I’ve lost 98 pounds and dropped from size 18/20 to 3/4. I never had weight problems till I lost two stillborn babies, started early menopause at 41 and took the antidepressant Paxil (Health says Paxil can cause weight gain). Once I started getting fat, it snowballed. With 100 extra pounds, came added health problems. Since I’ve trimmed down and shed weight, I shed health issues, too.
This is also called pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome. I never had high blood sugar. If anything, it was low. But it went up as I got fatter. My physician wasn’t sure if I had metabolic syndrome. My sugar wasn’t that high. But she put me on Metformin, just in case. It didn’t help, so I quit taking it. But that was a wake-up call. I cut sugar, honey, sweets, junk carbs, even fruit juice. I never drank soda, but if I did that would go too. I limit sugar to fruit, whole grain, fermented dairy (Greek yogurt), 70-percent or higher dark chocolate and pure maple syrup. I use Ideal (xylitol) artificial sweetener and monkfruit (sparingly). This dropped my sugar to normal before I even lost the bulk of my weight.
My bad LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol got higher the more I gained. Ideally, total cholesterol should be under 200 says Mayo Clinic. I didn’t want to take medication. I followed Dr. Oz’s advice and cut saturated, hydrogentated and animal fat, transfat, I quit eating fried and fast food. I eat raw, steamed and broiled foods and cook in non-stick cooking oil.
HDL (high density lipoprotein) is good cholesterol. Mine was low. Raising HDL cholesterol means increasing activity. Working at a computer, I’m more sedentary. But I exercised even less being fat. Now, fitness is easier and more enjoyable. To raise HDL with diet, take omega-3, evening primrose and coconut oils. Eat MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids): almonds, milled flaxseed, nuts, seeds, avocados, fish, dark chocolate. Cook with canola, sunflower and olive oil. Eat lowfat cheese, Greek yogurt, yogurt-based butter and salad dressing and canola oil mayonnaise. Prevention outlines a complete belly fat burning MUFA diet.
I’ll always have low back issues from birth defects but gaining 100 pounds didn’t help. Since losing, I hurt less. I have better range of motion in my entire body. I am more coordinated and agile. I do struggle with arthritis. But improved exercise and yoga helps.
I use a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) breathing machine for OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). WebMD says obesity can cause sleep apnea. I have always had it, fat or thin. But since losing weight, I have better sleep positioning, snore less and can sometimes sleep without my mask where before I couldn’t.
Depression and anxiety
Thinner, I’m healthier, stronger, more confident and happier. I struggle less with low self-esteem. I weaned from Paxil in 2010 and now I no longer deal with anxiety from antidepressant weight gain.
Menopause is no picnic. But the added weight burden magnified every problem. Night sweats, hot flashes, depression, mood swings, heart palpitations, leg cramps and exhaustion characterize menopause. But they’re more bearable since I’ve gotten down to normal weight.