.

Being underweight causes me all kinds of other problems too. I get sick a lot. I usually catch every bug going around. It's not fun. There's that vicious cycle again. If I'm sick, I don't feel like eating anything. If I don't eat, I won't gain weight or have the nutrients I need. If I stay underweight, I get sick. On and on...

So there's my problem. Every day I fight. I won't give up, I'm too stubborn for that. Some days are better than others, but everyday is a fight. I plan to blog about this in the future, so consider yourself warned!

Photo credit: Tafkabecky at Flickr


Unknown said...

Good for you, Heather. It's funny because overweight people have the same struggles as underweight people. Instead of hearing people tell you to eat more, we get "eat less." Because, you know, it's obviously *so* simple. haha

Keep blogging and do it often. It might help with some of those depression symptoms (it sure helped me) and shed some light on things!

Best of luck! If there's anything I can do, let me know!

Tom and Joanne Asburry said...

Heather, The depression... I can't help you with. Depression is touchy and it good to have a doc and maybe a counselor to talk to. The celiac's disease is easy. There are so many yummy things to cook. Start by looking on the internet and then ask at grocery stores. They now have gluten-free bars that are easy to grab and eat. There are so many people with this that a support group should be pretty easy to find. Good luck honey. :0)
Aunt Joanne