March 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm #15528piranhaParticipant
please don’t put words into my mouth (i do really well putting them there myself ;). no, i didn’t go on all those diets because i actually WANTED it, i did it because i had a distorted view of what i should want. and no, i don’t hope in the back of my mind that any weight i put on these days will come off. i am pretty much done with doing things because i should want them. and i am old now, and no longer care to live up to other people’s expectations.
i don’t blame you for wanting what you want, but … the anti-fat talk makes it feel like you might be in the wrong place. you seem to want guarantees, and nobody here can give them (nobody anywhere can, but in many other places they pretend). did you read the testimonials? there are some by people who lost weight, so apparently for them it worked that way. but from going through the forums, for others it doesn’t seem to work that way, at least not for quite some time, and maybe they gave up. or maybe they didn’t and they just dropped out of sight. even if it worked for many who tried, it might not work for you. even if it didn’t work for many it might still work for you. fortunately nobody is asking you to pay $99.95 in 4 easy installments. ;)
i just read EFH yesterday. i came here because i’ve figured out certain things about my metabolism on my own, and stumbled across matt’s work while doing further research. i’m interested in dealing with my health issues, which have somewhat improved, but i’m looking to do more. i am not interested in weight loss (i came to this thread because it was one of the few active ones). i do have experience with “intuitive/mindful eating”; basically eating what i feel hungry for when i am hungry, without restrictions, by learning to listen to my body. after originally gaining size for a few months, i’ve since been losing size for the last 3 years (i gather this from how my clothes fit, since i threw my scale out) — but slowly; probably ~60 lb. i have no idea whether that’ll continue, and i’ll be fine if it doesn’t; i made my peace with my size when i decided to never go on another diet.
but that doesn’t necessarily speak for EFH because i didn’t do it on the basis of temperature and observing my urine, though my intuition turns out pretty well informed about “warm” vs “cool”, and i figured out that the 8 glasses of water was ridiculously much for me, that seriously lower sodium intake did not lower my BP, that eating fat didn’t make me fat, etc. on the other hand, i diverge pretty strongly on the sugar front, and i don’t know what matt’s aversion to potassium is all about.March 1, 2014 at 12:40 pm #15530
I commend you on being free of wanting to live up to social norms. I’m not there. Sorry if I wrongly assumed you were like me. I think that Matt sees more of an increase in temperature when sugar is high. I’m still learning what raises my metabolism more. And then there is the stress element which suppresses temp., also. It definitely adds an additional challenge to intuitive eating which might not fix the metab. by itself. Matt told me to try lying down and relaxing when my feet are cold and I have no appetite. He said that might work to warm them up. I don’t think that works for me because I still have stressful thoughts when lying down /: So I’m trying to figure out ways to chill out more about the difficulties of life and live with them. Piranha, keep us updated on how eat for heat works for you.March 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm #15539
I haven’t followed the forums much in the last couple months, but I checked in today and noticed I’d been mentioned in this thread’s OP (as well as in a later post). I’d been thinking of writing an update anyway, so here I am.
First off, Amy left a very useful comment about halfway through the thread, with a moderate view that is well worth listening to. I agree completely we all need to monitor our own bodies to gauge our true needs. There is no set of rules that can replace being in tune with one’s own body. I’m going to share my own experience, but I don’t have any expectation that what works for me is going to work for everybody.
For me, exercise has been the most important factor. I probably sound like a broken record to anyone who’s read my earlier posts, but a combination of resistance training and cardio, performed religiously, has been essential for beating my chronic illness. It would be no exaggeration to say I’m not the same person I was last year. I have more energy to do the things I want to do; I have less pain; my digestion is improving. I don’t know why my health declined so precipitously in my early 20s, but I’ve learned that I can restore it with hard work. Right now, that means 90 minutes in the gym every day. I started at maybe 20 minutes, and I just felt better as I built my physical capacity. It seem 90 minutes a day is the sweet spot for me, as a long-term approach to keeping chronic illness at bay.
