Sisyphus

This is how I’ve felt:

But after four years, I might have some answers.

If you’ve been reading for awhile now, you know my history. If not, the CliffsNotes: Lost 110 pounds in my mid-to late-20’s. Kept the weight off for 10+ years. Got pregnant, gained around 30 pounds. Then for 4 years, struggled endlessly to lose the “baby weight.”

Nothing worked. I did Keto and lost 10-15 pounds but it was not sustainable, not healthy for ME, caused some disordered eating thoughts, and honestly, the weight loss stalled. Then I proceeded to gain and lose the same 10 pounds. I tried a lot of different things in that 4 years. I tried what I did “last time” and that didn’t work. I reduced my calories even further (not healthy) and it didn’t work.

I kept talking to my doctors, said I didn’t feel well, I had a lot of things that were just “off” since having a baby. They tested my thyroid too many times to count. Results were always “normal,” even though a ton of my symptoms (not just weight gain) pointed to thyroid conditions.

I recently got referred to another doctor. She is an internal medicine doctor, but has a specialty in weight/diet etc (not a nutritionist/RD). She said that I might be experiencing “insulin resistance” due to the antidepressant/antianxiety medications I take.

She said it’s very common for SSRIs and various mental health medications to cause this. I had NO idea! All those years that I took various meds and saw a ton of weight gain, all those years when I tried to lose weight on medication and it never worked until I stopped medications…and now I might have an answer?? I almost started crying because it felt like a relief. For years of struggling, feeling like no one was listening to me/dismissing my concerns, I felt heard. I had a possible answer.

I tried to find some good articles to link to about this topic, but there isn’t a ton and what’s out there are medical journal articles, so long, lots of science, hard to read for the layperson… LOL But I did find a succinct paragraph from one of the medical articles and here it is:

“In conclusion, we have demonstrated that SSRIs are potential inducers of insulin resistance, acting by directly inhibiting the insulin signaling cascade in β cells. [redacted] Given that SSRIs promote obesity and insulin resistance but inhibit insulin secretion, they might accelerate the transition from an insulin resistant state to overt diabetes.” [source]

My doctor said I’m not diabetic, but it’s a common issue for your hormones and body to just not work the way it should on these medications. She prescribed me a low dose of Metformin.

I started listening to the Food Psych podcast (and wrote about it here) and started to re-evaluate my thoughts and ideas about food, dieting, weight loss, weight gain, body image, fat-phobia, the whole gambit. It has really changed how I feel about weight loss in a lot of ways.

One thing I’ve been thinking about is how naïve I was in my 20’s and early 30’s when I started this blog. I started it to share my story, inspire people, show that you can lose weight and keep it off without extremes or surgery or weight loss drugs. I was successful. It worked for me. But what I didn’t realize then, that I do now, is that it doesn’t always work that way for everyone. People have medical issues, medical conditions, take meds that cause weight gain or make it hard/impossible to lose. People don’t always have access to healthy food (privilege), people don’t always have access to expensive gyms/personal trainers etc. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately.

I do not have a real update on the metformin. I have not weighed myself since like October or early November. It was not a healthy cycle for me so I decided to take a break. And the longer it went, the better I felt. I started re-reading “Intuitive Eating” and finding that it resonates with me more now that it did 10 years ago.

So how is the metformin? It’s fine. Zero side effects except for the first few days I started it. Like I said, I haven’t weighed myself so I don’t know numbers. BUT various clothes that used to be a little too tight fit now. I am going to try and use that as a guide instead of the scale. Also? I feel better. I was SO EXHAUSTED for years. And I am finding that metformin has given me more energy, I do not feel run down or exhausted all the time. Now I just have regular pandemic/world ending/stress exhaustion. 😉

Anyone else have experiences on this medication? Would love to hear other stories.

Light Carb

I haven’t been around here much lately and there are a few reasons for that. First, (broken record time), I was sick! Yep…mid-February I got a cold that turned into strep throat, then pink eye again (thank you daycare), then another cold that turned into bronchitis and a sinus infection. On top of that I’ve been dealing with a nagging hip injury that I’m doing PT for. So I’ve been crabby and not in the best of moods. Thankfully Logan and Michael haven’t really been that sick lately. I’m finally on the mend (after yet another round of antibiotics, sigh).

