Once Upon A Time...
I was sick and desperate and my whole life was falling apart. I started "biohacking" for all of the wrong reasons (to save a marriage through weight loss) but I got a lot of pushback. This was almost 10 years ago and I learned about mycotoxins from a survivalist/homesteading website. Even then it was through forums and later a newsletter put out by one of the members that gave me a framework. Essentially, I learned that the normal American diet was making me sick. I had pre-eclampsia with my only successful pregnancy and multiple miscarriages. I was in my early 20s but over 400lbs. I had been to doctor after doctor and was given diagnoses that ranged from a vague "hormone issues" to complex psychological disorders. I was taking about $3k worth of psychotropic drugs and I had just been through a medical error/bad reaction to a medication that dropped my IQ dramatically. I think that the worst feeling I had was knowing that I was once smart enough to fix this but that I couldn't figure it out and I might die that way. Then along came the "whack job" that started talking to me about what I was eating and what I was taking. Information was slow to come by back then but we did know that corn that was meant for cattle finishing was killing other animals (there was a large bird kill if I remember correctly) and there was another incident that had to do with peanuts. She gave me a list of things to just avoid and I sort of felt my way out from there.
I took digital photos of my body to see myself as a specimen instead of the emotional way I saw myself in the mirror.
I stopped taking all of the drugs (I don't advise this and it wasn't a choice, my divorce left me with no insurance and I couldn't even afford doctor visits, let alone the expensive medicine)
I started smoking (I do NOT advise this either but I am trying to be as honest and open about the experience as possible)
I went back to school (I needed to support my kid) and started taking small doses of Adderall on an infrequent basis (again, I couldn't afford to buy it every month like prescribed)
*Now for the important part.*
Off-limits according to my friend (I tried to stick to this) = soy, corn, peanuts, sugar and anything artificial (sweetener, color, flavor.) Limited amounts of wheat were okay but not ideal. Also, she emphasized the importance of carrots, garlic and onion because they have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, etc. etc.
I started shopping at an Asian grocer because it was the cheapest place to find food. What I didn't find was processed food that I recognized or could understand the ingredients. My friend had me reading labels and since I couldn't do that I just skipped them all together. I ate meat (pork mostly but also chicken, shrimp and beef) vegetables (whatever was cheap - baby bok choy, zucchini, snow peas, carrots) and some rice (only at dinner or else I would be hungry all day.) I usually made a big stir-fry with coconut oil (I could only afford the cheapo stuff from walmart at the time) and a tiny bit of soy sauce. I sometimes made a gravy type thing with the meat and oil and a little flour instead. I sometimes put the ingredients in soup and skipped the rice in favor of chick peas. Even though she said it was not ideal, I drank a LOT of unsweetened ice tea. At first I was doing it because I just wanted to do SOMETHING and figured this was just as good as any other approach (I've been on a diet of some form off and on since age 6!) but it started to work. I noticed that I was a little lighter and my clothes fit better. I noticed that I wasn't bloated. Then I started digging for more information.
I started adding red bell peppers, every kind of green that I could get my hands on (my first introduction to kale) and made a goal to get as much nutrition in a serving of food as possible. Breakfast was pureed carrots with apple sauce and frozen berries with some cinnamon (a cup or so of the mix) along with a boiled egg or two. Maybe a peach. I had leftovers for lunch and made another batch of whatever for dinner.
In late April/early May of that year I couldn't weigh myself (the scale only went to 400) and on the 4th of July (a symbolic thing) I weighed 300lbs. I went from a size 34 to a size 22. 300 seems like a lot but I thought that it was just my natural set point. I stayed that size for several years.
I got pregnant again and quit smoking and gave in to the "ideal" diet for a pregnant woman and all of the weight slowly came back. I miscarried. I lost family members. I found comfort in "comfort food" and now I'm back to being scared. I have tried (half-heartedly) a few other diets since then but my new husband and growing daughter seemed to need/want foods that didn't work for me and I'd eventually give up.
Then my podcast obsessed husband came into the house one day and said "You're not crazy!" It was one of those "man moments" where things tumble out that don't really sound good but he went on and on about how this guy was talking about those toxins that I used to believe in and coconut oil... It was very satisfying to know that there are people out there who don't think that I'm insane for saying "I'm allergic to corn" for the last 10 years to avoid it. So here I am, trying to catch up on what the last 10 years has taught us and what information we have that we didn't have before. The last time that my weight loss stalled, I assumed that it was my "set point" and I cut back on fat to try to get smaller but it never worked. I always thought that you had to have a high protein, low fat, low carb diet. I could never find anything to the contrary. I'm ready to try things differently and see if the magic can happen again.
I'm going to add the coffee and add more fat to my diet from before and see what results I can get. Also, now that I have more resources, I'm going for grass fed meat and dairy. I'm a little scared of not having protein every day but I'm willing to TRY to take the focus off of meat as much. Will update with new (post 30 metabolism!) results when I have them.