I started to write this book back in 2006. Things have changed since then. Nevertheless, I believe this book makes a great article.
Look at the end for an update of how things have changed.
There you are, Mister or Miss “I’m so fit” eating that salad in that four star restaurant. You’re happy, your date is just as happy as salads are cheap, and frankly, you’re looking hot tonight. You are having a great conversation; you finish your salad two thirds into it feeling full. You sit back and just look around at the other people in the restaurant. Oh my, isn’t that great?! There’s a couple celebrating their anniversary. Whoa! Look at that big guy with the giant steak on his plate. You think, “my goodness buddy, leave some cow for the rest of the patrons!” You continue with your chat with your date. A few minutes later you notice this guy is eating chocolate mousse pie and devouring it! “My God,” you think, “what a pig!” You also notice this guy is drinking soft drinks like they are going out of style. You can’t believe it and you say to yourself “I am glad I have some self control.”
How many times have you experienced such thoughts when looking at a fat person? Do words like “gross, disgusting, glutton, no self control, or diet” come to your mind?
These are natural thoughts. However, what determines the kind of person you are is whether you open your mouth and actually say them. Regardless the type of person, you are probably ignorant as to why that person is fat. Can you imagine anyone having a desire to be fat? Of course not, and a fat person does not want to be fat.
In this book I will be discussing what makes a fat person fat and what many ignorant (and some even cruel) skinny people falsely think about them and how they got that way.
I am not a scientist, nor a psychologist, nor any other type of “ologist”. I am a [former] fat person speaking and explaining what it is like to be fat in this world. I have found that even the best scientists are only just now beginning to learn that obesity is a very complex thing to have. The scientists that are obese usually have a much better comprehension of what it’s like to be obese and better able to know what to look for in its study. The ignorant ones tend to concentrate on things like “willpower” or “lower your intake”, or “exercise”, or some other obvious yet useless “cure” for obesity.
Right now, there is no “cure” for typical obesity, only treatments. What makes obesity so bad, is that the longer it goes on, and the larger you get, the worse the body behaves in making itself that way. Yes, the symptoms get worse, the behavior gets worse, and the ability to overcome the body gets weaker and so on.
Many people talk about alcoholism or drug addiction these days citing how difficult it is to quit smoking or shooting up heroine or to stop drinking. The best solution for these addictions is to go “cold turkey”, knowing that “just one more drink” or “just one more hit” is going to ruin any progress one has made in overcoming the addiction.
Being physically and mentally addicted to food is a completely different matter. Imagine what it takes to just stop smoking. Sure, it’s hard for the first month, but it does get easier as time goes on. Yes, the craving never goes away, but it does get smaller. Now picture yourself addicted to food. You can’t give up food or go cold turkey. If you do, you die! So, there’s one conflicting aspect of obesity. Even though eating is what is mainly causing the problem, going cold turkey isn’t going to solve it. Death really sucks.
Now, back to smoking… Let’s say you were a two pack a day smoker. Do you think it’s possible for you to just smoke one cigarette a day from now until you die? Everyone knows that willpower only lasts “so” long, and that within a short time you’re back to two packs, and in fact your mind may compensate by craving two and half packs from now on.
The body and mind does the same thing with food. Those that kick up the will power and go on a diet will lose weight, but the body hates it. It does everything it can to keep from “starving”. Hunger gets worse. It begins to wear on the one with the will power. I can guarantee you that hunger will win in the end. If your body already feels like it is starving (more on that later), which keeps you fat, then imagine the results of really starving yourself, er.. going on a diet!
I have given you a little scenario to allow you to comprehend only somewhat what it’s like to be fat. The next chapter I’ll explain it from a fat person’s point of view.
What Is it Like to be Fat?
What is it like to be fat? It’s a horrible experience one wishes they could get rid of now.
