Kalli's Leptin Reset Experiment
First off, MANY thanks to Mark for MDA, and MANY thanks to all the Leptin Resetters who have already shared their stories.
I found out about Primal/Paleo eating at my new day job. (I'm an artist/writer trying to make a living while I figure out how to make a living as an artist/writer.) It's a small office of about 30 people, and the big boss and a few people went Paleo a few months ago. AND THEY'RE ALL REALLY NICE AND CHILL AND TRIM. That's the thing. They're in a good mood. I have a history of serious depression and insomnia. If food could positively affect my mood? OMG. And it has.
I stopped eating grains and sugar on April 9th, had a little creamer one day since (and IMMEDIATELY felt terrible for the rest of the day). Tonight (this morning?) I'm awake because I had a bad day at work and my roommate decided to take me out for some fun...which turned into margaritas and nachos. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, I woke up at 3:30am and my heart was POUNDING and I was hot and sweaty and basically I wanted to hurl. I wish I could hurl. I would probably feel better. I mean, on one hand, it sucks to feel this horrible. On the other hand, it's like OHHHHHHH, if I had a nickel for every time I woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn't sleep...AND NOW I KNOW WHY. I've been slowly poisoning myself, all day every day, for my entire life.
This is amazing to me. This is my body violently reacting to corn and beans and cheese and margaritas. Think of all the time I've spent awake in the middle of the night...because my body doesn't like non-Primal foods! Who knew!
So, here's a little run down on me. I'm 75% Native American, and half of that is Mystic-Warriors-of-The-Plains Native American, who were hunting and gathering as little as 200-250 years ago. So all of this PB/Paleo "we've only had agriculture for a few thousand years" stuff really hit home, especially when my ggg-grandparents were hunting buffalo, deer and wild turkey and not eating corn or wheat or dairy or sugar until VERY, VERY RECENTLY. And while diabetes and obesity are becoming a US epidemic, those things have been rife in Native American populations ever since non-Primal foods were introduced.
So, diabetes. My father passed away of diabetic kidney disease three years ago. My stepdad is diabetic and has an insulin pump in his side and he eats Chef Boyardee and hot dogs. My mom eats much healthier than he does, but she was recently diagnosed with diabetes as well. She saw FORKS OVER KNIVES and she was inspired to get off of her medications. I've been medicated on and off for the past 15 years for serious depression. I was 155 and a size 10 at the age of 15. When puberty hit, I went from being a skinny little kid to a girl with skinny little legs and arms...and a muffin top. With medication, I dropped to 140 and a size 7/8 before college, put weight on in college, and dropped down to 130 and a size 2/4 with medication and cutting out wheat, sugar, dairy and alcohol. Then I moved to New York and started going out to all of these fabulous restaurants and grabbing pizza with friends, and quickly became fat and miserable.
I've spent much of the last three years not wanting to get out of bed or to see or speak to anyone, which you would never know if you met me, because I come off as really friendly and happy. What you wouldn't see are the days where I would just lie in bed and not talk to people because I felt so tired, sad and hopeless, and talking to people just seemed like such a monumental effort and very draining. It is really hard to survive in this world feeling severe fatigue, unhappiness, and thoughts of impending doom. And if you've only had a few hours of sleep on top of all of that? God. I've also put on 40 pounds in the last two years, and it just felt like nothing I could do could stop it. 15 pounds seemed to appear overnight. I went vegan for a month and put on 10 pounds. I went up 2 dress sizes over the holidays. It just felt like the fat monster was attacking me and taking over my previously slim, attractive body.
I've been this weight before (173 now, I was 177.2 at the beginning of April) but it was about 8 years ago. I probably have more muscle now, because then I was a size 16 and now I'm a size 12. I'm tall (5'9") and I have teeny, tiny bird bones so I never seem to weigh as much as I do. Chronic cardio didn't help (I ran a marathon and lost only 4 pounds during training.) Reducing calories via CW makes me feel really, really bone tired, sad, completely obsessed with food and prone to binging so I wasn't interested in doing that. It seemed like the only way I could lose weight was with my antidepressants, which also have the unfortunate side effect of KEEPING ME UP ALL NIGHT. (Speedy, much?)
