Thursday, March 1, 2012

Weight Loss: My Experience

valeracities commented on my last blog post about weight loss. She said that she thought weight loss was always a symptom of something more serious, so I wanted to comment on that in a post.

While weight loss does often tell you that something more serious is going on, I don't think that's always the case. Take me, for example. The reason why I'm losing weight is very, very apparent. I know why without even keeping track of anything, but my food log on backs me up. I'm simply not able to find enough food I can eat without causing me problems to get the amount of calories I need every day to even maintain my weight. In fact, I get 500-1000 calories less than I need each day which is making me lose weight. Not to mention the diarrhea that causes weight loss from water weight being purged.

Now, if you're having weight loss, but you're still getting plenty to eat every day and, unlike me, you drink enough water every day to make up for water loss from diarrhea, you will want to go get that checked out with your doctor right away. I'm only saying that while weight loss can be associated with something more grave, it isn't always.

With that said, I feel like I've entered a new stage in this IBS mess. My pharmacy rotation I just completed was at a grocery store pharmacy. The grocery store also has a dietician on board, and I got to work very closely with her this month. Naturally, my IBS woes came up and she was very eager to help me find things I can eat to start feeling better and getting back up to my ideal weight. She gave me a lot of good ideas, but I think the best thing to come out of it was that I felt motivated to make a meal options list after meeting with her.

On this list, I listed out all of the different things I could eat at each meal that usually don't cause me any problems. I'm a very picky eater...probably worse than most kids. Growing up I only ate things like PB&J, Spaghettios, or Mac 'N Cheese and my tastes really haven't changed. So when I open up my fridge or pantry and don't see anything I can just grab and whip up quickly, I grab cereal or a bagel instead. It doesn't help that a lot of things in my pantry send my insides for a loop.

So having this list plastered on my pantry door really helps me see that cereal and bagels aren't my only options. She also really stressed building a plate. If you all didn't know (I didn't!), the new thing nowadays is called My Plate. It's really simple. It takes your plate and divides it into different food groups. Your plate should look like this at every meal. What I was doing before My Plate was taking one thing- a bagel, spaghetti or cereal- and eating just that. Sure, I like yogurt or could stand a little cheese, but I was only focusing on one part of the My Plate structure. Now that I keep My Plate in mind, I'm enjoying eating now. I feel like I have options again and that eating isn't just to maintain my energy and weight.

Not every one has plain tastes and is lazy when it comes to putting together a meal like I am, but I think everyone could benefit from trying to organize their plate like My Plate suggests. I know it has helped me a lot.

Need some ideas for meals? Obviously, everyone is different but here is my meal list so far: