D-Day is almost upon me!
Hi there everyone!
I guess this is somewhat late as an introduction - I've already been posting replies to various threads, but I didn't want to officially introduce myself and declare my intentions, until I knew I had the date set for beginning my new Atkins WOE. Well Monday is going to be day one, so here I am, letting ya'll know that I'm ready, willing and excited to be beginning induction.
I've actually done Atkins before, about 8 years ago. Not for very long, but long enough to lose a couple of stone (28lb). So why did I stop and go off plan when it was working out so well for me? Well, a couple of reasons really. One being that a long planned weekend away with the other half came up and we'd initially planned to go and sample a whole host of various restaurants on this long weekend. Where we live there just aren't that many exotic places to eat and we both had a list of places we wanted to hit up on our little weekend away. At first I thought about just going along to these places with my other half and trying to find an Atkins friendly alternative, but then I thought "I'm probably not going to get to do this trip again for a while. We've both been looking forward to trying all these restaurants and I'd really like to see what it is I'm missing out on. I can always go back on plan when I get back home, right?"
Famous last words, huh? Well we got back and my other half (who is incredibly supportive about anything I choose to do) just said "It's nearly Christmas babe. You know you're gonna want to eat your mum's cooking on Christmas Day/Boxing Day. Why don't you just give yourself a break until New Year. Make a fresh start then?" And that just made a lot of sense to me. But on top of that, there was the underlying fact that...I just didn't really have any desperate motivation to actually want to continue on with the plan. I didn't want it enough. I've always been a big girl. Overweight from the moment I was able to understand why the doctor weighed me so often. Always the biggest girl in the class. Always used to being fat.
Whilst a lot of people have a lot of negative experiences as a child being overweight, I was very lucky to come from a family who are both very nurturing and very positive about all of their sons/daughters/nieces/nephews etc. I was raised to have a very strong sense of self - some might say to the point of almost being a bit arrogant in my sense of self-worth. I was smart, well-read, advanced mentally for my age and flew through my school work with little to no effort. I had a good bunch of friends who I'd known since playschool (I grew up in a very small town where everyone knew everyone else and my little peer group were all from very similarly minded parents who also helped encourage their children to be the smartest ones in class).
I guess you could say I was cushioned from the realities of my size, because I had such a great start in life. And I was also really active despite being very heavy for my age, because I'd been encouraged to run around and burn off energy ever since I could walk. Of course there were the comments from others here and there who would remark upon my being 'chunky' or 'fat' or a 'beached whale', but I was fearless, quick with comebacks and thanks to my raising, had a good enough level of self esteem to not let any of it really affect me.
I'm 40 now and I've only been single for about 10 months here and there since I turned 20. I've never found it hard to find a boyfriend, had some great relationships with some guys I'm still friends with. But in 2008 I met the absolute love of my life, who after 12 years is still the most amazing man I've ever met. He's the guy I went on that long weekend with. He met me when I was probably only about a stone lighter than I am now. He fell in love with me hard and fast...and me with him likewise. We broke all the rules about not rushing into anything and moved in together after 1 month of dating, which was after 1 month of 'friendly' socialising after having first met. It was the best decision I ever made and even though I would caution most people against rushing into relationship commitments, it worked for us. We just knew from the get go that it would.
My weight has never been an issue for him. He tells me how attractive I am to him. He's incredibly affectionate towards me and has never made me feel anything other than amazing. He's not one of those creepy 'feeder' types who want to sabotage their girlfriends' weight-loss, so they can keep them housebound and reliant upon them. Far from it. When I told him I wanted to lose weight, his first response was "Hey, just let me know whatever I can do to help you, honey." He says that he is always going to be attracted to me, however much I weigh. But when I told him that this time around it was more to do with health and trying to fix some physical issues I've been suffering from, he said "anything that keeps you happy, keeps you healthy and keeps you here with me forever is fine by me!"
So I'm very, very, lucky to have such an amazing family and truly awesome other half. But in a way, they've all contributed to me feeling so content and invincible, that I've never felt the need to really drop much weight. Why would I? I think highly of myself. My family reinforce this. My other half puts no pressure on me to lose any weight, because he just loves me the way I am. And that has basically given me a free pass to allow things to get a little out of hand.
Because whilst I was all fine and dandy back when I was going through my first attempt at Atkins, I had nothing to truly motivate me into wanting to succeed at it. When doing it, I did fine on it. I stuck to it religiously and enjoyed the food I got to eat. I just didn't have that determination. So I flaked out after that weekend away and the subsequent Christmas holiday period.
Fast forward to today and it's a different story altogether. My health has taken quite the downturn in the past few years. At first I just thought I was feeling the usual seizing up and soreness of joints that we all get as we get older, but then the pains started to get weird. Intense. Perpetual. Worse. I was really stressed out at work, doing 12hr days in a finance job from 6am to 6pm & lunch consumed at desk. It was a really hectic period as our offices merged with another company and our workloads tripled. Naturally I felt fatigued, but then it became a whole host of other shitty things. Dizziness, palpitations, brain fog and anxiety all kicked in, whilst my body became wracked with aches, muscle spasms and weird psoriatic rash outbreaks in random places. I thought I was falling apart.