With regards to diet, the most important message available at 180 is not to be afraid of eating. Every few years, there seems to be a new fad demonizing some perfectly normal food, whether it be whole groups like fat or carbohydrates, or smaller categories like sugar, saturated fat, PUFAs, starch, etc., etc., etc. I played this game for a long time (up until last fall), because I was certain there was some ideal diet that would fix all my problems. But there wasn’t. All I ended up doing was distracting myself from what I really needed to do, which was to bust my ass in the gym and get fit.
Diet does matter, however. Here are a few things I still try to do:
1) Find a caloric intake that is easy to maintain and promotes gradual weight loss–and stick with it.
2) Plan my meals ahead of time and eat them at a regular time.
3) Eat to nourish my body, not to alleviate boredom or to lift my mood.
4) Eat what I like. Don’t eat what I don’t like.
5) Don’t skimp on the protein.
6) Balance my fats and carbs as desired. Both provide energy, but (in my opinion) fats are better for energy when I’m sedentary (like when reading); carbs are better for exercise.
I can eat all the ?junk food” I want as long as I keep to reasonable portions and make sure I meet my nutrient needs. I drink a can or two of Dr. Pepper every day. I drink beer. I eat spaghetti, pizza, brownies, potato chips, steak, and white rice. However, I don’t overeat, and I also eat typical health foods like cottage cheese, chicken breast, celery, peas, and milk, in order to make sure I hit my basic nutritional requirements, especially for protein and calcium.
This plan has been working for my weight too. At my biggest last spring I was at a BMI of about 32 (just into the obese category); I got down to about 31 by the end of the summer, down to 29 by December, and now on the first day of March I’m at 26.5. Translated into pounds, that’s a total weight loss of just over 35 pounds, with almost half of it coming off in the last three months, when my diet and exercise program have finally become optimized. I’m also significantly stronger at a BMI of 26.5 than I was at 32. With the muscle I’ve built, I must have lost even more than 35 pounds of fat.
I still have a bit to lose before I find my ideal physique, but the final goal is coming into sight. My old clothes are starting to fit again and my ?fat clothes? are becoming loose. At the same time (and far more importantly) my chronic health problems are diminishing and I have hope that, within another few months or maybe a year, I may not have any health problems at all–and that’s after ten years in which life was hardly worth living because of the pain and fatigue.
For me, it’s not about whether I avoid sugar or starch; whether I count my SFAs, PUFAs, or HFCS, or any other acronym you could name. What matters is keeping a reasonable calorie ceiling, eating what tastes good to me and fulfills my basic needs, and increasing physical conditioning through regular exercise.
In a nutshell, I learned a lot of important lessons at 180, but ultimately I had to adapt my plan to what worked for me. I believe flexibility and independence are important for anyone trying to rebuild their health in a way that can be continued long enough to be worthwhile.March 1, 2014 at 3:07 pm #15541
THank you for sharing what works for you! How are your temperatures while you do this?March 1, 2014 at 5:55 pm #15546
I wish I could answer that for you, but I’ve never monitored my temperature. I can say that I felt much more resilient during this harsh winter than in past years. I usually walk home from work (about 2.5 miles) and wasn’t uncomfortable except during the worst of the polar vortexes.March 1, 2014 at 6:27 pm #15552
David would you get a cheap thermometer and test yourself to back up your findings?March 1, 2014 at 6:39 pm #15553
I’m not sure why it would help if you knew my temperature, but I’ll check it sometime if I think of it.March 1, 2014 at 6:44 pm #15554
I guess, if you have warm hands and feet all the time and sleep like a baby and don’t frequently urinate, you probably don’t have to check your temperature. Do have all those signs of good health? And I mean warm hands and feet after a few hours of not walking or other exercise.March 1, 2014 at 8:00 pm #15555
I admit, I don’t see the value of monitoring my temperature. There’s agreement here that orthorexia is a bad thing, and I don’t want to replace one form of obsession with another. I’m succeeding without worrying about my temperature, so why bother? I’m not even sure what I’d do with that information if I had it.