People are cruel to you, whether intentionally or unintentionally. A waitress or waiter questioning the wisdom of an order at a meal is cruel. Someone shouting out (and this happens at least twice a week, yes, twice a week), “hey look at that fat-ass! Boy, he’s huge!” or “Mommy, that man is really fat,” or my favorite, a kid tugging on my pants interrupting who I’m talking to, and proudly saying “You’re really really fat!” and the parents more worried about their embarrassment than their child’s behavior usually results. Listen, I have skinny friends that refused to believe these things happened to me, and thought I was just looking for sympathy, until they actually witnessed it happening to me. What usually followed was a heart-felt apology and some groveling. This kind of stuff really hurts and never helps. No, never helps.
The fatter you are, the more your body makes you feel like its absolutely starving. Seriously, it’s screaming out its starvation all day every day. The more you feed it, the more food it takes to stop your body from giving those cravings, and the shorter the time periods between “I’m full” and “I’m hungry”. This is very similar to how drug addicts must take more to get a high as their addiction gets worse. Seriously, that fat person you see devouring that stake or chocolate mousse pie feels as hungry as you would two days into a desert without food in the dead of summer.
Fat people aren’t trying to stuff food down their mouths for the sake of stuffing. Man, what brand do you smoke if you always thought that? That person is hoping their body would just shut up for a while so they can have some peace without hunger pains. They are trying to satisfy a hunger that just won’t quit and are also gaining a food “high” in the process. It is my opinion that this “high” is what causes the hunger mechanism to malfunction and is the root cause of the food addiction. Eating food feels good, and when all you are is getting negativity from people around you, and, of course, your own low self esteem, one can understand the need for a “high” that food gives.
The diet is one sure fire way to gain back more weight than you lost in the long run. Yep, I said it. Diets don’t normally work. They only trigger the body’s anti-starvation mechanism (and addiction retention mechanism) and with fat people it goes into overdrive. A year or two later, when the reserves of will power have been drained and the body is back up to its previous weight, the body makes sure an extra 20 pounds are added upon that to avoid any starvation in the future. It also makes you feel just slightly hungrier on a steady basis.
Picture yourself exercising on your favorite machine with an extra 300 pounds to carry, yes 300, as 20 or 30 isn’t “obese”. Sure, go jogging with that on. Let’s see how long your desire to exercise remains, or your joints remain in one piece. Even Jack La Lane could put down his weights and walk off (when he was alive). Fat people can’t. They carry their weight with them all day and night long. There is no rest. It puts wear on the body everywhere. After time, things like walking, or even moving become large chores unto themselves. Just getting up and walking is a major activity, usually quite painful. These things cause loss of breath, severe tiring, even more hunger pains, achy joints and bones, profound sweating, and lots of itching. Yes, itching! You don’t think Gold Bond® medicated powder was invented for skinny people do you? I wonder how many skinny people would like doing everything with 300 pounds of weight attached to them (sleeping, showering, going to the bathroom etc.)?
You’re stuck this way for life. You’ll most likely be playing the yo-yo game.
People ask why fat people don’t just eat less. There’s a problem with this. If their body’s starvation mechanism were working properly, this would be an easy thing to do. Unfortunately, it’s on overdrive. The cruel thing the body does is it doesn’t tell you it’s full when it’s full. Somehow this threshold slowly raises over time, hence the person slowly getting fatter. Going on a diet does not lower this threshold, which dooms a diet from the start.
The farther the difference between hungry and full are, the larger the hunger is. Which means an obese person’s hunger is at “starving to death” when it should be at “it’s time for dinner”.
There’s a point in a person’s life that willpower is no longer going to work. The medical field has benn just plain useless when treating obesity as well. This usually means a bunch of skinny researchers try to find ways of getting people to eat less. That’s all fine and dandy, but it doesn’t solve the problem. All it does is show the ignorance of the cause of obesity. [See the addendum to this at the end, for a correction to this opinion]
Solving the problem of obesity is first recognizing it is an addiction, not a failure of will power. This addiction is very much physical as well as mental. Salt and sugar taste good. Substitutes aren’t, they just taste bad. Seriously, do you REALLY think an obese person likes being obese? Do you think that they get up every day thinking “gee, what can I do today to make myself so ridiculously huge and grotesque so as to not only limit myself, gross myself out daily, and be the object of public ridicule and embarrassment?”
