After running Ragnar Cape Cod last week (and posting pictures from the event) several people asked me if I had lost weight. Unfortunately the answer is no. The pictures they were referring to just happened to be taken at really flattering camera angles (I can thank Shaun and the professional photographer on leg 35 for that). I do well with a 3/4 angle and they both caught me in a pretty much perfect position. For comparison sake, the two pictures below were taken within 24 hours of each other last weekend. The one with the spring green top and gray capris was taken during my first leg and the one in the navy shorts and Boston shirt was taken after 31 miles. Pretty huge difference in how I look, but they’re both me. Just goes to show what a big difference a camera angle can make.
The bigger issue isn’t what camera angle makes me look my best, but the fact that after spending over $7,000 to try to determine a root cause and finally lose weight, I have, yet again, failed. Last December when I first started working with Jeff Donatello, I was incredibly excited that maybe this would be “it” and I would finally be able to lose weight. In retrospect, my excitement was misplaced. Despite Donatello’s best efforts, I weigh more now than I did in December; my wallet, however, is significantly lighter. I have joked to Shaun several times that for the money I spent on Donatello I could have had liposuction on my thighs and stomach and would have at least seen some results. I am both sad and frustrated that here is something else that just didn’t work for me. It is difficult, but I am trying to accept the fact that maybe I am just a fat person. I, like most everyone else, carry the belief that with hard work, attention to diet and regular exercise, anyone can lose weight. Unfortunately I am an example of years of hard work, attention to diet and exercise and I continue to gain weight.
Its also difficult to publicly discuss the struggle. Inevitably lots of people want to try to help and want to offer advice on what worked for them or what they think can work for me. It is also difficult for me that many people assume that I am not attentive to diet and exercise and that I must be “cheating.” At this point I feel as if I have tried it all.
I have eliminated all processed foods
I have eliminated sugar
I have eliminated gluten
I have eliminated dairy
All my produce and meats are organic
I eat 5+ servings of non-starchy vegetables a day
I limit fruits
I reek of ammonia every time I train
I have taken more supplements that I can remember or name (in fact my most recent protocol required me to take in excess of 56 pills per day at a cost of over $700 / month)
I have used coffee enemas
I have starved myself
I have tried to up my calorie intake
I have fasted
I have counted calories and I have counted macro nutrients
I have juiced
I have made massive green smoothies
I have done neuro feedback therapy
I have done talk therapy
I have worked with over a half dozen RDs and nutritionists
I have trained more than 15 hours / week
I have given up training for an extended period of time
I have travelled to New York City and York, Maine in search of answers
I have had a gas exchange RMR test
I have had multiple sets of blood work
I have had a fecal analysis
I have spent well over $10,000 in total trying to figure out why I cannot lose weight
Despite all of these efforts, I continue to fail at trying to lose weight. I want to be able to say that I can accept the fact that I cannot lose weight, but I can’t. I want to be able to think of weight the same way I think of my height. I am accepting of the fact that I am 5′ 8″ tall (and there’s nothing I can do about that), why can I not accept the fact that I weigh 185 lbs (and there’s nothing I can do about that either)? While there are days when I am able to be more accepting of my body, there are also days when I absolutely hate what I look like and how I feel — I cannot stand all the jiggly bits. I feel that right now the best I can do is acknowledge that there may not be anything I can do about my weight and work towards being accepting of who I am regardless of the number on the scale or the width of my hips.