Where I came from and how I got here

My first post contains a lot of the back story, but here's the simpler and far less emo version.

In Sept '09 I weighed somewhere just over 200 lbs. I had had depression issues for decades, but after a hospitalization I was re-diagnosed as bipolar and prescribed Lithium. Although weight gain is much more typical on mood stabilizers, including Lithium, I started to notice that I was eating less and my clothes were fitting looser as the months went on. My depressive symptoms were not well controlled, so Lamictal was added to my medications, and my Lithium dose was increased once more.

For about a month I felt nauseated often and had basically zero appetite. I also had aversions to many foods. Lithium can sometimes affect the way you perceive tastes, and it made me very sensitive to salt especially. I lost about 30 lbs from my starting weight, much of which was during this time. The severity of the side effects improved, but I lost another 20 lbs gradually over the next 7 months.

I'm not really sure exactly why I didn't regain the weight and continued to lose it, since the nausea disappeared, and I feel as though my appetite and sense of taste is completely back to normal now. I believe it is partly that my stomach shrank while I was barely eating and I'm not capable of eating quite as much as I used to. And the antidepressants I had been taking previously are known to cause weight gain (I did actually gain 30 lbs while taking them), so just the fact that I was no longer taking them may have played some role. But I am also starting to believe that stress eating was a much bigger problem for me before the meds, and with much more stable moods I have much less of that consuming anxiety that drove me to over eat.

I didn't really care much for the body I was left with once my weight self-stabilized. My upper arms and stomach were saggy and seemed out of proportion to the rest of my body. From August '10 to Jan '11 I made a few half-assed attempts to lose weight, but pretty much bounced around inside the same 8 lb range from 151 to 159. In mid January of this year I started up again with a pretty drastic low calorie and low carb diet, and while I did manage to get below 150 lbs finally, I stalled out and found the diet to be too difficult to stick with.

I had looked at Weight Watchers a couple of times since they changed to the Points Plus plan and decided to just take the plunge and give it a try. It didn't really strike me at the time, but being on WW is really helping me to learn how to eat in a more healthy balanced way, which I never did before, and that is possibly even more valuable to me than the weight loss.