The author of one of our favorite blogs about weight loss, and one of our top-35 healthy weight bloggers, Authentically Emmie, answers a few questions from Green Mountain on what she has learned along her inspiring journey.
Depression has been part of your life. What is your best advice for someone who deals with depression and weight issues?
I think it’s important to share that even though depression and weight can be extremely interrelated, there are other chemical imbalances that can lead to depression that require treatment. People often think that when they lose weight, the depression will lift. For some, that might be the case, but for some of us with a long history of clinical depression, it takes continuous treatment no matter what the weight.
When seeking help, I was always really self-conscious because I worried my therapists or psychiatrists would judge me on my weight. There have certainly been therapists I’ve tried to work with that I just didn’t feel comfortable with.
The key for me in managing my depression was trying many different therapists and many different medications. You can look at the process like dating: you may have to try lots of people in order to find a match.
If you don’t feel like you can open up to your therapist, then look for another one. The process of treatment can be really frustrating and time consuming, but once you hit on a good therapist and the proper medication (if necessary), it’s so rewarding.
Can you talk about being a fat acceptance weight loss blogger? What does this mean? Do people have a hard time understanding this?
I believe that people can be whatever weight they want to and not be judged or shamed for it. I also think that people of all sizes can be healthy and active. Some people get confused because I share those beliefs, yet actively write and talk about my desire to lose weight. I want to lose weight for ME, not for anyone else or because I think my weight is “bad.” It’s a personal decision and everyone has the same right to do what they want with their bodies. Really it’s about embracing everyone as they are, and creating a society that doesn’t judge someone by their size.
You consider yourself a former binge eater. How are you able to manage this behavior?
The first step in managing my Binge Eating disorder (BED) was actually recognizing that it is an eating disorder and not just being someone who likes to eat a lot. Knowing the signs of BED and understanding the diagnosis were key to making progress.
It has also taken ongoing therapy to help me identify triggers and stop a binge before it happens. It’s been a little over 2 years since my last binge, but it’s always something I have to be aware of.
You’ve had a lot of hurdles in the gym. Ankle injuries, “chub rub,” etc. How do you keep it up when it can seem so much easier to not do it at times?
I always remind myself that moving my body makes me feel better physically, even when it’s uncomfortable at times. I have been immobile before, and the thought of backsliding to that place where everyday activities were difficult is enough to get me moving again.
Having ankle surgery recently that required 3 months of being completely immobile was something that reaffirmed how important it is for me to move my body if I’m physically able. It makes the choice to go to the gym much easier.
What is the biggest insight you’ve had about yourself over these last four years as a weight loss blogger?
I think the biggest insight is the realization that I have everything I need to be successful, no matter what the goals are. If I hit a roadblock, it never hurts to ask people for help. If I feel like I don’t have time to do what I need to do, I can re-prioritize to make room for what’s important.
You have to set the intention of what you want and go after it – obstacles feel so much smaller now than they ever have before. It’s a matter of perspective. It all sounds very “woo-woo” but it’s been a huge shift to recognize this.