14 May 2012

My Dukan Diet: History

I didn't think I was fat. I really didn't. I've always had an hourglass shape. I swell uniformly. My waist is always smaller than my bust and hips, so sometimes it's hard to tell how bad the weight gain is. Well, I didn't think I was quite THAT fat, anyway.  Until I saw the hundreds of pictures from my bridal shower popping up on Facebook. Oh. My. Who in the world is that...? Poop. That's how people think I look??????

(This one's probably the best of the batch. I'm sucking it in, here.)

I worked really hard. I truly did. When I moved to Greenville on 29 March 2011, I joined Curves (again), and began working out 5 or 6 days per week. No change. Several people told me that calorie counting was the way to go. "The numbers don't lie," they said. I counted calories. I had an app on my phone, and didn't put a bite in my mouth or take a sip of anything without logging it in. I cut out sugar. I cut out alcohol (except the occasional glass of wine with my fiance). I didn't always make the wisest decisions, but I counted the calories, and the numbers? THEY LIED.

I managed to, just barely, shave off 10 pounds before my wedding, over the course of 6 months. I worked my ever-loving rear end off to do it. I was running between 1000 and 1300 net calories for most of those 6 months, which should have taken off WAY more than 10 lbs, especially with my workout ethic. I was walking with my friend (a couple hundred calories off) several miles each time, several days per week. I was working out at Curves (300-600 calorie workouts-- thanks, Curves Smart system, for tracking my calories) 4, 5, 6 days per week-- in addition to walking. The numbers didn't work.

Now, before I get flack from people who think they know better than I do, I need to explain something. I understand that some people can count calories and work out and lose weight. I am not one of them. Before you tell me how wrong and stupid I am to think that way, let me tell you this. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and that, my friend, is a game-changer. I'll write other posts about this interesting phenomenon, but let me sum up..

PCOS helps you put on weight. PCOS helps prevent you from losing it. Many women (though not all) with PCOS tend to develop weight problems ranging from mildly overweight to morbidly obese, because our bodies are hormonally unbalanced. The cause of weight gain and difficulty with weight loss is that the hormones (which are out of whack) cause a basic metabolic problem. The metabolism doesn't do what it ought. Even if you treat the symptoms of PCOS (yet another post to cover that), it's incredibly difficult to maintain or lose weight. The fascinating part is that a weight loss of as little as 5% (if you weigh 200 lbs, that's only a 2.5 lb loss) can begin to restore the balance to the hormones, which in turn affects the rest of the issues with the disease.

Back to the pre-wedding efforts-- I worked really hard, and got really depressed about how hard I was working without seeing the results I expected.

About a month before the wedding, my Matron of Honor (Full Time Wife-- FTW) suggested I try the Dukan Diet. I couldn't wrap my brain around it at the time. I was working so hard, trying to lose weight. I was preparing to get married some 800+ miles away from where I lived, and the traveling back and forth was wearing me thin ragged. My husband's boss (the scumbag) retracted the approval for him to work remotely during the week prior to the wedding, which meant our entire wedding travel plans had to undergo a last-minute overhaul, and I just couldn't even begin to think of starting something new.

I got married, and we traveled back to Greenville to set up house, then went on our honeymoon to Jamaica. Within a couple of months of the wedding date, I had gained back the entire 10 lbs I had worked so hard to lose, as well as an additional few. I now weighed more than when I had started. De. Press. Ing. Really.

In the mean time, my beloved mother had taken the FTW's advice to heart, and had begun the Dukan Diet. The weight was peeling off her, quietly. She began to suggest I start working on my weight again. Initially, I just didn't have it in me. Working so hard to produce such paltry results was exhausting and depressing. I was trying to learn how to be a wife. I was attempting to set a new home in order, while still in the middle of renovations. I was learning that being married meant that everything about me had to change, and I was working so hard on that. The idea of putting a full-time effort into weight-loss, too, was more than I could do.

Over the first few months, I was trying to find a foothold. I began to gain some ground. The house began to settle. I started thinking about who I want to be, and what I need to do to be that person. My husband and I began dreaming of the future together, post-wedding. What would it take to get there? What would it look like? I knew I didn't want it to include pictures like the ones from my bridal shower.

(Awwww... Look at the happy fat lady!
Oh, and no, this isn't even the worst...)

Two conversations happened. A friend suffered a miscarriage, and she had a very serious conversation with me. "I just want to encourage you and all the ladies in my life to be really serious about getting your health in order BEFORE you get to the point where you start having babies. It's the best thing you can do for you, your husband, and your children. Be healthy first."

My parents came for Christmas. While my dad and I were out for a walk on our street, he was telling me about how proud he was of my mom for her weight loss. "She's always been able to just get really mean with herself. When she decides she needs to make a change, she just gets really disciplined, and she doesn't let herself get away with anything. Even when I tempt her with dessert or try to get her to have a nice meal, she says, 'That's not on my diet, right now,' and doesn't give in."

From those two, brief exchanges came many hours of thought. I made some internal decisions, then talked them over with my husband. I decided that the woman I want to be is someone who is known for the discipline in her life, like my mom. I also decided that I wouldn't drag my health baggage and carry-ons into my husband's or children's lives. I want to be fit for my family, so that I don't have any excuse to not live life fully. My husband, who is an amazing, supportive man, reluctantly agreed with my thoughts. He didn't feel I needed to lose weight. That's just how wonderful he is. He said that he would support me, as long as what I'm doing makes me healthier. Thin isn't a goal that's acceptable to him. Healthy is.

In January, I started the diet.

More to come...

Much love,

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