Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Weight Progress and Updated Menu July 2011


It’s been a while since I mentioned my weight problemsa whole year in fact, since I mentioned that the weight loss fairy had momentarily treated me kindly, but if you were thinking that “no news is good news”, though, you’d be very wrong.

What has happened since then – despite staying on that already purgatory 1,500 calorie per day regime? My weight had risen by a whole stone (14 lbs / 6.3 kilos) to a disgustingly obese 13 stone (182 lbs / 83 kilos).

If ever there was something to define soul destroying, this is it. Well, that and finding that even fitting into size 20 jeans was an impossible fantasy and feeling somewhat akin to a waddling duck or beached whale.


Of course, the causes of this problem are my inability to exercise because of myalgic encephalomyelitis, which is becoming worse all the time, despite pacing, plus the various weight increasing prescription drugs I have to take to be able to cope at any level (and it’s not much of one) with chronic pain and veritable smorgasbord of conditions I have.

Probably the biggest cause of all is my illness itself (OK, partly menopause and stopping smoking in 2007), because, as can be seen from the graph, the last time I was hovering anywhere near the ideal weight for my height (140 lbs) was in 1997 and it was in the period 1995 – 1997 that I was undergoing barrages of tests for what was eventually diagnosed (in 2008) as fibromyalgia.

These days, I’m taking four prescription drugs; Venlafaxine, Pregabalin (Lyrica), Celecoxib (Celebrex) and Lansoprazole. Of those, the Pregabalin (Lyrica) has the biggest reputation for being responsible for weight gain, so I think this needs review to see if the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

Probably not: Pregabalin, despite being approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia does nothing at all for my pain – and added weight only makes the pain, especially that in my hips and legs, worse. It has helped me sleep though. (I’ve also been using melatonin, which works, but is now banned in Europe.) This is a conundrum though, because lack of sleep causes weight gain too.

Not losing weight? Gaining? Surprising reasons for weight gain.

Past medications that also almost certainly added to my weight gain are Amitriptyline (Elavil), Gabapentin and various antidepressants.

Not all fat people are chronic lardarses

Contrary to popular belief – particularly what seems to be the automatic assumption by medical staff: that all fat people are serious crap eaters - I almost never eat junk food. When I say “almost never”, I actually mean once every 10 – 15 years. The nearest McDonalds was 1 1/2 hours by bus in Tenerife, so that hardly qualified as *fast food* either. (No, I never did get the urge to bother!) I don’t eat snacks, I don’t buy crisps, biscuits or cakes. I never drink alcohol nor fizzy drinks because of serious intolerances. If I do allow myself a small treat, it's only when I’m out and only about once a month.

And I’ve been preaching for years against processed foods, especially those that claim to be low-fat, on the simple premise that when they artificially scrape the fat out of something, what disgusting, inedible crap do they put back in?

Updated Menu July 2011

Something has to give though, so I amended my diet again this month:

imageBreakfast: Approx. 50 grams of oaty roughage cereal, with a splash of soya milk, a desert spoon of vegan hemp protein powder, a sprinkle of psyllium husk powder and a spoonful of 0% fat Greek yogurt to make it taste acceptable. And a double espresso coffee.

Lunch: A small portion of low-fat protein (Quorn burger, pulses, grilled fish, steamed fish, etc.) served with roast or steamed vegetables and / or green salad. (NO potatoes, rice or pasta.)

Dinner: A bowl of green salad leaves dressed with a small splash of olive oil, sea salt, a teaspoon of linseeds and a small wholegrain roll (home-made).

Drinks: Each day I drink 2 litres of filtered water to which has been added a tablespoon of unsweetened cranberry juice, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a dandelion root tea bag. (Touted to banish bloating, and it does help.)

Yes, that really is all I eat! Like a horse with his nose in oats for breakfast and like a bloody rabbit in carrots and lettuce for the rest of the day!

Of course I’m hungry! Adhering strictly to the 2 litres of fluid a day does help you to feel full, although I seem to be almost constantly pee’ing! Smile

The aim was a low-carb, low-fat, high-fibre, high-protein, low-calorie, low-GI (glycemic index), cholesterol-busting mix. My analysis suggests that it fulfils those criteria. The total comes to around 900 calories daily (it was 1100 as I was eating double the suggested portion of cereal), which ought to facilitate rapid weight loss (women should not consume less than 1,200 calories each day).

Is it helping me lose weight? Is it fuck?

In almost the entire month, so far, I’ve lost a whole 4 lbs. Well, I lost 4, regained 2 of them, then lost them again. This is hardly rapid. To be honest, it’s hardly any progress at all and I have no idea what to try next.

There is another reason for this minute dissection: I print it all out and give a copy to my GP, so she’s left in no doubt whatsoever when it comes to nagging advising me to lose weight (for which she’ll get paid), denying me access to surgery (not that I’d want any in the UK’s workhouses) or when this Govt. will, no doubt, decide to fine overweight welfare claimants for being fat, US style.


ronsrants said...

I've been over 15stone for about a decade (maxed at 15st 10lb), nothing I can do will shift it, not even living on 800kcals a day for 7 years (and beer one day a week is factored into that).

Then a few months ago I was put on mega-diuretics for a potentially fatal heart condition - I was down to 13st 5lb in a week. And yes, that IS a lot of peeing!

Then I had to stop one of the drugs as it was trying to kill me.

Within a few days I was back up to 14st 10lb. I've got that down by 5lb by drastically restricting my fluid intake but it leaves an unanswered question - just how much of my excess weight is actually water, and how much would I have lost by now had I been able to continue?

And by the way, weight fascists, enforced inactivity, as with disability, makes you fat too. With any luck you'll find out one day. Then the fat won't just be between your ears.

Pamela said...

Kind of makes me wonder if it's worth taking some diuretics to kick-start the loss, but I think I'd rather you'd found out in better circumstances.

But mostly, yes, this is in preemptive answer to the weight fascists.

ronsrants said...

Only works if the problem is fluid retention, otherwise you'd just get dangerously dehydrated, with the risk of damaging your kidneys. There are several diuretic weight-loss products aimed at women, and all are dangerous.

Pamela said...

Yes, a lot of my problem is bloating and I suffer with swollen ankles, so I am sure much of it is fluid retention. I'd rather stick to natural diuretics, which probably the cranberry and dandelion root are already covering.


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