The Backstory PT 2
After college, I moved to Los Angeles. I got a job as a PA in post production (at a trailer house). I started saying all the things that I used to only think. Things were looking up. I went out all the time, I made more friends, I drank, I ate. I got promoted to being the Lead Machine Room Tech. The hours got longer, the work got harder, the company got more bureaucratic. I gained weight. I sat comfortably in the 180s. Work took its toll - I became depressed. I didn't know how to leave, since it was the only job I'd had in the business. I became an Assistant Editor there. I made some good friends there and my personality developed, but everything else seemed to devolve. I began to hate my job, and I ate to comfort myself. I still stayed in the 180s. I had stopped working out long ago. I hated gyms with a passion, and I worked such long hours that I rarely saw daylight. I made feeble weight loss attempts. I had loathed my big weight loss transformation so much, I couldn't do it again. I couldn't work long hours, commute long hours, be exhausted all the time AND not eat. I used Lose It! on the iPhone. I lost a few pounds here and there, and always gained it back.
Then something happened. When I was 25 (almost 26), my mom died, from complications related to a food borne illness. It was devastating. If I wasn't depressed before, I was certainly depressed then. I had had enough of the company I worked for. I was a good employee that they screwed over one too many times. My co-workers and I trickled out the door. I was the second one to leave. Life is at once too short, and FAR too long to be spending all your time at a place you hate. I had no job lined up. I left unceremoniously. They hated me for leaving. I said "I'm going to work in television." I got condescending nods, "Yeah, sure you will." Three days after I left I was hired on a TV show.
I was working the night shift. I was all alone in the building, but it was an easy job. I would break down crying (this was in the few months after my mom's death), and I was thankful that no one was there to see it. I routinely stopped at The Coffee Bean on my way to work in order to stay awake. The barista knew me by name. I would order large mocha something-or-others. Despite my depression, I was able to maintain a happy outward appearance at work, for when I did run into people. I worked with a vegan. He had apparently lost weight from it. His arguments for it were horrible, and illogical. I wanted to lose weight. I have a natural proclivity for travel and adventure sports, and horrible sea sickness and two severe herniated discs in my low back. Being overweight is not conducive to traveling or adventure sports. I started googling "diets that work long term." Mark's Daily Apple popped up. A few years before I vaguely remember coming across this site. It was preposterous! Don't eat grains, and eat a lot of fat? I thought it was interesting though. The few years before I think I mentioned it to my dad and he said "yeah, but that guy is ALREADY fit." Apparently I thought that was a legitimate argument. Fast forward to when I found the site again, and I was intrigued. I had dabbled in vegetarianism, but never thought veganism was a good idea. Something about it seemed off, and arguments always appealed to emotion, not logic. I'm incredibly logical (these days). This "primal" thing was crazy. So crazy it just might work. I read about it for a few weeks, and decided I was gonna do it. The vegan scoffed at me. Then, something happened. I had no idea what to eat.
Once before I had done the Standard Process cleanse. It was at the behest of my chiropractor (whom I went to for intense daily headaches and my low back problem). It requires you to eat nothing but vegetables and fruit for the first 9 days, and on day 10, you can incorporate small amounts of protein. Yeah, I certainly lost weight in those first nine days, mainly because nothing I could eat was appetizing. I felt depleted. On day ten, I added in eggs and beef. I couldn't eat fish because I thought I was allergic for three years (this was during those three years). At the end of the 21 days, I had lost weight, and I completed my challenge - not to eat crap. Well, when I decided to eat primally, I first decided to do another Standard Process Cleanse. I was better prepared this time, and I think I incorporated my protein sooner. My chiropractor had lent me a book about food. I devoured it. She was a vegan, but the book was not about that. It was about properly preparing food, emphasis on protein, fermented vegetables, and soaking beans and grains. It was my first foray into the food world, and my chiropractor was the first person to listen to my health concerns. While I was doing my second Standard Process cleanse, I told her I wanted to try this "paleo thing." She said, "Okay, yeah, I like that diet." It was interesting.
So, at the end of the Standard Process cleanse, I cut the crap and dove into primal. I had no idea what to eat or make. I was not well versed in cooking meat, but the first thing I made was ground beef with chopped jalepenos and onions. I just ate....that. It was going to be a long journey. With the Standard Process cleanse, I'd lost about 8 lbs. This put me into the high 170s with my weight. I took another job with the same people (an intense job, but one that paid me well for the first time in my life). Fortunately, it worked out that I was on the day shift. I took food to work. I made a BAS every day. I liked it. I tried different things. I really was only losing a few pounds. I was disappointed. I was on target with the exception of maybe one or two Justin's nut butter packets a day. I avoided grain like the plague. The hours got to be long. Really long. Really, really, really long. I succumbed more than a few times to eating catered dinner. I'd try to be good, but sometimes a few corn tortillas were calling my name. I should mention I've suffered from IBS since I was a teenager. I tend toward IBS-D. Even when I was pretty primal, I had massive digestion problems. I didn't really understand it, and I don't think I had all the right information yet. When the crazy job was over, I went to New Zealand for a month. I ate what I wanted. I mean, I hadn't lost much weight anyway - I was at 174 and nary a pound lower. I thought "Oh, well, you know, when I went to England I ate what I wanted and I LOST weight! I was walking all the time." Yeah, this trip was not the same. I was on a bus for most of it. There was walking, and hiking, and all the adventure sports I could get my hands on, but when I went bungy jumping, they wrote your weight on your hand. ON YOUR DAMN HAND. IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. I did the conversion from kgs...and I was 196 lbs. Yup.