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Watching My Weight On a Schizophrenia Medication

I'm watching my weight while on a schizophrenia medication that causes severe weight gain. Here's how my weight loss is going, despite being on this medication.I’ve written recently about how I’m trying to lose weight while on a schizophrenia medication that causes weight gain. Now here’s an update. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on an atypical antipsychotic medication for my schizoaffective disorder that causes severe weight gain: yes, severe. At times my natural weight has almost doubled on this schizophrenia medication.

I’ve tried different medications to treat my schizoaffective disorder, and although I lost weight, they did not help with my schizophrenic symptoms. Now I’m trying to lose weight while staying on a schizophrenia medication that causes weight gain but works well for me. Here is how.

How I’m Watching My Weight on a Schizophrenia Medication

I’m Staying Away from Sugar

It’s not as important to me that I lose weight as that I keep my blood sugar within a normal range so I don’t become pre-diabetic or develop type 2 diabetes (Which Atypical Antipsychotics Carry the Highest Risk for Diabetes?).

When I last wrote about trying to lose weight, I told you I get treats–I was letting myself eat a scoop of ice cream every night. I’ve stopped doing that. I did let myself have a couple of extras over my family’s recent trip to Door County, Wisconsin (including a scoop of chocolate custard). But in general, I’ve been staying away from all sweets and sugared soda. I’ve also been drinking lots of water.

Slimming Down by Walking A Lot

I’ve definitely slimmed down—I was a size 14 and now I’m a size 12—but the number on the scale is still the same. However, when I look in the mirror it’s undeniable, my belly is smaller. Maybe I’ve been gaining muscle from all the walking I’ve been doing.

I’ve been walking a lot. I treasure my walks to the beach every Friday night with my mom, and sometimes I walk to the beach with my husband Tom, too. Mostly I walk alone, though. I try to walk for at least a half hour every day. I find it much more versatile to walk than to run. For example, I can wear regular clothes when I walk and I can walk several times a day. I’m worried about how walking is going to go in the winter—maybe I’ll just walk laps at an indoor mall.

Worrying About Weight on a Schizophrenia Medication

I won’t lie to you—it’s definitely disappointing that I haven’t really been losing any weight according to the scale. But it feels so good to be a size 12 when at times I’ve surged to a size 18. And anyway, our worth as human beings is not measured by a scale or by the size of our jeans. As I said before, the most important thing to me is to have normal blood sugar levels. Not only do I want to be at a healthy weight, I want to have healthy body image, too.

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

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