I think what I have to get down to first is facing why I'm on such a self-destructive path. I think that might be as hard for me as getting my ass to the gym.
That's also kinda where I'm at. I *want* to be healthy. I've *tried* to be healthy. But I go back to the stupidity of not paying a lick of attention and stuffing my face for sympathy time and time again. Lots of people can tell me I have to create better habits when I hit triggers, but until I *really* dig in and get to the root of it, it doesn't mean much.
It took me 5 tries to give up smoking for good. Once I even quit for 3 years and then went back. But it's been 3+ years this time and I'm not going back and knew I wasn't from the day I finally said "no" and meant it. I admit I turned to food to plug that gap too and that hasn't helped my already poor habits.
I feel shame. I see pictures and feel despair. And yet, it's still not enough for me to get off my ass and do something about it. The bf and I have been talking about this a lot lately. He's in the same boat as me. I think that having that support network and getting on the path with someone else in the same place and time would help me greatly. It's gotta be soon...
Awesome, dude! Myself, am in the "not happy with body" phase, a place I've been before, and fixed before. I can't seem to stay committed this time or get that fire under my ass...You posting this helps make me think more about my own health and self image.
Check out 80/10/10 by Douglas Graham and Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman.
The best thing you can possibly do is cut out ALL animals foods, and lower your fat intake, up your carbs - this will give you ENERGY to work out. Ignore EVERYONE that says to not eat carbs, it is insanity - the thing is, what most people consider carbs are things also loaded with fat.
I eat unlimited calories - as much as I want, I just make sure I keep my fat intake down. Best carb source is fruit - as much as you want. Also greens, as much as you want. For fats, nuts and seeds, coconut, avocado, limited amounts. Use cronometer.com and watch your fat intake. Try to keep it between 10-15% of your daily calories. Do NOT cut your calories or you WILL binge especially if you are exercising that much, you will simply not have the energy to do it, and you will reach for something with high calories, your body will be so glucose-deficient it will not be satiated by something low -calorie. Also, you don't NEED to work out that much. Work on your nutrition, first.
The highest calorie fruits will be your best friend - fresh dates, bananas (RIPE ones, with some spots), mangoes.
If you do not want to do a full raw diet, them have steamed sweet potatoes, potatoes, yams, squash, and don't use much salt, or any at all. Sweet sweet potatoes are bitchin' on their own with some spices and chopped green onion.
Whatever you do, the most important things to know are do NOT cut your calories (eat MORE of the RIGHT calories - fruit + veg!) because your body will go into starvation mode and STORE fat. You also must eat plant food ONLY. Get enough SLEEP. Move your body but don't overdo it. Limit salt intake, limit fat intake, even from plants. If you must, at first, eat whatever you want as long as it is plant-based and raw - leave out all oils.
If you want more advice I have lots and lots. This way of eating is simple, satiating, and the healthiest option, and weight comes off EFFORTLESSLY.
Unless you're someone like me who doesn't process carbs well, and becomes hypoglycemic. The thing is, there is no one routine fits all. We are all different.
Adding in my transformation photos :
4 months on raw diet, NO exercise (though I did have gobs more energy and moved around a lot more)
(pic 1 was Feb 1, 2008, the 2nd was two months on a vegan-only diet, with no processed sugars, and the 3rd was 2 months raw-food only).
Here is one year to the day:
This works, man. And there is no gimmicks.
One of the things I realized was that losing weight is simple, which is not to be confused with "easy". The math is simple, and you can look at easily identifiable numbers and know what you have to do. But doing that - giving up X or changing Y habit or
exercising Z, can be very difficult. Thanks so much for posting these.
Fat acceptance is important. So is fit acceptance. Congrats!
I also discovered that as soon as you start, somebody, or a bunch of somebodies, is going to tell you you're doing something wrong. That you're not eating enough, that you need more fat/carbs, that you should be happy however you are, whatever -- that jungle was tough to navigate too. I was actually surprised that this concept of "fit acceptance" even existed. (I didn't know it had a name until you mentioned it, but I've seen whatever the opposite is.) Thanks for posting this.
College was really the first time where I had that thought that I'm not terrible, so this can be a nice thing that I do for not-terrible me. It's a fleeting sort of thought, but it's what got me started. That was LA Weightloss Centers. My parents paid for it provided that I go, which I did. And I have never seen the top size of 300lb since. But it was just a start.
And i don't know how anyone not living at college could have done it. The dining hall served the same, diet-friendly food every day, so I could make the same choices every day. I basically ate nothing but grilled chicken, broccoli, and ceasar salads. Which is probably why I only stayed on it for a year. But like I said, it worked.
