As requested by unna.
I don't think I have a remarkable story, but a story is a story, so I shall tell it.
I remember being called "chunky" as a child. Not a teen, but I'm thinking around 6 years of age. I don't think it meant anything to me until later, but I do remember it. When I was growing up, I lived in a house where I had to eat every bite of food on my plate every night. If it was put in front of me, or if I served it to myself, I was to eat it. To this day, I have portion control issues and I clean my plate. Aside from white bread, margarine, and convenience foods during the summer when I was home during summer break, I don't remember there being particularly "unhealthy" meals at dinner, but looking back on it, there seemed to be food in abundance. There was also a lot of snack foods around (cookies, chips, etc.) to curb my mom's frequent snack attacks caused by drug use. Even then, my parents were thin but had chunky kids (my brother was/is 6 years younger than me).
I suffered frequent tonsil infections (like several times a year) and had to go to the doctor often. One time, when I was in the 4th grade, the tonsil thing happened again. For some reason, my dad was the one to take me to the doctor that day. While I was there, they weighed me. I remember that day well. My weight was 104lbs and I got quite the look from my dad. He never discussed it with me, but I remember feeling ashamed of my weight. I went to the dentist often for checkups, but I also had 6 cavities filled in permanent teeth. I think there may have been more, but they were in baby teeth.
By the time I hit junior high, I had a pretty unhealthy body image. I was always considered "fat," but I don't think I was as big as I made myself out to be in my head. Hanging out with size 2 (or smaller) girls didn't help. Every morning, before first class, I bought a coffee cake type confection and ate it. Sometimes, I had 2. This was after I had a bowl of cereal or other simple breakfast at home. In my 8th grade year, my Phys Ed. teacher told me that I needed to stop being a follower and needed to be a leader. I don't know what she saw in me, but she saw something. She forced me to do relay runs with other fast runners in the class, and put me as the last leg of the run. To my surprise, we won. Several times. It felt good to accomplish something, but the feeling didn't last long beyond P.E. Looking back, I realize that quite a few teachers tried to build me up, but I was pretty broken and didn't hear it. I had a few bully issues. Some popular girls found it fun to pick on me. I "graduated" the 8th grade in a woman's size 8 dress. Once again, I felt even more ashamed of my weight. My mom went with me to buy the dress and gave me the "look" I so dreaded. Except she told me we had to do something about it. She bought more fruit and vegetables, and low-fat foods, but I always had to clear my plate at dinner.
High school was pretty much the same. I was a size 10/12 in a world of size 2 girls. I was far taller than a lot of them, but of course I didn't see that. I was just "fat" and didn't feel good about it. I learned by then that the girls picked at their foods and ate salad. So I started doing just that. Of course, when I got home, I was famished and ate everything in sight. I wasn't popular. At all. I couldn't get guys to look my way. I couldn't get "cool" girls to hang out with me. When our junior prom rolled around, it was a huge production to get a dress. My mom, aunt, and grandma went with me to get a dress. We found a gorgeous dress, size 11, that was slightly tight. My mom took me to aerobics classes (that I hated!) and somehow I lost a little weight and fit perfectly into that dress. I didn't have a real prom date. I had a pity date. Literal hours before the prom, a senior called me and asked me to go. I went, and had fun, but it wasn't until later I realized how absolutely lame that was. He was my first ever date. I didn't even get a kiss on the cheek that night.
Some time after graduation, I was at the kitchen sink side by side with my (tiny) mom. My dad took a picture of us, unknown to me. One time, during a pretty awful brawl with my mom, she brought that photographic evidence out, told me I was fat and had to lose weight. I was devastated, embarrassed, and honestly, I hated her for that. Who does that to their kid?! That memory still hurts. And I sure didn't lose any weight.
I had my first boyfriend about 6 months after graduation. It didn't last, but my self esteem was so low and I was so starved for attention that we moved in together after a couple of months. I wish it had never happened, but this "fat" girl craved the attention.
