Thought I better start keeping a bit of a thread for myself to be able to look back on things; see what's working, what's not.
I'm 21, and live in NZ. I lived on a farm for some of my life, and currently live in the city working & studying. I'm a bit of a jack of all trades, I have studied almost every field in science/business and don't really know what I'll graduate with.
We grew up with simple foods in my house. My family is the first generation to move away from the farm. My whole family is average in a lot of ways - average heights, average weights, average health. Myself and my siblings are all of medium build, tend to put on muscle reasonably easy, but also gain weight reasonably easy. We've all gone through phases of being a bit overweight - unfortunately right now I'm more than overweight. My siblings are, fortunately for them, at ages now where they're in control of their nutrition and are at optimum health basically - low body fat, minimal health issues, and not afraid of animal fats and protein.
So how did I end up here? Well I was heavily into sport when I was younger. My main sport was rowing, which dominated my life for a number of years. We overtrained, quite simply. We'd be down at the club 6 days a week on average, sometimes our entire weekends were rowing. I ate what I wanted, but was usually pretty good. Had a bit of a sweet tooth though. My body fat percentage was at a good level, and I weighed around 145lb (66 kg) once I was at my adult height (5ft6 / 1.68m).
Basically, what happened after that was a bit of a nightmare. I don't want to drag out the sordid affair right now (may edit this and add it in later) but basically, my whole life turned around in under a year. I gained 90 lb (40kg) rapidly, in about 8 months from memory. I stopped caring about my health or weighing myself and turned into a binge monster. I stopped all sport and physical activity. I basically stopped functioning as a human. Once I sort of got my head back in the game, I started working out 4-5 times a week and restricting calories (not paying attention to quality of calories). I'd lose a few lb here and there but I'd always give up because it was too hard. I started resenting myself for my lack of willpower and it really affected my self esteem and how I saw myself. I began to really lose respect for myself due to this perceived lack of discipline. Slowly over the next 2 years I ballooned even more, by about another 40lb (18kg). This resulted in my peak weight of 282.4 lb (128.1kg) earlier this year (sometime in January). While this ballooning was happening, I was hardly the epitome of an over eater. I'd generally max out at 2200 cals a day (which was around my basal metabolic rate), except for the days where I'd have a binge and inhale an entire block of chocolate (probably happened about once a fortnight). I can only blame the creeping weight gain on my large carbohydrate intake and insulin resistance and a messed up metabolism inside - those calories on their own, in a healthy body, shouldn't have resulted in such weight gain.
With all this weight, came new problems that I became very good at brushing off. Stretch marks, double chins, rashes, infections, stomach pains, occasional chest pains, terrible fatigue, constant dark circles under my eyes, bad skin. On their own, minor problems, but together, they only multiplied my self hatred. I am a good manipulator - and unfortunately I used that power on myself and would convince myself I was fine. I sometimes feel like I'm the opposite of an anorexic. Deep down, I know damn well that I'm obese and unhealthy - but DAMN am I good at brushing it off and telling myself it's okay sometimes. The levels of acceptance of facts about yourself are obviously hugely important. I covered my self hatred, declining health & mental state, and general dissatisfaction with life with a fake personality designed to make life bearable. I sometimes don't even know who I am.
Once I eventually took my health problems seriously, I started looking into dairy and gluten intolerance. I had a lot of stomach upset and the recurring rashes and skin issues that seemed to have "no explanation" just weren't alright. I started eliminating dairy & gluten, and did feel better. This didn't result in any weightloss over the year I did it though, as I was using gluten-free substitutes which are very high carb, and I still tried to eat low fat. (interesting post on wheat belly blog about gluten free processed foods - resulting in abdominal fat, spikes in blood sugar, really high carb, etc etc - definitely fell victim to this!).
At the start of this year, I decided things had to change. I knew my life was being held back by this - as much as I tried to tell myself it wasn't. I always loved researching random health things (such as the dairy/gluten stuff) so found myself reading for hours and hours, which is how I came across paleo/primal schools of thought. I knew it had to be a real lifestyle change because I know I don't do diets. I have literally never lost weight before. I am a resilient balloon - reluctant to deflate... but trust me, once I do, I will NOT be re-inflating. Because of cutting dairy & gluten previously I didn't find the transition overly difficult.
In about 3 months (my official primal start was March 19) I have lost about 35 lb (~16 kg). My health problems are improving, but have a way to go yet. My first goal is 227 lb (103kg)... and will be the lowest weight I have been in about 4 years, and will be the lowest weight I've been since getting fat in the first place, after the initial huge weight gain.
My weightloss has averaged about 2.2 - 3 lb a week (1 - 1.3kg). I tend to go through periods of loss and stop, so it's not really that smooth.
I'm currently experimenting with carb levels and I think I've identified I respond best to very low carb. Any rise over 50g daily seems to result in slowed weight loss (1 - 2 lb weekly) and anything over 100g seems to stop weightloss entirely.
I use intermittent fasting, and workout only when I feel like it, which is usually 3-4 times a week.