I've been tooling around the forum for a while now -- lurking constantly, posting occasionally -- and figured it was time to settle in. Also my friends are sick of me talking to them about my “lifestyle;” I need a new outlet!
I've been overweight my whole life - I think I first really noticed something different in fourth, maybe fifth grade, and it's been all downhill since then. My dad is also extremely overweight, and one of my brothers. I've dieted a LOT over the years, and tried just about everything I could imagine to lose weight, but it's only ever gone up. I had years of terrible back pain, and now I'm going through a couple of years of bad knee and ankle pain, all as a result of the excess weight.
My highest weight was 370, which I hit sometime around Spring 2011. By that time I had just stopped trying - I was eating crap that would make this entire forum cringe! Not just grains and carbs galore, but full-sugar cokes, giant bags of Doritos wiped out in a day, entire pizzas, big cans of pringles, bags of chocolates... I'm 41, and I think I had just decided there was nothing I could do about it, so I might as well wallow.
I don't know what happened, but sometime last year, last summer, all of my back pain went away. I went from taking eight advil religiously every day to needing none, practically over night. I started doing some walking, because suddenly I could, and over a couple of months of that plus eating only marginally better (I basically stopped going to McDonald's and Burger King practically every day), I dropped about 50 lbs. I started seeing a personal trainer, because I wanted to ride what I was considering a rogue wave of health as long as I could.
Then I twisted my ankle and my knee, and the advil came back, and so did McDonald's, etc etc. I gained back 20 lbs of what I had lost. But about that time, I also learned I was most likely gluten intolerant. I'd always had IBS symptoms, but had never been diagnosed. My stomach rumbled like a thunderstorm basically any time I ate, and even sometimes when I didn't. I had horrible, painful gas that had not yet reached the stage of embarrassing, but was definitely uncomfortable, and I was fairly sure some of my stomach sounds could be heard three offices down at work. On days when I knew I would have to attend meetings, I would simply not eat anything beforehand; I wouldn't even drink water.
With some random and extremely unscientific testing, I discovered that if I skipped the bagel at breakfast, I had fewer stomach troubles. I tried a day without any bread at all, and that was even better. I asked my doc to test me for celiac, though, and everything came back normal, so I figured it was just random. Another few months of bagels ensued. Things worsened to the point where I was unable to ignore them, and finally I just cut out all gluten for a week to test it. It was the best week I’d had in years, so I started researching gluten-free diets, and ended up with Robb Wolf, and from there Mark Sisson and the whole Paleo crowd.
So I started being seriously Paleo/Primal around mid-February of this year. I dropped the 20 lbs I had gained back, and just kept going. I had a three-week stall right around 300, which was intensely annoying – but after a 2-day carb re-feed I jumped up to 305 and then dropped like a rock, ending up at 293 today. I’ll have to keep that trick in my toolbox.
I have so many things to say about what this has been like, and the mental and emotional changes of losing approximately a quarter of my body weight in such a relatively short span of time. But if I start on that, I’ll just be typing forever. It’s too late to make this brief, but at least I can put anyone reading out of their misery. Anyway – Hi, I’m Merry! Nice to meet you guys.