December 20, 2013 at 9:23 am #14315bonniemaisenParticipant
My fat story starts at around 2nd grade, where I was the only girl who had to start wearing a bra. I started getting fatter fairly slowly until I hit puberty, when I turned into a balloon. In 6th grade, I was 5 feet tall, and I weighed 175 pounds.
That’s when I started dieting. At first, it was simple calorie restriction. I just stopped eating before I was full. As the weight continued to pile on, I kept eating less food. By the time I graduated high school, I was always hungry, and I was 200 pounds.
I started my freshman year of college. I had never dated before and I really wanted to. When a young man showed some interest in me, I stopped eating all together for weeks at a time in an attempt to be pretty enough to be asked out. (The guy turned out to be a sociopath, who liked to hook up with girls with low self-esteem.) I lost only about 15 pounds doing that, and my friends helped me to start eating again.
The rest of college and the next few years after, I alternated between eating whatever and eating a strict 1200 calorie diet. On the diets, I would lose about 20 pounds before plateauing, and I would gain about 30 pounds back after I stopped. My friends told me that I was not overeating during the non diet times, but I thought that I must be. Why else would I be gaining weight.
At 275 pounds, I went to my doctor for help. I told him that I was no longer able to lose weight on a 1200 calorie diet, and he tested my thyroid. When the tests came back normal (I don’t know what tests he ran), he suggested that I drop to 1000 calories, which I did for a while without success.
All this time, I had symptoms of metabolic issues. Very low BBT. Dry skin and brittle nails and hair. Severe anxiety, which led to depression. Insomnia issues. Low immune system (I ended up having mono twice in college.) And yet the doctor’s answer was, “Eat less food.”
So about 5 years ago, I gave up on dieting all together. In that time, I’ve had two children, and I now weigh 300 pounds. I still struggle with the temptation to starve myself, even though it won’t work. My thyroid has been tested twice more (during both pregnancies) with no abnormal results. The anxiety has become so bad that I have occasional panic attacks. I try to feed my family mostly whole foods, and we eat plenty of calories. We eat things that are “junk” too, in moderation. I’m taking my BBT every morning because I’m trying to get pregnant, so I know that I run about 96.4 before ovulation and about 96.8 after.
And that’s where I am now. I have no answers, and I feel like I will probably be fat for the rest of my life.December 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm #14318ErinElizabethParticipant
No one really has any answers, but this is a good place to come for ideas and things to try. I’m still fairly early in my journey (even though it started 7 months ago) so I don’t have a lot of specific advice. Just don’t give up hope that you CAN feel better.December 20, 2013 at 10:58 pm #14326bonniemaisenParticipant
Thanks! I do believe that I can feel better. I’m not sure how yet, but I think it will happen. I just think that the weight will probably never come off. And I’m trying to figure out how to be okay with that.December 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm #14337The Real AmyModerator
Bonnie, welcome! I think something that may be helpful for you is to consider what led to weight gain back in elementary school to begin with. Is it something emotional possibly? When there is a high level of emotional stress or emotional avoidance of something (which can persist from childhood throughout adulthood), that can most definitely lead to weight gain and metabolic issues, so you may find some answers there. Especially if eating adequate calories and good food has not helped.
Another possibility is that you have something hormonal going on, like PCOS or elevated estrogen or something. Regular exercise can be extremely helpful for these conditions, so you may have better luck there. GoKaleo.com is a good blog that a lot of people here follow. She was obese and had great success losing weight by combining exercise with adequate calories.
Best of luck, and my best advice is anything you can do to truly love and take care of yourself will be helpful for life, even if not weight change.December 23, 2013 at 4:56 am #14341puddleduckParticipant
Hmm… Do you still have the results of those thyroid tests? Or the ability to get another taken?
Because I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that your thyroid needs a little more help to get your temps up where they should be.
My mother always has had a TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) result within the reference range, and yet she does have hypothyroidism, which she manages by taking a thyroid glandular medication. If she goes off of that medication for any reason, I can tell she has done so just by the way she begins to act. She was a complete basket case emotionally before she went on it, and had no energy.
It’s been 12 years since she first took Armour. On the third day of taking it, everything changed for her. It was dramatic. She was lucky to find something that worked so immediately and magically for her.
I encourage you to look into the book and website “Stop the Thyroid Madness.” It has lots of information to help you and your doctor determine whether or not thyroid medication would be a good fit for you.January 5, 2014 at 12:22 am #14502DavidModerator
I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such a struggle. It sounds like you’ve learned from years of experience that just cutting calories alone doesn’t work for you. Maybe you’re right that the best thing to do is not to focus on the weight problem for a little while, but instead think about what you can do for yourself.
I would second what Amy said about starting an exercise program, doing whatever you happen to enjoy. That might mean taking a walk every night, doing exercise videos, joining a gym, or really just about anything that gets your heart rate up. Don’t just do it to lose weight, but do it because it will help improve your health and well-being. And if you stick with it and keep improving, you will feel successful even when the scale doesn’t budge. You might be surprised to learn what you’re capable of.
And who knows, maybe one day the exercise will help with weight loss. With all your starvation diets, you probably burned off a lot of muscle, and you might never have rebuilt it when you regained the weight. If you can build new muscle over a year or two, with a consistent exercise program, your body will eventually burn more calories just sitting there. That might make it easier to control your weight. But regardless of weight, you’ll still enjoy all the physical and mental benefits of regular exercise.
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