While eating less will cause the body to lose weight, it doesn’t cure the addiction. The desire for sweets, the horrible “I’m starving” cravings the mind uses to get one to eat need to be controlled. Over-the-counter appetite suppressants are not the only way (by the way, they don’t work for obese people, only vain skinny people). Substitutes may give nourishment, but they don’t satisfy the addiction, which makes the body crave more as if it didn’t even eat. What ends up happening is you eat so much of the “healthy substitute” that it does no good anyway.
Getting the body to feel genuinely full will also help. Controlling appetite doesn’t work well on an empty stomach.
An obese person’s body conserves energy and only moves when it has to. Fat people need energy enough to move around like normal people. Anything more is just going to kill them and overwork an already tired heart. Getting their body to realize it doesn’t need the excess fat is a sure fire way to have it get rid of it.
Develop food substitutes that are actual SUBSTITUTES not poor resemblances. Soy milk isn’t cow’s milk and doesn’t taste nearly as good. It also does not satisfy the food addiction qualities that real milk does. The substitute needs to give the brain the same stimulation that the real thing does without the negative side effects of getting you fat. That’s a very tall order.
What I find completely amusing are the weight loss shakes. These shakes are typically the size of a small child’s drink and are said to have the nutritional value of an entire meal. That’s all fine and dandy, but put some filler in to quadruple the size of the shake and maybe it might have some positive affect on the person taking it. All a fat person is going to do is drink four of them and cause a negative effect. Why don’t these skinny people get this? A fat person needs to be weaned off of large volumes of food. Otherwise the starvation effect gets to be too much to continue with the treatment. I, for one, put all of my drinks in a blender so as to foam them up and seem larger and thicker by volume than they really are to fool my stomach and brain into thinking I have had enough. You see, fillers are just as important for weight loss as are vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fat, and calories. Fix the cause of the weight gain FIRST, then worry about fixing the quantity part later.
Having multi-stage weight loss starting with large volumes of non-fattening filler to fill up a fat person and have the same caloric intake is better than simply low amounts of real food. Yes, you must wean a person off of volume before you can wean them off of fat or calories.
The Physics of Being Fat
First, let’s discuss clothing. Attention tailors and clothing designers! It is typical practice for a tailor to measure you for a suit while you are standing up. Let me enlighten these skinny professionals on why that never works for a fat person. Fat is mostly water and water likes to find the easiest way down, sure it’s kind of a gel but very floppy. When a fat person stands, the fat droops down and you will get a constant waist measurement, a constant thigh measurement and constant chest measurement. However, when that fat person sits down, all of that fat bundles up, and instead of drooping down, it goes out. So, this means a shirt that fit perfectly fine standing up is now bursting its buttons and seams while sitting. Pants are also being stressed because they are now working on splitting themselves supporting the previously hanging fat.
Also, shirt designers, the front of a shirt needs to be considerably longer than the rear for a fat person. There is more to travel around before getting tucked into pants for a fat person. Stop multiplying your skinny person measurements and thinking they will work on fat people! Tailors, take a standing and sitting measurement of your clients and they will love the results. I’ve never had a good fitting suit…ever, even from those “you’re gonna like the way you look” places.
Shoes need to be wider from toe to heal. They also need to have the option of extra ankle support. Skinny person’s shoes just don’t fit. A fat foot is both taller and wider. Design shoes accordingly.
The USA, according to studies, is just full of fat people; yet automobile makers still use 1950’s standards for making the interior of vehicles. It’s always a short 150 pound male and tiny 110 pound female. This may be giant for Asia, but in the USA we are big folks that had big cars for big reasons. One was for room.
