It is February 1st today, and so in 3 days time it will be a month since I started my “diet”. I have lost exactly 2 kilos since then, so if it doesn’t go crazy in the next few days, then I have doubled my goal of a kilo a month and I am cautiously optimistic!
Optimistic because I have done this before, but cautious for a few reasons. Firstly because the first time I had put that weight on slowly as I grew “older” and so it was a total change of life thing to lose it again. Secondly, I am now eight years older than the last time I did it. But thirdly, this time much of it was medication related, so I have no idea whether that is permanent and I won’t be able to do anything about it or not! And then last but by no means least, and in fact the most important thing that I am cautious about, is that at the time of diagnosis last August I weaned myself off all the drugs that I was on, and worked hard on my physio in the pool, and watched my eating and lost the weight quite easily of the first few weeks, but as I then had the severe reaction to the sun screen, and then a few bad flare ups in a row, the weight bounced straight back on immediately and hasn’t budged since!
I am nervous because my life has completely changed since I added my foot to my injuries and my mobility has been so badly affected. And so exercise can be EXTREMELY difficult for me, even though it is also VITAL to me keeping strong. So that fine fine balance between doing a little bit and not overdoing it, means that THAT is what determines what I do and when, and NOT weight management!
So I lost the first four weeks but then never managed to get below that again, so now I am at that point and wondering, will this keep going down? Or is this it forever? And I am not huge, but any excess weight on my joints and ligaments makes a HUGE difference so I need to get back to my middle BMI weight and stay there!
Thankfully in my own personal experience food has had a bigger impact on my weight than exercise (to a degree; no exercise is BAD news, but being extremely active doesn’t shift a ton of weight either). So this is where I am keeping my focus; the food.
I am trying a balance of not too much sugar, not too many carbs after mid afternoon, loads of cooked fruit and veg where and when I can, and a smoothy each day of some fresh fruit and veg that I blend with yoghurt and milk and wash it down fast so that my mouth doesn’t swell! I am also trying to eat as many legumes as I can which I LOVE!
The problem is that it is not just my mouth that gets miserable depending on what I eat. My gut has a tantrum sometimes as well! And when it has a tantrum it gets bloated which is VERY sore, and worse than that, it pushes out my hernia and gives me a stitch so it is hard to do anything at all and walking is out of the question!
So I have been reading up about FODMAP food. It’s fascinating … the FODMAP diet is growing bigger and bigger for it’s success, but before I go further I should mention that it is NOT a weight loss diet! And it is not an elimination diet as such either. It basically says that some foods can be fine for some people but irritate the gut of others. A lot of people with EDS suffer from gut problems, and are having some real success with limiting their gut issues by following the FODMAP diet! The idea is that you eliminate high FODMAP foods for 6-8 weeks then slowly add them back in and work out which ones bother you and which don’t. Then you go back to normal eating and leave out the handful that are a problem for you.
High FODMAP foods include wheat (which gets SUCH a bad wrap in so many diets), but also include fabulous foods like honey, legumes, lots of foods that are otherwise REALLY good for you! My body has been a problem for a LONG time, and so I already know which on the list are definite problems for me and which are definitely not, which is great, but it might be a really good idea for me to do it anyway and be sure, and to sort out the ones in the middle. It is nothing about foods being good or bad, it is about the foods that aggravate one individual person, and which don’t.
My problem is that if I cut out all the “fattening” foods, limit the carbs, take out everything that I am allergic to, stick to low GI, and now throw out the window everything on the high FODMAP list, I am left with nothing but 4 peanuts!
It’s not quite THAT bad, but it sure feels like it! Being allergic to ALL uncooked fruit & veg because of my OAS, I rely heavily on cooked fruit & veg, and some are “easier” cooked than others. For example cooked apples are FABULOUS right! But cooked bananas make me gag (am I the only person who finds cooked bananas and mucous one and the same thing?). Cooked snap peas are wonderful, but cooked lettuce… not so much! So it isn’t as simple just “cooking everything”…
Cooked blueberries for example are great, but add them to cooked apple and they are even better (and cheaper! and you can do more things with them!!). Blueberries and other berries CAN be very rich, and expensive out of season especially en masse…. But adding apples, I find, make them less rich and less expensive …. and help them to become way more versatile!
But sadly, as is the story of my life, apples are HIGH up on the FODMAP list! That makes it REALLY hard for me to even consider the FODMAP situation at the same time as trying to lose these excess kilos! But I am also finding that I can’t ignore them either. A smoothie made from blueberries and yoghurt and about 5 other things is a GREAT help in getting the good stuff in and keeping the calories down, but a couple of hours later I am in pain and so uncomfortable that I am miserable and ANY exercise becomes a no go!
All fruit & veg, even the cooked stuff, in my gut, is bad news! It hurts, it bloats, and it can become all consuming. Having a McDonalds burger on the other hand, is bad for the waist line but it is sooo gentle on my gut! No bloating, no pain AT ALL!!… if I want to feel REALLY good and do a lot with my day and be in no pain … grab a burger! … or a ham sandwich, or even better eat some custard, a Melk Tart in particular, and I am less likely to feint, less likely to be out of spoons by mid afternoon, and more likely to have a pain free day today AND tomorrow!
But that of course, would not be good for me for a ton of reasons … and so we are looking for the middle road!
So I am experimenting and trying different combinations and we will see how we go… I have decided that being in pain and bloating might be worth it for the weight loss year, but then I must find a way to keep it off and not be so hard on my insides 😦