If I discovered my temperature was low (however that’s defined), would I interpret that to mean that my health improvements were illusory, and that actually I’m just as sick as I was, despite every indication to the contrary? Or instead, would it mean that body temperature readings just aren’t a reliable indicator of health?
To answer your question, my hands and feet don’t bother me, and my urination is normal. On the other hand, I’m a horrible insomniac, and by no means am I in perfect health. I am not claiming that regular exercise has cured me, but that my health has consistently improved the longer I keep it up.March 1, 2014 at 8:14 pm #15556
Congrats on your health improvement up to now and I hope your sleep gets better!March 1, 2014 at 8:54 pm #15569TinaTParticipant
Yeah! Congratulations, David!
And, I totally agree with your points, too.
My big take-away was that we’re all individuals, we should not be afraid to feed our cravings and listen to what our bodies are asking for.
It sounds to me, like you’ve found a good way to “hear” your body’s signals, and it’s working with you now toward your ultimate health goals. Perfect.March 1, 2014 at 8:59 pm #15573
Thanks for your kind words, Tina. You put it perfectly: We need to listen to our bodies, even if it contradicts what other people tell is right or wrong. I love to read about other people’s experiences, but ultimately our health is up to us as individuals.March 1, 2014 at 11:45 pm #15595piranhaParticipant
hi david and tina, and yes, that’s exactly it, and why i joined here — a recognition that one size does not fit all, and that if guru X’s prescriptions don’t work for us, guru X isn’t necessarily wrong, but we’re also not automatically to blame.
while it is smart to learn from other people’s experience, it is no shortcut when we’re talking about complex systems like metabolism. i just read matt’s latest newsletter, and i guess that answers your original question, christinam — no, EFH hasn’t worked for him in regards to weight loss (yet). he included testimonials from other people for whom it has worked. for some it happens soon, for others it takes years. it must suck to have come upon information one thinks is vital, and then find it doesn’t seem to work for oneself; how long should one carry on? there’s got to be something else in it that matters. my own decision was to make weight loss irrelevant and eat what i enjoy and consider nutritious, without fretting over every detail, because that makes me feel overall healthier and more positive about life. david’s is to work out more and control his calories to some degree. yours needs to be what really matters to you. i privilege health in this case, but i don’t think anyone owes it to society or even to themselves to do the same. i also jump out of perfectly good airplanes, which clearly does not privilege health. ;)
i look at david, and i think back to when i did loads and loads of cardio during the aerobics craze, which everyone assured me would melt the fat right off. it didn’t, and it didn’t even give me an endorphin high — surely i was doing it wrong, so i did it harder, but to no avail. i felt physically miserable and emotionally like a failure. for david, cardio apparently works great. what can you do? the sane thing is to move on from beating your head against the wall and expecting your body to work like anyone else’s.
as to your specific issues, christinam, yes, stress has a huge influence in my experience, and some of my health issues have improved as i have removed sources of stress from my life. you sound high-strung, which means that relaxing isn’t at all easy for you. i find it incredibly hard myself, and just lying down has never yet done anything good for me; my brain keeps whirling around like a dervish hamster. what does work is to pick an activity that distracts my brain sufficiently so it doesn’t dwell on the stress, but which is not taxing enough to use a lot of energy. familiar activities with repetitive motion work well — gardening, yardwork, crafting, sanding and painting, knitting, walking with a focus in mind (i take photographs), lifting weights… maybe something like this? movement also increases blood flow, which should get the temperature up.
i WILL buy a thermometer and refractometer, because i am geeky that way; i like to graph trends and compare how i feel with actual data. but i think it is more important to feel good than to accumulate data that says one should feel good. ;) “should” is a bit of a dirty word for me now.March 2, 2014 at 12:28 am #15596
Things like meditation or lying down and just relaxing don’t work for me. I just feel antsy doing that. It’s true, I can be high strung sometimes, not in a crazy way thoughMarch 2, 2014 at 12:30 am #15597
half my post just got cut off.Too bad I was poking fun at myself.
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