Addiction Recovery: Weight Gain

June 21, 2007 — 7 Comments

So are you gaining weight in addiction recovery? Ya, me too. It may come as no surprise to hear that while actively addicted to drugs I had no problem maintaining a weight that I felt comfortable with. Now that I’m not on drugs anymore…not so much.

While on drugs my idea of a filling meal was a balance bar. It was because of this that pounds started melting away and I was at a more “healthy weight”. Yes, go ahead and laugh. While on drugs I thought of myself as being healthy.

Now that I’m trying to meet my basic needs, H.A.L.T.:Hungry Angry Lonely Tired, I have been gaining weight. I guess I’m doing more than meeting my hunger needs, I have been over eating. I had the mentality of, “well, I can’t do anything else, I might as well eat”. This is not a good idea. Believe me.

Little by little I have been noticing that my shirts don’t look as good on me as they once did and my jeans are getting a little tight. Sure, I tried to blame it on the dryer. Damn, this must have shrunk. Luckily I had one of those epiphany’s that one gets from time to time. “Wait a second, I don’t put this shirt in the dryer, Holy Crap I’m getting fat!“.

Just like the realization of being an addict, I came to the realization that I’m gaining weight and that something needs to be done about it before it gets any worse. And by any worse, I mean becoming a lard ass. Hey, I can get away with saying that…it’s my ass.

I have now made a conscious decision to eat properly and I have also started back to the gym. It’s only been 3 days of doing cardio but already I am feeling better about myself. The benefit I get from going to the gym, besides the obvious one of burning calories, is that when a craving for a not so good food arises I think about my work-out for that day and how eating this would nullify my hard work.

What I am finding is that by applying some of the coping skills that I have learned in addiction recovery towards trying to lose weight I am better able to make the right decisions and not give into temptation. I actually take some time and think about what the consequences of me eating something not so healthy would be compared to the benefits. So far, so good.

It seems that the saying “you are only given what you can handle” is really ringing true throughout my addiction recovery. Who does the actual giving is still pretty much hazy to me but maybe that will come in time also.

I’ll break it down for you and show you what I mean. First, I realized that I was a drug addict and somehow I was able to handle that and get myself the help that I needed to get.

Slowly after being in addiction recovery for a little while I was able to then look at some of my behaviors that I had been ignoring and begin modifying my bad behaviors. Something just clicked in my brain and I knew, hey it’s time.

After that came my realization that I had been on antidepressants for a while and maybe I should try leaving antidepressants behind. I just knew that I no longer needed this crutch to lean on.

That brings me back to this latest realization that I need to concentrate on all of those things and now include my diet and exercise. I don’t know, maybe it’s not as mind blowing to anyone else but it truly is to me.

It feels as though my brain is waking back up little by little and soon it will be working as a whole again. In the mean time I am very grateful to be where I am at at this very moment in my life.

7 responses to Addiction Recovery: Weight Gain

  1. Hey, I just wanted to give you a little congrats. You and I sound alot alike. I am 36yrs old an dhad an addiction to opiates. You are doing the right thing. I actually think by going to the gym not only are you helping yourself healthwise, but it is also a good healthy way to change your behavior. I don’t know about you, but I spent ALOT of time chasing pills (my addiction) and doing something to occupy our time instead of stuffing snickers bars in our mouths is a must. We also have that craving for whatever our bodies needed that we didn’t feel or take time to care about before. The antidepressant thing I also went through. I was on Celexa for probably 6+ years, others before that, and I think when you have an addiction to something in the first place and you are scared to leave it behind even something nonnarcotic has the same effect in our brain. We have that addictive personality. One day I finally decided that 6 years was too long and I just quit taking them. I did have a little bit of withdrawl (dizziness and nausea) so I recomend talking with your Dr. if you have been on them for a while and maybe lowering your dose before stopping all together so you don’t have that. But I know people don’t know what a battle fighting addiction is and I just wanted to say Congratulations and Keep up the good work, make yourself proud. Life is too short to live through it in a haze. One thing that helps me is I am a single mom with 3 kids ages 19,14, and 12, and we know addiction leads to death and/or jail and then what would they do without me? What would I do with out them? I could not imagine not being there their entire life and seeing my grandchildren. If you have kids imagine these things and how they would feel if they found you after an overdose. Or if you got in a wreck with them in the car and killed them and you survived, I could never live with myself. I know these are awful things and we never think they will happen to us, but the fact of the matter is they do happen to people and who’s to say it won’t be us? Anyways that’s what keeps me on the right track alot of time if I am having any thoughts of using. Best of Luck to You!! Stay at the gym and you will be one hot mama or pappa next summer!!

  2. Thanks a lot for the encouragement. You have a lot of great advice there. I am a mother of one child and similar fears to the ones that you wrote definitely stay on my mind.

    Feel free to leave some more of your wisdom on any of the other articles too. Thanks

  3. I too recently ended my love affair with opiates and benzos and now have started a love affair with food. Unfortunately I hate the way my body is beginning to look. Thankfully I went to the doctor and saw that I had gained 20 pounds in three months so now it’s time to slow down! I think it’s a combination of our bodies being in starvation mode for so long and our addictive personalities..if one slice of pizza is good..four is better! And that’s just breakfast! So..the beginning of another journey. Sigh. Good luck..if we could kick our addiction to other substances (for today) we can do the same with overeating. Tomorrow…when these oreos are gone!!

  4. maintaining a healthy weight can be tricky because it revolves around genetics and some other factors -.’

  5. Can somebody please help me I have a friend that was sixteen when he started using drugs for about years and I feel I realy need to help him he says ever since he stopped using drugs .He is struggling to gain weight He does not have a appetite he can only eat a little bit of food then he is full I’m realy worried about him . He is realy thin and dont look healthy please anybody If you have some good advice please give it to me so I can share it with him ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  6. please help my friend.

  7. Hey excellent posting , Many thanks for giving this info

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