I happen to [formerly] drive a 1990 Chevrolet Camaro (it’s my toy) that was obviously designed only for that 150 pound male. I have the seat all of the way back and my gut still touches the wheel, and my feet are still bundled up at the pedals. Here’s something weird. The only car I was completely comfortable driving, as a fat person, was a tiny 1994 Honda Del Sol. It had more leg and gut room than anything I have driven before and since. This is weird, since it was the smallest car I have ever owned.
Auto manufacturers, I’m not saying make your cars hard or unsafe to drive for small skinny people. I am saying give us fat people some options to make our drive comfortable. Such as:
Extensions for seat belts, or the option of a longer seat belt.
Seat rail adapters to move the seat back further, or at least two more bolt attachment points for that seat to mount it further back.
Stronger seat tilting mechanisms. Make it an option if necessary. I hate it when the top-most position breaks and you have to drive leaning back.
Wider bucket seats would be a nice option. Man, my kidneys are hurting!
How about bucket seats that swivel towards the door to make getting in and out of the car easier for a fat person? Yeah, I’m dreaming. The back need not swivel, just the bottom.
Although many cars have adjustable steering wheels, make sure there is a lever that can be used to release it and swivel it up as high as possible to make getting in and out easy. Thank you Chevrolet for this feature in my car!
Stop putting controls down on the center console where I can’t see them and can accidentally activate by leaning on. Keep everything above the radio.
The fat person market is growing. How about getting some fat people into the design process, even if as test subjects?
Furniture is another fat person’s nightmare. My goodness, almost every sofa I see is very close to the ground. I’d like to see a skinny person get up and down from these things with 300 pounds attached to them. I’d pay money to watch.
A fat person needs less vertical travel. Anything to keep gravity at a small factor is always appreciated for a fat person. Living room sets never seem to have this consideration. Make them stronger. Make them higher. Most certainly make them easier to get into and out of. If their butt is lower than their knees, then it’s too darned low. Lifting 300+ pounds with your knees is just about impossible for most people. The typical exit strategy for a fat person, and an embarrassing one, is kneeling on the floor and using the sofa as a brace to get up. Unfortunately, the arm rest is the only reliable means to leverage your fat butt up all of the way off the floor. Had the sofa had their butt higher than their knees, then gravity would have assisted with the dismount, as a fat person just needs to lean forward to get up from such a position.
Sell longer and stronger legs for sofas!
What’s with TV stands that are so low to the ground?? Do all skinny people sit on the floor? Raise that stinkin’ thing a couple feet for Pete’s sake! I’m sick and tired of bending down way low to adjust the thing!
Desk chairs are horrible for fat people! They are too small. The so-called arm rests are anchored at the front. For a fat person, the front is where their legs are and where the blood is being cut off from that darned arm rest being there. Arm rests need to come from behind and not interfere with leg room. The “butt print” needs to be wider and where the legs hang down needs to be less dramatic. Make foot rests higher than the floor to allow better blood flow to and from the legs.
Restaurants, a fat person’s happy place, unless it’s run by skinny people! Booths are the fat person’s worst enemy at a restaurant. If your job is to seat people at a restaurant, and you see in that group of people a fat person, and you seat them at a non-adjustable booth, then you are either a complete idiot or just mean. I have never been in a comfortable booth. Most booths were designed for skinny people and most are not adjustable (the table doesn’t move). This is a stupid move for restaurants. Restaurants built like this with only booths and no tables will find they are completely lacking of fat people, their best potential customers. I always insist on a table as tables have moveable chairs, hence adjustable. Ditch the booths, they just suck.
Immoveable bar stools are also only for skinny people. Detach them from the floor and more fat people may go to your bar.
Movie theaters, sure you have ruined the experience by getting rid of real large auditoriums and opted for the “multiplex” model. Yeah, sure, it means more revenue. However, your seats suck. Only stadium seating with raiseable arm rests suck the least. Your customers are getting fatter. Is it really going to kill you to make a few rows with larger seats on the ends? You sell gigantic sodas and food designed to get one fat in the shortest possible time. How about a little consideration for your creations?!
