Weight’s been a weird thing for me. And this is going to be a rather TMI and personal post but what has this blog been if not plenty of that.
I spent most of my life underweight and rather skinny. When I started college, I didn’t even fill out size 0 (in retrospect, that was probably a brand that ran too big) but the point remains. My main concern when I was on dorm food was would I get enough nutrition since I was vegetarian and watched my weight to make sure I didn’t lose any. I did gain some weight in college so I ended it at 115 lbs.
And then I got diagnosed with PCOS. I don’t know if it was the PCOS or adulthood or eating out more but ever since I’ve gained 3-5 lbs a year. Fast forward a decade and.. well, you do the math. I never worried about it since it was never a sudden weight gain but by my late 20s, I was actively trying to bring it down. I couldn’t understand why I kept gaining weight since I generally eat healthy food and I don’t eat a huge amount. One of my doctors kept saying that everyone always underestimates what they eat but no, I had done logs and for the most part, ate 1800 cal/day. By this stage, I had also learnt that PCOS is associated with weight gain in a way that made it even harder to lose weight.
The summer I was 29, I went through a summer trying caloric restriction and zero added sugar. It was supposed to be enough to lose 1lb/week but I was losing less than half of that. And so I went from being 115lbs when I was 22 to 157 at 32, right before getting pregnant.
And then I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes. That was it’s own stress but a few good things came of that. For one, I only gained 15lbs through the pregnancy. I lost all that and was back to pre-pregnancy weight 10days postpartum. I suspected that “I” had lost weight and “the pregnancy” had gained weight so once I lost the pregnancy weight, I would actually be at a net loss. I think this is roughly true. Fast forward to 6 months postpartum and I’m a solid 15 lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight.
For me… this is amazing. I’m at a weight that I last saw when I was 27 or so. And unlike last time where I had to be so so careful about what I ate, now, I only roughly pay attention.
One thing that I think happened is with the GD, I worked out some of what type of diet really truly works for my body. And I learnt how to stick with it and what are the ok cheats. Since then I’ve read a book (“The Obesity Code”) whose message roughly matches what I observed in myself — keeping blood sugars low is the key (technically his message is keeping insulin low is the key). And I had learnt to do that because I was measuring myself after every time I ate.
I’ve loosened a lot of the rules now and probably need to get back to a slightly stricter version. But for the most part, these aren’t hard rules for me to observe. I do indulge but try and make it a rare event and not a regular thing (byebye chips with a sandwich). Given that the hormones running through my body now are massively different, I don’t know if the same diet will still work as well but so far, it seems to be.
Do I think this will work for everyone? – no. For one, I think this addresses some very specific issues that I was dealing with. I don’t want to be that person who’s obsessed with weight but I do feel younger (though that probably has to do with the fact that my younger self was skinny and so I conflate the two).
Mostly I’m rather grateful that I managed to learn a little more about what works for my body.