I didn’t mean to put this off for so long.
Semi-trigger warning. If you’re sensitive, you may want to scroll past. If you’ve known me for over a year, you’re probably fine.
Since this is about some unhealthy things I did to lose/try to lose weight, I’m going to skip most of the time when I was gaining.
During “the gaining years” (2003-mid 2008), I tried all kinds of diets. (These aren’t in any kind of order.) I tried Atkins for a few weeks and learned that I am not one that can cut out carbs. I felt so weak and sluggish.
I tried “Weight Loss 4 Idiots,” and once again felt pretty drained after a week or so, this time because I probably wasn’t eating enough. You get 4 meals a day of certain foods in prescribed combinations and are allowed to eat until you are satisfied. I would just get hungry again too soon or satisfied on too little.
I tried another where your main intake was 3 protein shakes a day with unlimited grapes and pickles. The theory was that you needed something you actually chewed. I don’t think I lost anything on this one, maybe because I added peanut butter to the shakes.
I tried Slim Fast and the Special K 2 cereal meals plan.
When I finally did start losing from my high weight in June 2008, I wasn’t on any plan at all. It was a combination of no more birth control + cutting out secret eating + a little more exercise.
By the end of that year I was down to the low 140s from 170 and my weight loss stalled. I bounced around in the 140s, still struggling with secret eating, but doing better than before and running 1-2 times a week, more in the summer & holidays.
In August 2010, I decided to get back to the old me. I decided I looked gross (then I was 148- not actually overweight) restarting the image problems I had in college. I looked up the Weight Loss 4 Idiots again because it worked last time, if by “worked” you mean made the scale drop. I decided I’d just eat a bit more at each meal to keep my energy up. Since the last time I used it, they had added a plan called “Beyond Calories” where you get to eat 6 mini meals a day. I liked the sound of that, so I purchased the plan and printed it out so I could continue to use it when it expired.
Each day you had 6 meals of foods in different combinations from 4 different categories that roughly were fruits, veggies, proteins, and all of them together. You were supposed to follow the plan for 12 days & take 2 off, but I actually went 5 days on & 2 days off. And it “worked.” I’d gain a little back each weekend, but would still average a couple pounds lost each week. I didn’t feel totally unenergetic like other times. I had energy to run.
At the end of September, I found tumblr. I found thinspo blogs and “healthy” weight loss blogs alike eating >1200 cals a day and exercising some of the off and thinking they were healthy because it’s not like they were starving. I joined myplate on livestrong.com and entered my calories of a couple days on the plans. I found out I’d been eating like those other girls- under 1,000, and I didn’t even realize it. I thought I was fine because I didn’t feel hungry.
Once I was down to 135, 5 pounds from my then goal of 130, I stopped the plan and switched to counting calories. I set the goal on myplate to 2 lbs/week witch put my net goal around 1000 cal/day. Some days I’d go a little over, but usually I was under that. I always tried to eat at least 1000, so I thought I was doing okay. I looked at others (I won’t name names, but most of them have also learned better now) who looked amazing and ate 1000-1200 and worked out more than me, so I thought I was definitely safe.
I didn’t actually learn more about what your body needs to sustain itself until the beginning of 2011. That was also around when I hit my “grown up” low weight of 127 and decided I was tired of counting calories.
I wish I could say that all of my weight loss was healthy and hold it up as an example of how you can eat more than you think and still lose weight, but it’s not. I’m sorry if I lose respect and lose followers for this. If you choose to leave because of it, please let me know that’s why. Normally I wouldn’t ask such a thing because I know there are so many reasons for unfollowing.
I am healthy now, and whenever I feel like I may not be eating enough, whether I’m maintaining or trying to get back to maintenance range, I plug in my intake to make sure I’m all right.
So there’s my story. I don’t know if it will help someone. Maybe it will help you not to judge when someone isn’t eating a healthy amount. They may just be uneducated, like I was. Help them out in a kind way. If they accept your help, then that’s wonderful. If they blow it off, let it go. Maybe they’ll remember in the future.