Sunday, September 21

Paying Attention and Water Weight

OK, first I'd like to talk about something odd and kind of embarrassing.

In my last 12 week plan (ended mid-August), not quite halfway through, my weight loss slowed down vastly. To nearly a stop. By a little after halfway through, I had gained a few pounds and wasn't losing anything at all.

I was demoralized. At MY weight, I ought to be losing a helluva lot more weight. I stopped tracking my food, that "obsession taking over my life" since apparently it wasn't doing a damn bit of good. I kept forgetting to weigh... I told myself I didn't care. I was still eating mostly ok but I guess I just kind of gave up, angrily.

I remembered to weigh near the end of the period, which was a low weight even though only a couple pounds lower than I'd been like 10 weeks before, so I put it in my spreadsheet and abandoned lowcarb for a month of true hedonism. Not surprisingly, after a month of high-carb and gluten, I had asthma, allergies, massive bloating, zits, was exhausted, weak, and could barely move in the mornings.

I realized last week that I couldn't find a food log for the end of that period. Now, how can I look at what I was doing and say "This doesn't work for me so let's do something else," if I hadn't tracked it? ME, the measure-to-the-gram, USDA-obsessed, counts to-two-decimals freak?!

Well I went back to start another 12 week cycle. I'm an incurable optimist. I'm not going to be so obsessive about weighing food but I must return to what is right. I know that I eat lowcarb for some reasons that aren't even about fat. So even if I am not losing weight, I still need to eat well. My normal 'extremist' nature tends to make it one or the other.

And looking at my tracking sheet, I realized how much my psychology had been affected by weeks of demoralization in the middle: I failed to even NOTICE that by the end of 12 weeks, it had turned around and I had lost a total of 33 lbs in those 12 weeks. Now, I lost nearly all of that in the first 3.5 weeks. Then I lost nothing, then gained some, then lost nothing, and only re-lost a couple pounds and then a couple more at the very end of that period. Of course, understand that 20 of those "don't count" -- they are water weight I will gain/lose with carbs; I only really counted the others.

The problem is, I blogged about lowcarb not working the way it did for me, and while it IS true that it definitely does NOT cause the degree of weight loss with me it did initially, I think I was injust to lowcarb, inaccurate and not by any possible means fair when I griped about 'no results'. I wonder if I am more psychologically sensitive due to the degree of my weight, or if I just quit believing in it in my despair, I quit paying attention, and so made some assumptions that weren't fair.

Anyway. Seems like people are always assuming anybody who's fat is a moron and lying about their food, so I feel horrible publicly talking about having been a little inaccurate and a lot unfair, as if I'm a bad example of the cliche. But I felt it wouldn't be honest of me if I didn't fess up publicly.


I've been pretty sick the last few days. And I went back to lowcarb the night of the 18th (the two are not related, except that perhaps the HC/gluten caused a lung infection that ended up in sinuses/everywhere).

In 1.5 days -- between late evening 9/19 and early morning 9/21 -- I lost 13# in water weight. Ye gods. That's nearly 2 gallons! I've had to pee like every 30-90 minutes depending for two days, haven't really slept in two days, every part of my face hurts from sinuses, and I am in general very unhappy physically. But it's an amazing thing to drink nearly a gallon of water a day and yet lose nearly two gallons of body-water in 1.5 days time! The minute I ditched carbs and shifted to "meat", took very little time -- it is interesting that every time I would be in the restroom I could feel my right thigh and FEEL that it was just slightly less bloated than 30-90 minutes before! How amazingly efficient the body is.

Already I don't wake up feeling like I'm "overstuffed-inside" and nearly immobilized. I feel kind of weak and unbalanced but I suspect that's as much about being sick as it is such a drastic sudden weight loss.

When I began LC it was 9/18/06. So my recent re-beginning was on my two year anniversary. For all my griping about it not working consistently and more, the fact is that I have kept 100# off for nearly two years now and lost some more in the meantime. I should credit getting off carbs and gluten for more than I do: even if eating well doesn't always result in anything like the kind of weight loss I had initially (I guess I have been unrealistic...), obviously this has worked for me to some degree and the weight has, in general, STAYED off my body -- that is frankly far more impressive than the weight loss, if you look at the maintenance % of weight loss in our society.