I don’t go and watch movies in theaters anymore (something I used to enjoy). It’s not comfortable in the least. I’m sitting in a seat cramming my body in a space the laws of physics have something to say about. Someone can’t sit next to me, because what doesn’t fit between the arm-rests goes into the next seat. The seat next to me is useless. My friend, whether date or just friend, has to sit an extra seat over anyway. Just make them wider for Pete’s sake!
Airlines, yes, of all the places that are so cheap and “meatmarket” with the way they treat their customers, airlines have to be the worst. The seats aren’t even comfortable for skinny people, let alone a fat person. Hey, since American’s are getting fatter, how about some consideration for them? Have a couple rows with wider seats. Instead of three seats to a row, how about two seats proportionally larger? Sure, charge 50% more for the ticket, I’ll pay, I understand. Heck, put them in the worst part of the plane too. Anything, just to sit on a plane semi-comfortably. However, wisdom would say to put those seats near a restroom… think hard.
I do not think it is fair to force a fat person to buy two tickets and have to sit uncomfortably on two seats (with the arm-rest up). The better way is to have seats for them and charge only what extra space they truly take extra from a small seat.
Stairs have so many differing looks and designs. While stairs, in and of themselves, are every fat person’s nightmare; let’s start thinking of fat people when designing stairs.
Staircases need to be WIDER. A study since the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks had shown that the high-rise staircases need to be 18 inches wider to efficiently carry people down them. They found that people have been getting bigger since the 1930’s when staircase rules were adopted.
Staircases need to have shorter distances between each step. Pulling up 200-400 pounds on a single leg isn’t easy at all.
Sex and Attraction
What is it with Hollywood writers and skinny people in general? No matter which movie or TV show I watch, they show the fat person thinking the other fat person is a god or goddess of attraction. What the heck are they smoking?
Just because a person is fat, doesn’t mean their sex drive gets all warped and twisted. Sexual attraction for a fat man is the same as for a skinny one. As “unfair” as this may sound, the fat guy is interested in the hot skinny chick every time. He has hormones like the rest of them.
However, what the fat guy realizes is that beautiful woman is about as unreachable as himself being able to be a hot looking stud. He realizes that he is going to have to “settle” for someone a lot lower on the looks scale. Sure, it’s the same for someone looking at him, but those are the facts.
Yes, fat men are forced to look deeper into a woman’s personality than someone that is thinner and more handsome. He has to make up for looks in another way. Most fat men (or women) are proportionally funnier people than the beautiful skinny person. Their substitute attraction is humor, a very strong alternative.
The advantages of dating a fat person is, you know they cannot possibly be the type that is high on the looks competition side. Dating a super model has its down sides; one, she knows she’s good looking and can have any guy she wants. You had better meet her expectations. She is high maintenance for this reason alone. Dating a fat girl (or guy) means you know you don’t have a chance with the “super model” and you are trying to find something deeper for a relationship off the top as looks aren’t working.
Fat people tend to be a lot lonelier than skinny people. However, you are hard pressed for find a self-centered vain fat person too. Fat people do not like their lot in life, but have learned to “get used to it”.
Sure, I wish I was a ripped looking stud with a beautiful woman by my side, but I know that will never happen. I also know that sexually, I’ll never have anyone with perky breasts and tight skin to make love to. The best I have to look for is someone it is best to keep the lights off with when naked.
Now, with all of that said, let me educate my skinny friends on the advantages and disadvantages of being fat while having sex.
First, the disadvantages:
Stamina or the complete lack thereof. You’d better have oxygen and energy drinks handy if you want to have an all-nighter. While a fat person can move easier laying down, it’s still a lot of mass to keep moving. A guy and gal will get tuckered out much sooner. Tuckering out before orgasm can be very frustrating.
The number of positions available is quite minimal. You don’t want to crush or smother your partner, if you get my drift. Also, skinny person, you try to have sex with 300 pounds strapped to you. Various positions is a ridiculous chore without pleasure, if you can breathe by the time your in position.
For a man, fat accumulates in the pubic area and can make the penis look smaller. This means he has to work harder to penetrate the woman further. [The rest was just too graphic for this blog].
