A real weight loss journey
Max Carmody, MSc
Hello! My name is Max. This is my very first blog post on this project. I decided that I really wanted to write a blog on something that I am currently going through myself, so I can write honestly and can speak candidly on the topic. So I thought, what am I currently doing in my life? And the answer was: dieting.
I’ll start by giving you a little bit of background about my diet and weight loss story. Last summer I was weighing in at 130 pounds. Over the course of the past year, I put a little bit of weight on, up to about 168 pounds. I’ve been pretty afraid to weigh myself for a while, because I knew that I was gaining weigh, but didn’t want to know exactly how much. When I finally stepped on the scale, it shocked and scared me a bit.
Despite this weight gain, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think I’m very overweight. I am about 5’7 ½. I have however, gotten a little bit of a belly, more than I’m comfortable with. I am not trying to be model stick thin, that’s not my goal. I do however, prefer to stay pretty slim. A slim and athletic build, that’s what I’m going for.
Weight Gain Over Year
So if I was 130 pounds last summer, how did I gain almost 40 pounds over the course of a year? It had to do mostly with my poor health. I’ve been struggling with a lot of quite serious mental health issues, some of of which worsened over the past year. Otherwise I would have had a bit more stability in my life, and been better about maintaining my weight.
Basically, I started eating a bunch of crap all the time. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I ate fast food every day. I ate frozen buffalo nuggets and microwave fries for breakfast. I drank a lot too, I like my wine. Now I actually think that my metabolism is pretty decent, I don’t think that I have a particularly slow metabolism or anything, and I’m still relatively young, I’m 29, so it hasn’t had too much of a chance to slow down yet. But if you eat that much crap, most people are going to gain some weight. Considering how poorly I was eating, I’m actually kind of surprised that I didn’t gain more or gain it back even faster.
I used to be kind of fatphobic, and thought that being overweight was a sign of laziness. Now I realize that people have all sorts of different metabolisms, some of which make it very difficult to lose weight and keep it off. I myself have experienced weight gain resulting from medications I was taking. I think after gaining weight myself mostly due to health reasons, now I am much more understanding of the many things that might contribute to weight gain and never judge the individual anymore.
Here’s a bit about my previous history with dieting. When I was younger, I never had any major weight issues, I was always about average weight and I ate what I wanted. Then the first time that I went away from home for an extended period of time, when I was 19, to study in a national student exchange at the University of the Virgin Islands, I gained some weight. I had probably gone from about 140 to 170.
The Virgin Islands were gorgeous, and I had the time of my life there. I took a scuba diving class that I actually got school credit for, and I went paddle boarding every other day over the crystal clear sea with the school paddleboard that they lent us. I suppose that I gained the weight because instead of eating my mother’s nutritious home cooked meals every night, I could eat whatever I wanted in the school cafeteria. And every Friday, we would go for happy hour (the drinking age was 18 there) and I would have pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris. I was in a tropical paradise after all, and that seemed the appropriate thing to do at the time.
When I got back home (after a trip by myself to the Colombian Amazon by myself where I did many exciting things including going on a 3 day boat ride down the Amazon and seeing the pink river dolphins and went fishing for and swimming with piranhas) several rude relatives commented on the weight I had gained. I was determined to get it off as quickly as possible, and turned to calorie counting as that was the only diet that I really knew about at the time.
Early Forays into Dieting
With calorie counting, I was constantly hungry. I tried to eat under 1500 calories a day or something like that, and meticulously counted the calories of everything I ate, I wouldn’t eat things that didn’t have calorie counts on them. It was slow and painful, but eventually I got the weight off and was back at about 140.
After age 19, my weight generally stayed around 145 or so. It might have gone a little bit over at times and I may have dieted a few times to get it back down, but I don’t remember that much specifically about that, I don’t think I dieted too much. I know that for no time in the last 10 years, have I weighed this much though, ever since I got the excess Virgin Islands weight off.
I do remember within the last couple of years that I found out about low carb diets, and did one for a while. I learned about it from my mom, who had been put on “the diet of hope” from her doctor. I found that the low carb diet worked much better for me than calorie counting, I both lost weight much faster and was never hungry, as you got to eat as much as you wanted as long as it was protein or vegetables etc. and within the appropriate food groups. You just couldn’t be eating like carbs and sugar.
Goal of this Blog
Now, I want to kill a lot of birds with one stone. I want to have my own blog, at the same time as I’m actually losing weight, and write about the journey. I am thinking about different directions that I want to take this blog. My goal is to provide my readers with as much valuable information as possible about a wide variety of different diets and general nutrition. Maybe I’ll expand into fitness eventually, depending on how things go. I am not claiming to be an expert on the topic, I am just an ordinary person, but I’m sure that I’ll learn much more about dieting as this blog continues and I can share everything that I learn with you.
The very first thing that I’m going to do, that you’ll be reading about in an upcoming blog post soon, is to try as many different diets as possible, and record how they work for me. I’m going to try some of the most popular and trending ones out there, including the keto diet and the paleo diet. I’m hoping that I can both lose some weight myself, find out what sort of diet actually works best for me, and then can relay the information to you to help you make a more informed decision about your own diets.
I still have my health issues going on, they have not been resolved yet. It is going to make following any diets extremely difficult, especially on my bad days. But I am determined to do it, and am no longer accepting excuses from myself.
Thank you for reading what I have to say, and welcome to my blog, I hope you enjoy it!