Then I tried WW. Which didn't work. I ate my fat free popcorn and clocked my walks, and got nowhere.
On to Atkins. A little progress there. But I was still having Atkins-approved candy bars. And what's a vegetable? So I might have followed it to the letter, but not the spirit.
The next thing I tried was Somersizing. Which is sugar-free, half low-carb, half no-fat food combining. This worked for another 20-30lb or so. I learned from that that you can make A LOT of things out of cauliflower. Also, that dairy stalls weight loss like whoa. Even after I KNEW that it didn't stop me from making sugar-free cheesecakes. Still, it was diet food that was delicious and my weight was going down, even if it was twice as slow as most others.
I also learned that coffee with heavy cream is DELICIOUS.
It was also great to have a whole community of people to rely on for inventing recipes and making the whole thing not quite so lonely, since my parents and brother wouldn't be caught dead limiting how they eat.
But eventually that stopped working too. Now, I believe, it was because I was still having a lot of dairy. It was a mainstay.
After that I moved to the Blood Type Diet/Genotype Diet, mostly because what I read in those books rang true with what I had already learned about myself through the other diets I had been on. Mainly, meat is good for me. Dairy is not. It was not my imagination that caffeine affected me a lot more than other people. And, hey, you know how some people are vegan and healthy and some people are low-carb and healthy? That's because people are actually different. Duh.
The problem here was that some things were simply unrealistic. Like 2 tablespoons of fat per week. What? My weight actually went up the year I worked on this diet, which was especially maddening because I was living in the UK and walking miles every day.
But. I was also baking up a storm the whole time, just using improved ingredients.
Still, all signs pointed toward some low-carb/no sugar/no potato/no wheat thing as being the hallmark of methods that had worked for me.
I'm not sure how I stumbled into paleo, but since earlier this year, I've been basically doing a series of Whole30s based on the book It Starts With Food. No alcohol, no grain, no sugar, no dairy, no legumes. Which sounds like "no to all foods" but really just means eat real meat, vegetables, and fruit and good fats.
20lb down on that. And it's another community where people are vibrant and inventive. And this time I'm not making cheesecakes or baking cookies but with approved ingredients. I'm eating strawberries. I don't crave much of anything unless I have something sweet to start the ball rolling. And I'm basically never hungry.
This seem good. There's some sort of balance where you can add some things back in and be okay, but I'm not sure that's me.
Even more recently, I read a post by a woman who decided to combine a Whole30 with a Cook Once for a Month method of prepping and freezing meals. That seemed brilliant. So I combined THAT with ordering from FreshDirect.com, so I end up getting only what I need to make all my meals at home, and I just end up buying vegetables and sweet potatoes (or green plantains, or yucca) for side dishes during the week.
Can't even tell you how many years it had been since I was able to fall asleep without a problem.
But, right, weight. Well, we'll see. It's been slow buy steady progress the last few months. I'm not setting any weightloss records. But it look a good long time to put it all on, too, I guess.
2012-11-12 12:21 am (UTC)
I could write a novel in this space but this is the short version
As someone who spent most of their life trying to pretend I wasn't transgender, I basically pretended my body didn't exist. What I had did not match what it was in my head and all the fucked up feelings that went along with it left me with a visceral sort of horror for my own flesh. I didn't want to admit it was me.
I only started dealing with it this year, because I was so goddamn sad all the time. I wanted the surgery to remove the breasts that made me so unhappy. I wanted my shape to be closer to the way it felt in my head. But I was so afraid of all these diets and hysterical prohibitions on foods and things. I bake, and that's one of my great ways to express love and friendship. I couldn't imagine giving that up forever. I didn't want to replace one set of messed up food behaviors potentially with another, having watched my mother cycle through some weird destructive diets.
I started doing the weight watchers thing, because my doctor does it and recommended it. I think more than anything, it has taught me to be more mindful about my food choices. Weight slowly began to come off. I started to exercise. I started dancing, which I had always wanted to do but had been too ashamed of myself to actually go out for in the past. I stopped eating ridiculous quantities of food one day and then nothing for the next two. I still bake, but I don't have to eat everything I bake. I can even learn to bake new things. I cut my hair and started dressing like the man I wanted to be. I had a double mastectomy that gave me an almost instant, joyous sense of relief. I start taking kickboxing classes.
Since February of 2012, I've lost 71 pounds. Which is a lot, really. Sometimes I can't tell, except in the way my shoes fit and my wrists are smaller. But I can do more now, and I feel more like myself than I ever have.
This was me at 31, looking miserable.
This was me at 32, meeting Johan Van Roy and spending the night dancing at a Suicide Commando show.