For a woman, the fat in her thighs can prevent a man from fully penetrating her as well. That’s even more fat to compress and press against. Too much energy can be lost doing this. Have I painted a pretty picture yet?
Birth control with condoms is a joke. The extra fat around the pubic region will roll up a condom. The logistics of it all can make for a very frustrating experience. Married couples, just use the pill.
Now the advantages:
- [This was just too graphic for this blog. Hint, more friction.]
Fat people, because of their lot in life, may tend to be more willing to do “interesting” things in bed that a “super model” type just won’t do. I’ll leave it to your imagination what that means.
Women, the likelihood of your husband springing on you the “3 am surprise” is also lower for a fat person. Once a fat person is asleep, not much is going to happen until they have had a full night’s sleep for the body to recuperate the lost energy. I’m not saying it won’t happen, as men are horny critters, but the odds are in your favor of it not happening as much.
While a mildly over-weight person can exercise to assist in weight loss, to the obese person, the activity is akin to torture. Once again, strap 300 extra pounds to your body and see how well your joints and stamina last. Still, with the obese, it’s even more hard work, as the body must cool and nourish all of that extra 300 pounds; which involves vast amounts of blood and oxygen. While you may be able to walk five miles without so much as breaking a sweat, an obese person feels like they ran a marathon walking a few hundred feet.
Expecting the obese person to spend ten to fifteen minutes on a treadmill is the same as asking heavy metal fans to endure a mariachi band concert. It won’t go well.
Certainly some exercise can be beneficial. However, don’t expect an obese person’s freight train body to behave like your sports car body. That high a skinny person gets from exercise does not come to a fat person. Don’t patronize the fat person exercising with “doesn’t it feel great?!” or crap like that. No, it doesn’t feel great. It feels akin to a Mac truck running over you every five seconds. Shut up!
[Note: This book was never finished, but ended here. Now I feel I can end it positively.]
Losing It and Keeping It Off
Yes, it is possible to lose weight and keep it off, but it requires help, constant effort, and a valid reason/incentive.
In October of 2010 I got sick and tired of my lot in life. I was sick of the loneliness, sick of being tired all of the time, sick of not being able to enjoy the simple things anymore, especially roller coasters. Most of all, I was concerned I’d end up as one of those guys driving an electric chair with a Big Gulp in my hand.
Here I was, I finally had a very good job, and decent medical insurance, which I could afford. I talked to my doctor about losing weight the medically supervised way. I made the determination I would do and pay whatever it took to get it done, as I was not going to die like this. My doctor referred me to Doctor Ken Fujioka of the Scripps Bariatric Clinic in Del Mar California. It was the best referral a doctor has ever given me.
Dr. Fujioka listened to my history and habits and was impressed with my desire to lose the weight no matter what it took. He ordered a battery of tests on me to see the best method to treat me, as weight loss is his specialty. When the results came back he told me something I always knew, but never had confirmed until then. My condition was a perfect storm of 3 genetic defects. All which worked against staying thin. One was a low testosterone level. He said “I bet you’re always a very mellow guy right?” Indeed I am, to the point of amazing patience. He said, “I bet you feel like you are always starving, like a day or two in the desert right?” Ok, now this is getting spooky. Yes, I am, and even though I have been forcing myself the past couple years to only eat one meal, this starvation feeling never goes away. Well, it turns out my body doesn’t produce the enzyme or signal that tells my brain it has eaten or is full. Finally, he says, “I bet you always feel extremely exhausted and crave soda or other sugary drinks like they are going out of style.” Why yes, I was. He said my body produces three times the normal amount of insulin than it should, which turns the sugar in my blood to fat instead of energy. This is why I constantly craved sugar and was exhausted from even the most menial movement.
I was prescribed testosterone supplements to restore my hormone levels to normal, as he surmises based on the history I told him that my testosterone dropped off immediately after puberty (yes, I developed normally). Lack of testosterone in a male causes him to fatten up. This not only will eliminate that problem, but also help me with my aggressiveness in seeking a woman, and boy has it. Judas Priest! How do you guys walk around with this stuff in your blood stream?! I’m horny as hell!
