Before I got pregnant with my first child, I went on my first “real” diet, the Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet. I also took some sort of weight loss pill being sold at the time called Unidawn. I lost 20lbs which helped me get pregnant, even when fertility pills, injections, and treatments had failed. I didn’t gain that 20lbs back for over ten years.
On November 16, 2011, life threw me a curve ball. Hemiplegic Migraine.
Life as I knew it ended that morning in November. Little things I took for granted (or worse resented, like pushing a grocery shopping cart) became impossible without causing an attack. I’ve never been one for lots of activity, but even simple things like picking up something off the floor could trigger a migraine. If my old migraines were monsters, these were their sick, sadistic cousins that came with unimaginable pain AND stroke-like symptoms that Would…Not…Go…Away. For weeks. For years.
With the exception of a few good stretches, I have had a daily migraine for almost four years.
I’ve had migraines almost all my life. But, I could remember each one, and I could count on one hand the number of those headaches. They were horrible, each and every one seared into my memory, but they were thankfully short-lived. (I don’t count the silent migraines where my vision would distort or I would see spots or zigzags because I could usually head off the migraine if I got some Advil and a Coke.) When I was around 11, I had an episode after a major headache that left me unable to move for a few days. I’m pretty sure that was my first hemiplegic episode.
So here I am, at the same weight I was before I went on the Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet the first time. Food has provided me with comfort and even pain relief at times–for some reason eating helps my migraine pain–and my body shows it. You can see the result of eating for pain relief in every extra pound I carry. And I’m tired of that. I’m tired of being fat. I’m tired of being sick. At the very least, if I can’t fix these migraines, I can fix the fat.
I checked out the book, The Carbohydrate Addict’s Lifespan Program, from our local library. After reading through most of it, I ordered my own copy from Amazon–it is that good. As far as diets go, it is an old one, but I cannot believe more people aren’t doing it. If you are a carboholic, and the authors have a handy quiz to determine if you are, this is THE diet for you. The first day was horrible. The second day was better. By the third day, I felt like I could do this forever. I ate chocolate chip cookies. I ate more green food in a week that I had in a month. I made bread out of eggs. (Egg bread! Amazing! If you follow the link and make the recipe, please note that I reduced the sweetener to 1/3 packet of Stevia and added some seasoned salt.)
So, yesterday was my first week’s official weigh-in, and I had lost 7.4lbs!
This diet requires you to weigh every day, so this morning when I saw that I was up a pound and a half, I was ready to quit. Denying myself carbs AND GAINING?!? (Cue screaming.) WHAT WAS GOING ON?!?
Three little letters. (No, not PMS.)
It’s in everything. It was laced throughout the reward meal I ate the night before. It was even in my ultra-pasturized milk for my low-carb cuppa joe. It was why I was starting to get shaky after my low-carb meals. Freaking MSG. It is not enough to reach for low-carb stuff–you gotta read those labels!
After weighing, and pouting, and threating to quit, and sending a frazzled text to The Hubs, I reached for another book by the same authors–and the one I recommend even more highly–The 7-Day Low-Carb Rescue and Recovery Plan. Right there in that book, I read the why behind my weight gain. It was written over 10 years ago, but the message was for me, for today, for right that very minute when I wanted to quit. I threw out the ultra-pasturized milk that contained carrageen (MSG), and replaced it with one that is MSG free. I started fresh today, and I will let tomorrow take care of itself–so long as I read all the labels first!
I already avoid certain things to help with my migraines–loud noises, foods with nitrates, etc. I also faithfully take my medication and use my migraine gadget (Cefaly) daily. It follows that I can read labels, eat low-carb for just 2 meals a day, and lose weight. I won’t lie–I’m hoping that a significant weight loss will help my head. But even if it doesn’t, it will help me.