The Downill/Upward Slide

I haven’t posted in a while. My weight has been stable, I’ve been doing 24-hour fasts one or two days a week. I didn’t regain the 9 I lost when I did the 4-day fast, which makes me think it was real fat I lost, not just water.

I’ve also been struggling with loathing my body. I want to love my body, I just have SO much baggage – a whole lifetime’s worth.

This morning I went for a run and I was trying to focus on thinking about my entire journey, not just the last 10 years. Because over the entire arc of my life, things are looking pretty good. Over the last 10 years, I am NOT happy. Since I passed 40 it’s been a long downhill (or rather upward) trajectory. I gain weight and nothing I try seems to change it.

Yet, if I consider where I started (weighing ~400 pounds) I should be ecstatic – I’m still keeping 175 pounds off! I just want to be 25 pounds down from where I am. But nothing I do is working, now that I’m 43 my body simply won’t tolerate further attempts to lose. I’m tired of it all.

I do wonder if other people who have lost massive amounts of weight hit a similar wall. I think it’s hormonal. I wonder if others in my boat have a similar situation where they are able to maintain a huge loss for 10+ years but then once they hit 40 (or 50, or whatever their personal limit is) and suddenly the hormonal changes take hold and nothing they do can keep them from gaining a certain amount. At least I appear to be holding the line here where I am (for now). Maybe evolutionarily speaking, holding 25 extra pounds is something my body needs to do at this age? It doesn’t seem right to me, but there are so few people in my situation that it’s hard to have any basis of comparison.

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Extended Fasting – 4 Day Fast

(aka: I continue to experiment on me)

So this week I tried extended fasting. I did a 4 day fast. Here’s how it went weight-wise:

Day 1 weight: 228.5

Day 2 weight: 223.5

Day 3 weight: 220.5

Day 4 weight: 219.5

On day 4 I broke my fast and ate a very reasonable dinner of beef kabobs, asparagus, caprese salad, with some nuts and cheese as an early appetizer (to break my fast slowly) and a square of 85% chocolate for dessert. I expected to gain back some weight as I went off the fast and my liver re-started glycogenesis and began storing more water for it.

Day 5 weight: 219.5.

Didn’t regain. Yet.

It wasn’t impossible, I just didn’t eat after dinner Sunday until dinner on Thursday. I was promised all sorts of things about how the fasting experience would go and those were mostly lies.

  1. They say that after day 2 the hunger goes away. NO.
  2. They say that after day 2 as your brain transitions to running on ketones you get amazing mental clarity and focus. NO.
  3. They say you get tons of energy as your body starts pumping up adrenaline and growth hormone. NO.

Basically, I didn’t get any of the benefits that are promised from extended fasting, other than weight loss. And I still expect that I will gain back a bit of that.

I eagerly awaited the loss of hunger and increase in mental clarity I’ve been assured would kick in on day 3, however day 3 was the WORST hunger yet – late in the day I felt weak and shaky, and day 4 was also bad for hunger, to the point where what I’d intended to be a 5 day fast was cut short. This being my first attempt at extended fasting I didn’t really know how long I’d last, so aiming for a 5-day fast was pretty arbitrary. I will say I noticed a slight increase in mental focus – on food.

So, IDK if all those promises about hunger going away and mental clarity are just pretty lies ginned up to get people to give it a try, or if for people with normal metabolisms (mine is NOT) that actually happens, but it sure as hell didn’t happen for me.

During the fast I consumed water, coffee, tea, cider vinegar sodas (soda water plus cider vinegar and a pinch of salt), and bone broth (only on days 3 and 4 when I finally got it made…hmmm, wonder if that was actually contributing to my hunger instead of helping?)

I’m pleased with the loss, but I recognize it may have been largely water. I am not sure if I will try it again. If you are feeling the urge to come into the comments and freak out on me about fasting please go read about it first, because there is tons of literature about it and it’s not dangerous for otherwise healthy overweight people – quite the opposite. Further updates as events warrant.

(More) Stuff That Doesn’t Work

Here I am, back for another episode of “Shit That Doesn’t Work For Me.” Since I have the most recalcitrant body I am aware of (due to years of low-cal, low-fat dieting – learn from my fail!) I have more things on my list of “shit that don’t work” than anybody I know. This week’s installment: Intermittent Fasting.

Tried that, along with a low-carb diet. I tried 24-hour fasts 2-3 days a week and got no results, so I thought I’d give “eating once a day” a try, so basically for two weeks I ate once a day at dinner time. It was hard, but I managed because I thought it would work for me.

The first week I lost 6 pounds!

The second week I gained one of them back!

FML.

So we’ll just add that to the list of things that don’t work. No fucking way I’m doing that ANOTHER week only to find I’ve gained again. It’s too hard to do, to be seeing a gain already.

I’m trying something new this week. I’m not ready to talk about it, but give me a few weeks and I may be back with another installment of shit that doesn’t work. Or maybe I’ll have finally found the thing that works for me. All I know is I can’t stay where I am right now. In any case, please don’t invite me to do food-based socializing for a while, while I sort this out.