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How the “perfect” diet destroyed more than it helped.

26 Oct

I return from my very extended hiatus. A lot has happened and today I’d like to talk about losing weight and dieting. Not to say I found the next best diet, but to tell you that I will never touch another diet again.

I’m not here to relay cold hard facts and evidence, I’m merely here to relay my experience.

My weight loss journey started on August 1st 2011. At my first weight in I was 86 kilo. My goal would be 75 kilo. I started this journey together with my mom and together we agreed that our reward for reaching our goal weight would be to go to Disney.

I didn’t go on a diet that someone “invented”. Already back then I didn’t really believe in get slim fast diets, and most other diets sounded weird, or didn’t make sense to me. Instead what I did was in little steps make healthier choice. Don’t eat three slices of bread with sugar bombs on top at lunch. Instead put chicken on them. And so on. Also I started to exercise.

Little changes, and the weight came off slowly and steadily. I ate all the delicious holiday season items, but not too much of them. I still lost weight over the holiday season.

I hit the weight of 78 and got stuck there. I was eating quite healthy, I was eating normally. I would still eat that candy bar if I wanted to.
Exercising was down in the dumps a little though.

After being frustrated and angry, and having my mom tell me to exercise and snack less so I will lose the weight, I accepted my fate. I shrugged it off, maybe I’ll never reach my goal weight, maybe this is as low as I can get.

I’m not sure what set the following events in motion, but I found myself on a site called Nerd Fitness one day in June 2012. After reading some really enjoyable articles (hey, I’m a nerd!) I decided to join the forums. I was welcomed there by a group of immensely supportive people!

Through Nerd Fitness I found out about the paleo diet. Which wasn’t a diet at all (or so it claimed). It was a way to eat, forever. For those unfamiliar it’s about eating whole unprocessed foods. (meat, vegetables, nuts, fruit, oils and tubers)
The ideas and science made sense to me. Grains were evil. Slowly I started to eat less of them.

On August 6th I started doing the Whole30, as I’ve mentioned on this blog. 100% paleo for 30 days. No cheating, full compliance.

25 days later I was on an airplane to London (for a really great trip!). We got served bread with cheese. I was looking at walking an entire day. I had packed nuts and dried fruit in preparation. However would it be enough? I was kind of hungry. I decided screw this Whole30, I want to eat!

What followed was a troubling period. I didn’t just stop with the Whole30, I stopped with everything. I was just eating whatever the hell I wanted. And thanks to the Whole30 I wanted all the chocolate and cake and whatever you can imagine that’s not in line with the Whole30.

I weighted myself before starting the Whole30: 76.5 kg

I weighted myself 1 week into the Whole30: 74.5 kg

I reached my goal and mom and I booked the trip to Disney.

I weighted myself after falling way out of “line”: 75 something kg.

Shocker, eating all the bad food didn’t instantly make me fat. I wasn’t back at the 86 kg at which I started.
Still I needed to get back to a happy place. A place where I wouldn’t be obsessed with food. (as my mom and aunt pointed out I was, thanks!)

For weeks I struggled, but I couldn’t get past the “eat everything” phase. I would have 4 donuts as my dinner. Slowly the weight came back. For some reason I couldn’t get back to where I once was, and I definitely didn’t want to have anything to do with the Whole30 again. (no matter the benefits I did have, even beyond weight loss)

I’m not really sure (again) how I rolled into it, but I found a website that has helped me big time!
The Fat Nutritionist!
My eyes opened. Diets don’t work (which I already believed), and the paleo diet, is a diet. It restricts what I’m allowed to eat.
The Fat Nutritionist author Michelle focuses on how to eat and not what to eat. This was very refreshing. No judgement on what I would eat, just teaching me a better way to eat.

So starting my next 6 week challenge at Nerd Fitness one of my goals I set was having a healthy relationship with food. The challenge started September 24th and we’re now in week 5.
Did my relationship improve? Hell yes it did!
Michelle has a couple of posts, 7 in fact, with lessons on eating normal. I read all of them and took notes. I set up rules for myself, rules on HOW to eat. Most importantly I set the rule that I’m allowed to eat and that I eat with attention, consciously.

Eating with attention has been the key to getting back on track. I’m still learning, but my overeating is mostly gone. I don’t crave sweets/chocolate anymore. I’m happy eating a salad for lunch one day and eating bread and fried snacks another day.
I noticed that some days my body asks for more food than other days. So having always x amount of food with me will some days be too little and some days too much.
I’m still searching for how much to take with me “just in case”.

To take my mind off food I have a schedule. And to take my mind off the clock (which happened when I tried to keep to the schedule) I have set reminders.
It comes down to eating about every 3 hours.

Diets don’t work, they actually work the wrong way in my case. No matter how much “science” backs them up.

I’ve been at a somewhat steady weight of 77 kg. Secretly I wonder if that cardio surgeon still demands I lose weight. After all he recommended that when I told him I was 178 cm and 80 kg. (comes down to slightly overweight according to BMI)

My body may not be perfect, and that’s ok.
I may not be 75 kg and I’ll probably never be, and that’s ok.

Slowly I’m finding peace. Now I just need to convince my mom of this logic.
“You need to exercise, so your figure will improve”, maybe my figure is fine the way it is!
Or one I remember so clearly.
“Mom, do you have something to eat, I’m hungry.”
“No, you’re not. You just had dinner.”
So what? I’m hungry, I eat. Very primitive instinct really. So I ate, but not without my mom commenting about going back to the weight I was.

No I don’t want to be miserable. But what made me miserable wasn’t that I was overweight. What made me miserable was certain people in my life and the fact I felt I couldn’t DO anything. My unfitness made me miserable.

The people are gone and my unfitness is getting dealt with. So really, who cares about weight after that?!
I want to feel fit and on top of the world, not skinny.
Unfortunately fell out a tree (trying to save my cat) and landed incorrectly on my feet. Meaning my ankle is injured. I’m at a stage now where I’m practicing walking up and down stairs.

Miss couch-potato (that would be me), has felt really miserable about not being able to move. I think that says something about how much I want to sit on my ass and do nothing, right?

And the cat? Yeah he fell out the tree as well, but landed on all four paws without injury. He’s staying inside now.

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2 Comments

Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

2 responses to “How the “perfect” diet destroyed more than it helped.

  1. Sean Carley (@milythael)

    March 22, 2013 at 10:29 am

    You have eyes which see, a mind which analyses, and a brilliant perspective. Your insight into what is actually important about fitness, and your willingness to take the n=1 experimental results and apply them in your life will always impress me. You are precisely right. You are beautiful as you are. If you feel fit, then you are fit, and no person or standard should ever tell you otherwise.

     
    • Arisa

      March 23, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Thanks :) I love gathering data and figuring out what works. I believe that getting the data is the only way to make conclusions. Knowing how your own body works and reacts to things. (for example many tell not to drink milk for various reasons, but I know it’s healing for my body.)

       

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