How I lost 30 pounds…(you asked, and it’s not what you think)


Thank you all so much for your feedback and responses to my recent blog “I lost 30 pounds…Oh No”! It has been a big leap of faith to live my relationship with my body so transparently and I thank you for all your support. Many of you have asked me, “So…how’d ya do it?”.  Here’s the story:

    • I went to Costa Rica and became a certified Qoya teacher. I now teach Qoya every Tuesday. Qoya has completely revolutionized my relationship to my body and exercise. Because of that, I now look forward to exercising like I look forward to a massage.
    • I read Kris Carr’s Crazy, Sexy, Diet, really jived with her philosophy, and have started eating a ton more whole foods, raw veggies, and drinking green juice.
    • I really upped the ante of love and passion in my life, my marriage, my friendships and my career. Like, REALLY upped the ante.
    • I’m working with an amazing therapist, which has led to more truth telling, and less smiling while flipping the bird under the table.

     

 

 
The list goes on and on. My point is, none of the things on this list, nor the weight loss itself, would ever have transpired without one thing.

Prescription Drugs. :)

Not what you were expecting to hear? Me either. Here’s the story.

My whole life I have experienced moderate to severe depression  (I know, who hasn’t?).  The last few years it got more severe as it began to be served alongside a hearty serving of nighttime anxiety, which led to intense insomnia. Pretty much everyone knows what it feels like to be depressed, but this was depression resulting in an average of 4-6 hours of sleep every night for a good three years.  I would sometimes catch up on weekends, but most of the time I walked around in a state of bitchiness at best, what-the-fuck-is-the-point of-even-living at worst. It was like I had forgotten how to sleep.

 
Sleep is an essential bodily function, like being able to pee.  Imagine if you just somehow forgot how to pee. The thing about sleep though, is you can survive without it, unlike being unable to pee.  So for a good two to three years I would chase my tail each day and night, lying awake, praying for sleep.  I’d wake up a few hours later in an absolute panic that I hadn’t slept, terrified that I wouldn’t be able to sleep again that night, and the cycle would repeat. This fear would paralyze me throughout the day, and the lack of sleep made me an absolute grouch, anti-social, and opened the door for severe depression.

I tried everything I could think of. Therapy. A new king size bed.  Quitting my corporate job that stressed me out so much.  Rescue Remedy.  Gemstones under the pillow.  All of these things would help temporarily, but each time it was like getting a taste of my tail only to have it slip through my teeth once more, when I’d find myself wide eyed and awake at 2am yet again.  

Now, you might be thinking, “girl, go to the doctor!” I wasn’t raised by hippies, but I do seem to have this gene that leads me to believe I should be able to fix everything with my mind and behaviors (or at least by taking some herbs).  If I just started eating right, exercising each morning, taking the right supplements, meditating, doing the things I really wanted to be doing with my time,  took a watercolors class, did a cleanse at an Arizona spa…I’d be able to work it all out.

Thank God for my husband.  Imagine this poor guy having to deal with a cracked-out insomniac, clinging to her gemstones and chamomile tea as he gently nudged me for two solid years in the direction of getting medical help.  

Sleep aids? I think not.

Antidepressants? Oh no, I am not letting the pharmaceutical companies catch me like a fly in their spider web.

Seeing a psychiatrist to examine my family’s history of depression and mental illness? And then take some magic pill to make it all go away? No thank you.

Wait a minute.  What if there was a magic pill that could make this all go away? Not exactly make it all go away, but at least get me sleeping again. If I could sleep maybe I would have the energy to do something other than barely survive.   And what if there is something going on in my body where I was not getting enough serotonin or whatever.  I mean, even my therapist told me it is not normal to wake up every morning with a feeling of absolute dread.

So finally, I surrendered to the experiment.  I moved the gemstones to a pretty bowl on my nightstand and I went to see a psychiatrist.  After a two hour evaluation, his response was basically, “How has it taken you this long to come see a psychiatrist?” He gave me some Prozac and Klonopin and told me to come back in a month. I figured, let’s give this a go for a year or so, and see what happens.  It can’t get any worse.

That was about six months ago.  I’m happy to say, the experiment is working. I sleep like a dream now. But not a drugged-out, “Can’t sleep without me pills!” sleep.  I am back in the pattern of going to bed, reading or watching Downton Abbey repeats, and just nodding off.  I wake up refreshed and ready.  This morning I have already practiced my Qoya routine for tonight’s class, made lunch for this afternoon, and a green juice for later.  I’ve dressed cute for the day, and I gave myself the luxury of 30 minutes of writing instead of 30 minutes of Facebook.  Because I am rested I now have the energy now to do all the things I described in the bullet points above which, yes, led to my eventual weight loss.

Now, let me make one thing VERY CLEAR.  This is not an ad for prescription drugs. I am not saying that everyone should go get some Prozac and in turn we’d create world peace.  It is simply a transparent account of my journey with my health.  And how interestingly, the thing we resist the strongest, even if that thing might be the easiest way out, is often the very thing that will create real, lasting change. Again, I’m not saying it takes the pharmaceutical industry to create lasting change.  I’m simply saying that this step, which I resisted for so long, is the one thing that has finally worked.    

