This is a post that I have needed to make for a while. It’s about high time I wrote it, because the level of rage I have is immense. So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to rage like a motherfucker.
Advance warning: I AM GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT MY UTERUS.
I’ve been on this weight loss/health/fitness kick since 2006. While no, I don’t have any official certifications in anything, I certainly have experience. I’ve been there. I’ve gone vegan, vegetarian, low fat, low carb – almost everything. And I’m pretty smart.
Anyway, onto my uterus. I keep track of my period online and have been doing so for about 10 years. I do it because I believe it is crucially important to do so. Let’s take a look at my cycles from the first part of my weight loss journey. During this time, I was just eating less – while getting more vegetables in, I was also eating things like ramen, tofu, rice, beans, and the odd protein bar from Speedway. Also taking Boog to get ice cream every Sunday night.
Pretty smooth, right? Nothing uneventful.
About 2010 is when I got SERIOUS about this health/fitness thing and started reading blogs. Blogs from every facet of the fitness and nutrition industry. Coaches, trainers, blah de blah. And, for the most part, the overall message from these people is “X makes you unhealthy and causes fat gain, so don’t eat it.” So I would remove X.
And then I discovered Paleo. Now, I will give paleo credit because A. it helped me cultivate my love for delicious vegetables, and B. It did help cure some gastrointestinal issues that I was not aware of. So I love it for that. But, at the time, the overall message was ITS THE CARBS. GRAINS AND BREAD AND ALL THAT SHIT MAKE YOU FAT AND UNHEALTHY. So I stopped eating those, too.
AND IT WORKED. I lost 10 freaking pounds within 2 weeks. And holy fuck, I have ABS. And then you get to chatting with other Paleo folk and you try to out-Paleoize each other by seeing just how low in carbs you can go. And that’s what I did, in mid-2010. I went into ketosis. And my period stopped.
And then I gained 30 lbs. I know I’ve talked about this before.
And I spent 2011 in a state of fat and depression, still fearing oatmeal, still fearing grains. I wasn’t particularly meticulous about my food intake, but I still ate my veggies, my proteins, and regular trips to my favorite place ever, Mitchell’s. And lo, you’ll see my period normalized somewhat for 2011.
And then I got tired of being fat again and got my butt in gear. I dedicated myself more to weightlifting, doing some pretty intense training, and continuing to fear those evil carbs. This time is indicated by everything above the red line in the photo.
Do you see what’s happening there? My cycles were more irregular than a 3-sleeved sweater from Goodwill. Overtraining and improper fuel. You can bet your sweet shit I’ve been in an absolute panic for the last 3 months. I took pregnancy tests and had my hormones tested. All normal. I went to the doctor to get a complete checkup and thyroid test. All normal, too. I am not in menopause.
I am a pretty athletically capable person, right? I’m fucking strong. We are continuously outdoors doing shit. I’ve clocked hundreds of miles on my bike. But, at the doctor’s office, would you like to know what happened? After they weighed me, I was handed a pamphlet on how to “Eat Healthy and Lose Weight” and I am totally not fucking kidding.
Until recently, I have turned a blind eye to this all because I am Doing What I am Supposed To Be Doing. Avoiding the “unhealthy” food because any amount of the “unhealthy” stuff will lead to Fat Gain. Day in, day out, ignoring the fact that some days I was finding it incredibly difficult to get up and move. I still *did* – I rarely miss a workout, but I’ve had to force myself. That’s not me. I am a high strung obnoxious individual who loves to be outside and run around.
Guys, after meticulously tracking and eating nothing but protein, vegetable matter, and a certain amount of fat, set at around 1700 calories a day this past fall, I GAINED 10 LBS. GAINED.
I am posting all of this because of many things:
I am being honest with myself.
I am tired of hiding. I neglect to admit failure to the general public at times because I do not want to appear incompetent. But, one of the most frequent comments I get from writing my blog here is the appreciation for me putting myself out there and being honest and real. I am being honest and real right now.
This is by no means a post meant to slag any particular diet. I want that to be abundantly clear, and if I hear anyone saying “well Batty said I could eat all the bread I want” then you just completely missed the point of this post.
In a similar vein, this post is also not written to invite self righteous indignation, where you will say something like “well, this is why I have done X ALL ALONG” because attitudes do not help the matter, at all.
If anything, get this: it is not the oatmeal, the bread, the rice, the cookies, the cheesecake, or the ice cream themselves that cause fat gain. You will not necessarily get fat if you eat a slice of bread with your dinner. If you push away that bread, or the pasta, or the rice, or refuse to have ice cream out of fear and not because you don’t want it, you have serious issues. If you are turning a blind eye to any signal from your body that what you’re doing could not be the best thing for you because some nutritional guru said this is the best thing for you, you’ve got problems. If you think one egg and 3 lettuce leaves for breakfast is adequate nutrition, you’ve got problems. If you keep “falling off the wagon” from a diet you think is THE WAY TO FAT LOSS and keep having to hop on, you’ve got problems. If you feel extreme guilt after eating a rare slice of pie after your dinner, you’ve got problems.
THE WAY is what works best WHEN YOU LISTEN TO YOURSELF.
Eat what makes you feel awesome.
Don’t eat what doesn’t make you feel awesome.
And eat ENOUGH.
Fuck the rest.
To this day, I still say that the hardest time I’ve ever had losing weight is when I started reading about losing weight.