He prescribed an extremely strong appetite suppressant to overcome the defect that says I am always hungry and boy does it work! I have to force myself to eat now and even then it is very small amounts. He also prescribed some medications to control my insulin and sugar levels. I am not diabetic, but they are diabetic medications that work extremely well.
The doctor says I am on a level playing field with everyone else now.
My weight loss includes access to a registered dietitian, Janet Nash (at the same office), and she has me on a high protein low sugar diet. She has me eating three to four times a day, but very small meals. She says this keeps my metabolism high, and she is right.
For the first two months things were going well and the weight was dropping off. Though it was a while before I could find foods I could stand eating.
I then became depressed, very. This sort of thing you cannot completely do alone, and I am very much alone. This was the end of February 2011. I knelt down and begged God for help and got a most interesting and unexpected answer.
Those of you that follow my blog know of my friend Rhonda. I met her two years ago via a dating web site, and we had talked on the phone many many times over a few months. After a while though, we lost touch and I hadn’t talked to her for almost two years.
Well, I kept having a feeling while praying here “talk to Rhonda,” and I kept thinking to myself I needed to concentrate and get Rhonda out of my head. Well, that was until I heard a voice, plain as day, say my full name, and then “…you do what your Heavenly Father tells you right now!” Yikes! That was the voice of my Mother, and she’s dead. Well, that did it for me, and I ended my prayer. I spent the next 8 hours crafting an email to Rhonda.
Rhonda was so happy to hear from me, and it was if those two years never happened. We have become very close friends now, and she encourages me every day, as I know I encourage her with her goals. She is part of my incentive folks. She makes me so happy, and everything so worth it.
Status So Far
My weight loss started to slow down considerably, as I was losing about 15 pounds a month. It had slowed to 5 for May. I found that unacceptable. Doctor Fujioka then prescribed an amazing drug, Zonicamide. It accelerated my weight loss to over 20 pounds a month! Thank you Doc!
Well, it is now August 2011, and I have lost over 150 pounds [now 226 pounds as of September 2012], and will soon get the rest hacked off by a plastic surgeon [denied by insurance], as nearly all of the fat is gone. I once weighed 426 pounds in November 2010. I now weigh under 260 pounds [200 pounds now]. Between 20 and 40 pounds will be removed by the surgeon in just excess skin. Doctor Fujioka says I broke the clinic record for the most weight lost in the shortest time, and that I lost it faster than his bypass and lap-band patients do! Folks, I want to be able to do the things skinny people can do without blinking. Run and not be weary. Walk and not faint.
What have I learned so far? I have learned that obesity sucks. I have learned it is very difficult to control, and that it requires a lot of help and encouragement to do so. I feel so much healthier with a lot of energy. I haven’t ever felt like this in my life, ever. I love it! There is no way in hell I am going back to being heavy or even obese. Rich foods are a special occasion thing now, not a regular thing. This is ok, as it gives me something more to look forward to on special occasions. The way I am eating now, and the medications I have to take, will have to be like this for me the rest of my life. It’s something I have learned to accept. It’s more than a reasonable sacrifice for what I have gained and am gaining in return.
This is a disappointing stage of my journey. When you lose weight, unfortunately, the skin stays. You will end up looking like a deflated balloon. Definitely not sexy at all. You need to make sure your insurance company covers post-weight loss surgery. Mine, unfortunately, does not. They had a carefully buried “no abdominoplasties” phrase hidden within the mountain of lawyer-speak they called a policy. Note, this was a United Health Care PPO plan. So much for the PPO hype.
This excess skin carries a lot of medical problems. This need to hack off the excess skin isn’t just cosmetic, as the insurance companies claim it is. You suffer rashes from the folded skin, and it is painful to sit down as skin bundles in your butt crack when you sit. Finding a way to spread your butt cheeks gracefully when sitting is a near impossible endeavor. My ass is in constant pain, as I am a software engineer and sitting all day is part of the job. The summer is miserable, as I end up being a walking rash in the most horrible places of my body. The weight of the skin pulls on my back and gives me horrible back aches as well.
