I’m mental: Some thoughts about mental issues during weight loss

Body image

So far, I’ve lost just 13 pounds, with 76 more to go. That’s already meant 2 belt notches and all my clothes either fitting better or even too loosely. I should feel awesome about that, and I do, when I’m in my right mind. But when I look at myself in the mirror, I see myself as more fat, not less. My mental body image is wrong. Plus I feel horrible for ever having got this fat in the first place.

So I’m teaching myself to ignore my irrational body image and stick to the numbers. Counting calories on the MyFitnessPal app and website—the numbers—that’s the only thing that works for me. So, body image dysmorphia or not, I have to stick to the numbers for the rest of my life, just as a diabetic patient must track glucose numbers forever.


I’m waking up in the middle of the night—around 3 or 4 AM. At first this bothered me, especially because I couldn’t figure out why. Then I learned that this pattern is normal, and sleeping through the night is weird. And I had an epiphany. I’m counting calories, and what has calories? My beloved beer and wine!

Among its many properties is that alcohol is a hypnotic (sleep-inducing) drug. So fewer beers during The Daily Show and so forth means less artificially induced sleep overnight. Anyway, I’ve already noticed that less weight on me means that a single adult beverage is enough to make me tipsy. So I’m winning on all fronts: losing weight, sleeping better, and saving money.

I’ve never fallen asleep easily. I have to read in bed or spend a lot of time letting go of the day, really unwinding, and relaxing enough for sleep. Recently, my partner turned me on to melatonin, which I’ve now used for 3 nights. That seems to speed up the onset of welcome drowsiness, so it works for me in this transitional time. Is it a placebo? I have no way to know.