Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I've Never Lost Weight On A Diet!

Nope I never have. Even when I lost down from almost 700lbs into the 500s, it was mostly medical treatment floating that boat. I have lost everywhere from 160lbs-80. Good health, less stress, and more activity seemed to be my winning strategies. Right now I am losing weight and have been for some time but its a mixture of some exercise and the gluten free diet--I stopped wanting to itch to death. Barring some societal or American economic collapse that puts us on famine status or other horrible illness--one friend used to tell me all 500lb diabetics become thin if they live long enough--my dreams of thinness are over. "Live life the best you can, doing what you can", this was great advice I got from my favorite doctor of 8 years who was from Ghana and less indoctrinated by the American stupidity regarding obesity. That good man probably bought me 10 more years of life

When people tell me, they have lost weight by what they eat, I almost laugh, it seems like a magic trick to me, because in my own experience it just doesn't work. I ask questions of them like well how do you handle the hunger pain? They look at me all googly-eyed like I just asked how Mars was? I have hunger pain right now and ate lunch at 12:30 and its 3:51 pm. Welcome to my world!

Months of illness before where food nauseated me haven't even done the trick to strip weight off, so why would I even connect the two things in my mind? While some of the doctors and rest concede that some people have very low metabolisms and that dieting is an exercise in futility, most of the world thinks its the answer to all the fat person's problems and its not! With the exception of Jared, an aunt who had to have half of her intestines removed due to an illness and a few who took the winning spin of the weight loss surgery, I have yet to see one super sized person become a "thin person" for the rest of their life. Even the majority of people I know who had weight loss surgery, either had it just work for a couple years with a full regain, or had to be happy going from severely obese people to more midsize obese--say from 400lbs to 300lbs. One core component, those who have decent hearts and lungs and can exercise normally, do far better.

With few and rare exceptions, the majority of superfat people earn very little but brief reprieves from obesity. Most of the corpulent have gone through the ever-revolving door of Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Phen-Fen, Pritikin, Atkins, nutritionists, gyms, personal trainers, leaving as one fat lady said to me..."You take control for a while and you fail yet again, and you're more depressed then ever".

Lack of willpower, shame, physical hunger, boredom, migraine headaches, stomach pain, buckets of tasteless cabbage soup, almost every obese person knows the reality of the diet is like. Even under the euphemism of the "lifestyle" change, many diets end up with the same results, its a long plod, getting the special foods, groceries, cooking and facing the fact that some of the meals in those diet books alone could cost $40 bucks by themselves.

The Diet Psychologist sighed and peered over his bi-focals taking his chin in his hand, "If you want to succeed in this program, you need to stop lying about your food intake" I thought back, I at that time, was living in the ghetto, with 40 bucks a week to feed two people--I had filled out the journal of then 15 years ago, honestly even including 2 cookies I had nibbled on at a friend's house and a greasy take-out gyro, that if I ate today probably would put me under the table.

Then after weighting the exact same on their broken scale [it was actually weighing me far under what I was, and getting the same number, 5 times in a row, I knew it wasn't accurate. I would leave the room full of other depressed and beleaguered obese people who mostly were at least 150lbs smaller then me to the room to commiserate over their mutual lack of "will power" and supposed "cheating".

Dieting has an extreme high failure rate. For years Ive watched several fat relatives, more healthy, able to feel the burn and exercise, ping pong back and forth between 250 and approaching 400lbs. This is such a problem, that bariactrics is seen as the low man on the totem pole of medical specialities. No other illness has the failure in treatment like obesity. If cancer and skin rashes had the same failure rate, doctors would be out of business for good, all bankrupted by malpractice suits. Even those who work in the obesity research field, have their true desire to help people but are realizing what an insurmountable problem obesity has proven to be.

Many fat people do lose weight, some even great amounts, 100lbs-200lbs. Regains however are high as soon as one looks away, stops the extreme vigilance, gives in to the hunger, the diet fails again, and the fat person resumes the soul destroying roller coaster of no mercy.

Many humans have been cursed with the so-called thrifty gene, a good thing to have during constant famines and most of world history, a bad thing to have during plentiful food and supermarkets. All the physiology is set up to keep weight on as much as possible to keep you from dying of starvation. Some people even realize that when they eat too little or starve themselves, the body goes into metabolic shut-off. I witnessed this myself when during a severe illness I could barely keep down 600 calories a day for weeks and weeks , and didn't lose a pound.

The overweight are often hungrier then the thin on top of it. I have come to the conclusion that unlike some thin friends, not eating for a day, would cause me far more physical suffering [maybe insulin resistance from PCOS?] It is all mental? The whinings of a person with "no self control?" Well blinding migraines are no fun, feeling the room tilt or your hands go numb is scary. I have seen the thin and smug announce "I only eat one meal a day", "an apple for lunch is more then enough" and I have thought "I wish!"

While some say to the metabolically imbalanced like myself, why don't you just eat 1000 calories a day, its not that easy. It's easy to hit that mark even eating normal allotted meals by noon. After all my big body craves nutrients, hunger is present in the brain too. Maybe you can take the hunger pain, and the fuzzy wuzzy feeling in your head, but it doesn't do much for me, except in some ways create more hunger.

The body has some over powering hormonal messages to feed it. It will pull out all tricks to get you to run to the refrigerator, in thin people it causes some moments of uncomfortableness, that supposedly go away after 20 minutes, in some fat people in never leaves you alone. Drink a glass of water, take a walk, if you've skipped lunch and you're fat, it will be hours of thinking of nothing but food and it's not always psychological. There are many things I'd rather be doing, even my stamp collection is more exciting then washing more plates or worry about what to eat.

Forget to eat in my case, and be visited with asthma and the shakes--asked doctor about that one and was told "Don't do that!" People think fat people are lying, and whiners and just do not have the gumption, but the problem is, that all bodies are assumed to operate the same, it would be nice for those to understand that some of us are experiencing something else entirely.

Even the dieting world seems set up to sabotage it seems, Slim-Fast, SWEET protein bars, all sugar, leading to a crash, a rise in insulin and starvation within a couple hours. Avoid the sugar if you want to avoid the hunger pain Dietitians are no guaranteers of good diet advice either. Even as last as the mid-90s, I was told a bagel for breakfast and a baked potato for lunch was my ticket to normalville. The supposed low-fat diet that now most recognize did more harm then good.

Lynn McAffee in a long ago article in Radiance Magazine says this: she asks a doctor why figures on the failure rates of diets haven't been divulged. His response to her, is that no one wants to discourage people from dieting. It's absurd, she thinks, to suggest that people do what is clearly impossible. She is incensed. "I spent my childhood and adolescence feeling like the lowest form of life because I couldn't do something as 'simple' as lose weight and keep it off."

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