Day 377

Responding to a Facebook post

I find it amazing that I am finding myself the voice of reason and good advice for people trying to lose weight. How can someone who has failed so many times be that? It is because we learn from our failures, and experience is what you get right after you needed it… while wisdom is what comes after spending hours, days, or weeks analyzing those experiences.

This morning before I even opened my Weight Loss Journal I checked Facebook, and I saw the following post from someone in one of my support groups.

So last year I did <program> and Saxenda diet/lifestyle change. Then the opportunity came up to do a round of IVF. I had to stop the Saxenda which in turn fell off the shakes and back to all carb diet. (Sadly it didn’t work) From September 1st to yesterday (January 30) I gained 53 pounds. Back on everything 1 day and 7 pounds of water gone. And my foot is still swollen. The part that gets me and all doctors just ignore it, but from Dec 12 to Yesterday was 30 pounds. That works out to 10 pounds every 2 weeks. Is this normal for others? Am I the only one? And no I don’t eat a lot of food just the wrong kinds. I should add not the first time that has happened to me either. I just don’t get it.

I gave it a little thought, realizing immediately her huge mistake… I then took my time to draft the following response. (Note that in both the original post and in my response I have redacted the name of the program, but I have left the name of her medication in)

Hi Jessica. I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but I have learned from experience that the minute I reintroduce carbs into my diet, I will gain weight in a big hurry if it goes unchecked. I do not know how old you are, but if you are trying to get pregnant then you are younger that I am. When I was growing up, we were always taught that FAT IS BAD. Well guess what? The experts have changed their tune completely over the past few decades. The real enemies to weight loss are carbohydrates, starches, and sugars. That is why we <on this program> see such tremendous success on the program… initially. When you drop from 100-200g of carbs per meal to 75.2g per day, your body reacts by looking for other sources of energy… namely, our body fat. Our bodies LOVE carbs and starches… and that is a really easy source of energy for them when it is available. When you write that you switched back to an all-carb diet, your body was having a field day! I am visiting with my wife this week and have taken a break from the program. I am cooking most nights, but we also planned for a couple of meals out. The first night we had sushi, and I went nuts… and I paid for it the following morning by gaining 2lbs in one day. For our Friday evening out, we were going for Chinese food. What I would have liked to eat (I checked) had 2100 calories and 220g of carbs. What I DID eat was 950 calories and 47g of carbs. Had I eaten what I wanted to, I would have gained another 2-3lbs the next morning. Instead, I was down .6lbs. IN SHORT: Yes, it is perfectly normal and dare I say REALLY EASY to gain 5lbs per week on an all-carb diet. I HATE it… I hate the fact that I have lost over 100lbs 3 times and gained it all back twice (and each time in less than 15 months). If you read my blog, you will see what I go through… I write about my triumphs and failures every day, as well as all of the emotions that go with them.

These are lessons that have taken a long time to learn, and I can only hope that I will not only remember them when times are good, but when I need to. I have to remember that my number one goal once I have lost the weight is mindfulness. If I can remember these (and the myriad other lessons that I have learned about losing weight and keeping it off) then I can live a happy and slim life… once I get there. No, I am not there yet.

I did not eat properly yesterday, but it was one of those weird days when it went the other way. I had my meal replacement in the morning, a Thai salad with tofu from Salad and Go for lunch, and I made a scrumptious dinner of salmon (essentially the same recipe as Saturday, except I marinated the salmon all afternoon) and an air-fried cauliflower that I cut up, drizzled with oil, and seasoned with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. That’s all I ate. On a normal day, I would have had a protein bar in the afternoon, and possibly another one in the evening. When I say I did not eat properly, I mean I did not eat enough. Whether I am following the Canadian or the American program, I am supposed to be eating either four or five times per day. The theory is that when we eat smaller meals more frequently, our body continues to burn the calories throughout the day. I am not disappointed, but I will try to not do it again.

Yesterday morning I dropped off a couple of packages at the post office, then I spent a couple of hours at my cigar lounge with a cigar and a cup of coffee. I wrote (or started to write) a technical article for my professional blog which I have been meaning to do for a few days. I left the lounge precisely on schedule. As per the plan, I picked up salads for Leslie and I for lunch. She asked me to pick up a couple of things at the grocery store, but when I went to check out, there was a 45-minute wait. I left my order on the side and walked right out. When I got home, Leslie told me that it would be crazy all day for a couple of days because of the weather. I told her that whatever chaos there might be, I would go back after we ate. I did just that and was relieved to find out that the reason the store was such a madhouse before was only partly due to the weather, but also due to a computer issue that had shut down most of the self-checkout kiosks. By the time I went back, the issue had been resolved. The store was still a madhouse, but the lines were more reasonable. I was out the door in under twenty minutes.

I worked on my article in the afternoon as Leslie worked, and then I made our dinner. It was too cold to sit outside with a cigar, but we were still surprised that the schools, city services, and essentially all of Dallas was closing today! I was laughing then, but not now… the precipitation started around 8:30am, and while the weather report says it is snowing, from my perch across the room from the window it looks more like freezing rain. In Canada we would not think twice about it… but we are not only used to it, we are also prepared for it. There would be trucks salting the roads, and everyone has winter tyres. I had originally thought I might spend a couple of hours at the lounge today, but I think the farthest I will venture out is to pick up salads for our lunch.

I stepped onto the bathroom scale this morning to a real shock. I was disappointed yesterday morning when I gained 1.4 lbs. from the previous day. Today I was completely floored to see a 2.6 lbs. drop from yesterday. That not only puts me below my pre-trip weight, but it also puts me squarely into best-weight-yet territory. This was a complete and total shocker that had both Leslie and me slack-jawed but happy about it. To solidify that, I am teaching this evening so my plans for solid foods are to have a salad for lunch, but meal replacements for the rest of the day.

Okay, my plans just got waylaid. Salad and Go is closed today (along with most of the city) due to the weather. Leslie and I will have chicken burgers for lunch, and I will make a salad to eat with it. That change is not going to affect my plans greatly – even if I put my burger between two slices of bread, that will be my only significant carbs for the day, and I can still lose weight tomorrow morning. It is very exciting to know that if I lose just .4 lb. more, I will have crossed into the next decade… this morning’s reading was 290.2 lbs.! I would be thrilled if I could celebrate that milestone with Leslie. Of course, I know that today’s massive drop means that there is a very good chance that no matter how good I am on the program today, I will be in for a rude correction tomorrow. My hopes then are that eating right today will balance out that correction, and I can stay the same. We will see what tomorrow brings… I just know that I have to be good every day, so that the downward trend continues. I have to remind myself every day and with every meal that being mindful is the key to my success. Being cognizant of what I choose to eat – and how much of it – is how I will continue to lose weight.

The snow continues to fall, and all of Dallas is closed down. There will be no cigars today (although that was never really a certainty anyways) and it is unlikely that either of us will leave the house. In the evening I will teach, but before that I will sadly pack my suitcase. Unless the weather dictates otherwise, tomorrow morning Leslie will drive me to the airport and I will fly back to Canada. I hate leaving her. I hope we can at least have a nice evening together once my class is over.

Have a great day folks!

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