I’m quite flippin’ excited! In the past three weeks, I’ve lost 5 pounds!
For years, I didn’t weigh myself. I avoided doctors and scales, so I don’t know how much I weighed at my ‘heaviest.’ I do know that in May 2019 when I initiated drastic changes to my diet, I wore a size 18 (or a 16 in more forgiving brands).
In July, people started to recognize that I’d lost weight. I didn’t quantifiably know how much I’d lost to that point.
All I knew? Well… a few things:
- I felt (still feel) incredibly energetic every day. Never before May did I feel this physically energized. I notice whenever I feel tired these days it’s not about being tired physically, but rather mentally/emotionally. (There are other areas of my life where I’m ready for some changes!)
- I no longer feel gnawing hunger that compels me to eat 4-5 small meals in six hours at night. (Before May I might be starving at 4, eat potatoes, then hungry again an hour later and make other veggies, and then hungry again an hour after that and eat some chips, and hungry another hour later, so on and lots of calories consumed!)
- It was like somebody had finally given my sugar addiction a chill pill, and it was lovely to not feel like I’d die if I didn’t eat sugar every single day. (More below on my temporary fall back into near-daily candy consumption)
- My clothes DEFINITELY fit differently.
So when others started commenting on how much I appeared to have lost and a friend offered to let me use her scale, I weighed myself. She said to me, “You look like you’ve lost 45 pounds!” That day (and I was silly enough not to write down the dates of my first weigh-ins), I weighed 211. About four weeks later, I stepped on the scale again and saw the number 208.
On September 3, after a weekend of indulging in lots of candy corn (yeah, I know, I’m weird for loving candy corn), I had my third weigh-in. Back up to 211.
I was dreading another weigh-in though I had planned to check in on the scale this week. Then yesterday when I saw the friend whose scale I use, she said, “You look skinnier than the last time I saw you!” That put a big-ass smile on my face. (I wore my size 16 Levi’s jeans yesterday, which when I first got them, left impressions in my puffy belly because they were tight, and they’re now very, very roomy…)
Yesterday, I weighed myself for the fourth time. And the scaled showed 206. So, in three weeks, I’ve lost 5 pounds!
The diet changes that are helping me lose 1-2 pounds each week are, as I mentioned, drastic. Before I explain them, I want to share a little bit of my dieting history.
When I was 14 and a freshman in high school, my mother, sister and I went on a diet. It was a diet “invented” by a maternity nurse from a Philly hospital. Basically she made a Franken version of Atkins and Weight Watchers. We had our first weigh-in around January 1, 2006 after two weeks of “eat whatever you want because soon you won’t be able to” shenanigans.
I don’t, honestly, remember my ‘top’ weight from that time. I do know that I spent six months going to weigh-ins every Saturday, eating tuna fish with mayo (nothing else) or a salad with exactly 1 tbsp of salad dressing for lunch at school every day, and perpetually feeling hungry except on Saturday, Sunday and Monday when we were allowed one “carb” per day. (This was not measured in grams of carbs, but in portions of specific foods; we could eat one medium potato or two slices of bread or ½ cup of pasta.)
The dream was to hit our goal weight not just to be skinny but so we could then enjoy hard pretzels to “maintain” weight rather than keeping losing. Because pretzels sounded really fucking exciting when I was trying to swallow canned tuna + mayo as fast as possible.
The diet worked… sorta.
I lost 30 pounds in six months. I got down to a size 8. That summer I had a two-piece bikini that I actually felt good in. Mom stopped wanting to pay for weigh-ins (it was $3 per person per week to be measured on a scale in a borrowed doctors’ office). And I essentially stopped following the diet. Though Mom tried to keep me eating whole wheat pasta (barf) instead of regular white pasta and she continued to use her weekly food log.
Around the end of high school, I started experiencing frequent gas and intestinal discomfort. I didn’t really know the source, though my guess was I’d grown lactose intollerant because dairy seemed to be in the meals that led to acute symptoms. (And the only other food allergy I’d heard of at the time was peanuts.)
For years, the gastro problems worsened and I gained weight.
I lost medical insurance at 22 years old and before that I’d never thought to see a doctor for the belly pains and poo problems, so I didn’t pay out of pocket to get help after.
I’ve shared about this before… In April 2018, after receiving an intuitive message to stop eating gluten during one of the worst incidents of stomach pains of my life, I stopped eating gluten. I noticed immediately that my belly was doing better. I stopped spending so many nights in the bathroom.
Yay for relief!
I ate lots of potatoes after that, because I’d created the belief that I only feel full when I eat “carbs” and potatoes have always been my favorite. But to be honest, I still felt gnawing hungry every day. I rarely, if ever, felt satisfied for more than an hour after eating.
Also — and I didn’t really take notice until this changed — I used to spend HOURS of my life obsessing over what foods I would eat next. I was in near-constant decision fatigue because although I’d cut out gluten I still had so many other food choices available.
