Friday, July 20, 2012

The Heat is On, Part One

If you read this, you probably know- I am a reader. I am a somewhat obsessive researcher. If there's something that isn't working for me, a piece of the puzzle that doesn't fit, I just keep looking. Sometimes, I come up empty, or get a bunch of conflicting info. But between Google, and books from amazon, I tend to be able to get at least 90% of the way there- which is not too shabby.

So. I have been looking at permutations of the way I eat, which might enable me to lose weight. I am not willing to give up on the general concept of eating Primally- it honestly just seems like a cop-out to me. I feel good eating this way, much healthier. I've talked about ditching ice cream and eradicating tubers- perhaps these occasional treats were the only things hindering my weight loss? Even though I fit them into my caloric and macronutrient parameters for the day?

 I am always tweaking. It's unavoidable- I am healthy, but I want to be healthier. This new-found focus I have makes me want to know more- the why's, the wherefores. And one why- the big glaring one, is, "Why can't I lose weight, eating this way?"

I've tried personal trainers, gym memberships, Weight Watchers, drugs, eating high carb, low fat, shakes- these worked initially, but were unsustainable long-term. I had two bouts with very low carb. When I briefly tried Atkins, back in 2002, I gained weight. When I tried to cut carbs again at the beginning of this year- it was bad. My lab values went squirrely, my energy disappeared, and I was just lethargic, puffy, and miserable. 

Wheen you're obese, going to the doctor is always a nightmare. If I bring up any health complaint, they will link it to my weight. I can tell them that I rarely eat anything that comes in a package, that I eat organic and avoid sugar and grains and that I do exercise, and they- well, sometimes they humor me, and sometimes they flat-out accuse me of lying. I have to wonder- the stats on how obese people are more likely to die from minor ailments? Maybe that is linked to the fact that obese people avoid going to the doctor. Because they don't want to be patronized and sent off with instructions to "eat less, exercise more."

When I wrote my story for MDA, I was struck by how many people are in the same boat as I am. All these positive changes, and yet...weight loss wasn't happening for them. A LOT of those people were women. A LOT of them had a history of childhood obesity. And a LOT of them said the same thing, "I have tried everything. I really want this to work. I feel so much better but it just isn't working for me!"I think we can extrapolate that that they have an extensive] history of dieting.

So we have a large population, primarily female, who have dutifully dieted, and dieted, and followed doctor's orders and dieted some more. And they just got fatter and sicker. And if they are anything like me, finally got so frustrated one night at 3AM, that they did some googling, and ran across a Primal/Paleo blog- maybe one of the biggies. OR, they saw that pasty guy in IT drop weight seemingly overnight, and asked him about it. And he tells her the truth (for him): That is was easy, and he ate a lot of bacon.

So they try it. And they aren't as sick anymore, and are eating healthy and exercising more- but they are still fat. And their doctor is telling them that they just need to eat more whole grains and veggies, and exercise more. Or that they are going to get cholesterol poisoning. If they are stubborn (like me) and get as many benefits from it as I did, they might still stick with it. I would guess though, that the weight is the most important thing for the majority of people.

So, what can we do about it?

I am still doing some research, (Part 2- tomorrow!) but if you do read this, I'd appreciate your take on it in the comments!


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  2. I usually find a stall out point although looking back I'm not sure if it's physical or If I just get comfy as I have lost weight and start relaxing. It's a balancing game. Trying to find a diet that works and some sort of exercise that works for you too. I did South Beach awhile ago and loved it and lost weight but then I got comfy again. Last time I did the low carb thing I ended up in the ER. The doc thought it might have been my appendix. Turns out that that my body wasn't cool with the low carb and I was severely stopped up. $5000 later to find out I was full of it! Since then I have been to scared to go the low carb route.

    You have inspired me though! I haven't gone totally Primal but I started adding more grown items to our diet and trying to cut out processed foods. I am starting to feel pretty good. Thank you for all of the healthy info!

    1. Ugh, I am sorry you went through that- I am glad you chimed in though. Everyone is different, and I think that prescribing the same thing to everyone has gotten us where we are- fatter, and sicker.

      That is wonderful to hear! I am pretty much just chronicling my weird journey, but I am thrilled to be inspiring anyone. :) Really, it is just a gradual process, and you can make yourself crazy trying to "do the right thing"- only to have the "right thing" turn out to be the wrong thing. South Beach initially worked for me too (And honestly, P1 is a lot like Primal eating) but as soon as grains came back in in P2, I would gain.

    2. I totally agree. There is no one pill fits all in medicine so why should that translate to weight loss?