How to Yo-Yo Diet! Part 2: Gaining the Weight Back and Then Some.

As we start the new year and set goals for our health, wealth, and family I want to finish the cautionary tale of my Yo-Yo dieting throughout the past 6 years. The success story is that I am now in the best shape of my life! However, along the way I had many ups and downs and this blog post focuses on the downs (up in terms of weight gain). As we traverse into the new year, I encourage everyone to set attainable and sustainable goals.

As previously shared, in December 2014 I was obese, had terrible energy levels, and was likely pre-diabetic. The important caveat here is: I rarely ever ate sugar! Since some sugar-lovers will say they rarely eat sugar too, let me clarify.

  1. I rarely drank soft drinks (at most once/month). My beverage of choice was water and if I craved something bubbly, I opted for seltzer.
  2. I never ate dessert after meals. I preferred filling up on a real meal rather than “saving room for dessert”.
  3. I never put sugar in my coffee, just cream or milk.
  4. I never snacked on candy or treats. My snacks were typically granola bars, bananas, oranges, or nuts.
  5. I never ate donuts/danish/muffins for breakfast. My typical breakfast was an egg&cheese sandwich and coffee.

Even though sugar is a common enemy in our obesity epidemic, it clearly was not the case for me. So, how did I gain so much weight with a reasonably healthy aversion to sugar?

In a previous post I discussed my first ever diet that I underwent in 2011. Dropping a clothing size was a big success for me! However, as with most diets, over time I went back to my familiar eating habits. This included egg sandwiches in the morning, sandwiches or pasta for lunch, and pasta, pizza, and french fries for dinner. A pretty standard American approach that seemed harmless to me.

During this time frame, I met my future wife and we shared a love for obtaining deals on food. We created accounts with numerous restaurant deal sites including Groupon, LivingSocial, SaveNowCT, LocalFlavor, DealChicken, and Restaurant.com.  In fact, for a short time I even wrote about some of our food-adventures in my first blog. At the time, it was so exciting to get an abundance of food really cheap. Unfortunately, the major downfalls to my health were:

  1. Going out for dinner 4-5 times per week.
  2. Large portion sizes at restaurants.
  3. Minimum purchase value on Groupons/coupons, so we were ordering more food than we normally would have.
  4. Low nutritional value foods and an improper balance of macronutrients.
  5. Leftovers to eat the next day.

What really put the nail in the coffin for me was the 8 months that I worked in Perth Amboy, NJ. I was living out of a hotel room for those 8 months and only had access to restaurant food at the time. That, combined with the loneliness of the situation, I could really feel my energy being sapped. I had low energy and barely got by with coffee and frequent snacking each day.

yoyo-gaining

From 2009 to 2012, I slimmed down to a fitted large shirt. Then in 2014, I was back in an  XL shirt.

After leaving that job, I was relieved to be back home, but was still struggling with energy levels. Eventually, even coffee betrayed me as I started feeling jittery and anxious. I ended up giving up coffee completely for awhile. I always kept snacks of oranges, bananas, and granola bars nearby for whenever my energy dipped. I even went in to see an eye doctor because my vision was blurring and thought that I might need glasses. The doctor said that my vision was fine and it would be a bad idea to get glasses. I have since found out that blurred vision is a symptom of pre-diabetes…

Without having a clue what to do with my health, my wife had this zany idea to go to a Raw Vegan retreat. I was on the fence about it for awhile, but finally caved and agreed to go. I estimate that I was about 250 pounds at the time. I never expected the amazing results I got or just how much my overall health has improved!

yoyo-diet

To leave off on a good note – I’m back into slim fit large shirts or regular medium shirts!

Thanks for reading!

-Andrew

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