Doctors even agree this is a medical need, and not just a cosmetic convenience, to have post-weight loss surgery.
For Weight Loss:
- Muscle Milk Light. Makes a great tasty high protein meal replacement. I used to have chocolate milk every day. This is a good substitute.
- 1% or skim milk.
- Lean Cuisine and other high protein frozen dinners. You cannot eat the desserts nor the potatoes.
- Veggie sausages and other veggie meal replacements.
- Steak is a wonderful meal and quite allowed.
- Turkey and chicken.
- Skim or light cheeses as they are high in protein. Cottage cheese and string cheese being my favorites.
- Nuts. Roasted is best as the grease is gone.
- Beef and Turkey jerky, though turkey is best.
- Small amounts of melon salads like cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon.
- Salads, obviously. Easy on the fatty dressings. Best to have vinaigrettes.
- Water and vinegar actually increase weight loss by 20%. 8-12 ounces of water to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. It works! It’s an acquired taste though.
- A hard boiled egg once or twice a week is fine.
- I can eat as much veggies as I want.
- Turkey chili is ok.
- Anything low-fat, low-sugar, low carbs, high-protein is ok.
For Weight Maintenance (includes the above):
- Bread thins. 100 calorie thin sliced specially made bread available at most grocery stores. Multi-grain is encouraged, and frankly more delicious.
- A small sandwich with lean meat and veggies. I prefer turkey.
- Small amounts of popcorn for snacks.
- Multi-grain cereals, including oats and wheat.
- Multi-grain crackers for snacks.
- Tortillas, including special sandwich wraps.
- Meatloaf, favoring lean meats.
- Small baked potatoes, but eat them occasionally only.
- Whole grain pastas.
- Like weight loss, eat four small meals a day.
For Weight Loss:
- Any starches like Potatoes, pasta, rice, etc.
- All gluten. Basically anything derived from wheat or oats. No bread, etc.
- Corn is unusual as it can be a starch quite easily. Popcorn is a no-no. The only safe corn is whole kernel corn off the cob or canned, not sweetened. All other forms of corn are off limits as they have morphed into starchy corn.
- Anything sugary is a no-no. Everything must be low in sugar and low in carbohydrates. The body is being taught to use protein for energy.
For Weight Maintenance:
- Avoid rich, fatty, and sugary foods.
- Have lots of good healthy protein.
- Have the good carbohydrates in small amounts.
My diet is not a calorie counting nor a weigh the foods diet. It’s just small simple meals from my allowed foods.
What Have I Learned?
I have learned that the only way to reliably lose weight is to do it with professional and qualified medical and health professionals. A good doctor that specializes in weight loss, and a good registered dietitian that can gear your diet based upon the doctor’s treatment plan. I am lucky to have found the best weight loss professionals in the southwest.
The fad diets of of liquid fasts, or magic pills, super herbs, or even Hollyweird diets just don’t work for long term weight loss. Of course you want to do the easiest way possible. That is why you always try out these wacky diets. Simply said, they don’t work, and eventually make things worse for you. Go see a doctor, and ask to be referred to a weight loss specialist. The beauty of this, is they can gear your treatment to exactly what is causing your problem, and it isn’t the same for everyone.
I have also learned that you need to read the fine print of any insurance policy and make sure “abdominoplasties” are not excluded. It is a dirty rotten thing to need to get the final medical treatment of removing the excess skin from weight , and have an insurance company refuse to do it. It is not just a cosmetic need, but a medical one, and even my doctor cannot understand why they refuse to cover this final step.
- Does lack of willpower explain obesity? What new report says (cbsnews.com)
- Study Finds Links to Fatty Food Cravings (losethattyre.co.uk)
- Not enough, rather than too much fat, causes metabolic problems of obesity (blogs.plos.org)