I guess the weight loss is the biggest disappointment. Clearly I can go happily on a low-carb diet, and it has good effects, but after about 10 weeks the weight loss effects pretty nearly stopped. Gary Taubes clearly has some things right, because the low carb diet seems to have resolved my type 2 diabetes, and eating a high fat low carb diet hasn’t done what mainstream medicine would predict — with a diet that has been upwards of 60 percent calories coming from fats and a lot of those calories coming from bacon and butter and other good things along with one whole damn lot of eggs, my total cholesterol is lower than it’s ever been, actually really too low. (My various lipid levels are down in the data section below as well.) But viewed as an experiment, it’s very interesting. My calorie intake has been relatively constant at what should be about a two pounds per week weight loss. But my actual weight loss was about half that, and happened largely in the first few weeks. Even with a pretty significant increase in activity, which should have been increasing my calorie output, somehow I stopped losing weight; after my car wreck, when my activity dropped markedly, my weight stayed stable. Neither of those observations are consistent with the usual “calories in, calories out” model of traditional medicine.
Take that, coaches and pediatricians of the world!
Which of course brings us to what I think was my biggest surprise. There’s a TV reality show called Baggage Battles, about people who bid for lost and abandoned luggage in hopes of making a profit when they see the contents. Well, my head should be on an episode, because I’ve got more abandoned baggage in my head than the whole of American Airlines. This 26 weeks has caused me to confront feelings of being ugly, of being a failure, of repeated insults and bullying and quite a whole damn lot of people who would rather believe their theories than what I was telling them about my actual experience.
I didn’t expect that. I thought after years of therapy and years of antidepressant drugs that I was pretty well caught up on that. Oh, I knew I still had scars, but I didn’t realize this would rub so many raw spots I hadn’t noticed in years.
As I wrote last week, what I now think was the emotional core of a lot of this stuff was the sense that I had to be perfect to be good enough — that any imperfections were inexcusable and that my strengths were merely what was expected.
So, now what?