Second, last time I really wrote a post about my weight loss efforts I said that I was buddying up with a friend to try and lost those 20 pounds that I’ve been battling for the last year. (I can no longer use the excuse I just had a baby!)

Sadly, I gained and lost the same 4 or so pounds since starting in the end of February. Same old story that it’s been since I had Logan. The same 5 pounds I gain and lose over and over and over again.

My friend Debby has been steadily losing weight, which is fantastic! She’s doing Weight Watchers and she swears by it. She says any time she needs to lose weight she goes back to WW and it always works. As she put it–weight loss is about food for her, not exercise. The old adage “You can’t out exercise a bad diet” is very true. Even if I don’t want to admit it!

So recently, once I was feeling better from my plague, I decided to try something different.

I cut out bread, pasta, rice, etc. I decided that I would give this a try and see if it worked.

 

 

*I’m not doing a Low Carb diet.

Not really, anyways. But I can easily cut out worthless carbs like bread. Pasta? I rarely eat pasta. The only time I ever eat pasta is in a frozen meal that I’d eat for lunch and I’ve decided to stop doing those. Even though they are quick and easy for work, they aren’t exactly healthy. So for the last month I’ve stopped buying the frozen lunches.

What carbs am I eating? 

Sweet potatoes on occasion, fruit, my plain Greek yogurt, beans and hummus. There are carbs in most foods, but I’m really trying hard to keep it to a minimum.

Typical day of food:

Breakfast: two scrambled eggs with turkey sausage or bacon, coffee with cream. 

Snack: fruit, usually an apple or whatever is in season.

Lunch: Salad with a protein and roasted veggies.

Snack: Hummus with veggies, usually carrots or cucumbers.

Dinner: Protein and veggies and salad, for example: chicken thigh, sauteed brussels sprouts with bacon, salad. 

Dessert: Depends on what we have, trying hard not to eat it every day.

The first week was kind of hard. I crashed a few times because I didn’t have enough calories for the day and had a headache and was cranky and hungry. But after that it was ok.

Here is an example of two days:

 

Right now I’m just paying attention to carbs and calories. In a few weeks I’ll focus on lowering my sugar count. It’s a gradual process.

The hardest part is taking a moment to think what can I have? Sometimes you want a quick and easy dinner and you think, hmmm how about a burrito? But then you realize the tortilla has a lot of carbs. Damn. Ok…burrito bowl salad instead!

It also takes time to prep everything. Today I had the typical breakfast:

…and then packed a lunch for work that was kind of labor-intensive. Strawberries for a morning snack; black bean hummus and cucumbers for an afternoon snack; lunch was slices of ham and roast beef rolled up with a piece of pepper jack cheese, olives and pickles. Doesn’t sound like much but it took time to put everything together! Tomorrow I’m going to roast some veggies to take to work–that also takes time!

I had one “cheat” meal last week.

Michael made lamb burgers with feta and olives in it and I had it on a bun! With a beer! The beer was amazing. Lots of carbs, yes, but worth it for one day out of the week. The next day I was back on track with low carb.

The results? I lose 2 pounds last week. I’m slightly encouraged–enough to keep trying this diet and see where it goes. But I’m also not that excited about it because like I said, I’ve been gaining and losing the same 5 pounds for a year. So until I see myself lose a few more, I’m not getting too excited yet.

It’s funny…I was talking to Michael about how much easier it was to lose weight the first time…I lost 75 pounds fairly easily. It was slow and steady and took effort and time, but I was really only counting my calories and exercising. I wasn’t TOO restrictive and still had some treats here and there. Then when I got to about where I am at now, the weight loss got REALLY hard. And once again, it’s hard. I don’t know why those last 20-25 pounds or so is the hardest to lose, but it is. It’s so frustrating!

Anyways, that’s the update for now.

QUESTION: If you’ve done a low carb diet before, what were your go-to low carb foods?