Can Losing Weight Be Depressing?

Can losing weight be depressing?
I know that my moods were tied to the scale and yes, when the scale didn’t reveal what I wanted to see, it was depressing.

The depression didn’t last long because after I stepped on the scale I waited for my Weight Watchers meeting to begin.

Sometimes something funny would happen in the meeting.

There was the time one attractive woman wanted to celebrate her progress. She exclaimed, “I love the hole between my legs!”

Nobody knew how to react. “Did she really just say that?”

Then she realized what she said, so she tried to explain further. Her choice of words were as unfortunate as the first time.

“You know,” she said red-faced, “when you bend over and look up and see that hole?”

The "hole" was thighs that were now slim enough to allow daylight to come through.

The “hole” was thighs that were now slim enough to allow daylight to come through.

By now some of us figured out she was talking about the gap between her thighs and her delight that they no longer rubbed against each other. We were laughing at what she really was celebrating and how funny the words she used to explain it were.

When we all stopped laughing the leader asked for more celebrations.

Another member said she lost two pounds and she started walking.

The leader asked, “on a treadmill?”

“No, I walk the streets!”

We were all roaring again.

Did she really just say she's street walking to lose weight?

Did she really just say she’s street walking to lose weight?

Was this a Weight Watchers meeting or a Sex Anonymous meeting?

From celebrations we moved on to talk about strategies to overcome the challenges of changing our behaviors to support our weight-related goal.

It didn’t matter that we were about as diversified as a group of people could be insofar as age, interest, family life, job experience, race and religion. When it came to the struggles we faces with managing our weight we could all relate to each other.

The leader would present a topic that was universal to all of us. We all knew about setbacks and lapses and we knew that they could (maybe even had) stopped us from reaching our goals. They’re two things that can be very depressing when losing weight.

We talked about the things associated with lapses and setbacks that depressed us.

As we shared about how lapses and setbacks made us feel, the leader recorded all our replies.

  • They take away our confidence.
  • It’s hard to recover.
  • They make us feel like a failure.
  • We give up and we gain back the weight we lost
Then the leader asked, “what would happen if you could bounce back?”

She recorded those responses too.

  • It would minimize the damage.
  • It’s empowering.
  • We would be sure we could get to goal.
  • We could learn from the experience and it would help us avoid it in the future.
She wrapped up the focused discussion on lapses and setbacks by pointing to the ways that setbacks and lapses depress us.

She said that lapses and setbacks happen to everybody. The more negative messages we give ourselves the bigger and more destructive they become.

Then she pointed to what would happen if we bounced back from a setback.

She said the best way to bounce back is to have a plan.
When a setback hits, be ready to hit back!

When a setback hits, be ready to hit back!

It’s a simple plan. It’s do something that indicates you’re back on track and the episode is over. It can be taking out your tracker and getting right back to tracking. It can be having some fruit for a snack. It can be going for a walk. It can be any easy, little thing that helps us feel that we regained control

Her final words as we left the meeting were,

“Focus on what you can do, not what you wish you didn’t do!”

It’s true that losing weight can be depressing, but depending on how you go about losing weight, it’s also true that losing weight can be hilarious!dreamstime_s_23808262

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is the general manager of Weight Watchers of Maine. She is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. Her experience with her own weight management journey and raising girls has given her insight into the struggles families face with weight, healthy body image, food and physical activity. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news for more than ten years and appears monthly as a guest on FOX network morning program Good Day Maine.