There will come a day when I’m ready to stop taking these drugs, and I will probably resist that for way longer than I need to as well.  But this has been a powerful learning experience: the thing you think is the last thing you need is at least worth a try.  

I know this is a charged topic.  And I want to hear from you.  What has been your experience with making big life changes you resisted for a long time, and what finally worked? Leave me a comment below.

There are two more chapters coming on this topic. The next is how you can use the art of seduction to make those big life changes with ease and grace.  But that one my doves, you will have to wait for. Unless you want to jump right in with me in September’s Seduction Is A Spiritual Practice.

17 comments

  1. Sounds exactly like me! I finally went to a psychiatrist after trying a bazillion things to get myself out of the depression. I ended up taking just Prozac, and like you, I don’t easily recommend it to anyone. I needed it, though. And I slept better and I had the energy to try things and see if they helped and I slowly weaned myself off. I am a avid (almost forceful!) believer that we should try natural remedies like diet and exercise and meditation and dance first. But sometimes you need that kickstart and boost, and sometimes it comes from the psychiatrist. I wouldn’t hesitate to go again and redo the process if I found myself in the same state. It was totally necessary. Love you, Kitty!

  2. Thank you for your transparency. I think it’s so crucial that we all begin to tell our truthsm rather than just keeping secrets. I had a point in my life when I was very depressed and I took an anti-depressant to get myself out of the hole. It helped enormously and then eventually I got off it. I have been in therapy for years with a great therapist and between that and a spiritual practice of meditation, reading, etc. – and some Klonipin to help me through a really rough divorce – I was able to live through a very dark time. The difference was the difference between depression and sadness. The sadness expressed itself and moved through me. It’s still moving through me, but I find that all the feelings are welcome now and my favorite part of every week is our Qoya class! Thank you so much for opening up this really important conversation. You are a gift in so many people’s lives. Love you, Kitty.

  3. Thank you Kitty for addressing this highly charged topic. As usual, you have invited discussion with honesty, grace, poise and class. What comes up for me after reading your story is the danger of what I refer to as “the pendulum swing” or following trends with almost religious zeal at the detriment of health and well being. I am happy you are well rested finally so that all your gifts and talents can shine, shimmer and glimmer even more. You teach a beautiful Qoya class and I look forward to taking Seduction as. Spiritual Practice with you in September.

    • Beautiful Tara! Thank you so much. I know the pendulum swing you describe, and you know what, I never liked the Gondola ride at my state fair! 😉 Staying in the middle feels much better. Can’t wait to have you in class in September!

  4. Kitty, this is a courageous move…but then that’s what you do. What a model in transparency!
    I too am such a zealot about natural remedies and so opposed to pharmaceuticals, but my dearest friend found her peace, after years of therapy, spirituality, etc. with Paxil.

    My brother committed suicide because he wouldn’t do these things, and my father’s Parkinson’s is being beautifully assisted by drugs.

    You provide such an important lesson in not being fixated in one belief system. And given that I only sleep about 4-5 hours many nights….I may have to reconsider.

    • Well, with a nightlife like yours I wouldn’t sleep either Glitz! 😉

      Thanks for sharing so transparently. Yes, I find that the more we allow ourselves to creep up from the root of our tree of beliefs and sway in the branches, while not as predictable, can be a hell of alot more fun.

      Love you!

  5. This is sooooooooooooooo phenomenal.You are amazing – very very powerful. I have a similar story hormone induced insomnia and anxiety attacks – went to the doctor got on the pill and seven days later was completely symptom free. I am posting this and sharing with the flawless community – such an inspiration – Thank you xoxoxo

  6. Thank you so so so so so much for sharing this. It sounds like you are exactly like me and right now I am in exactly the same place that you were. I am so tired of struggling with the fear and depression and trying to fix it all myself. I think it is time to try this route too. Thank you.

  7. Thank you so much, Kitty, for sharing your story. I too have struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my life, and I’ve been taking Wellbutrin and Paxil off and on for years. After a year without them and having a relapse of the depression and in particular, my most deeply problematic symptom, I finally gave in and went back to therapy and the pills at the beginning of the summer. I resisted this last round most, because after years of therapy I really felt like I should be “done” with it, and that I should have learned all the tools I need to wipe away the symptoms myself. But the truth is that old patterns of thought are very deeply engrained in the brain, and sometimes you really need something to ‘take the edge off’ to be able to change your thought patterns. I still feel guilt that I am “not good enough” to be able to do it on my own, and especially that I need 2 different pills to manage this, but the pills work much better together. I don’t feel like a different person; I feel more like my authentic self, and that’s what I want to be bringing to my life and the world :) I’m so glad that you have taken a step that brings you your authentic self–and some much needed sleep!! xxoo

  8. This is all too familiar.
    After a lifetime of bouts of depression and anxiety (being passed off as “too sensitive”) I realized that maybe prescription help was also the key. So finally, at 31, after years of out-of-nowhere crying spells, crippling anxiety attacks, deep and lasting grief over the death of my partner, the inability to cope with what seemed like constant disappointment, FINALLY, I realized that a little prescription help did not make me an utter failure as a human being. I asked for anti-depressants. I was prescribed Zoloft and Klonopin. It was the best decision of my life. Things aren’t perfect, but I feel more able to cope, more able to relax, more aware of the changing state of my emotions. I feel in balance and more like the me I know that I am.
    Thank you for sharing. I think more of us need to be willing to share this part of ourselves. There is no shame in asking for help… in fact I think sometimes that is the bravest and best thing we can do for ourselves at all.