2012-11-12 04:37 pm (UTC)
Re: I could write a novel in this space but this is the short version
Dude! You look great! 71 pounds is something to be really, really proud of. You are an inspiration.
It feels a bit doofish to say it, but I'm proud of you. What you have done and will continue to do is hard, hard work. Yes, the physical workout, but also all the mental stuff you have had to do.
You look so much healthier. It's not just the loss of weight. Your >color< is better. Your skin looks better. You don't look like you're a few martinis away from a heart attack.
I trained to walk a 5K, and accidentally lost a small bit of weight in the process. I've back slid, both in gym attendance and sugar consumption. I just need to throw the leftover Halloween candy out, even if it means wasting "food." I don't really need to make Christmas candy. I need to spend that time at the gym.
It's a struggle. It's something I have to stay on top of, because it is so easy to do the wrong thing. As a very-buff friend put it, in encouraging my gym attendance: "It's like brushing your teeth or beating off. You have to do it every day."
If you like tracking stuff, I'd recommend the President's Challenge. You log your activity and it is assigned points and you earn a bronze metal, then silver, etc. The system crashed once, so I'm now working on my second bronze, but it's a fun way to give yourself positive reinforcement: "I gotta go log what I did!" http://www.presidentschallenge.org/
I think this would be 10x more difficult if I were completely on my own. Trillian has been a huge help, mentally & dietarily.
I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in April. I am not dumb, I was expecting it...but somehow, hearing the doctor say your blood sugar is 263 and you're lucky you haven't had a stroke yet, made it REAL.
I started that night, changing the way I eat. I started measuring things, cutting down on processed sugar, reading labels. Cutting back on pasta, candy, cake, ice cream. All the things I LOVE. At first it was hard...I railed and cried and screamed "Why me?" The answer, of course, was you did it to yourself.
As of today, I've lost 41 pounds without really exercising any more--and my sugar averages about 125. With medication. My goal is to get it down to under a hundred then work harder to get it down without or with less medication.
My first goal was to be able to ride the Hogwarts roller coaster in Universal Studios in December. I am going to meet that. My next goal is another 60 pounds in the next year.
You look amazing, Kyle. Keep up the good work. You inspire me with your wonderful life, your photography and the driveway wars. Thanks.
Thanks so much for posting this. Looking at the kind of food thats available when I go out -- it's like the world is conspiring to kill us. "Here, have three pounds of spaghetti for $6! would you like bread and butter with that?"
What an inspirational story, let me know how Hogwarts is!
I've struggled with weight since I hit my teens. I'm in my mid-40s now. I've lost weight and I've put it on. Over the last couple of years I've put more on and I've ignored it. There'd be the odd thought about losing weight. Then came the increase in back issues (I once threw my back out during a flight from San Jose to Las Vegas), the almost constant knee ache and the major increase in asthma issues. I also had no energy - laundry was exhausting. When some girlfriends came up with the plan for a get-together next May, I decided that I'd had enough. I want to be able to wander all around with them without my asthma or my back stopping me. I also want to outlive my father's 60 years. What contributed to his death was his high blood pressure - which I also have.
So, I talked to my doctor and my chiropractor at the beginning of October and the week after joined a gym. I am not the best of self-starters, so I have invested in a trainer. 3X a week, an hour at time she runs me through various exercises (on off days I walk or go in to use their stationary bikes - other things to be added later). My jeans fit a little looser, my back is already doing better and I'm shocked by 1. how much I can do and 2. how much energy I have now. I know my progress will be slow and I'm okay with that. I have no number goal in mind, so my goal will not be either a weight number or a size number. I just want to be healthy. My trainer is awesome and I finally have found a positive environment where I can do this. I think this might be the first time where I have that.
There have been dietary changes too. The biggest has been that there can be no more excuses for bad eating. No more running out and buying french fries, hash browns or potato salad just because I need potassium (since I'm allergic to bananas), no more buying loaves of fresh french or sourdough bread just because I have a random craving for a slice of bread with butter.
I've had chronic back problems for a while and I figured it was just the way things were and I was very surprised how quickly a larger percentage of that pain went away after i'd lost 15 lbs. What I'd thought was just getting old was, in some part at least, relatively easily fixable.
I am a survivor of molestation and incest . It has deeply effected my relationship with my body. The dissociative disorder , which has been present since so early on that it can't really be pinpointed , means that I have rarely actually inhabited my body. The mental problems that go with all of this are complicated. This part is simple. There seems to be a ravenous beast inside , which seems to never be satisfied. I have the Hunger , instead of the Thirst . I am struggling with all of this even more since menopause. It is encouraging to see progress , to read these smart successful things . I keep trying baby steps when my mental state will allow. Thanks everyone for sharing.
