In the words of James Brown, I feel good…
No, I don’t.
I feel the opposite of good. Bad? Bad doesn’t cut it.
I am overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead and just how long it will take to get my body down to a decent shape. OK, I know that I’m in a better place today than I was last week or more realistically, last month and if the diet continues to work, I will be in a better place next month.
I say “if” the diet continues to work because I am not there yet in the headspace where I wholly, truly, completely believe that the diet will keep working.
Yo yoing on the scale doesn’t help. I’m just not complacent about it. We are all a product of our past and as positive as I try to be, I come from a place where diets that work for others, stall when it comes to me. And that of course includes diets like Atkins, Dukan diet, 80:20 diet or even the 5:2 diet.
I am not just feeling overwhelmed by the length of time it will take me to lose weight, I am also very tired and very sluggish. Low carb diets usually leave me energised and full of beans; I don’t feel like that at all and this has been getting worse over the last couple of weeks and has gotten very bad this week.
I feel tired, sluggish and in pain. My back hurts, my knees hurt (even though they had stopped hurting prior to starting the diet), my body feels heavy and sluggish, walking is a struggle, everything is a struggle.
Mentally, I also feel down. I’m certainly not in the best frame of mind for the imminent arrival of houseguest where I have to be at my best behaviour. Never mind having to prepare lots of yummy food while I sip on my soup. Heaven give me strength!
I think part of the problem might be a lack of exercise. I have not exercised since I started the diet because the general consensus is that exercise reduces weight loss. I totally get this and I understand the Science. I am on a low calorie diet where I consume 810 calories a day. My body will struggle to cope with exercise when my basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories my body needs for its basic functions if I’m lying in bed all day and doing absolutely nothing), is about 1,800 calories.
I totally get that adding more pressure on my body by exercising, could mean that my body goes into starvation mode and hoards fat. I also come from a history where this always happens when I over-exercise or starve myself; I am the only one that I know that puts on weight on a fast day doing the 5:2 diet.
In the past, I have chosen to exercise, even if it means a lower rate of weight loss. Not only because of the numerous benefits of exercise but also because unlike some overweight people, I actually like using the gym and get a real buzz out of it. I have been a regular gym-user for the last 20 years. Even at my heaviest ever weight, when I was about 133 kg or so, I was fit, and was still using the gym 3 to 4 times a week.
With the Cambridge diet though, my aim is to stick to it 100% and lose the weight as quickly as possible. I don’t really wish to exercise if it means a longer time on the diet. However, I do not know whether I can deal with this heaviness that I feel, the sluggishness that is affecting both my mental and physical wellbeing.
Perhaps there is a halfway solution which I can explore with my consultant; perhaps I could try more gentle form of exercises such as yoga and Pilate exercises even though in the past, these were combined with cardio. But will they help with the sluggishness when what I crave is a good gym session? I just don’t know.
I’m not a happy bunny and as I write this, my email pings. It’s a lovely email from my consultant Mandy. She’s on holiday in NYC, fitting into fabulous size 6 jeans – American size but well done woman!
I am overwhelmed that she has written from her holiday to encourage me to keep going. I feel a sense of optimism remembering that she (someone that I trust), has told me she’s never come across anyone who has stuck to the diet and not lost weight. I’m encouraged by this photo (posted with permission!) she sent me last week showing me exactly what 2.2 pounds weight loss is like.
I smile at the pleasure that she’s enjoying buying things she likes and not just things that disguise the fat. She tells me to keep going as we have agreed to go on a shopping trip when I’ve lost the weight.
The timing of her email reminds me of a saying by anonymous that I like: “We can’t call people without wings angels, so we call them friends instead.”.
You are on with the shopping, Mandy.
Bring it on.