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Newbie lacking in confidence and hopefully looking for some advice and reassurance!

S: 11st5.5lb C: 9st1.5lb G: 8st7lb BMI: 22.6 Loss: 2st4lb(20.06%)
Hi there,

I'm Catherine, I'm 30 years old and a first-time dieter, who started her Slimming World journey this week. To cut a long story short, I have anxiety and depression that I believe have caused me to gain weight the past year from a combination of medication and comfort-eating. I've made the resolution this year to try and gain some confidence back by getting out and meeting people, losing weight, and hopefully making a friend or two in the process!

Since I'm new to all this, I'd be very much grateful for any advice that you lovely people are able to offer me. I think this is going to be a bit of a shock to the system at first, as I am not the world's best cook, and cooking from scratch every day is daunting, to say the least! Still, I've tried to follow the plan as closely as I can this week, and I'm hoping the scales are going to be kind to me at my first weigh-in on Monday.

Nice to meet you all :)!

Catherine x
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Hippety Hop!
S: 16st2lb C: 12st7lb G: 9st7lb BMI: 35.3 Loss: 3st9lb(22.57%)
Hi Catherine, Welcome to the forum.
That's a very popular dieting regime you have chosen and I do hope it all goes well for you.
Nothing like being able to see all pounds disappearing and feeling so much better... you'll be able to get that bikini out this year no doubt.

Wishing you well on your journey to slimdom.

Onwards and Downwards! :girlpower:
S: 20st0lb C: 16st10lb G: 12st7lb BMI: 33.6 Loss: 3st4lb(16.43%)
Hi Catherine,

Welcome :wavey:

I can definitely relate to the combo of mental health issues, meds-related weight gain and comfort eating. I spent about 10 years on meds and - because of the particular type I was taking - I gained lots of weight. The lack of motivation and difficulties I was experiencing alongside all of this made the weight the smallest of my issues (and comfort eating a way of life).

I'm now in a much better place emotionally and am ready to tackle my weight (and my body image issues too). Going on a diet plan was a definite shock to my system too - but i'm two weeks in and feel really good about it. It can feel awesome to take control of something you know has gotten a bit out of hand (and is making you feel worse about yourself). I've done a few things that are new - joining a forum like this, cooking for myself when my hubbie isn't around (instead of just snacking) and even going jogging (a little bit!).

With your resolution of getting out and meeting people - as well as losing weight - it sounds like Slimming World is a great idea. I hope that, and the forum here, are really useful in helping you get your confidence back again.

I don't have lots of great advice, but one thing I'm trying to do is be super-kind to myself (whilst also sticking to the plan). I'm trying to find non-food comfort treats (which was a challenge initially). It means I've gone in to LUSH to buy some nice body smellies and - once I lose my first stone - I'm going to go and get my hair cut. I'm saving money by not snacking, so I figure this is re-investing it somewhere that is helpful. All the stuff I've been through over the years left my self esteem in tatters, so doing nice things for myself is my way of getting to know my body again and treating it kindly.

Good luck!
S: 11st5.5lb C: 9st1.5lb G: 8st7lb BMI: 22.6 Loss: 2st4lb(20.06%)
Hi, Emmaline and BrightSide,

Thank you for the welcome :).

I've gained about 2 stone in the last year - it shot up when I started taking the meds, though it had been slowly creeping up for about 6 months before then. My anxiety disorder went through the roof when losing my job became a very real possibility - I started self-medicating with alcohol as a result, which I think was largely to blame for the initial weight gain. The medication was a much better alternative, though I tried to resist it as long as possible, trying to convince myself I'd find a way to cope without, as I figured I was substituting one thing for another. I've always suffered from very low self-esteem, and I ended up reaching the point where I felt hopeless, like my weight gain was outside my control, so I'd eat something comforting, like some chocolate, as I figured it was pointless trying to deprive myself of something I used to enjoy. I was trapped in a vicious circle.

I'm glad to hear you are in a better place now, BrightSide - I can relate to so much of your post. I also need to be kinder to myself, and I struggle to find much motivation at all on my worst days. Your idea of non-food comfort treats is a great idea. I'm a fellow LUSH fan - their Flying Fox shower gel and Sakura bath bomb are my favourites! I think I'm going to treat myself to a nice top or something when I have dropped a dress size - it would be nice to rekindle my interest in clothes shopping - retail therapy is the best kind (even if it isn't kind to the bank balance!).

I should also do some more exercise, really - I've heard it's good for releasing endorphins and I do enjoy walking, though not sure how many calories this would burn unless it's a very brisk walk? It'll certainly be a bit easier to find motivation to do so with spring around the corner.

I'm crossing my fingers for a 2lb loss tomorrow, if my scales are as accurate as the Slimming World ones!
Hi Catherine,

Have you looked into any kind of meditation or mindfulness? There are lots of free resources on the net.

Anxiety and stress cause a chemical called cortisol to be released into your body. Without going into detail
having too much cortisol in your body can cause you to store weight, especially around your tummy.

Practicing mindfulness or meditation can help with your anxiety which in turn will make your weight loss journey easier.

Best of luck.
S: 19st7lb C: 19st7lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 45.4 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
hi there Catherine and :welcome:to mini's. I can relate to the low self esteem and depression. I am trying to think more positively and be kinder to myself. Good luck!
S: 11st5.5lb C: 9st1.5lb G: 8st7lb BMI: 22.6 Loss: 2st4lb(20.06%)
Hi Tony and Lynn,

Thank you for the welcome and nice to meet you :).

It's really interesting you mention that cortisol can affect weight loss, Tony, as my tummy is, without a doubt, the largest part of me. It protrudes, and I always try and cover it up with baggy tops. Clothes shopping can be a nightmare, as I find I need a larger size to allow for the stomach, but it's big everywhere else on me.

I was introduced to 'mindfulness' recently when I had a course of CBT. If I understand it correctly, it's allowing your body to accept the stress and sit there in the moment - for example, by focusing on sounds in a room? I did do some guided relaxation, like a 'mountain cabin' or 'beach' scene, but I don't have any CDs for this, so I'll be sure to try the 'net. I do have some relaxation music, though. My ultimate goal is to be off the medication, as I feel like I'm kind of sticking a plaster over a gaping wound at the moment.

I'm sorry to hear you have had your own struggles, Lynn. What you have said about being kinder to yourself definitely rings true. I'm an only child, and my counsellor said that I should imagine myself as the kind of protective 'big sister' I never had. I've always wondered about how we'd never be so mean to our friends, etc., so why are we to ourselves? I can really relate to what you're saying.
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S: 17st0lb G: 12st7lb
Hi Catherine...and welcome.
I can also relate to your post about anxiety and depression with comfort eating.
I had CBT (as you mentioned) which helped me.
It's already been said...but I make sure I plan some treats for myself (another Lush fan here). If I have a good week then I get a nice bath bomb etc. It gives me something little to look forward to.
Just wanted to say good luck :)

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