I’ve been hanging out here reading *everything* for several months but I didn’t feel I had anything much to contribute just yet --- I hardly ever post anywhere, shy --- but today I just feel I have to share my experience in case it might help some new reader who is on the fence wondering, as I did in the beginning: can this WOE possibly work for me?
Three months ago I was so "broken" --- after four decades of maintaining my weight through sheer stubbornness and brute-force calorie restriction --- that I believed I was forever doomed to be the exception to the rules that apply to “other people.” My body had become adapted to life on 1000 calories in perpetuity to maintain my weight. Eat any more and I would gain, no exaggeration. Heck walk past a bakery counter and I would gain. Worse: each passing year the maintenance calorie number would drop lower, a couple more pounds would creep on, and I would have to get even more strict to get them off / keep them off.
This whole system was OK up to a point (other than the deprivation of not eating, which I hated, since I like to eat!)…..meaning that at least I did stay trim my entire life and on the outside I looked pretty reasonable up to about age 40. Eventually though, as maintenance requirement fell and fell, I passed beyond that point of OK, with muscle loss, hair falling out, low energy, depression possibly related, you name it. Despite a small fortune spent on vitamins, minerals, and other supplements, I was clearly malnourished. But I felt trapped and could honestly see no way back. The calorie spiral kept ratcheting downwards. If I relaxed even the slightest, I would balloon up so fast it made my head spin watching it. This was despite diligent exercise, staying low-carb for health and appetite suppression reasons, and much reading/research. This year at 53 and past menopause, I was seeing real problems ahead, unless I signed on for a biosphere experiment in CR or something LOL.
One point to make is that (since I was maintaining) I only ever had a small amount to lose (range 2 lb up to 20 lb max at any point; usually not more than 5 lb), and because of what I was doing I was never really overweight (140 lb at heaviest, my ideal weight is 120, I was 112 in college.) So this kinda shows how a significant weight problem can exist even without a high number on the scale. (Small plug there for compassion for those souls perpetually struggling with “the last 10 pounds.”) Anyway this February I was back up to 19 lb over target and gaining, and I decided something had to change.
Luckily for me, I found JUDDD and all of you.
I have no words adequate to describe the miracle. I just want to say that everything described by the wise people on this Board is true. I was so skeptical, and really did not believe that my wrecked system would respond. But… after 72 days on JUDDD……
I have LOST THE 19 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!! 1.8 pounds per week is nothing short of amazing for me. Meanwhile I have been eating so well, and my body is SO much happier. And it has been so EASY!!!!!!!! I can hardly believe it. I swear some days I have to check the calendar to see if it’s an UD or a DD – I enjoy them both!
Things have played out "exactly as advertised" here. The scale bounces are beyond insane, but the trend is always down. There have been pauses of a week or two, then multi-pound whooshes in a day or two, all for no apparent reasons that I can find. There is mega ENERGY!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh it is so great to have my energy back. The other huge plus has been better sleep – my lifelong chronic insomnia has all but disappeared, and so many other benefits stem from just that alone. Plus: my achy joints are better. My ibuprofen use has dropped to almost none. Still hoping my neck arthritis will improve although not there yet. But my hair has quit falling out. Even my skin looks better. Multiple inches lost, especially the problem belly fat. And my mood is incredible – positive, uplifted, happy.
For those just getting going, here is what I found worked for me:
1. Stay with the calories!! My allotted calories are 1570 and 375 and I stick to them like a religion, and do best there. For a while, I doubted, I mistrusted my body, so I kept my UD too low by a couple of hundred, and it did not work as well. When I ate more, I did better. (In retrospect: Duh!! Luckily you are all kind and won’t chastise me for taking so long to reach this less-than-brilliant discovery.)
2. Stay with the rotation. When I slipped (downward -- my UD became a MD a couple times), I slowed down.
3. Give it enough time. I began to feel supremely better after Week 3, when the energy kicked in. It took at least 6 weeks to begin to see how the loss cycles worked and get really happy in the eating pattern.
4. For me, low carb makes me feel better and gives me excellent appetite control; but I’ve read enough here to know that this choice is highly individual. I keep carbs below 90 on UD and below 60 on DD, without trying much, just by my natural eating preferences, and it seems like a good compromise that works for me. I have added in plenty of fruit on UD and feel great for it.
5. Drink drink drink. I found dehydration set me back on days I just plain forgot to drink enough.
6. Come here often. Without the support and experience and kindness of the members here I would never have even tried this. THANK YOU all, so much, for all your efforts and caring. You are all FABULOUS!
7. Enjoy the Magic!!!
Sorry for the long novel This has become a lifetime WOE for me, no question. Good luck everyone!