About two months ago, my mom started seeing a Metabolic doctor who would work with her to use supplements and nutrition to get her off her meds and help her lose weight. I started using a lot of the supplements from the book THE METABOLIC PLAN and immediately felt a huge boost in energy, mood, and cognition. I went to this Dr. Oz thing at Radio City where he talked about the benefits of eating salmon and supplementing with Vitamin D and fish oil, and I started doing that and eating a lot more salmon and started feeling better. My best friend started a Master's program in neuropsychology, and she started sharing with me all of this research about how food and different nutrients affect mood and cognition, then my roommate started talking about it, then my sister-in-law...then the guys at work would comment on the Paleo-eaters' diets. They tell our big boss that he's going to turn into a salmon because he eats so much of it. But all the Paleo-eaters are so trim and so nice, and they would talk about how they never felt like they were missing out or that they really had to work at losing weight because the food was so good and any weight just fell off. So I bought THE PRIMAL BLUEPRINT and Robb Wolf's book, and started eating primally. Last night was the first night I've had grains, beans, dairy or alcohol (so easy to have all at once! nachos and margaritas!) and it is so, so clear to me that my body does NOT want these things. NOT NOT NOT.
But before last night, since I went Primal, I have felt magnificent. Calm, steady, grounded, happy, energetic. I've watched the scale drop and I've done hardly any exercise beyond walking to and from the subway. I'm still figuring out the money part -- how to pay for proper food and what to buy (I had chicken salad yesterday with non-Primal/Paleo mayo and ugh, I wanted to die). I'm interested in getting to know my local purveyors of grass-fed meats at nearby farmers markets. I've read a lot of Leptin Reset threads, and I plan on starting my LR experiment on May 1st. I've already experimented with BAB and they are awesome. Okay, some are not awesome, and I feel like I'm forcing myself to eat, but I am awed at how much meat and pure fat I can eat and how good it can make me feel and how it can make me lose weight so easily! I've had a few days (2) of perfect sleep so far, and I can't wait to see what life would be like, and what I would be capable of if ALL MY SLEEP WAS AMAZING. I just need to plan my meals and do all of my grocery shopping and get everything set so I'm not caught unprepared somewhere with no Primal thing to eat.
So Leptin Reset starts Tuesday, May 1.
Top weight ever in my life: 179
Recent pre-Paleo/Primal weight: 177.2
Current weight: 173.6
Current pant/dress size: 12
Waist at BB: 38"
Upper Arm: 12.5"
Goal weight: 130
Goal size: 2 (I'm more concerned with size than with weight. If I have lots of nice muscle on me, then if my weight is higher, but I'm trim, who cares.)
Goal Waist: 25"
Goal Bust: 34"
Goal Hips: 35"
I have plenty of time, and I would like to do this in a healthy Primal matter. My experiments with LR BABs have already shown me how those can positively affect me, and I'm interested in doing the whole 8 week process (I know 6-8, I'm going for 8). I'm thinking a mostly steak and egg breakfast, trying to keep egg intake down to two. I can eat 4 eggs by themselves, but with meat? It's rough. Bacon is also key. My days are always better when they involve bacon.
One thing that I've found is REALLY important for my weight loss is to have support about it. When I went on anti-depressants and went off wheat, dairy, sugar and alcohol, and got down to 135, I had some people tell me that I looked great (like a superhero, even, because I was so muscular from climbing), and some (generally heavy) people who told me that I looked like a skeletal wraith and would blow away in a heavy wind and by the way would I like some bread/ brownies/ pasta/ pizza/ alcohol/ ice cream and if not they would tell me that I was no fun anymore. I had A LOT of people tell me that I was no fun anymore. It kind of feels like I've had to give up my eating buddies (like how alcoholics have to give up their drinking buddies). I'm REALLY sick of people who constantly comment on my food ([I]-You eat a lot of eggs! -How come you don't eat wheat? -Well, I can have dairy, that is SO WEIRD that you can't! -I can't believe you eat animals! You're a murderer! -How come you never get beer and pizza with me anymore?[/I]) so I'm REALLY happy that there is this community here on MDA.
I'm not really interested in telling anyone in my life about my Leptin Reset until I'm done. I'm looking forward to feeling good and calm, having good sleep, no longer having aches and pains, and losing weight.
Anyway, very excited to see how this all turns out!
THANKS FOR READING!