The “American normal” diet.

I had a question about what my previous diet was like, so I thought I’d post that here too:

I would call my previous diet “American normal”. Takeout pizza, frozen pizza, spaghetti, linguine alfredo, boxes/packets of food you just have to add water to like Pasta Sides and Rice Sides, burritos, tacos, burgers and fries, breaded fried chicken, ICE CREAM, frozen yogurt from one of those places you get to add a million toppings, candy, chocolate. I always liked meat and veggies, but I thought I’d get bored with them. So I had to learn how to use spices and prepare them in different ways to keep it interesting. There are some healthy alternatives: cauliflower-crust for pizza, spaghetti squash instead of pasta. I haven’t had luck with the cauliflower crust because I can’t get it to dry out enough so it’s just kind of a mess but it tasted ok. I haven’t found spaghetti squash to try that yet. I would need to make my own sauce because the jarred or canned stuff would have too much sugar/carbs. Two months ago I would have been ugh at the thought of trying to craft my own sauce but now it sounds kind of fun and challenging. Continue reading

How I am actually managing to lose weight.

So, I’ve been losing weight since November 1, 2013. About 30 lbs lost in 2 and a half months. A couple people have asked how I am doing it so I thought I’d outline a few of my “secrets”.

I’m 31 and have never in my life been able to really lose weight. I could do a program for maybe a month or two, but since it was usually exercise-intensive and food-light, I would just be starving and exhausted and in pain and miserable as hell. Not a great way to live. And it was treated as a temporary thing. Do this [diet/exercise program] for 2 months and be a size negative four! Then of course you go back to normal and gain it all back and more.

The key with what I’m doing is making lifestyle changes. Forever. Continue reading

Reflecting on 2013

Plenty of ups and downs, but I hope to remember 2013 for a small medication adjustment and major nutrition overhaul that made me feel human and alive for the first time I can remember in my entire life. At the age of 31.

No hyperbole here. Those of you who’ve lived in the constant fog of Major Depressive Disorder will understand. I’m not even sure I have the words to fully describe it.

I’m actually losing some damn weight, for once.

So my therapist’s appointment today was interesting.

On November 1, I weighed 253 lbs. Today I weighed 232.6 lbs.

That is about 20 lbs lost in 42 days.

I am shocked and happy, and cautiously optimistic. This is the first time I’ve lost a significant(?) amount of weight without feeling particularly miserable and starving and aching.

My “secret”? No sugar, no carbs. All protein and vegetables (except corn and potatoes). That’s it. No exercise other than light daily activities. The most important part, for me, has been NO CHEATS. No cheat day, no cheat meal, no 1 tiny candy a day, nothing. No little nibbles of treats or anything with sugar or grains. Not even any fruit. All protein and vegetables. Continue reading

My ode to winter.

I don’t understand how anyone can love winter.

Winter, to me, is wearing wool socks over cotton socks, big heavy boots, 2 layers of long underwear pants, thick jeans or trousers, a big heavy coat over a big heavy sweater over another 2 layers of long underwear up top, thin gloves under big mittens, a thick scarf, a thick hat, and topped with a balaclava. And even with all that, any fluid in your nasal passages and lungs you feel freeze inside you when you step outside and take a breath. And if it’s windy, it feels like you’re wearing nothing at all.

Winter, to me, is getting that first chill in your bones and never feeling warm again for 6 entire months (or more). That thermostat may say it’s 72 degrees F indoors but your fingers and toes are like ice, always, and you shiver under layers of blankets.

Winter, to me, is shoveling heavy snow while every muscle aches, while your back is screaming in pain (which it never really stopped screaming from shoveling the day before because you have to shovel nearly every goddamn day).

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Weighty discoveries.

I have been on a quest the last few months to have gastric bypass surgery. I qualified with a BMI of 40.6, and my surgeon wanted me to do a few things to ensure I’m a good candidate for surgery and check for any problems. Two of these things required of me have proved vital and may in fact reduce my need for surgery: a sleep study and a psychiatric evaluation.

I had always assumed I’m a light sleeper. For years, I’ve gotten up multiple times at night. But I never thought I had sleep apnea. I though if I had sleep apnea, I would wake up gasping for breath or something, but that was never the case.

Turns out, I have SEVERE sleep apnea. I stop breathing for 10 seconds or more on average 48 times an hour. That’s nearly every minute. For the most part, I don’t wake up enough to even know. But it still affects how much sleep I’m really getting, and the quality of that sleep.

Sleep apnea can cause obesity which can worsen sleep apnea which can cause obesity which can… You see how just that could be screwing me up.

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