About five years ago I wanted to lose weight again, like many times before. The photo attached shows me at my fattest. I weighed myself around this time and the scale said 311 pounds, that was a serious low point in my life. I wouldn't step on a scale for another year after that, I know I gained more but couldn't face it. The photo shows me smiling but I was dying, emotionally, physically and mentally.
Previous to this I went on a tour with two of my brothers and thier wives. My wife and I were riding f650's (bmw badged aprilias), and I had such a seriuos case of "extreme irritability" that I ended up riding away from my brothers without any comment or goodbye. My wife followed me and after that we ended up talking about my behavior. I simply couldn't control myself.
After the tour incident I ended up seeing a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me bi-polar 2 / depressive. I had all the syptoms, extreme irritability, suicidal ideation, deep dives into a depressive pit where I had zero hope. So I went on a seven year path of emotional and physical destruction. Side effects of the four ssri's I was on included weight gain, sexual side effects that made sex rather difficult if not impossible. I also got on a statin and a testosterone patch, all lifetime scripts I felt like i had zero control.
I had an opportunity to move with my company to Idaho and jumped at it. I also knew my marraige of 17 years was over, one of the side effects was similar to what Suzy Favor Hamilton experienced, and my interest in having a wife wasn't there. Shortly after moving out she filed for divorced and I gave her the house and paid off her car leaving her in the best position possible but for her keeping the house wasnt an option. She sold and moved from Wisconsin to Ohio and took up with her sister.
So I was single and playing the field but my death was continuing. So back to the first paragraph and wanting to lose weight. I ended up watching "Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead" and it struck a chord with me. I bought a juicer and started a sixty day juice fast, I lost 70 pounds. I went back to the standard american diet (w/extra cheesecake) and gained it all back in six months, well not all I think I hit 294 pounds.
That experience told me I could not only exist on a vegitable and fruit diet, but thrive. There was a thread on advrider called "Bill Clinton says stop eating meat, dairy for the good of the country" and it became known as "the vegan thread". I first argued and insisted that the meat and dairy I was raising was different because it wasn't factory farmed. During my struggles I was working "B" shift (6pm to 6am-three or four days a week), I had about an hours worth of work and spent the other 11 doing research. I had been turned onto John Bergman videos which are full of theory and conjecture with some facts thrown in to make it seem reasonable. But all that was failing me, then I watched the one hour twenty minute presentation that Dr. Michael Greger does. After that I knew what I had to do.
I was in the quality field and decided to "eliminate the variables", those variables were anything I suspected wasn't food. Meat, dairy, eggs and at first beans and grains. I had combined two diets and was buying into the paleo bs about beans. So I cleaned out the kitchen, all plastic, teflon, non-organics and processed food boxed up and given away. I ate veggies (all kinds) fruits (all kinds) and seasonings. I was cooking all that in vegan approved coconut oil and lots of it. I did lose weight alot and fast. I was dropping two to five pounds a week and blew past previuos "plateaus" till I weighed 185. I was afraid I wouldnt be able to stop the weight loss and wasn't willing to change my diet. In addition to the diet change I decided that taking all these scripts wasnt sustainable (even though I had squirrelled away over a years supply of everything I was taking).
The weight loss and going off the antidepressants was unfucking real. No one should ever quit those things cold turkey, no one should ever try to quit those things without a doctors help. No one should do that without family and friends to fall back on. Due to my experience my family had distanced themselves. Two of my four brothers are involved in a very conservative xtian religion that believes in "shunning", my oldest brother was extremely abusive to me as we grew up, and my brother just older than me was going through his own divorce and the loss of his home due to the housing failure. The one friend I had out here wasn't more than a booty call and no discussions could go that deep. That year was a living hell, I could link posts I made on advrider that showed my insanity but I still hold some shame for how angry and hate filled I was at the time.
So as I got heathier, got beans and grains back into my diet. Reunited with my ex-wife and remarried her, and moved her out to idaho with me. During all that I was experiencing the withdrawal from the ssri's which created panic attacks and anziety that hit 11 on the one to ten scale. I had 22 years of being clean and sober, but decided to see if pot would help, it did. It worked so well I was smoking an ounce a month. As I was woeing my wife back I was afraid to tell her about it, as I've always told her if I ever use again leave me as fast as you can. I lied about the amount I was using, once she came out here she was disapointed in how about every two hours I smoked a bowl. I basically kept myself high all day, first thing in the am till bedtime.
Then I lost my job... and I had to quit to get hired elsewhere, fuck me... The only thing I had (pot), I had to walk away from, and with some struggles I did. I finally had some semblence of sanity back, I jumped a couple jobs and finally settled into one. During all that I got out of an apartment and lucked out and bought a rural home with a couple acres. That made it possible to bring my wife (and my three gsd's i left her with) out here.
So jump to today, no more scripts, nada nothing, an occasional pain killer but that happens maybe once or twice a year. I had taken about $12,000 worth of saved scripts put them in a burn pile and roasted the shit. I have slips (fucking donuts) but they are getting rarer and rarer as I have lost the taste for them. Like what Chris said about prime rib, my wife and i went to fish fry about a month ago. Being from wisconsin you have a fish fry every friday night because everywhere they have them and they are wonderful. It was an all you can eat deal and I didn't finish the first serving and felt disgusted. About a year ago we added the NO kicker to the WFPB diet, so eating that deep fried shit wasn't ticking the boxes it used to tick. I loved prime rib, I loved fried chicken, I loved ribs, now I love fruits and vegitables. Now when eating an apple I can taste the difference between the top of the apple and the bottom. When eating beets, I can taste the difference in individual beets.
During all of this something else happened. I'm not sure if its part of the PTSD I have from being an alcohic or the abuse I suffered as a child, or the hell I went through getting off the ssri's or reintroducing all the toxins stored in the fat I burned, but my empathy went from zero to eleven. I noiticed it during the weight loss, I had to keep paper towels by my couch while I watched television, because my eyes would water. Again being in quality I started trying to understand why my eyes would water at times. I noticed during emotional scenes or commercials my eyes would water. As time went by the watering turned into crying as empathy was coming back and I was feeling emotions again. I don't know ed zachary how ssri's work (either does science), but they seem to change how I processed emotions. Getting off them brought emotions back and back hard or amybe soft. Now it doesn't take much to make me cry, show me a dead baby on a beach or the murder of two brothers who are developmentally disabled and I'll cry. I suspect that's more normal than abnormal though, but I spent eight years not feeling much at all...
In wisconsin I was a republican, and even voted for scott walker three times (two elections and a recall). Now I'm a lefty (hardcore lefty...), maybe its the shit I went through, maybe its being discarded by corporate america, maybe I've finally figured shit out.
To quote the Jerry "what a long strange trip its been"...
(why the fuck will my macbook pro not underline a misspelled word unless i click on it? I have to click the word then click off, then it underlines it, so if I don't know i misspelled I get no underline...) Excuse the misspellings please...