Anyone have a similar experience? (weight managment over the years)
Would love all of your opinions on my situation.
I am male, currently 25 years old and about 5'10"
Around the age of 21 I weighted about 270lbs.
I decided one day quite randomly that I was gonna lose weight.
I did this like any fool trying to lose weight. I tried to eat as little as possible. I would be so happy I only had a couple of bowls of cereals the entire day. I am sure you all know what I am talking about. Well this all went just fine. Over the course of about 7-9 months I weight around 200lbs. I then decided to start exercising and counting calories pretty rigorously. Again, this went just fine and eventually I got down to about 150-155. I was fairly happy with where I was and decided it was time to maintain. So day in and day out of calorie counting began. Oh, this is so easy I thought. Well as I am sure you all know things lose their charm after several months. Basically calories, food and my weight had taken over my life.
This began weight loss and my weight being a very traumatic issue in my life. Calorie counting was exhausting and when I wasn't it started to develop into binging. This has gotten worse and worse over the years up until now. I currently weigh about 175lbs. This has fluctuated a couple times between 185lbs and 150lbs depending on my level of enthusiasm or disdain for the weight game. Throughout this entire time I have exercised on and off with weights and body weight. Nothing incredibly rigorous but with some progress and results.
About a 10 months ago I did do a 3 month trial run of very low carb(<20g/d). During this time my weight went up to the highest it has been post weight loss, about 185lbs. The weight loss seemed much slower then other times I have regained weight. However, my hunger never seemed to go away. With calories and the counts for everything more or less ingrained in my head I know I was averaging 5-7k a day. Even though I work a physical job, it isn't that physical.
So basically where I am at now is I have bounced around 165-175 3 times in the last 3 months. This time however the motivation is rather low. I know now that being thin has not made my life better and so much of the things that I thought it would fix it has had no effect on. I understand this now and it just does not seem worth it to put myself through the day to day struggles of weight maintenance using my current methods. But I am not ready to give up yet. The fact that my father is basically dieing at the age of 55 from diabetes is certainly a major factor in that. However, that has not stopped my binges on all sorts of sugary carbs.
This is where I would like some opinions.
I don't want to see someone for therapy. If I really wanted to I could be whatever weight I wanted to be. The problem is that it is far to hard to justify the amount of attention that needs to be taken away from enjoying other parts of life. This is not a lack of will power or anything of that nature as far as I can tell. When I binge it feels like such a deep hunger that, while I prefer overly sweet and carby things, I will eat eggs or steak to the same degree. Lately I have read to much about hormones and the like to believe that someone in my situation is just a mental problem.
I have been reading a lot about leptin lately and it seems to make a lot of sense. Reduced weight leading to constantly low levels of circulating leptin. Combine that with leptin resistance and that at least partially may explain my eating habits. Even if I don't binge, eat maintenance or slightly over, get plenty of protein and fat, I am still CONSTANTLY hungry and any of my not eating is simply due to some feeling of guilt or at least my conscience telling myself no rather than my brain and stomach.
I have ordered a couple books on leptin and also have been reading several blogs(including Jack Kruse).
This post ended up being longer then I planned it to be so I thank anyone that read it. I need to go to work but I will respond later once I return to anyone that has shared anything.
Again any thoughts or similar stories or experience any of you could share would be greatly appreciated. No one I talk to in person really has any experience with what I think at least I am "going through" and could really use some people who get it.
Has Paleo been significantly different for anyone vs just very low carb? I am also currently reading the very long thread here on leptin.
Thanks in advanced.
I can definitley relate to what you are going through. I lost about 75 lbs on VLC diet... and was ESTATIC. But once I was "thin" I had a hard time maintaining the weight, and I found myself in just 2 years, right back up 50lbs.
I've already lost 15 by changing my lifestyle to primal. I think it is VERY different that low carb. Even though I lost a ton of weight doing VLC, I did it by eating thin slices of deli turkey, egg beaters, low-fat string cheese, an Atkins bar... and now that I think back, it's no wonder that I couldn't maintain it. I wasn't eating real food. It's very hard to eat like that and KNOW that once the weight is gone, that you can maintain it.
Now my mentality is different. I eat low carb by eating real meats, whole eggs, lots of veggies, and the occasional real cheeses... all the stuff I eat today, I can actually picture myself eating in 10 or 20 years. It's food I won't get tired of, because it's hard to get tired unlimited options of beef, chicken, pork, and fish. It's I simply can't picture myself STILL eating 2% string cheese years from now.
The biggest difference is that now I don't say "oooh I can't wait to eat that again once I've lost this weight." Instead I think "I'm a PB Lifer. If I want a bowl of spaghetti or a freshly baked roll, I'll damn well have it and enjoy it, savoring it as I would savor a treat. And move on." Because I know the next meal will be right back to primal.
I think you need to really believe that what you are doing is for your HEALTH and your FUTURE. You have to embrace the food and learn to cook it in ways you enjoy. You have to stop thinking that this plan is about losing weight and focus on the fact that this plan is about eating good, real food.
I think the majority of us on here were grain/processed food lovers. But I also think that the majority of us on here don't really think about that kind of food anymore. After a while, it stops controlling you. But in order to get there, you can't think of this as a plan to lose weight. It must become a plan for "a better you".
Thanks for the reply.
A lot of my current reluctance to the whole diet cycle is that I obviously know that once I lose the weight it simply wont be a maintainable lifestyle. I have my ups and down and I currently want to lose so I can binge during thanksgiving. I realize how ridiculous this is.
Also as you seem to have said, when you start counting calories you start to eat very low calorie and most likely not so nutrient dense things. I bet this may cause a lot of weird changes to your bodies response to food and satiation and such.
This makes me believe it's time for some real and serious life long changes. Luckily I nearly fully believe in this lifestyle. I simply haven't adapted it yet. I did not mention this but the hardest reason for me to do so is that I work in a restaurant. This is almost not an option to leave either.
Thank you for the response.