I do seem to have some issue with losing/regaining the last 15# several times over the last 18 months but since I keep sliding off lowcarb, I can hardly blame that on the eating plan.

It's always a cascade failure, and it always starts with insufficient protein. Always. If I get 100+g of protein a day, I stay on plan. When I don't, for 2-3 days running, I end up eating something I shouldn't, or deciding to go out to eat, or whatever. It's so obviously a "feeding behavior" much like we measure in animals it's almost embarrassing, though I think it's good that it's become so clear. At least what keeps me on plan -- or sends me off it -- is pretty evident.

OK, I need to get back to feeling sorry for myself here, or I'll be wasting all this valuable time being sick. (haha)

Saturday, September 13

Manifesting Change

Somewhere in the big-screen drama of losing well over 100#, the details get lost. Sometimes it seems as if everything in my life has revolved around my extra weight, and on the changes that have come about as a result of losing a good portion of it, and the angst related to not yet losing yet more of it, and so on.

Lately, I've been meditating. Almost daily, via archetype meditations. These are not passive no-mind Zen kind of stuff. Other terms for this include 'conscious dreaming' and 'active imagination' and so forth. They are a skill in their own right, but done correctly they are not only cool, even amazing, but can make radical changes in your reality. They are silly sometimes, but they work.

I've been meditating and praying about my life and I finally got around to meditating on my extra weight. I found it interesting, but the dream that followed was even more impactive. I felt a sense of excitement after that, as if I can feel on some level that I am delving into important things that need "dealing with". I have more to do on it. But suffice to say it is the first internal work I have done on that topic (oddly enough; my boyfriend pointed out that I seemed to be avoiding the one topic I thought was most important--not a coincidence instead of denial, I'm sure!).

A few things have come about just the last two weeks that are such major changes in my life that I feel like I ought to blog about them.


I am PJ on the internet (and to a few folks offline). I am Palyne in my personal life. There: I am no longer hiding from the world because I'm fat and I'm worried they will know it. I am no longer hiding my internet involvement in one thing because people involved in some other thing might not relate to me so much. You know what? I DON'T CARE ANYMORE. I am not sure how it happened but I truly don't. I don't say that in a defiant or angry way; I say it in a totally accepting way.

Apparently I wasn't really worried about what other people thought: I was worried about what *I* thought. I judged myself harshly. My science-nut persona hates my psychic woo-woo stuff. My fashion-snob persona hates my fat-girl stuff. I've been split into pieces on the internet, separate from my real name, pieces separate from each other, for protection. But now that suddenly my feelings about myself have radically changed and I've started to truly accept myself, my feelings about what others think of me has radically altered too.

The meditation did this. But I can't help but think that the combination of a lot of weight lost, plus the awesome, amazing supportive environment of the wonderful people in the lowcarb world I'm blessed to run into online, has a lot to do with it too.

And you know what I realized? I like myself all the sudden. Yeah sure, I'm really overweight. Who cares besides me? Who matters besides me? I'm working on it, off and on. It'll improve or it won't. It has nothing to do with my quality as a human being. Anybody who thinks it does I am far better off without.

For the first time ever I 'connected' my pieces on the internet. I made a personal blog (at and around weekly I grab posts from all my blogs and suck 'em in there. I linked to all my blogs there. In 13 years online I have never done that. Connected all my pieces plus connected my personal and online identities.

Maybe it seems like a small thing? But I feel as if the iceberg under my surface, the whole thing has shifted. Seriously, "coming out of the closet" about my fat and putting my 'identities' together online, feels as powerful to me as one of my old friend's coming out of the closet (er, literally) felt for him. Like maybe most people would say, "That's who you are, fine," but people "who understand" would realize it's one of the biggest decisions of a life.


Today I had the urge to actually deal with 'the curtain issue' in my house. I have 13 windows in my tract home. Aside from two that are so badly done it's embarrassing, the rest range from uncovered, to the charming "fabric duck-taped to the windowframe" in the back room. I suddenly had the profound and powerful feeling that this simply HAD to change. And right now. I had the money. I wasn't buy anything but super walmart--not like really nice stuff or anything--but since I needed brackets, a couple kinds of poles, sheers, curtains, etc. for 13 windows I knew it would add up bigtime and it sure did. But you know what? I feel like this is another fundamental change in me. In 8 years I've lived here, it's like I have only "existed" here. I have barely "claimed it" in a proper way and really gone about making it like what I want.

