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Saturday, 24 February 2007

Diets, What are they good for

I have dieted on and off for a lot of my life. Extreme low calorie diets, weight watchers, all protein, all carbohydrates, etc etc. You name a diet and I have been on it. I was heavy when I was young. The extra weight and needing to diet sets up a whole lifelong issue with self esteem, but back to diets.

The first diet I did was to restrict my calorie intake to 800 calories a day. I lost 70lbs in 9 months. I went from heavy to skinny. With me there is no in between. Even when I was boxing, running 5 miles a day and working out 2 hours at night, I was a bit heavy. Strong, fast and heavy. But whenever I dieted I just went to skinny. Whats with that?

Back to the 70lbs I lost. I did this diet at about 17. I kept the weight off for a few years. My weight normalized to about 150 for a few years then started creeping back.

Then for awhile I was a vegetarian. I was still heavy. I had a friend who fasted a lot and suggested that I fast to lose weight. Ok so why not. I would go on 5 day fasts, and some weight would come off. But then back to my vegetarian diet and even with a moderate level of activity I was heavy.

My weight crept up to about 190 and I decided to join the weight watchers cult. Has anyone been to weight watchers? Whats with those meetings? Ok so weight watchers works. You measure your food, and you lose weight. But the group weigh ins are a nightmare. I lost the first 20lbs quickly and was so happy at the weigh ins. Then my weight just stuck. I was faithfully following the diet, but my body decided that even with my measured food intake, it was not dropping any weight. This was was due to my previous dieting and the famine response (more on this later). So with my body refusing to drop more weight I got funny looks at the group weigh ins. The "leader" was sure I was breaking my diet". So what do do. Buy light shoes, that's good for a few pounds and 1 meeting. Then another weight plateau for a few weeks. Then careful use of laxatives and diuretics previous to meetings brought about another loss of few pounds, but my body is very resilient and caught on to my tricks and refused to drop any more weight. It's so frustrating to be on the diet, not lose enough weight, people think your pigging out, so you do. If I aint losing more weight then I might as well eat what I want.

If I had been happy with a 20lbs weight loss I might have learned to maintain it without undue pressure I might have just gone on eating thingnormally.

Well frustration sure makes you want to eat, especially frustration with diets.

I have dieted so much now that I can go without very much and maintain my weight. I have massive famine response rebound lasting years. Diets have also messed up my immune response. I was never allergic to anything. Then Bang! shellfish put me in the hospital, then Bang! penicillin put me in the hospital. What else is going to send me to the hospital. I love shrimp and lobster. I suppose I can do without penicillin.

I am tempted to go on a diet now. I am 54 and heavy. My body is too savvy to let me lose any weight even if I starve it. I also have a bad back, so most exercise is painful. I guess swimming is the future exercise.

I am frustrated just thinking of dieting. Quick I need a cheeseburger and a pint of Ben and Jerry's. If I had never dieted I would never had the famine rebound and would probably not be as heavy as I am now. I could at least still eat shellfish.

Lets get back to the self esteem issues I mentioned at the beginning. I suppose that's the real problem. Even when I was thin I thought I was fat, so that set up more frustration. I am happily married, my wife thinks I'm a sexy old fart. So never mind the diets. Forget the frustration. I think this time I will be happy with where I am. Get a bit more active and let all those fad diet authors go on their merry way (straight to hell). But I do miss shellfish.