So in May after my friend Jacquelynne K Holmes shared with me her curiosity about the carnivore diet and sent me some links to YouTube videos about it, I too got curious about what would happen if I only really ate meat, eggs, and cheese. I wanted to feel fuller while eating less food (from a practical money standpoint I felt like I spent so much money on food to never really feel satisfied), and seeing people like Dr. Ken Berry talk about feeling satisfied eating meat-only made me wonder if it was the best way for me too.
More than anything, my hope was to feel better in my body! It wasn’t truly tied to a specific result, certainly not a weight-loss type goal.
And that’s when I loaded myself up with Angus burgers from Walmart, and eggs.
I found quickly that I love eating in a way that is essentially more restrictive than the diet I resented at 14 years old because of its restrictions. (Ironic, right?)
I found that one ⅓-pound beef patty topped with 1 tbsp of butter leaves me more satiated for longer than a plate of meat, potatoes, and broccoli used to.
I avoid vegetables except on rare occasions. If the mention of poo problems above made you uneasy, I’m not sure why you’re still reading and the next sentence will make you uncomfortable: I swear, I’ve found that if I eat even one grape tomato, I feel constantly over the next 24 hours or so like I have to poop. The gas and pressure on my bum are no fun and so I generally avoid vegetables. I’ve chosen to deal with the consequences to eat steak “salad” at Chipotle maybe three times this summer.
I do find I can usually eat a pickle and not have a problem; there seems to be something about fermentation that works for my belly. (This is actually a standard part of the argument for the carnivore diet; that cow stomachs are built to process vegetables in a way that human stomachs aren’t.)
I also cut out sugar from my coffee (used to drink up to three cups a day with 2-3 tbsp of sugar in each cup!). It only took a few days before I actually really enjoyed my coffee with half-n-half but no sugar. [I’ve since bought SweetLeaf Stevia with two flavors, Vanilla Creme and Caramel, and they’re a nice treat when added into my coffee.]
As I mentioned above, I was totally sugar free for about 21 consecutive days. Then I started allowing myself ice cream once a week. For a while after candy corn showed up in the local Rite Aid, I did go a little crazy eating candy corn a few times a week…. I learned that it’s hard to talk my mind out of sugar UNLESS I’ve been diligently about eating/drinking fats. Bulletproof coffee is my current trick for relaxing my mind and getting off the idea of walking to go get more candy corn LOL
OH MY GOD!!! And I haven’t shared one of the most exciting results thus far! By the time I weighed-in this August at 208 pounds, I found I have slimmed down enough to fit in a size 14. It’s been literally 10 years or more since I fit a size 14!
At least once a week, someone else asks, “Hey, have you lost weight?!” and I’m so excited to share with them as much as they’ll let me!
Here’s the thing… Before that fateful conversation with Jacquelynne about how intrigued she was with the carnivore diet, I’d come to believe my health was probably as good as it would ever be. I was convinced I was meant to be “fat” and always would be unless I put in six hours a day at the gym. (I only prayed I never needed to ask for a size bigger than 18.)
I also thought shopping would always be a traumatic thing for me. (I avoided clothes shopping for years; I bought myself shoes, purses and two jackets in the years before May 2019, and any of the clothes I wore were given to me in bags by friends for whom I provided the valuable service of taking the things they didn’t want to wear anymore. LOL) Even when I was the skinniest I’ve ever been — that summer I wore a size 8 — I could have an absolute breakdown in the dressing room. The number on the tag meant that much to me, and seeing a camel toe could make me hyperventilate.
I took myself to Marshall’s in August and I actually had FUN trying on new clothes. I didn’t know for sure what size I would be though I’d guessed based on the way my Levi’s were fitting that I was at most a size 14 now. So I took a bunch of pants into the dressing room and I almost did a jig when I tried on size 14’s from Abercrombie & Fitch! (The cool-girl brand I never got to buy or wear in high school.)
They fit! They cost $30 though and I actually thought to myself, “I don’t know how long I’ll wear a size 14, I might be a size 12 next month” and so I held off on purchasing. Because let’s be honest, I think it would be fun to be a size 6 (maybe a 4 in “forgiving” brands) and now that I’ve totally upset (in the best way) the I’ll-always-be-a-size-16/18 paradigm I’d been living in…
I don’t see why I couldn’t drop to a size 4/6! There’s always BEEN a “skinny” Rosella inside; I know this because every time I imagined myself wearing a chic outfit, I imagined a lean body without lumps and bumps and wobbly bits.
It’s been incredible to me to witness this shift in my identity. I’ve gone from a woman who simply hoped never to gain enough to have to wear a bigger size, to believing I was worthy of feeling physically better, to now knowing that I am capable of losing weight. My body is capable of miracles. I CAN look the way I’ve always wanted to look, and I can enjoy the journey to that ‘end result’.
Please know I’m truly, truly enjoying the journey! It’s fun to observe changes in myself and to have opportunities to make choices for the improvement of my health.
And I’m really, really feelin’ myself in these size 14 Ellen Tracy pants. 😉 (Though forgive the shitty picture quality)
Now it’s your time —
Create a life beyond belief!