Last week I bought primer, paint, and all needed items, to paint my bedroom, which is so hideous that 'welfare tenament' is the closest thing to a description. I bought myself a lovely quilt for my birthday (which is tomorrow, 9/14 -- I'm 43!) with pillow shams.

I can't put into words why after 8 years I finally give a damn. Why I'm willing to spend my money on making radical changes in my environment. About 1.5 years ago I did a few months of massive 'clearing out' process. Maybe this is the next phase. All I know is that for the first time in eons I really care about how my house looks and want to proctively work on making it something I love.


Today I stopped by the salon. I got a slightly geometric above-shoulders cut (longer in front than back) -- she cut off eight inches (8") -- wow. We bleached out a 2.5 inch swath of hair on the middle right side, then colored 2/3 of it a dark wine-red and 1/3 a lovely gold. I have two solid streaks of vivid color in my hair. Oh yeah, and we left a skinny but pretty tri-color braid (similar to one I had when I was 20) -- my 12 year old was "agog" when she saw me!

It's not that big a deal. But here's the sitch: I have not cared enough about myself, paid enough attention to myself, to do ANYTHING more than chop hair off bluntly in over a dozen years, and only because it was more convenient shorter. There was a time when I cared what I looked like, what I wore, what my hair was like. My hair's always been my sense of humor (and a good thing, since it is thin, fine, more sparse since my weight gain, and does absolutely nothing of interest). But today is the first time that I actually had a feeling of INTEREST IN MYSELF.

This interest in myself; the recent sudden acceptance of myself; my renewed interested in making my environment decent; they all seem connected to me.

I feel like weight loss, nice people to encourage me via internet, and meditation and prayer, have combined to make some really fundamental, profound changes in my psychology. I feel like I am "waking up to myself" on some level.

It's a pretty awesome feeling.


Sunday, September 7

Things Change. How Low is "Low-Carb"?

They say that what you learn first, you sometimes learn deepest. It's possible that between The Protein Power Life Plan and the Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, that the "20-30 carbs" part just stuck in my brain. Like some perennial idea, it has re-appeared annually and bloomed twice a season.

Maybe it's because I started so huge--ok, who am I kidding, I've lost ~150 pounds and I am still huge--but I think maybe I didn't pay so much attention to "the rest" of the lowcarb books when they got into "maintenance."

There is no such thing as maintenance when you need to lose 250+ pounds. The expected end of your 'diet' -- the induction part of the eating plan, designed for maximum weight loss -- is a distant dream, a hypothetical hope far off into the sunset.

Even planning for it is unreasonable. You just dive into induction and figure that "someday, when you are nearer a normal weight," you will "increase" your carbohydrate level. That someday becomes the same fictional date used for daydreams, based on "that mythical time when I look acceptable to others". It doesn't exist on a calendar. It only exists as a figment of my imagination.


Eventually there comes a time when things must change. A lot of people who start out "traditionally low-carb" -- basically, the Atkins or Eades plans -- eventually, have to change.

It might be that their weight loss simply slows greatly or even stops. When what you're doing isn't working, obviously, you start looking into doing something else.

It might be that they simply cannot abide eating so restrictively anymore.

It might be that they realize their whole life has obsessively revolved around food thanks to their eating plan and they just can't do that to themselves and their lives and the lives of those they live with anymore.

It might be that they were holding onto that eating plan solely with the iron grip of optimism, which after a long time and still finding themselves "really fat", finally started to falter.

It might be that they've been eating as close to zero-carb as an occasional egg and some spices and alliums make possible, and there is simply no further options in that direction anymore.

Suffice to say that people with a LOT of weight to lose can run into a whole list of problems that people who need to lose a lot less weight seldom do. And when that happens, something has got to change.


When you "expand" your eating plan, and you were "very low carb ketogenic diet" to begin with (VLCKD, <30-40/day depending on the person), obviously what that means is that you are going to be eating more carbs.

And since few of us utilize this opportunity to eat 10x as much broccoli and asparagus as we were eating previously, this means adding in new foods.


