Why am I having trouble losing the last 10 pounds?

looking into mirror

I know that a lot of people out there have asked that question, and there are usually at least a couple of reasons for this final struggle. Yes, I think many of us share at least one reason, but maybe not all. I decided to write this post because one of my main struggles in taking off that last bit of weight is not often talked about. But is it that rare?

First off, losing my “last 10 pounds” would take me to the very high end of the normal BMI (Body Mass Index) range for my height, build and age. Achieving such a weight loss goal would be satisfying to me. I know that many women of all ages often set their weight loss goal well into their mid normal BMI range. I suppose partly so that they are firmly situated as “normal weight” (with wiggle room), and partly because they think an even lower BMI would be more attractive. I would never argue against their goals. Weight goals are an individual thing, but why does the max normal BMI weight appeal well enough to me?

Seroquel XRI happen to have a mental illness and take a couple of medications known to be weight unfriendly. I’ve managed to lose a large amount of past medication weight gain, and have found a medication mix that seems weight neutral. [Those of you in the know, this is even with me taking Seroquel XR.]  Though I’m still 10 lbs over a normal BMI, I’m sort of satisfied that at 46 years old, I am now no heavier than my heaviest weight at 30 years old, when I was not taking any medications at all. I think that to many fellow people with bipolar disorder, that would seem almost an accomplishment in itself.

The above observation makes me think about what my “weight destiny” really is? The weight that my genes seem to want me to be, ignoring any effects medications have. I look back at the obesity of most of the women in my family, and even my dad and brother (at times) and recognize that I’ve managed to stay among the thinnest in the family for the highest percentage of my life. Yes, there was a time when I was almost obese, but for years now I haven’t been. If I’m no heavier than without medications, could 10 pounds overweight be my weight destiny?

Though many people, particularly women, compare themselves to actresses or models and seem to always think they’re fat, I rather perceive myself as sufficiently trim. Even when I look in the mirror I don’t mind what I see. My mirrors aren’t slimming in any way.

I guess there is a little motivation for me to lose that last 10 pounds. It is my slightly abnormal blood work results. I have high cholesterol and high triglycerides. Not high enough to warrant medication for it, just high enough for my doctor to recommend eating changes. But I am just not up to the challenge. Not just because of satisfaction with where I am, but because of diet fatigue, and also the stress and mood issues I deal with because of my mental illness. Can some of you relate to that?

cup cake smileThe temptation to self-medicate with food to relieve my mood issues just seems more attractive than accomplishing the last bit of weight loss. I’m often just tuckered out and yearning for simple pleasures. This makes me say “Hell with the blood work!” I don’t feel I’m on the verge of imminent death from a heart attack. Of course if I was I’d surely improve my ways, but I still feel young enough not to fret on such risks. My blood work hasn’t worsened, so I maintain the status quo.

Occasionally I do find some motivation to diet. I lose maybe three to four pounds. Then the motivation disappears again or the weight loss slows down to a frustrating crawl. Like others, my metabolic rate slows down, and the thought of lowering my caloric intake even more becomes too much of a downer.

I know waiting until I’m forced under the gun to diet is too late. I guess I hope that I’ll get a little mood elevation before then to restart my diet quest. But I think that when/if it does, I still won’t be aiming for Victoria’s Secret swimsuit model. Actually, I’ve been 10 pounds less than I am now. Frankly, at that weight I think I’m pretty hot stuff. Right now “warm stuff” just seems good enough.

12 thoughts on “Why am I having trouble losing the last 10 pounds?

  1. Iggy July 6, 2017 / 4:18 pm

    I have a lot of odds against me. I’m 45, have had 6 pregnancies, have a slow thyroid, and am on wweight unfriendly medication for my bipolar. I am watching my carbs under doctors orders which is VERY difficult, even healthy food (fruits and veggies) have high carb content! My excercising has it’s ups and downs. Sometimes I am really good with it, working out every day on the treadmil, and then something comes up and I get out of the habit. Even with watching my carbs and doing the excercise, weight loss is slow and go for me. I could NEVER be my “ideal weight” according to BMI charts. I am supposed to be like 105 lbs for my height. I’m pretty sure I will NEVER attain that, and I am ok with that. I have NEVER been that thin. I am on cholesterol meds, and probably this next appointment high blood pressure meds. There is a history of heart disease on both side of my family, so my risk is very high. You would think that would up my motivation, but it doesnt. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight July 6, 2017 / 4:37 pm

      There is heart disease in my family, but like you, it doesn’t motivate me as much as one would think it should.

      It’s hard when you’re on weight unfriendly meds. I hope for you that when you are stabilized for a while that your psychiatrist can maybe lower the doses a bit. That has helped for me.

      I am still on two antipsychotics in addition to other moodstabilizers. I have noticed that as my psychiatrist weans me off of Geodon that my blood work has improved a bit. I hope when I see my nephrologist my blood work will be a little better.

      I was told to do the low carb diet, too, and I know how hard it is. I love my starchy carbs. As for sugars I’m OK with sugar substitutes, but usually there is also starchy carb involved. Keep working on it the best that you can. Or at least I hope the cholesterol and blood pressure meds do help a lot.

      We all just need to find a place where we are happy with ourselves. We need reasonable expectations. I find I have them from putting priorities on things that are more easily attainable.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessica Bakkers July 7, 2017 / 1:07 am

    As you know, I’ve recently been through an operation (gallbladder removal). The surgery was tough enough, but what REALLY messed me up and made my depression and anxiety rear their ugly heads is the knowledge that for the last 5 – 10 years I have been so miserable in my current circumstances I have EATEN myself into hospital. I stacked on 30 kilos and literally destroyed my gallbladder. Why? Depression eating. Comfort eating. Call it what you will. I ate to feel some kind of joy and happiness I wasn’t (aren’t) getting in my current circumstances. And though this realisation was a huge blow to my mental health, by recognising it, I’m now resolved to fix not only the weight, but the circumstances behind it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bipolarsojourner July 9, 2017 / 5:33 am

    keep in mind, bmi is not the be all to end. some people with a bmi 22 do have a horrible heart conditions. on the other hand, there are people who have a bmi in access of 30, run marathon regularly, and are in perfect heart health.

    sure, it would be great to loss those last 10 pounds, but I wonder if your meds are in the way. perhaps set two goals: 1. at all cost, keep your weight from going up. 2. set a goal to loss those 10 pounds over the year. that works out to be about eliminating 100 calories a week compared to what you are consuming right now. that’s about the amount of calories in a standard hersey bar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bipolarsojourner July 9, 2017 / 5:40 am

      opps, I messed on on my calculations. it’s really about 900 calories a week. that may sound like a lot, but that’s a lot easier than dropping a pound a week or 3500 cals.

      Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight July 9, 2017 / 6:43 am

        I know that just SOME exercise would surely do the trick, but it is so hard for me to get myself to do it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bipolarsojourner July 9, 2017 / 6:50 am

        i do believe that many people realize how expensive calories are. that hersey bar I talked about, weighing in about 100 calories, takes a 160 pound person more than a mile of walking to burn off that candy bar.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight July 9, 2017 / 12:26 pm

        I know. Dieting can seem like deprivation when you really want to have those things.


      • bipolarsojourner July 9, 2017 / 2:55 pm

        btw, there should of been a not in the first sentence. i really hate when i do that. it completely changes the meaning of the sentence.

        it’s hard to give up things especially when it’s some of your favorite foods or treat. perhaps you’re not depriving yourself of those thinks but getting to lose those last 10 pounds.

        Liked by 1 person

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