  9. Kitty, Wow, Thank You for opening up this topic for discussion. I do believe ( and I am not making this up), that I did not sleep for Years! I would resist sleep, long for sleep, desire sleep, but nothing I did would allow me to spend a night in deep healing slumber. During this time, my anxiety grew, my anger went unchecked, I over reacted to everyday events inappropriately. The list goes on. Finally I too went for help which was long over due. I started with a therapist who help for months before I agreed to try meds. She sent me to a skrinky dink who prescribed a low dosage of lexapro……Even though I still go through some sleepless nights, the anxiety and fear is gone. I see almost every event that occurs more clearly and am able to sit back, relax, until I can sum it up as to how to interpret it. I rarely, knee jerk react to daily events. My ability to “give up on the self healing” has allowed me to feel that I deserve to do positive things for Myself, such as Mastery with Mama Gena. I still have not lost the weight I want to loose, but I keep telling myself , what the wicked witch in “The Wizard Of Oz” told Dorothy……..” All in Good Time, My Little Pretty, ……All in Good Time”. Love SG Glinda/Linda

  10. Kitty,
    You are right, this is a charged topic.

    I had depression and bulimia since I was sixteen. I sought answers in all the wrong places. Therapists and doctors. The medical profession merely TREATS SYMPTOMS, so of course, I went through all the anti-depressant drugs. Prozac for nine years. Known to be the worst thing you can do for anxiety (why do you think they have you on Klonopin to go with it, only the most addictive drug on the planet? ) And therapists wanted to have me put away thinking the eating disorder was a problem in my head.

    Ok, so sometimes we need a little help to get going in the right direction. But the dangerous thing about this post of yours is that most people do not want to do the hard work. Healing at the core. That is the change most people resist. They just want a pill and convenience. But fortunately all the answers are out there now for those who don’t want to cover the signal the body is giving, unlike when I was fighting to find what was wrong.

    Help eventually came my way when one day I was in an OA meeting, and someone asked of my depression, have you ever let go of wheat and sugar completely? It smacked me over the head, and I tried it. Low and behold, the depression lifted. Well it is not as simple as taking a pill because it takes commitment and hard word and preparation to eat like that. And after decades more struggle I found a naturopath who discovered I was wildly allergic to chicken eggs. Try eating in the real world like that.

    It is all so fun now that I have turned the corner and feel good and am drug free. Much of the rest of the world is getting on board with grass fed, and the understanding that dairy and grains cause inflamation in the gut. The trouble begins there. So I am happy you are doing the Carr diet.

    Now I am working with the understanding that if I don’t put the lights on at night but go to bed instead, healthy sleep patterns return. This is hard to do but the sleeping is joyful and worth taking this inconvenience on.
    Most Americans don’t think: If I cover this symptom, what will the body do next? It’s not fun getting rid of candida and adrenal fatigue. But how do you think having cancer will feel?

    Thank you for raising this important topic.

  11. Hey Kitty,

    Loved your post. I had a thought though, you have had your thyroid tested, right? That leads to severe depression and insomnia (and weight gain). Many people have this. I’m sure your docs would have checked but just thought I’d put it out there.
    I have many friends whos lives have completely changed from antidepressants. Just like an iron deficiency, if it’s what your body needs, why resist it?

  12. Kitty, I relate to a lot of your post. I have extensive experience with depression and anxiety, and like you I am extremely holistically-minded. And I ended up suffering A LOT because of my refusal to take medication. When I did take it, I was able to function at a high enough level that eventually I got myself well and med-free. It took a lot of falls off the wagon to get to the point where I was ready and willing to accept that I needed meds, but once I did, my healing really began.

    That is the other end of the “bad patient” spectrum. We spend a lot of time talking about the abuse of medication and surgery as a quick fix or a permanent solution, but we neglect to mention how much we can abuse ourselves when we refuse treatment that we genuinely need.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  13. Thank you for this post lovely goddess. I have been walking around all day feeling traumatized after bursting into tears this morning and my boyfriend turning to me in alarm and stating for the umpteenth time “Baby, you need help.” I have battling depression for more than half my life and I see signs of it in my oldest son. I have refused to go on medications for the very reasons you did the same, but sometimes ennui pulls me under, like today, and I feel like I’m drowning in an ocean of my own tears. This is what I needed to read

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *