25 June 2012

Starting over

Horrified. That's the only way to express my feelings when I finally gathered up the courage to step on the scales last week.  Deep down, I knew I had to have taken on some weight again.  I might turn a blind eye on some things, but I am no fool.  When some of your clothes get a bit too snug for comfort, you know something is up.  Nevertheless, sometimes reality is scarier than whatever you imagine. I, who said I would never go over my alltime high from more than a year ago, failed miserably at that endeavour.  Up and beyond would be a good motivational slogan, if it wasn't weight-related.  Thankfully, I have not yet reached "The Precipice" as I like to call the scales maximum range, but I have been close enough to have a peek at the bottom of the ravine and I didn't like what I saw.

So, high time to sort out my life.
I know.
But as Chumbawamba used to sing :  "I get knocked down but I get up again - You're never gonna keep me down" :o)

I was googling the net for stories of people who have lost as much as I have to and I have a bit of mixed feelings about what I read.  Of course, I am amazed by anyone able to shed half their body weight and they ought to be congratulated, but the methods they used (surgery and protein diets) in order to achieve their goals are just not for me.

a. Surgery. I don't want to be cut open and have some vital organs permanently altered.  Nature finetuned humans over centuries and I trust evolution to do what is best for our survival as a species, so I don't think you should mess with that.  Moreover, no matter what they say, no operation is 100% riskfree and I don't want to be gambling with life.  So, surgery is not an option : no lapband, by-pass or whatever, for me if I can help it.

b. Protein diet. Been there, done that.  I can't handle eating shakes and bars for months on end.  I tried it twice, under medical surveillance.  First time around, three months into it, I was still eating nothing but the shakes.  For someone like me who likes eating fruits and vegetables this liquid diet was more than I could cope with.  As a result, I gave up when even the smell of the cappuccino shake started to make me retch.  Unsurprisingly, going back to real food brought back the 20+ kg lost and more. When a couple of years later, I wanted to give it another try, the dietitian made me stop after two weeks.  Although I was sticking to the rules without straying, I was reacting abnormally to the diet i.e. I lost not only weight and but also muscle and my fat level increased.  Bye bye protein diet and any hope of a quick weight loss.

The thing is whenever they portray people who are morbidly obese like me (there, I said it), whether on testimonials or on TV they always live highly unhealthy : bags and bags of crisps, processed foods, alcohol, no fruits or vegetables, fried stuff, etc etc  They cut off drinking soda and alcohol, stop eating junk food and take away and the kilos just vanish.  Right. Obvious. So where does that leaves me?  I don't drink, have junkfood maybe once a month, cook fresh all the time, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, don't binge on fried stuff (I don't even have a frier in the house, just to show)...  what do I have to cut down in order to get to a slimmer me?  I do have a sweet tooth and am a sucker for chocolate, but I don't consume any of them in amounts that could warrant the extra charge I am dragging along.  Nevertheless I need to monitor my sugar intake more closely and make sure I drink enough water during the day.

My GP says I have a slow metabolism and that I have to deal with that. Yeah right. But I don't want to settle for what I have.  I want to have a healthy weight and be able to do things most people take for granted like entering a clothing store and buy whatever catches their fancy.  I need to boost my body into burning more calories, that's all there is to it, because I cannot cut down a lot more on my intake.  However exercising doesn't seem to be able to kick-start my engine. At a certain period I went working out (cardio and strengthtraining) 6 times a week without any noticeable result. But if I can't find the key to ignite this bloody engine, someone else surely must.

In my search for this elusive key, I ended up picking up the phone and calling the obesity platform at one of the hospitals in order to enter their 6 months weight loss programme. They only accept 12 patients a month, but don't accept anyone new before next September.  The doctor I spoke to is going to send me a complete file about the programme and once I have read it, I will have to schedule an appointment with one of their psychologists to see if I am a good candidate.   If I am admitted, I'll have to go through an entire battery of tests and assessments, on which basis they'll lay out the lines of my personalised diet.  I know my thyroid is not working enough (and I take medication for it) but maybe something else is not acting appropriately.  Only one way to find out and that's testing.

Meanwhile I have two months to try and bring the weight down a bit on my own, WW style.  I have 50 points to spend on a daily basis .... it will be difficult to manage to finish them all off.

Overview of my day :

Breakfast : 11 pts (half skimmed milk 3pts, 45g nestle fitness cereals 5pts, a glass of fruitjuice 3pts and an apple)

Lunch : 14 pts (Chimichurri Beef Bento - most vegetables and fruits 0pts, 110g rice 4pts, 70g beef 2pts, 1TBS corn 1 pt, nut brittle 1pt, olive oil 3pts and the mini clafoutis are 2pts each)

Dinner : 16 pts (Unweighed pasta 7 pts, 1 tsp parmesan 1 pt, bolognese sauce 8 pts)

Unused : 9 pts

Drinks : 2,2L still water, 40cl perrier & 20cl coke zero

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