The week is beginning again and I’m dangerously close of running out of some basic foodstuffs. I use an android application called “Wunderlist” for all my to-do lists. It has a great sync feature which allows me to keep running lists on all my devices and my chrome browser. I simply add all the food I normally buy onto the list and once it’s in my cart, I check them off in the app. The checked items stay under the list, so I can quickly add them back to the list once I run out. I can also send the list to my wife either as a email or any sort of social messaging like Facebook. Oh, and it’s free. I like free.
Shopping is usually a ten minute ordeal for me. My local Food Lion has a perimeter from right to left like so: Diary and Eggs, Meat, Seafood, Lunch Meat, Produce, Bakery, and Deli. I just do “a lap”, check off the food I need, and I’m done. Also, using the list, I’m not tempted to “improvise” and buy anything that would be off-diet.
I go to the grocery store about every four days. That’s when I usually need new produce or dinner meats. That’s not to say I’m completely wiped out of food, but I’ve been able to time it so that I go every four days just to keep my food store filled. Unfortunately, sometimes money gets tight and/or I forget to go. When that happens (like right now), I realize I’m at my weakest for cheating on my diet, so I make it a point to grab the healthy food, before I have any inclinations to buy some junk food. It hasn’t happened yet, but why risk my good progress?
Another great thing about using the Wunderlist app is that I’m a scatterbrain. I keep a wide assortment of To-Do lists, and sometimes a list item comes to me at various and random times during the day. I usually carry my phone on me and all I have to do and open up the app and add it (before I forget to). This is true with my food too. Yesterday, I was at a family get together and I realized I was out of Salad Mix. It was a completely random thought, but I quickly pulled out my phone and typed it in. Done. I hate coming back from the store only to realize I’ve forgotten something (even more if I *have* to go back to get it).
So, yeah, Wunderlist is my shopping list for the 21st century.
I saw an article on CNN today about a young Saudi man who weighed 1,345 pounds. While the story is tragic and sad, what was even more horrible was the comments. The CNN comments, in general, are one of those train wrecks I can’t help myself looking at, and I haven’t been able to teach myself to avoid them. Each and every time I read them my blood boils. Anonymity of the internet allows people to be cruel and mean-spirited, and they are. And I don’t buy the nonsense that people aren’t that cruel. If some feel the need to write that sort of passive aggressive hate on a website comment, then they are, in fact, assholes in real life. And if CNN comments are a marker for that, then we are doomed as a species.
Humans have developed, in recent years, a remarkable lack of humility with the invention of the internet. A sort of alpha dog hubris that allows them to judge the less fortunate. I experienced that in real life quite a few times, especially when I went to places like the gym. There were always guys there who thought that if people weren’t at the same level of fitness they were, those people were overweight and/or unhealthy. I am well aware that I am not sculpted like a Greek god – it’s just that I have other shit I need to do during the day besides pumping iron. What I consider healthy is probably different from what they consider healthy.
This guy in Saudi, in one way or another, got himself into a situation. That is unfortunate. Why and how, that business is his. It is a matter of prevention up until it is a matter of treatment. People smoke, drink, do drugs, and get fat, no matter how much they are told that it is bad for them. I am guilty of it. One day a person wakes up and realizes the problem, but some are never able to wake up. Ridicule doesn’t help solve the problem.
The solution was probably handed to this guy many times, and for some reason or another, he couldn’t or didn’t want to see it. Most likely, he was handed a whole bunch of bad solutions, like I was. Starvation was the one I got handed the most. Exercise was the second.
Starvation isn’t appealing to anybody. You can talk about calories-in/calories-out all you want. Hunger is hunger. Whether the body wants it, or the brain thinks it wants it. When someone tries to starve themselves, they end up failing and eating more – and feel like a glutton and failure.
Telling a 300 pound or a 1345 pound man to exercise is not going to help things either. To begin with, the diet is probably bad so the energy levels are probably crap. Doing anything, even as simple as squats, aren’t going to be enough. It’s guaranteed failure, which only adds to the misery.
That leaves diet. With today’s food companies marketing the most outrageously malnutrition garbage and government guidelines so far out of whack, it’s no wonder people are helpless in making good decisions. We can’t rely on other people making these decisions for us.
I don’t need people who have never been as obese as I was to tell me the solution especially if they could be wrong. If I see another fitness guru/model say “You could look as good as I do” on TV, I’m going to scream. They don’t want your results, they want your money.
So people with a good fitness regimen and awesome metabolism – stop picking on us. Some of us will come around and see the error of our ways, despite the error of yours.
