Losing weight and gaining weight

losing weight

Back in 2006 Partner and I went on a weight-loss regime. I went from 215 pounds to about 180 in a year or so; within another year I was 170; a year later, I reached my fighting weight of 160 pounds.

I’d had no idea that I was overweight before; when you gain weight gradually, you see very little change in the mirror from day to day. I look at photos of myself from the early 2000s, however, and I see a stuffed sausage:

Fat photo

After I lost weight, I felt much better. I felt smaller, for one thing. When you lose weight, you literally take up less room than before. Stairs are easier to climb. When you eat, you get full more quickly, and overeating can be positively painful.

I joined a health club in 2008, which also helped me keep my weight down. But my kidney stones began to irk me more and more, and I found that thirty minutes on the treadmill made me ache, and I was dreading it more and more from day to day. So I quit the club in early 2013.

Within a month I’d gained ten pounds.

This doesn’t seem like much, and it didn’t show too much – I didn’t have to buy new clothes – but when you’ve lost 55 pounds, it seems a shame to put any of it back on. So, when a friend told me in June about Mimi Spencer’s “Fast Diet,” I was all ears. It’s very simple: two days a week (mine were Monday and Thursday), you eat only 500 or 600 calories; the other days you eat normally. Most people lose a pound a week. I cheated a bit, but by August I was back down to 163 or so, which was fine with me.

Then, around Labor Day, I discovered that I had cancer.

What a nice time I’d chosen to lose weight!

So now I am on the opposite of the Fast Diet. I am cramming a candy bar down my gullet as I write this. I need to gain weight – as much as possible – before the worst of the treatment begins. Almost everyone loses weight while undergoing chemo and radiation, and if you have a few extra pounds – well, hallelujah.

Pass the butter, please. And the gravy. And the ham. And pour a little olive oil over everything.

I’m fattening up.


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

8 Responses to Losing weight and gaining weight

  1. I like the book “The Obesity Myth” quite a bit.

    Supposedly older folks survive illness better if they have some fat to fall back on. Not that we are “older”, no, no!!

    I hope you can enjoy eating foods you like to gain a cushion that will help you sail through treatment. Best wishes.

    • That’s the idea. A good friend reacted very negatively to the idea that I’m trying to gain weight; she didn’t understand that it was for a purpose, and that soon I may not be able to eat normally anymore.

      I won’t worry about my weight again until this stupid thing in my throat is under control.

      Thanks, incidentally, for all your good wishes. So many people have been nice to me lately. And, I assure you, I don’t deserve it.

  2. By the way, love the top photo!! Brilliant.

  3. Who gave you this advice? Your doctor? Chat rooms? Your own intuition? Not sure; but thinking feeling good and not overfed sounds better. (My girlfriends and I just started Weight Watchers; slow; I love food! All the wrong kinds…. blerg.

    • Probably in 6 weeks or so I’ll have trouble eating and swallowing; the radiation will be aimed directly at the left side of my throat. I’m having a feeding tube implanted next Friday, so that I’ll be able to take nutrition (directly into my stomach) if/when that happens. I suspect that weighing five pounds more than I do now won’t hurt a bit, and will probably help (and the American Cancer Society agrees with me). And I’ve told my doctors about trying to gain weight, and not a single of them has a bit of problem with it.

  4. Happy fats! Eat coconut oil and cook with it. Coconut oil makes everything delicious and is very good for you. Also, if you’re trying to put on weight, I suggest making your own baked goods and replacing the sugar with pure honey and a little bit of 100% maple syrup. Keeps the sweet in and makes it just a little better for you. I do that when I make my gluten-free yogurt banana bread (also make it with gluten for others). If you want an amazing recipe let me know.

    • I do bake a lot – and intend to bake as much as I can through the treatment period, so long as I can eat it (I’m going to have trouble swallowing after a while, because of the radiation). Coconut oil is a good idea. And, yes please, I love recipes. You can send the yogurt/banana bread recipe to lorwil@gmail.com, and you’re very kind to offer. (We’re not gluten-sensitive here, or we don’t seem to be.)

      Thanks for your post.

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