Since I began lowcarb, I had some degree of obsession with details. I got my nutrition counts from labels or USDA. I used numbers to the second decimal--third, if available. I did all my measures based on grams with an electronic scale. If it called for 1 Tbsp, I would weigh that, and then look up the grams in USDA, and either match that so my count was correct, or mathematically evaluate what my precise measure came out to. I tracked everything in my food, down to "a clove of garlic" or "some salt and pepper" which I estimated the counts for based on USDA and always estimated high. I kept detailed spreadsheets of my food down to its smallest ingredient.

Why? You could say, "four planets in Virgo; it's a curse." But the truth is probably more social: I have 17 years now of 'awareness' of how our culture at large considers all fat people to be stupid or liars. They assume that anybody fat is eating bon-bons all day or they wouldn't be fat, and anything said to the contrary either implies they are earnest but in-denial deluded, or lying out of embarrassment. So I think I "overcompensated" out of my offended-ego, trying to be obsessively detailed so that I would not ever feel that I was making one of the "errors or untruths" so many people assume on.

I've changed. I cannot do that anymore. I will not do that anymore.

I don't mind keeping a 'general' tally of what I eat, mostly because by now my eating has evolved to where it's mostly whole foods, or ingredients I put together for something, and it's just not that difficult to track even in my head. But I will no longer pursue an obsessive sub-decimal detail about my food intake. I'm not even sure I'm willing to pursue a physical list. I am SICK of it.

Do you know how obsessed you have to be in order to pull that off? How much your focus has to continually be upon food? How careful and/or the chore that even the smallest quick-food -- say, a homemade hamburger patty -- can become? It's ridiculous. I don't want to do that with my life anymore. It has taken over my life when I implement it. I become less a person who happens to be on an eating plan, than a walking eating plan who on rare occasion also focuses on being a person. I just won't do it anymore. I am fed up, put out, done with obsessing on details.

I feel that somewhere, sometime, people are going to look at me and think, "She doesn't even pay that much attention to her food, no wonder she is fat!" But I have paid attention to my food in serious anal-retentive detail and frankly, I haven't really seen that this level of attention to detail makes much difference. I seriously doubt that my calculating the carbs and calories in my garlic and spices, my calculating to a tenth of a calorie when measuring the bell pepper in my salad, really makes any difference. Maybe if I were using calories and trying to lose 3 pounds it would. But not right now.

Because it appears that my body is either willing to lose weight, and will do so with any fairly decent eating plan, or it is not willing to lose weight, and no amount of obsession changes that.

I swear weight loss is starting to seem more like magic, or maybe something in my head, than nutrition.


Apparently I need more than 30-40 carbs a day; but I need less than say, 150 carbs a day. But there are other considerations. For example, calories are not much of an issue when low-carb. But if you're eating a good number of carbs, they become an issue. And eating high-fat is just fine if your carbs are low. But if your carbs are high, eating high-fat as well is not so good; the combination will gradually kill you. So it goes without saying that if I'm going to be eating an adequate protein (for MY size) and relatively high-fat (meat-egg-cheese) diet, that I can't be eating a lot of carbs. I still need to be "low-carb".

How low is low-carb?

There is no hard set definition for 'low-carb'.

If we used research as an example, we'd have to be using the criteria of a bunch of well educated but on sad occasion, not very bright people who have been doing poor research with carefully crafted pre-determined results for a long time. Their version of 'high-fat' or 'low-carb' are numbers that sometimes defy belief. Or, still trying to be 'official', we could use the ADA definition:
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that approximately 50 percent to 60 percent of total daily calorie intake should be in the form of carbohydrates.

Let's see. If I'm trying (and usually failing to achieve this many, but it's my goal) to eat 2300 calories a day, half that is 1150, and a carb has "approximately" 4 calories each, that means according to the ADA I should be eating around 287-345 carbs per day. OK, that will kill me, but first it'll make me vastly fatter than I already am, so I have to disregard that measure as well.

No wonder diabetes is considered 'degenerative' and so many 'pre-diabetic' people end up with it, following advice like this? Perhaps that number is not accurate. I searched the ADA website for something specific. What a labrinth of non-specifics on nutrition counts! I did find this, regarding the ADA's food pyramid, with its primary base of carbohydrates:

At the base of the pyramid are bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. These foods contain mostly carbohydrates. The foods in this group are made mostly of grains, such as wheat, rye, and oats. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas, and corn also belong to this group, along with dry beans such as black eyed peas and pinto beans. [...] Choose 6-11 servings per day.

