I’m fat. I was the kind of fat that you look at when you walk down the street and lowly-spit into your best friend’s ear, “Kill me if I get like that”. I’m was the kind of fat that has trouble walking upstairs, fitting into airplane seats, or going to a movie theater. I was breaking toilet seats with my ass fat. I was toddler-crushing-gut, pendulum-breasts, sweat-that-smells-like-Cheetos fat. And I was hungry.
I had been doing a low-fat, low-calorie diet for as ten years. I have been starving myself on a diet of 1200 calories that did not power my humongous frame, which by all rights would need 3000 calories to sustain my weight. I was eating the required servings of fruits, veggies, and whole-grains and nothing was happening. I was getting much, much fatter. I was hungry. I was tired.
General practitioners, specialists, and nutritionists refused to believe me when I brought in my meticulously kept records of what I was eating. The meticulously weighted portion sizes and carefully calculated math to document self-starvation was obviously inaccurate because look at me! This can’t be right! I did not fit into the calories-in and calories-out math that dominates the scientific literature, so I must be lying. I was told to lay off the ice cream, eat more whole grains, cut back calories more.
I was also sick. My gallbladder hurt. I had acid reflux and would often vomit several times a day. My left ankle was in constant pain. I lived off tums and Aleve. I was given acid reducing medication and advice to eat much less and most importantly, much less fat.
Then finally, I saw a nutritionist who actually listened to me. Crazily enough she told me that if what I was doing wasn’t working, I should stop. She told me that carbs matter and to stop this crazy low-fat diet train. I was to eat meat, fresh veggies, fruit, and high-fat dairy and as much as I wanted. She told me I didn’t have to painstakingly track everything I was eating and to just abide by her guidelines. I was to pay attention to how my body felt, feed it when it was hungry, move when I had energy, sleep when I was tired, and to drink when I was thirsty.
This was mind boggling! For the first few days, I was racked by horrible guilt over what I was doing. How could I, queen fat-ass, actually go to a grocery story and purchase heavy cream, cheese, beef, and butter. How could I give up weighing and tracking everything I ate? It was a security blanket that helped me prove to myself that this wasn’t my fault.
But I did it. I lost 20 pounds in the first three weeks. My ankle pain and migraines disappeared and my energy levels went through the roof. I was eating food with fat and my gallbladder wasn’t aching. My acid reflux vanished and I stopped vomiting. And I wasn’t hungry.
This is why I went low-carb.