It may get hairy…

Posts tagged ‘diet’

My needle-mark riddled corpse

My blog is becoming slightly higgledy-piggledy – lurching from politics, to literature, to ramblings and dieting. After writing the political post a few days ago, quite a few of my friends and family have suggested that I concentrate on political pieces alone. I considered this, but then realised that would entail me reading the news more.

So, this is what you have – my personal back and forth, my apologies…this is a long ‘un.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, knowing that I’m bound to get some criticism, I had some hesitation, but after struggling to find personal blogs that could help me along my ‘medicinal’ path, I knew I had to post, at least to help others in my position.

Firstly, I’m not advocating anything other than diet and exercise to those trying to lose weight. Had I not tried everything and had I merely used a ‘quick-fix,’ I wouldn’t be writing this.

Long story not so short: Returning from the UK in March 2011, I decided I had to lose a few kgs, only 4 and so hopped onto one of what would constitute part of many fad diets. From that time until around November 2011, I tried everything from the Atkins diet to the Soup & Yoghurt diet (yes, it is only these two things for two weeks). Mention cutting out carbs and I may punch you in the face, I barely remembered what a carb was. Everyone had a ‘secret’ that had worked for them – I tried them all. I’m sure somewhere, under some rock, in some Persian garden, there’s a diet I didn’t try, but they’re few and far between. I still picked up. So I went the logical route, exercise and healthy eating. I followed a normal, healthy diet. A lifestyle. I ran three times a week, I did yoga twice a week and callenetics three times a week (it’s like aerobics on steroids). I still gained. I continued gaining, but slowly and only in December did I start to realise I had a problem.

In the beginning it was just an inkling…an idea that something just wasn’t right with my body. I do fully believe that we know when something’s off in our bodies. I once forced a doctor to do an operation to find out if I had Endometriosis, with him insisting I didn’t…only, sadly, to prove him wrong. At the bottom of it, we’re animals and basically instinctual, when we bother to listen to ourselves. Come April, I was getting very concerned with my weight, but was still trying.

And then, between April and May alone, I picked up 10kgs, while dieting.

Those of you who read this blog will know that I tried a dietician, who made me eat more than I could imagine, I tried diets recommended by the doctors, I took appetite suppressants even when eating only 300 calories a day. I then followed a friend’s diet, which recommended under 1000 calories a day, combined with either a 70 minute brisk walk or run. I couldn’t manage even 600 calories, so I ate 500 calories a day and I ran. Every single day. I started to lose, but only a bit, but then I picked it all up again, in one single day. It was then that I knew I was pretty much doomed.

I’ve been through some pretty rough patches in my life, but the fact that so few people believed me (the amount of people who looked at me with blatant skepticism when I said I was running 6km a night, or said ‘if you just eat healthily with moderate exercise, you’ll lose’), that one doctor said I must just get used to being this way as I’m no longer an adolescent and the fact that my body seemed to be conspiring against me, took me into a bonafide depression, that lasted a long time.

I would wake up in the morning and want to cut the fat from my bones. I felt sick, physically and violently sick, then I looked at myself in the mirror. My ‘fat’ clothes were cutting into my skin and my ‘thin’ clothes hidden so far into the closet, they could be in Narnia (where the thin people reign). I felt like I was walking around in a fat suit. I was uncomfortable when I sat, when I walked and even when I lay down. I’m not going to lie, I considered suicide a number of times. I wouldn’t do it, mainly because we’ve had a suicide in the family many moons ago and over two decades later you can still see the effects. I couldn’t do that to them, but it did come close. I can’t count the number of times I cried in my many different doctors’ office. My Google search results had nothing but diet tips and even eating disorder forums (which I got kicked out of, because even though I was only eating 300 calories, I wasn’t losing weight and when asked for help, apparently I was advocating anorexia, not desperately seeking someone to talk to).