Well, all I know is, "That's too many carbs for my body" no matter how I count it. Given I ate high-carb my entire life, I know the only thing that does really well is make me insanely fat. So I am left using the more modern parlance or "lingo" used by "many" people in commercial books and the internet. Which, of course, varies.

The "average diet" is allegedly in the 275-375 carbs per day range.

Generally, 70-150 carbs a day is considered a "controlled" carbohydrate diet.

Generally, 35-80 carbs a day is considered "low" carb.

Generally, <35 carbs a day is considered "very low carb ketogenic".

Obviously these exact numbers are going to vary depending on who you ask. This is an 'average range'.

So what most people think of as 'LowCarb' is actually the far extreme of the measure. It isn't 'low' carb, it is VERY low carb, specifically so low that it sponsors the body into a ketogenic state. This is the "induction" part of most lowcarb plans.

Of course, most plans are designed for a brief induction, followed by a raise in carbs, eventually raising to a "maintenance" level, which is another big variable number that depends on the individual.


There is a very big difference in your food when you are eating 30 carbs versus 80 carbs. REALLY big. Condiments, sauces, herbs, become almost a non-issue (as long as we aren't talking about flour-sauce/gravies or desserts of course). You can actually eat fruit (wonderful), and carbier veggies (yum, peas!), more dairy, and even small amounts of things like whole oats and beans.

But there is a big difference in your body too, and that difference is ketosis. Ketosis is unlikely to be in place when you are eating 70 carbs a day, and it's nearly impossible to avoid (at least cyclically) if you are supersized and eating <40 carbs a day.

When ketosis makes fat fall off you, it's great. But when it ceases to cause your fat to disappear at a good clip, then its value is questionable. That was, after all, the whole point of invoking that state in the body in the first place. Why else? I never heard that ketosis was good for much of anything besides the weight loss side of it.

If eating ketogenic-level carbs no longer causes a person to lose weight at any reasonable speed, then you have to wonder if eating more nutrients in a wider array of food, with more carbs (but not "a ton" of them), might not be healthier. Or at the least, more easily maintained and more emotionally satisfying for the variety.


I don't yet have a decision or plan of action.

I do however have a few things I DO know:

I am not obsessing-in-detail about my food anymore. I just refuse.

I am not considering 'lowcarb' to be <30g anymore. If up to 100 does not make me gain significant weight or have any blood sugar or other problems, then I am going to expand my food as much as possible and eat what I can. If eating far less isn't making me lose weight and isn't noticeably improving any other health measure, then I fail to see what difference it makes anyway.

So... things change. This is not where I began. This is not what I considered "low-carb" when I began. This is a whole different approach in several ways.

But I tried the other way, the ketogenic VLC. And it worked great!--until it didn't.

So... now, as soon as I figure out what I can personally sustain, I'm going to try something else.


Thursday, September 4

Fat Forever?

You know, things in the lowcarb and weightloss categories have been coming up with me, that I haven't known how to blog about. In part because they are not those happy-joy encouraging, positive things. And in part because I don't really have an answer to anything, I'm just speculating. Let me go ahead and speculate on-blog-paper. Maybe other people have thought about similar issues. Feel welcome to comment because I'd really like other peoples' input on this difficult subject.

I have observed the last few months that I can eat really well, and I'm not losing weight. Or when I do, it's a very small amount over a rather long period of time. I can eat badly, and gain water weight, or actually lose weight on the scale, which is unintuitive, seems quite unfair, is even maddening. Long-term, yes, eating too many carbs drives my weight up, through the water/glycol storage if nothing else. But short term, it often drops the weight several pounds. Maybe because less protein means degraded LBM? God only knows. I can only tell you that the scale does not seem to adequately reflect my eating behavior in the short term. This is the case for other people I know who are about the same size as me, coming from a similar high weight as me.

And for the long term, eating badly will see the numbers rise, but eating well is not seeing them fall. Low calorie. High calorie. Moderate calorie. Low carb. High carb. Moderate carb. Vegetables. No vegetables. High fat. Low fat. With Gluten. Without it. With dairy. Without it. I admit I have not obsessively pursued every one of these, but there should be some vicarious experience here: I have friends online who have pursued many things I haven't, are about the same size with the same history, and facing the same issues.

