Weight and Me


It’s always a good idea to get a feel for the perspective where information is coming from. I’ve learned the hard way that just because something works for one person, it may not work for someone else. “If I could do it anyone can,” sounds great but is not helpful or accurate at the end of the day. This is my history with weight before I found fasting. 

I was a skinny kid. By kid I mean six or seven years old. The first indication I would have a weight problem came in fourth or fifth grade. In one of those government mandated health weigh in things, it was determined I was obese. I had a growth spurt and was significantly taller than most of my classmates, but this was quickly pooh-poohed as the reason.


Then I was lectured on making healthy eating choices and how I shouldn’t be gorging on chips and stuff. I remember thinking that if I actually did indulge to the degree that was being indicated that my Mother would have slapped me.

Mother always took care that indulgences were strictly controlled. She definitely did allow the occasional dessert and was famous for her pies. But I didn’t eat an entire pie as most people seemed to think was a regular occurrence.

Frustrated by my seemingly inexorable weight gain she put my Father (who was by that point quite obese as well) and me on my first diet. It was the lower carb Sugar Busters diet which came out of Oschners in New Orleans. This lasted for about six months and slowed but did not stop the gain. One day we were driving into our family’s office behind my father’s vehicle when he threw an ice cream sandwich wrapper out the window. Mother because frustrated and enraged and gave up on the diet concept at that point.

We went back to the regular eating, which never allowed gluttony but wasn’t a diet. My weight stabilized around 265 in high school until I left for a state sponsored boarding school. Most of my Father’s family is obese or struggled with weight. The only successful dieter did it with the help of 2-3 hours of bicycling a day and a lower carb diet.

Indeed, most of the family was obsessed with watching portions and diet. I’ve never had anyone fat shame me to a great extent except for larger family members. By the time I left for the boarding high school my body image was so bad I gained quite a bit of weight by college without noticing or thinking I’d gained that much.

Mother was the only thin member of the family. She certainly encouraged restraint and would punish any outright gluttony. However, unlike the thicker members of the family who liked to blame gluttony and sloth she eventually started to recognize something was wrong.

The one accurate assumption about Mother that people make was that she didn’t encourage physical activity. A consummate bookworm who was afraid her son would turn into a Jock, she almost actively discourage attempts at athletics.

In college, they required a certain number of physical activity credits. I managed to get through these. The one that led to my first serious attempt at dieting and physical fitness was weight lifting. I dropped probably about 40 pounds, though I don’t remember exactly what happened. What I do remember is I got in much better shape physically.

What I did was commit to staying in the gym for at least 45 minutes. I also decided not to feel bad if I could only stay on the machines for a limited amount of time. I would do a couple minutes at first of an elliptical trainer or a stair climber. Then I would just lift for the rest of the time.

Eventually I could stay on the cardio machines for as long as I wanted and actually came to prefer it to weight lifting. This increase in fitness stayed with me and I always enjoyed not getting winded with a few stairs.

I hit a hard plateau around 320 at that time that I could never break. I would feel cold and miserable with no energy and sleep all the time Eventually, the attempts at diet control went away especially as my weight didn’t increase when I let up some.

I left to work as a stock trader in New York after college. During that time the weight started to come back.

The next serious attempt at diet and exercise came during law school. My weight had gotten up into the 380’s. I started going to gym frequently and watching what I ate for about a year and a half. I quickly got down to about 340. Then I plateaued for over a year.

I finally decided to give it a big push. I gave myself a draconian calorie allowance of either 1500 or 1800 calories and tracked everything I ate for 6 weeks. I remember coming in under the daily calories by about 300 calories a day. Then I weighed myself. Not a single pound of difference, though I was a little trimmer. However, I was cold and miserable the entire time. I also remember sleeping 10-12 hours the entire time.


Bottom of the Yo-Yo.

Bottom of the Yo-Yo.

At that point I decided the extreme wasn’t worth it and went back to the previous version of just trying to be carb aware.

Fast forward to being a lawyer. I’d go through periods of really watching what I ate and others of just being aware. I remember one time trying to break through the floor with the help of phentermine and an ultra low carb diet. No dice. I did have my insulin tested during the try and it was 45 or about twice what a lab normal should be.

The real break came in early 2012 when my weight had slipped up. Doing the responsible thing I got on another kick and got on the elliptical trainer in my bedroom. I remember within the first five minutes a slight discomfort. I got off and hoped it would wear off.

It didn’t. Plantar Fasciatis struck and as I hobbled around all year my weight zoomed up into new highs. The highest record in a medical office I had was 436, but I’m sure it was at least somewhat higher. This picture is around that time. Contrary to popular expectation I wasn’t depressed and miserable and was making the best of things. I really enjoyed spending time with mother.

This was around the highest weights.

This was around the highest weight.


I slowly got some weight off in 2013. Then in 2014, my Mother became ill with terminal small cell lung cancer, I actually lost weight during her illness. I probably regained some. In later 2014, I had ceased really watching what I ate. I had a bout of Ketosis-Prone diabetes which is an unusual diabetes variant where high glucose levels cause glucose toxicity that induces insulin resistance. Fortunately it resolved within a couple months. The upside to the ketoacidosis was some weight loss down to 385.

I restarted eating a ketogenic diet after observing that ketosis seemed good for weight loss. I dropped to 340 fairly quickly before reaching that familiar plateau. I determined just to eat for health and for the good blood sugar control I had achieved, mostly sub 100 readings. (That’s really good.)

Over Christmas of 2015 my weight slid up to 355 and more importantly I started to have some 110ish blood sugar readings and none below 100. For some reason (I think through reddit) I read fasting could improve glucose numbers.

I didn’t eat for 18 hours and took my blood glucose. 86.

Realizing that the not eating seemed to have a dramatic effect on my insulin resistance, I thought that maybe fasting could be the key to weight loss. I did a 2.5 day fast and lost 12.5 pounds. I kept doing more and more fasts. I broke through the plateau almost like it wasn’t there.

When I hit 305 I went to the University of Memphis exercise lab to have my RMR tested and have a DEXA. The DEXA was 32% bodyfat which was encouraging and the RMR was 3200 calories a day which was really encouraging because it meant my metabolism was being increased if anything. I also felt great unlike all previous attempts at dieting. I also eat pretty much whatever I want just being basically mindful of what I eat. 

I continued fasting of varying lengths. 

Right now my weight is 247. I am planning to do a 60 fasting/LCHF challenge where I actually really watch what I eat and try to fast at least 50% of days. One reason I’ve been not being strict with food is it helps to have more fuel in the tank so to speak. Before I’d just get stricter and stricter and it would stop working. I think it will take about six more months to get down to a good bodyfat percentage of around 15% depending on how much muscle I lose in the process

I’m at a very loose 44 pants size and started around a 58 and started the fasting at about 50.

I’m starting this blog to document the process as well as my thoughts on weight loss and other issues.

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