Hi! Former Zero Carber here, hoping PB will, um... save my life!
I posted a ridiculously long comment on the "Why not zero carb?" post, and it made me think I should just come to the forum, share my story, and get involved.
I am obese, infertile, pre-hypertensive, hypoglycemic, and hypothyroid. I am 33 years old. If I kept eating sad, I'm utterly convinced I'd never get pregnant and be dead by 50. I need this.
Sorry this story is long. Obviously you don't have to read it, but for the sake of posterity, here it all is:
It's a pretty classic story - started gaining weight at puberty. Never small but never huge until well into my 20s. At age 30 I realized I weighed 292 lbs. and freaked out. Pre-diabetic, pre-hypertensive, PCOS, insulin resistance, the usual.
Being that fat felt so surreal. I had been a dancer when I was younger, very active in drill team, went for long walks every day just because. Now I was sedentary, unhealthy, and fat. I carry weight very well, so I was able to get away with more than most: a blessing and a curse.
For about a year I had been researching Zero Carb. Lurking, reading, ruminating. I had tried Weight Watchers, Metabolife, Nutrisystem, the grapefruit diet, Low Carb, Very Low Carb, Low-Fat, Low-Cal, the cabbage soup diet, step aerobics, walking, you name it. I would lose some weight, go off the diet, gain back more. I did that from the time I was about 12 years old.
Now I weighed 292 lbs. And I was just. Over it. So I took the ZC plunge.
I did ZC for about a year. I was committed. For 10 consecutive months I was very strict. I proved that not all fat people have no will power. I didnít cheat once. Not a diet soda or a packet of Splenda or a slice of cucumber. I lost 70 lbs. and it was awesome.
For me it was not a diet - it was for life. A new lifestyle. And I lasted longer than I ever have on any yo-yo diet.
Then I stopped losing weight. Just plateaued. I got depressed and started drinking diet soda. It was my only "treat," my one source of happiness. I started gaining, so I gave it up. Still plateaued. On the forum they told me to just hang in there, and think about giving up dairy, but I was not willing to give up anything else.
Over time I got less and less strict, out of frustration and also out of, letís face it, utter boredom with the diet. And a feeling of disgust with all the greasy meat I was eating.
Then I had breast reduction surgery (which made me feel like I deserved ice cream), got engaged, started planning a wedding, and over a yearís time Iíve gained back 30 lbs of the 70 I lost.
Iím so bummed.
I am currently struggling with infertility due to PCOS from insulin resistance. I'm not sure this went away when I was 40 lbs. lighter than I am now, but it was better. I had more-or-less regular periods, anyway.
I owe a lot to Charles and the great people over at the Zeroing In On Health forum. I have nothing negative to say about them at all. But ZC is not realistic for me.
For one, I feltÖ gross. Yes, I lost weight, and that was FABULOUS! But I missed eating vegetables and fruit even more than I missed cake and soda. (Ok, maybe not sodaÖ) I just felt like I was never eating freshness, if that makes sense. You are what you eatÖ I felt greasy and brown inside. I was indeed living off Wal-Mart meat. It was all I could afford.
I also experienced two prolonged bouts of constipation lasting about 2 weeks each and resulting in store-bought enemas, a lot of pain, and terrible hemorrhoids. Sorry for the TMI but hey, this is for science.
During that trouble, I asked for advice on the forums, and they told me my gut had been damaged by cellulose from vegetables and that I needed to eat more fat. They told me Iíd poo when I was ready, and I was like, ďNo seriously you guys. Iím READY.Ē
I was eating TONS of fat. So that wasnít it. Of course, deep down (pun!) I KNEW I needed some kind of roughage to help food move through my bowel. Maybe not everyone does but apparently I do.
I don't want to argue with ZCers. I am not a scientist. What it boils down to is I WANT to eat vegetables. And if there is a way to do that and still lose weight and be healthy Ė why not?
Iím coming off just over a year of not having much control over my diet. I moved two days after the wedding. New husband, new city, new job. Stress. I've been out of control.
I knew I didn't want to do ZC again. But I didnít want to do Paleo, b/c I like dairy and Iím not convinced saturated fat is the enemy.
I stumbled upon Primal by accident Ė but I donít believe in accidents. This was 2 days ago and I don't even remember where I heard about it. I stayed up til 4 a.m. reading everything. Most of it is not news - same principles as ZC. But I like the way Mark incorporates fitness, and the information on genes has been fascinating. I said, "This is a sign. I start now."
One day in, I feel like Iím supposed to feel. I even took my fat ass for a walk, a session of outdoor play (poking around a creek), and a sprint. The latter two I have not done in SO LONG.
Since I've done ZC, the transition and the restriction are not new to me. I feel good already.
My husband is active duty military and jogs almost daily. I've tried it, too, and did better than I thought possible, but I'm just not convinced - as he is - that exercise is supposed to be grueling and awful. Also, at age 44 this month, his knees are all but blown out. Despite his hard work, he has a "carb belly" and lots of inflammation. But he's convinced a "real man" eats whatever he wants.
Today I walked over to the walking track and ignored the track. Climbed down and poked around by the creek. Took photos. Walked in crunchy leaves. And then, because I read it on MDA and thought "eff it," I sprinted. Just for a few seconds. I am way too fat to sprint, but I did it. I haven't done it in... a decade, maybe? And it felt. so. good.
My goal right now is to have a baby. I just had laparoscopic ovarian drilling - they basically burn holes in your ovaries - to help me achieve that goal. But what I really need is overall health and natural fertility. I have neither the will nor the finances to go to extreme measures like IVF, and adoption, while beautiful and amazing, is a last resort due to the time and expense. I am 33 and my husband is 44. This fall, he deploys for a year. Time is of the essence here.
I have a long way to go to be healthy and get pregnant, but I know Primal can help me get there. Iíve proven to myself I have the will power to control my diet. Now I just have to have the will power to be more active, and stick with it.
All the articles here Ė especially the links in the text Ė are so helpful. Iíve learned a lot alreadyÖ Now if I can just figure out how to do this on a budget Ė and get my pig-headed husband on board Ė Iíll be all set.
Thanks for reading. God bless all of you and your journeys to health.