Now, as a friend recently pointed out, lowcarb has its own near-religious devotion. People will insist that since lowcarb is The Answer™, surely you must be doing something "wrong". You must be having too many carbs... too many calories... you should be doing Intermittant Fasting (IF)... you should be doing High-Fat... you should be doing Low-Fat... you should be adding in Coconut Oil... you should be avoiding dairy... the list goes on.

When I see someone suggest that gosh, maybe "carbs are creeping," I swear I want to punch them in the head. What kind of arrogant denial-of-my-reality crap is that? Put this in the category of "you're fat so you must be retarded." YES it's one of MANY possibilities for people not paying attention, but if I were not paying attention to what the hell I was eating, why would I be complaining that I'm living on X or Z and not losing weight? Or not at any speed that verges on 'reasonable' given the levels of restriction on food intake?

I think this is denying reality. The reality is that there is not much research on morbidly obese people who lose weight via lowcarb. We don't actually KNOW what is "supposed" to happen, what can, what should, what will, or what factors might affect bodies with this history much moreso than bodies which have had "lesser degrees" of it.

It is entirely possible that peoples' bodies vary in terms of what amount of weight they are willing to lose -- or at what rate, with what 'rest for homeostasis' periods in between -- just like metabolism varies. And it is entirely possible that when you start out 500 pounds, you are never going to be thin. BUT: most of us already accept this. "Maybe I'll never be thin again," but most of us do NOT accept that the weight we WILL be, will be 350 pounds. I mean that sounds completely unreasonable right? How could that possibly be a 'proper' weight?

Surely if you just did X, or Y, or Z, the weight would come off until some number we "like better" arrives, e.g., ok maybe you'll never be thin but you might be 30-40 lbs above your ideal weight. What if that is Just. Not. True. ?? What if the body EVER getting to 500# means that it is going to willingly go to around 350-380 and then "sit there" in homeostasis for eons, no matter WHAT you do, and then gradually get a LITTLE bit lower later? What if 300# is your 'thin weight'?

My point is, nobody knows! We act like it's a known, but it's not. There just isn't really research on this stuff. Most the people who've lost "a lot" of weight have lost like 100-150#. We know people can do this and at the end of that be a 'reasonable' weight, but they still have a lot of issues related to their former obesity, from vastly lower metabolism, lower leptin levels, higher hunger compared to people the same weight, need to eat fewer calories to stay the same weight as other people who didn't used to be fat, and so on.

Well, me and friends have lost that much weight, but some of us at the other end of that are still fat. And the 'additional' weight, unlike the first 100-150 lbs, is simply not coming off in any mathematically reasonable way. Not that any of it is mathematically reasonable--because metabolism is chemistry, not math--but it's really quite unreasonable according to our belief systems.

In a previous blog post I quoted Dr. Jeffrey M. Friedman, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at Rockefeller University. Here's a couple of 'reminder' quotes:

So let me put a finer point on this. Imagine you’re 250 pounds. and you lose 100 lbs. to 150 lbs. Now you ask how many calories does that person burn compared to someone who started out at 150 pounds.They burn like 300 or 400 calories fewer per day when they’re at that reduced weight. Now think about it. That person is hungry and now can only eat fewer calories than the equal weight person to maintain that weight, despite the fact that they weigh the same amount.


Dr. Jeffrey Friedman (regarding post-weight loss surgery): …there’s another feature of this surgery that people, I think, ignore, and it’s this: when you do this procedure you limit the intake of a person to about 700 calories a day. Just so you know, none of you could consume 700 calories a day for very long; it is a very small number of calories. Despite that fact, these people still end up being clinically obese at the other end of the procedure. They lose a lot of weight but they would still on average be definable as significantly obese on average after the procedure.

Now think about it, they’re eating 700 calories a day and they’re still obese. I mean if that doesn’t say that there’s something metabolically different about the obese than the lean, I don’t know what does.

