I have tremendous anxiety about gaining back the 70+ pounds I lost. Four months ago, I had a small setback (a little scare) with my Pulmonary Embolism. Uncomfortably, I agreed to take medication again for three months. There are many side effects to the medication, but the ones that bother me the most are random fatigue, slowed metabolism and loss of appetite. All of these set me up for weight gain. The last time I was on the medication I gained 10-12 pounds in less than two months. It took me about two months to lose that weight and it was HARD. The anxiety of gaining weight again really put me in a panic. Listening to my complaints, my doctors all told me it is okay to gain a little weight so you are alive.
One day, when I lamented to my therapist about my recent ten pound weight gain due to this round of medication, he told me, “I know you can do anything with your determination.” That resonated with me and I started thinking about how I could lose the weight. I began to examine what I was really eating all while complaining I did not have an appetite. I randomly skipped breakfast. If I did have breakfast it was about a half of an 8-ounce protein shake (Sun Warrior Protein and organic unsweetened almond milk). I noticed I was eating a huge about of almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and pistachios a day. I was also eating a bag of gluten free baked chips with organic hummus or a large bag of GMO free popcorn. I calculated eating close to 2,000 calories a day without drinking a lot of water or having vegetables and fruit.
I had been committed to early morning workouts for the past 5 years. Being unable to get up to workout made me depressed. I would try to workout in the evening, but was inconsistent because my body was not adequately nourished to do so. As I began to develop a plan, I realized that I was not tired all day and had bursts of energy in the afternoon.
With this reality check I developed a new plan. I realized I had to go back to basics of when I first began losing weight by eating clean. I had to start eating better, like steel cut oats and fruit for breakfast. For lunch, I have vegetables with a small amount of lean protein. Dinner is the same, or might include a specific low-glycemic starch. I drink at least 80 ounces of water a day and have chai tea as a treat. At night I have another treat, either a handful of raw almonds with goji berries or homemade air popped GMO-free popcorn. I had a harsh reality in that I really needed to get more protein. I no longer eat a lot of tofu (even sprouted tofu) because I found that it affects my fibroids.
Since I began this last 11 days ago I have lost 7 pounds. I lost 6 lbs in my first week. I know my body is going through the dreaded week two blues, but I am staying committed because I know going back to the basics works and I am clear about what I need to do.
I am still not pro-medication. I am just more determined now that whatever comes my way, I will try to figure out another plan of action to maintain my health.
Have you ever had a regaining weight situation, either through health setback or something else? How did you deal with it?
Also by EnJunaya: How I Lost Weight on a Plant-Based Diet
Learning to Love My Stretch Marks
Photo: uneduex via Flickr