It’s finally happening: I’m losing weight. High time that pendulum starts favoring the other end of the fulcrum. I was beginning to think the math was failing me. It takes 3500 calories to gain one pound of fat. So cutting 3500 calories will result in a one-pound weight loss. But it takes at least a week to cut that many calories.
Now, I’ve been losing so rapidly I know I’m losing water weight, not fat. And that’s fine. I tend to retain fluid and take a diuretic for it (enough to keep my blood pressure normal), so flushing out that excess is healthy provided I drink lots of water every day. So hey, water, fat, it’s all weight loss and I’m happy about it. I feel better.
Water retention can be darned uncomfortable. Ask anybody who has taken steroids or menstruates or has a family history of hypertension and congestive heart failure. Fingers balloon until hands resemble baseball mitts. Ankles swell to the size of one’s calves. And don’t get me started about breasts straining painfully against bra. Night of the Living Side Boob. My boyfriend has no complaints about their generous proportions. But he doesn’t have to lug them around all day.
So what diet am I following? Ah-ha, I’m not on a diet! Diets are not healthy. Diets are so 2017. And seriously, how many times has Marie Osmond lost those 50 pounds? She never tells us when she lost it. I swear she’s been making those commercials for at least five years. Has she lost it and gained it back and then lost it again, then updates the Nutri-system commercial wearing a different dress and more cosmetic surgery? I’m totally confused. Everybody knows that the majority of dieters gain back all the weight plus more within three years. It’s called yo-yoing, a silly name if I ever heard one, but probably has mockery intentionally built in to it so you can call people who diet “a bunch of yo-yos.” Nice. I, however, do not “diet.” Then what is it I’m doing?
Learnings from living with IBS and MS
Simple. I cut my calories. I eat one small helping and do not eat more than that in one sitting. I eat whenever I feel like it. I don’t eat after 6:00 p.m. I do not count calories or protein/carb/fat grams, I count nothing. My food choices are heavily informed by a low FODMAP chart designed for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). When I was diagnosed with IBS, I spent a year working with low and high FODMAP charts to determine which foods cause intestinal distress, pain, and constipation. Now I use that information to balance my daily eating regimen with fresh veg, lean meat, fish, and a small portion of starch so I don’t totally deny myself, including whole grains since any carbs are instantly constipating. Fiber supplements are ineffective, too. The FODMAP chart helped me identify which high-fiber veggies I could tolerate and which ones made me miserable. Unfortunately I’ve had to follow a low fiber regimen because of my fiber intolerance. But I do well with Brussels sprouts, celery, carrots, bok choy, and assorted greens, so now I’m slowly incorporating them into my daily eating. Eating broccoli, however, abruptly ends my atheism and doubles me over on the toilet, bargaining with God for deliverance from the excruciating pain. I eat a lot of celery now.
It is important to point out that probiotics do nothing for me. And yes, I took a potent enough product. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a motility problem, and no substance is going to reanimate malfunctioning intestine no matter how much healthy bacteria are introduced into the gut. It can be MS-related, likely a result of nerve damage rendering portions of intestine paralyzed or dysfunctional to the point where food doesn’t get pushed through very well.
I feel a lot better in my clothes and that’s my focus. Even though I weigh myself right out of bed most mornings, it’s best to gauge what the right weight is for me by my comfort level. My eating regimen is permanent and I’ll tweak it as time goes on as I discover new ways to prepare healthy foods in delicious ways.