Maybe the reality is that I need to live on green veggies and meat and nothing else for about 3 months, for every 1-5 lbs of weight I want to lose. Maybe this is just the way it is. Do I want to lose 1-5 lbs? Sure. Do I think that losing 12-60# in a year would still be worth it? I sure do. Do I think that I can live on an insanely restrictive eating plan for the next several years in the hope that I might someday, and this even assumes the current trend doesn't get worse, I might someday get somewhere NEAR a normal weight? Or maybe only get 100# lower, which would be awesome, but I'd still be morbidly obese?

I'm not sure. In all honesty, I am not sure. I am sure that I can eat generally low-carb -- if we consider ~100 or less carbs a day to be lowcarb, no problem. I can eat gluten-free, that's a bigger problem but do-able. I can avoid junkfood, processed foods, for the most part, that's not that big a deal. But I am not sure that I can avoid every molecule of less than perfect food forever while "waiting for" my body to decide to lose a little more weight.

It is ticking me off that when I eat well, the scale isn't really moving. One reason is because some people look at me as an example, since I'm a blogger so in public. They might be obese too, and see my success so far with weight loss as inspiration. So what the hell do I say now? Why have I stayed in the 350-380 zone (varying) for so long? Why does eating well not seem to drop my weight? When I began lowcarb, even accounting for water/glycol loss, merely keeping my carbs fairly low resulted in super rapid weight loss. Now it seems like very little works to bring about weight loss at ANY speed let alone 'rapidly'.

Now as a caveat to all this I will make one admission: I have not eaten, for "the long term" (meaning a solid 40+ days), according to the "nutritionally complete" eating plan that Regina Wilshire would recommend. In other words I have not gone greatly out of my way to get every vitamin and mineral and nutrient that the body probably thinks it needs, as part of my eating plan. It IS possible that the body is refusing to lose weight that it might agree to, with a more nutritionally complete eating plan.

So far, I have simply been incompetent on this issue. My eating habits have changed so radically the last two years it's absolutely amazing. I eat better than most of planet earth, most of the time anyway. I am on the verge of being a 'whole foods' person (not raw, not vegetarian, but not processed either), with a couple of condiment/sauce exceptions. I eat fewer carbs AND calories than people 1/3 my size. I don't lose weight.

If I up my calories and make SURE I am getting at least 2000 per day, I may lose weight verrrrrrrrry slowly. If I up my protein, I can stay with that. If my protein is not at least 100+g per day, I will eventually be driven by biology to eat higher carbs because my body isn't getting enough protein/amino. So that makes eating ~120g protein/2000cal per day absolutely required. Yet even when I succeed at that (I chronically fall short; I seldom go over--it's just not easy to eat that much protein and still be high-calorie frankly), the weight loss is amazingly slow.

Some bodybuilders think that you cannot deprive your body of more than 300-500 calories MAX a day from whatever your BMR--and it might vary per day and depending on nutrients--and lose weight. They think if you go below that number your body shifts into starvation mode instead of weight loss. The exception being some very obese people and only initially. This would suggest that the only way to lose 'additional' per-day would be to add weightlifting, so the body was reducing insulin resistance, and adding lean muscle mass. Of course when you are body building you generally need to add a few more carbs and calories for other reasons.

But I will admit, that along with Regina's nutrient-dense approach, weightlifting with calorie observation has not been something I have seriously done for 40+ days in order to carefully measure the results.

So I haven't tried 'everything'. Maybe this means I have no right to complain.

But you know what--I'm not alone. Lots of people I know are in a similar situation to me. Some are much smaller. Some larger. All have tried a LOT of different options food-wise. And the fact seems to be that eating plan alone, AFTER a certain amount of weight loss, is simply not the 'solution' to obesity.

Maybe it requires hard core nutrition too. Maybe it requires weight lifting too. Maybe it requires prayer and work on 'belief systems'. Who knows.

I only know that what I have been doing IS NOT WORKING.

So until I get to the point of doing one of the two things I have not yet successfully maintained for any length of time, I feel like I have no real point to blogging about progress.

I feel guilty for not losing weight more rapidly. Like I am letting down people who are watching me. Like people might suspect I'm lying about something. Like it might make lowcarb, which I genuinely believe in particularly for my body, look bad.

What I don't know is if maybe I'm wasting my time. Maybe my body is always going to be enormous. Maybe if we had research it would say, "You screwed it up, it is never getting much better." If I knew that, at least I wouldn't feel so guilty about it!