Bipolar Weight Gain: Using the New Year as a Springboard

When I was born, I weighed 5 pounds, 8 ounces. My grandmother always brags about how my grandfather could hold me in the palm of his hand. I was always considered the tiny one growing up, little redhead Kat, small but healthy. In high school I leveled out at 5’3″, about 125 lbs. I was as healthy as ever, slim and sexy. Then, a few years later, out of control due to Bipolar Disorder, I was prescribed Zyprexa, also known as Olanzapine.

Only a few months after I started the Zyprexa, I felt a lot better, but I gained a large amount of weight. It piled on faster than I could keep track of it, and I became loads more hungry. Now, about 2 years after I started the Zyprexa, I weight about 175 lbs.

Of course I’m ashamed about my weight. It embarrasses me that I’m not the skinny girl I always was when I was younger. What’s worse for me personally is that I have no energy. I feel like I’m walking through cement. My blood sugar is running high, which could be both from my weight and from the Zyprexa itself. I’m dealing with the weight gain as best as I can, but even my psychiatrist says I need to try something new to bring the weight down. My husband loves me just as much as he always did but I can just imagine what losing some weight would do to our love life. People have definitely noticed my weight gain but I try to keep it out of my head. The depression of being overweight has led me to become more sedentary and not want to work out because what’s the point? I’m realizing I need to do something or I’ll keep feeling negative about myself. More than that, this is about my health and longevity. I already have Bipolar, Anxiety, Asthma, an irregular heartbeat. What can I do to make myself live longer?

I know I need to start with exercise and eating right; I’ve done neither lately. Having such a low self esteem does not help. But I’m tired of living the way I’m living now. I’m depressed, I feel terrible about the way I look, I’m extremely self-critical, and so drained and tired.

I am using the New Year as a springboard to get things moving rapidly. I am really good with deadlines, so I am starting, on January 2nd, to work out in the morning before work and to start to make healthy dietary choices. I am going to clean more, walk more, move more–hopefully I will lose 30 pounds or so before high summer in Florida. This is my wish for 2013, and I don’t feel like I have any other choice in the matter but to make it happen.

I hope 2013 will be a year of health, but also a year of change, a year of growth, a year of happiness and peace. I hope that 2013 will transform me for the better. I know it will take more than wishing. I need to make it happen, and break free from this fear that I live in every day. I am a beautiful, wonderful person, and this is my chance to let myself shine again.


I want to hear from you…  What are your new year’s hopes and goals? What do you think of my weight loss goals? Any tips, advice, or stories you’d like to share? Comment below or email me at


3 thoughts on “Bipolar Weight Gain: Using the New Year as a Springboard

  1. Great post. I am the same with you with most respects : bipolar, meds, weight gain, even asthma. I’m hoping that the new year will bring change as well. For me and for you 🙂

  2. Kat, you don’t have to do anything major. Just walk. Seriously, just walk. Walk at least one hour a day. It will help clear your mind, help our asthma and you will lose weight. It will be slow and that’s okay. Take it off slow and just walk. Trust me. It works.

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