Thank you for sharing this -- it can't be easy, but I think it can be so helpful to others dealing with similar things. I'm happy to be whatever part of a support network I can be for you.
I identify with so much of this, including the not-as-pretty, but funny friend & thoughts of being the not-in-front of the camera person (to which I now say there's *zero* reason photos should just put standardly-accepted-narrow-definitions-of-beauty on some kind of imaginary pedestal ~ time to evolve & relish in the fact that moments worth capturing come in all shapes/sizes/emotions/subjects).
As a child, I was tiny (to the point of being pulled aside by school officials in elementary because they were concerned about my home-life ~ & they should have been, but that's another story) until I went through a horrific time in high school wherein I was involuntarily put on meds that went haywire in my system and made me gain *70 pounds in two months*. At the time I was my most overweight, I was eating barely anything in an attempt to get back to "my" body, which didn't work since the weight wasn't caused by food to begin with. It's surreal when society judges you for being fat while you're literally starving. During those years, I often cut myself out of pictures, which I regret to this day, since I should have been a better, more caring friend to myself rather than compounding pain by not accepting/embracing who I was. Anyway, I've had experience from both sides of the looking glass, and understanding first-hand the different ways people treat/look at you in either situation.
Eventually my body settled somewhere in the middle. I work in fashion, but I've never been a designer who cares about models being "model size" and I've always featured models in a wide range of sizes/heights because I believe beauty has nothing to do with proportion and everything to do with spirit. (On a recent walk, I considered how "strong/stocky" is an acceptable body type for men, but not women ~ major societal paradigm shifts need to happen where strong physiques on women are considered every bit as much of a beautiful/desirable ideal.)
Diet-wise, I've been vegetarian for 25 years. I drink herbal tea each day & skip soda/cola (due to high fructose corn syrup ~ bad for kidney health, especially in women). Exercise-wise, I take an hour long brisk walk daily & and that time doubles as meditation, which to me is every bit as important as the exercise itself. My priority isn't to be thin, but to build stamina & strength. As a self-employed artist without health insurance, this is pretty much the only "insurance" I have, so I do what I can to make sure my heart and everything else has as much of a chance as it can for longevity.
It's so important to do what you need to feel better, to increase the odds of being healthy and *there* for all whom you love and who love you. Protect thy heart, it's a good one.
Edited at 2012-11-14 11:15 pm (UTC)
Being heavy has been part of my life even when I wasn't heavy.
I am 5'12", and not from supermodel planet X.
There are pro football players that weigh less than I did at 17. Not heavy or plump at that time, no.
What I did have were girlfriends that were petite or even a normal size, and 14 jeans were just Huge.
Wearing a 7 was not an option.
I have spent a large portion of my life with plus size glasses on whenever I looked in the mirror.
Later in life, I spent 15 years fat.
Obese, for lack of a better word, due to depression, and depression meds.
I lost a hundred pounds the first time by falling in love, and kept it off for 7 years.
The partnership ended, and my weight crept up again.
When I got serious about losing weight the second time, I went to the YMCA for the pool, and SPARK for the food tracking.
I lost no weight. This was devastating. I was going to the gym everyday, and had cut the calories to 1000.
I kept it up anyway, and still there was no change.
I now know that the severe restricting, and the heavy exercise was actually forcing my body into
But I was really angry, and the body hatred was getting in the way of life and being able to live it.
I also knew that there was more to it than just looking good, because our family has age diabetes, and heart problems.
When my meniscus tore, I said "this has got to stop" and went to Medifast.
I lost 80 pounds in a year, felt so on top of the world that I was convinced I was a superhero, and stopped smoking.
And gained back 30 pounds.
Panic? I thought I'd die.
I am back on the program, modified, and am not hitting the gym as much as I should, but
This is just what I have to do.
I will never be able to eat what I want, or eat like some people can.
I will probably always count calories, and watch my portion size.
I will always need to exercise 4 to 5 days a week, just to be a size 13 or 14.
And that is just how it is.
But! I would rather do all that, than be a size 24 ever again.
And I want to keep it off, whether or not I am having a torrid love affair.
thanks for sharing this.
i'm trying to convince myself that i like the gym, but i think some part of inventing that story is going to be important to me -- and finding whatever bits of it i can like and concentrating on those because, like you say, I will always need to be there. It's got to be a part of my life.
2012-11-12 09:04 am (UTC)
Yay for finding a kind of exercise you actually enjoy! I love just being outdoors but I also know others who get a rush out of going to Curves. Whatever floats your boat.