Adventures in Weightlessness

I had truly lost my mind. Between 2015 and 2018, I gained 43 pounds. When I eventually realized how much weight I had gained, I was shocked. Clearly, I hadn’t been paying attention. Sure, my clothes hadn’t been fitting me well, but instead of taking steps to maintain my weight, I bought new clothes. When those clothes didn’t fit, I bought new clothes again—and again. What was I thinking?

The truth is, I wasn’t thinking, and I wasn’t taking care of myself. I felt perpetually uncomfortable in my skin, and more so, in my clothes. I spent less time with others and more time feeling ashamed of myself. My self-esteem was close to zero, and my well-being needed a makeover.

I eat healthy most of the time, but I was consuming more than I should. I stopped eating meat in 1986, but I eat fish, and I love cheese, particularly on pizza, which is the worst of my temptations. I also exercise every day, except for a day off here and there. It might be a matter of simple indulgence—eating too much, drinking too much alcohol—but it feels like insecurity, anxiety, and instability, somehow.

In May of 2018, I knew something had to give, so I mentioned my predicament to my doctor, who was happy to counsel me.  She suggested I fix my food intake at 1500 calories, which involved counting calories. Come to find out, this is not an easy task, particularly when fruits and vegetables—the majority of foods that I eat—have no nutrition labels. I hopped online and located many of the foods I would normally eat via FitBit and MyFitnessPal. I noted their calorie contents, categorized them, and then wrote them in the back of a blank book, which I could take with me when I’m out and about. I saved the front of the book for noting the foods I was eating or going to eat.

I started my diet by fasting for three days, which seems ludicrous, but there is a method to that madness. According to a study by Catharine Paddock, Ph.D., of Medical News Today, “prolonged fasting ‘re-boots’ immune system.” Further information supports the study, as Sarah Knapton, science correspondent for The Telegraph, writes: “Fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as ‘remarkable’.” There are many reasons, ways, and lengths of time to fast, so I won’t delve deeper into that topic area. If you are interested in fasting, please consult your doctor or a medical professional.

On the morning after my three-day fast, I ate a small bowl of delicious soup consisting of cabbage, carrots, onion, garlic, potato, herbs and three cups of vegetable broth, which I had wittingly prepared in advance. I also discovered that six pounds of my fleshy, overweight body was missing. I was excited about it, but I was also afraid that I had gone too far, and I worried that I would gain back all the weight I had lost, but I held steady, and the next day, I had lost another pound because I was still figuring out how to arrange my calories throughout the day. For a while there, I was consuming just a little over half of the 1500 calories allotted. No wonder I was so tired all the time. In order to get maximum nutrition within 1500 calories, I made a meal plan for each day, and thereafter all went smoothly, for the most part.

Copyright @ 2018 Marla K. Greenway

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