Then I really did come apart. Mentally. I had a full-on nervous breakdown and had to be taken by my boss to the emergency Dr, where I was sedated and signed off of work. I don't really remember how it all happened, just that I was batshit crazy, not sleeping for days on end and slipping into psychotic episodes where I would see hallucinations. I wasn't crazy enough to believe what I was seeing. I knew I was seeing things that weren't there; I just didn't know how to stop them. So I got put on a regimen of various medications which my awesome doctor at the time, very patiently worked with me, to find the right combination of doses. I'm currently taking Venlafaxine 2 x a day, sertraline 1 time a day, Propranalol 1 x a day, Diazepam 2 x a day, Zopiclone 1 x a night and Co-Codamol painkillers 50/300 (soluble) 4 x a day.
I've been diagnosed with stress induced major depressive episode, with anxiety disorder causing panic attacks. I became agoraphobic for a while, but I'm over that now. Physically however, I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. I'm basically in pain every day, with limited mobility and every so often I get this mad outbursts of psoriatic rashes in one part of my body which stick around for a week or two then disappear again. (Weird!) I have chronic pain and it's something that I'm going to have to live with for the rest of my life. If anything, it's going to get progressively worse over time, so I decided that it was time to take my physical health seriously for once and drop some of this excess weight which is only making my symptoms worse.
I want to be around for a good while. I have a man I gots to take care of! So I finally have the impetus I've always needed to take weight loss seriously. Because it's not just the quality of my life that I want to improve...it's the quality of life that my other half gets to experience too. He'd move heaven and earth to do what he could to help me; it's only fair that I make the effort to get me butt in gear and move those numbers of the scale down so we can continue to get the most out of lives together.
So here I am. Atkins worked for me, back when I was doing it that first time. I'm familiar with the concepts and comfortable putting my faith in Dr. Atkins original plan. I'm aiming to lose 100lbs. I have no doubt that I have it in me to achieve that, because when I get my stubborn head on and decide to do something...I do it. Obviously I know that it's not going to be easy. I've got a lot of correcting to do to my metabolism, a lot of eating habits I need to rectify and a lot of reading I also need to do, to give myself the best possible chance of succeeding at this challenge.
I don't know that I'm a really bad carb addict or not. Maybe I am. I'm not an emotional eater (I actually get nauseous and unable to eat when I'm sad or angry...yeah, weird!) and I'm not particularly focused on one type of food. I'm kind of a picky eater but once I find something I can eat happily enough, I can easily just eat for fuel and not care about whether it's boring or not. The combination of my meds and now very sedentary lifestyle mean that I just don't need to consume as many calories as another woman my age and I'm perfectly happy to go most of the day without eating. I just had a real bad habit of drinking a huge amount of my calories and when it came to eating, would have no off switch to tell me that I was full. I grew up being told to clear my plate and that has never left me. I also obviously find it all too easy to overcompensate for not eating throughout the day, with a massive dinner that probably contains over 3000+ calories in just one sitting.
THAT is my major issue that needs to be rectified. I'm totally certain I can do it too if I want to do it. If I set my mind to something and I really want to succeed, I know I can make it happen. Being raised to be the best academically and encouraged to meet challenges head-on will hopefully stand me in good stead.
I mostly worry that all those medications will conspire against me to make it harder for my body to want to give up it's cozy, voluminous fat stores...but I'm prepared for the hard slog. That's where my joining this community comes in: I want some external forces and influences to help keep me accountable. Most of the people I know still cling to the low-cal/low-fat/exercise approach to weight loss, but whilst I know I CAN make that work too, I don't want to. I don't want to screw my metabolism up even further and torment my poor pancreas with carb-laden sugary foods that will make me feel hungry, tired and moody.
I'm longing for that reduction in appetite and mental clarity that comes from getting into ketosis; that sensation I remember of weirdly remembering that I haven't eaten all day and it just isn't an issue. I hate cooking and I hate shopping. I just want to be able to purchase the simple straightforward ingredients that will get me into burning my own fat for energy and just chugging along at whatever pace I'm destined to follow. I'm sure I'll investigate some recipes at a point further down the road, but right now I'm very much of the Keep. It. Simple. Stupid. mindset. Let's just try to stick to the plan and see where it takes me.
So that's a bit of background about me and my situation. I was asked by another member on here if I maybe fancied starting a journal on here, but I find the way it works via a thread, not quite as 'user friendly' as I'd like. So after a couple of other recommendations I decided to start a blog on Wordpress, which I've been playing around with for the past couple of days, getting something simple that I can use to record my progress, track my food/mood/pains/etc and just generally sound off about whatever's bothering me on a particular day. It also has the added benefit of being off-site, so if I get a wee bit too sweary or opinionated on there, I won't be breaking any site rules or giving the mods here any trouble.
I'll be posting the link to my blog in the next day or two; I'd love it if some of you would like to swing by and drop me the odd comment...tell me what an insufferable fruitcake I am...whatever! I'm also looking to compile a blogroll of the blogs others on here have on external sites too. I'll follow back and it'd be a nice way to keep all those together in one place where I can keep up with folk on the regular. So if you have a blog on an outside site like Wordpress, Blogger etc and you think I'd enjoy following your content, leave your blog url in a reply to this post and I'll get round to adding y'all as soon as possible.
And on that note, I really should sign off here. I think I've rambled on enough for one evening/morning. Kudos to any of you who made it all the way through this massive outpouring of blathering! I look forward to getting to know some of you better as time goes on - y'all seem like some really cool, helpful folk to be around. Thanks so much for reading. I'll see you all around here real soon.
All the best