About a month later, I started dating a guy I had a crush on since I was 14. He was amazing. He signed up to go to the Air Force, so we only had about 6 months together before we went, but we kept in touch. I married him about 3 years after we started dating, and I was married in a gorgeous size 18 dress.
For birth control, I used the pill for awhile. I got sick of trying to remember to take it, so I had depo shots. That was an almost instant 50 pound weight gain!
About a year after we got married, I went in for a regular physical exam where it was discovered I was spilling protein in my urine. After some consultations, I had the diagnosis of IgA nepropathy (berger's disease). The doctor told me that I'd probably end up on dialysis and need a kidney transplant eventually. He also recommended that I don't get pregnant. I was 22 and had no desire to have a baby at that age, so that was no problem. When I was 25, I wanted a kid more than anything. So we had a kid. Then another 3 years later. When I was 33, I had complete kidney failure and ended up on dialysis for nearly 2 years before a transplant.
Things are going well, and I do have my doctor's blessing to try a diet that doesn't involve any supplements.
That great guy and I just celebrated our 17 year anniversary. Due to various things, including the anti-rejection drugs, food, and other factors, I'm a size 24/26, depending on the pants. I am a recovering carb addict.
Since I was about 20, I've tried various weight loss approaches. I have lost a few pounds here and there, but the pounds ultimately come back with friends. I've tried WW several times unsuccessfully. The most I've lost is money. I've tried calorie cutting on my own. Of course, that doesn't work. I have successfully cut soda from my diet, but that hasn't resulted in any weight loss. I've exercised, but not kept up with it. I've tried many fad diets, most of which cut fat and calories, but none work for long. Up until I discovered LCHF, I've been trying to eat healthy foods, but didn't know carbs played such a role. So when we had spaghetti with lean meat, homemade sauce, plenty of noodles, a salad and garlic bread, it wasn't doing me any favors. Up until recently, I had dessert several times a week.
I'm glad I have a patient, wonderful man in my life. He sticks by me and loves me no matter what.
Today is day 11 on LCHF. I've had a few relatively minor slips. I had a banana, a single bite of birthday cake, and a piece of bread, but not all at the same time. The good news is that none of that food really did much for me. I don't think I'm in ketosis right this minute, but I will get there again soon. I'm down 8 pounds, and looking forward to more leaving me.
If you made it all the way through this story, I have a slice of bacon for you. :yummy:
You can do this. Congrats on the eight pounds.
Thanks for the bacon!
Thanks for posting your story, I'll go fry my bacon!
You can definitely do this!
I'll also take the slice of bacon - what an interesting story! Thank you so much for typing it.
I'm still thinking about some things....
1. I was also a chunky kid (normal, not obese) - even before I gained an overwhelming amount of weight around 12-13 years old that made me morbidly obese. This makes me think that we are biologically sensitive to carbs. If the knowledge would have been there back then, we probably would have done the best on lower-carb high-fat diets as children.
Also, on a side note, I never remember eating fish as a child - not once. We lived on a farm and it was always beef. I also never had olive oil. I don't think I ever had any purer forms of Omega 3 fats.
2. I also had to clean my plate. I wish I knew how much this still affects my portion control. I still clean my plates, which led me to buy small plates and bowels! I also notice that I don't "feel satiated" until about 30 minutes after I've finished my last bite. Anyway, I think "cleaning your plate" (a plate that was usually made for you) hinders our natural ability to stop eating when we have had enough, even on a LCHF. I still "check" my portion sizes.... oftentimes my husband eats less than I do. But, his Mother never made him eat everything that was on his plate; but, in general, he simply doesn't have much interest in food.
3. It is also super interesting that you are using a kidney transplant - I wonder how a transplant affects biochemical processes such as hormones.
4. I've also tried calorie counting and it only worked for a few pounds, and was impossible to maintain. I remember so many of women on the forums kept losing weight.... and there I was, eating the same 1500 cal. as they were and getting in plenty of activity, and I simply plateaued around 165 - so frustrating.