Pico de Gallo is one of my main dietary staples. It’s made with only tomatoes, onions, cilantro, garlic, and a bit of lime juice. I make enough for the week and put it in my omelets, tuna, salads, and as a topping for burgers and steaks. Increase the tomatoes and add some peppers and it becomes a delicious salsa.
- 1 large tomato
- 1 small onion
- Garlic (I use about 6-8 cloves now, it’s good stuff)
- Juice from half a lime (this acts like a preservative for longer storage)
I started to blog yesterday about the crazy information out there on the internet about weight loss. Then I scrapped it. Every site I read had comments that quickly devolved into “No, you’re a big poopy head.” I’m not into ad hominem attacks or snide remarks to make an argument. I reached the point of not caring.
I do love science. We are finding out new and exciting things about the universe every day. This is what makes me angry about the Diet Wars, is that nobody can agree on how we work as an organism. It’s very complex. In order to use the scientific method effectively, we need to weed through thousands of variables in doing any sort of proper health study. It’s because our individual lives are so different and we cannot possibly measure every aspect of it. You put a large group of us together in one room and of course you have a variable nightmare.
So I quit for the moment. Hopefully some properly done studies will put to rest any doubts I may have, but until then, I’ll just keep on doing what I do.
All that matters to me is that I’m losing weight and eating healthy and my body is healthy. I don’t need to advocate any one diet as the right way or the wrong way (however, I reserve the right to point out the pseudoscience of anything – and that tapeworms are bad for people). It is unfortunate that I need to be some sort of biochemist in order to weed through hundreds of studies to get some answers, because the people that should be interpreting them for me have ulterior motives and agendas.
I’m going to climb up this hillside and watch the Diet Wars from a distance. And it won’t be an epic battle like in fantasy movies. It will be a petty slap-fight between scientists, gym rats, nutritionists, hippies, doctors, and food companies.
Today I reached my 1/3 point. I’ve officially lost 50 pounds since starting this life style change back in the beginning of April. That’s almost 20 weeks to lose what amounts to a giant bag of dog food hanging on my bones.
This also marks the beginning of my second week doing this blog. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people here and I hope their endeavors go as well as mine has. I like hearing about people in similar situations and how they’re tackling their demons.
I started this blog not as motivation for me to stay the course, but as a testimony to let other people know that what I’m doing isn’t really a struggle. I am not sick, hungry, exhausted or about to blow up from clogged arteries. My triglycerides and HDL have almost completely normalized from a year ago, when my doctor kinda gave me a worried look. My wheat belly is gone – my visceral fat in my gut is no longer the biggest kid on the block. I can suck my stomach in now. Check out those ribs.
When I tell people I’m on a low carb diet, they shutter. “Oh, Atkins…” they say and nod like they’re talking to a poor sucker. No, it isn’t Atkins, or Keto, or Paleo, or Clean, or the Mediterranean, or the cha-cha. I’m simply eating healthy real food, I tell them. I’ve cut out things that I think are bad for me, such as sugar, corn, processed grains, and starchy foods. They nod. Then I tell them I eat three eggs and four strips of bacon a day and they lose their minds again. I had to convince my own mother that I wasn’t going to keel over from a heart attack. I’ve heard term “clogged arteries” more times in the last five months than I care to. I try to explain (as I have before) that my cholesterol is fine, that plague build up on artery walls is due to inflammation of the tissue, the cholesterol is just there to repair it but gets stuck. The inflammation is caused by the metabolic imbalance caused by overdoing the carb… Then I become exhausted. I tell them about the books and the websites just to avoid explaining to them about how lipid transport works or what adiposity is. Then they look at me and nod again. “So what flavor is that Kool-Aid?” their eyes say.
I think I’ve stated this before, but I’ll reiterate. Someone else’s idea weight for me, based on my height 6’2″, is 172 pounds. I really don’t care if I get there. I just want to enjoy whatever time I have left on this planet as “not fat”. I definitely don’t want to go back to my starting weight of 316. I want to do better than my current weight of 266. At some point, in the distant future, I want to try to get stupidly cut like Bruce Lee just to giggle in front of the mirror, but for my goal, “not fat” is what I’m shooting for. I estimate it might take another five months to lose another fifty pounds, but even if it took longer, I’ll be okay with it. The important thing is that I now know what it takes to get and remain “not fat”. No more yo-yo diets. No more killing myself with over exercising. No more starving myself. And more importantly, no more hating myself when I fail playing by their rules. I’m not struggling with this at all.
I’ll make another spiffy self-congratulatory graphic for myself when I lose 100 pounds. Because I will.