It is nearly mid way through February and I had almost forgotten about my word for 2015 being Health. Well, actually, perhaps it wasn’t so much forgotten as ignored.
On January 1st I weighed a staggering 107 kilograms. I wept.
So my word for the year became HEALTH. That encompassed mental health, but in my mind was mostly about physical health and even more than that about losing weight. It’s all about the weightloss.
Weight has been my nemesis for 15 years.
I want to let go of it.
I wrote about that here, here and here.
People encouraged me and I enlisted the help of a health and wellness coach which is amazing.
I hesitated about that actually. When I was seeing a psychologist he once told me that there are two kinds of people in the world. There are those that learn by getting burned once, learning the lesson and adapting. Then there are those that have to learn the hard way. They push the boundaries time and again, knocking against the wall over and over again, until finally they find a way that makes sense to them. I, he told me, fall into the latter. He was quick to add that there is nothing inherently wrong with that. It is just these kind of people, me, invariably find life hard, mostly because we can’t be told what to do. We have to keep banging our heads until life finally teaches us the lesson well enough that we get it.
And so it was great trepidation that I embarked on this journey of a Health and Wellness coach. I wondered if she would be too pushy, too prescriptive and frankly too anal. I really didn’t want to be told what to do and how to do it. But she isn’t prescriptive at all. She’s lovely and if anything she acts more like a sounding board really with the gentle encouragement of resisting chocolate thrown in. She reads what I need beautifully and at the moment that is emotional support and I love that.
So, despite the encouragement to avoid chocolate – my new addiction in life – I was failing miserably. And my depression was on a constant spin cycle. I just had to do something drastic about my eating lifestyle.
When I wrote about my desire to lose weight, which let’s face it has been going on for said 15 years, a friend of mine wrote to me. She told me that there was this guy, Tim Noakes, in South Africa who had started the Banting Diet. Well, he hadn’t started it, he just refreshed it and released it into the world.
Now, I know Tim. Not personally of course, but I grew up in South Africa and anyone who has heard of the Comrades Marathon, which is a MASSIVE part of our culture over there, knows Tim. He is an athlete, an ultra marathon runner and a very well respected sports scientist. You want to believe what he says, truly you do.
Still, I am always skeptical of these things.
This Banting method was named after an undertaker, William Banting, who took it upon himself to reduce his massive size by cutting out all carbs. Yes, dear diary, the original low carb dude. Atkins and now Noakes base their diets on this original dude. Atkins, however chose to focus on the protein side of things, and Noakes, along with science to back it up apparently, decided to focus on the fat side of things.
So, my friend emailed me about this diet. And I immediately dismissed it. It is after all about fat, then protein with a smattering of carbs through veggies thrown in. I am fat enough, I thought.
But, not one to be perturbed, because, I think, she cares for me and worries about me, she joined me to the FB page and over the course of a few weeks I kept getting notifications of people and their amazing transformations. It was annoying frankly. All those people eating lashings of cream and butter and everything else and still losing weight. I just have to sniff that stuff and my thighs are doing the jiggle.
But I like to be skeptical, not cynical. So I got myself a copy of the book.
And it made sense. To me, in this moment, it made perfect sense. The science made sense. And I could relate it so perfectly to me and where I am at right now.
Plus I am desperate, let’s not forget that I am desperate!
I decided to give it a try starting yesterday.
The first day was hard. I cannot lie. It was damn hard. My body was screaming for that sugar fix. David Gillespie of Sweet Poison fame wasn’t lying when he said the neuroreceptors in your brain crave that stuff. I kept feeling hungry, except I wasn’t meant to feel hungry, I had eaten like the proverbial pig.
I forced myself to have breakfast. I have in recent years gone off breakfast.
Now, apparently, this is because I have high levels of cortisol which can affect morning appetites. Cortisol is a stress hormone. It is also a major contributor to obesity because it messes around with insulin and thus other processes in the body. I have it in bucket loads. I’ve had some quite major losses in my time, so my body has decided that it is probably safest to remain in a perpetual state of readiness (read anxiety), so I worry. About everything. Cortisol has taken up residency in my body and is having a party. Along with the adipose tissue strapped to my abdomen and thighs.
Eating fat, apparently, helps regulate cortisol by regulating insulin. Who knew? Of course, it can only be the good type.
So, I had breakfast. I felt sick frankly. I made egg and bacon muffins but all I could manage was two small ones. I have to learn to eat breakfast again.
I followed this with a greek salad with a friend, which apparently did not have enough fat in it. I then followed that with full fat, yes full fat, greek yoghurt, sweetened slightly with vanilla essence and a small banana.
Then I had dinner. Oh my, I found this recipe which sounded just divine. Could I dare eat it? Dare I put in all the cream and butter they said I could have. Could I ever!! I ate that puppy and then some.
What I did immediately notice is that I did not have the afternoon slump, I normally do. I also did not crave anything sweet after dinner. That is unheard of for me.
But then I felt the guilt. As I settled into bed I could feel the fat doing the dance of joy as it slapped itself onto my thighs like a limpet. As I flipped over onto my side, my belly sprawled out in front of me and I was sure it had grown a centimetre. It wasn’t pretty. The post-fat-eating remorse was immense.
I woke up this morning dreading the scales but, and I admit this could be a placebo thing, I am pretty sure I slept better too.
Now, in the first two weeks of January, I went great guns reducing my intake and upping my walking. This resulted in a weight loss of 3.2kgs. I went from 107kgs to 103.8. But then it went pear shaped and I quickly put on 1.2 to be 105kgs again.
Well, I am gobsmacked to be able to tell you that I am now back to 103.8kgs!!
I know!! I had lashings of cream yesterday and butter. It’s a god damn miracle. That dinner was the best tasting thing I have had in, well, forever. Even Mr C and Master J devoured it. There were no leftovers. None!
I don’t think I lost it all in 1 day. I haven’t weighed myself for a few days, but I would say at least half a kg was yesterday’s efforts.
And today I had a massive breakfast and at 2:30pm as I write this I am still not that hungry and no afternoon slump for me!
So, for today, I am willing to continue down this path. My pinterest board is filling up massively with Low Carb High Fat (LCHR) recipes. Unsurprisingly, I’m particularly attracted to the cheesecake ones.
I’ll keep you posted dear diary on how it goes. It could be me banging my head against another brick wall, but hey if you don’t try, you just don’t know, do you.