Let me start by saying I can't believe I'm even posting. I'm one of those who reads a lot, but rarely feel I can add to an online conversation in any meaningful way. Since last Wednesday, when I first heard about this, I have been brimming with a hope that even now I don't like to talk (in real life) about, for fear of jinxing myself (silly, I know, but until I have proof that it works for me, I'd rather keep quiet). Yet here I am, at 4 in the morning, wide awake and hungry but uninterested in eating for the first time in recent memory. My brain feels like it will burst if I don't share my story, mundane though it is, so here I am.
My set point, for the last few years, has hovered around 192 pounds. I am female, 30 years old, 5'9" and just a couple of weeks ago had resigned myself to weighing that much forever. In October of '01, after a move and a new job for my husband, I joined a gym and started working out with a personal trainer. That first year I went from 220 down to 180, mostly through exercise but also by counting calories. I was elated - it seemed easy for me to lose weight. Within the next two years, however, I regained between 15 and 20 pounds. Still working with my trainer, three days per week, and knowing how I lost the weight before, I could not repeat the results from that first year. For the past year, I have been almost obsessively counting calories using an online fitness site that also measures calories burned through exercise. According to my charts, I burned an average of 300 to 500 calories per day more than I ate - for a year. Net weight loss: o pounds. At the gym, I have been asked If I was training to join the army. My fitness - as defined by how strong I am - is great for a woman. I just also happen to be pudgy. Having seen no results in a year, I decided several weeks ago to stop counting. My weight didn't seem to change, but at least it wasn't dominating my life either. I had just decided to be a big girl.
Knowing my family history - three generations of diabetics before me, two of whom lost both legs to the disease, I worry about becoming obsessed with food and ultimately repeating (or doing the opposite of, though just as dangerous) the mistakes of my mother, grandmother, and great-grandfather. Watching a program on Lifetime recently, I saw a woman who would binge over 3,000 calories a day, then spend hours at the gym working it off. She was bulimic. I realized that I had been close to becoming just like her. I was glad I decided to stop that routine. I now work out twice a week with my trainer, and am swimming in the evenings with my husband. I had stopped hoping to be smaller - I just want to be healthy.
Still with me?
So last Wednesday, I saw Dr. Helen's link to the podcast. I read the comments, read the calorielab article, and read a couple of (unconvincing) articles arguing against this method. On Thursday, I bought the book and a bottle of canola oil. And here I am. I don't know my starting weight, and probably won't weigh myself because I don't have a reliable scale (though I will note changes in dress size - I'm currently 14/16ish). For the last two days, I have been happy with less food than I have been able to tolerate for the past year. When I woke up at 3:00 this morning with hunger pangs, much as Stephen M. experienced, I didn't want to eat anything (though I did have a tablespoon of oil - much less hungry now). I had my usual workout yesterday morning, with no noticeable lack of energy. I can feel a tightness in my body that I felt the first time I lost weight - only more so. I am very hopeful for the future.