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Introducing myself -- A Baby Boomer -- on Day 27

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Hi, I'm Larry. I'm 59 and an individual and couples counselor and psychotherapist in Maryland. 

I'm 5'3 and ever since I was a kid I was upset about my weight. I was a short, unathletic and "chubby" boy (this was back in the 1960s when not so many kids were overweight). When I was 18 1/2 I was 144, and after a three-week regimen I was 133. I guess I looked thin enough but I didn't see it. Once a few years later I got down to 125 or 126 and finally looked "just right," so I guess that was my ideal weight, but of course I couldn't stay there. But I hovered in the 130s and low 140s through my early and mid 20s. When I got married at 26 I lost five pounds before the wedding and weighed 141.


By my late 20s I was 150. Somehow by the time I was 32 I weighed 164. I don't know when or how but by the time I was 40 I weighed 180.


My wife and I had our first daughter when I was 40. About a year later I went on the Atkins Diet and shot way down, really fast, to 150 again. But I couldn't sustain living that way. Over the next 17 years (during which we had our second daughter, adopted from China, in 2000) my weight stayed between 180 and 190, sometimes climbing into the low 190s. 


In 2012 my wife got me to go to Weight Watchers. It was working for me, but not so much for her. We went on the HCG diet for 21 days. After that I had trouble going back to Weight Watchers but I did once or twice. I found an old Weight Watchers booklet recently, and saw that I had gotten down to 169.6 on July 24, 2012.


But then I stopped, and I had some big-time family stress, and then came fall and the holidays, and I "lost it" and was back up to 180, 185, 189, probably 193 or 194. Every time I went to my six-month checkup my doctor would tell me about my high cholesterol and pre-diabetes sugar level. It made me embarrassed to go in. 


By May I knew I was out of control. That's when I started to stop eating all cakes and almost all sugar. I knew I felt awful and that every joint in my body felt like a rusty hinge. 


Then my wife heard about the Whole 30. I was skeptical at first. Mostly I was afraid of being disappointed again. I was starting to believe that I would always, sooner or later, lose control and go back to a "setpoint" of 183 and look and feel like a pot-bellied old man for the rest of my life, and that I just had to accept myself that way. But underneath I was excited about doing it. 


I weighed in on June 7 at 185, although truthfully I had already eliminated all dairy but yogurt and all sugar three days before. My real pre-Whole30 weight was probably closer to 189.


Almost immediately after going 100% Whole30 things started changing. For one thing, suddenly fruit tasted AMAZING. Yeah, it's summer and I was for the first time buying only organic, but I've eaten in-season organic fruit before and I had NEVER had a rush like that before! (I know that I eat a little more fruit than I should, but it seems to be okay for me. And heck, it's summer!) 


I LOVE and enjoy EVERYTHING I eat and cook now. (I'm the cook in the house.) I'm enjoying food so much more. I have NO cravings for anything, which amazes me. I'm calmer and more even-keel and have more energy in the afternoon. 


I immediately started sleeping better. And within days, I stopped snoring. This is incredible because my wife had been terrifically upset about my snoring for the past 10 or maybe even 15 years.


All you women are probably going to go "awwwwww..." right now, but honest to God, the best thing the Whole30 has done for me is to allow me to fall asleep with my arms around my wife again. It makes us feel closer and it makes her feel calmer and have better sleep. Just not being woken up by my snoring helps her sleep. That reason, and that reason ALONE, is enough for me to give up cake and cookies for the rest of my life. 


The big pot that stuck out from my belly is gone. I wore "expanding waist" pants, so I haven't switched pants yet, but they're almost loose. My shirts look good on me again. My clients are noticing and I'm telling them about it. 


I will report back on Tuesday with the results, and before and after pictures.


I'm still not where I want to be. I'm hoping to go for a Whole100 -- that will be completed on Sept. 16 -- and I'll need support. 


I'm 59, and when you're 59, if you don't treat your body right it gets old. I have, at best, only 30 more years on this planet, maybe a little more. I want to feel good. There's still so much more I want to do with my life. I want to be active and alive and totally engaged in life for as long as possible.  


I am ready to accept the fact that if I keep bread and flour and sugar in my diet, I will weigh 180 pounds or more. And I'll snore. And I'll go downhill physically and mentally. That's all there is to it. 


So I say, hello! Thank you, Melissa and Dallas, for creating the Whole30! Thank you all you incredible food bloggers and cooks -- given how many recipes there are, I think I could cook a delicious meal every single meal for the rest of my life and never have the same meal twice!!


And hello and good luck to everyone who is embarking on this journey as well. I'd love to hear from you and about your journeys -- especially all the Boomers out there like me who are taking this on!!



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Hi Larry. I am another Boomer at 56. I was an MFT and psychotherapist until 1997, so your story immediately caught my attention. I did roughly a Whole120 when I started in 2010. I lost 2 pounds per month for 15 months in a row before I stopped losing weight. I kept going 4 months because I did not want to risk losing the good sleep and improved strength that I experienced. I took the Whole30 seriously as I watched my parents age. I figured it was best to start getting maximally healthy in my 50s rather than to try to turn things around in my 80s. Hang in there with your efforts. It really does pay off over the 4 years and counting that I have been living this way.

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Larry, that was so inspiring.


Can I ask you a question about HCG...did it work for you?  We had/maybe still, a couple of 'clinics' in town giving the injections.   I often wondered how a pregnancy hormone helped men lose weight.  They took the shots and a 500 calorie aday diet and some young ladies became very thin.  Was it the 500 calories aday more than the shots/drops.   I didn't try it, just curious.

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Hi Tom -- It's so great to hear your experience. It's also neat that you were an MFT and psychotherapist! I think I've lost quite a bit more than 2 pounds this month, thankfully -- I don't think I'd have the patience to keep going if that's all that happened, I admit. But it's great that you kept going. I suppose there could come a time soon when I will lose only two pounds a month, and that would be okay. 


You had a seven-year head start on me -- great for you! I wish I knew about this five, ten years ago. I wish for my kids that they had been on it when they were young and I could have led them in this direction. 


Yeah, I just want to stay on this forever. I mean, I guess I will have a restaurant meal every now and then that breaks the rules and I won't say I'll never eat ice cream again, but why would I ever want to go back to eating "normally" ever again? My worst fear is that one day I might get "sucked in" and get addicted to all the crap again. 


Meadowlily, the HCG did work. Basically, somehow it prevented the hunger so I could actually eat like that for 21 days. And I lost maybe 15 pounds (5 of which was probably just all the food that wasn't in my digestive tract.) And it certainly showed me that I had more control over what I put in my mouth than I thought. But you can't live like that, so naturally, little by little, I lost all the control that I developed and I gained all the weight back. 


GFChris, yeah, I look forward to seeing my results too! But I'm also a little nervous. Now that I've gone so public, I feel like my end-of-Whole30 blog will be like a report card! 

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And Meadowlily, BTW, I took it orally. No injections. (Injections! Yikes!)

People in my neck of the woods have lost large amounts of weight on the 500 cal diet/injection routine, but you are so correct.  They can't keep going for shots and keep that starvation diet going.  I like your resolve.   I'm going for the next Whole 30 or how many days it takes.  I don't need any reintroduction to cream.  It's a food group I can live without.   I could start guzzling it again and come undone.  I'll be watching your photos/posts, Larry.

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