5. Depression/low self-esteem: I've also had this battle. Although, my entire body image has greatly improved since eating NK. My depression has also lifted substantially. I keep reading evidence that points to this diet as a means to dealing with mental problems. I really believe it. I recently visited my parents for a month - while I was there, I took a break from NK and simply ate primal without much attention to carb levels. Towards the end of my trip, my depressive feelings were starting to return. After a few weeks of being back on NK, I'm just now starting to get my optimistic vibes back and excitement for life.
I was just reading in the Art and Science of a Low Carbohydrate Diet the case of the 7 year old boy with autism (p. 255). This boy also had seizures, which were controllable with two types of medication, but his parents did not like the side-effects, thus deciding to put him on a ketogenic diet. After two years of living seizure free, his clinicians wanted to try him out on a "normal diet". His parents immediately noticed the return of his aggressiveness and hyperactivity.
For us, being on a "normal diet" could bring on our negative emotions.
I am also currently reading a lot on evolutionary psychology and the development of personality. People who are extraverted (usually filled with positive emotions and lack depression) are typically physically stronger with a good immune function.
On the other hand, people who are neurotic (filled with fear, sadness, anxiety, and/or guilt) have impaired physical health, presumably through the chronic activation of stress mechanisms.
While there are many internal, emotional processes at work here, I'm sort of wondering if our immune system is overall improved by a LCHF diet, thus changing our personality as a whole.
Also, I wonder if, as children, our diet that was very carb-sugar heavy was causing our body chronic stress, thus bringing out our sadness, fear, and anxiety.
Anyway Maggie thanks for sharing!
Oh, Maggie...I could have written much of your story myself! Even the part about the weighing 104 when your dad took you to the doc. I had SUCH a similar experience when my dad had to take me to the ER (my mother had always been the one to accompany me to medical appointments) because of a ruptured eardrum. They said my weight, and he thought they were reading my temperature! He and the doctor actually both thought it was a mistake and weighed me again. Alas, it was not a mistake. And I only got bigger from there. I was actually over 200 pounds and about a size 16 upon entering high school. I didn't have my first real boyfriend until after college, and now we're married :)
And I'm pregnant right now, so avoiding the nitrates in bacon ;)
I do remember eating some fish while I was growing up. We lived near the ocean, and when my parents would have a little extra time and money, we'd go to the pier and buy fresh halibut, clams, crabs, lobster, etc. Other than that, I remember eating a lot of fish sticks as a kid.
Now I don't eat much fish at all. My hubby can't stand the smell of it, and I can't cook any without him almost throwing up from the smell. I do eat it when we go out, but it's not frequently.
Maggie, thanks for sharing your story. This brings up a lot of memories for me. I started gaining weight at age 11 and was the awkward chubby girl in a size 10/12 all through high school. I also never ate much at school, regularly skipped lunch and would binge in secret when I got home.
I actually got thin after high school and stayed at a normal weight for a few years. I started to put weight back on after I had my son at age 25, and was obese by my mid-30s. I went on low carb (Protein Power) when I was 39 and lost a lot of weight, but put it back on and then some a few years later when I lost my job and became depressed.
Even though low carb had worked for me, I didn't believe it was healthy and eventually switched to a vegetarian and later a vegan diet for about 5 years. Eating mostly carbs triggered sugar cravings, and I put on more weight.
Early in 2012 I tried alternate day fasting and lost a few lbs, but that triggered binge episodes and I had to stop. By the end of the year I was frustrated and decided I'd had enough of being fat. I did more reading on low carb since it was the only diet that had worked for me before, and decided to stop being vegan and try low carb, high fat. I read Gary Taubes' book How We Get Fat and What To Do About It and The Art and Science of Low Carb Living by Phinney and Volek, which helped convince me that I am on the right path.
Thank you, Maggie! I enjoyed your story..by the way I do love bacon!!
We can do this together!!
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