Nearly three months ago I drastically reduced my daily caloric intake to less than 1,000 calories. With only a handful of exceptions, I've stuck with the low-cal eating every day. My average is probably about 800 calories
So how much weight have I lost? I don't even know, and I don't care. None of this was done to lose weight. It started, rather, as an elimination diet to help ease my symptoms of fibromyalgia. I was sure some common food groups, for whatever strange reason, were aggravating my fibro symptoms--widespread pain, extreme stiffness, lack of mobility, mental fog and depression, to name a few.
The first thing I pitched from my diet was sugar. Sorry, but no one can say anything good about what refined sugar does to the body. It's like slow poison to your insides, and it can cause inflammation in every joint in your body. I used to live on candy when I was younger and in denial. Now I avoid the nasty stuff because I know what it will do to me, and it's not worth it.
Along with the refined sugar went the artificial sweeteners. I simply don't trust the chemicals anymore. It's not often I use any sweetener but, when I do, it's all natural Stevia.
Alcohol also went by the wayside for a while, but I've started back on the booze in moderation. I went several weeks without imbibing a drop, and then eased up a bit to enjoy a glass of cold Chardonnay once in a while. I continue sipping wine or margaritas maybe two nights a week now, but could easily go without it completely. Certain triggers--like emotional stress, a wonderful evening horseback ride, or a crowded social event--can make me "thirsty," although I could be just as satisfied with water instead. I've all but given up beer for two reasons: the first is gluten (it makes me feel bad), the second is the bloated, uncomfortably full sensation it gives me.
So what's changed? Is my new way of eating worth it? Well, for the present, the answer is an emphatic YES. There's no doubt I have food sensitivities that aggravate inflammation and cause gastric upsets, both of which contribute to a mental fog and mild depression. That's all part of the fibromyalgia mystery. After eliminating those problematic foods, I can wholeheartedly say I have a LOT less discomfort and considerably more energy. Best of all, my outlook on life and the future has brightened by leaps and bounds.
Admittedly, a big part of this is due to the weight loss that was inevitable on a severely reduced calorie diet. BEING OVERWEIGHT HURTS. Since publishing my book, Bucket List Weight Loss, five years ago, I'd slowly gained back nearly half of what I'd lost. Never mind the reasons for now...I'll address those in a future post. The important thing is that I gained back enough weight to make my already compromised body hurt even worse than it already did. You should try carrying around a 10-pound bag of potatoes for a couple weeks and see how you feel. If you're more than 10 pounds overweight, just imagine carrying around a layer of all the extra weight you now have. Think you could do it? Nope, not without some serious pain. But wait...you carry that much extra right now! So imagine how much BETTER you would feel if you lost that extra layer. You'd feel like you were floating with your feet six inches off the ground!
Where am I going with this? Right back to Bucket List Weight Loss. I strongly believe that losing ALL excess weight is the best medicine and pain reliever for many common ailments--especially the age-related issues. If you hurt, and have been overweight for much of your life, you truly may not know how incredibly good you could feel if the extra weight was gone from your body. What a tragedy for you!
It's not my job to tell you how to lose it. All I can do is set an example of the end result and say, "You must find your own way." The principles in Bucket List Weight Loss still work for me, and I am SO glad I wrote them all down in a book I can review from time to time when I need reminders. Expect more posts as this "rerouted" journey continues. My goal is to help you, through weight loss and exercise, to reclaim your life and your health as you choose to define them. Stay tuned.
Bucket List Weight Loss is available in paperback or Kindle at this link: