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The Downward Trending YoYo


Lydia_R

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Here is my diet journey.  I say that this is the toughest thing I ever did and when compared to others, I had it pretty easy.

 

I'm not a doctor and my tactics are definitely not for everyone.  I'm sharing this because if people don't share their stories, then what do we have to work with?  Here goes...

 

I grew up skinny; really skinny.  I weighed 120lbs until I was 35.  In the early 90's, I was biking 35 miles/day for 2 years.  In the mid 90's I was biking 60 miles/week and in the late 90's it was more like 40 miles/week.  I've always had a fast food rule.  Don't order soft drinks.  Don't order fries.  Don't order cheese.  I end up ordering 3 small hamburgers when I do fast food.  I love cooking and mainly lived on fajitas in the 90's.

 

Things changed in the 2000's.  I was homeless for 4 years and that disrupted my exercise and eating patterns.  I was very, very poor though, so I didn't have much money for food.  When I got off the streets in 2005, I started cooking curries.  I also started drinking soda pop with my curries.  I started biking again in 2006, but that only lasted for a couple years.  By 2010, I was at my highest weight of 195.  I'm 5'9".

 

So, 195 wasn't terribly overweight, but that weight came on quickly.  My A1C test came in at a 5.9 and in 2011 my doctor diagnosed me with non alcoholic fatty liver disease and he prescribed "rapid weight loss."  My mom had type 2 diabetes and I was certainly concerned about it.  I wanted to be thin again.  I've always enjoyed being "light on my feet."  It was all that dang soda pop!

 

So, I struggled with diet for a year.  Then I came to the conclusion that I would do it with "calorie reduction."  So I started tracking the calories of the things I was eating in Excel.  I had a row for each item (or groups of items) and their calorie amount.  And then I had a column for each day.  My first day was 6/5/2013 and I weighed in at 180.  Since I was conscious about dieting, my calorie count was fairly low.  I was averaging about 1,400-1,900 calories/day for those first few weeks.  I did that for a month and managed to lose 8 pounds.

 

After that, I had a better handle on how many calories were in the things I liked to eat.  I stopped tracking all those calories, but I continued to weigh myself every day.  I started doing some juice fasting (actually, I think I was doing this prior to the tracking) to get low calorie days.  This downward trending yoyo idea comes from how I would fast and have 500 calorie days for a week, and then go back to eating more normally.  I did a lot of yoyo-ing like that.  It was super frustrating, but I was trending down.  Two months later, I was at 167.  on 11/26/2013 I was at 162, so I had lost almost 20 pounds in 5 months.

 

I was not doing any exercise while I was doing this dieting.  I was very stubborn about doing "calorie reduction."  I noticed that when I was doing fasting days, that I had a lot of time on my hands and missed cooking.

 

By 3/1/2014, I weighed 156.  It was probably around this time that I started doing my prison diet aka the bread sandwich.  I would eat 5 slices of multigrain bread a day with mustard on them to have a 500 calorie day.  I found that if I put mayonnaise on them, I wouldn't lose weight, but I would with just the mustard.  I noticed how I would become constipated and felt that this was my body trying to get every last calorie out of the food that I was consuming.  This sure was a painful process.  It was the hardest thing I've ever done.

 

On 8/15/2014, I weighed 153.  Then up to 157 a month later.  Holiday weight got me back up to 161 by new year's.  A year later I was still at 160.  And still trying to diet.  I got down to 150 by the end of 2017.  After my partner died in 2017, I doubled down on vegetarian curries.  I only have one weight entry in 2018 and it was 143.

 

By that time, I was pretty much back to my old self.  My A1C had dropped down to 5.2, so I was not per-diabetic anymore.  And that really is the most important part of my journey.  By September of 2019, I was down to 138.  I got down to my low of 129 in 2021.  Maybe I was just showing off at this point.

 

I still struggle with it though.  It's 8/2/2022 and I weighed in at 141 today.  I've been in the 130's all year, but I've gotten into baking in the last year.  I've been at 140 for a week now.  140 is my cutoff of being unacceptable.  I will not allow myself to get back into the position I was in before.  My last A1C test was a year ago and was a 5.4.  My protein level has been dropping for several years and is now considered low.  I've tried addressing it with eating more legumes, but it hasn't had an effect.  I started biking again and biked 700 miles last year.  I'm hoping to have a good time biking this fall.  I'm considering adding some meat to my diet.  Fish and chicken.

 

I too have a well earned belly that I'm trying to get rid of.  I'm doing sit-ups every day now.  I look pretty skinny in clothes, but without clothes, my belly sticks out.  I don't know that I can ever get rid of it, but I'm interested to see if I can make it better.

 

I think the soda pop was a way of comforting myself after getting off the streets.  I wanted to start drinking alcohol with the soda pop, but I decided against the alcohol.  The soda pop idea was the stupidest thing I ever did, but losing weight like that was an impressive feat.  But you know, all things considered, I had it pretty easy.

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The main thing I like about posting online is that it makes you think about what you just posted.  The last week I've been studying my little protein problem some more.  Some info online says that the relationship between consumed protein is not 1:1 with the protein levels in your blood.  I'm sure there is some relationship though.  It may be more about just starving myself than the lower protein levels.

 

I have been working with my doctor about the protein for a year now.  They recommend that I get 70g/day when I'm doing my 50 miles/week of bike riding.  Online says that 50g/day is normal for my height/weight.  If I'm eating rice and beans for dinner, I typically get about 50-59g/day and it is very hard for me to get to 70g without any meat.

 

I went shopping for salmon/chicken the other day and wound up just getting a couple cans of tuna.  I really have been low-no meat for many years now.  I wound up buying a whole organic chicken today and will make my saag chicken this weekend.  I certainly don't see myself doing this regularly.

 

Anyway.  Those are the numbers!  To human is to measure/copy.

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