Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My Lifetime Struggle with Weight Loss & What Finally Works

Something is finally working for me for weight loss and I want to share my story in the hopes that it may help someone else.  This post will be a bit long with no pictures, but if you have struggled as I have then please stick with me.

I am 59, in menopause, 5'1" and termed morbidly obese.  I have been chubby, fat and obese all my life, even as a baby I had rolls.

I ate what every family ate growing up in the 60's & 70's in a family where both parents worked.  Whatever was quick and convenient to prepare, or eating out at little diners - or greasy spoons as we called them.  Everything pretty much came in a package or was processed and you used pasta or potatoes to fill out meals to make them go farther.  We ate fake food like processed cheese, margarine, etc. and and having southern parents we ate a lot of fried foods with gravy, and never knew it was bad for us.  Only on weekends did we eat fresh foods.  Seems like everyone we knew ate this way -- the standard American diet with that pyramid we now know was upside down.

At 11 Mom finally attempted to change things, she took me to Weight Watchers, I was the youngest person to ever join at that time.  Think about being in 5th grade and having to eat your french style green beans for lunch while everyone else is eating a sandwich & chips.  I don't know which was worse, being teased for being fat or for eating weird stuff.  I hate french style green beans to this day.  And I lost some weight ... then plateaued and nothing else would come off. 

As a very young teen the Doctor gave me diet pills, essentially low dose amphetamines to curb my appetite.  Yeah, that didn't work either and I hated taking pills.

As a 20 something Mom and I both went to a weight loss center where you replaced 2 meals with lemonade like drinks or their packaged soups.  It was expensive, the food tasted terrible and again I lost about 20ish pounds and plateaued for weeks.

As a 30 something adult I tried Atkins and it worked for the first 20ish pounds, then the plateau came I could not break through.  I also had a job change and could no longer afford the foods Atkins required.

As a 50 yr old I tried the South Beach Diet with my boss.  It was similar to Atkins but not as restrictive, but still a bit pricey.  I lost the same 20ish pounds and nothing else would happen.

So here I am at 59.  Mid January 2018, this year, I was tired of looking and feeling bad.  A YouTuber I like had been on something called Keto and had lost 50 pounds in a matter of months.  She got to eat good foods, food I liked and homemade sweets and still lost weight.  I started looking into it more and decided I needed to try it, if it didn't work then nothing would.

My highest weight had been 312, and I had stayed between 280 and 295 for quite a few years.  I was 297 when I started.  It seemed weird to me that unlike all the rest of the diets, I was not going to be snacking all day on diet foods and I was to eat (good) fats.  It was hard at first - not to give up all the carbs because the fats kept me satisfied and not hungry - but because I still was unable to eat eggs and things like iceberg lettuce without stomach cramps.  I always thought I had IBS, I drank pepto bismol like water some days.  What I discovered is that the processed wheat products were bad for me.  I am not allergic to gluten but the processed and gmo filled stuff was killing me. 

After a few weeks I made deviled eggs from eggs that are only fed organic, non gmo feed and free range.  They didn't give me stomach cramps.  I was finally able to eat eggs!  The one food that is really said to be the best on Keto.  Eggs are a perfect food source, protein and good fat and lots of nutrients.

I was amazed at how quickly the weight started coming off, though I knew the first couple weeks it was mostly water weight.  I was encouraged though when the loss continued and I started to physically feel good.  I didn't get hungry between meals, I never missed or longed for breads, pasta or potatoes, chips or candy.  The chocolate fat bombs not only helped the weight loss, they gave me a chocolate fix when needed.

With the help of 3 other YouTube channels: Dr. Eric Berg DC , Keto Christina and Dot2Trot's Low Carb Living  I have found not only recipes but encouraging help and understandable explanations of the Ketogenic plan and why and how it works. 

I did have a couple weeks where I gained a couple pounds back and had to lose it again.  That is normal and was probably due to the menopausal periods I still experience.  But I did not truly plateau.
In fact, as of this week I have lost 30 pounds, well past the 20ish when I would normally plateau.

At this point I usually only eat 2 meals a day, sometimes with a snack of pork rinds or fat bombs.  And I don't get starving hungry, my hypoglycemia has pretty much disappeared, the supposed IBS is a thing of the past.  I feel good and I've already had to take in some clothes so they fit.

I am not a morning person, I don't drink coffee, mostly water with some iced tea.  So brunch around 11am for me is 2 sausage patties or 4-6 pieces of bacon, 2-3 eggs scrambled with heavy cream and MCT oil, fried in butter and topped with salsa and an avocado cubed with a bit of salt.

Supper is around 5pm and that usually consists of half a plate of salad, possibly some cooked vegetables and a small piece of meat.  Sometimes fresh berries as a dessert.

Sometimes I get a bit hungry in the evening and I will have pork rinds or 1-2 fat bombs.

Then nothing until the next day's brunch.  That's the intermittent fasting part.  Going 12-18 hours with no food.  Dr Berg's videos do a great job of explaining why this works.

My biggest issue is that after eating the wrong foods and the wrong amounts for 59 years, I am insulin resistant.  That means I have to keep at it, it may take me longer than others to lose what I need to lose.  But I am not going back to the way I ate before.  Does it mean I will never eat a favorite food again?  No, I probably will at some point as a special treat, but then will go right back to my keto plan.  It is a lifestyle change I know I can do because I am satisfied with my meals, I don't have cravings or stay continually hungry anymore.

I hope this helps someone out there that has given up after trying so many times.  If I can do this, you can do this.  It works because it is how we are supposed to be eating.  Its how our ancient ancestors ate. Talk to your Dr if you need to first, but please watch some of Dr Berg's videos beforehand so you go to your Dr armed with some knowledge.


Terra said...

I admire you for persevering for all those years and now finding a new way of eating that works for you. I am cheering for you.

Recycled Cottage & Garden said...

Thanks so much!

Debra Dixon said...

Great news! 30 pounds is an admirable amount to lose!

Moira said...

Good for you! I'm doing Trim Healthy Mama plan which is a life-style plan for eating as well. It promotes healthy eating similar to Keto, but doesn't cut out any food groups, instead changes what you eat with what. I too am in this for the long term.

Economizing Measures ~ Mend & Alter Clothes

I'd like to give a crash course in mending clothes because it will save  you from buying more clothes and spending too much in ha...