Well, the fact is simple, I need to lose weight. Not just to be able to wear clothes that don’t hide my body and knickers that don’t keep rolling under my belly (sexy image, I know), but for all the other reasons too:
- To reduce the risk of developing cancer
- To reduce the chances of developing heart disease
- To minimise the risk of developing dementia
- To improve my depression
- To increase my ability to exercise
- To stop my chins touching my chest when lying down reading which impacts on my breathing
- To reduce the amount of stress on my already painful joints
- To stop worrying that it’s me they’re laughing about
- To start caring again about looking good
- To buy clothes I like again.
But how on earth do I go about it? I’m in an age group where metabolism starts to slow, I’m menopausal which slows metabolism further and due to my illnesses, I’m pretty much immobile which possibly means my metabolic rate has virtually stopped!!
I started gaining weight at secondary school after moving from Durham to Shropshire, struggled making friends and began comfort eating. I’ve sort of yo-yo’d since then, trying various ‘DIETS’, losing weight well, then putting it all back on and more during every difficult time I’ve gone through.
The weight really piled on when I started uni in 2005, either from the stress of doing a full-time uni course with young children at home; from eating lots of junk food due to shift work, reduced finances and inability to focus on everything; from symptoms of fibromyalgia and tmj appearing; or from all of the above!!!
When I first became ill and off-work, one of my beautiful midwife friends came to see me. She spoke about the Paleo lifestyle which she had been following for a year or so. She had lost a stack of weight, felt really healthy and looked great. We talked for ages about it and it made so much sense that by the time she left that day, I was totally on board. I had also started juicing (which she wasn’t keen for me to do (to be discussed in a later post)) and doing tai chi. After 2 weeks I was able to stay awake for more than a couple of hours and had lost a small amount of weight. We then went on holiday to France and I abandoned it and tucked into croissant, brioche, Brie and tart de pommes! Once home, I found it almost impossible to return to it, gave up and forgot about it.
Once diagnosed, I looked into my illnesses, the cause, effect and management of them and whilst none of them are obese specific, I know that losing weight will reduce some of my symptoms which will improve how I feel on a day to day basis.
I initially thought that by eating 2 meals a day, even though I’m still pretty much immobile, I should lose. Nope, gained 13 lbs in 5 weeks! I then looked into what I was eating and remembered my midwife friends’ information about Paleo and whilst I’m not a purist, I knew this would help both my weight and health. However, I couldn’t afford grass-fed, organic meat and all organic fruit and veg, so I adapted my eating to more of a clean-eating approach.
ive cut out sugar as much as possible and replaced it with honey or maple syrup. I try to steer away from foods with additives or preservatives. I try to steer clear of white carbohydrates including potatoes and I don’t eat dairy. I now try to eat mostly fresh fruit and veg, meat and fish with occasional brown carbs, I drink water, green tea and allow myself 1 cup of coffee per day.
Now that I’ve said all that, I am NO angel and I don’t want to be, but, I want to try as much as I can to improve my health and firmly believe this will happen from my new lifestyle. Indeed, I’ve already gained daily energy and am able to potter around my day space (I live in a 3 storey town house with steep stairs that are exhausting to climb, so on ground floor is kitchen, dining, sitting and loo which was great with small children and is now great again), cleaning and organising. I’ve started rebounding on a daily basis which is supposed to help my lymphatic system drain and increase my metabolic rate.
Even after all the above, I am still gaining, albeit slower (3 kilos in 5 months)!! So, I’ve been to see my GP, still armed with info and still telling them what needs to be done. ‘I need to lose weight to feel better, however, I am in a vicious cycle of immobility:weight gain: depression:exhaustion:immobility and I need to do something about it. I have decided to stop my HRT, as I’m constantly having a hot flush due to the pain meds and the only reason I started HRT was to subdue the hot flushes!! I am not prepared to put my body at an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer for nothing!’ I also informed her that I was going to start the 5:2 intermittent fasting alongside the clean eating as this is proving to be good at both weight loss, immunity boosting and cell repair, all of which will benefit me.
GP was fab and after discussing things and being informed that the HRT was likely to be partly responsible for my weight gain, I felt I’ve made the right choice.
So, the plan is, starting Monday, 24 August 2015, I am starting the intermittent fasting alongside clean eating, rebounding and daily walking, I have 1 month of this and I’m to go back to GP and see if there is any weight loss and/ or health improvement.
Who wants to join me?