Starting a new regular feature here at chez Porous Po – Wednesday Weigh-ins! Daily weighing is making me a little obsessive so I’ve decided to cut back to once per week. And so, the results of the first Wednesday Weigh-in:
insert drumroll here
My highest weight was 330 pounds so I am damn near sixty pounds down from there. My weight when I started lowcarbing two weeks ago was 291 pounds so that’s 18 pounds I’ve lost just in those twenty days!
My BMI is 37.0. Still obese but much lower than it was so I’m happy about it.
My clothes are fitting better, my mood is elevated, and I’ve got tons of energy.
I’m running low on food and grocery day isn’t until Wednesday so this morning I decided to microwave one of my frozen broccoli and cheese sides I bought last month before I started low carbing. They aren’t particularly high in carbs but they aren’t super low either and they’re also pretty processed so I’ve been avoiding them for the last few weeks.
I gotta tell you, after nearly three weeks of avoiding anything processed or unnatural, it tasted terrible! The cheese didn’t taste like cheese at all. More like orange slime with a bunch of salt added to it to cover the chemical taste. And I used to like these things.
I am officially one week smoke-free! I can’t tell you how happy I am to have made it this far. I have tried many times in the past to quit and given up in frustration after a few days. This time around I have had relatively little desire to smoke at all!
I really think that it’s because this time I timed it to go along with a move towards healthier eating. While for many people trying to lose weight and quit smoking would be torture, for me the two seem to reinforce each other. In the past, an eating binge would trigger a desire to smoke and smoking would trigger a desire to eat. So cutting out both at the same time seems to have short-circuited my little addict’s brain and gotten me around the worst of the cravings.
Even though I am only a week in I can already see a huge difference. I don’t wake up hacking and coughing in the morning. I don’t wake up in the middle of the night wheezing like an asthmatic. My sense of smell seems to be waking up and speaking of smells… I don’t stink like an ashtray anymore.
I have to protect this quit. It’s going down easy and that might never happen again.
Onward to week two!
I want to talk a little bit about how I came to be as fat as I am. I promise to make it as short as I can.
I have been overweight for as along as I can remember. I am told, and photographic evidence bears this out, that up until I was four I was a skinny little thing. But by five I was already sporting a bit of a belly. I wasn’t fat. Not yet. Not then. But I was no longer a skinny little thing to be sure.
Over the next eight years I grew more up than out and by the time I was thirteen I was close to six feet tall and chubby. Looking back now I wasn’t anywhere near fat — maybe twenty pounds over what I “should” have been — but I thought I was the fattest thing in the world. Towering over all of my girlfriends didn’t help. I was tall and broad and freakishly strong. I wanted to be small and short and willowy. (I’ve always wanted to be described as “willowy.” But even if I lost ALL the weight I have to lose and then some I will NEVER be willowy. I’m just not built that way, I don’t think.)
I’ll skip over the junior high and high school years. They’re too painful to recount in detail now. Let’s just say that my peers did little to disabuse me of the notion that I was a big, fat, worthless pig. I left them behind soon enough but the trauma stayed with me. I internalized it. And I spent my twenties hating being fat and punishing myself for it by compulsively overeating my way up to 330 pounds. Yeah, I know, it makes no fucking sense to me either. But I wasn’t exactly thinking or behaving rationally at the time.
There was one point in the middle of all that mess when I went on a starvation diet (500 calories per day) and lost maybe thirty pounds. And of course it all came back plus some when my body gave out and I could starve myself no more.
That brings us up to about two years ago. 330 pounds and more miserable than ever. A cross-country move, giving up soda and an increase in daily movement knocked off forty pounds and brought me down to about 290 pounds. That was enough for a while. Although still very fat I felt really good about the fact that I had managed to keep the weight off and not regain.
But I had stalled. Even though I was eating healthier and moving more I just wasn’t losing more weight. I was no longer compulsively overeating and though I did occasionally overindulge I wasn’t taking in impossibly huge numbers of calories. I tried a few lower-calorie, low-fat, high-carb diets but I felt deprived and miserable the whole time. I lost and regained the same seven pounds.
Then I came across a copy of Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution. I had heard of low-carb dieting before, of course — it was impossible to avoid for a few years there — but I had dismissed it as a fad. This time I thought I might try it out. It just so happened that the very next book I read was Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories. I was sold. I figured that I would try cutting down on the carbs for a while and see what happened. If it didn’t work I’d stop.
Well, what’s happened so far is that I’ve lost fifteen pounds in two weeks and I feel healthier than I have in a long, long time. So I’m going to stick with it for a while and see where it leads me. I have a goal weight but I don’t know for sure if I’ll ever be a thin person. All I really want is to be a healthy person. My goal weight isn’t quite as meaningful to me as my goal activities: run a 5k, climb a mountain, take a plane ride without worrying about whether the seatbelt will fit or not. These are the images I tape to my fridge. This is what’s keeping me going. And I have a long, long way to go.
Keep your fingers crossed for me. I need all the help I can get.