Positive Change

Firstly, I apologise for the delay in this post, and the absence of last weeks. I was suffering terribly with my depression, motivation was at an all time low, and I had zero energy. Since then, I have seen my psychiatrist, had a medicine change, had a drastic change in diet, and felt better about myself.


For the past couple of weeks I have felt my motivation waining to the point of nonexistence. The simple things that you have to do every day were difficult; showering, getting up, eating, children, and work. When I did finally muster up the energy to actually attempt the tasks at hand I found myself either exceptionally lacklustre in efforts, or completely exhausted by the endeavour. I felt terrible, as I was relying heavily on my wife, who was also trying to breast feed our new born daughter, wrangle the two year old, and keep some modicum of sanity and self care. It was fair on my wife and I was doing myself and injustice. Thankfully I had an appointment with my psychiatrist, which I managed to drag myself to.


The appointment with the psychiatrist went like any other. We covered the medications I was currently on, discussed suicidal thoughts, mood and motivation. I mentioned to the Psychiatrist that my motivation was practically non-existent, he noted that this had been a downward trend for several weeks, to which I agreed, and we discussed alternatives. We talked about the psychologist, and he was happy with the progress there, asked about sleep patterns and quality of sleep, which I expressed no concern over. So after a little bit of thought he pitched the idea of changing my Lexapro to Sertraline. Both of the medications are in the same class, Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors, but Sertraline has the added side effect, for lack for a better descriptor, that it can cause the user to have increased amounts of energy, almost to the point of fidgety. Given the fact that I felt that my energy was at -10% I figured I could use an energy boost. We came up with a step down plan for the Lexapro and added the Sertraline. Since then I have found new levels of energy and motivation. I still have moments where I feel flat, but they are getting fewer and further apart.

pexels-photo-989688.jpegOne of the components of my life I have been struggling with, an have been for a while, is my weight. I have been yo-yoing for nearly 10 years between 95kg and 130kg. Most recently I have been hovering around the 130kg mark. I noticed the image of myself was changing, the language about my self was deteriorating, I was becoming negative about myself almost every day. I needed to break the cycle. I decided to take positive action and take control over my weight, and subsequently my diet. I had a look at my diet as a whole. For the most part I was eating a well balanced diet. Way too much of it, but balanced. I knew portion control was going to be the first hurdle. I also noticed that my love affair with carbohydrates was at an all time high. I was consuming, on average, 300g of carbohydrates a day. Which, for someone who doesn’t work out, has a sedentary life outside of work, and only ticks over his 10,000 steps because of Nursing, was too many. I spent a bit of time on Dr Google and found a series of different Low-Carb diets. The two I felt I could stick to are Atkins or the Ketogenic Diet. Both are relatively similar, the only main difference is Atkins is exceptionally strict where as the Ketogenic is a little more forgiving. The idea behind the both of these diets is to force your body to feed on fat instead of carbohydrates. This is achieved by limiting your carbohydrates and increasing the fat and protein intake. As a percentage of calorie intake I now sit at about 5% Carbohydrates, 40% Protein and 55% Fat, or about 20g Carbohydrates, 130g Protein and 160g Fat. I decided that this was the way to go. I have been on the diet for a little over a week, and I realise that the first weeks loss contains a large amount of ‘water weight’, I was encouraged to find a loss of 6kg. If nothing else this encouraged me to continue and helped boot my self image slightly.

All in all, a postive couple of weeks. I would like to thank everyone, again, for being there and being awesome. This community has been great to me, and to each other. I am so glad to be a part of it.

Maintain the Rage,

Luke Sondergeld

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