My before picture is me at 270, before hitting my largest in July 2011. One partial photo of me exists at 295, and if it wasn't a family reunion pic I would burn it. I come from a long line of heavy people - great-grandparents on down. We were probably fat before then, too, but I have no records. Anyway, I used to be "skinny fat" in high school. An athlete, at 160 lbs, I was spilling out of a size 12. I now know that my big belly was caused by the gluten allergy, but back then I just thought I was doomed to be fat and ugly forever.
During high school, I fell in with a bad crowd. Not in the sense of smoking and drinking, mind you - starvation was their deal. I spent the next two years fighting my way into and back out of being sick, surviving on little more than coffee and whatever my parents made me eat at dinner. With our Eastern European background and lower-class economic status, that was usually some form of bread, noodles, dumplings, etc. Now I understand that I wasn't stick thin like my friends and especially ill because of the gluten. Then, I was just frustrated, exhausted, and at the end of my rope. It was a very scary time, looking back.
Eventually, I recovered - over-recovered actually. The next few years saw me balloon up to more than 200 lbs. After the birth of my oldest child, I swelled to 265. It was then that the doctor discovered my deranged thyroid and titrated me up to a massive dose of Synthroid. I slimmed down to 235 and felt far better about myself, but I was still constantly sick and suffering.
Fast forward to divorcing my then-hubs, finding my real soul mate, moving, starting a new career, and giving birth to my youngest child. After I hit 280 lbs, I decided to try being a vegetarian that ate a lot of noodles and processed food and bread. You can guess just how effective that was for me! When I hit 290, I decided to give the Tokyo diet a try, which did pretty well and got me down to 270.
The problem was that I burned out on Japanese food hardcore and couldn't touch it until relatively recently. After that, I got angry and said to heck with all the dieting and such, I'm doomed to be a tub o' lard forever. So armed with cake, ice cream, pie, bread, pasta, fast food and other assorted junk, I ate myself right up to 295.
It was then that a friend recommended the Primal Blueprint. Now, she's naturally a twig and a marathon runner to boot, so I thought she was nuts for "dieting". Skeptical, I checked out the website and had the biggest moment of clarity and epiphany and AHA! - "diet" is just what you eat. The Primal Blueprint isn't a "diet" in the dirty, four-letter word sense; rather, it's a different way of life and thinking about pretty much everything.
I found out that Celiac disease (which runs in my family) was a huge culprit in all of my health issues, including my weight. The severe reactions to gluten I had after getting off of it became enough to keep me (almost completely) away from it. The first 30 lbs came off in barely any time at all, then I hit a plateau (which was the worst thing EVER)! I got frustrated and threw up my hands and decided it was a bunch of hooey.
For a few months, I tried the Tokyo diet again. While I slowly lost another 15 lbs, the carb cravings were horrible. I would come home from work and eat two bowls of cereal before dinner, just because I wanted to. It was awful!
However, I'm back on the PB again and the carb cravings disappeared almost immediately. I'm looking forward to staying buckled down and getting back into the groove!!!
People who don't understand how you eat. Donuts, cakes, cookies, etc. at the office. Fast food places with nothing to eat.
What advice (if any) would you give to someone interested in trying a carbohydrate-restricted or paleo diet? Were there any obstacles that you overcame that could help future dieters?
It might sound insane, but just try it!!!!!