Ladies and gentlemen, I have a thigh gap.
I’m not saying this as an “omg I’m so skinny u guys!” humblebrag, because I am actively trying to destroy it before it destroys me. At my last doctor’s appointment, I managed to pull off a BMI of 18.5 — borderline underweight — by slightly underestimating my height, having a full bladder, and wearing shoes. Personally, I blame it on Diamox weight loss.
See, the thing is, being on Diamox killed my appetite and make me nauseated a lot of the time. I was also petrified of chloride acidosis, so I limited my diet to foods that were high in potassium and low in salt– in other words, a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. A diet of high-nutrient, low calorie food + no appetite = some pretty extreme weight loss. Other people experience weight loss from Diamox too. I can’t speak to what caused it for them, but I offer solidarity daps to anyone who has had to deal with it.
While I haven’t necessarily struggled with my weight throughout my life, I have struggled with how I feel about it before. In the beginning, I felt a perverse sense of pleasure at watching the numbers on the scale go down every few days. Now, I just wish I couldn’t see my sternum through my cleavage. Not feeling up to dessert every night lands me squarely in the “underweight” category in a matter of days. It’s frustrating, upsetting, and more than a little scary. What if I get sick? What if I need a medication that’s going to cause me to lose more of my appetite? What if I end up overdosing because I’m given a dose calculated for someone of average weight?
Gaining weight healthfully isn’t exactly easy, though. I mean, it’s definitely more complicated than just eating more cheeseburgers and an extra milkshake every night. I’m very concerned about maintaining my cardiac health, so I try to keep my saturated fat and sodium intake below a certain threshold. I also don’t want to overconsume sugar, so I keep an eye on that, too. So, as far as macronutrients go, I’m left with… unsaturated fats and protein. This is fine, but there’s only so much chicken and olive oil a person can eat in a day, you know? So, I’m trying to loosen up some of my self-imposed restrictions. Maybe I’ll eat too much sugar one day, or too much saturated fat the next, but if I’m getting the calories, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that I need, it can’t be the end of the world.
Because I’ve gotten used to Diamox causing me to lose my appetite, I find it’s easiest to “front load” my days. I have a big breakfast, then try to snack as much as I can bring myself to until dinner time. I eat what I can during dinner, and hope I’m not at a calorie deficit at the end of the day. Breakfast is usually a muffin, some plain yogurt, some fruit, a cup of soy milk, and a handful or so of pumpkin seeds. All told, it totals from 500-700 calories (depending on how much I’m able to eat). Snacks are usually more fruit, some baby carrots and sunflower seed butter, or a piece of cheese. Dinner varies pretty widely. Most of the time it’s a struggle to eat more than 1200-1500 calories per day. I’m not quite gaining weight the way I’d like, but at least I don’t think I’m losing more.
Have you ever had to gain weight? How did you do it?