The Beginning

“Begin at the beginning,” said the King gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” –Lewis Carroll

Who am I?

No one in particular. I’m American, but I live in Asia. I’m a woman, but I really like football, cars and barbecue. I have blue eyes, but sometimes I wish they were brown because they’re sensitive to sunshine and bright lights. I love to talk to people older than I, but I also love playing soccer with kids nearly a fifth my age. Oh, and I used to be fat.

Really fat.

But that’s been changing. In the course of (at the date of this writing) seven months, I’ve lost 115 pounds, packed on muscle and dramatically improved my triglycerides, my HDL count, my blood pressure and my resting heartbeat. I’ve also gotten more alert, ended spring allergies and have energy and to spare.

In case you’re thinking, “Well, of course; when you lose weight, you have more energy,” think again: the increased energy started long before I lost any weight. I also stopped feeling constantly tempted to be negative, grumpy and tense. You know that feeling of impending doom? The one you can’t place, which seemingly has no definite reason for it? Yeah, that’s gone now.

In case you’re thinking, “Well of course; now she isn’t so fat she feels better about herself”… Well, sorry–wrong again. That also started long before I lost any weight.

Here’s what I did NOT do in order to see all these changes:

Go on a diet (in the sense of cutting my calories to less than I supposedly need each day)
Exercise
Get therapy
Eat low-fat

Here’s some of what I DID do:

Read a book and discover I’d been lied to my whole life about what constitutes a healthy diet

Yep, that’s about it.

Before this change, I was known (by those who knew me) to be a “healthy” eater. I made all my own pasta and bread so that I could ensure they were completely  wholegrain. I ate 7-12 servings of vegetables and fruit each day. I ate very low fat–I figured out how to make spaghetti sauce without using any oil or butter at all. I ate nothing but boneless, skinless chicken breasts and some occasional fish. My idea of breakfast was one measured cup of plain Cheerios with skim milk, black coffee and a smoothie made from my own plain yogurt, banana, kiwi and berries. For lunch I would eat an apple and a sandwich of my own whole grain bread with 1/3 of a sliced chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, pickle, mustard and 1/2 ounce of cheese. For dinner I ate a lot of whole grain pasta with little to no fat, chicken or fish and lots of cooked vegetables and a salad. My salads had no dressing, no nuts, no cheese: just leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, onions, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers. If I needed a snack, it would be whole grain toast with low-fat butter substitute, or a small amount of popcorn popped in olive oil. It would be wrong to say I never indulged, but those indulgences were limited to no more than once a month; say for a birthday, a holiday or when I was invited out by friends. In the main, I eschewed sugar, candy, fatty meats and things like pizza. Healthy, right?

Oh, and I exercised. I bought an elliptical when the pollution got bad and my daily walks were out. I forced myself to do 15-20 minutes a day, even though I was so shaky I couldn’t stand when I got off. I also walked briskly whenever the pollution wasn’t too bad. About 40 minutes, at least twice a week. Healthy, right?

But that diet made me fat.
And sick.
And slow.

It made my blood pressure go up steadily, and my resting heart beat pounded high in my ears. It made me want to be depressed, snippy and negative about everything.

It made me think about food all the time. I didn’t eat it, but I thought about eating it. I ate my Cheerios and skim milk and planned making my sandwich at lunch. It made me go to bed early because I was so hungry I wanted to cry, yet having eaten the requisite amounts of the correct kinds of food, I wasn’t about to eat again till morning.

That person is long gone, so is that way of eating and so are all those problems.

So many people ask me now how this happened that I’ve decided to blog about it, in the hopes that it will consolidate the information I’ve learned and be a place I can point people to.

But before the nutritionist communists descend with their benevolent desire to be the only ones allowed to give us advice on how to eat, let me add the proper caveat:

I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I DID NOT PAY A LOT OF MONEY FOR A (BASICALLY WORTHLESS) DEGREE IN NUTRITION, EITHER. NOTHING SAID HERE SHOULD BE CONSTRUED AS MEDICAL OR NUTRITIONAL ADVICE. WHATEVER IS WORKING FOR ME WILL PROBABLY NOT WORK FOR YOU IF IT GOES AGAINST WHAT THE DIETARY OVERLORDS HAVE DECREED, SO DON’T DO IT. PROBABLY I’M A GENETIC ANOMALY, LIKE THOSE CENTENARIANS WHO SMOKE.

DON’T KEEP READING. DON’T QUESTION ANYTHING YOU’VE BEEN TOLD BY YAHOO HEALTH OR ANY OTHER IMPORTANT SOURCE OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION. DO NOT CONSIDER WHETHER IT MIGHT BE THE LOGICAL FALLACY OF “APPEAL TO AUTHORITY” FOR SOMEONE TO SAY, “BUT THE A.H.A. SAYS…” THE GOVERNMENT IS HERE TO PROTECT YOU: JUST LOOK AT HOW THEY CARE ABOUT YOU AND HOW EFFICIENT THEY ARE DOWN AT THE DMV, THE POST OFFICE AND AT THE IRS.

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

 

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