I’ve had my thyroid checked three times, I kept hoping they’d find something wrong with me. At least it would explain it and I could tell people ‘I’m not just fat.’ So, I took what I swore was my final visit to yet another different doctor. I have only one kidney and suddenly thought, ‘perhaps something’s wrong with this kidney now and that’s why I’m picking up weight.’ This doc is the only one in town with an ultrasound. Expecting to be scanned and ignored, like always, I was shocked when he sat me down, called the path lab and asked about my previous blood results. He took more blood and then…listened more. He actually wanted to know about my weight gain, he believed me. He was slightly shocked when I rattled off the types of drugs that didn’t work, the different diets I’d tried and a lot of indepth research into weight gain. He believed me when I told him I was running every night and when I told him my diet. He then gave me a sliver of hope (I know it sounds stupid and corny, but there it is), he told me that even if my blood tests were ‘clean’ of problems, there was a drug he’d put two prior patients on, that had really worked: Victoza.

Cut to the chase, after my ramblings, I’m now on it. I’ve been on it for nearly a month now. Victoza is generally for Type 2 Diabetics, but can be used as  a last resort for major weight loss. According to my BMI I had over 15kg to lose. I was sitting at 74kgs and I’m 5’2″.

It costs…a lot. R1000 pm ($115). I just have to stay on it until I hit my goal weight and then I go off it again. I have researched this like no other. I must have read over 2000 reviews (no hyperbole), only one person didn’t lose on this drug that I read of and she was a self-admitted chocolate addict, who was shoving her face full of chocolate on a daily basis. Three people gained after stopping the drug, and only because they went back to their original habits, which were high in carbs and no exercise. Some people lost as much as 9kg in a month.

As mentioned, it’s nearly a month for me. I inject myself daily in the thigh and have gotten quite used to the routine. The nausea and exhaustion in the first two weeks weren’t fun and again when I upped my dose, but after that, there’s no difference. It works two fold, as an appetite suppressant (which I don’t need) and as somehow increasing your metabolism (which I do).

For those wanting to know more about Victoza: I noticed my appetite came back after the second/third week. I don’t have a problem with this, though. I also noticed a significant difference regarding how much water I drink. With one kidney, I’m only allowed 3lt a day, and I stick to that. If I don’t, I don’t lose. My weight plummeted on the first day (I lost 2.2kg that day alone) and then continued, slowing down, until about the end of the second week, when I stopped losing. I have to say, I panicked a lot. I stopped keeping my diary, woke up in the night fearing that I’ll be the only person that doesn’t lose. Because of this, I stopped drinking as much water and stopped losing. I still find exercise more difficult than before, but it’s getting easier. Anyway, I have once again started losing, thank goodness, so just be prepared for waves and don’t stress.

I know a lot of people won’t agree with what I’ve done, but it’s not your choice. I hated life and now I don’t. Now I see some corny light at the end of the tunnel (be it a train or not). I made a decision that has allowed me to finally feel good about myself, to buy interesting jewelry, because I’m no longer afraid of people looking at me, to occasionally have a beer in public, without fearing that everyone will think ‘oh, and she says she’s been trying to lose weight” and to wake up in the morning feeling okay about myself.

I started Victoza on the 28th of September, it’s now the 25th of October. I have lost exactly 5kg, along with losing 6.5cm around my thighs, 6.5cm around my waist and 2cm around my arms.

I may suddenly die from unknown side-effects, but hey, at least my needle-mark riddled corpse will look pretty.

 

 

And so I’m back*

It’s been a while since we’ve chatted.

A lot has happened since the days of The Diet, some good, some bad…some stupid, some funny (quite often both). So here goes:

I dieted. I lost next to nothing. I stopped dieting, ate what I wanted to and attended a wedding. My Grandfather got married. He cried through the ceremony with happiness. She laughed with joy (the thing, not a person). My parents split up. I learnt that laptops apparently don’t like red wine. I learnt that when one spills red wine on one’s laptop, one shouldn’t use a hair dryer. I learnt that hair driers melt laptop keys.

I laughed with people and at people. People laughed at me (quite notably the computer store clerks). People laughed with me, but perhaps not as much. I cried. A lot. I started the Soup & Yogurt diet. I learnt that the  Soup & Yogurt diet no longer works. I borrowed my Mum’s treadmill. I ran. I ran some more. My face got fat. I visited Hole in the Wall (wow). I started the Eating for your Blood Type diet. My fridge broke. I ate lots of ‘cold’, but not cold meat. I saved and I saved. I lost all email access (sorry). My business boomed  (bloody Murphy). I hired a freelancer. A freelancer saved my not so tiny bum. I bought my very own sexy laptop. I saved for a laptop all on my tod (through connections). I was sad. A lot. And then I decided to be happy.

In summary: Like many people, my life is series of Mr Bean** moments. My laptop arrived today and I decided I just had to visit my blog again to tell you all about this rather strange period. Of course, I can’t do that without wine, so there’s a glass of wine, in a shoe box, far, far away from my new laptop (but within arm’s reach).

I woke up this morning and despite the nagging feeling that yet again, something would go wrong, I decided to be happy. It’s both easier and harder than it seems. Things did go wrong, but I managed. While running back and forth in Woolies checking out ingredients and getting an audience, I saw flowers. Flowers make me happy. I’ve had a great work month, but alas, work and cash flow seem to misunderstand each other, so while I’m swimming in clients, I can’t afford to buy flowers. So I bought them.

I’ll be dining on more cold sausages in a sealed container tonight (no fridge, remember), but hey, I have flowers. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep them alive, or allow them to make me happy, but I hope each and every one of you finds a ‘flower’ today 🙂

That’s my corny bit, now I’m going to get plastered.

*Admit it, you sang the song. 

** I even have a teddy – 

Ode to a Dieter

Don’t

Here endeth my ode.

Right, you’re aware that of late I’ve been a ‘slug?’ So it turns out [cue drum-roll please], there is a reason that I have been so slug-like.

And it’s all my bleeding fault.

You’ll have noted from my previous post that woe be to those that mention ‘exercise,’ ‘diet tips,’ their own elixir of twigdom that made them slightly less fat than they were before and/or any other suggestion for weight-loss. This isn’t because I didn’t want to do the hard work involved in losing weight, it’s because I’d f**king tried it already.

Honestly, I jogged, I yoga’d, I callen… (whatever the hell you call it)’d, I cut out carbs, I did the Atikins diet, I ate healthily (according to my food-technologist Grandfather), I followed the soup & yogurt diet… I did it all.

And I gained.

Honestly, how do you live off of only liquids and still gain weight? I managed it.

Eventually, the slug slithered off to the doctor. He held no insights, as my slug bloods came back proving that I was a veritable human. He weighed me.

Before I go on, please note, in past years, I’ve shed as many tears as a statue of the Virgin Mary (here our similarities stop). The result of my weigh-in showed that I had gained an enormous 10kg….in one month.

I couldn’t camp out in the middle of McDonalds and gain that amount of weight.

I burst into tears in this strange doctor’s office. So, off I pop to the dietician, thinking that this is surely it. The end of the road. The doctor says there’s nothing wrong with me and the dietician will tell me to live the life of a squirrel…and I’ll still not lose weight.

Firstly, she took one look at what I was eating and dropped her pen.

My problem: starvation. I’ve been on diets for well over a year and have cut out almost all carbs. My body decided to go into ‘survival’ mode, kicked up my insulin and squirreled away (ooh look, another squirrel) the fat into my tummy, thighs, arms and even my chin…just in case.

The solution: Eat bread.

Well, not exactly that, but I have to eat sh*t loads of specific carbs, to get my body back in order. Seed bread, not white, but lots. Oily fish (puke, but I’ll do it) and other stuff like BAKED BEANS (f**k yeah!).

This is heaven. She actually has ‘sandwiches’ in my diet plan. Sandwiches??? It’s like cake to other fat people. I love my carbs so much and I haven’t had any for so long.

The Disadvantages:

The only thing I shall miss is cheese. I’m not allowed cheddar, but am allowed mozzarella.

Can someone please tell me the point of mozzarella? I’m determined to prove that it’s not a food, but merely some form of edible rubber whose sole purpose is to keep the pizza topping from falling off.

The Advantages:

I can eat bread AND have booze! Granted, only 1-2 glasses of wine for three nights a week, the rest is a no go and no, I’m not allowed to accumulate my ‘units.’

Conclusion

I ate according to the guidelines yesterday. I nearly puked I ate so much, but I scoffed it all down. Lo’ and behold, I actually slept! I also find myself in control of my emotions. On a sad note, my dog, Mathilda, had to be put down this morning. In the last few months, I would have been inconsolable, unable to deal with her parting and unable to help my parents as a result. After eating well yesterday, I’m in control of my emotions. I shed my tears when I came home, but only a little and I helped my parents through their grief.

I have once again found my ‘off-switch.’

To my fellow dieters, I bid you farewell.

Go forth and gorge

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